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The Dos and Don'ts of SMS Marketing
SMS Marketing Best Practices

The Dos and Don'ts of SMS Marketing

Text messaging is among the most sacred and effective communication channels today, which is why we created a list of SMS dos and don’ts to guide brands to create the best possible SMS experience for their customers. 

May 11, 2022

SMS Best Practices and Faux Pas

When you send a marketing text message to customers, it shows up next to conversations with friends and loved ones. SMS is an intimate marketing channel, which means amazing open rates and opportunities to build a community. On the flip side, brands need to be thoughtful in their outreach when using such a personal marketing channel. 

At Voyage, we understand that text messaging is amongst the most sacred and effective communication channels today. We seek to help brands foster thoughtful, authentic interactions with their customers. This focus is why we created a list of SMS dos and don’ts to guide brands to create the best possible SMS experience for their customers. 

Let’s dive in. 

DON’T: Think you’re annoying your audience by messaging them

DO: Send texts once a week 

Regular cadence is important! When you’re just getting started, it’s crucial to build brand awareness by creating multiple touchpoints to interact with your consumers. Curate a defined, consistent rhythm of texts, and your customers will begin to anticipate your offers, which drives excitement and engagement.

During busy times of the year, sending 4-8 SMS messages per month is the optimal range. Fewer than four means you’re not giving the consumer the engagement and attention they signed up for.

More than eight texts a month risks getting the dreaded label of a “spammer.” 

DON’T: Blast messages to everyone in your list, all at once

DO: Send texts during typical work hours based on their time zone

Sending a “good morning” offer at 9 a.m. EST might be fine for your East Coast audience, but it could be viewed as a disturbance for your still-slumbering West Coast subscribers. 

Be mindful of regulation quiet hours: The TCPA stipulates that text messages may only be sent between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in the time zone your recipient is in. And as a general courtesy, avoid texts very early or very late at night. Just as you do with work colleagues, keep it within normal working hours. 

🔎 Check out our full Compliance Checkup here

DON’T: Send every subscriber the same texts

DO: Segment your SMS subscribers

You probably wouldn’t send the same text messages to your grandma as you would to your best friend group chat. “No Grandma, LOL does not mean lots of love.”

When you segment your list with customer attributes and event history, you can create a more personalized experience for your customers, which translates into more conversions and better cost management. 

Some segmentation examples include: 

  • Purchase history: Has a customer bought five sweaters from your site? Send them the preview campaign for the next sweater drop, or send them recommendations for some pants that’ll go great with their recent closet additions.
  • Past purchasers vs non-purchasers: Stoke the brand love with targeted segmenting for past purchases - show them some love with Thank You messages and We Miss You’s. Drive conversions of non-purchasers with Join the Family messages and offers. 
  • Engagement rates: Segmenting by engagement rate allows you to tailor campaigns and special offers to encourage your dormant subscribers to come back to life and offer special deals to your repeat customers.
  • High-intent: Target your highest engaged subscribers with campaigns to help drive conversions. Offer up special or exclusive previews to stoke customer delight.  
  • Geographical location: Tailor your messaging based on region-specific deals, weather, seasons, events, etc.
  • Loyalty or VIP status: Recurring customers provide you the most Life-Time Value (LTV). Reward their loyalty with special offers and exclusive product/service drops.

DON’T: Get complacent with compliance

DO: Follow rules and regulations to keep your program running smoothly

Always ensure you get express written consent, clearly communicate what the customer is opting into, and offer easy opt-out options. Guidance from organizations like CTIA change frequently, so keep up to date with the latest.

DON’T: Run the same campaigns, over and over

DO: Measure your progress, tinker, and adapt

Once you’ve gotten into an SMS rhythm, it’s crucial to continuously measure what you’re doing. When things work, keep it up! If conversions are lagging, evaluate the possible factors and try to address them on the fly.

DON’T: Be generic, flat, or boring

DO: Make SMS your own

First-time shoppers become repeat customers when they connect with the brand they’re buying from. From your Modal designs to your Keywords, make sure your SMS marketing reflects what your brand is all about.

SMS Best Practices 

SMS dos and don’ts are just one of the topics we cover in our new guide—The Definitive SMS Marketing Guide. In the guide, we cover everything about SMS, from the optimal candidate for managing your program to setting up a successful acquisition channel, all the way through benchmarks, best practices, and stellar campaign examples.

To learn more about SMS best practices and more, download the Definitive SMS Marketing Guide today! 

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