SMS campaigns are a great way to boost your marketing efforts, but there are some pitfalls that need to be carefully navigated to get the most bang for your buck and have the highest possible conversion rate. This article brings you some valuable advice on running a successful SMS campaign. We will also talk about the many benefits your business can achieve by taking the right decisions for your SMS strategy. So, let’s begin!
Tips for running brilliant SMS marketing campaigns
Let’s get right down to business. The following five tips are crucial to adopt if you want your SMS campaigns to be fruitful.
1. Your sender identity
Any message that comes from a shortcode such as “165” makes me a bit anxious and sceptical because, most of the time, these numbers 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 ID is not the way to go.
Wish to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about SMS API providers!
If you want to avoid such reactions or negative associations from recipients, a plain text “MallName” sender name can be a better option. This is known as an alphanumeric sender ID that sometimes needs to be registered with each operator before you can start using it.
Using a brand or company name here is also preferable because it adds a certain level of legitimacy to the message, consequently improving the open rate. Often, before even opening the SMS, the client gets an idea of what the message might be about if they recognise the brand name in the ID. Other times, a branded sender ID can add more context to the message. For example, I once got a text message saying, “Your account will be suspended tomorrow, 3-5-2023, at 3 pm. Please renew your subscription.” Thankfully, the text came from a branded ID, or else I would’ve panicked!
2. Get the text right
As opposed to emails, SMSes are limited by text length and have very few visual elements, perhaps an occasional emoticon, but that’s it. You pretty much only have plain ol’ text to work with, so it is very important to get it right.
Here are some fundamental 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: <LINK>” or “Learn more here: <LINK>”
Cut to the chase – leave out all unnecessary details and get to the point. Chattering on aimlessly will only drive away your potential customers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different keywords or highlight some power words with capital letters. You only have a few seconds to make an impression on the readers, until they close the text.
3. Improve the landing page
Make sure the landing page of the SMS content link is optimised for any kind of mobile device, no matter its type, brand, platform, or screen size, to ensure maximum conversion.
It should follow the basic requirements for any device-optimised pages:
No clutter – cut down on any excess elements you can live without
Keep the images small – it improves page loading speed on the phone
Use appealing images – images are the first thing your brain processes and uses to create the initial expression
Make sure the text is easily readable on any device – get the font sizes and styles 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 optimise them the most. Forms are the most complicated part of your website, and it is crucial to make them easy to fill in. Skip any questions that aren’t absolutely necessary. Include examples where possible and fine-tune any error messages.
4. Measure your campaign efficiency
This one is quite logical - to ensure your SMS campaign is effective, ROI at its peak and 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 (GA), with its endless possibilities. GA may be a titan of web analytics, but it is also a bit difficult to grasp at the beginning. If you find it too challenging, there are other services like HubSpot and Bitly that 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, properly define your conversion funnel flow. This way, you can see where most of the users get stuck, and you can easily improve the landing page for your next SMS 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 nudge in the right direction when mobile users are most active.
Finding out and removing any bottlenecks can give a significant boost to the performance of your SMS marketing campaign. It will ensure a steady stream of revenue and profit from using SMS as one of the primary communication channels.
5. Time your SMS messages 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 specific 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 SMS campaign based on test 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. Measuring each group’s response to the texts they receive can help narrow down the optimal timeframe for delivering your marketing text messages.
The benefits that businesses achieve with good SMS campaigns
You might be wondering, “Why is it so important to put so much effort into running an SMS campaign?” The benefits that your business is set to gain from a well-executed SMS marketing strategy will make it worth every bit of energy, time, and money you invest.
Here are some of the top advantages of integrating SMS into your marketing mix.
We’ve all tried email marketing, blogging, and creating different kinds of content to advertise our products and services, but not everyone really considers SMS.
But let’s think about it for a second—when you receive a text, your first thought would be to open it and read its contents; it’s almost an instinct. It’s also safe to say that we don’t always do that with our email messages. Blog posts are often easily missed, too, especially if our customers aren’t really passionate about the topic.
However, an SMS is not as easy to ignore – and let’s face it, everyone texts these days. The moment we hear our phones ringing, we immediately reach for them, almost as if we’ve been expecting them to. Thus, SMS marketing clicks with audiences of all types and is an excellent way of amassing a dedicated and engaged client base.
Playing well with other marketing channels
While SMS marketing is a fiercely powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t overuse it, as this may frustrate potential and existing customers, eventually dissuading them from using your services.
Figure out which channel would be most suited for what kind of marketing materials. For example, you can send out essential and urgent messages via SMS while leaving non-urgent material like newsletters and product updates for some other marketing channel such as email or social media.
Similarly, you can always combine multiple channels for the same marketing campaign to maximise efficacy. Let’s say you’re starting a new promotion. You could start by announcing it via email or social media and later on offer coupons and exclusive last-minute discounts via an SMS campaign.
SMS is a fantastic tool for building a loyal customer base. To send out text messages advertising your products or services, you have to first convince customers to submit their mobile phone numbers to you, possibly along with other personal information. By opting in, they will be trusting you with this data because they truly believe your SMS marketing messages will be beneficial for them.
Furthermore, by using this data to personalise all the messages you send, both in terms of the customers’ names and their products of interest, you will be able to build SMS campaigns as a robust mechanism for building trust.
When it comes to planning, SMS campaigns are much more straightforward as opposed to other marketing channels. You don’t need to spend any time on design, and the copy is typically pretty concise. More importantly, the messages get delivered immediately.
Plus, the instant you send it, your client will receive and take notice of it. As a result, not only will this save you time, but you’ll likely have 90% of your messages read within 3 minutes. So your main message will be transferred from your business to your subscribers within minutes. You’re guaranteed to see instant results.
Ensuring that your business is mobile-friendly is no longer something that you should leave for later. It’s here, it’s now, and it’s certainly not going anywhere. Around 65% of the people in the US own a smartphone, and 89% of consumers use some sort of mobile device while they are shopping. This means that people are using their phones for almost everything that matters.
Luckily, pretty much every phone out there can receive text messages, whether it’s a smartphone or a feature phone. By including SMS in your digital marketing strategy, you won’t have to worry about alienating some of your potential buyers (e.g., those that rarely use their email app or social media platforms).
Text message marketing is a very accessible and straightforward way to get your message across. We can never be confident that our target audience is tech-savvy or proficient enough to use chatbots, social media, or other newer interactive tools. SMS campaigns are much more inclusive than most other marketing channels.
This might not be on top of everybody’s list of desired benefits, but by using SMS instead of other marketing channels, you actually help the environment. For example, direct mail or other more traditional marketing channels demand paper – and even fuel for transportation, making them somewhat detrimental to the environment. Similarly, one email has a much larger carbon footprint than an SMS message.
Text message marketing is both eco-friendly and highly efficient, considering that it’s one of the least carbon-emitting methods of sending your message across.
The more you connect with your client base, the more likely they are to use your products or services. That being said, it’s rather difficult to communicate with them when their mail folders are packed with junk and spam, and every blog post features lots of ads. Since texting is a lot more personal than other communication channels, your customer base will instantly feel much closer to you, perhaps like a friend chatting with them.
By following the best practices we have recommended, you can be sure that the next SMS campaign that you send will perform at its best and will deliver reliable and timely results along with the many benefits we have shed light on today.