In a world where consumers have their phones within arm’s reach at all times, SMS is one of the easiest ways to connect with your audience. With a 98% open rate & majority of messages being opened within 3 minutes, it’s no surprise that it has quickly become one of the fastest growing marketing channels. From product updates to special promotions and exclusive discounts, the avenues to integrate SMS into your marketing strategy are endless.
While the stats prove just how effective this channel can be, SMS Marketing doesn’t come without an increasing amount of competition. With consumers inundated with marketing messages on their phone at almost any time, whether it’s when they’re scrolling Instagram, watching Youtube or searching Google, it’s essential your SMS strategy stands out from the crowd to break through the noise.
Today we’re discussing eight critical points to keep in mind when crafting your next SMS:
Keep It Short & Sweet
Thanks to the way text messages are formatted, this one is almost impossible to avoid. With 160 characters to use, your messages need to be concise & straight to the point. While technically speaking your messages can be longer, this will result in them being broken up and sent in separate parts (and in turn, the sender will be charged the equivalent to two messages, or however many sent) Messages that are this long defeat the purpose or texting and are better used in emails, blog posts or social media.
Chatti Tip: To ensure your message is short & sharp, read over your copy and delete anything that doesn’t relate to the WHY (why you’re reaching out to your audience in the first place) & the CTA (what action you’re wanting your audience to take).
Speak Your Audiences Language
When creating text messages, you have a limited number of characters to use so it is important to use copy that your audience relates to so your message is capturing and convincing. Understanding the language your target audience uses and how they typically write text messages will help your SMS strategy to seem less like a marketing tactic and more like a natural, organic message.
Chatti Tip: If you’re keeping things casual, don’t be afraid to include emojis & abbreviations where appropriate!
Focus on One Topic
As we mentioned before, short & sharp messages are the recipe for success when it comes to SMS. Keeping your messages centred around one topic will help to avoid confusion and increase the likelihood of your customers taking their next step in the purchase pathway. If you’re dying to tell your customers about multiple different topics, consider opting for an EDM instead.
Chatti Tip: Do you have multiple things you want to message your customers about? Schedule your strategy over the month so you can plan accordingly & ensure you’re not bombarding your audience with too many messages in a short amount of time.
Create A Sense Of Urgency
Don’t want to your SMS to be forgotten? Create a sense of urgency and encourage your customers into taking immediate action. Urgency and increased sales go hand in hand which is why when customers are told they have a limited amount of time to act, their decision making process is sped up.
Chatti Tip: Including simple phrases such as ‘for a limited time only’ or expiration dates for discount codes creates a sense of excitement and urgency that is needed to increase sales.
Include Exclusive Offers
When your audience opts-in to receive text messages, they are expecting to receive value. People enjoy receiving offers that feel personalised and exclusive, so sending bulk messages around holidays and individual messages around birthdays will help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Chatti Tip: Use offers & discounts in an attempt to save abandoned shopping carts. Usually when people leave a site with their cart full, their looking around for the best offer possible. Sending a ‘free shipping’ offer or 10% discount code will get your customers heading straight back to your website to finalise their purchase.
Start Getting Personal
SMS was created to be a two-way conversation but often, brands fall into the trap of blasting out messages to their customers and giving them no way to reply. Even worse, they often send out bulk messages that are repetitive and generic. Adding a sense of customisation to each message by including simple steps such as addressing your customers by their first name or highlighting their recent activities will capture their attention and increase your brands conversion.
Don’t Forget CTAs
Sending a text message to your customers is meant to drive action and encourage them to take the next steps in the buyer’s journey. Including a call to action and making it clear as to why your message to your customers is a critical part of the message and essential for achieving a high ROI.
Chatti Tip: Include a link to your new arrivals or discount code to prompt your customers to head to your website & make a purchase.
Branded URLs shorten the link that is included in your SMS so you don’t have to sacrifice your limited character count. Not only do they take up less space and eliminate the need to use messy looking URLs, they also appear more trustworthy and professional therefore increasing your clickthrough rate.
Which one of these would you be more likely to click on?
If you haven’t considered using SMS in your marketing strategy, it’s time to get started. Communicating with your customers when it matters the most on channels they use every day will provide greater value to your audience, in turn increasing loyalty and driving sales.