SMS Marketing – Best Practices

SMS Marketing, sometimes referred to as Text Marketing, has developed over the years to become favourite with marketers and is now considered an essential communications channel in any marketing mix.

This is because SMS enjoys highly receptive audiences, unmatched open rates, and promotions that succeed because they’re delivered to customers and prospects directly.

But don’t take our word for it, take a look at some of these statistics:

  • SMS has a response rate that’s 7.5x greater than email.
  • More than 50% of customers prefer contacting support through text messaging compared to other channels. · 80% of people use texting for business purposes.
  • According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, people are more likely to give accurate feedback over text.

With SMS being a staple of mobile devices for over 25 years, texting is possibly the most ubiquitous communications method on the planet. With SMS being pre-installed by default on the phones that never stray too far from our sides, in marketing terms this represents a potentially hugely engaged audience with over 90% of SMS messages received are opened and read.

This means that if you haven’t yet utilised SMS as part of your marketing strategy, you are bound to try it sooner than later. When the time comes, it is important that you make the most of this fantastic marketing opportunity. So, with that said, here are a few things to think about when you are setting up an SMS Marketing campaign:

  1. Make sure you get permission!
    When sending out any SMS marketing campaign, it is vital the people you are sending out to individuals that have opted in to being contacted by you. To entice your users to receive text messages containing special offers, new product updates, or other valuable information you can request they opt-in via an online form, contest entries, or asking them to text a particular keyword to a mobile number or shortcode.
  2. Think about your sending options: Numbers, Shortcodes and AlphaIDs.
    You can use different types of outbound numbers to meet specific needs of you and your customers – it is really important you know what each does and choose accordingly.
    Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMNs) look and operate exactly like a regular 11 digit phone number. This allows you to have seamless international two-way communications via a centralised online SMS gateway. It can often be useful to have numerous VMNs for different tasks or personnel, helping to separate functions and limit the risk of mixing up communications.
    Shortcodes are 5 digit numbers that are designed to be easier to read, write and remember. They can be used in conjunction with keywords to trigger events. An example might be an estate agent’s For Sale sign that read “Text HOUSE123 for details about this property”. Doing so could prompt a reply message or call back amongst other actions.
    Alphanumeric Sender IDs allow you to set the sender ID as your company name or brand. They can be up to 11 characters including numbers, letters and spaces. By branding your outbound messages you make them instantly recognisable and instil confidence in the recipient. Alpha IDs only support outbound messaging. This makes them ideal for outbound communications and information blasts.
  3. Be clever, concise, and compliant.
    Once your users have expressed an interest in hearing from you, don’t abuse the privilege. When you send any text marketing message, be clever, engaging, and brief. Provide them with an offer they can’t refuse or information that really matters. If you don’t strike the right balance, you run the risk of opt-outs and your precious contact list rapidly shrinking. If done correctly, your customer may give you the same attention level as a text received from a friend. Also, make the opt-out process simple. If your customers can’t opt out, they’re likely to start complaining to their wireless carrier, leading to potential filtering of your messages down the road.
  4. Utilise Keywords for effortless user engagement. 
    Keywords can be a great way to allow user an easy way of getting in contact. Make sure you pick relevant keywords – a well-chosen word or phrase provided to customers can be a great way to encourage them to connect with you by texting into your shortcode.
  5. Be ready to have a conversation.
    By sending a text message, you’re making a personal connection with your customers. When contacting recipients with a VMN or shortcode, you are giving them the opportunity to respond and give you valuable feedback on your products. It is therefore vital that you are ready to respond. This might mean having someone on hand to respond in real time and take advantage of the personal, conversational nature of SMS. Alternatively, setting up and auto-response message can be a great way to instantly and automatically send personalized, follow-up text messages.
  6. Measure, analyse, adapt and develop.
    Smart marketers know how their campaigns are performing and can prove their ROI. Because of the extensive analytics that can be captured by an enterprise SMS system like 123-txt, SMS marketing offers a direct, measurable, and trackable marketing channel. It allows you to easily determine which messages and promotions are working and which ones aren’t. This can help you continually refine your text campaigns, and improve your marketing messages on all other media. Best of all, you automatically capture leads and inquiries for sales follow-up.

More Information on SMS Marketing

For more information on how SMS Marketing can work for any organisation, please click here.