2017 is the year for text message marketing, with the number of people receiving SMS communication set to increase to 48.7 million by 2020. Ofcom confirmed that the UK is now a smartphone society, with mobile phones being the centre of our everyday lives. This makes SMS marketing an excellent and cost efficient way for businesses to communicate with their customers, cutting through the everyday noise and making sure your message is heard.
Whether you are new to SMS marketing or have a text message strategy in place for your business, we have created a detailed checklist to ensure you are maximising every campaign you send.
✓ Prepare Messages In Advance
Preparing your text campaigns in advance means that you can reduce any errors. The earlier you prepare your messages, the more you can proof read them thoroughly for accuracy and ensure you are targeting the right audience. With TextAnywhere you can schedule messages which allows you to sit back and relax while our system does all the hard work for you!
✓ Segment Your Audience
Segmenting your data is crucial when sending an SMS campaign. You won’t gain anything from sending a generic message to your whole database as not everyone will be interested in this offer. You can segment your database on simple information such as age, location, spend, gender or go detailed as to look at their spending habits, when they last visited you, what they like to purchase, etc. By segmenting your audience, you can create content that is relevant to that group and therefore increase engagement.
✓ Is your message adding value?
For the most efficient campaign make sure your message is concise and straight to the point. A single text message consists of 160 characters however with TextAnywhere you have the ability to send up to 918 characters (6 messages) which will show up on the handset as one message. In the busy world, we live in today, people want to know things quickly and instantly so make sure you include the most relevant information, and your content is digestible.
✓ Include An Clear Call-To-Action
Every message you send, you must include a call to action. It must be clear what you want your customers to do after reading your message. For example, if you want your clients to take advantage of an offer, then make sure you include the promo code and even link to your site. If you want customers to call in and book a table at your restaurant, then include your number within the message. Make sure your customers understand why you have texted them and what action they should take afterwards.
✓ Be Time Considerate
The timing of your message can have a huge impact on your overall campaign. You can have the most compelling message campaign, but if you send it at the wrong time, no one will engage with it. For example, if you’re running a lunchtime offer, you shouldn’t send your message at midnight while everyone is asleep, you should send it a few hours before lunch time. Send appointment reminders a couple of days before someone’s appointment will remind people if they forgot and there is enough time for them to cancel or reschedule. Also if you’re sending a large campaign, you want to make sure that your business is prepared to handle the responses. With TextAnywhere you can schedule bulk messages with TextCampaign and have them set to a “smooth” program where messages are sent gradually over a particular time frame.
✓ Is your Data up to date?
When was the last time you checked your data? Manage your database and avoid sending messages to duplicated or old numbers. To save time and money, regularly check and update numbers that can’t be reached. With TextAnywhere’s reporting tool you can see what numbers received your messages successfully and the reason if some weren’t reached.
✓ Test And Measure Your Campaign
Testing and measuring your campaign is crucial as it allows you to learn for next time. Try sending different messages at different times or dates. You can try a different target audience and see what the response is like from them. If you include any URL’s then you can track the engagement rate with Google Analytics, take a look at our guide on setting this up with your SMS campaigns.
✓ Can People Opt-Out?
Make sure every message you send offers the option to opt-out. TextAnywhere offers a free opt-out service which means anyone who replies back to your message with the word STOP will automatically go in your unsubscribed list. Not only is this the law, but this means that you make your customers feel less pressured and remove people who aren’t engaging with your content.
✓ Personalise Your Message
Personalising your message can increase the engagement rate of your campaign. It could be something as simple as inserting their name, appointment time or other details relevant to that person – you can do this simply with our bulk SMS tool – TextCampaign. You can include your company number within the user ID (max 11 characters) however people can’t reply back unless you have a dedicated number with the message body. Take a look at our blog to find out more information of when to personalise your text message.
✓ Use An Inbound Number or Keyword
Using a dedicated inbound number means that people will know the message is coming from you and can reply to that number at any time. They can save this in their address book if they want. You could also use a short code and keyword to build your SMS list, for example, “text OFFER to 81025 to receive the latest news and offer”. You can promote this across all your marketing channels such as your website, social media and print materials.
✓ Is your landing page mobile optimised?
Have you checked that the URL you include is mobile friendly? If you are adding a URL link within your message, it’s crucial to test and check how it will look like on a device. In addition, make sure your link is shortened to make it easier on the eye for people and save you characters within your message.
✓ Manage Your Responses
Once your message has been sent have you got a plan in place to manage any potential responses? Whether it’s for people to reply back to your text message direct, handling telephone calls or website traffic – make sure you have the resource in place.
✓ Is Your SMS Campaign Aligned With Your Other Marketing Channels?
For the most effective marketing campaigns, make sure that SMS is included and aligned with the rest of your marketing channels. Include SMS in your other marketing collateral such as social media, email campaigns, banner Ads, direct mail etc. A significant 45% of SMS campaigns generate a successful ROI, reaching over 50% when combined with other popular channels (Source: SmartInsights).
Need help setting up your next SMS campaign? Want to know more about our services? Talk to us today and discuss how you can use text messaging by contacting our team at [email protected] or give us a call on 08451 221 302.