7 Big SMS Broadcast Mistakes
Sending an SMS broadcast is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement today and is used in virtually any indsutry including customer service teams, health clubs, retail, clubs and associations, schools, restaurants you name it and with consumers spending upward of 5 hours per day on their mobile devices there’s never been a better opportunity to grab their attention.
But there are some mistakes that can crush your SMS campaigns effectiveness that you would want to take steps to avoid.
In this article, I’ll share the 7 common mistakes and blunders that businesses and organisations make when using bulk SMS.
Mistake #1: Not Being Clear About The Offer
Often times you see an offer like “Text ‘FUN’ to 8887 and get 50% off all shoes!” which is fine if this is where the campaign begins and ends.
However, it’s not ok if your intention is to send ongoing promotions.
If the latter is your goal then it’s essential that you make it very clear on the promotion what your subscriber is signing up for so there are no unwanted surprises, for example:
“Text ‘FUN’ to 8887 and we’ll text you a coupon for 50% off all shoes!”
Then proceed to send them SMS promotions every other week.
“Text ‘FUN’ to 8887 and we’ll text you a coupon for 50% off all shoes!”
Follow up text:
Thanks, for grabbing your coupon! By the way, would you like to get more special offers like this one? Text ‘YES’ to 8887.
Once they have replied and joined your group you have their explicit consent to send them ongoing promotional offers.
In the first example, you don’t actually have permission to send ongoing promotions and consumers are becoming much more savvy to this method so best to play by the book.
In the second example, we’ve made an irresistible offer and then once they have accepted we’ve followed up with another offer that hints at them receiving more of the same, all they need to do is join your list.
This strategy will keep you clear of any legal headaches while helping you to acquire a highly engaged list of people to market to.
Mistake #2: Failing To Gain Explicit Permission To Send Offers
Right now you could find a list broker and they could give you hundreds or thousands of mobile numbers to send an SMS broadcast out to and you could make a lot of money if the offer is right.
BUT there is also a good chance that someone in that list who is sick and tired of receiving unsolicited offers who may decide to take legal steps against your company.
SMS penalties are severe and is best to avoid this strategy.
The absolute most effective way to generate long-term revenue is to build your list organically by creating irresistible SMS promotions where people opt-in to your list.
Although it’s not as fast as buying mobile numbers you’ll find that the results of much higher.
Mistake #3: Texting Your Email Or CRM List
This is something I typically hear about from companies who already have an existing database of customers (either CRM or email) and decide to start sending them broadcast SMS messages out of the blue.
While it is rare to run up against any pushback from existing customers your list may even find it a value-add to now start receiving SMS messages from you it’s important to note that you don’t have permission to SMS these people even though they are your existing clients, patients or customers.
Send them an email asking them if they would like to receive valuable information, offers, updates etc. via SMS alerts.
Mistake #4: Sending SMS Broadcasts Too Frequently
It’s often said that you need to get a person to see your marketing message at least 7 times before there is conscious recognition.
This means that marketers have been trained to aggressively push their message out there, and this method works…for marketing channels like email, social media, display ads etc.
Try using this approach with SMS and you’ll see your complaints and unsubscribes blow through the roof!
SMS doesn’t require repetition because out-of-the-box it gets incredibly high attention rates so using a high frequency strategy with the same marketing message is obviously overkill.
This also holds true for sending SMS messages in general too frequently.
The typical frequency we see to a specific customer segment is once per month, once every 12-14 days or even once per week which is pretty high but still doable depending on your product for example a restaurant will have no pushback from recipients by sending out a ‘weekly specials’ SMS.
Typically the more SMS campaigns you send the more revenue you will drive but you’ll need to find the right frequency balance for your subscribers.
If you’d like to send out more SMS promotions then it’s really a matter of positioning your offer so that it’s normal or highly beneficial to receive regular promotions on the SMS opt-in promotion for example:
Want To Receive Rare One-Time Offers?
We’ve opened the doors again for 300 people only!
Join our VIP list and get special offers 3 times per week which are not available to any of our other customers, we only accepting another 300 VIP members.
Text VIP to 8887 and wait to receive your unique VIP authorisation code.
Mistake #5: Texting From A Business Name Instead Of Mobile Number
A lot of businesses prefer to use their brand name as an identifier but it comes with a major downside. Below is an example of using your brand name as the ‘FROM” address.
Why is using your brand name not so good?
The reason why is because recipient can’t reply, including people who want to opt-out.
SMS systems cannot reply to letters (i.e. your business name) it can only reply to phone numbers.
It’s a good idea to instead use your mobile number and identify yourself inside the text message so people know who your are, what you’re offering and allowing them to opt-out if required.
Mistake #6: Texting As If You’re Talking To A Group
Some of you asked for a feature that would allow you to make cheaper calls to anywhere in the world and we have delivered.
Hi Jeff, you asked us for a feature that would allow you to make cheaper calls…and I wanted to let you know that it is now here!
In the first example my text reads as though I’m talking to a mass of people rather than a one person.
Wherever possible make the text message about the person, talk to them like it’s a real one-to-one conversation.
Text messaging is a very personal channel and so you want to make your keep your marketing as ‘native’ to that idea as possible by showing them that you’re a person texting another person with someone of value rather than a big faceless company announcing a feature to the masses.
Mistake #7: Making Irrelevant Offers
In the text message below I’m sending an SMS marketing promotion to a group of women who are interested in losing weight.
Hi Jan, ready to pack on some muscle this summer? We’ve got a special 50% our testosterone booster 5000 to get you started! Use this code at checkout: GETMASSIVE – OPT-OUT reply STOP45654
Hi Jan, seen this and thought you might be keen. We’re offering 50% off our Women’s Metabolic Booster Tea. Use this code at checkout: SLIM50 – OPT-OUT reply STOP45654
The first text is obviously off-point and of little value to Jan and if she continues to receive these kinds of offers is likely to opt-out of the list.
Make sure that you segment your customers into the correct groups so that when you send a promotion it is laser targeted and speaks directly to their goals.
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