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Choose the Best SMS Strategies, and Avoid the Bad Ones

With text message open rates as high as 98%, there’s no good reason for businesses to overlook this form of communication.

As companies have been collecting phone numbers for decades, they’ve never been able to make such good use of them as they are now. The best SMS marketing approaches encourage customers to engage beyond opening and need to take advantage of the unique characteristics of texting.

Here are a few things to do to make your SMS marketing efforts a slam dunk.

Add Calls to Action

When you first send a text to your customers, they’re going to wonder why you’re reaching out to them. SMS marketing is all about getting to the point. Since you have just 160 characters in most cases, you need to let them know what you’re getting at.

While you may not be able to get to all of the “when”, “why”, “where”, and “how”, at least give them the essentials. Make sure that you’re landing your SMS marketing efforts by telling your customers where to go and what to do.

In many cases, the gist is to save X amount of dollars using Y coupon by Z day this week. However, it’s shocking the number of people who fail to add this essential information to their marketing efforts.

Keep it Simple

Along with getting to your most important points, don’t be afraid to keep it short. It takes time and effort to craft messages that say everything you need to say in a short amount of time. However, your customers will appreciate your efforts and be more willing to engage with you.

If every time they try to engage with one of your texts, they decode strange abbreviations or click on links that go nowhere, they’ll avoid you. If you can grab their attention and make their journey simple, especially with a reward at the end, they’ll be happy to engage you again and again.

Make it Feel Exclusive

Everyone likes to feel like they have an inside track on what’s going on with their favorite businesses. Whether it’s coffee punch cards or a program that rewards your spending, seeing the numbers climb and your rewards build up is a good feeling. It makes it seem like you are in a relationship of some kind with the business.

Since SMS requires some level of permission, marketing this way gives you personal access to your customer’s pockets or purses. It lets you send a personal message to people based on your knowledge about them. Make them feel like VIPs if you want to keep them happy.

Sending special offers, exclusive discounts, and other values not available elsewhere keeps them engaged. Be careful about sending these messages too often as you want to make it feel like you’ve got something special.

Avoid Bombarding Them

No one likes to get blown up with SMS texts from someone they don’t know personally. While it can be fun for close friends and family to send a lot of funny messages, sending too frequently will become a nuisance.

Never send a message to tell your recipient that you’re sending something. Offer useful information and deals or don’t say anything at all. You need to deliver value with each SMs.

If you fall into the territory of being annoying, you’re going to lose customers fast. Once you start to turn people off, the descent can be hard and fast, keeping you from making the kind of connection that’s valuable to your business.

Don’t Be Pushy

Every business has a long list of prospects who they could be profiting from. This inspires some businesses to use every opportunity to try to sell to them. However, you’re not the only business in this world and if you’re all trying to sell everyone something, you’re going to overwhelm customers.

The market is already oversaturated with marketing messages bombarding customers. While you have a real and legitimate need to sell and make money, you also have to treat customers with respect. Respect boundaries and your customers will appreciate that.

You’re dealing with real humans who have a real emotional connection to their messages. They expect something personal when they open a text. If you communicate to them in a cold way or make a naked pitch, they’re not going to be happy.

They’ll appreciate it much more when you’re communicating with them on a human level.

Say Who You Are

From the first message to the last one, you need to remind your customers who you are. Don’t expect them to save your name and number on their phone like you’re their best friend. With many SMS marketing messages coming from truncated or strange phone numbers, expect to be a stranger every single time.

Letting your customers know who you are also helps with brand recognition. By clearly identifying yourself, you don’t seem like spam. Your messages will be much more relevant and engaging.

If you text anonymously, expect to be treated as spam and thrown out. You won’t get any engagement at all if your customers have no idea who you are. Customer experience should be your top priority and the first thing they should know is who they’re texting with.

The Best SMS Marketing is Personal

If you want to approach your customers on their personal devices, your best SMS efforts will make it feel personal. You should be approaching customers in a way that feels personal while also getting straight to the point each time. The more clear your efforts feel the more ready your customers will be to engage.

Check out our coverage tracking the KPIs that you should be managing in this era of mobile marketing.

David York
david@sureshot.io

David York has spent the last 15 years at the forefront of the martech revolution, and is an expert on its past, present and future.