Text messages, or SMS, have become a prolific method of communication since their inception. Almost every mobile phone is capable of sending and receiving texts, making it a universal mobile app. If executed correctly, text messages provide a great opportunity for marketers.
Lee Hawksley, Managing Director of ExactTarget said, "SMS is a real opportunity for marketers not only to build relationships but also to gather customer intelligence. Done correctly an SMS marketing campaign delivers excellent ROI but if done poorly it can aggravate customers and result in unsubscribes. SMS is a unique platform and marketers need to treat it carefully and not become intrusive."
SMS is for unique offers
SMS is not the place for offers or information that can be found elsewhere. A mobile phone is a very personal object and should be reserved for personalised offers. An SMS can be considered as an intrusion, so you have to make the interruption worthwhile.
Make it beneficial for both parties
Don’t just think about what you want from your customers but what useful information you can provide them. Don’t make data capture and permissions your primary objective. Intersperse data capture requests with high-value messages.
Time it right
Don’t text between 9pm and 11am as many people are in bed at this time. If you are an international company keep time differences in mind. Request time zone information and send your SMS in waves.
The best time to send an SMS is when your customer is most likely to buy, just before or during peak shopping times. Sending offers outside business hours means they can’t be actioned. This can be frustrating and the message is more likely to be forgotten. If you’re not sure when to send something, use data from your mobile site/apps to determine the best time.
Make sure everything is mobile
SMS is a mobile channel, so all web interactions linked to an SMS should be available on your mobile site or on pages that have been optimised for mobile. Don’t send anything that requires printing or opening in an email. If further customer information is required, consider using Facebook. This will make it easy for your customers and also open up a wealth of data for your company.
Monitor preferences and success
To gauge the value of your content, calculate opt-out and delivered rates for each outbound campaign. Use your full website opt-in page to gather all vital information and permissions. Request segmentation data, time zones, postal code information and specific permissions. If you expand your programs in the future this will minimise the additional permissions you need to request and reduce the number of lost subscriptions.
Following these best practice tips will ensure your business gets the most out of your SMS program by providing value to your customers and ROI for your business.
ExactTarget is a global Software as a Service (SaaS) leader that powers all types of interactive marketing messages through a single, integrated platform. Our messaging platform provides organisations a single platform to connect with customers via email marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, dynamic sites and landing pages.