A Marketer's Guide to Crafting the Perfect SMS

A Marketer's Guide to Crafting the Perfect SMS

SMS marketing has never been more useful and relevant than it is today. We've changed the way we communicate thanks to the rise of instant messaging. Through relatively simple 160-character messages, brands and businesses are now looking at the impressive rate of conversion and impact that SMS brings.

98% of all messages get opened, and 95% of these are read within five minutes of their delivery.

When it comes to click-through rates, it was found that text messages generated an average of 36%, while email marketing averaged a 2% click rate.

Practical, engaging SMS marketing all depends on how you're composing your messages. Despite the encouraging open rates, you still need to convey your message effectively and inspire both new and existing customers to engage with you.

So what goes into the perfect marketing SMS? Let's take a step by step look.

We will look at how we can craft marketing messages to a decent collection of contacts who we can approach directly through SMS.

Use Your Name

A name, a brand, a number – it's everything. Your customers should always know who's getting in touch with them. No one likes anonymous texts. And the best way to do this is a dedicated number or a personalized Sender ID to establish who you are. A dedicated number means a business sends from the same number every time, so recipients can save the number as a contact if they wish. Sending with an approved Sender ID or dedicated number removes the hassle of making introductions and taking up valuable characters in the body of the SMS.

Be Personal

Greet your customer outright – it's best practice to approach your audience on a first-name basis. Though some brands that prefer a more formal tone may address recipients with titles such as 'Mr' or 'Ms.' Personalisation is a key factor in engaging with a broader audience. The average read time of a text message is reportedly less than 5 seconds – make these moments count!

Offers and Deals

The deal or offer should be the main body of the message, so keep it clean and concise. Highlight the proposal at the start of the text, via a link or in block capitals to ensure it's not missed. As the offer is the primary focus of your marketing campaign, and it should never be understated. You can also effectively tailor these messages to offer specific deals to specific customers.

The Fine Print

There are plenty of customers out there who feel that no good deals or opportunities come without something expected in return. There is always going to be fine print, so ensure your deal is relevant, reasonable, and worthwhile to the customer.

What They Need to Do

Offers need to be activated, so tell them what to do! This can be as simple as asking them to quote a promo code or to show their SMS when paying. You may even wish for a customer to reply to activate a deal; if this is the case, ensure you're sending from a two-way enabled number.

When is the deal active?

Be sure to advise in your body of text exactly when the customer can use their promo code or offer. If necessary, stress that you're offering a limited time deal – they will feel encouraged to use their promo code immediately. This technique can be put to great use during the down season or for flash seasons. Make sure that any expiry notices are listed with urgency, too!

Let Your Customers Opt-Out

Enable your receiver to text 'STOP' to a given number to allow them to be removed from your SMS marketing list. Not allowing ease of opt-out, or not at all, could result in legal matters – so always be upfront.

Other Things to Consider

Now that we've looked at the bare bones of what makes up the perfect marketing SMS for Captain Pizza, it's time to look briefly at etiquette and style – when is best to approach your customers? What language should you use? And how should you best prepare for such a campaign?

Be Polite and Appropriate

Truncated words and slang rarely travel well in SMS marketing due to the lack of context. However, this may vary from brand to brand and your particular audience. You're likely to be appealing to a range of different markets, so ensure your tone covers all bases. Try not limiting the brand's tone, language style, or speech that could alienate a particular group. A neutral, catch-all approach is generally the most effective over text.

Don't Go Overboard

Be polite and brief – get to the subject of the SMS quickly and let customers know what they can do to get involved. You've only got a limited number of characters to use – don't waste them! All marketing texts should include this specific data: a greeting, opt-out clause, any fine print, and essential deal information. You're not looking to get much more involved than that.

Do a Test Run

What do you think? Consider testing out your own SMS marketing scheme and see how it reads back. If you received an SMS from Captain Pizza, does the marketing SMS do enough to inspire you to dine there for the first time, or return? A/B Testing a campaign can really help marketing and affect the overall outcome of the campaign. It's perfect to see whether or not your approach is practical and where you can improve. Ensure the frequency of texts are appropriate and timely; there are cases where firms have been sued for texting more than they advised they would – be careful!

Inspire Sharing

We're sharing all aspects of our lives nowadays – why not deals and offers? Enable your customers to share messages you send to spread the deal – creating less work for you in advertising in the long run! According to instaGiv, up to 25% of customers may pass marketing texts on – this is a statistic worth taking advantage of!

And finally...

SMS marketing is only getting bigger, and there's never been a better time to engage with new and regular customers. With a little creativity and a bit of generosity, you'll be able to inspire loyalty for months and years to come. Reach people at home, on the go – anywhere!

For more information about crafting the perfect SMS, head to the SMSGlobal Information Center, or get in contact with one of our friendly team members.