SMS marketing, also called text message marketing, is a highly effective method of engaging with customers. However, it is important to remember that there are some pitfalls to avoid when setting up an SMS blast for a large database of targeted prospects or existing customers.
Indeed, you must be aware of laws, regulations and standard etiquette in managing enterprise level customer outreach. Here are some best practices that can ensure your campaigns run smoothly and effectively.
Only send an SMS blast with permission
Consent is the first thing that you will need when setting up your list for text message marketing. Without permission, you run into the possibility of legal problems in addition to hurting your brand, and driving away prospects and your current customers.
Make sure that your SMS lists are all of the “opt in” variety. There are various ways to entice consumers to opt in for text messages. For example, you could have them text a keyword that automatically gives you consent to send them messages.
Whatever method you use to obtain consent, make sure that you keep records that show that you have permission from each person to whom you send your text messages.
Allow opting out of your SMS blast list
Make sure that all subscribers have an easy way to opt out of your text messaging list. Give them instructions that will allow them to remove themselves automatically from your lists if possible. For example, you could have them text in the keyword “unsubscribe” to opt out of your bulk messaging SMS campaign.
Limit frequency of messages
If you send too many text messages, you will eventually anger people and that will be highly counterproductive. You want to avoid any perception that you are “spamming” people with your text campaigns.
At best, you should send no more than two or three text messages a month. Maybe four messages at the most. You could also give subscribers the option of choosing how many messages they wish to receive per month. In any case, make sure that you notify them out front about the frequency of your messages.
Periodically, you can send out an SMS survey to see how your subscribers feel about the frequency of messages from your text campaign.
Let subscribers know about any possible charges
Make sure that all your subscribers realize that they can incur charges when they receive your text messages. CTIA, an international association for the wireless communications industry, requires a specific disclaimer when soliciting subscriptions for your SMS campaigns.
Only send texts during business hours
Avoid waking people up in wee hours of the morning with your text messages. You will need to pay attention to time zones when setting up your text blasts. Sending messages during business hours is also smart as it allows the recipient to act immediately on your offer in cases where your company also keeps business hours. Even if you operate 24/7, you should respect your subscribers by only sending messages at appropriate times.
Do not waste your or your customer’s time
Absolutely avoid sending frivolous messages without any value. Give your prospects and customers something that they can take action on or that they will consider useful. You do not necessarily need to sell them something with each text message. However, each message should eventually lead up to a sale by providing valuable information.
Vary your messages to include providing notifications of discounts, special offers, new products, store openings, events and other items that they will find useful. Do not send the same message repeatedly every month.