The results are in: according to The State of SMS, text messaging offers businesses one of the best means of communicating to customers with a 98% average open rate. But making the decision to use SMS in your marketing is just the first step. The real question is: how do you make sure your content hits the mark?
With a far higher chance of messages being opened and read, it’s important that content for your SMS campaigns work and aren’t discarded or viewed as spam. So to help, I’ve pulled together three core principles to ensure your SMS marketing campaigns hit the mark…
Does the format match the purpose?
The first thing to think about is the purpose of your SMS message – are you sending an update, reminder or offer? Updates could be for delivery times, order confirmations or to keep purchasers informed; reminders could cover appointments and bookings to reduce cancellation rates, and offers could range from vouchers and discounts to loyalty incentives. You can find out more about our features here.
Updates and reminders should be short and concise, whilst including all the necessary information, such as times, addresses, and not to be forgotten – any contact details should the customer need to change their delivery or booking.
You can risk losing rather than gaining customer and brand loyalty if you send SMS marketing communications that are frustrating and offer no way of them to get in touch.
If it’s a voucher, discount code or loyalty offer which you’re looking to send, the tone used will need to be persuasive and enticing to encourage users to click through and take advantage of your offer. Ensure the message or offer is clear so customers know what is on offer before they find out how much, you don’t want them to glaze over your message because the first thing they see is a context-less number.
If you’re wanting to send something more visual, then MMS marketing may be the solution. Sending an MMS containing an image, video or audio file can radically improve engagement rates with your audience. MMS marketing is also a cost-effective solution for sending multimedia files over a text message.
Who’s the target audience?
The second factor is perhaps the most important – your audience. If your business is targeting the younger generation ensure the offer is relevant and that the language used reflects their own.
If you want to entice young texters to take advantage of your offerings, speak their language and use the latest phrases and acronyms. The 16-24s age group have always been leaders in new language generation; but be warned, turns of phrases can rise and fall incredibly quickly so do your market research to ensure you don’t fall behind or appear like an out of date uncle trying to impress the kids! However, it’s also vitally important to remember to maintain a level of professionalism and to stay on brand. So you should avoid slang at all costs.
Try not to fall into the trap of separating your language use by gender as modern studies have found popular opinion is turning against products and straplines which highlight societal gender differences. So, make sure that you’re not changing the language used in your SMS marketing communications based on gender to help stay ahead.
Make it personal
My final top tip on SMS marketing best practice is to make your content as personal as possible. To entice users into opening your message, they should feel that their personal custom is truly valued, not that they’re just another number on a list.
Personalise your text message with your customer’s name, by doing so it will help make your communication feel more ‘one on one’ and less ‘en masse’! If your opt-in data collection includes a customer’s date of birth, it provides a great opportunity to send personalised offers or appointment reminders. This makes users feel valued and helps strengthen positive perceptions of how you as a business use the data they provide.
Want to find out more?
These are only a handful of the many best practice tips out there for creating the most successful SMS marketing campaign. If you’d like to know more on SMS guidance, get in touch with our team of experts today or follow us on Twitter for daily SMS tips.