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4 Easy Ways to Send Personalized Text Messages

  BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

With the number of phone users nearing 3 billion worldwide, smartphones are now a virtual extension of people. It is guaranteed that your customers will always have their phones close by 24/7 and check them repeatedly during the day. Thus, making personalized messages an active direct marketing channel. This increases confidence that your text messages will get across to your target audience, quickly and directly.

What exactly makes personalized text messages?

To make a text more personal to the customer you have to add more details that are relatable to the customer and come across as being personally directed at them individually. There are a number of messaging tips to include. If it is just small messages for a few customers it is very straightforward; a few details such as the customer's first name will increase engagement instantly. However, with a bulk text message marketing campaign it can get quite a bit trickier as how do you make 10000 personalizing texts!

The ways to write a perfect personalized text messaging campaign are explained further in the article but the basic principle is to collect data on your subscribers to make custom fields. These include:

  • phone number

  • names

  • gender

  • birthday

  • ZIP code

You can tailor these as you wish and even create new ones but the personalization options are unlimited and will really add that extra personal detail to connect with customers.

Why send personalized text messages?

Although online chat options are more commonly used to reach contacts, texting is still a popular way for people to communicate globally. The most efficient way to utilize SMS marketing is to send out personalized text messages considering that it has a 98% open rate. Therefore a well designed personalized SMS campaign is bound to go a long way to help your marketing efforts stand ahead of the competition.

Furthermore, personalized text messages get the results: it has been shown that 75% of consumers prefer retailers that refer to them by name and that 91% of consumers prefer brands that are relevant to their interests. This shows how truly powerful personalized messages can be.

So how do you create a successful personalized SMS strategy? Here are four ways to help you with your customized SMS campaign.


1. Judge it right

When you send personalized text messages, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. Your text content needs to be relevant to the recipient and likewise timely and appropriate. You don't want your SMS campaign coming across as annoying or overbearing.

Try to put into consideration that some of your text recipients reside in different time zones, so you might want to send your messages out in batches instead of sending them all out at once. Also, another tip to timing texts correctly is to think of your audience's daily habits. What time of the day will they likely be free to check their phone? So, you might want to consider lunch breaks, weekends, or late evenings to send out your texts.

We recommend always asking for an opt-in from a customer to make sure they want to receive SMS content from your business. Consent can be asked by:

  • Creating campaign collateral where you ask customers to text an opt-in keyword to a shortcode. An SMS example for this could include: "Text YES to 777 to get 20% off!".

  •  Asking your customers to check an opt-in box, similar to a subscribe button in an email.

Furthermore, if you want to make your customers more at ease and feel like they have an option, you can include the following sections in your texts:

  • Expectations: let them know how frequently your message will be sent and the kind of content they'll receive.

  • Opt-out option: inform them clearly on how they can opt-out in case they no longer want to receive messages.

  • Call to action (CTA): add a CTA after your message that encourages customers to act. Another SMS example for this will be: "Click here to confirm enrolment."

2. Accuracy amounts to responsiveness

The goal of sending out a personalized message is to make your recipient feel like you know them personally. Therefore, your details must be accurate. It's a great idea to integrate your business CRM system with the messaging platform that you use. 

Depending on the information collected, you can send messages using demographics, purchase history, or location. You can also gather the right information by ensuring you provide enough fields on the signup form, so people write their names correctly as they are spelt.

Minor details, such as the G's capitalization in MacGregor (for those who spell theirs that way) or Johnnie vs. Johnny, are what captures your recipients' attention and sets you apart from other brands that fail to pay attention. You should also provide your customers with an easy way to upgrade records if their details change.

3. Slide in the freebies and promotional SMS

Everyone loves free stuff, so what surer way is there to get a response than to slide in discounts or promos? A significant benefit of mobile SMS marketing is that you can include links to your content that will redirect your recipients to the actual page you want them to visit.

Therefore, when sending your message, you can include links to exciting viral challenges, polls, quizzes, or giveaways that enable you to engage with them directly. An example of such an SMS campaign is Starbucks' use of trivia games, quirky memes, and personalized rewards to delight customers. Their campaign from 2013 taps into the high text message open rates by rewarding the first 100 correct responders.

Also, you can send your recipients codes that will qualify them for promos or discounts. Besides the campaigns and giveaways, you can design codes or links for loyalty programs to give gift cards, discounts, appreciation notes, exclusive offers, and other freebies. The gesture is bound to make them feel appreciated and refer others to your brand.

4. Keep it fresh and fun

SMS is a very personal and informal channel, making it excellent for entertaining personalized text marketing campaigns. You can use it as an avenue to deliver fun content and provide a memorable customer experience. 

Some marketers make use of shortened texts when sending out SMS. Thus, you can use abbreviations such as "ur" for your "txt" for text, "FTW," for the win, etc. However, when using such abbreviations, please keep them to a minimum and do not let them compromise on message clarity and readability.

You can personalize this further by changing the writing style of your text messages depending on the age of the receiver. For older customers don't use any shorthand and write like you would for a short email or letter with perfect English and in a professional manner. 

However, when writing for a younger audience you can include shorthand to be relatable and even insert gifs, images and memes when making contact. Make sure that your key message is still easy to interpret and don't go overboard, just use it to make your texts more friendly.

Conclusion

When creating your personalized text messages campaign, make sure that your brand's voice stays consistent in each SMS you send out. Also, keep your texts simple and straight to the point but with extended links where recipients can get more info. Please make sure you apply best practices in addition to these tips above to help make SMS marketing work for your brand and generate more revenue.

Taavi Rebane
2021-09-09 00:00:00 UTC
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