9 Tips for SMS Marketing Best Practices

One of the hottest upcoming trends in marketing is SMS messaging. The brands that have embraced SMS (or text) messaging have been able to knock it out of the park with their conversion rates and results.

There are a couple of reasons why SMS messaging is poised to take off.

The first is that mobile phones are an established part of everyday life all over the world. There are over 7 trillion, yes trillion, text messages being sent annually now.

Additionally, SMS messaging have very high rates of engagement. Where a consumer has become ambivalent about clicking on links and ads, virtually everyone still opens their text messages. A study by Dynmark found that 98% of SMS messages are opened.

Now that you see the potential of SMS marketing, let’s look at a few best practices you can put in place before your next campaign.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

#1. Make it Easy

This goes for anything you offer to consumers, from email lists to shopping carts. You want to make it easy as possible for your customers to opt-in and give you permission to be contacted. Many brands will look to quick and easy numeric short codes to accomplish this. Even better – Get your own vanity short codes.

#2. Get the Timing Right

While SMS has been great for retail shops, the timing of the messages is important. Understand the timing of sales and promotions during the days leading up to the event. Brands shouldn’t send any promotion after store hours, especially late at night. That’s an easy way to turn potential customers off.

#3. Provide Value

This is always something you want to do as a marketer. But, it matters even more on mobile devices, as consumers are far more wary of giving their numbers out. Be sure to send out carefully crafted campaigns that keep your target persona’s best wishes at heart, understanding their needs and preferences will go a long way.

#4. Offer a Clear Exit

Few things frustrate consumers more than being unable to easily opt-out of a service. Don’t take that chance with your SMS campaigns. Make it very clear from the start to your readers exactly how they can stop using your service. Rather than causing more opt-outs you’ll actually get more points from them for being aboveboard.

#5. Communicate Clearly

Short messages are the language of SMS. You only have a few words to get your message across, so make them count. Communicate clearly with your potential customers from the very start exactly what they can expect from you, including message timing and frequency. This will help reduce confusion and potential opt-outs.

#6. Don’t Forget About Transactional Messages

Any email marketer knows that the transactional messages; those that include invoices and order forms, for example, have very high open and click through rates and are ripe for marketing potential. The same goes for SMS marketing. Use these transactional messages to help connect with customers and increase engagement over time.

#7. Support Other Channels

Don’t forget, you can use your SMS marketing to highlight your other marketing channels too. For example, a study by Smart Insights found that when brands sent an email and then followed up on that email with an SMS asking if they got the email, the open rate increased by 20-30%.

#8. Optimize for Mobile

It should feel obvious, but how often have you received a SMS marketing message that then required printing out, for example? Probably more than you’d like to admit. Unfortunately, that brand missed the mark. Don’t make the same mistake, remember you need every message to go out to be 100% optimized for mobile devices.

#9. Be Exclusive

Everyone wants to feel like they are part of an exclusive club, and you can make that happen with your SMS marketing campaigns. Just as you can with an email marketing campaign, let potential SMS subscribers know that when they do opt-in, they will get special alerts, sales, and deals that can’t be found anywhere else.

If you’re ready to start your own SMS marketing campaign, following these best practices will set you up for success.

Liz Froment

Liz is a marketing content writer for the Scratch-it team. She loves learning and writing about email marketing. You can find her tweeting about it and a lot more at @lfroment.