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The Dos and Don’ts of SMS Marketing

Research has shown that the average person checks his/her phone 85 times a day and spends a minimum of 5 hours on it. You are probably thinking–how possible is this? This goes to show that we are more addicted to our phones than we actually realise.People are always with their phones and this is what […]

Research has shown that the average person checks his/her phone 85 times a day and spends a minimum of 5 hours on it. You are probably thinking–how possible is this? This goes to show that we are more addicted to our phones than we actually realise.People are always with their phones and this is what makes SMS marketing a powerful and great channel for reaching customers instantly. Little wonder 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery.

SMS Marketing remains an effective tool for targeting your customers. Not only does it lead to increased traffic, more sales and better customer relationships, it also boosts customer loyalty.The fantastic side to this marketing tool is that even with all the benefits offered, it remains cheap, straightforward and easy to use. This is why a lot of businesses in the know are engaging it.

SMS Marketing when performed correctly offers great potentials for your business but if done otherwise, translates into unproductive efforts. This is why we have prepared dos and don’ts to guide you in practicing it.

The Dos of SMS Marketing:
Offer Value in Your Message
Ensure that your SMS has value attached to it. Make it worth their time and your money. This can be an update on new stock coming in, an upcoming sale or an exclusive discount code. There should always be something valuable and fascinating in your SMS.

Keep it Short and Clear

Your text should be short and straight to the point. No one wants to read a long text. The standard SMS format limit permits you 160 characters therefore, make it count by being specific and putting in the most important information -What, When, Where and Why.

Include a Call to Action
Your message should not be without a compelling call to action. What do you want them to do after they read the message? You can include your store URL, store location, contact no or inform them to forward to their friends or reply to the message to receive special offers. Examples of call to actions are: “Shop now”, Click here, Sign up, Get Started etc.

Choose the Right Time
SMS is an immediate marketing tool so use it when your audience will most likely see it and react to it. Choose a precise time close to the time for whatever campaign or event you are sending to them. Generally, Mondays are not a good time as people are usually bombarded with emails and meetings. Also, send your messages between 9am and 9pm. No one wants to receive messages at odd hours.

Build your Contacts the Right Way
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a directive to network operators to stop unsolicited SMS or calls to subscribers by June 30, 2016 or face a sanction of N5 million. Therefore, it is important you inform your customers that they would be receiving messages from you as soon as they drop their details. Instructions on how to opt-out of the service should also be included in the SMS for those that want to discontinue. You should be sending messages to people who are interested in what you have to offer and want to interact with you.

The Don’ts of SMS Marketing:
Don’t Forget To Introduce Yourself
It is expected that your business name will be stated as the sender, however this can be abbreviated if it is too long. Therefore, you should state it in the body of the text. Imagine you receive a message for exclusive sales with nothing to point you to the sender. That will be a wasteful marketing effort on the path of the sender, don’t you think?

Don’t Use Slangs or Abbreviations
You might be trying to manage space and think the right way to go is abbreviation or the use of slangs. No it is not! Instead, it is very unprofessional and can be annoying for some people. It is important you use the right words so your customers understand the message clearly.

Don’t Always Try To Sell

It is not every time you try to sell something in your text message. Sometimes, you need to approach your customers more personally by sending celebration messages such as Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas or just even providing new information on something relevant.

Don’t Forget To Proofread
Always proofread your text for errors to ensure no mistakes have been made. You should also be careful when typing certain letters next to certain characters because it can automatically change into an emoticon. Therefore, proofread your message.

Don’t feel under pressure to get it right the first time. You might not start with the perfect message straight away but these tips will definitely help and guide you.

Practice Exercise: Search your phone for the last SMS you received from a business. Go through it to identify what was done correctly and what was not. Try this for several other messages you have received. This way you will get to understand it better.

Remember, practice makes perfect!

To get Bulk SMS Packages for your business on the SME MarketHub, click here.