Effective SMS Marketing; What makes it good and what to do better

sms marketing

Chad Starbuck, our mobile resident expert is back to share his insight on the top 10 ways to make SMS work best for your mobile marketing strategy. You may remember that we were introduced to Chad in his previous post: “What to consider when developing a mobile strategy” where he gave us an overview on building an effective mobile marketing strategy. Today, Chad is sharing his expertise on SMS marketing with 10 tips for using text messages to actively engage with consumers.

The Basics:

SMS text messages are up to 160 characters in length, no longer. So, efficiency is key!  Messages longer than 160 characters will either be interrupted at 160 characters or split into two messages depending on the carrier. With that said, let’s look at how we can make those 160 characters effective for your marketing campaign.

  1. SMS Should be Included in Every Multi-Channel Solution
    • Make sure SMS is part of your multi-channel solution which ensures customers have a smooth engagement with your brand across all channels.
  1. Make Keywords Short & Memorable
    • Using memorable keywords in your call-to-action (CTA) will enable your customers to quickly and accurately interact with your brand.
  1. 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.
  1. Give Your 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.
  1. Promote Mobile Campaigns Across All Marketing Channels
    • Everywhere you have existing marketing is an opportunity to promote your CTA, including social media, email, print, television, radio and in-store.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Clearly indicate the Terms & Conditions/opt out Procedures
    • Follow all guidelines set forth in the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook and include these in all your promotional material.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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.

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