Short messaging services or SMS marketing is an effective way to communicate with your leads or customers. Along with digital marketing efforts, SMS marketing has become an integral medium to promote your brand and communicate with your customers.
People usually keep their mobile phones handy and use them quite often. SMS marketing relies on your customers’ proximity to their phones and short, easy-to-digest text messages to promote your brand. Although it is an underutilized marketing channel, it is more efficient than email marketing as text messages are highly engaging, often reaching a 98% open rate.
Are you seeking to strengthen your text marketing strategy? An SMS marketing checklist with some text marketing best practices can help you get your potential customers to engage with your brand.
What Is SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing, also called text message marketing, is used to connect and interact with your customers. Text messages are different from emails. They are short and have a 160-character limit. They instantly deliver to customers and appear as a notification on their mobile phone.
SMS marketing is an immediate way to get your customer’s attention, increase your brand awareness, improve customer engagement, promote your offerings, and generate sales. It offers a unique opportunity to build and maintain a strong relationship with your customers.
SMS Marketing Checklist
Here are some important SMS marketing best practices to help you create a robust marketing strategy.
1. Get Your Customers’ Permission
Before you start with SMS marketing, you need to get your customers to give permission. For this, you can include a phone number field in your newsletter subscription form. Once you get a customer’s phone number, maintaining this permission to send SMS can be challenging. It is important that you fully disclose the type of messages you will send them.
Also, ensure that you do not overuse SMS marketing, turn off potential customers, or abuse their permission. Because text marketing campaigns are time-sensitive, schedule your text messages intermittently such that you share only essential information with recipients.
2. Keep It Short and Sweet
Apart from keeping your SMS campaigns sporadic, ensure that you limit the characters of the text message. Keep your customers’ attention spans in mind as you don’t want to bore them with lengthy messages.
Make sure your text conveys crucial information quickly. You can also personalize the text by directly addressing the recipient.
3. Create Urgency
Convey the urgency of your SMS to your customers. You can do this in the following ways:
- Lead the message with crucial information like a new update, offer, or promotion
- Use the “fear of missing out” to make them avail offers
- Add a time frame or deadline to the offer
- Include a link for more information
4. Add Value to Your Customer’s Life
SMS marketing can be successful only when you give your customers a good reason to choose your brand. To ensure this, offer something of value to your customers.
You can use this channel to inform customers about your offers, discounts, promo codes, updates, or any valuable information that will help them. However, avoid sending too many messages as it can tire out potential customers.
5. Shorten URLs Wisely
An SMS message has limited characters to convey all the information you want to send. Shortened URLs are an excellent way to make a message more concise and readable for the recipient. However, do not send links that have been shortened using public URL shorteners that are widely available, such as free TinyUrl or Bitly links. Due to the frequency with which spammers, scammers, and other bad actors use shared public URL shorteners in the United States, carrier policies prohibit their use. Instead, when sending SMS or MMS messages with shortened URLs, use a dedicated short domain owned by your company or a service that provides a unique (non-shared) domain for your URLs.
6. Use Emoticons Creatively
Customers tend to express interest and respond if your message is memorable and resonates with them. An emoticon is a quick and fun way to reflect emotions or ideas and connect with customers.
It instantly enhances the recipient’s mood, which helps distinguish your brand identity. A simple smiley face could enhance your SMS campaign if it is used creatively.
7. Don’t Forget a Call to Action
A call-to-action is a critical component of your SMS campaign. It prompts your customers to take actions like subscribe, win prizes, use promo codes, or view your link. You’ll need to create simple, concise, and clear text including the purpose of your message, a call-to-action statement, instructions, and a deadline.
8. Include Opt-out Language
Your brand won’t benefit from constantly sending messages to those who don’t want them. To ensure your customers’ compliance, give them an option to unsubscribe with each message.
Similar to email marketing campaigns, customers can be given an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can give them a number to which they can text ‘STOP’ to stop receiving messages.
9. Send Follow-up Messages
An SMS campaign works best with email marketing. Emails are useful for following up with your customers. After sending a well-timed, informative SMS campaign, email them the same information in greater detail so they get the full picture.
10. Automate with Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Although there are various SMS technologies available online, conversational AI allows you to automate your SMS campaigns and present your brand to customers when they respond to your text.
Aktify, the pioneer of sales conversational AI, offers a platform built using deep learning and natural language processing to generate conversations via SMS marketing. This conversational AI simulates human sales representatives. If a lead or customer responds to your text message, Aktify’s conversational AI intuitively responds to customers and makes decisions.
It also schedules calls or messages, delivers regular follow-up messages, and eliminates unresponsive leads from your campaign. The scheduling system works across time zones and avoids holidays while ensuring accurate delivery times.
It can also revive dead sales leads and return potential customers into the sales flow. This technology is a great addition to any SMS marketing campaign.
Get a Demo with Aktify
Conversational AI is a fast-growing technology, which may soon become the most crucial among SMS marketing best practices. It is an efficient channel to communicate with your customers, improve your sales, and reactivate stalled leads while saving time and resources.
Aktify offers you the ideal platform to improve your company’s SMS marketing, customer service, and sales experience. Aktify’s responsive and friendly conversational AI helps you stay in touch with your customers, address their needs, build long-lasting relationships, and improve sales conversions.
If you wish to explore the potential of Aktify’s conversational marketing solutions, contact us today for a demo.