Tips for Navigating SMS Marketing with an Always-On Society

31 May

SMS marketing provides numerous benefits for small businesses, including a high open rate and a high conversion rate. You can achieve such good results with text marketing thanks to two major factors

  • Over 90 percent of American adults own an SMS-enabled cell phone
  • Most people carry their phones with them at all times 

We live in a society where people check their phones hundreds of times a day. The average smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times per day! A significant portion of the population even wakes up in the middle of the night to check for messages. The always-on society offers benefits for business owners, including the ability to reach out to customers with last-minute deals and receive a positive response. 

SMS marketing

However, it also makes it tempting to respond to this always-on society with constant communication. It is important as a business that you avoid this temptation. Succumbing to the pitfalls, including texting at inconvenient times and oversaturating subscribers with messages, can quickly take a promising campaign and turn it into a bust. Following are some ways to navigate through this always-on society for a stronger SMS marketing campaign.

Set parameters

The number one way to communicate effectively in an always-on society is to set clear boundaries. You and your team need to determine parameters for your campaign that include: 

  • Appropriate frequency of messages
  • Times that are out of bounds
  • Types of approved messages 

Each company will have its own set of parameters that make sense for their clientele and business. During your initial meetings, discuss parameters with your team and determine what's best. Survey your clients and customers as well, and then monitor your text marketing program analytics. This will help you determine when your parameters work -- and when they might need to be further adjusted. How do you establish boundaries? Start with the following guidelines.

Respect the customer's time

The most important element of any successful texting campaign is respecting the customer's time.  Subscribers may wake up in the middle of the night to check messages, but that doesn't mean you should send them messages at this time. Text messaging is a disruptive medium. Most people have an alert for messages received, so they stop what they are doing to check their phone. This alert might also wake people up. Therefore, send your messages during business hours. It is also beneficial to avoid rush hour and other times that might be inconvenient for your subscribers. 

It is not just the time of day to consider; you also need to be aware of the day of the week. Some businesses will receive a better response by limiting their messages to weekdays, while other businesses may receive a good response from weekend messages. Determine whether or not your customers interact with your business on the weekend. For example, companies with business clients will probably not see much text message communication on the weekends, since customers are not at work. However, businesses that work directly with customers might see a greater response if they send weekend text messages. 

Another important element of respecting customer's time is sending messages that matter. Your messages need to be relevant and offer value to your customers; for example, offers and deals, exclusive information or reminders. Customers should feel like it is worth it to take the minute out of their day to read your text message. 

Limit the number of texts you send

Another way to respect your subscribers is to limit the number of texts that you send out. The ideal number will vary depending on your clientele, but two and four texts per month is the average. Avoid bombarding your subscribers with too many messages, as this could cause them to opt our of your campaign. 

Although you want to limit the number of texts you send, you also do not want to send out too few messages. Otherwise, people will forget about your campaign -- and possibly your company. Ask your customers how many messages they would like to receive from your business. If you are texting too often, you might start to see an increase in your opt-out rate. 

Once you've determined your ideal number of messages, stick with it. Additionally, discuss message volume and frequency in your terms and conditions so that your customers know what to expect.

Adhere to your customer's preferences 

SMS marketing

When you create a text marketing program to connect with an always-on audience, you want to be sure you follow their preferences. The best way to know what they want is to ask. Find out how many texts they wish to receive, as well as the ideal days of the week and time of day to receive them. Create a survey for subscribers or talk with them one-on-one, depending on the set up at your business.

You might find that you have a wide range of customer preferences. Luckily, it is possible to cater to them all. Simply segment your subscriber list by customer preferences. You can have a group who wants to receive a high volume of texts and another who wish to receive only one or two per month. You can also have a group who wants alerts on the weekend, and another who only wants to hear from you during business hours. The more you adhere to subscriber preferences, the stronger your campaign. 

Respect your customer's time through providing high-quality text messages sent at an appropriate time and frequency. You might have to put in some work to find the right numbers for your business, but it will be worth it in the end. Ready to take the next step? Sign up for free and get started with your campaign today.

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