According to one recent study, the average American smartphone owner spends 162 minutes on their device each and every day. That's longer than the amount of time that they spend using desktop or laptop computers and, for many people, significantly longer than the time it takes them to travel to and from their job. This is one of the many reasons why text message marketing is so powerful - you have constant and intimate access to your core user base. Text message campaigns don't run themselves, however, and there are a large list of things that you can do wrong to stop a campaign dead in its tracks before you even realize what happened. If you're searching for ways to make your text message marketing campaigns more effective, there are five key things that you need to keep in mind.
Less is More
As a marketing platform, text message campaigns are inherently intimate - after all, users are receiving your messages on the same device that they use to tell their family members how much they love them, or to keep in contact with their parents or other relatives. When people sign up for your text messages, include a survey asking how often they think it is appropriate to receive these messages in the first place. This will give you a clear indication of how much contact is "too much" for your particular target audience.
Text messages by their nature were designed to be short - people use them to get across bursts of information quickly, which is why they're such a popular alternative in the personal lives of individuals over the phone call. Your texts need to be crafted in the same way. Don't use ten words if five will do. If you're having a sale on Wednesday at 5:00PM, that is the only thing you need to focus on in your message. Identify your business, include the address, provide the sale information and be done with it. Get in and get out.
The Call to Action
As with other marketing avenues, the call to action is hugely important in the world of text message marketing. At the end of your message you should literally tell your customer what you want them to do next - whether it's "Click Here to Receive a Coupon" or "visit our website to learn more about our upcoming sales" or "Call now for more information about this product."
The types of personal text messages that people send to one another tend to be fairly informal in nature. Slang, abbreviations and other techniques are common when a person texts her best friend or if a father sends a message to his son. This does not apply to businesses. Do not try to abbreviate something, or to throw in slang like "BRB" or "LOL" like the users do. For many people, these text messages will be the first interaction that they have with your business. If you're too informal, it may give the impression that your business isn't to be taken seriously.
Give People a Reason to Stay Subscribed to Your Text Messages
If you want your text message campaigns to be successful, you need to give people a reason to want to receive them in the first place. Only send texts with an identifiable value. You could send a text message to alert your customers when a new product that they may be interested in is released, for example. It is also appropriate to send a text message alerting people to a one-time event that you might be having in your store. The reason behind your text message always needs to be something more than just reminding your customers that your business exists. So long as you keep your messages uniquely valuable, you'll keep users engaged at the same time.