SMS Marketing Tips

We get asked how to approach SMS Marketing on a regular basis, and for most part it’s in regard to sending a one way message.

What we mean by one way SMS Marketing is sending out an SMS message to prompt someone into a course of action i.e. come to the latest sale, attend an event, call the office.

SMS represents one of the cheapest forms of marketing available. With only 160 characters of black and white to use, you don’t need a graphic designer or creative agency, just a common sense approach applied with an understanding of your target audience.

So, you’ve signed up to an SMS service, bought yourself a bundle of messages, you’ve now got 160 characters to get your message across, where do we start…

1. Target Market (Who)

Identifying and understanding your target market is one of the most fundamental practices in SMS marketing. No campaign should start without understanding who are they, how old are, what sex are they, where do they live, you simply can’t find out enough.

In the case of SMS marketing bear in mind that you are delivering a personal message to the most personal of electronic devices. To be effective and non-intrusive it must be relevant, and that means understanding as much as you are able about the person who reads it.

2. A Compelling Offer (Why)

Is your offer something that somebody wants, if not then you don’t need me to tell you you’re wasting money.

A simple SMS reminder that your shop exists may be sufficient to bring some additional customers to browse and kick tyres. An offer or discount on purchase will not only bring in more customers, but chances are some of them will make a purchase. Clearly discounting has an associated cost, but it’s an offer made to customers who otherwise wouldn’t have purchased anything.

Consider offering a percentage off if they present the SMS message at point of purchase or a buy one get one free style offer.

3. Timing (When)

Let’s face it, there’s no point sending an SMS reminder for your night club on a Monday morning. Equally 10 minutes before you open is going to be too late.

Timing is a careful balance, get it right and you’ll reap the benefits. Get it wrong and you’ll waste your money.

Getting it right comes from understanding your audience and their habits. Think about your audience, when do they make arrangements, when do they make decisions on what you’re offering. The trick is to deliver your message just as they are making those arrangements. For example, if you’re promoting take away food or a restaurant, send the SMS message out to a local audience at 5pm just when they are deciding what to have for dinner.

Look at how BMW used timing to perfection in their MMS marketing campaign here.

4. The Text Itself (What)

SMS has spawned its own abbreviated language, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.

Now I’m not saying you need to turn into a 15 year old and shorten everything you send but most abbreviations are there to reduce the character count and increase message content. It’s for this reason a basic appreciation will help get your message across in 160 characters.

For example, SMS marketing messages should always contain an opt out mechanism, this could be

“to opt out from this mailing list please send a text message with the words “STOP” to 84433”

But easier is:

“Opt out txt stop 84433”

So there you have it, SMS is a fantastic form of communication and can yield exceptionally high response rates, spend a little time considering the points above and you’ll be onto a winner.