The 411 on Successful SMS Marketing Campaigns

Statistics show that 85% of today’s Americans own a smartphone, with an even higher percentage — a whopping 97% — possessing a cellphone of some sort. And everyday observation tells us that, at least for most American consumers, these devices rarely leave their hand, side, pocket or purse. In fact, according to surveys, nearly 60% of Americans spend 5 or more hours per day on their smartphones.

A nearly ever-present opportunity

For marketers, the pervasive presence of these devices opens a clear window of opportunity for communicating with consumers. And the facts exhibit that this is especially true when it comes to SMS messaging/texting.

Consider these stats specifically related to consumers and text messaging:

  • SMS messaging has a 98% open rate.
  • Six in 10 consumers read texts within 5 minutes of receiving them.
  • Three in four consumers actually want to receive special offers via text.
  • According to predictions, 80% of U.S coupon redemption in 2022 will be facilitated by mobile phones.

9 tips for success with SMS marketing campaigns

Has your brand ever considered leveraging text messaging to boost its marketing and customer-communication efforts? Before you jump in (or launch your next SMS campaign), consider these nine tips for text-campaign success:

1. Obtain opt-in before sending text-marketing messages

Before you get started with any text-messaging campaign, it’s critical to ensure that every consumer on your recipient list has agreed to receive your business’s marketing messages (also known as “opting in”). The FCC has strict guidelines about obtaining consent from consumers before sending marketing messages, and in the case of commercial texts, the consent must be in written form. It’s often provided via a check box in an online form, typically during an online transaction or a newsletter sign-up.

2. Promote opt-in across all channels

To maximize the number of consumers on your recipient list — for both text and email campaigns — urge opt-ins at every point of contact with your business. This can be done across all of your brand’s communications channels, including:

  • social media, where you can add a “mobile number” field to your Facebook, Instagram and other follower sign-up pages, and include a check box that acknowledges opt-in status
  • website, where opt-in can be featured prominently, especially during the purchase process
  • point of sale, where employees can encourage opt-in during the checkout process
  • printed and mailed communications, where opt-in instructions can be printed on physical assets

3. Send exclusive offers via text

To further increase your brand’s opt-in numbers, let consumers know that those who agree to receive your marketing messages can receive news on exclusive discounts, promotions, coupons, etc. — then deliver on the promise. Such perks and savings make signing up for your text communications worthwhile for customers. And when the offers are especially attractive, they can spur consumers to spread the word about your brand’s text-messaging program, leading to more word-of-mouth sign-ups.

4. Seize the segmentation opportunity

By segmenting your SMS campaign send lists based on consumer traits and interests, your brand can create more targeted promotions — which typically result in higher conversion rates. Such segmentation can be achieved by collecting and keeping detailed customer data, which can be gathered by conducting customer surveys, asking a few questions during the opt-in process, and keeping track of customer purchases and shopping habits, among other avenues.

5. Put personalization to work

Maintaining a database of customer data can also help your brand personalize its SMS messaging. One common example here is to set up a triggered text-message campaign that sends a special offer, coupon or even freebie to customers on their birthdays. This is a sure way to make a customer’s birthday brighter — and to boost his or her recognition of and loyalty to your brand.

6. Take timing into account

First and foremost, don’t send marketing-related texts too early in the morning or too late at night, as either can serve to annoy and even anger recipients. The acceptable window for commercial texts is generally considered to be between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Further, as mentioned in the opening of this article, 60% of consumers read their texts within 5 minutes of receiving them. As such, SMS messaging offers an immediacy that most other forms of consumer communication simply can’t rival. This makes it a great platform for spurring impulsive action among consumers. Is your brand running a one-day special? Text consumers about it that morning. Hosting a special event on Friday night? Send announcements or reminders via text on Friday afternoon. Where other communications platforms work better for providing notice farther in advance, texts are often better employed for spur-of-the-moment messaging.

7. Employ SMS for reminders and confirmations

The immediacy of SMS messaging also makes it a great avenue for sending timely communications such as appointment reminders, billing reminders and booking confirmations. In fact, according to surveys, over 60% of consumers say that appointment reminders are the most valuable type of texts they receive from businesses. And statistics show that implementing SMS appointment reminders can reduce missed appointments by more than 25%.

8. Get to the point quickly

One of the most important things to know about how to run an SMS campaign is that text messaging is not the place for long-winded communications. Rather, when sending a brand-focused text message to consumers, be sure to keep things short and sweet. It’s best to communicate clearly and to shoot for keeping your messages to 200 characters or fewer. If you have more details to convey, use the text message to capture readers’ attention, then refer them to a web page or another longer-form resource with additional information.

9. Make your messaging actionable

As with any other form of consumer communications, including a call to action in your campaign text messages is critical to spurring recipients to take the action your business is seeking of them. Whatever the goal of any particular SMS marketing campaign message may be — whether it’s to spur a website visit, a customer call, a quote request or an immediate purchase — stating it clearly will deliver more customer engagement and added campaign success.

Could some expert assistance help your brand hit the mark with its next text-marketing campaign? (Or could you use some professional assistance setting up and launching your first one?) The marketing pros at Brandon have the experience and know-how needed to deliver SMS campaign results — and we’re eager to help. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business grow.


Nick McNeill

Interactive Director

Nick uses his talents in computer science and graphic design to grow the online presence of brands such as Santee Cooper, Southern Tide, frogg toggs, Farmers Telephone Cooperative and Blue Force Gear. A serial marathon runner, his steely determination shines through every brand he grows. As lead user interface designer of the GuestDesk software suite for online hotel reservations, he watched it explode from $1 million in reservations to over $400 million annually.

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