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Knowing the best practices in SMS marketing should encourage startups to use it

Monday August 27, 2018,

5 min Read

Marketing startups are often apprehensive about using SMS marketing right from the beginning. Assuming that messages can be intrusive for consumers who might get annoyed, many startups do not consider it for implementation during the initial stages of setting up business. Another reason for avoiding SMS marketing is the stringent rules in the US that govern this type of marketing. While one could argue about the merit in abstaining from using a powerful marketing tool, one thing is for sure is that they are missing out on potential business prospects. On talking to the experts at Simple Texting, a company that helps in implementing text marketing, you will know how much it could cost not to use the tool that assures 99% message opening rate. Just compare with the e-mail opening rates, and you could easily figure out the missed opportunities.

Startups eager to build their brand should not only implement SMS marketing but also learn the tricks of the trade to succeed. To understand what should be the right approach to SMS marketing to make it most effective for business, here are some tips that everyone should find useful.

Play by the rules

One thing you must know as a marketer that no matter what kind of marketing tool you use, you have to follow some laid down rules. Rules are necessary because it provides direction for developing best practices of the industry that enriches marketing. It also ensures a level playing field for all. In the absence of rules, there would be utter chaos, and therefore, there is nothing to fear about following rules unless you have some hidden motives. Once you are aware of the rules, you can prepare yourself to ensure that you do not trip over it. Those who are scared of breaking the rules are less committed to adhering to it which makes them afraid. If you are committed to adhere to TCPA regulations and learn it, staying within the law should not be a problem.

The rule is simple because the most important one is to ensure that you only communicate with people with their consent. You might have a long list of mobile numbers but to engage in some conversation, you have to make them agree first. Companies that ignore the rule will be at the receiving end of the legal system.

Keep the text simple and restrict its length

No one has the time to go through lengthy messages, and the worst thing that can happen is the people lose their patience when looking at your text message. Moreover, a text message is not like any other content that needs to be elaborate. Messages have to be short, crisp and to the mark. You have to learn how to say a lot with a few words instead of being verbose.

If you are aware of the messaging services, you should know there is a cap on the length of messages that should be not more than 160 characters. If your message is more than the limit, the mobile networks will split into pieces not exceeding 160 characters.

On exceeding the limit, the mobile network would truncate the message to maintain the ceiling, and the communication would lose its essence. Messages would become inconsistent when truncated, and even some mobile networks may not accept long messages. Therefore, remain within the limit.

Time it right

The effectiveness of any communication depends on the right timing. You should know when it is the right time to communicate without annoying consumers. Keep this in mind when you are creating your SMS marketing strategy. Although you know that consumers are likely to open every message, you should not take chances so that they take more time to open by queuing it up. You have to ensure that consumers open your messages almost immediately after you send it. If you send the message at the wrong time and there is some delay in opening, it would fail to generate interest because of the time lapse. An offer sent to consumers at the wrong time would go waste as they might not be interested in buying anything at that time.

Knowing when consumers are likely to make buying decisions and sending out messages at those times is essential. There is no point in sending messages at the wrong time as it would be a wasteful exercise.

Link CTA to a web address or mobile number

Since the purpose of marketing messages is to generate sales, it is normal that you will incorporatesome CTA (call to action) in your message. CTAs must have some meaningful links attached to it that drive consumers closer to sales. For text messages, your options of connecting CTAs to some sales generating links are quite limited as everything is text only. You have to direct consumers to the next level of the buying funnel by leading them to your website. Include your shortened URL in the text so that they can access the product directly. Alternately, mention a mobile number that they can access to help them take the step that leads to buying. Handling the responses is part of lead nurturing, and you must have dedicated persons to manage it to ensure that the leads progress towards actual conversions.

Promote SMS short codes

SMS marketing works when you integrate it with other marketing channels that you are using. Numbers are essential because higher is the number of contacts you make higher is the chances of marketing success. To make your SMS marketing campaign popular, use all marketing channels at your disposal to promote the SMS short codes. There should be mention of shortcodes across all your marketing platforms, like social media, e-mail and even any printed marketing materials that you use.

There had never been a better time to implement SMS marketing as the number of mobile phone users is swelling every year. Since messaging does not depend on the internet, its reach is much wider than any other marketing channel including social media, SEO, and e-mail marketing. 

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