The perfect SMS marketing campaign

Well we all know there is no such thing as perfect, however we can certainly look at how to send a pretty good one for you and also some examples of some great SMS mobile marketing campaigns.

Before we start it is important to remember that every business is different so some things may not apply to your business or may not work for your business, but most importantly remember that every customer is different. What they want, like, need and are interested in varies from one to the next but we can certainly give you some helpful pointers on what works for others and some general rules that will work across most sectors.

Know your customer
Hopefully you will have a pretty clear understanding of who your average customer is and what they like and are looking for. It can be useful to segment your audience into different categories so you can send them more specific tailored messages which they will appreciate. For example the obvious one is gender, but maybe different age ranges, interests and hobbies, married single, kids no kids etc. All this information will help you send your customer a message that will interest and connect with them more.

Who you are
This one seems obvious but we have seen many SMS messages sent without them actually clearly stating who they are. In our system you can choose your Sender ID to be whatever you like but this is the perfect place to write your business name so when they receive your message they can clearly see it is from you straight away.

Attention grabber
They say with posters and certain pieces of design that you have 3 seconds to grab the viewers attention before they walk past and carry on with their day. With a text you will usually grab their attention straight away as the phone will most often have an alert or vibration on. This needs to be followed up however and the first couple of words can be key to whether the whole message gets read. We have found that starting with capitalised one or two words works well, e.g. ‘BIG NEWS’ ‘FANTASTIC DEALS’ ‘GREAT OFFER’ etc. Or make it a question and something original that will make you stand out and the customer wanting to read on.

Message length
You can now send a message of up to 612 characters, but reams and reams of text is probably not best advised. Try to keep it short and sweet.

Call to action
Make sure you have a clear call to action in your message, work out what you want them to do and tell them. Do you want them to visit your site? Call your shop? Text back? Well tell them to do that and also give them the info they need to do it e.g. ‘Visit us online now’

This can be pretty important, and if you are sending messages to people in different countries you will need to take the time difference into account. No one will want to be woken up by your message so anything in the early hours is usually considered as a no. We have found that lunchtime between 12 – 2 works well and also the late afternoon/early evening between 4 – 7.

These are just a few general pointers that can help you write the perfect SMS marketing campaign for your business. Now let’s look at some examples that have worked well for other businesses in the past.

The phone company Orange have made such a good mobile marketing campaign that they have practically had a day named after them, ‘Orange Wednesdays’. This campaign has been running for over 6 years now in the UK and has been one of the biggest success stories in mobile marketing. If you are an Orange customer you simply text their shortcode and they will text you back with a code for a free cinema ticket on a Wednesday. This has been a huge success and has had over 14 million people text Orange to redeem the codes.

The reasoning behind choosing Wednesday was simple, it was the cinemas quietest night of the week but now all that has changed. Wednesday thanks to Orange is the busiest day of the week outside of the weekend for cinemas in the UK, even some movie premiers have been moved to Wednesdays as it represents the day that you go to the cinema to watch a film.

The crisp brand seems to know what they are doing when it comes to crisps and mobile marketing. They rolled out a massive campaign where they were giving away an i-pod every hour, all you had to do is text the code you had on your packet of crisps to the number provided.

But the reason why this was such a huge success was not just because of the prize and the simplicity of entering but they were turning their campaign into conversations.

They were texting the fortunate winners obviously, but they were also texting all the losers, on one day they texted ‘Did you know that 34% of the winners yesterday came from Barbecue Beef?’ The next day 78% of entrants were from that flavour.

This conversational interaction with their customers meant they could influence how the campaign was forming and the direction of it whilst it was in full flow. It also gave the campaign a more human personalised feel which we don’t usually tend to see from the big companies.

All this led to over 17 million entries and 7% of the UK population taking part in the campaign. Amazing results which has now seen Walkers launch several more mobile marketing campaigns to similar great responses.

Below is a summary infographic for you with an example of a message you could send if you owned a restaurant. Sign up for your free account today and see the huge benefits your business can gain from SMS marketing.