SMS Marketing is an integral part of the marketing communication done by any business around the world. Marketers are able to approach their customers directly in their inbox and deliver personalized messages that cannot be communicated through other channels such as TV or billboards.
However, not all businesses have perfected the art of SMS marketing, with about 52% of them still struggling to utilize the medium to its full potential. In fact, some businesses even damage their brand equity by sending messages that are ill-crafted and/or not suitable for their target audience.
Here are some of the SMS marketing mistakes that are most commonly made by SMS marketers, and also ways you can avoid them.
10 Major SMS Marketing Mistakes
Mistake N1: Sending messages that were not solicited
Marketers have the tendency to send promotional offers pertaining to their products and services even to those people that have not asked for them or who are not the target audience. Also, some local and state laws may disallow companies from sending messages to people who have not signed up for them.
The Solution: Ask people to sign-up for the messages
By providing people with a simple form that asks them to reply with a single word, such as ‘join’, to sign-up for promotional messages, companies can build a database of individuals they can communicate with through SMS. This way, a promotional SMS will only be sent to those people who are actually interested in receiving it, improving the message’s effectiveness and building the brand’s equity.
Mistake N2: Not having the correct number
Many companies have a very low message deliverability score, and the reason is incorrect mobile numbers in their database. This can be for multiple reasons but primarily happens because companies acquire phone number databases from third parties. Many of these phone numbers are usually outdated or have typos.
The Solution: Build up a phone number database yourself
There are numerous ways you can ask customers to give you their phone numbers. For example, you can email them and ask them to subscribe to the SMS list to receive prompt promotional updates, or you can ask visitors to your stores (both brick-and-mortar and online) about their phone numbers at the time of checkout.
Mistake N3: Sending surprise messages
Even your most loyal customers become teased when you send an SMS at any time. Also, customers need to know the frequency with which they would be receiving SMS communication.
The Solution: Inform your customers in the first instance
As soon as someone has subscribed to the SMS list, send them an SMS clearly indicating the frequency of your communication in a week, and also how they may opt-out of receiving any future SMS communication.
Mistake N4: Not differentiating emails and SMS
Marketers must understand that an email and an SMS are a crucial part of their digital marketing strategy. Moreover, they need to be crafted differently considering the limitations of each medium. Many marketers use the same language on all mediums, and this renders many SMS marketing efforts ineffective.
The Solution: Tailor-made SMS
An email can be lengthy and have graphical content, while an SMS has a word limit and needs to have catchy phrases that grab the viewer’s attention. Begin your message with the core offer, the percentage off, the promo code and where it needs to be used, and the duration of the promotion.
Mistake N5: Not timing your SMS
If your SMS reaches a customer during the late hours of the night, they are bound to be ignored. SMS require attention, and if the receiver is not paying attention to their phone at that time, they are probably not going to read your SMS at a later time.
The Solution: Tell your algorithm to time the SMS
Promotional SMS need to reach at a time when the receiver is alert so that they are prompted to check them out as soon as they receive a notification. Hence, you must make sure the SMS is being sent at the right time of the day when the customer is awake. Also, avoid sending it during commute hours of 8-10 AM and 5-7 PM.
Mistake N6: Sending a long SMS
You may want to include all the information about an offer/promotion into an SMS, but people will not read it if it’s too long.
The Solution: Keep your SMS short
With SMS marketing, the rule of thumb is to keep it as short as possible. It should be short enough to deliver all the required information through the customer’s lock screen.
Mistake N7: Not including a CTA
A CTA (Call To Action) is the next step that you need to include in your SMS communication so that your customers know exactly what they need to do in order to avail of the offer. Not including it or including too many in one SMS render the communication ineffective.
The Solution: Just one CTA is fine
A simple CTA, such as a link to activate a promotion or a promo code to use at the time of checkout, is a great way to make SMS communication very effective. It may also help if you include some keywords, such as ‘sale’ or ‘limited time offer’.
Mistake N8: Spamming
SMS is a unique medium of communication as people usually open around 98% of all received messages. However, companies usually exploit this and send multiple texts in a single day in hopes that at least one will inspire action. Instead, customers end up unsubscribing to the SMS list and/or block the number.
The Solution: Send messages a maximum of two times per week
The best practice is to communicate via SMS only when necessary, such as when a promotional offer is active. Otherwise, keep in mind that sending more than two SMS per week is likely to be a wasteful activity.
Mistake N9: Using SMS as the sole medium of communication
Just sending SMS is not the most effective way to communicate with your customers. Customers require information through numerous channels before they make a purchase decision.
The Solution: Have multiple active communication mediums
Use email marketing for sending graphical content and use SMS to send information about offers/promotions or about new products/services.
Mistake N10: Wasting your customer’s time
Sending a message to customers about a new success achieved by the company is of no use to them. You simply waste their time with such information, causing them to develop an annoyance with your brand.
The Solution: Only send valuable information
Before sending any SMS, evaluate whether it contains useful information for your customers. Also, personalizing an SMS as per your customer’s journey with the brand is a great way to make them feel special and valuable.
Hopefully, now you can easily identify all major mistakes in SMS marketing and avoid them for the best result. Spread the message to all, if you liked.