A great guest blog post on SMS Marketing by Ryan Gould of Elevation Marketing. We asked his thoughts on how to ensure you’re not annoying your customers with your SMS marketing efforts.
SMS marketing is one of the best ways to reach your customers, given there are now over 5 billion people using mobile devices around the globe.
The onus is on you, as a marketer, to make sure you do SMS marketing the right way. To know the right way, you must know what you shouldn’t do. That’s why we’re dedicating this whole article to help you understand and ensure you never annoy your customers with your SMS’s.
So if you’re interested in making sure your customers are always happy to receive your SMSs, let the fun begin!
#1: Don’t Overload Your Customers With Unnecessary Text Messages
Sending SMS marketing messages with the right intention so your customers are aware of the things that can benefit them is perfectly fine. However, if you overdo it and send messages too often, you’re putting your reputation at stake.
Too many text messages with special offers or a ‘sales-oriented’ vibe can put your reputation at risk, and make you look desperate for a sale. The last thing you want to do is annoy your customers by making a noise about what you’re doing or promoting.
Ideally, you shouldn’t send more than 3 to 5 messages per month. These messages should only be sent when there is a real need to let your customers know something that could be of value to them, not otherwise. Sending messages with this level of frequency will ensure you see positive results in the long term, so don’t lose patience in the short term.
The other thing to note here is to not send ‘unnecessary’ messages. If you send your customers useless messages, they will not take them seriously. They’ll discard them, delete them and even go to the extent of making a complaint against you.
For this reason, you must never, as a rule, send unnecessary messages to your customers. Treat them like their time matters to you, so they understand that you value them. Make sure you spend your time wisely as a marketer by creating maximum value for your SMS recipients!
You might ask then, what is necessary in a text message? Our recommendation is to think about the words, deals, promotions, messages and anything else that could be of immense value to your customers.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself if you’d like to receive the message you’re sending to them. You’ll be able to discern which messages to send or not send through your own wisdom.
#2: Fulfill The Promises You Make In Your Text Messages
Have you ever received SMS marketing messages with an unbelievably great offer, attracting you to participate in a survey to enter your chance of winning a prize? And then two weeks later discovering that the whole deal was a scam or just an unfulfilled promise?
If you make promises or commitments through your SMSs, you should make sure you fulfill them so your SMS recipients trust you. Trust is of utmost importance in marketing, and you want to be seen as an authentic marketer with your customer’s best interests in mind.
#3: Proof Read Your Messages To Ensure There Are No Errors
A message with grammatical errors shows you lack attention to detail. A message with business errors shows you’re not serious about your SMS’s or your business. A message with the wrong tone reflects a wrong attitude towards your customers.
Every word your message contains is a reflection of your values, your brand and what you stand for. So before sending them, you should double-check them to ensure their accuracy, and make sure you minimise and eliminate all the errors contained in your messages.
You can use tools like Grammarly to make grammatical corrections or just a simple spell-check tool to make spelling rectifications. You should also run your message past your legal team, if you have one, to cleanse it of any copyright or legal issues. Avoid using slang, abbreviated text or foul language in your messages.
#4: Know When To Include Or Exclude A Call To Action
A text message with no call to action may leave your customers confused unless the only purpose of your message is to notify customers of important information.
If your message is simply driving awareness about something, or has the sole purpose of educating the recipients about an important piece of information, then you can let your customers know they’re not meant to take any action on the message you’re sending them.
On the other hand, if your SMS marketing message is geared towards driving new sales, or directing your customers to a website or landing page, or collecting their vote, you must include a call to action. That’s the only way you’ll maximise the return from your text marketing campaign, while also setting accurate expectations with your customers.
Understand the nature of the text message you’re sending, know why you’re sending it, and then design a call to action that matches the context, and you’ll be on to a win-win.
#5: Don’t Send Your Messages At The Wrong Time
You could definitely annoy your customers by sending them the most perfect SMS marketing message at the wrong time. If you sent a marketing text to your prospects at midnight when they’re sleeping, you could be seen as a marketer who lacks empathy for their customers.
You need to ensure your messages are delivered to your customers at the right time of the day, ideally during a weekday. The perfect time is usually when your customers are most attentive and receptive to your SMSs, which is usually between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays as most research surveys would confirm.
You also need to ensure the timing of your messages is within the right context. Don’t send a Christmas greeting to your customers via SMS in November, it’s too early! Send it to them on Christmas day or when the festive season begins.
Wrapping it up
Send your SMS marketing messages with a sense of purpose, with a good intention and by avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above. You should always try to seek the permission of your customers before you send out any messages.
Even when they receive a message from you, try to provide an exit option to them if they’d like to unsubscribe. Respond to your customer’s replies to let them know there’s a real person to listen to their needs, and the campaign isn’t all automated or robotic. Follow these steps, and your customers will then look forward to hearing from you!
About the author
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skilfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organisations.