Whether you’re new to SMS Marketing or are an old pro, there are a few must-dos and must-no-dos that are worth reviewing. While ever marketing campaign is different, you’re guaranteed to strike out if you don’t follow these best practices.
SMS Marketing Best Practices:
- Do Not Send Messages To People Who Didn’t Give You Permission
Never, ever send messages to people who have not opted-in to receive your text messages. Doing so is illegal – and carries stiff fines. Moreover, SMS Marketing is so powerful because it is permission-based. When you send messages to customers who want to hear from you you’ll get awesome response rates. Sending messages to people who don’t want to hear from you? At best you annoy potential customers and lose their business; at worst you wind up with a lawsuit.
- Do Advertise Your Keyword Call-To-Action In All Of Your Marketing Materials
In order to send your marketing texts to people who want to hear from your business, you need to give people a way to opt-in to receive your messages. How does that happen? The fastest, most effective way for a consumer to opt-in to an SMS Marketing campaign is by texting a Keyword to a Short Code. It works like this: Text Joes to 313131 for Coupons & more from Joe’s Pizza!
You’ll want to add your Keyword Call-To-Action to your print materials, mention it on social media, and if you have them, in your TV & Radio spots. You also need to make sure you advertise your Call-To-Action in a MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) compliant manner. That means including opt-out instructions and more:
Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to Opt-Out. Text HELP for Terms & Conditions. Up to 6 messages per month
- Do Incentivize Your Call-To-Action
The easiest way to encourage opt-ins is to give people a reason to opt-in. Mention in this in your call-to-action - Text Joes to 313131 for 25% Off Your Next Order - and in the confirmation text: “Thanks for Joining Joe’s Pizza Text list. Show this text to your server for 25% Off!”
- Do Not Send Messages Unless You Have Value To Offer
Just because Americans send trillions of text messages every year, doesn’t mean you should spray constant messages at your list of contacts. First, many people still pay per text. Second, who wants to be shouted out constantly. Sending messages every day is a sure way to a flood of opt-outs. Every business is different, but as a baseline 4 messages/month is usually a good number. Think about it like this: you worked hard for your opt-ins, so don’t give them a reason to opt-out. If you don’t have something valuable to offer (a coupon, exciting news, something that you only get via mobile) resist the urge to send a worthless message.
- Do Make Sure It’s Easy To Opt Out
Why would you want to make it easy to opt-out? This goes back to the first item on this list –SMS Marketing is permission-based. For many people, part of the reason they allow you to text them is because they know just how easy it is to opt-out if they tire of your messages. You pay for every message you send (not a lot, but those pennies can add up!); you only want to send messages to people who want to hear from you. Reply STOP to opt-out!
- Do Measure Your Results
As we wrote in a previous post: “Track your subscription lists, broadcast times and response rates for each message you send. Use the data to learn what kinds of messages, broadcast timing and other aspects work best for your target market.” If you’re running a campaign that includes web links make sure to use a link shortener like bit.ly that allows you to track clicks!