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Three Basic SMS Marketing Rules

With so much of the focus of marketing being on internet advertising avenues like social media and search engine marketing, SMS has dropped off the radar for many businesses. This may be passing up an opportunity to get your message to prospective customers and missing a large part of your local consumers. SMS marketing is the most personal advertising medium available and has other advantages over other forms of IM and E-mail promotions that make it worth considering for almost any business.

The most obvious advantage that SMS marketing has over using the internet is that there are so many people with mobile phones. There are 5.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world currently, which is 87% of the population1 and the majority of these people would keep their mobile phone on them most of the time. Unlike e-mails, every SMS message alerts the person that it is there, and so most SMS messages will be read by their recipients. The difficulty with SMS marketing campaigns is in collecting the phone numbers of enough subscribers to make it worthwhile. In several countries, unsolicited SMS messages are considered to be spam and are illegal. There are a number of practical strategies for legitimately collecting mobile phone numbers, especially from other professionals, making this a particularly effective B2B marketing method.

There is etiquette to using SMS messages to promote your business so that your advertising doesn’t become an annoyance and encourage people to opt out. Spam and privacy questions aside, SMS marketing is really very simple and there are three basic rules that make a solid foundation to build your SMS marketing efforts on that will not step over personal boundaries while generating valuable sales leads.

1. Get Your Timing Right
Because it is so personal and people have their phones on them most of the time it is important not to be intrusive or to message your customers at inconvenient times of the day. If you are sending your customers too many messages they will eventually stop reading them and it is vital to work out how much is too much for your business. As a rule of thumb if your business runs on a weekly cycle then once or twice a week might be sufficient while if you have a lot of daily specials or short term opportunities then you might want to send out one a day. It is also important to determine what time of day it is most effective to send your message out so that your customers are most likely to take action on the promotion. The only way to determine these factors is by trial and error, and using your common sense is always a good guide.

2. Keep it Short and to the Point
SMS messages are limited to around 140 characters on most mobile phone services so it is important to keep your marketing message within those limits. Ideally your message should display well on the smallest screens but keeping them within one SMS is the essential factor. If your messages are running on to two or three messages then it is unlikely that everyone will read them all the way through.

3. Include a Call to Action at the End
If you don’t end your SMS message with a specific call to action then your promotion ends there. Even if it is as simple as encouraging customers to visit your business it is vital to include them. Offering an incentive like showing the SMS to your staff for a discount or special offer can be a great way of generating immediate sales but it won’t happen unless you tell your customers how you want them to act on your message. Ask Infintech Designs about setting up an SMS campaign for your business.

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