Ten Tips to a Successful SMS Advertising Campaign

1. Personalise the message. People see their mobile device as very personal, so try to make your offer to them unique. If the consumer can get the same offer elsewhere it will be less effective.

2. Timing is important. People are busy these days. Very busy. Keeping up with their everyday and digital lives is hard, so make the message timely. 97% of text messages are opened within 5 seconds of them being received, so make the message something that fits in with where, when and what that person is doing.

3. Use a shortcode for responses. A shortcode in an advertising campaign has been shown to increase response rates by as much as 325% over web-based response. (Shedd Aquarium Case Study) A short term cost can be a huge long term gain when you incorporate an easy to remember short response code. For more information on using a Shortcode click here.

4. WiiFM. The consumers favourite radio station, What's In It For Me? Even messages of pure announcement need to have some element of this. Remember the four keys to consumer response; Save Me Time, Save Me Money, Entertain Me and Make It Shareable

5. Provide one simple call to action, and only one. Don’t make the response too complex, or require too much information and don’t mix the medium. Taking a user from SMS to Website dilutes the response. Ask them for five pieces of information when they get there and you will drive them away! Name and email/mobile number is more than enough to start connecting.

6. Don’t tell me what I want/need. The text message is the first step in the conversation with a new customer, take it slowly and you’ll have a greater impact. The initial SMS doesn’t need to be a hard sell. Rate & Respond is a great way to have an interactive conversation with the consumer in a forum that they regularly use to lead them to a conclusion that drives response.

7. Target your audience. Make sure that you target, but don’t over target. If you know that 50% of your customers are 18-35, remember that 50% aren’t. By focusing too deeply on the demographics you may miss the importance of the personalised targeting you need. Right time, right place, right message.

8. Mobilise your website. First things first. If you send a link in an SMS/MMS that takes someone to a website, make sure that your website optimises for mobile. A mobile optimised website isn’t a small version of everything that is on your website. Focus your mobile site as if you were the consumer, on the move, on a small screen device, and what three or four key sections would you need to get them to buy/interact/register.

9. Mobile isn’t everything. As people consume media, and life, through a dozen different touch points, marketers must be sure that they don’t plan mobile in a vacuum. As a movable digital channel, mobile can interact with all the traditional media, online, TV, Press and Radio, and the best performing campaigns use a mix that includes mobile within that.

10. Keep the message fresh. Imagine an acquaintance that sent you the exact same text message asking you to attend an event three weeks running. That’s what marketing messages can feel like when they aren’t updated, in order to have impact, you need to be different.

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