More than one-third of businesses are using SMS to send marketing messages — and that number continues to climb. Yet, engaging in text marketing campaigns and seeing success from those campaigns are not the same. If you want your SMS campaign to have a positive ROI, you need to pay close attention to the content of the messages you send. This guide to the anatomy of the perfect marketing text should help you and your marketing team see exceptional consumer engagement from your bulk texts.
Like Twitter, SMS services have recently done away with character limits on their messages. In the past, you might have been forced to keep your text message within 160 characters or face the indignity of sending the message across multiple texts. Today, thanks to a tech operation called concatenation, you could craft a message of almost any length and be certain that it will reach your customers undivided — but that doesn’t mean you should try to fit a white paper into your SMS campaign.
Just as you likely don’t relish the prospect of reading a paragraphs-long text message from a friend or family member, your customer does not want to devote more than a few seconds to deciphering your brand’s marketing SMS. Generally, it is a good idea to stick to the old rule of 160 characters per text, which should provide you with enough space to engage your customer with valuable information and call them to action — which is in truth all an SMS message should do, anyway.
Now that you know how much space you can work with, you can work to fill that space with value for your business and your customer. Specifically, you should fill that space with the components of an effective bulk text, which include:
The Offer. The offer provides something new and interesting to your customers. Most often, it is some kind of promotion or discount that is exclusive to members of your text service, but it might also be some kind of information that your audience might benefit from as they make their upcoming purchasing decisions.
The Deadline. You want to urge your audience to act — encourage them to acquire your products or services in the near future. Thus, you should include some sort of deadline in your message. You might put an end date on the promotion or discount you provide, or you might remind them about the interminable passage of time by bringing up the imminent beginning or end of a particular season.
The Call to Action. Arguably the most important part of your bulk text, the call to action (CTA) tells your customers how they should respond to the information you have given them. In most cases, it is appropriate to make your CTA visiting a website via a shortened link provided in your message. However, you might also encourage your audience to visit physical premises or do something else related to your offer.
Opt-out. Text communications are highly regulated by the FCC, so to keep your business safe from fines, you need to be certain that your messages are compliant with current rules. One of the most important regulations is that all SMS campaigns include a method for recipients to opt out of future communications. You should include information about your opt-out solution at the conclusion of your text.
No consumer wants to be barraged with marketing messages all day every day. Text messaging, in particular, tends to feel more intimate than other forms of communication, so when businesses send marketing messages over SMS, they could easily be received by customers as unwanted invasions, and such a negative reaction is much more likely when marketing texts come more frequently. Thus, you need to be especially careful with how you time your marketing texts.
As the medium of text marketing is relatively young, there is not much hard evidence supporting different frequencies of business SMS messaging. Some experts advocate for reaching out to your audience once per week, while others suggest waiting multiple weeks between texts. You might survey your customer audience to get better insight into the type of text message relationship they expect from your brand. Alternatively, you could separate your customer audience into multiple categories and test engagement with different message frequencies. Ultimately, you need to find the SMS frequency that works best for you.
Text message marketing has not been adopted by all businesses just yet — but it will be soon. You should try to be on the cutting edge of this communication revolution, and that means using this basic anatomy to craft your own perfect marketing SMS.