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What Makes Effective SMS Marketing?

What makes effective SMS marketing? How can you do SMS marketing more efficiently? Find out!

sms marketing

Curious to know what makes effective SMS marketing? Zeta’s Chad Starbuck shares his insight on the top 10 ways to create effective SMS marketing. Used properly, these tips will make life easier for your business.

First and foremost…

Remember that SMS messages need to be short if they’re going to be effective. That means you want something that isn’t more than 160 characters in length. Efficiency is the key here. Technically, a message you can send messages up to 960 characters in length. However, most carriers count 160 characters as a single message. With that said, here’s how you can go about making each of those 160 characters as valuable as possible.

SMS should be included in every omnichannel solution

Make sure SMS is part of your multi-channel solution which ensures customers have a smooth engagement with your brand across all channels.

Make keywords short and memorable

Using memorable keywords in your call-to-action (CTA) will enable your customers to quickly and accurately interact with your brand.

Optimize the value proposition

When asking customers to participate/opt-in, describe the value proposition of the mobile program clearly, consistently and in a compelling way.

Provide the who, what, when, where, how and why.

Maximize incentives to opt-in—use coupons/offers/promotions/sweepstakes entry/exclusive content and other incentives to drive opt-in.

Clearly communicate participation benefits.

Give the list time to grow

As your subscriber base grows, the costs decrease and the ROI rises.

Commit to promoting your CTA, building a subscriber base and giving your mobile marketing campaign enough time to grow to a self-sustaining level that will pay off in the long term.

Promote omnichannel mobile campaigns

Everywhere you have existing marketing is an opportunity to promote your CTA, including social media, email, print, television, radio and in-store.

Distinguish your mobile program with exclusive offers

Offers available only through the SMS channel help build your subscriber base and make your messaging relevant to your customers.

Provide a different keyword for each channel

Keywords can help measure which media channel is most effective.

With mobile, you have the ability to track all your channels by using different flows and keywords for your various calls to actions and campaigns.

Clearly indicate the terms and conditions/opt out Procedures

Follow all guidelines set forth in the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook and include these in all your promotional material.

Integrate mobile data into your marketing database

It’s important to include your mobile data into your marketing database so that you have a complete holistic view of your customers.

Follow TCPA guidelines

Consult with your legal counsel as it relates to how your mobile program might be affected by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act guidelines.

It’s important to have a fully-compliant program from initial CTA, to opt in to on-going recurring messaging.

Need more advice on effective SMS marketing?

SMS can be a very effective tool in any multi-channel marketing program. When implemented correctly, your customers will be engaged and you can create a true omni-channel solution, providing valuable data for creating future targeted campaigns. If you’re looking for help with SMS marketing, talk to the team at Zeta.

Activating Your Mobile Program By Integrating With Social Media

Chad Starbuck, Zeta’s expert on all things mobile, continues to share his insight on how to build upon your current mobile programs. Chad’s previous posts provided tips on SMS, MMS, App Push Notifications and Mobile Wallet. Today, he is sharing his expertise on how to activate — and enhance — your mobile programs by integrating the experience with social media channels.

Taking Your Mobile Programs to the Next Level

As you have begun to develop your cross-channel marketing programs, you’ve probably started implementing at least one, maybe more, of the mobile channels we have previously discussed.  Maybe it’s an SMS/MMS program, or possibly App Push, or maybe even delivering mobile wallet passes via one of your existing channels. However, these programs can’t stand on their own. There are some easy and unique ways to enhance and grow them via interactions and integrations with social media channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the easy to implement solutions that can be developed with social media.

1) Socialize a Coupon or Offer

If you have a coupon or similar offer that you would like to extend beyond your subscriber base, use SMS to deliver the coupon and then provide a link that allows them to share the offer on their Twitter or Facebook account.  Through an integration, the link in the SMS message will automatically open up the user’s Twitter or Facebook account and prepopulate the message, making it ready for sharing.

2) Share a Video or Movie Trailer

If you have created a video or trailer for a brand-new movie that would benefit from extending beyond your subscriber base, use MMS to deliver the video and then provide a link that allows them to share the video on their Twitter or Facebook account.  As with the coupon offer above, through integration, the link in the MMS message will automatically open up the user’s Twitter or Facebook account and prepopulate the message and the video, ready for sharing.

3) Add a Call to Action on your Social Media Site

In order to grow your subscriber base, it is always important to promote your mobile program in as many ways and locations as possible. One of those locations should definitely be within your social media brand sites. A simple Call to Action on these sites, asking people to opt in via either a keyword, or by adding in their mobile details on a submit form, makes it easy for those customers engaged with you via Social Media, to also become engaged via your mobile programs.

4) Use Your SMS Platform to Promote Social Media Sites and Blogs

When connecting with your subscribers during regular marketing campaigns, use that opportunity to also connect your users to your social media presence.  Include a link in your message that directs users to your Facebook page, or an important blog post.  Get your customers engaged across all your platforms.

5) Promote a Text-to-Win or Sweepstakes Promotion

One of the best and most fun ways to integrate your mobile programs with your Social Media sites is through a Text-to-Win or Sweepstakes promotion.  By simply adding a keyword Call to Action on your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter feed or other sites, your customers are rewarded with a once in a lifetime chance to win a cool prize.  Promoting an easy, “Text ‘WIN’ to 12345” message allows your customers to enter the contest.  You can also promote a sweepstakes in your outgoing mobile marketing campaigns by including a sweepstakes code and link that drives your subscribers to your Social Media sites to enter.

6) Promote the Download of Your Brand App

Your Social Media sites are a great place to promote the download of your brand app.  Make it even simpler by including a Keyword Call to Action (Text APP to 12345) right in your site.  By texting the Keyword, the customer is provided a response that takes them right to the appropriate App store. So, by using a combination of Social Media, SMS and App, you’ve created a quick and easy access to your brand app.


When looking to promote your brand, it’s always best to look at a combined strategy across your mobile campaigns, social media campaigns and other channels. SMS/MMS, App Push and Wallet cannot stand on their own. Neither can your social media sites. Take the time to not only integrate your strategies, but your platforms and channels as well.


Thinking about adding App Push to your mobile marketing strategy? Here’s What you should know

push mobile marketing strategy

Looking to enhance your mobile marketing strategy? App Push might be the solution for optimizing your mobile marketing efforts.

In previous posts, we’ve discussed how SMS and MMS text messages can enhance your marketing mix by giving you the ability to reach your customers via 160 characters or rich media content such as images, videos and animations. App Push Notifications via your mobile app can expand your ability to reach your customers in the medium they desire.

What do you need to know about App Push Notifications to incorporate them effectively into your mobile marketing strategy? Below is an introduction into what App Push is and how it can benefit your mobile marketing mix.

  • What is a Push Notification?
    • A push notification is a message sent from an application to a device
    • Push notifications appear as an alert on the home screen of the device
    • The app does not have to be open to receive a notification from that app
  • What type of push messages can I send?
    • There are two types of push notifications that should be sent
      • Transactional messages that are triggered based on an event
      • Engagement/Promotional messages that drive users to take an action
  • How are push notifications controlled?
    • Push notifications are usually controlled through the settings of the device
    • A user has the ability to enable or disable push notifications as they can be turned on or off at any time
    • Before a message can be sent the user has to provide permission
  • I have a mobile app; how do I get started with sending Push Notification messages?
    • To get started you need to install your providers software development kit, better known as an SDK. SDKs are normally provided for both iOS and Android
    • The SDK connects the messaging platform to the device allowing you to send messages and receive data back
  • Can I use a user’s location to deliver a triggered or scheduled message?
    • Once the user provides permission to use their location, you can use that location to deliver messages based on geo-fences or beacons
  • What kind of analytics can I get from my Push Notification program?
    • Many types of analytics can be obtained from your push notification program including but not limited to:
      • Track visits to geofences
      • See open rates for your campaigns
      • A/B test different content strategies
      • Export data for use in your own analytics solution
  • What kind of return can I expect from a Push Notification?
    • Location with Push Notifications is the key and along with personalization drives increased engagement rates
      • Click Through Rates of between 45% and 75%
      • Conversation Rates of between 7% and 18%

By adding Push Notifications into your current mobile marketing program, you now have the added benefit of richer and smarter mobile messaging.

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