winning SMS campaigns – answer these 5 tough questions

Most consumers receive dozens of SMS messages every day and toss all but the familiar ones to their electronic trash cans

We all know the facts and their powerful voice still reverberates in our ears: with an opening rate of over 90% (and this in the first 3 minutes) and conversion rates of nearly 150%, marketing campaigns delivered via SMS are, evidently, the most effective marketing tool available today. And if that’s not enough, studies show that no less than 91% of customers gave their willing consent to receive marketing SMS messages from the brands they buy.

That said, it’s important to remember that such campaigns are not one-dimensional communications. Rather, they are part of long term relationships built gradually over time. The fact that a customer agreed to receive marketing messages does not mean that we can just send them campaigns and forget about them. Tough SPAM laws, the regulation requiring businesses to ask and update their customers regularly about sending them SMS messages, and above all, the basic premise of acting fairly and politely when penetrating our customers’ private smartphone spaces –compliance with all these is not only essential, it also improves the chances of increasing your conversion rates with each campaign you send out.

Considering all this, if you are one of those marketers who asks themselves “How can my campaign be different than all the others?”, and who wishes to reap the benefits without over-expending resources, we recommend sticking to the following immutable rules:

1. When? Make sure to send out your campaigns at regular time intervals

Are routines bad? Perhaps, but go try and beat them. For your brand to become part of your customers’ daily routines, we highly advise getting them used to receiving your messages at a fixed time. Analyze what’s the best time to purchase your product and adjust your campaign accordingly. Try to keep your messages consistent, so that readers will recognize your unique language and tone.
Example – Is your brand related to surfing? Messages sent as the weekend approaches will hit their targets just as they, the surfers, are getting ready to head to the beach on the weekend.

2. Who? Clearly identify yourselves in every campaign

Most consumers receive dozens of SMS messages every day and toss all but the familiar ones to their electronic trash cans. Nobody has the time nor the desire to guess who sent the “great deal” coupon that just landed in their smartphone. Nameless messages are annoying, and they go against marketing ethics in a way that can lead to you being blacklisted and blocked. It’s every advertiser’s fantasy that their customers save their number to their contacts and that they look forward to receiving the advertiser’s SMS messages. For this to even be a possibility, you must first identify yourself to your customers.

Example – Are you selling tickets to a desert festival? Compose a message that goes something like this “Hi, this is Sharon from the Desert Cliffs Festival. I’m happy to let you know that a discounted ticket to the festival has become available, and that you can buy it right now at the following link.”

קמפיין סמס מנצח
Analyze when’s the best time to buy your product and adjust your campaign accordingly. (Photo: depositphotos)

3. Why? Let them go (and give them a good reason to come back)

People who have already agreed to receive your messages, may, at some point, renege on their decision and unsubscribe from your mailing list. After you finish mourning and consider what would be the best way to convince them to come back, remember that such customers provide you with the perfect opportunity to maintain a reliable, strong, and positive reputation. First, make unsubscribing easy, absent any long and aggravating processes. A second before they leave, show them how resilient you are by sending them an original parting message that will leave them with a positive memory. Stay away from generic farewells (e.g., “You have successfully been unsubscribed’) and think of messages along the lines of: “Everything is cool. You’ve decided to love us from afar, and we respect that. We hope to see you again soon!”

4. How much? Keep it short (the hard fact: you only have 160 characters)

The constant decline in human attention spans is forcing us to adjust and to cut down our marketing messages as much as possible. If your brand’s name is excessively long, consider coming up with a friendly abbreviation or alias. Whatever be the case, don’t chase away your customers. Messages that exceed 160 characters will be automatically split or truncated in a way that will require additional effort on the part of your customers, such that you can only hope that your customers will do so. As such, we urge you to keep your messages short, without ruining your unique and familiar style. Oh, and avoid getting smart by using abbreviations like “day2” or “U4”, as not everyone will know or appreciate them.

5. Where? Don’t forget to lead them down a customer journey

Employing standalone SMS campaigns is effective and yields results, but not enough. You should always seek to use marketing automations, allowing you to accurately synchronize between SMS messages and emails in a way that best matches each customer’s location along your customer journey. If, for instance, you’ve sent out 3 different emails reminding the customer of their abandoned caret – don’t hesitate to send out an SMS to notify the customer that you are cancelling or deleting their cart. Remember – every customer experiences a different customer journey and their decisions vary accordingly. The good news is that multi channel communication has many advantages and using it correctly will lead to the results you want.