Blog/Best Practices

10 SMS Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

In this article, you’ll learn the most common text marketing mistakes and how you can correct them.

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Businesses that get SMS marketing right see incredibly high ROI. It’s why we spend so much time talking about SMS marketing best practices

You can optimize your messages in many ways: from writing texts subscribers actually want to read to better analytics and testing.

It’s also helpful to know what not to do. There are a few common SMS marketing mistakes that can stand in the way of your success.

To help you avoid them, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten mistakes that hurt your campaigns’ performance.

  1. Sending Without Consent
  2. Texting Outside of Business Hours
  3. Not Continuing the Conversation
  4. Not Staying On Brand
  5. Forgetting to Include CTA’s in Your Messages
  6. Not Shortening URLs
  7. Sending the Same Offer or Message
  8. Sending More Messages Than Expected
  9. Ignoring List Growth
  10. Being too Sales Focused

Of all the text marketing mistakes you can make, this one is the most serious. 

In accordance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), when you send SMS marketing messages, you must first secure express written consent from all your recipients. 

This means you can’t purchase phone numbers or upload a list of contacts from a CRM who haven’t expressly opted-in to receive texts from you.

If you don’t secure consent before sending a bulk message, you may expose yourself to significant legal liability.

Solution: Read our guide on the most important things you need to know about SMS compliance. You may also consider utilizing tools like SMS keywords, compliant web forms, and our Mobile Sign-Up Widget to help you obtain express consent.

Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.

2. Texting Outside Business Hours

Texting outside business hours is like receiving a call from a telemarketer right when you’re about to sit down for dinner. It’s annoying and won’t win you any goodwill.

Unless it’s contextually appropriate–think text alerts for an emergency–it’s best to keep your texts within the confines of regular business hours. For more guidance here, check out our article on the best times to send a text campaign.

Solution: Both mass text campaigns, automated autoresponders, and one-on-one inbox messages can be scheduled in advance to avoid reaching customers when they don’t want to be contacted. 

3. Not Sending a Welcome Text

If someone signs up to receive your text messages and they don’t hear from you for a week, or even several days, when you do eventually get around to texting them, they might not remember why they signed up in the first place and then unsubscribe.

Solution: Take advantage of our ability to customize your initial autoresponse sent to every new subscriber. Use this welcome text to say thanks for signing up and remind them what they signed up for. 

Thanks for joining the SimpleTexting team! Look forward to hearing from us weekly with marketing tips straight from the experts, exclusively to you, our text club members!

4. Not Staying On Brand

Texting is an intimate way to connect with your customers–it’s how people communicate with family and friends. 

Don’t be afraid to let your brand’s personality shine through in your texts so that your message doesn’t come across as awkward. The fear of fitting into a character count can often drive brands to sound robotic.

What’s most important is authenticity. If you’re a bubbly, energetic organization, make sure that comes through in your messages. On the other hand, if you’re more formal and technical, don’t feel pressure to stray from that. It’s all about meeting your customer expectations.

Solution: Check out our success stories to read about how different organizations learned to write messages that make sense for their unique audiences.

5. Forgetting to Include a Call to Action (CTA) in Your Messages

How you wrap up your message will determine whether or not your recipient takes that critical next step. 

Not including a clear CTA in each message means your subscribers are less likely to know what to do and receive value from your messages. The result is an increase in your unsubscribe rate.

Solution: The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to give people a clear idea of what you want them to do—buy this, read this, try this, and so on.

6. Not Shortening URLs

Every character counts for SMS promotional campaigns, especially if you don’t send an MMS or extended SMS and limit yourself to 160 characters. Using shortened URLs can open up valuable message real estate.

Beyond character limits, shorter links can also have a higher click-through rate since longer URLs with query strings can detract from the message and look spammy.

Solution: To include shortened links in your next SimpleTexting campaign, all you need to do is copy and paste your desired link, then press our magic “Shorten URLs” button.

7. Sending the Same Offer or Message

When someone subscribes to receive your text messages, they expect those messages to be worthwhile. So, sending a message “just because” or repeatedly sending the same offer can give your audience what we like to call “subscriber’s remorse.” 

Solution: You need to keep your text message marketing strategy fresh. You can’t resend the same texts week in, week out. Consider hosting a giveaway, running a poll on what products customers want, or expand beyond promotions entirely.

8. Sending More Messages Than Expected

While some might advise that texting “too much” is a mistake. Instead, we urge you to avoid texting more than your subscribers expect.

For example, our customer, LunkerText, sends a daily text message deal to its subscribers. No one is offended by the volume because it clearly states that it’s a daily deal service.

If someone signs up for your e-commerce store’s weekly product launches and you text them daily, chances are they’ll be annoyed because they only expected one message a week.

Solution: Make sure to be upfront with your customers about how much you plan on texting them and stick to it as best you can. 

9. Not Focusing on SMS List Growth

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to SMS is not focusing on list growth.

If you’re just starting off with SMS marketing, the first step involves acquiring subscribers to reach out to. That’s because the more mobile phone numbers you have, the more potential revenue you can generate. 

Even if you’re a seasoned text marketer, building a strong list should always be top of mind.

Solution: One of the easiest ways to grow your SMS list is to offer new subscribers something valuable, like a special deal or a coupon. Here’s an example from our customer Toroe Eyewear who gives new subscribers 10% off their first order. 

10. Being Too Sales Focused

SMS is a marketing channel we’ve seen our customers use to generate lots of sales. The problem with this is that nobody wants to communicate with someone that’s continually trying to sell them something. 

While your campaigns’ primary goal may be to generate sales, avoid being too salesy.

Solution: Your customers are human, so talk to them in a conversational, friendly tone. You should also mix up your strategy and send non-promotional content like a helpful article or a request for feedback.

The Wrap on SMS Marketing Mistakes

The great thing about SMS marketing is how simple it is to execute. Thankfully, this also means most pitfalls are easy to avoid. 

Now you know the top text marketing mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them in your own strategy.

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