One important factor to consider when formulating an SMS campaign is the optimum time to send SMS messages. This optimum time depends heavily on the nature of the business and the product/service being advertised. For instance, if a restaurant texts their clients at 8pm offering a discount code for their next meal, the recipients have likely already had their last meal of the day, and will be much less receptive to the offer. On the other hand, an online movie steaming service might do much better sending an SMS promotion for a half price film at 8pm, when most users are settling down on their sofas to watch television.
Although mobile marketing opens up the possibility to reach people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, businesses should take care not to pester their customers at inconvenient hours which are likely to upset them. Ensuring your marketing SMS message is delivered in a well-timed manner not only increases your chances of gaining a positive response, such a purchase or subscription, but also minimises the risks of causing negative reactions, for example an opt-out.
Research has shown that mobile activity peaks, in terms of SMS messages sent and received, between 10am and 6pm. This time frame fits closely with business hours, in contrast to lifestyle-oriented mobile activities such as instant messaging, social media applications and web browsing, which appear to dominate later hours of the evening.
It is therefore imperative that businesses carefully consider the times of day that their audience is most likely to be on their phone, and what time periods they are most likely to positively receive messages and not be too preoccupied with other aspects of their daily routines.
Here are some top SMS Timing Tips for Businesses to consider:
- None of us like Mondays: Businesses should try to avoid texting their customers on Mondays (unless the message is specific to that date e.g. an appointment reminder), as Mondays have shown the lowest percentage of response compared to every other day of the week.
- Respect people’s sleep: There is nothing worse than being woken up in the middle of the night by an SMS advertising a discount or special offer. Businesses should ensure they aren’t disturbing their customers in hours they shouldn’t be. Make sure you know which which time zone your customers are in.
- Avoid rush hour messages: People are in enough of a stressful rush as it is at these times, either hurrying to school or work, or trying to beat the traffic home, therefore reading your marketing text message will not be top of their priorities – if anything it will probably irritate them.
- Relevant timing to YOUR business: If for example you run a restaurant or cafe which people like to visit during their lunch break, send a quick blast at 11.30am informing them of a special offer or deal you’ve got on that might entice them to head your way at noon.