Text messaging is a perfect modality if you want to communicate with your audience immediately. Many marketers already use text to interact with their audience. According to an IBM study released in June 2012, 1 in 5 marketers perform mobile marketing and 32% of mobile marketers perform text messaging campaigns.
Fortunately, email service provider Mailigen has made it super easy for you to jump into text messaging marketing campaigns, the platform offers you both email and SMS marketing. Although email marketing has a lot in common with SMS marketing, there are also some significant differences. What to do and what to avoid? There are some best practices to keep in mind, so we offer you 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts for getting started.
1. Choose the right time
As a busy marketer, it may seem convenient to send email late at night and wait for opens in the morning. That’s not a good idea with SMS campaigns. SMS is an immediate, point of use tool – so send it when your audience is most likely to see it and react.
If you rush with inviting people to an event by SMS, they may forget it. If you are too slow, they may miss special sales. So calculate a precise time when to send text messages and stick to the schedule.
2. Call to action
SMS messages are short and simple, you only get about 160 characters. You don’t have to explain everything in your SMS message but do cover: WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY.
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No matter the tool you choose to use for communicating, email or text message, do make sure you have a compelling CALL TO ACTION. It must be clear exactly what you want people to do after reading your message. Considering the length (read – brevity) of the text message, your message should really consist of one sigle call to action phrase
3. Allow answering
Make your text messaging allows for 2-way communication with your subscribers. Invite people to reply to your message, and send themadditional information or some type of reward in email or another SMS. Keep them coming back for more.
And don’t forget about permission! In email newsletters you already include unsubscribe links. In your text messages, include instructions on how to opt-out of the list. Usually people just have to reply with STOP. Include this short informational phrase in every single message you send.
1. Don’t send everything to everyone => segment your subscribers
Mobile is considered to be more personal than email. So by receiving irrelevant text messages people will be more irritated than by receiving irrelevant email. And vice versa – because SMS average open rate is close to 100%, relevant content in text messages can bring exceptionally high results.
Segment your audience in groups with as much in detail as possible and then send relevant information to each of the groups.
2. Don’t send because of schedule => send by necessity
In email marketing we teach: whatever the period is – once a week or once a month – send newsletters consistently. In SMS marketing, it’s all real-time. Use text messaging only to inform about ”real-time and immediate” news.
3. Don’t explain everything => choose catchy wording
Sometimes marketers try to squeeze in way too much information in those 160 text characters. Often it results in skipped letters, grammar failures, and lack of logic. In SMS marketing, less is more. You’re better off focusing on clarity, directness and easy to understand messaging. If the wording and call to action are eye-catching, don’t worry, people will seek out additional information.
What you can and should do is shorten the links. With the rising smartphone era, now you can easily add links to your text message guiding recipients to your web page. Mailigen offers automatic link shortening when adding links to SMS.
Do you perform SMS marketing? Have you tried to link it with email marketing in common campaigns? If you have some tips and best practices to share, we would love to hear them!