With 91 percent of Americans in reach of their mobile devices 24-7, text message marketing is ideal for connecting with consumers when they are on the move. Text messaging is also a very personal form of communication, so it is a great way to reach your customers on a more intimate level.
When using text message marketing, it is important to follow several tips and guidelines to ensure that you are getting the most out
of your campaign. Below is a list of best practices to help you optimize your text message marketing strategy.
Don’t send out a text message unless you have something powerful to say // Nothing
will turn your customers off more than receiving a text message that doesn’t offer them anything. Only send out text messages that will benefit the receiver in some way, such as texts including mobile coupons or promotional offers.
Send messages when your customers are most likely to buy // How often you send a text message will depend on your specific company, product or service. If you offer a product or service that your customer is passionate about, it is best to send them text messages on a regular basis.
An important practice that all businesses should follow is to send messages when your customers are most likely to buy.
This can be especially beneficial for restaurants or food-service businesses. A majority of diners decide where to eat on impulse or less than an hour before their meal. Restaurants would do best to send text message promotions or coupons slightly before meal times because the text message could have an impact on where customers decide to purchase their meal.
Sweepstakes are the best way to build lists and databases // People love to win free stuff, so sweepstakes are a great way to get consumers to voluntarily sign up to receive your company’s text messages. Sweepstakes make it easy for you to build your database.
When creating sweepstakes for your campaign, it is important to offer something special that people cannot get on their own. For example, instead of offering concert tickets that people could purchase on their own, offer the tickets plus VIP passes to meet the band. This special something will be a greater incentive for customers to text to enter the sweepstakes.
Don’t feel compelled to fill all 160 characters // In text message marketing, companies are limited to 160 characters (139 in Canada). Although this may seem like a very short amount of space to get your message across, it is important to remember that people generally do not like to read long text messages. It may be better to keep your text short and sweet so that you keep the attention of your customers.
Don’t go crazy with abbreviations // As text messaging grew more popular, so did the use of abbreviations. Today, it is very easy to get caught up in using “w/t” instead of “with” or “u” instead of “you.” When
sending text messages to customers, it is best to avoid these abbreviations, unless you need to use them for the sake of space. Abbreviations tend to make you seem less professional.
Use embedded links // Within your text message, it is smart to link to your company website. This will obviously drive more traffic to your site and, in turn, hopefully improve your sales. Use link shorteners such as bit.ly to embed your links so that you are not wasting characters.
Avoid two-word keywords // When choosing keywords for your text message marketing campaign, do not use two-word keywords. It is proven that 11 percent of consumers will put the space between the two words, essentially leaving the text useless. If the keyword is “hotdog,” many people will type “hot dog.” To avoid confusion, it is best to keep your key-words to one word.
Capitalize the offer in your reply message // In your reply, capitalize the offer for the coupon or other promotion that your company is promoting. This will place emphasis on the offer and draw and keep the customer’s attention. For example, “BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE” draws the eye much faster than “Buy one, get one free.”
Make your customers feel special // When informing your customers that they have opted-in to receive text messages from your company, make them feel special and important. Instead of simply saying that “you have opted-in,” say “you are now part of our VIP club” or something to that effect.
Push out by sharing via social media // Encourage your customers to engage with your company via social media. Continue your promotional offers on Facebook and Twitter. For example, for sweepstakes, allow your customers to enter a second time by “liking” your Facebook page or following your company on Twitter.