SMS messages

SMS messages have been around for two decades but it’s only now just hitting its stride when it comes to business. According to Frost & Sullivan, millennials prefer automated text messaging over an IVR, including speech-based solutions. And 79% of companies believe customers want SMS/text support (according to ICMI). Companies are using SMS marketing campaigns because text messaging is widespread, affordable, real-time and flexible.

Anyone can execute an SMS marketing campaign, but the success of the campaign depends on rules, compliance and using the right strategy. Without a strategy, marketers may be executing campaigns completely unaware that their text message marketing tactics are causing them greater damage than good. SMS marketing campaigns requires Opt-In and Opt-out options to be given to your audience.

If you do not want to become one of those businesses that sees more customers opting out than opting in, note the following reasons people Opt-Out from SMS Marketing campaign and what can you do to increase Opt-Ins.

Why Consumers Opt-Out Of SMS Messages & Campaigns

  1. SMS Marketing Tone and Content: What you say is important, but it’s also how you say it. Make sure your message is professional, that your company is identified and that the intent is clear and easy to grasp at a glance. Don’t be too casual or use jargon or emojis that can have your message be misinterpreted.
  2. Irrelevance: Relevance is an imperative in an inbox considered by many to be a personal communication channel. Irrelevant messages will harm your relationship, rather than enhance it. Irrelevant messages result in customers opting out. If you have not provided an easy Opt-Out option, they could choose to mute the conversation which is the equivalent of sending an email to the junk folder.
  3. Too Many SMS Messages: Frequency is a careful balance. Best practices indicate 4 messages per month. Your audience may expect more or even less. Make sure to set expectations when customers opt-in (also required by compliance) and then stick to the expectations you set.
  4. Wrong timing: Sending messages at the wrong time can greatly impact opt-out rates.The Frost & Sullivan report found that the rate for opt-outs on messages sent during the week was only 1.8 percent, but that number jumped up to 5.8 percent when messages were sent out on the weekends.
  5. No Incentives: If you fail to provide incentives to customers, then you can count on them quickly opting-out. They expect some kind of offer from the brands and companies when they Opt-In for your text marketing campaign. Give them a reason to take action, learn something or be entertained; otherwise your messages become clutter they can live without.
  6. Lack of Responsiveness: Remember that texting is a two-way dialogue. Should a prospect or customer reply to your text, make sure a team member is ready to respond quickly or that an automated response is set to trigger. Consumers consider it rude when their text messages aren’t met with timely response.

The reasons above provide plenty of motivation for your prospects and customers to opt-out of your SMS marketing Campaigns. Let’s look at the flip side to the steps you can take to give customers reasons to opt-in to your text marketing campaign.

Steps To Increase SMS Marketing Campaign Opt-Ins:

  • Invite Your Customers to Text You (integrating SMS across all channels): Advertising and promoting your SMS campaign is essential for building an opt-in list. Make people aware of the value they’ll receive by including a mention in emails, promoting your campaigns on your website, and via social media. You can also offer a reward just for opting in. Customers love to receive discount coupons, free desserts, and exclusive access to new collections, for example.
  • Be Clear and Respectful: The clearer customers are on exactly what they are signing up for, the more successful your SMS campaign will be. Tell them why they should opt-in, what they’ll get, and how often they’ll hear from you. SMS opt-in promotions must follow compliance regulations and the more transparent you are in your SMS marketing campaign promotions, the more trusting consumers will be and the more willing to opt-in for the value you’ve promised.
  • Personalize Your Messages: With an advanced text messaging solution, you’ll have a full history of all your conversations. You can ask questions to profile your customers and learn more about their wants and needs. You will know what they’ve responded to in the past. Align your messages to their behavior, purchase patterns and responses to increase the performance of your SMS marketing campaigns. Give them a reason to stay.
  • Maintain Value: Make sure that every message delivers on what you promised for the program people gave their consent to participate in. If some new reason comes along to communicate with your prospects or customers, start a new campaign. Because you have their consent, you can text them to invite them to reply with a new keyword to also receive the new messages. If they don’t respond, respect their rights.
  • Humanize Your Messages: There’s a difference between marketing language and language that engages your customers. Because SMS text messaging is considered a personal exchange, make sure your messages sound human. Because of the length limitation to 160 characters, marketers often try to put too much in one message. It’s harder to write short than long. Take your time and craft a message that demonstrates empathy. This is what drives engagement and invites people to respond to your offers.

The Bottom Line

It’s just as important to be aware of what causes consumers to opt-out as to opt-in to your SMS messages and campaigns. Use these steps to proactively manage your text message marketing to expand reach and solidify a position in your target markets. These dos and don’ts for SMS marketing campaigns will help you formulate a winning strategy to drive high-performance outcomes. Given the noisy channels you’re up against, text message marketing definitely has its upsides.

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