Business owners can significantly improve their marketing efforts by sending out SMS messages to their target audience. The mass text messaging services that Boldsms.com offers can reach a plentitude of potential clients and customers in real-time and with crucial information such as updates, promotions, and many more. SMS marketing abbreviates short message service marketing, a form of digital marketing that relies on bulk text messaging. Small businesses, large corporations, and non-profits can use various marketing tools when sending information on e-commerce promotions, special offers, and other updates to customers’ mobile phones. Most companies and organizations prefer only text in their SMS marketing but they can also rely on multimedia, for instance, GIFs and photos. Additionally, SMS marketing software integrates customer relationship management (CRM) technologies for better automation and integration into marketing efforts.
Why Use SMS Marketing Campaigns
The main benefit of SMS marketing is that it can reach users quickly. Customers will most likely check a text in real-time compared to an email. Additionally, text message marketing sends customers and clients short and actionable promotional messages such as reminders and discount offers. Hence, SMS marketing is more cost-effective and leads to a higher conversion rate than other forms of marketing.
Text marketing requires salespeople to maximize a sense of utility while minimizing a sense of customer intrusion. You can use the following SMS marketing best practices as the basic template for your efforts in marketing.
- Ask Customers to opt-in to receive messages
An SMS marketing text is two-way traffic and should read as such from the first text you send to a new customer. You need to give customers an option to either reject or accept future SMS messages when you start interacting with them. And if they respond in the affirmative, set up an autoresponder in order to ensure they receive a follow-up confirmation. Keenly observe your affirmative versus the negative response rates and see if it’s possible to tweak the subsequent messages in encouraging more opt-ins.
- Identify yourself
Identifying yourself is a key SMS marketing best practice because there’s a need for customers to know the messenger behind the SMS text message campaign. As such, ensure you are clear about yourself. You should note that other marketing channels provide far more up-front brand visibility compared to SMS marketing. Upon getting a new text, customers have to go off for seemingly seeing a random phone number compared to other recognizable company email addresses or mobile app logos on their phones. Therefore, if you have chosen this kind of marketing, clearly identify your company in every text you do.
- Offer Immediate Value
The other SMS marketing best practice is the ability to offer immediate value. You can use SMS marketing immediacy to offer your customers that sense of real-time value. Also, provide them with a timely call to action (CTA). For example, you should announce short-term discounts on a new product or even information concerning a flash sale. Some of these types of mobile marketing solutions on customer need easily generate conversations and foster more enjoyable and efficient customer experiences.
- Provide an Opportunity to unsubscribe
It’s an SMS best practice to provide your customers with an opportunity to unsubscribe. Potential customers should have a chance to opt-in and initially receive text messages while current SMS subscribers need the option to stop receiving messages if that’s what they prefer. Ultimately, it would be better if you and your customers view your SMS messages as welcome surprises rather than intrusive pop-ups. Marketing automation tools have made unsubscribing easy for both customers and companies. Essentially, SMS marketing platforms automatically log new and cancelled subscriptions while streamlining your workflow generally.
- Respect Privacy and Security Concerns
It’s SMS’s best practice to respect privacy as well as security concerns. We need to recognize that people remain suspicious of clicking links sent from random phone numbers. If you want to encourage an enhanced click-through rate, ensure you’ve optimized your messaging in order to provide concrete proof that you represent a company that you claim to. Do not ask for credit card details or transactional data through text. Again, it’s more advisable to use SMS marketing service providers that can send out individual texts than group texts in order to realize a more personalized touch.
- Time your messages well
Ensure your SMS marketing messages are done with the customer’s time zones in mind. You will have a better time if you increased brand awareness when your updates hit your user’s smartphones while they’re still awake. Still, you can use Boldsms.com for bulk SMS tactics since it will help comb through your contact lists and text service providers and ensure you can send out batches of texts at the appropriate times. It’s better to run steady drip campaigns over a long period rather than bombard customers with updates or promotions every day. To align with your client’s expectations, it’s an SMS best practice to ensure your texts are within reasonable business hours so that you do not annoy anyone. Moreover, it does not make sense to text your contacts at times when they cannot act or respond. Therefore, out of courtesy and common sense, schedule the marketing messages at reasonable hours.
- Use texts for real-time updates
To achieve better SMS marketing efforts, use this tool because of its innate ability to offer time-sensitive reminders and updates. The SMS marketing service provider at your disposal can assist offer your customers abandoned cart updates, general notifications, appointment reminders, order confirmations, as well as information about price changes.
- Be Consistent with the Number of Texts you Send
The biggest mistake that businesses can make as they use SMS marketing services is failure to remain consistent enough. The reasoning behind this is that they want to ensure they do not spam their customers. However, sending too few messages will make people forget why they had to sign up. It becomes unfortunate that they only hear from you once in a blue moon and become potentially unwelcome. In essence, customers respond well if they receive messages consistently. Therefore, a successful text messaging campaign requires a regular schedule and consistency just like a social media strategy.
- Consider Adding an Element of Exclusivity
As you determine the kind of texts you should send, reflect on the meaning whenever someone has subscribed to be receiving messages from you. Note: they allow you to gain access to one of the most personal and direct ways of reaching them. A successful campaign will provide value in return to their contacts. By including the same promotion in your Instagram post, email, and SMS blast, you’ve given people a few reasons for signing up. It means you need to ensure you don’t recycle content and offers from social media and/or any other channel. Everything that is texted should always be relevant or exclusive to your SMS list. A 2020 report on text marketing showed that SMS contacts prefer first dibs on promotions or flash sales. If you remember that, it becomes easy to offer better and early accessibility to new sales.
- Make sure you’re Responsive
It’s an SMS best practice to remain responsive to your clients. If you offer a text message service, you should make a commitment that your platform will deliver messages instantly. Nearly 20 percent of all people read their text messages within a minute of being received. And if you plan to offer 2-way messaging in customer service and sales, responsiveness should be considered as part of your offerings. Try to allocate time for some hours weekly to determine how you can manage with your team. Henceforth, expand those hours of your offer. It’s better that you don’t over-commit and disappoint your clients.
- Incorporate Personalization into Your Strategy
SMS marketing remains unique since it has the ease of mass marketing campaigns with the advantage of one-on-one communication. A successful SMS marketing campaign should capitalize on personalization and should utilize features such as segments and custom fields in order to send more relevant and smarter texts to your valued contacts. Additionally, improve your campaigns through SMS integrations that can connect the existing software with your text marketing efforts. It enables you to send everything from some of your abandoned cart text messages to SMS shipping updates.
- You Need to Obtain Consent
A key SMS marketing best practice is obtaining consent from your customers or potential customers. The first step of your text message marketing campaign is obtaining express and written consent. You have to note that in the world of SMS, consent is another way of knowing that someone has agreed to your promotional texts coming from you. One of the most effective methods of obtaining consent from your contacts is keywords. An SMS Keyword can be defined as a phrase or word that customers could text into your number to subscribe to future messages. Consult a legal professional if you want to be safe and are unsure whether you need consent or have consent.
- Watch the Frequency of Your Texts
Some experts might advise you against texting a lot but what you need to do is to avoid texting more than your contacts expect. Over-texting can shatter a person’s expectations and leave them frustrated or hungry. The best SMS practice is sending 2-4 messages per month but you might decide to send multiple texts on a weekly or daily. For instance, a marketing strategy utilizing SMS for churches can opt for weekly reminders about their services. Thus, remain upfront with your contacts on the frequency of your texts and stick to that.
- Add in Necessary Disclaimers
Before the emergence of smartphones, there were constant fears that “data and text message rates might apply.” Today, unlimited data and texting plans are many, implying that your contacts may never receive charges attributed to your texts. Adding a disclaimer is not easy but is still the best practice and more importantly, a legal requirement. To comply with the industry’s SMS best practices and regulations, including this information:
- How frequent you plan to be texting your contacts, for example, you may receive 4msgs/month.
- Data & msg rates might apply.
- Information on unsubscribing e.g. Reply to STOP or HELP for help.
Further, ensure to consult various regulations that apply for full details that you need to remember such as CTIA’s Short Code Monitoring Handbook and CTIA’s messaging principles and best practices. The resources remain an excellent way of familiarising yourself with some of the applicable laws or regulations. However, if unsure consult a legal professional on the requirements.
- Provide Contacts with a Clear way to Opt Out
Your messages are top-notch but no guarantee that every person who receives them will feel the same. So to ensure everyone remains happy with your brand, allow your contacts room to unsubscribe if they wish. Simple texting should automatically include the information in your auto-confirmation message. Again, include instructions about any advertisements as one of SMS marketing best practices. Simply include “Text STOP to unsubscribe” in promoting your messaging campaign. This act shows professionalism while establishing credibility and trust.
- Watch your Language
An SMS message has around 160 characters for every message. You may decide to shorten some of the words or decide to save space by throwing in a little “textese.” While this action could save space, you’re sacrificing professionalism and clarity more often than not. Although character limits are always frustrating, they are helpful tools for sharpening your messages. And if you feel it’s not working, utilize MMS which allows you up to 1,600 characters.
You have to make all texts that you send worthwhile. Instead of bombarding your contacts with the same and vague ad every week, you can decide to focus on “SMART” marketing. For each of your texts, offers, or announcements, ask yourself whether it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely). Important announcements, discounts, exclusive savings, event alerts, and useful information are some of the most valuable things that you can share with your clients. For this reason, you should consider including rich media such as videos and photos in order to diversify and engage your audience. Lack of value means the unsubscribe rate increases dramatically.