Raise your hand if your mobile device goes everywhere with you. Texting, scrolling social media, and placing in-app orders are a large part of daily life. Because today’s consumers are rarely seen without their phones in hand, SMS marketing has become important for marketers to leverage. It’s the perfect way to meet customers where they are, but where do you start? Here are some SMS best practices to keep in mind when crafting your mobile marketing strategy.
What is SMS Marketing?
Let us refresh your memory real quick before we get into our list of SMS best practices. SMS marketing involves the delivery of text messages from a brand to its customers. Whether you’re teasing a new product launch or offering an exclusive deal, SMS provides just another way to connect with your audience. And, with text messages having a 98% open rate, businesses are much more likely to get the visibility they need for the conversions they want.
7 SMS Best Practices to Implement
As with all aspects of marketing (and life in general), there are a few do’s and don’t’s to keep in mind when creating an SMS marketing strategy. Let’s get into some of the most notable SMS best practices.
Consent is Crucial
We all know how important the opt-in form is for your email marketing efforts. The same applies to SMS. Say a consumer made a purchase on a brand’s website, entering their phone number as part of the checkout process. Just because the brand has that person’s number, that doesn’t mean they can just start sliding into their messages at any given time.
Create an opt-in form that lets them know exactly what kind of messages they’re signing up for and how often they can expect to receive one. You’ll also want to give them an opt-out option in case they change their minds down the road.
Select an SMS Marketing Software
While some marketers like to get their hands dirty and do the heavy lifting themselves, SMS isn’t necessarily the place to do that. Read: don’t whip out your own phone and start firing off messages to consumers. There are SMS marketing programs out there that can do all of that for you. In fact, DBMG offers SMS marketing automation capabilities to keep our clients connected to their customers. We set them up to deliver the right message at the right time.
Keep it Simple!
No matter your brand voice, you don’t want to send long, drawn-out texts that are laden with useless information. You’ve only got about 160 characters to work with. What you really need is a concise sentence, trigger word, or a call to action to get your audience interested. All in all, make sure you’re sending fun, valuable messages that are going to be worth the consumers’ time. Engaging, brief, and clever win the race.
If you only share your opt-in form once, those customers who missed it the first time around may not even know that you offer SMS updates. One of the best ways to get the word out is through social media. Promoting your opt-in form is a great way to grow your SMS list, and ultimately increase conversion rates. You can also share the form in your newsletter, on your checkout page, or your homepage. The goal is to get it in front of as many eyes as possible.
Consider Your Timing and Cadence
One of the most important SMS best practices has to do with timing. If you received a text message from a brand in the middle of dinner with your family (or worse, in the middle of the night), you probably would consider opting out immediately. Or, if the business was sending you multiple messages in the same day, that probably wouldn’t go over well, either. Here’s how to determine the best frequency and timing for your SMS audience.
Time of Day SMS Best Practices
As we mentioned before, sending SMS after hours is probably not the best idea. SMSGlobal clocks the best time for brands to send a text message at between 10:31 a.m. and 11:29 a.m., or between 2:34 a.m. and 3:27 p.m. Both of these windows are during the day, and aren’t on the dot, which will help you stand out from the rest.
Cadence SMS Best Practices
Customers aren’t likely to stick around if you’re blowing up their phone. More than likely, they’re receiving a slew of messages from friends, family, and other brands. Don’t let your brand add to that stress! Plus, too many texts will give your audience fatigue. Save only your most exciting offers and launches for SMS communications.
Don’t Forget the Disclaimers
Drafting up the punchy copy that serves as the meat of the SMS is the fun part. The not-so-fun part? The disclaimers. We mentioned giving consumers a chance to opt out of receiving texts, but you’ll also want to make sure to add “msg and data rates may apply” to the first text they receive when opting in. This should reduce the number of complaints customers may make if they are charged.
Assess the Results
What’s data without analysis? SMS marketing can help you determine which messages and offers are performing the best, and which could use a little help. As a measurable, trackable marketing solution, SMS can also help you improve your messaging across all channels. By refining your communications, you’re well on your way to redefining ROI.
Ready to slide into some inboxes? If you’re looking to add text messaging to your marketing strategy, be sure to keep this list of SMS best practices handy! You’ll capture your audience right where they are, generating a nice increase in conversions and ROI.