Retail dos and don’ts of SMS marketing

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Do this . . . don’t do that . . . a phrase we are sure you have heard over the years, and unfortunately, we are going to say it to you again. But this time we aren’t telling you off, no no no, we are helping you.

We see thousands of retail marketing messages going out every single day, the majority of these messages have brilliant and eye-catching content that get a fantastic response. There are however some messages that are not so good, these messages won’t include some key bits of information like a call to action, who the message is from or even worse not including an opt-out option. These types of messages will tend to get a low response and sometimes a negative one.

Just for you retailers, we have put together two lists, can you guess what they are . . . that’s right, a Do list and a Don’t list. These are to help you with your SMS marketing campaigns, to ensure you don’t make any mistakes now or in the future, and can send that perfect SMS messages every time.

We have added all the things retailers should be doing in their SMS marketing campaign in the Do list and all the things that retailers shouldn’t be doing in the Don’t list.

Retail SMS Marketing Dos

Do schedule – Schedule your messages for those big events; Black Friday, Christmas Sales, Valentine’s Day.

Do segment – Segment your data into different categories, meaning you can send a more targeted message.

Do include call to action – Include a call to action, be that you want the customer to call you, go to a website or pop into your store.

Do include a website – Include a web address at the end of your messages, this is like a signature in a text message. It gives the customer more confidence it is a real message from a respectable retail business and gives them the opportunity to browse your website.

Do follow up – The best way to get a good response is by sending a follow-up message to your original message. Send this out a week or two after the first message or towards the end of your sale.

Do say who you are – Ensure that either the Sender ID is set to your company name, or you include your name in the body of the text.

Do send delivery notifications – If you provide online ordering, send automated text delivery notifications to customers, these messages should include a date, time of delivery and anyway they can change it if they won’t be in during the delivery time.

Do reward your loyal customers – Reward your customers with personalised messages and offers, keep your customers happy and they will be loyal to you.

Do let people sign up – Allow people to sign up to your SMS loyalty program. Like signing up for an email newsletter, this is the same but with SMS. Allowing them to receive your special offers by SMS.

Do think about the timing of your message – Time your message with your desired outcome, there are better times in the day to send SMS than others.

Do check and test – Check your spelling and test the message by sending it to your colleagues. This is to ensure the message looks the way you want it and it can be checked for spelling by someone else.

Retail SMS Marketing Do’s

Retail SMS Marketing Don’ts

Don’t pester – Don’t bombard your customers with hundreds of messages every week – this can put off even your most loyal customers.

Don’t send to unsubscribe customers – If a customer has unsubscribed, don’t keep sending them messages, this can get you into trouble.

Don’t use slang – Yes, it is a text message, but customers don’t want to be spoken to in slang or jargon.

Don’t send without permission – If a customer has not given you’re their mobile number, you cannot send them a marketing message, this can also get you into trouble.

Don’t send infrequently – Don’t randomly send messages unexpectedly. By not contacting your customers for 3 months, then sending them 5 messages in 2 weeks, and leaving them in the dark for another month, will annoy them and may think at times you are pestering them or ignoring them.

Don’t forget your opt-out – Ensure that you add the opt-out code at the end of every marketing message.

Don’t write reams and reams of text – Keep it simple, there aren’t many times that you need to go over 2 messages. Text messages should be kept short, easy to read and allow the customer to do your required action quickly.

Retail SMS Marketing Don'ts


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