SMS campaigns are a great way to boost your marketing efforts, but there are some pitfalls that need to be considered to get the most bang for your buck as well as to have the highest possible conversion rate. So here are some pointers on delivering a successful SMS campaign.
Any message that comes from a shortcode such as “165” makes me a bit anxious and sceptical as most of the time these have been related to debts for me. So, if you want to send a marketing campaign and aren’t looking to start a 2-way conversation, a numeric sender is not the way to go.
Wish to know more about messaging through APIs? Read our ultimate guide to SMS APIs!
For these purposes, a plain text “MallName” sender name would be the best way to go. These are known as “alphanumeric” sender names that sometimes need to be registered with each operator to be used.
Using a brand or company name here makes the most sense as it adds a level of legitimacy to the message as well as improves the open rate. The client knows beforehand what the gist of the offer would be.
Get the text right
As opposed to e-mails, text messages are very limited by text length and it has very few visual effects. You pretty much only have plain ol’ text to work with, so it is very important to get it right.
Here are some very simple rules to get you started:
- Proofread – one simple typo can ruin the whole SMS by length and content
- Keep it simple – use short and simple sentences, so it is easier to read and act upon
- Don’t use txt speak – nbdy wnts to rd ths
- Put the link at the end – a good common practice and an effective call-to-action
- Use link shortening tools or even better – your own short link with your domain to keep the message length in check
- Make sure the user knows what to expect from the link, for example - download the app at… ; or learn more here...
- Cut to the chase – leave out all unnecessary details and just get to the point. Chattering on without a clear aim will only drive away your potential customers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different keywords or highlighting some words with capital letters. You only have a few seconds to make the impression to the readers, until they close the text.
Improve the landing page
Make sure the landing page of the SMS content link is optimized for any kind of device to ensure maximum conversion.
It should follow the basic requirements for any device optimized pages:
- No clutter – cut down on any excess elements you can live without
- Keep the images small – improves page loading speed on the phone
- Use appealing images – images are the first thing your brain processes and used to create the initial expression
- Make sure the text is easily readable on any device – get the font size right
- Having a link to a fully featured browser will decrease the conversion rate significantly, as the page will load slowly, and it is hard to navigate on it using the relatively small screen of the phone.
- If you use forms, make sure you optimize them the most. Forms are the most complicated part of your website and it is crucial to make them easy to fill in. Include examples where possible and fine-tune any error messages.
Measure your campaign efficiency
This one is quite logical - to make sure the campaign is effective, the bang for the buck at its peak and the conversion at an all-time high, you must put some data behind it and measure success.
There are lots of free tools to measure the link click rate and the conversion rate. Arguably the most popular is Google Analytics with its endless possibilities.
Google Analytics may be the Titan of web analytics, but it is also a bit difficult to grasp at the beginning. Fortunately, there are other services like HubSpot or Bit.ly, which make the whole analytics process a lot more straightforward.
So, in this case, it really depends on what you’re looking for - either a complete suite of analytics where everything links together or something simple to catch the bigger picture.
If possible, set up a conversion flow funnel. This way you can see where most of the users get stuck and you can easily improve the landing page for your next campaign or improve the message content to improve the conversion rate. Oh, and don’t forget to fine-tune your forms!
If you are making your first experiments, a quick tip is to look at your web analytics for mobile users. This will give you a nod in the right direction when mobile users are most active.
Finding out and removing any bottlenecks can give a significant boost to your campaign performance and ensure a steady stream of revenue and profit from SMS use as a communication channel.
Time your SMS right
As they say, timing is everything, so sending the message at the right time can also significantly improve the results. According to Textmarketer, there are certain time periods during weekdays and weekends that are the best for sending SMS campaigns. For example, mornings from 8 am to 12 pm are the best times to send messages during weekdays.
If you have a large enough client base (at least 1000 customers), you can easily make small experiments and improve your next campaign, based on the results. For example, you can create an A/B test, where test-group A gets an SMS around 12 AM in the morning and test-group B gets the same text at 8 PM.
When you follow these best practices, you can be sure that the next SMS campaign that you send will perform at its best and it will deliver reliable and timely results. So, get going!