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How often to text? 5 cadences we suggest to 17,000+ businesses

Tired of guessing at how often to text your customers? Steal these SMS templates to plan your first 30 days of texts (and beyond).

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Figuring out how often to text looks, from a distance, like a seriously tricky knot to untie for anyone starting out in SMS marketing.

Striking a balance between staying top-of-mind for your customers and annoying them with too many messages is important.

We here at SimpleTexting help thousands of businesses through this process every day. So, we’re going to condense the steps for you here.

The quick-and-easy business texting cadence

According to our State of SMS Marketing 2023 report, “Most consumers (53%) who subscribe to SMS marketing want to receive texts from businesses once every other week, followed by 36% who want to receive them once a week.”

So which is it — once a week or every other week? We asked consumer psychologist Dr. Michael Barbera how to think about texting frequency, and he perfectly summarized it for us: 

Oftentimes, for small- and medium-sized businesses, if sales are down, it’s ‘harass, harass, harass.’ So, less is more.
Dr. Michael Barbera

Dr. Michael Barbera

Chief behavioral officer, Clicksuasion Labs

So if you’re looking for a quick and straightforward answer for how often your business should text — especially in your first 30 days — we recommend sending two to four promotional text messages per month (plus transactional and automated texts as needed).

Week 1 Prize text

Examples: promo codes, special offers, or early access to products or services 

Week 2 Teaching text

Examples: how-to guides, quick tips, or expert Q&As

Week 3 Prize text

Examples: promo codes, special offers, or early access to products or services

Week 4 Amusement text

Examples: entertaining content or conversation starters

Noteworthy: Your organization’s goals

Now, we know this framework doesn’t take into consideration:

  1. Your organization and its needs.
  2. Your “why,” whether that’s growing your business, communicating with your staff, organizing events, or other priorities.
  3. What you offer (products vs. services).
  4. How frequently customers engage with your organization, including seasonal trends and whether they buy from you weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

The rest of this article will walk you through how to decide how often to text if our quick-and-easy business texting cadence doesn’t make sense for your organization.

Sample send cadences and ratios by contact engagement

Check out these helpful texting schedules if the weekly cadence doesn’t fit your needs.

Biweekly

For businesses with customers who typically buy every other week, we suggest the following:

One prize text and one teaching or amusement text every other week (on non-consecutive days). Alternate teaching and amusement texts.

Example: Send a promo code on Monday and a how-to vlog on Thursday.

Types of businesses that may fit this use case: Apparel brands, food delivery services and restaurants, e-commerce businesses

Monthly

For businesses that run mostly on monthly orders, stick to:

One prize text twice monthly (pay special attention to whether your customers buy more at certain times of the month to influence timing), with one teaching text each month.

Types of businesses that may fit this use case: Pet supply delivery brands (like Chewy), salons, regular product renewal brands

Quarterly

While brainstorming this article, Dani Henion made the following comment about businesses that provide quarterly orders or services:

If I’m only buying from someone a few times a year, I don’t want to hear from them much more often than that.
Dani Henion

Dani Henion

Content Lead at SimpleTexting

So, with that in mind, we suggest the following texting schedule for businesses with quarterly buying cycles:

Send one reminder that your services may be needed soon and a special offer on those services a week or two before you want your customers to book with you.

If that sounds confusing or tough to keep track of, integrate your appointment software with your texting platform to trigger these texts a set amount of time after each customer’s last appointment. This is what Fargo Moorhead Chiropractic does to re-engage clients 30 days after their last appointments (I know that’s a monthly example, but read the article where we break down FM Chiropractic’s approach to learn more).

Types of businesses that may fit this use case: Pest control companies, mechanics, doctor’s offices.

Seasonally

This is a similar setup to a quarterly cadence, but it’s based on specific seasons rather than how much time has passed.

For seasonal businesses, send one prize text as a reminder that the busy season is coming up to incentivize bookings. During the season, send one prize text per month to customers who haven’t yet bought.

Types of businesses that may fit this use case: Tax professionals, event planners, travel agents

Per diem

By this, we mean companies that throw events on their own schedule throughout the year.

This is something our marketing team specifically has a lot of experience with, so let’s look at the cadence we use.

Before events like webinars, we send out one invitation message when we schedule the event (around one month before the day). We then follow up with those who haven’t registered about one week beforehand.

Finally, we send out one more message thanking attendees for joining us and asking for feedback. We make sure this last message contains a recap and Q&A responses for extra value.

Types of businesses that may fit this use case: Any who runs events

3 things to consider as you plan your texting frequency

Hopefully, these example cadences have given you a solid starting point as you plan how often you’ll text.

We do recognize, though, that you may still want to customize those examples further for your own business. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do.

1. Figure out what you’ll send

Obviously, before you start sending, it’s important to get clear and cohesive on the content of your messages.

  • What do your customers want to receive? Use our PASTA framework for some easy categories to choose from.
    • P — Prize texts: Discount codes, exclusive offers, and early access
    • A — Accessibility texts: Instructions, reminders, and crucial details
    • S — Suggestion texts: Creative ideas, lifestyle content, inspiration
    • T — Teaching texts: Demos, tips, how-to guides, Q&As
    • A — Amusement texts: Fun content and conversation kickoffs
  • What do you want your contacts to know? 
  • What do your contacts need to know?

2. Plan your send frequency based on contact engagement levels

You’ve likely gotten the big picture from the examples above, but there are a couple of important points to iron out from there.

  • This will come down to how often your customers buy from you. 
  • Best practice: Decide on a particular day of the week you’ll text to keep your workflow simple. (e.g. “I text every other Friday at 1 p.m. in my contacts’ time zone”).
  • Refer to our research on the best times to text for inspiration.
  • It’s worth mentioning that “quiet hours” when you don’t text are more than a courtesy. They’re actually mandated by text marketing regulatory agencies. Avoid sending texts before 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your subscribers’ local time zone when possible. Segmenting your lists by location can help with this.

3. Set aside dedicated time for texting

By this, we mean set aside time in your schedule for texting. 

  • Plan times for when you’ll write and schedule your campaigns and reply to two-way messages in your inbox.
  • Best practice: A recurring time block on your calendar is an easy way to remember your set “texting time.” 
  • Review your analytics during this time to make sure subscribers are engaging with your text and unsubscribes are low.

Take the guesswork out of how often to text your customers

At SimpleTexting we like to say that texting is powerful, but you have to do it right.

A big part of that is knowing when to send your texts (and how often) for your specific audience.

Hopefully, this guide has given you the tools you need to plan out your texting strategy with confidence.
Ready to try it out? Start a free trial of SimpleTexting and send a text to yourself today to see how it works.

Lily Norton
Lily Norton

Lily is a content marketing specialist at SimpleTexting. She specializes in making helpful, entertaining video content and writing blogs that help businesses take advantage of all that texting has to offer. When she’s not writing or making TikToks, you can find Lily at roller derby practice or in a yoga studio in the Seattle area.

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