Up to this point we’ve mainly focused on logistics, but now it’s time to get more into specifics. Like how to specifically set your texts up for success! In the following section, we’ll cover not only best practice for SMS marketing but how to utilize advanced features to diversify your abilities within the platform.
Tips For Writing The Best Text Message
At first, it may feel impossible to say everything you need to say in just 160 characters. And while we have extended messaging capabilities, you’ll find with a little practice that the art of fine-tuning your messaging down to only the essentials gives you more memorable and concise marketing messages.
To help get you started, here are some of our top writing tips for creating the perfect text message.
1. Identify The “Point” of Each Message
Not only do text messages have character limits, but they’re also not the kind of media you send to customers on a whim, like an email might be. As you remember from our compliance overview, you must give subscribers an estimated count of messages you plan to send in a month, and stick to it! This means all your texts must be well thought out, actionable, and relevant.
It’s futile to send people texts without offering them something in return. For most businesses, that means you have to send out coupons, special offers, or exclusive information. Simply asking them to go into the store doesn’t give the consumer any value. For added incentive, you can offer your customers a time-sensitive offer to drive immediate sales.
Once you’ve identified what that value item or statement is, craft your message around it. You’ll find you’re able to cut down on superfluous text by staying focused.
2. Match Your Text Voice To Your Brand Voice
The fear of fitting into a character count can often drive brands to sound a bit… robotic. It may seem like you should emulate teen “text speak” when writing the texts for your text marketing campaign, but, to most people, it seems unnatural. If your brand voice is professional, your texting language should be as well. Otherwise, the default should be conversational. If your brand is directed toward teens and young adults, then “text speak” may be warranted, but exercise caution.
To better demonstrate this subtle folly, see the examples below:
3. Don’t Bury The Lead
Similar to our first tidbit of advice, even though text messages are short, you have to grab your customer’s attention quickly. The sale, offer, or announcement should be in the first 5 words. Steer clear of clever wordplay or unnecessary words.
4. Don’t Try To Fit Too Much Information In One Text
It can be tempting to try to fit all the goings-on of your business into a single update, but it’s better to keep your messages to the point and send out additional messages if necessary. While some abbreviations are warranted, if you need to abbreviate every word to fit it all in, consider reevaluating and choosing what’s really important.
5. Try Some A/B Testing
If you have the time, you should conduct controlled tests to see what formats for texts are most effective. Split your list in half, send one half one text, and send the other half the other text. Then, compare the redemption rate for the texts to see if the difference between the rates is significant. With the ability to track links and calculate clickthrough rates, you can build out even richer data collections with each test.
If possible, conduct multiple tests over time to see if the results hold up. Consult a more complete A/B testing guide for more information.
Tips For Connecting With Your Text Audience
The content within your messages isn’t the other element of value to subscribers. When, how often, and why you’re sending text messages to them also matters a great deal. Check out some of our simple best practices you should always keep in mind before hitting (or scheduling) send.
Consider The WorkdayMost Americans follow a 9-5 workday schedule. That means 7:30am – 9:30am and 4:30pm – 6:30pm are spent in rush hour, while 9:30am to 4:30pm is spent at work. If your message is appropriate to send during work hours, 10am – 2pm is ideal. If your message is best received during leisure time, then 7pm – 9pm may be more appropriate.
Consider The Customer JourneyIf possible, consider the archetype of your customer. Are they mostly students, parents, or working professionals? After that, you can start to consider what times of the day would be best to send them updates. When do they need my product? When are they most likely to be thinking about what I sell? When you begin to answer these questions, you get a time range when you should text your subscribers.
Harmonize With Your Business CycleOnce you have a general time range, narrow it down by when you need the traffic. Remember, SMS marketing is most effective for driving immediate sales. So if you have certain days that are slow, bring in more customers by texting them that morning. That way, you can have a more steady flow of business.
Block Off Certain Hours Of The DayMost people would be really annoyed to have a text wake them up in the middle of the night. That’s why you should add a delivery window to your text marketing campaign to prevent customers from unsubscribing after a poorly timed text.
As an additional resource to all text marketers, we continually connect with SimpleTexting clients who are using the platform in unique and effective ways. Here are some stellar examples of clients who have found some of the most valuable ways to really connect with their subscribers.
Tips For Growing Your Subscriber List
It’s tough to say what the most “important” thing about text marketing is. However, if we were forced to choose something, it would be putting time and energy into securing subscribers. After all, good texts are meaningless without someone to read them!
We try to encourage every new client getting started with text marketing to focus on advertising their new program. This means sharing your text-enabled number and keywords everywhere your brand appears: table tents, flyers, social media, receipts…you get the idea!
Buy-in from employees and customers will be the ultimate catalyst for growth, and the most subscribers your acquire, the better your ROI will look.
There are a few basic but effective first steps you can take to ensure you’re building a subscriber-friendly program.