Natalie Ustymenko

Head of Direct Marketing

20 Tips for Efficient SMS Campaign. Blog about email marketing eSputnik

20 Tips for an Efficient SMS Campaign

Smartphone is a key device for many users today. Despite its small size it has everything you might need: clock, calculator, organizer, mail, etc. Therefore, it really annoys when your favorite mobile gets an endless stream of advertising messages.

It is great when SMS campaign makes someone’s day, but in most of cases it is just frustrating. And this is a real problem, as the main thing is not what you write, but how it is understood by your subscribers. That is why it is of vital importance to cover all the aspects of SMS composition: content, form, segmentation, time, day of the week. Only smart SMS campaigns can meet growing expectations of your customers and provide a solid basis for communication between you and your client. We have already told you some ideas how to compose SMS campaigns and now, as a follow-up to this article, we would like to share 20 tips for its improvement.

1. Only exclusive offers

According to smartphone is used for online shopping by 15% of Ukrainians, 34% of British and 49% of Americans. Then why don’t we encourage clients with SMS campaign to make a purchase?

«Only for you! Show this SMS at our shop from 18.08 up to 21.09 and get 50% off!»

Make impression of exclusivity — send offers and information, which can’t be found in your email campaign, leaflets or on website. It's hard for customers to give their phone number for SMS campaigns, so don’t disappoint them. If they give you their number, make sure that your campaigns are useful for them.

sms with exclusive offer

2. Give your clients what they need    

We know what we want from our customers, but understanding what they want from us is no less important. According to ExactTarget's Channel Preference Study, 15% of clients want to get SMS notifications about accomplished transactions and 25% - about travelling.

But it doesn’t mean that you cannot send efficient advertising SMS campaigns. researches show that only 13% of the clients are positive about advertisements in SMS, and another 43% can agree to get advertising messages in return for free content, services, bonuses, etc. So don’t hesitate to offer your clients what they really need.

3. Don’t disturb for nothing

To avoid complaints from those who go to bed early and those who get up late, don’t send SMS before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

sms campaign from foxtrot

Some specialists recommend to send SMS after 11 a.m. So perhaps, this time will be more suitable for your clients.

4. Mind time and campaign frequency

The question «When?» is of vital importance in SMS marketing strategy: subscribers expect to get info only when they want and only what they need. Optimize sending time taking into account when clients want to see it: for example, just before or during offer in shops, tourism and restaurant business.

Be attentive about what you send to your clients. It is better not to send advertising SMS in non-working hours of your shop or restaurant, as your clients might call you to ask something.

5. Learn more about your clients

Right now you may know nothing about your clients, except phone number and subscription to your SMS campaign. To get additional info make SMS surveys or compose questionnaires in advance to collect contacts with regards to some parameters — gender, age, city, etc. Make segmentation of your audience on the basis of received info.

6. Make SMS brief and clear

It is necessary not just for economizing. Long texts on smartphones are difficult to read and understand. What is more, if your client has an old mobile he/she will need to scroll down your SMS. Also, please use abbreviations which are clear for everyone.

bad sms example

Such SMS is quite unattractive and doesn’t induce me to act. Instead it seems that sender has saved on symbols and now it looks solid and incomprehensible.

7. Make sure that triggers work properly

Do not collect phone numbers for SMS campaigns until you can send an immediate confirmation of transactions. If clients receive triggers a few weeks or months later, it will simply spoil your reputation.

Privat24 (online banking of the largest Ukrainian bank) sent a very important and urgent notification at 2 a.m. It was email with subject line: «Attempt of unauthorized access (IP address)»

Message text: «Oct 13, 2012, Sat 19:18:19 your access is blocked.». Although it was already November 5 and a lot of transactions had been done in online banking. Such messages really make nervous, and those, who haven’t paid attention to dates, start calling to Support all the time.

Triggers should work properly for your and your client’s benefit.

sms campaign from novaposhta

You agree that it’s nice to get messages like this one sent by Nova Poshta. It contains sender’s details, delivery address, current contacts of the post office, as well as documents required to get the parcel.

8. Optimize your website for mobile devices

Don’t send any links to print or to go to website if it isn’t optimized for mobiles. If clients need to type login and password, provide an option to log in with social networks, such as Facebook. It is easier for clients and gives you more information about the user.

9. Add CTA

Sometimes it isn’t enough just to give information in SMS, you should know how to induce your clients to act in a short text: how to ask them to come to your store, make an application, call back by specified telephone number, etc.

«Go to our website … for details or call us»

10. Make your text short

Don’t make your clients scroll down your endless messages. A reader gets an idea of SMS from the first few words and decides, whether to read it to the end or to delete it.

short sms example

11. Use personalization

Check names and SMS texts BEFORE sending.

12. Send SMS from recognizable Alpha-name

It is already customary that messages are mainly sent from short (service) phone numbers — сервисные.

sms example from service number

Clients get used to a short simple Alpha-name and after a while they already know who the sender is and don’t need to guess any more. Mind that figures and telephone numbers are less efficient, than easy-to-remember Alpha names. Use Alpha-names and don’t forget to add contact phone number in your message.

sms marketing example from milavitsa

13. Specify period of your offer

Never ending offers are often less efficient than limited ones. The fear of losing profit in combination with a good CTA will work much better.

good sms example from foxtrot

14. Make experiments

Change text and frequency of SMS campaigns, see which text version works better, test small details of SMS. For example, test which wording works better: «1 + 1 = 1 from 20.09 till 07.10» or «Buy two goods at the price of one from 20.09 till 07.10».

15. Initiate communication

Encourage your subscribers to communicate: to call, send SMS, give feedback etc. Check that phone number contains code and that website link directs to the right webpage and it looks proper.

sms example with contact information

16. Expand your audience

Don’t forget to update contact list. You can do it personally or offer some bonuses to your subscribers for inviting friends. 

«Marina! Happy to inform you about our new offer «Bring a friend and get 30% off for a year for the whole menu». Go to our website for more details: or call us: +38(066)-234-56-78»

17. Remind about your last cooperation

Offer your client only what he/she needs. If you have info about your client’s previous purchases or orders, use it.

18. Don’t complicate your client’s life

If you want to offer 20% discount, just make it simple. For example, «20% off in our shops! Show this SMS before paying». Clients will be thankful to you if they don’t need to search how to activate this discount on your website or how to print discount coupon, which may not be at hand at the moment.    

19. Make it possible to unsubscribe

In this case clients won’t be concerned that they will receive an endless stream of messages and it is more likely that they will give you their contact information.

You can offer at least 4 options to unsubscribe:

  1. Send SMS to a short phone number

  2. Make an application on website

  3. Make a free call

  4. Unsubscribe link in SMS

Clients should know about this possibility, even if they never use it. Choose the most convenient way to unsubscribe both for your client and you. And if you want to analyze unsubscriptions, choose variants 2 and 3.

20. Check your messages

Test SMS and check how it looks, also pay attention to sender’s name and check SMS text for mistakes or typos. Only regular testing ensures that everything works in the way you expect.  

bad sms example with typos

Once again we want to ask you not to economize on your messages by deleting spaces, typing all the text in Uppercase, using unclear abbreviations. Respect your clients and make your SMS campaigns clear and simple. The best SMS campaign offers a wide range of opportunities not just for your clients, but for you as well.

SMS campaign is a chance to be closer to your clients, it is really important to use this chance wisely. We are always ready to help you with your SMS campaigns. Register now and you will be able to increase your sales, stay in contact with your clients, and what is more, get a detailed report for analysis of campaign results. 

Be creative, find new approaches to your clients and new ways of communication. Be closer to your clients and you’ll succeed! :)

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Natalie Ustymenko

Head of Direct Marketing

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