10 Best Practices of Text Message Marketing

As marketers, we want to be where the consumers are spending most of their time. So where’s their attention today? The answer is in your hands…literally.

Their attention is on their phones. The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting, according to an eMarketer report.

“Successful marketers day-trade attention.” – Gary Vaynerchuk.

The brands that have embraced text message marketing have been able to knock it out of the park with their conversion rates and results. There are a couple of reasons why text messaging is poised to take off.

There are over 7 trillion, yes trillion, text messages being sent now. Additionally, texts have very high engagement rates — 90% of messages are read within three minutes. Still not impressed? Digital Marketing Magazine also reports 75% of U.S. customers would like to have offers sent to them via SMS.

These customers who opt in to receive info from you are much more likely to take in that message rather than ignore it. The average click-through rate for text message marketing is 14.06% and the average conversion rate is 8.22%.

With only 160 characters to work with, you should be equipped with the best practices utilized by top campaigns to ensure your text marketing converts. Here are our top 10 tips:

1) Be Clear About Your Program

Make sure your subscribers are aware of what messages they will receive. This may be only one sentence in the auto reply, just make sure they aren’t blind-sided when their first text message campaign arrives. If you don’t do this, they’ll likely opt-out.

2) Get Permission

You must have consent from subscribers before messaging them. Period. Otherwise you’ll be spamming, breaking laws, and possibly subject to hefty legal penalties. Send a simple message like this.

Chipotle-permission

If you choose not to send double-opt ins like this one, you’ll damage your brand’s image and annoy your customers.

3) Pay Attention to Frequency

Do not send texts all the time! 2-4 texts per month is optimal. Make sure subscribers know how often you’ll be texting them, by including text in your auto reply message like this.

chipotle-how-often

4) Text During Normal Hours

Be considerate of where people on your list are located. One of the main benefits of text marketing is immediate action. No one will take action when they receive a text in the middle of the night. Normal business hours is key.

5) Provide Value

If your customer is giving you explicit permission to text them, your messages better offer something worthwhile in return. Send a special offer promo, updates with event details, upcoming exclusive sale, etc. Make sure to identify yourself – include your company name in the subject line so it can be seen in the preview.

6) Promote Across All Mediums

Promote your texting campaign across all mediums to generate more opt-ins. The more integrated your campaign is with the rest of your brand’s messaging and promotions, the more successful it will be.

  • Facebook: Add a “Mobile Number” field to any Facebook page sign-up and an “opt-in” button for them to sign on to your SMS campaign. Make sure you validate the number before you add this person to your campaign.
  • Website: Include SMS opt-in instructions on your website.
  • Email: Make SMS opt-ins visible in your newsletter.
  • Events: Mention how to opt-in during speaking events. Example: Text YES to 74000 to receive my slides from this seminar.
  • Podcast: Include in script as an ad. Example: Text YES to 5634 to receive alerts when part 2 of this series is live.

7) Offer Exclusive Benefits

Opting in to your text marketing program requires the customer to take extra steps, so give them some incentive for taking this leap. Offering exclusive deals for your mobile customers that aren’t available to other customers often see the most results. Text-to-win campaigns, discounts, coupons, and VIP access to events can generate new opt-ins and maintain the interest of current subscribers.

8) Boost Profits With Targeted Texting

Text marketing can be a great tool to use to boost sales for poor-performing areas of your business. One $40 text can fill 30 spots at an event. At $1600 per seat, that means revenue of $48,000. Sounds worth it.

9) Take Advantage of SMS Immediacy

Texts, unlike emails, are immediate. SMS texts are opened within 3 minutes of being received, so modify your strategy to incorporate the last-minute nature of texting. If you’re promoting an event on Friday, don’t send a text on Monday. People will forget about it by then. Send it the morning of the event.

10) Watch the Results

Take heed of the following to determine if your campaign was a success:

Conversion rate: Consider that the user is on their phone, so where you’re sending them should be optimized for their experience on mobile. If conversion rates are low, you may need to redesign the UX or change up the offer.

Delivery reports: This shows which numbers were reached and which may have issues. Check this regularly to ensure you have only viable numbers, otherwise you could be wasting credits sending messages to unreachable numbers.

Monitor opt-outs per send: To gauge content value, calculate opt-out and delivered rates for each outbound campaign. Compile the percentages in a spreadsheet and learn what content generates rates above and below your average.

Churn rate: Take the number of your people who unsubscribed from your SMS campaign and divide it by the total number of customers who initially opted in. This will reveal how quickly your subscribers are leaving your campaign.

Calculate the cost: Take the cost of each SMS message and divide it by the redemption rate. Based on how much you invested, did it perform well?

If you’re ready to start your own text marketing campaign, following these best practices will set you up for success.

Have you implemented text message marketing into your campaigns? Tell us how it went in the comments. Get more digital marketing knowledge delivered right to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

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Ryan is the Content Manager at Brandetize. He’s responsible for all of the content on our client blogs and podcasts as well as this site. Ryan loves trying out the newest blog strategies for his clients, Star Wars, denim jackets, Magic the Gathering, having the best damn beard in the office, and drinking iced coffee by the gallon.