To get the most from your text message marketing program, you need to send great text messages… messages that serve two masters; your customers, and your business.
Your customers need to be engaged and enticed by your messaging. If they’re not, eventually they will unsubscribe. That’s the last thing you want. At the same time, the whole point of your campaigns is to generate revenue.
Ultimately, falling short on either means you will not wring the full potential from your campaigns.
The following 8 “rockin” tips will ensure…
- Your text messages are crafted to their full potential.
- Customers and prospects remain happy as subscribers.
- Your business’ bottom line expands.
Heed them well and you will succeed!
Let’s get started…
1. Keep it short.
Sure, text messages are limited by character size (160 in the U.S., 136 in Canada) but many 3rd party services (ours included) allow you to string multiple messages together. While the vastly increased character count allows greater flexibility in your messaging, people do not want, or expect, long texts from you.
Keep your communications to a single message, if at all possible. Ideally, you want to present your customer with content they can consume in 3-8 seconds, max.
You’ll get better at crafting short messages if you practice.
One tip: remove all unnecessary adjectives, adverbs, and descriptive text. Think “barebones” messaging. Your customers are used to short, “to the point” messaging in texts. You’re not writing a novel. When you’re happy with the end result, step away from your message for a little while. Upon your return, re-read your message aloud, and ask yourself whether anything further can be stripped out.
2. Keep it simple.
Your text messages’ “calls to action” need to be clear and unambiguous. Your customer needs to understand, in no uncertain terms, what it is you are offering, and where and when it is they can access it.
3. Ensure promotions are simple to access.
One critical mistake that business owners make when sending texts is requiring their customers take some sort of additional action in order to access a discount or special…
Right: Frankie’s Furniture: Save up to 50% this weekend only! Show this message to get an instant 10% off!
Wrong: Frankie’s Furniture: Save up to 50% this weekend! Print coupon on our web site and return to store for instant discount!
Unless you do NOT want people showing up at your sale and using the discount code, the easiest way to reduce the power of your incentive is to require additional action to access it.
Every time you ask people to perform an additional step, you are going to lose a large percentage of them.
4. Keep it professional.
While some short forms are going to be both familiar and acceptable in your text messages, your communications are still a reflection of your business. And, unless you want your customers to think your business is run by an illiterate teenager, you will want to limit short forms to only those that are widely accepted.
You may need to get a little creative here and there to make things work, but there’s always a way.
Good messaging (but long): Sale runs Monday through Friday
Iffy messaging: Sale runs Monday thru Friday (Thru? Really?)
Perfect messaging: Sale runs Mon-Fri (acceptable, common short forms and creative use of “-“to replace “through”).
5. Keep it valuable.
Every time you prepare to send a text message to your database of subscribers, you need to consider things from their perspective.
The best way to do this is to simply ask a handful of questions…
- “How would I feel if I received this message?”
- “Does it offer value?”
- “What’s in it for me?”
If you are not positive this message delivers value, then perhaps you should consider creating a different one or postponing the message until something more worthwhile comes up.
Tip: Almost 80% of people who sign up for text notifications do so because they are interested in receiving discounts, coupons and special offers. As a result, you will rarely go wrong sending out such messages.
6. Keep it accessible.
As many as 30-40% of people do not yet have smartphones, or cannot access the Internet via their phones. Additionally, others may be on restrictive data plans and may be very selective with their data and the information they want to access.
It’s for this reason that you will want to limit links to your web properties in your text messages.
While it may be unintentional, when you include links, you alienate a large portion of your audience unnecessarily, and reduce the Return on Investment from your campaigns.
Tip: If you must use web links, make double sure that those who cannot access your web properties still receive good value from the messaging. For example…
Massive sale, Fri-Sun. Save up to 50% off entire inventory. See web site for details: www.yourwebsite.com
See how every subscriber – regardless if they have mobile Internet access or not, receives value from this message? The link really serves as a “FYI”, where an interested customer can go for more information. But even without visiting the link, the core message is still delivered!
7. Keep it regular.
It’s important to stay in touch with your customers and prospects regularly, so they don’t forget you and grow accustomed to receiving text messages from you. At the same time, we highly recommend you do not overdo it!
People are much more sensitive towards what they perceive as spam on this medium and the surest way to go about increasing the number of people who unsubscribe from your service is to send too many messages.
How often should you contact your subscribers? It varies from business to business and by your customer’s expectations. Nonetheless, almost 80% of subscribers indicated they prefer to receive 2 messages per month from trusted merchants. We recommend all businesses start here. It’s unlikely you’ll annoy any customers at this frequency.
8. Keep it to weekdays.
Unsubscribe rates (people opt-out of receiving further messages from you) on a properly run text marketing campaign are generally very low; anywhere from less than 1% to 3% is the norm. However, you can expect a much higher rate of people opting out if you send your promotions on the weekend.
So restrict your promotions to weekdays unless absolutely necessary.
Text message marketing is a powerful medium that offers a ton of opportunities to your business because of its near-100% open rate. As such, it’s important your promotion and implementation of this program be well planned and thorough. To build your list of contacts as quickly and efficiently as possible, use the strategies outlined here. And do so consistently.