SMS Campaign Writing Tips

8 February 2012

Writing effective ad copy for a bulk text messaging campaign with just 160 characters may seem like a lot to ask, but following these tips should help to ensure you get the best out of your SMS efforts.

  • Never use text speak; it may be tempting with so few characters but it gives off an unprofessional image and is potentially confusing for consumers.
  • Keep it simple; be clear, concise and stick to one message or offer at a time, your message should be understandable from a glance.
  • Do not treat SMS as you would a mass medium; texting allows you to be more targeted, try to segment your database (e.g. by age, gender) so your texts are relevant to the readers.
  • Know your audience; use the same language in your SMS ad copy as your target audience use, and find out their preferences so your messages will be of interest to them.
  • Provide an opt-out option; you must provide an unsubscribe option by law and there’s no point in texting people who don’t want to read your messages anyway.
  • Have a good reason to text; time sensitive information, charitable causes, new launches, and event invitations are all great reasons to use bulk SMS messaging, to name just a few.
  • Grab the reader’s attention; the first few words should engage the recipient, use of all-caps for these first few words works well e.g. OFFER or NEWS.
  • Focus on benefits; consumers will be more interested in how your offering is of benefit to them than learning the details of the service; state the news/offer and explain the benefit.
  • Use a strong call to action; tell your reader what you want them to do, if you want them to visit your website, don’t just provide the url ask them to visit it.
  • Provide all information; it’s common sense, but remember if you ask the reader to call, include your number, if they need to keep the message to show their voucher, tell them.

Remember to always think like your consumers, be relevant and don’t inundate them with constant messages; aside from being frustrating it may lead people to opt-out. Another thing to think about is that offers should feel exclusive, if people think another offer will come soon, they will be less likely to act on your message.

It’s important to keep testing your text messages, learn what makes your readers act on the message, and it goes without saying that you must always proof-read your messages before they are sent out!

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