Ever since its inception in the late 1990s, SMS marketing has gained momentum and has matured. SMS marketing is not regarded anymore as an edgy and new concept of marketing implemented by some futuristic tech startups. Most organizations whether big or small have used SMS marketing and some of them have robust SMS marketing strategy as an essential and integrated part of their business’s marketing mix. SMS marketing has become almost 26 years old yet, marketers are making some potentially highly damaging and some really basic mistakes.
We understand that some SMS marketing mistakes are really minor while some others could lead to serious penalties. Companies are slapped with record fines for breaking anti-spam regulations leading to indescribable damage to both brand reputation and company goodwill. Here are a few glaring SMS marketing mistakes that you must avoid for achieving your business goals seamlessly.
Mistake: Sending Text Messages without Permission
As per huffpost.com, sending unwanted messages to prospective customers is supposed to be one of the most glaring mistakes committed by novice SMS marketers. Thanks to the regulations in place this mistake is generally not committed by organizations that firmly follow stringent rules and regulations and abide by the law. In 2013, organizations were officially asked to get consent from consumers before sending any text messages. Unsolicited SMSs were regarded as breaking that regulation.
Businesses must necessarily understand that nobody likes to get email spam. Similarly, nobody would appreciate unsolicited text messages and that is certainly not an effective way of gaining customer allegiance or boosting brand loyalty. We know that commercial SMS must necessarily gather initial opt-in consent from consumers and also, have an ‘unsubscribe’ option. However, wise marketers have realized the power and importance of permission-oriented marketing for the success of SMS marketing or even email marketing campaigns.
Penalties for breaking the rule could be quite severe. We know that in the United States under the TCPA, penalties in the case of spam SMS violations could be ranging between just $500 to almost $1,500 for every text message sent. As the stakes are pretty high, SMS marketers must ensure that they are abiding by the existing law.
Mistake: Overwhelming Your Target Audience
You may be having the permission to send text messages to some consumers but that does not give you the right to go on bombarding them with text messages all day long. Sending too many text messages to your target audience is a glaring mistake that some amateur marketers commit. Just like blasting off too many emails, when you shoot too many text messages, it would end up annoying and irritating the recipients. An astute SMS marketer would never want that.
You need to remember that SMS is certainly a robust technology which gives you instant access to your target audience who would actually read your text message. In such a situation, it is worthwhile to exercise some restraint and caution. You must send text messages when the time is right and at certain intervals so that nobody is annoyed. You must not send the same boring text message again and again. It is a good idea to vary the style and language of texts for making the target audience feel that they are actually interacting with real individuals rather than bots. Just because you are having easy access to toll-free SMS service providers, do not get overboard. Use SMS marketing judiciously to reap the maximum benefits.
Mistake: Not Optimizing Your Website for Mobile
Most text messages keep inviting prospective customers to click through to their website so that they could have access to more products and respond positively to the offer on SMS. It should be pretty obvious then that the website must be mobile-optimized to ensure perfect user experience. Often the homepage works fine on your mobile but other pages are not mobile-friendly since some pages contain huge blocks of text or over-sized images that slow down the page loading time. Before initiating an SMS marketing campaign, you must essentially do a trial run to check if the experience was good enough, if the site loading speed was great and whether you could respond easily.
Mistake: Not Segmenting Your Data
One of the best things about SMS marketing that it is quite easy to customize your offer to perfectly suit diverse audiences. Instead of sending the same SMS to all your subscribers, it is a good idea to segment your marketing data into broad types so that each and every subscriber receives a text message that would prove to be appealing to him. Segmentation would allow you to effectively split your entire target audience precisely into groups according to their needs, aspirations, and interests. Do not make the mistake of generalizing your target audience. Do not send the same text message to each and everyone on your subscription or text list. You could effectively create diverse contact lists depending on crucial factors like gender, interests, geography, and age. Focus on segmenting your data as per your segmented audience.
Mistake: Sending Confusing Text Messages
A text message must be limited to a maximum of 160 characters. You must use your words with a lot of care and caution. You have to communicate your brand message clearly within those 160 characters. You must use your sense of humor and also, create a sense of real urgency so that the recipient quickly swings into action. Avoid sending confusing messages. Remember a lot of confusion could be avoided by using jargon-free, grammatically correct English and minimizing the use of abbreviations to the extent possible.
You need to plan all your SMS marketing campaigns with a lot of care. You must remember that the truly humble and modest SMS marketing is still regarded as one of the most powerful and versatile marketing tools for marketers. Despite the fact that text messaging is a 26 years old marketing strategy, nothing could beat when it comes to generating impressive results and being responsive. However, SMS marketing must be used with a certain degree of restraint and caution. If you start sending text messages without a clear stratagem or thoughtful planning, you would end up causing major damage to your brand reputation and alienate your target audience.