SMS is arguably the most popular method of daily communication across the globe, therefore it comes as no surprise that marketers are implementing a growing number of SMS campaigns for their businesses. In order to evoke the desired results from the texts that are being sent to their customers, businesses must learn how to efficiently implement SMS marketing strategies. However, one of the hardest balances for marketers to strike is to carry out a campaign which is not too invasive for their customers, yet simultaneously is forward enough to drive a positive reaction.
Striking the balance
When considering companies who have already carried out SMS campaigns, it is clear several of them have delivered excessive text messages to their subscribers, whilst others in contrast are not sending enough. In order for SMS marketing to succeed, marketers must first find a happy medium between too much correspondence and too little.
SMS marketing has always provided a fantastic channel through which businesses can create ongoing dialogue with their customers, yet it is clear that there it is a tool which mustn’t be taken for granted nor abused. Though time has passed since unsolicited invasive text messages were a frequent occurrence, consumers are still prone to feel a sense of privacy about the act of texting. Therefore, it is crucial that businesses respect the desires of their customers and don’t abuse the privilege of being able to text their subscribers.
Keep opting in and opting out clear
Today, mobile and SMS marketers are required to follow strict guidelines and understand the legislation surrounding SMS messaging and the opt-in and opt-out processes. Businesses must now begin their consumer dialogue with clear instructions on how the customer can opt-out, thus providing them with the choice to stop the messages before they even begin. This can actually benefit businesses massively as it means that customers who don’t wish to receive any texts will not feel irritated or like their privacy has been invaded, which would have clear detrimental effects on the business and its reputation.
In addition, the opt-in process, which is clearly defined, ensures that consumers have the power to pick and choose which companies and brands they wish to receive messages from and which they have no interest in. This means that any text messages received by a customer should be relevant to them as they are the ones who have taken an interest in what is on offer – they have actively opted in and subscribed to the SMS list.
Avoid spamming your audience
Upon gaining the user’s permission to deliver messages to their phone, businesses must then carefully consider how frequently they should text them. Generally, it is estimated that good practice for marketers is to send around 3-4 messages to their subscribers per month, however many companies surpass this figure by a considerable amount whilst others don’t come anywhere near close to achieving it. The key is to learn what is appropriate for each individual business and its clientele. If too many messages are sent then users will become annoyed or perhaps even irritated to the point of opting out. However, if insufficient messages are delivered, subscribers may completely forget about a business, thus completely defeating the point of the SMS campaign.
Businesses must also carefully consider when they text their customers, taking into account that 97% of text messages are read within mere minutes of being received. If a customer receives a text message from a company in the middle of the night offering them a discounted service they will obviously not go to the trouble of purchasing it at such a time, and they will also probably be extremely irritated if such a message woke them up. Therefore, it is vital that marketers learn what times of day are suitable for their target audience to be texted and when will yield the greatest results.
When such factors are considered carefully and acted upon appropriately, SMS messaging can be an extremely effective marketing tool which needn’t be intrusive for recipients at all. The key is for each business to understand what their users want and when they want it, both of which can very much differ from business to business.
Points to consider before you start
Below are a few questions that businesses should ask themselves and consider in order to ensure their SMS campaigns are not too intrusive:
- How often are messages being sent to subscribers?
- How did the users opt-in?
- What did they reasonably expect to receive upon opting in?
- Are the messages delivered 3 months down the line still relevant to the original purpose of the opt-in?
- Was the users opt-in obvious and clear to them?
- Is the content being delivered in the SMS new to the user?
- When are the messages being delivered?
- Do you know what times are unsuitable to deliver messages?