Not all SMS messages are equal. Many brands habitually achieve higher response, click-through, and open rates than others. The most successful bulk SMS marketers are those who have a thorough understanding of the medium – and their audience – and know how to apply it to get results.
Follow these tips to ensure that your text message marketing efforts are a success.
What is bulk SMS marketing – a quick refresher
Bulk SMS is a service that enables sending a large number of SMS messages to a broad audience – at once. Bulk SMS marketing is efficient for all kinds of businesses because it helps achieve communication goals within a short period. It can be used to send notifications, alerts, reminders, and order status updates. Bulk SMS is still incredibly beneficial as a stand-alone channel, or as part of an omnichannel strategy.
Getting started with bulk SMS marketing
The bulk SMS process is pretty simple, even if you are new to SMS. You only need three items to get started with an SMS campaign: a list of subscribers; a marketing strategy, and an SMS messaging platform.
1. Subscriber list
Hopefully, you are already collecting a list of contacts so that you can start marketing to them. It’s important to think about who you wish to target; the old adage of quality over quantity is what matters.
- Do not automatically opt in your existing customers
- Do not scrape random phone numbers off websites.
Be aware of data protection regulations when collecting personal data for marketing purposes. Data protection laws vary depending on where your target audience is based. You’ll need to get permission from subscribers to send marketing messages to them.
2. Marketing strategy
Consider what you wish to achieve from your mobile marketing campaigns. Better customer engagement? More conversions? Greater brand loyalty? Determine your business objectives, define specific metrics – as this will guide your content strategy.
3. SMS messaging solution
The best way to use bulk SMS marketing is with a trusted online SMS platform. Your SMS provider must have partnerships with all the major mobile network operators, as this means you can benefit from competitive SMS rates and target a larger audience.
Best Practice Tips
Once you’re up and running, there are some things you can do to give your SMS campaigns every chance of being delivered, opened, and read. SMS is a powerful marketing channel when used correctly. See below for a few best practices to give your campaigns the best chance of success.
Use data insights for personalisation and targeting
Bulk messaging doesn’t mean every customer receives the same message. Segment your customers and send different messages based on demographics, or previous buying behaviour.
Keep messages concise
The shorter the better – it keeps costs under control, and your customers engaged. Compelling messages make your customers take action instead of ignoring them or worse, opting out.
- Make message copy easy to read
- Use a clear call-to-action (e.g. VIEW SPECIALS)
- Avoid overusing emojis – too many comes across as unprofessional.
Best Time to Send
There is no golden rule on the best time to send your SMS campaigns. Ultimately the choice is based on your business, but consider what type of message are you sending, and what do you want your customers to do.
- Appointment Reminders: ensure they are sent 24-48 hours in advance. This allows recipients time to respond with any cancellation. In special cases, e.g. dental appointments that are hard to reschedule, you may wish to send these out with a few days’ notice.
- Restaurant Offers: for a lunchtime special the best time to send this is be mid-morning. For larger value dinner discounts e.g. 2 for 1 special, best to send these 4-5 days in advance. Leave enough time for customers to respond and make any arrangements to encourage better response.
- Retail Outlets: For weekend sales, send out campaign messages early in the week. Works well when combined with a “last minute reminder” message on the Friday.
- Schedule your Bulk SMS campaigns with our online SMS platform.
Choose the date and time you want to send; you can either run campaigns immediately or schedule for future time period(s).
Be aware of SMS marketing rules
You do not want to annoy your audience and get your business reported to a regulatory body. To prevent this from happening, reading up on the relevant guidance from regulators.
- Get your messaging frequency right
- Don’t send bulk text messages during the ‘do not disturb hours’
- Don’t spam your subscribers with irrelevant texts
- Check your subscriber list regularly to remove any inactive numbers.
Provide an opt-out
Let your customers know how to stop receiving your messages. To unsubscribe, clients usually text a phrase such as STOP, OPT-OUT, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, or QUIT. You can include these opt-out phrases at the end of your texts.
Everyone can send and receive text messages; this simple technology doesn’t require any specific knowledge or technical know-how. This is the why bulk text messaging is still a popular communication channel to reach out and connect to customers.
Read more blogs on SMS Marketing here:
- 5 Metrics to Assess the Effectiveness of Your SMS Marketing
- SMS Campaigns – the most effective way to reach potential clients
- The Benefits of SMS Marketing