SMS Marketing Best Practices for Remarkable Results
Are you all set to explore the SMS marketing best practices and launch best SMS marketing campaigns for your business?
Then let’s begin!
The genesis of SMS marketing is disruptive in the marketing industry.
Since then, marketers are experimenting with SMS marketing to determine SMS marketing best practices.
And after numerous trials and errors, they formulated the behavior of SMS marketing and derived certain Do’s and Don’ts under SMS marketing best practices.
The Do’s help you to strategize your campaigns to gain benefits to its maximum potential.
And the Don’ts save you from losing your integrity and brand value, which are foundation elements for the success of any business.
Rome is not built in one night.
Similarly, your business is not built in one step.
It takes you through so much to build your business empire and win the hearts of your beloved customers.
But, if you choose one wrong step, it may leave you with enduring scars.
To prevent that, here are some Do’s and Don’ts of SMS marketing, under seven categories of SMS marketing best practices.
1. Comply with regional law imposed rules & regulations of SMS marketing.
Wherever you launch your SMS marketing campaigns, you should abide by the law of the land.
Keeping their citizens’ rights and convenience as the concern, each government has constitutionalized specific rules and regulations for SMS marketing.
Your campaigns being following these established rules and regulations are the basic and mandate for SMS marketing best practices.
In India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set of rules which every SMS marketer should comply.
According to TRAI,
Do have your customer’s approval to send commercial messages to them.
Having your customer’s phone number does not give you right to send them SMS.
SMS marketing in opt-in based service.
You need to provide the opt-in option or subscription option to your customers who wish to receive messages from your end.
You can even consider the double opt-in option to get ultimate surety from your customers that they seriously love to receive your SMS.
It is one of the most effective SMS marketing best practices.
Sending messages without your customer’s approval is illegal and also bothers your customers.
Eventually, it may lead to the situation where your customer registers their number in National Do Not Call list (NDNC).
If you send messages to these DND (Do-Not-Disturb) numbers, they get blocked automatically.
In such cases, you may permanently lose your engagement with your customer via SMS marketing.
Do send your SMS between 9 am to 9 pm Standard Indian Time.
You need to schedule and launch your SMS campaigns during this standard time interval.
It is one of the very important SMS marketing best practices because in general, it is the business hours in which people are convenient to receive commercial texts.
If you send the messages outside of this time interval, they could be blocked or delayed, depending on the telecom operator.
It may ultimately affect the success of your campaign.
Similarly, in the USA, Telecom Consumer Protection Act and CAN-SPAM Act have a particular set of rules and regulations for their citizens.
You should follow them to reach out your customers legally through SMS marketing.
2. Empathize with your customers for compelling SMS marketing best practices.
It is not enough to have your customers’ phone numbers and their approvals to launch best SMS marketing campaigns.
You need to get into their minds to understand what would be exciting and most relevant to them.
You need to analyze what brings your customers into the comfort zone with you and approach them accordingly.
Only then, you would be able to implement impressive SMS marketing best practices like the following.
Do provide a simple OPT-OUT option to your customers.
It is one of the SMS marketing best practices to filter the customers who do not find any relevance to your message or do not choose to receive SMS from your end.
Therefore, explain to your customers how to opt-out at the end of the message.
You can also provide simple ways like –text ‘STOP,’ ’unsubscribe,’ ’YES/NO,’ etc.
By providing the option to opt-out, you create a comfort zone for your customer.
It, in turn, creates a positive impression on your company.
They are more likely to choose you in future when they are in need of similar services.
It also cuts your budget by stopping you from sending messages, which are not read and pushed off as soon as received.
Do not send SMS to the customers who chose to opt-out.
Your customers opt out from your Text message service because they find your messages having no relevance to them.
It is very offensive to your customers if you send commercial messages to them even after they opt-out from your SMS service.
It may lead your customers to lose trust in your company.
If you want to run best SMS marketing campaigns with SMS marketing best practices, you need to respect your customer’s choice.
Do allow two-way communication.
Encourage your customers to communicate with you by allowing them for two-way communication.
It is one of the remarkable SMS marketing best practices.
According to Clickatell, around 64% of customers prefer two-way communication in Text marketing industry.
Your customers may have queries regarding your SMS, which they can ask by replying you.
It opens your gates to show your loyalty to your customers and execute some more SMS marketing best practices.
Make sure you create a promising impression that you are always available at their service.
While replaying them, you can also take the opportunity to guide them towards other different services and offers too.
It helps you to understand your customers more closely.
Do not schedule all your campaigns in last minute.
Launching SMS marketing campaigns in last minute can work for the strategies which are apt for that.
But, you cannot apply the same in every scenario.
Consider a situation where you realized to increase your sales in the last few days of the festive season.
You planned to launch a campaign with huge discount offers on ethnic wear at the end of the season.
But, by the time you launch, many of your customers might have availed the services from different vendors.
You may miss out a large segment of potential customers in such unideal situations.
It is always better to plan well in advance and organize your campaign at optimized schedules.
Do not sound over promotional.
You need SMS marketing best practices to promote your brand but sounding too much promotional could be fatal.
People do not tend to welcome over promotional messages.
But, it does not mean you should not use SMS marketing for branding and pitching your sales.
It is all about the tone with which you communicate with your customers.
It is the age where the mobile phones have become oversaturated with marketing messages.
In such situations, it is not at all healthy to always push your customers towards your sales directly using marketing jargons.
Instead, make them feel like they are receiving the SMS from a friend, but not from someone whose is ready to trap the customers for their sales.
It is one of the most significant SMS marketing best practices.
Remember that your customers are humans and implement more personal and human approach with them.
Use a warm-welcoming tone to pitch your sales.
Do not use text slangs and abbreviations.
Having limited space for text message may push you to use abbreviations.
But, it is risky to use abbreviations and text slangs in business communications.
Not every one of your customers can understand abbreviations and text slangs.
It may cause utter confusion to your customers which leads them just to ignore your SMS.
Furthermore, using unprofessional, foul language to communicate with your customers degrades your brand value.
It can make your customer consider it as spam message and eventually opt out.
Professionalism in SMS marketing communication has to maintain particular standards.
Carrying out appropriate business communications is one of the important SMS marketing best practices.
Do not flood up your customers with continuous messages.
It is good to maintain regular engagement with your customer as it works subtly to build your brand value and brand recall.
Your customers feel very annoying when you bombard them with an excess of messages, continuously in a short span of time.
It strongly affects your brand image.
Your customers undergo vexation, and it may push them to opt-out which is not desirable to run best SMS marketing campaigns.
SMS marketing best practices include maintaining a limited number of messages in a week to engage with your customers healthily.
Any marketing strategy does not hold any value if it is troublesome to your customers.
Understand the emotions of your customers and strategize your campaigns accordingly to run best SMS marketing campaigns.
3. Do integrate SMS marketing with other marketing channels.
You can reach your customers instantly with high open rates in SMS marketing.
Hence, SMS marketing holds enormous benefits as standalone campaigns when the messages are time sensitive.
Also, you may not reach out all your customers instantly in other marketing trends.
There are chances that your customers may or may not open Emails, or go through posts in other channels before the valid time of the offer.
Hence, it is one of the SMS marketing best practices to team up other marketing channels.
By combining other marketing trends with SMS marketing, you can leverage substantial underlying benefits of SMS marketing.
You can include click-through links of different marketing platforms like a website, blog, facebook page or twitter post, email, etc. in your SMS and launch the campaign.
It is also one of the most effective SMS marketing best practices.
According to Tatango, the average click-through-rate of SMS marketing is 36% and is in leading when compared to email marketing, which only has an average click-through rate of 3.2%.
Therefore, integrate other marketing platform URL links in SMS campaigns to boost your response rates.
4.SMS marketing best practices to diversify your strategies.
In a day, your customer receives quite a good number of messages from different SMS marketers.
You need diverse approaches to launch top SMS marketing campaigns in such competition.
You should incorporate unique strategies with SMS marketing best practices to occupy a significant place in your customer’s mind.
Do not repeat the same SMS regularly.
You may launch a campaign in which you include a multimedia link, and it may get massive click-through rates.
You may arise a fondness towards that particular strategy and repeat the same in your next consecutive SMS marketing campaigns too.
Now, consider a situation where your competitors strike the customers with more exciting campaigns with different coupon codes and special offers.
Because you have already approached them with the same kind of SMS before,
your customers do not find any new interesting elements in your next consecutive campaigns.
Your customers more likely tend towards other more alluring and engaging campaigns.
In that case, you stand nowhere in the competition.
To avoid that,
Do have variety in your strategies.
Any strategy with relevant and engaging content can reach your customers with its full potential.
At the same time, your SMS should consist a variety of offers to keep the curiosity and excitement of your customers to open the messages.
These SMS marketing best practices have a miraculous effect on your campaigns.
Mix your strategies and launch your campaigns so that it spice up your campaign.
Engage your customers with your brand using different approaches in SMS marketing.
You can send notifications, special offers, news, coupons, updates, etc., anything to make them remain interested in your brand.
And, you should never be afraid to test new strategies to improve your campaigns.
The more you diversify your strategies, the more you evolve with SMS marketing best practices.
5.SMS marketing best practices to tailor your SMS campaign according to your customer.
Every message is not relevant to everyone.
If your customer does not receive relevant messages from you, he may ignore your message or just opt-out.
To avoid that you need to understand your customer to more depths and send the relevant and engaging SMS to him.
To reach more closely to the hearts of your customers, you need to understand their traits and behavior patterns and segment them accordingly.
It is the part of very important SMS marketing best practices.
You can segment your customers based on different parameters like language, demography, click rates, opt-in rates, opt-out rates, bounce rates, personal data of customer like date of birth, gender, etc.
Do track your campaigns to understand your customer behavior and campaigns’ success.
Your SMS marketing service provider has a key role in tracking the analytics of the campaign.
The SMS marketing service provider should have robust tools which can track real-time values.
Choose the best SMS Marketing service provider which can track your campaigns and provide you with detail reports of all significant parameters.
Tracking helps you understand what the targeted customers are seeking more from your SMS.
It is one of the SMS marketing best practices which you should never ignore.
Further improvements in your strategies are possible when you know what are the after effects of your SMS campaigns.
Strategies like polling, contests, surveys, scheduling messages, etc. can be employed to derive customers’ insights.
After obtaining data from tracking reports,
Do segmentation and send your personalized messages accordingly.
For example, you track the data of the number of people who prefer regional language to receive commercial SMS.
Then you segment them into regional language category.
Send targeted SMS in regional language to this segment of customers.
In this way, you can personalize the message for your customer.
For another example, you track that the conversion rates are high for cashback coupon codes than discounts in a particular area for the male.
Segment the male customers of that area as a category and launch the targeted campaigns with much more cashback coupon codes.
Giving your customers more and more of what they are interested is the imperative motto for SMS marketing best practices.
6.SMS marketing best practices to compose your content.
Not all campaigns can become best SMS marketing examples.
To launch best SMS marketing campaigns, you should be aware of SMS marketing best practices for composing the SMS content.
Do start your message with ATTENTION GRABBER texts.
Push your customers to open your text by adding attention-grabbing words in the beginning.
The words must be in the higher case and should instantly create an urge for your customer to open it.
Some of the attention-grabbing words are ‘EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU,’ ‘SPECIAL OFFERS,’ ‘DON’T MISS,’`FREE,’etc.
Do keep the Text message short and brief.
You may feel that the SMS has insufficient space to convey about your product or service clearly to your customers.
Thinking that every message you share with the customer should have lengthy content with every detail is one of the SMS marketing myths.
Understand the prominent SMS marketing myths and debunk them rationally.
You are not here to screw up your campaigns by falling prey to such SMS marketing myths.
The limited space of 160 characters provided in an SMS is good enough to push compelling marketing messages to your customers if utilized correctly.
SMS marketing best practices include clear and concise text messages with the proper call to action than lengthy descriptions.
Therefore, although you can send marketing SMS up to 918 characters through multiple message chunks, it is always advisable to keep your text short and brief.
Do include your company name.
It is one of the most significant SMS marketing best practices.
What is the use if your customers do not know from whom are they receiving the SMS?
You need to include your company name in the SMS to create and hold the brand value because strangeness annoys people.
People may consider you as spam and delete your message without reading if you send them the message as some random stranger.
You need to change the sender name or add the company name at the end of the message to avoid misunderstandings.
Do include Call to Action.
Text messages have the high open rate, but it won’t be of any use if the customer does not know what to be done by reading the message.
SMS marketing best practices include guiding your customers to fulfill your campaign goal by providing them clear and concise Call to action (CTA).
Therefore, add the compelling CTA to reap the full potential of SMS marketing.
The CTA could be anything from referring friends, simple codes to avail special deals, call back options by providing your number or giving a missed call, etc.
Do not include lengthy URLs
Lengthy URLs not only uses up valuable space of your SMS which has 160 character limit but also looks incredibly unprofessional.
It could be considered as spam by your customers.
Hence, always do shorten your URL links in your SMS campaigns.
Some of the top URL shortening providers are Bitly, Goo.gl, and Owly.
Don’t forget to proofread your message before launching the campaign.
Proofread your SMS and make sure that the text does not contain any errors.
It is one of the very important SMS marketing best practices.
You have to be careful while using certain letters next to certain characters as it can automatically change into an emoticon.
Emoticons may give a spammy image to your messages.
Check if you are providing correct URL link, CTA Keywords, shortcodes, etc.in the text message before launching.
Your customers may take the message as spam if any of such mistakes happen.
7.SMS marketing best practices to maintain Professional Ethics.
Whatever SMS marketing best practices you adopt, your integrity lies within your professional ethics.
Your company values and ethics act as its invisible driving wheels for achieving tremendous trust and brand value in your customers.
You may take a bit long time to reach your goals when you are professionally ethical than the one who is not.
The downfall lies in disguise of the short span success for the one who doesn’t have professional ethics.
But, the ultimate trust gained by you lasts forever in the hearts of your customers.
Do not purchase lists of customers.
You may find many sources on the market who sells you the customer data.
But, the consequences do not help your business in any way when you purchase the data of public and send them SMS without their consent.
You need to remember that SMS marketing is opt-in service and it is illegal to send messages without the approval of the mobile user.
Do build your contact list in a right way.
Start building your customer data with transparency from scratch.
Your customer should provide you their details and know that you possess their mobile number.
It may take time for you to make a genuine list of your customers but it is worth doing that way.
It saves your money by preventing you from sending the messages to some random customer, who do not have any knowledge or interest in your company.
Your customer receives your message positively when he choose to get informed about your deals and expect the messages from you.
Hence, it is one of the SMS marketing best practices to build the customer list genuinely.
Don’t misguide your customers.
Here is an example of text message survey scam in the name of ‘free Apple product,’
According to the SMS, the customer’s mobile number has made him an “Apple’s Winner.”
And to claim his free Apple Product, he has to follow the link in the SMS and type the specified code.
But, the claims in the message are just a trap.
In fact, the customers win nothing.
After entering his code number, he will be then taken to a further “prize” page and asked to complete a brief survey.
After completing the survey, he will get a message that he is eligible to win an iPad, and for that, he should enter his mobile phone number.
But, the page will have an illegible print with information that entering the phone number subscribes the users to an ongoing SMS subscription service for $6 per text.
The customers who entered their phone numbers will be made to fill few more survey forms for more information.
But, the customers receive nothing disregarding how many survey forms they fill up.
This text message version used a web address that includes the word “apple.”
It is an attempt to make the offer seem like it comes directly from Apple.
In fact, the message has no connection with the company.
It is one of the examples of how customers got mislead by such a spam SMS.
It is seriously offensive to your customers.
If you mislead your customers or manipulate them to click through some undesirable links, it ultimately damages your bond with your customers.
And your company may end up nowhere by doing so.
If you’re promoting something, send relevant SMS to your customers regarding the same.
What you promote is to be the same as what you provide them at the end to carry out SMS marketing best practices.
On a final note
Launch best SMS marketing campaigns by always giving reasons to your customers to choose you and driving them to recall your brand.
The SMS marketing best practices empower you to come with powerful branding ideas.
Incorporate your campaigns with these powerful branding strategies in order to leverage the maximum scope and potential of SMS marketing.
You need to employ the SMS marketing best practices to reach your customers with grace and achieve their reliance.
The trust and reliance of your customers are the building blocks of your brand value.
Therefore, your Brand value is your most essential marketing aim, and you should not try to play wrong with it.
Value your customers’ opinions and do not step into anything which is offensive to them.
Treat your customers with dignity and they will return you the same with love for your brand.
Your Customer is your God.
Tell us what you think about these 7 categories of SMS marketing best practices.