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SMS marketing remains one of the most popular methods of advertising in recent times. It is easy to see why - A mobile phone is portable, reliable and convenient. Most importantly, phones are extremely personal possessions. Hence, content conveyed through SMS channels have a much higher open-rate then let’s say an email campaign or long-form blog.
According to recent statistics, the average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone. Makes sense if you think about it - we are constantly skulking the feeds of social media, updating statuses, uploading photos, purchasing items through E-commerce and so on. Undeniably, SMS marketing will stay as one of the most effective means of reaching out to consumers in a mobile-first society.
However, SMS marketing is not as straightforward as it seems and requires meticulous planning. Open-rates do not directly translate to conversions - what happens next once your prospect views the content? How do you actually seal the deal?
Phones are communication tools that provide the most direct form of contact. As such, your messages should contain an element of urgency. An effective method is to add a limited time offer that consumers can immediately respond to. The trick is to ensure that the previews of your messages contain actionable terms that encourage readers to open them to find out more. Ideally, this is achieved by adding a call to action (CTA) at the end of your main message where readers can mark their interest to a particular promotion.
Customers are always on the lookout for exclusive offers, they want in on privileged information and deals. Use strategic terms such as “premium members”and “selected customers” when addressing the recipient to make your content that more special. A lack of exclusivity may cause some customers to disregard messages as trash or spam, so be tactful when possible. However, the phrasing should sound realistic nonetheless - avoid anything overly dramatic or over-the-top, which would instantly repel customers. It shouldn’t sound too good to be true.
Scheduling an SMS blast at 2:30 am is certainly not going to win you any favors. Always determine the most popular timings in seizing the attention of your recipient. Some studies show that 12 noon is the ideal timing for maximum response while Fridays and Saturdays may be the least popular days (probably because consumers are busy enjoying time with their loved ones) in the week for an SMS campaign.
Also, it is important to note that there may be special regulations in some countries, which prohibit SMS marketing campaigns during certain times of the day. Examples include Saudi Arabia (KSA), where SMS is only allowed between 8 am - 9 pm (KSA time) and the UAE where messages are only to be delivered between 7 am and 9 pm (at UAE Standard Time). Always remember to check each national policy carefully before blasting your campaign.
For consistent results, rotate your monthly campaigns through different days of the week, then analyze and compare customer responses. It ultimately boils down to the crowd that you’re engaging. For example, if you run an F&B company that is promoting lunch promo deals for working adults, you may consider blasting messages from 9 am - 11 am on a weekday. On the other hand, if you conduct dance classes for weekends, schedule your messages for Thursday or Friday evenings while the working crowd are getting into the weekend mood.
SMS stands for short message service - so always remember to keep it that way. Customers don't wish to read a wall of text when they view your SMS. In fact, shorter messages are known to have the highest open-rates. Always convey your message in a clear and concise manner with the fewest words possible. Conclude your message with an actionable item - this could be in the form of a yes or no question (Y/N) for optimal response
SMS marketing may be effective but to truly optimize your campaign, consider multi-channel marketing. Email marketing is one effective follow-up tool. Although customers generally take a longer time in opening email promos, they're perfect for conveying wordier content that are ineffective in an SMS.
Multi-channel marketing creates an increased awareness of your brand and what you have to offer. But practice with moderation to avoid overwhelming the customer.
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