In both North America, text messages are limited by character length; 160 characters in the U.S., 136 in Canada.
Of course, your message can be expanded to 3 times that number of characters on our system, so you have significantly more freedom in composing your message than you think. Regardless, it’s best to keep text message communications as short as possible.
Some business owners see this as a problem; “I can’t say much in such few characters,” is what I occasionally hear.
This is missing the point entirely.
Text message marketing is not intended to replace your email newsletter, nor is it supposed to deliver long, detailed communiques to your audience.
SMS / text message marketing works best for…
- Short, benefit-laden call to action messages.
- The delivery of instant coupons, discounts and incentives.
- Drawing attention to promotions described in more detail in a different medium.
- Leveraging other promotional or social media channels.
- Small snippets of helpful information.
Here are some examples…
- Show this message Wednesday April 30 at any Mike’s Widgets to get 10% off all Blue Widgets! (92 characters).
- May 2 is free shake Friday! Show this msg at any Dairy Bar to receive a free junior sized shake (one per customer). (115 characters).
- Use this coupon code (1546) to get BOGO on all potting soil in May! (67 characters!)
- This weekend, we’re having a MASSIVE sale. Everything is reduced. Watch your mailbox for our flyer! (99 characters).
- We’re having a customer appreciation contest! Win $1000’s! Enroll today! Details at http://www.yourwebsite.com (110 characters).
- Have you checked us out on FaceBook? Like us & join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/yourFBpage (107 characters).
- Don’t miss our email newsletter out today. It’s a killer. Not signed up? Go to http://www.yoursite.com/subscribe (112 characters)
- Supplement King is pleased to introduce a brand new product: Nergy100. Stop in & grab a free sample today! (106 characters).
- Gobble gobble. Thanksgiving is here! We’ve got plump fresh turkeys! Order yours today! (86 characters).
- We’ve got beautiful pictures of our new designs up on Pinterest: Check them out: http://www.linktopins.com (106 characters).
- Under-inflated tires are killing your gas mileage. We’ll top them up for free! Stop in to Mike’s garage today! (111 characters).
- Did you know beef is a great source of iron & protein? Are you getting enough? We have the best steaks in town! (113 characters).
Our system includes a URL shortener so that your message doesn’t get “eaten” up by long URLs. So the messages shown here would be considerably shorter if you were to use that element of our tool.
So in summation…
Short. Sweet. Simple. Concise. Call to action. Brief snippet of info.
And always, always, always think of your promotions from your customers’ and prospects’ point of view. The only thing they are thinking is…
“What’s in it for me?”
As long as you educate, entertain or engage with your messages, you’ll never go wrong!
The Local Text Marketers’ Resources center contains the PDF guide entitled, “Creating Great Text Messages” which will ensure you only send out messages your customers will love! Sign up and try our system free to gain access to it and 4 other instructional guides today!