According to Pew Research, 97% of people own a cellphone. These devices are their near-constant companions, residing in their pockets during the day and resting on their nightstands while they sleep. They rely on their phones to make calls, look up information, and send (and receive) messages.
We know that short messaging service (SMS) marketing is effective. After receiving a text, 60% of people check the message within five minutes. 89% of people read it within 30 minutes. Compared to email, SMS marketing boasts a 98% open rate. In other words, it can be an invaluable tool for businesses.
The good news: opt-in rates are increasing. People want to receive texts from the brands they like.
Now for the bad news: opt-out rates are also on the rise. Common reasons include:
- Receiving too many messages from one brand: You want to avoid sending too many messages too often (as well as avoid sending too few)
- Receiving too many messages from multiple brands: You’ll need to keep in mind that your customers could be (and likely are) getting messages from other businesses
- Receiving meaningless content: Everything you send should be engaging and provide value
You may now be wondering, “how often should I text my customers then?” You don’t want to bombard them, but you also don’t want to be forgotten. Here’s what you need to know.
How Often Should I Text Customers?
Your text message cadence is key. Statistics show that 91% of people are interested in signing up for text messages from brands. The question is, how often should you send those messages? 56% of consumers say they’d like to receive messages from businesses once every other week. 29% say that once a week is ideal.
The industry standard recommends two to six text blasts a month, with the ideal frequency being about one text promotion per week. Marketing research indicates that more than six messages a month begin to annoy subscribers, driving them toward opting out of your text campaigns.
Keep in mind that the industry standard is a recommendation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to SMS marketing. Your ideal texting frequency will depend on several factors, including your audience and your offers.
A good general rule is to set expectations and avoid bombarding your customers with valueless messages. When someone signs up to receive texts from you, let them know how many times a month they can expect to hear from you. That way, there are no surprises later. Every message should provide value, such as an exceptional promotion or a helpful reminder.
A couple of things to keep in mind include:
- Typical purchase frequency: Generally speaking, your text messaging cadence should resemble your customers’ behavior. In other words, a business that has customers who make several purchases a week would warrant more messages than a business whose customers only visit once or twice a month. However, if you’re looking to increase your customers’ purchasing frequency, you might consider increasing your messages and including different types of promotions.
- If business fluctuates during the year: If your business has certain times when you’re busier than others (you operate seasonally or have set sales during the year), you might want to adjust your SMS text cadence accordingly. Increase your messaging frequency during your busy times and decrease it when business is slower. Just make sure your subscribers know what to expect when they sign up.
Another tip for businesses is to avoid messages that sound overly spammy. Things like “text speak” (rly, thx, btw), marking hype, and focusing solely on the sale can quickly turn subscribers off. While you want to create a sense of urgency and a clear call to action (CTA), you don’t want to be too pushy.
Read your messages from the perspective of your customers before you send them. Your texts should sound like they’re coming from a real human on the other end of the line. Subscribers are more likely to reply to or click on your messages if they do.
Other Tips for Launching a Great SMS Strategy
In addition to the number of texts you send, you’ll also need to consider the quality of your messages. Your ideal SMS cadence should feature high-value messages at a frequency that works for your customers. Here are a few factors you to keep in mind when crafting your SMS strategy:
Know Your Persona
With so many people looking to receive texts from brands they like, you may find your customers quick to sign up for your messages. However, it won’t take much to drive them to opt-out. Be sure you know what your audience members are looking for and how often they want to receive that content. That can help you avoid sending meaningless texts they’ll ignore or delete without opening.
Some things to consider here include:
- Are your messages relevant? Are your customers looking for weekly (or even bi-weekly) deals? Or are they looking for a handful of updates or promotions a month? Did they sign up to receive specific types of SMS messages?
- Are your messages timely? Did your subscribers sign up to receive recurring texts throughout the year or only during specific times? Additionally, if you operate seasonally, you don’t want to be sending multiple messages during a month that doesn’t line up with your products or services.
- Are your messages targeting the right customer segment? Segmenting your subscribers into groups based on their interests, wants, or messaging expectations can help ensure you’re getting the right content to the right customers.
Text messages already have a higher open rate than emails (98% versus 20%). Providing relevant, high-quality, and high-value SMS messages can also net a higher response rate (45% versus 6%).
Give Subscribers What They’ve Signed Up For
Remember, your customers are trusting you with their contact information when they opt-in to receive your SMS texts; one of the last things you want to do is betray that. If you aren’t upfront and transparent about the content you’ll be sending them (or how often you’ll be sending it), they may opt-out quickly.
Not only do you need to let them know what to expect, but you need to stay consistent. If you send four to six messages a month when they’re only expecting two, your subscribers won’t stick around for long. The same goes for sending the types of promotions your subscribers didn’t request to receive.
Remember: Less Is More
No one wants their phone blown up with meaningless, over-promotional texts. Before you click “send,” ask yourself questions like:
- Am I contacting my customers too much?
- Does what I want to send offer value?
- Am I inadvertently sending repeat content?
- Will my customers even engage with this content?
If you worry that your content won’t be effective, consider streamlining your SMS schedule and only sending the most important messages.
Nail Your Text Messaging Cadence
SMS marketing is an effective way to reach and engage with your customers. It’s a simple and direct way to send promotions, special deals (i.e. seasonal events, customer birthdays, or other important dates), or reminders. What’s more, most consumers want to get text messages from their favorite brands.
However, as easy as it may be to encourage your customers to opt-in, it’s just as easy (if not more so) to drive them away. Sending messages too frequently or that are irrelevant or sound too spammy can turn people off, leading them to reply “STOP” to opt-out. You can avoid these issues by letting your customers know what to expect early on, sticking to those expectations, and only delivering high-quality, high-value content.
Aktify’s conversational AI can also help you nail your text messaging cadence and create better SMS marketing campaigns. Our conversational AI helps you not only automate your campaigns but stay in touch with your customers, address their needs, establish lasting relationships, and increase sales conversions.
Are you ready to get started? Contact Aktify to schedule your demo today.