1. Play By The Rules
The most important thing you need to know about SMS marketing is that it is permission based. The good news is the rules are simple:
- Consent – You must have consent before sending the message
- Identify – The recipient should be able to easily identify the sender
- Unsubscribe – There must be a simple way for the recipient to opt out, and you should deal with them promptly
2. Brand It
We don’t need to tell you that branding is critical in any piece of customer communications, and SMS marketing is no exception. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a random number appear in my inbox, only to open the text and still not be able to work out who it’s from.
Your goal is to get your brand name in front of the customer immediately. Any SMS that doesn’t state your brand up-front or, worse still, has no branding whatsoever is as good as trash.
3. Avoid Acronyms or Abbreviations
LOL, ROTFL, CUL8R, YOLO…this is the place where txt tlk began. But there is no place for it in your SMS campaign. That means no acronyms, no text message jargon, no abbreviations, no Emojis – just full words at all times.
It might seem fun and friendly but text speak will only make your brand look unprofessional. Worse, it makes your SMS difficult to read and understand. It’s easy for customers to dismiss the message if they can’t read it quickly, and you can bet they won’t read the next one you send either.They might just opt out there and then.
“But I only have 160 characters!” we hear you cry. Yes, your message needs to be succinct, but just like on Twitter, this is a golden opportunity for you to get to the point. If you’re really struggling to squeeze it all in, send them to a mobile landing page using an URL shortener like bit.ly.
4. Make It Worth Their While
With SMS marketing, as with any permission marketing, you need to prove to customers that they did the right thing by giving you their information. The mobile phone is perhaps the most personal channel to communicate with customers, so don’t make them regret their decision. One way to do this is to provide something they can believe nobody else is getting – exclusive discounts, invitations, pre-sale access, and freebies.
5. Use A Powerful Call To Action
The call to action, or CTA in marketing speak, is most powerful phrase in your whole SMS. These are the words that get the recipient to do what you want or to go to where you want them to go. It might be only two or three words, but without them your SMS is a waste of valuable time and budget.
Use command words, such as “CALL US NOW” “FIND YOUR LOCAL STORE” “SHOP ONLINE”. If there’s an expiry on your offer, include it to give a sense of urgency. Wherever possible, give people a link to your website so they can use their smartphone to take action immediately, or include the number to call. Your goal is to make sure your recipients are in absolutely no doubt about what they should do next, and then to make it easy for them to do it.
By following these rules and giving some thought to your campaign, you can be sure your SMS marketing will deliver real, tangible results for your business.