The Do's and Don'ts of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing can go very right, or very wrong. This method can be both personal and invasive, so it’s important that you take on what works best.

There’s no doubt that businesses have become increasingly creative with how they opt to reach and engage with their customers - an example of this is SMS (short message service) or MMS (multimedia messaging system) marketing, or simply texting their clients.

When compared to the average click through rate that email marketing offers (22%), a whopping 98% of consumers will open a text message from a business.

However, there are some critical elements in perfecting this highly personal (and highly targeted) method of marketing.

Brands are generally limited to 160 characters, so it’s important to make every one of those count.

So, when is it okay for a business to text you, and what’s the best way to go about it?

Lisa Bourke from Content Hive knows first-hand how SMS marketing can irritate consumers if handled incorrectly.

“I got an SMS once that came through at 2:00am in the morning, and of course it woke me up. It was a notification from an investment company that I had not engaged with for at least five years. They then proceeded to call me the next day to follow up on their offer - which usually would have been a great strategy. However, I used this call to politely inform them to remove me from all subscriptions, as their text had woken me up. As a sleep deprived mother - needless to say, I will not be buying from that business ever again.”

Unfortunately, this is a classic example of how SMS marketing can go wrong. It requires extra thought and consideration when compared to other “opt-in” marketing services, and generally doesn’t take much to backfire.

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Tips To Succeed With SMS Marketing

It’s important to remember that this is a much more invasive method of marketing, so ensure your message is clear, concise and relevant.

The average Australian checks their smartphone 85 times per day - so make the opportunity count for something.

Order Tracking - Your consumer has already invested their time, energy and money with you, so it’s up to you to provide a great post-sale service. This is a highly personalised message, and generally relevant to the client.

Birthday Messages - Chances are that your customer is already in a good mood, so why not tap into those good vibes? Although you have “nothing to gain” on paper from such an interaction, your client will be sure to remember it in the future.

Billing And Payments - Timely payments are in both of your best interests, and is something worth considering when it comes to offering real “value” to your customer’s experience. This is generally not too invasive, and more so convenient.

Appointment Reminders - There’s a high chance that your customers would prefer a text as opposed to a phone call regarding appointment or scheduling reminders. Much like a billing related text, this is also adding value to your client’s experience.

What Not To Do When It Comes To SMS Marketing

Although your opt out rate for SMS marketing will likely be higher - don’t take this personally. It is a very intimate method when it comes to reaching your customers, but there are a few things that you can do to minimise your losses.

Timing Is Everything - Much like Lisa, would you fancy a text at 2:00am from a brand or business? We think not, and neither would your customers. Always keep local time zones in mind when texting your clients and go for the “not too early vs not too late” method.

Include An Opt Out - Not only is it a legal requirement, but you will run the real risk of infuriating your customers if you restrict their marketing choices. They might still like to receive your emails, just not your text messages.

Take Care With Promotions - It’s great that you are having a sale, but if you inform your customers on too many of them, then it loses its effect. To avoid being the boy that cried wolf and losing your client’s interest, keep these to a minimum and only promote the big ones.

Don’t Bombard Them - Texting your clients more than once a week may increase the chances of an opt out, so make sure you give them time to breathe. Pay attention to your demographics and learn more about your clients, to ensure that you're targeting correctly.

If you or your brand are able to master the subtlety that SMS marketing requires, then you may just find yourself with a new avenue to form real connections with your customers. 

However, like all methods of digital marketing, content is key. If you don’t consider yourself to be a wordsmith or graphics guru, it might be time to consider outsourcing this integral part of your marketing plan. Thankfully at Content Hive, producing great content is exactly what we do. Why not schedule your free discovery call with us today, to chat about how we can get your brand buzzing online?