SMS marketing is still one of the most effective marketing channels available to businesses but is often overlooked in the pursuit of newer, more digitized technologies. With 60% of the world owning a mobile phone, you don’t need to worry that you won’t have an audience to reach when using SMS marketing, and you don’t need to worry about smartphones, as your text messages will reach every device. When you include SMS marketing as part of the marketing mix, you’re in a far greater position to increase engagement with your campaign, helping you generate a greater return on your investment. As with all channels, there are certain ways you can ensure your campaign is more effective, by following the simple steps below.

1. Use by expiration date

Open-ended campaigns, regardless of the channel your campaign is sent out on, have a far lower success rate than those sent with an expiration date. Putting time pressure on your campaign activity will encourage your customers to take action, rather than putting the text message to the back of their mind and planning to respond to it at a later date. It’s also an efficient way to monitor the uptake and conversion rate your SMS messages have by measuring the time-bound responses to your texts.

2. Audience segmentation

If you’ve ever sent out marketing campaigns before, you’ll know how crucial it is to segment your audience, so that your entire database doesn’t receive one blanket message. Failing to segment can have several negative consequences, from a lower ROI to frustrating customers who feel they are part of a mass marketing campaign which will increase the likelihood of them opting out of future communications from you. To effectively segment your audience, you should use your SMS system alongside your CRM and target your audience based on metrics relevant to your campaign. Focusing on: demographics, past purchase history, geography and previous response history is likely to generate a far higher engagement rate than sending a mass-generated campaign.

3. Test of time

One of the key methods in creating effective SMS campaigns is to send your campaign out at different times to test which generates the greater response from your customers. You will learn about your customers’ preferences which will help you to generate more effective campaigns in future. Consider your target audience and how they’re likely to spend their days: maybe your text messaging would be more effective at the weekend rather than mid-week. If your audience is students, be considerate of holidays outside of term time. The morning commute or evening commute home from work can also be ideal times to send business text messages, as many of your customers will be relaxing on public transport on their way to work.

4. Collaboration is key

Whilst SMS messages are simple to create, it’s a good idea to gain input from several different departments within your business to ensure you create the most effective campaigns. Bring in your colleagues from IT, sales, and – if you have a big marketing department – those responsible for online and email marketing to share best practice and customer insight which could boost your campaign.

5. Be clear

Every campaign you execute should have a direct, clear call-to-action within the body of the message to encourage your customers to engage with you. Your call to action needs to be straightforward to complete straight out of your SMS message so that you make it easy for your customers to take the action you want them to. If you’re looking for people to respond directly to your message – for example, if you’re running a customer survey – you should make it clear that a simple to reply to your message will be recorded as a response. The more appealing you can make the call to action, such as by offering incentives including offers, or exclusive discounts, the more likely you are to attract people to respond. Make sure the focus of your message is your call to action, and that any other messaging is kept clear and simple so that your audience is left in no doubt about how to respond to your communication.

6. Respect

It seems like an obvious point to make, but ensuring you respect the medium you’re contacting your customers on is crucial when creating effective SMS campaigns. Your customers have allowed you to reach them on their mobile devices, which is one of the most direct methods of communication. By using SMS messaging, you need to ensure you always give your customers a clear choice to opt in or out, so that they feel they have agreed to the direct nature of your SMS messages, and not that they are being spammed. Ensuring the reputation of your business is not damaged and that your customers always have a positive experience of your brand, regardless of the channel you reach them on, should always be a focus of your business.

7. Measure

As with all marketing, you need to ensure you are tracking, recording, measuring and analysing the responses to your campaign. Your objectives for your campaign should dictate the metrics you are analysing so that you have clear evidence of the ROI of your SMS marketing to help you produce even more effective campaigns in future. From measuring direct responses to your calls-to-action and monitoring the most effective time to send your SMS campaigns, there are so many ways you can ensure you’re utilising the data from SMS marketing campaigns to develop and generate better communications, and stronger customer relationships.

If you’re ready to launch an SMS campaign and want to ensure you’re using industry-leading technology to reach your customers, then contact us today to discuss your requirements. After developing our technology in-house, we can offer our customers global network coverage to help them reach their audience within minutes. To understand more about how our technology can help you achieve your goals, contact us today.

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