Text messages are a powerful player in the digital marketing landscape. As cell phones became mainstream, so did SMS (short messaging service) marketing; serving as a convenient communication tool between businesses and their contacts.
Not only are text messages quick and easy, but data also report shockingly high open and engagement rates. Almost 100% of people open a text message, with the vast majority of messages being opened within two to three minutes of receiving them. These statistics prove that SMS marketing is a necessary addition to the marketing scope, and it’s important that businesses grasp the basics of writing a text before hitting send.
Regardless of its place within marketing, SMS proves to be an ever-reliable form of digital communication. For a successful SMS marketing campaign, it's important to write texts that people want to open and respond to.
5 Tips for SMS Marketing Campaign Success
1. Remember your target audience
Also known as personas, your target audience is a crucial component of all digital marketing campaigns, and SMS marketing is no exception. It’s essential to write to your audience. For example, Chipotle, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, does a great job of SMS marketing by remembering who they’re talking to. Their primary audience is Millennials. This generational group has well-known affinities for purpose, people, and consistent communication.
By channeling the Millennials’ pain points, Chipotle starts by sending consistent, relevant texts that are clean and fresh like its product. They’re short and to-the-point, like their “No GMO” campaign that focused on cutting out food additives.
To take it a step further, the restaurant chain offers annual buy-one-get-one offers for teachers and nurses. This is a smart move as millennials make up almost 40% of the workforce today. With their affinity for helping people and finding purpose, these are two of the most Millennial-driven careers.
By aligning what a Millennial wants to hear and how often they want to hear it, Chipotle found a winning recipe for SMS marketing. Remember: Your audience is key.
2. Make it personal
Like a phone call, a text message from an unknown five- or six-digit number is a little off-putting. Unfortunately, that’s how most services work, and it can make your consumer feel like they’re just another number.
A simple way to make the experience feel less like “mass texting” is to personalize the text. If your forms include information like company name, product interest, or company location, leverage those to make the interaction customized. This 1:1 marketing at scale is the holy grail for many marketers.
These personal touches in automated SMS marketing help a consumer feel valued and strengthen the business-consumer relationship. The more a consumer feels valued, the more likely they are to return.
3. Keep it short
The average SMS marketing service gives you about 160 characters to work with. That’s about half a tweet.
Because of the strict character limit, it’s important to deliver information quickly and clearly. Texts are meant to be short, so use the following tips to help you write an SMS campaign:
- Include simple language.
- Avoid industry or sales jargon.
- Get to the point.
- Leave general business information out.
- Offer value. Don’t spam your consumers with unnecessary texts.
Within seconds, consumers should be able to understand why you sent them a text, how it benefits them, what the next step should be, and when or if the offer will expire.
4. Include a strong call-to-action
When we talk about next steps, we’re talking about calls-to-action (CTA). For SMS marketing, a call-to-action is different from a button at the bottom of blogs, landing pages, or websites. It’s a shortened link to a website or coupon that’s downloaded to the recipient’s smartphone or a phone number to confirm an appointment.
To get your consumers to click on these CTAs, it’s important to include strong and precise words and avoid misleading language. “Download your free coupon” or “Call to confirm your reservation” are both good examples of communicating the next steps.
5. Don’t use shorthand
This seems like a simple tip, but it’s important. If you send your consumers an SMS that says “u” instead of “you” or “l8r” instead of “later,” it devalues your brand and looks spammy. Expect the open and click rates to drop if you choose to speak unprofessionally, even in a text message.