As a business owner or leader, you know that marketing is one of the most crucial aspects of running and building a venture over the years. You’ve likely utilized all manner of marketing strategies over time and have found some work for you better than others.
Have you tried SMS marketing yet, though? This is a growing and affordable field well worth testing out. However, you need to avoid some common mistakes other entrepreneurs make with their texting campaigns.
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1. Not Understanding Your Audience
One of the big errors to avoid is sending texts out without a decent understanding of your audience. To create content that resonates with recipients and gets them following through with calls to action, such as examining your products or services, signing up to attend an event, registering for a newsletter, or the like, you need to know what they’re interested in.
To provide valuable content rather than annoying your database with irrelevant messages, you should know how and when they like to shop, what problems they need solving, the benefits they want products or services to provide them, and how they want to feel during or after using your wares. It’s essential to have clarity around what your target audience most values and how what you offer in your organization ties into that.
2. Failing to Give People an Opt-Out Option
Another common issue with SMS marketing is that many firms fail to give the people on their text list an opt-out option. While consumers must give you their permission to be added to your databases in the first place, you need to let them change their minds and make it easy for them to stop receiving messages if their circumstances, needs, or interests change.
It’s best to have an unsubscribe link on your texts or to allow people to respond with a certain message that will mean they want to opt out. Alternatively, provide another phone number for them to message with their preference.
However, this option is more convoluted, and you risk annoying people if they have to do the extra step of typing in a number and creating a message rather than hitting a quick reply selection.
Also, be sure the technology platform you use to send out texts to your database is known for being accurate and up to date so that you don’t inadvertently continue to send out SMSs to people who have already unsubscribed. You don’t want to make people irate by ignoring, even if unintentionally, their wishes in this area.
3. Not Having a Strategy and Goals in Place Upfront
Don’t make the mistake of not working out your texting strategies before sending messages. Many businesses send texts to their databases in a way that can be compared to “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” rather than being clear on the goals they hope to achieve and developing a strategy to make these outcomes more likely to occur.
While you need to test and measure all your marketing campaigns, and you’ll find that some campaigns work better than others, you also need to have a plan right from the start about what you’ll do and how you’ll do it. Don’t waste time, energy, or money on just trying anything and everything until you find messages that seem to work okay.
Optimize your communications by knowing the results you’re hoping for on each one and writing messages that revolve around this.
4. Missing Out on Adding Clear Calls to Action
To get recipients doing what you want after reading your company texts, you need to give them some type of instruction or nudge in each SMS. Don’t be like some entrepreneurs who send texts out with funny or inspiring content, for example, but no accompanying prompt to help the messages achieve a specific result.
Calls to action can come in many forms but often cover things like suggesting people sign up for a newsletter or providing a link for people to click on so they can go and check out new content or wares you’ve just released.
Your call to action might be to entice people to sign up to attend an event you’re running, sponsoring, exhibiting, or speaking at, or it could be prompting them to refer your business to one of their contacts or follow you on social media.
You might even like to set up 2-way SMS services so you can get customers to reply with a confirmation of an appointment or request or give you and your team feedback on how well you’ve been servicing your clientele. Regardless of what actions you hope shoppers take after reading your messages, they’re not going to do it unless you give them a quick way of following through.
5. Getting the Timing Wrong
Be wary of getting the timing wrong for when texts get sent to your phone list. This is where knowing your target audience can really help. You need to know what people’s lifestyles and working lives are like so you can avoid sending messages when they’re most likely to be otherwise engaged, whether in meetings or dealing with rush hour at work, or trying to get young kids bathed and fed.
The information you gather on your audience should help you get a good idea of some optimum times to send SMSs out and have them read and actioned more quickly. When it comes to timing, try to time messages to arrive at a time that enables recipients to react the way you want ASAP.
For instance, if you’re having a pop-up event or running a flash sale for one day, there’s not much point in sending your messages out about these things too long before they’re available to attend or take advantage of. Furthermore, be careful not to bombard people with too many texts in one day or even one week, as overload can frustrate them and make them look for an opt-out very quickly.
Other SMS marketing mistakes to avoid are buying database lists and sending texts to consumers without their consent, not staying consistent with your brand look, feel, and voice in text messages, and being too sales-focused every time in your texts.
Be smart about how you go about your SMS marketing campaigns; you’ll increase the chances of them being a great success and mitigate your risks along the way.