90% of people open their mobile messages within 90 seconds.
This makes SMS marketing one of the best marketing strategies because you get a higher open and response rate than email.
And if you’re running a local business, then SMS marketing is a must. You can target people that visited your shop already and gain repeat customers.
But like any form of marketing, there’s a significant learning curve, and most beginners tend to make the same mistakes.
So in this post, I’ll cover the 10 SMS marketing mistakes you’re probably making and how to avoid them.
1. Texting outside business hours
Nobody wants to receive a call from a telemarketer as they’re about to fall asleep or sit down for dinner with their family. It’s annoying and won’t win any customers. And although you’re sending an SMS, the same rule applies.
Unless it’s an emergency, stick to sending text messages between 9 AM to 5 PM.
This is easy when running a local business because all customers live in your city and follow the same time zone. But what if you cater to overseas customers who’re in entirely different time zones?
Should you manually send each text when it’s within their working hours? No, because it’s a huge hassle. Instead, use an SMS marketing tool that’ll automate the entire process and send texts when it’s appropriate for your customers.
This way, you won’t have to worry about annoying or losing customers.
2. Not welcoming customers
People might not even remember they signed up for your SMS list. And if you send an SMS without welcoming them, they’ll think it’s spam and block you.
Instead, send a personalized welcome message by using their name, saying thanks, and reminding them why they signed up in the first place. It also helps to tell first-time subscribers what they can expect in the coming weeks. For example, early access to specials, giveaways, and promotions.
However, don’t make this SMS too long. Keep it as short as possible, preferably between four to six sentences.
3. Being super formal
You want to connect with subscribers and customers when sending text messages, but you won’t do that if you’re too professional.
Let your brand image shine through when writing text messages. You don’t have to crack jokes and be witty. Simply write like you’re talking to friends. Use slang, avoid jargon, start sentences with words like “And,” “So,” and “But.”
Also, your message will be short. So you must proofread them several times to ensure you aren’t using the same words over and over. For example, if your first sentence starts with “This,” avoid starting other sentences with it again. This creates elegance, making your message easy to read.
4. Not adding an opt-out button
Receiving text messages or emails that don’t have an opt-out button is annoying. It’s also spammy because there’s no way to unsubscribe; you’ll have to block the person.
When you don’t include an unsubscribe button, you damage your company’s reputation.
Fortunately, most SMS marketing software automatically adds an opt-out option to your messages.
5. Not adding a call-to-action (CTA)
Wrapping up your message with a compelling CTA is an effective way to boost conversions. It determines whether or not subscribers take the next step.
Without a clear CTA, you increase the chance of subscribers not knowing what to do once they’ve finished reading your message.
When writing a CTA, keep these rules in mind:
- Be personal
- Create urgency and scarcity
- Use power words
- Reduce risk
- Show social proof
These all trigger people’s curiosity which gets them to take action.
But your CTA shouldn’t always ask subscribers to buy something. This comes across as salesy, and people won’t open your text. Instead, have different CTAs that encourage people to:
- Read a blog post
- Sign up for a giveaway
- Complete a survey
This way, you aren’t selling with every message.
6. Sending long URLs
Long URLs are annoying.
Every character counts in your text because it should be as short as possible. But if you have a URL that contains 50 characters, your message will just look spammy and may turn subscribers away.
To solve this problem, use a link shortening tool like Bitly or paste your URL into a piece of text. This creates clickable text, and it looks way more professional.
7. Not creating a detailed strategy
If you’re sending text messages just for the sake of sending them, your conversion rate will stay low.
Not having a detailed strategy also causes your messaging campaigns to be all over the place, leading to subscribers’ remorse.
Instead, you must have a detailed, step-by-step plan covering what you want to achieve and how you intend to do so. Some common business goals include:
- More foot traffic
- A bigger following on social media
- Increased brand awareness
- More email subscribers
- Customer feedback
Once you’ve determined your primary goals, create campaigns around them. For example, if you need customer feedback to see how you can improve, launch a campaign that gives subscribers the chance to win a prize if they fill out a survey.
Or, if you want more foot traffic, gather a list of promotions you intend to run within the next few months and send a text message to subscribers every second week. This allows you to inform them about specials while not bombarding them with texts and coming across as salesy.
By having a strategy like this in place, you can also measure how well a specific campaign is doing.
8. Not being upfront with customers
There’s no such thing as sending too many messages if your customers expect it.
For example, newsletters like The Hustle send messages every morning, but nobody minds because it’s clear when you first sign up.
Now, if someone opts in to your weekly newsletter and you message them daily, there’s a big chance they’ll unsubscribe. So before you collect phone numbers, you must be upfront with potential subscribers on how often you’re going to message them.
9. Not focusing on list growth
Your priority must be growing your list when starting out with SMS marketing because the more phone numbers you have, the more profit you can create.
However, most new SMS marketers don’t focus on growing their list enough.
You want to run ads, promote your SMS newsletter on social media, and use every platform you can to generate phone numbers. If you have a physical shop, you can even ask customers if they’d like to sign up during checkout.
10. Selling too much
SMS marketing is one of the best channels to generate revenue. However, nobody wants to be in contact with someone that’s always trying to sell something.
Instead of promoting your product or service when writing an SMS every time, consider mixing up your strategy by asking for feedback and sending helpful articles and videos.
SMS marketing is one of the most effective strategies for businesses because it allows you to generate income while building a relationship with subscribers. You can also improve customer experience by asking your list to fill out a survey or write a review.
However, you should watch out for a few mistakes when marketing via SMS. These mistakes can lower your conversion rate. But by being proactive and avoiding these issues, you put your business in the best possible position to generate revenue.
Yaseen is a personal trainer turned professional writer and he’s obsessed with everything health, fitness, and business-related. If he isn’t at the gym, you can find him playing video games or spending time with friends and family.