Creating a SMS Mobile Marketing Campaign? Read This First

By Bethany Gardner

Thinking about creating a SMS or text-message based mobile marketing campaign? You should be! Mobile marketing is accelerating at a rapid pace. 90% of US adults own a cell phone, and of them, 81% use their cell phones send or receive text messages. Young people are particularly mobile savvy; Americans between the ages of 18-24 send over 60 text messages per day. And people aren’t just sending – they’re reading as well. About 98% of text messages are opened, compared to 22% of emails. Even more interestingly, 67% of cell owners check their phone regardless of whether their phone is even ringing or vibrating. For better or for worse, Americans keep their mobile devices within close reach, and if you want to reach them, you’ll need to be there, too.

However, there are certainly challenges involved with going mobile. You’ll quickly find out that this is no captive audience, and users will quickly leave your campaign if the experience you promise doesn’t meet their expectations. If you want to keep them around long enough to hear what you have to say, then try these tips for creating a winning text messaging campaign:

1. No Surprises

Have you ever clicked on a link and found that the page contained none of the information you expected? The irritation you felt is exactly what your mobile subscribers will feel if you lead them to believe they will have one experience, and instead they experience something quite different. Strong relationships are built on trust. If subscribers feel that you don’t deliver what you say you will, they won’t be subscribers for long.

2. Monologues are for Late-Night Comedians, Not Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Know that friend you have who can have a conversation all by themselves? Sometimes you wonder if they even notice that the only comment you’ve contributed in the last 30 minutes of talking has been “really” or “huh.” SMS campaigns are no different. Give your users a chance to speak back to you. The intimacy of this platform is its strength, but it can also be a weakness, as people are used to texting back and forth with an actual person. The more you can make your messages conversational, through language choice, questions, and follow-up responses, the more your audience will stay engaged.

3. Help is Not a Four Letter Word

Newsflash: people have less free time now than ever before (at least it feels that way). Thus, your audience will only give their limited attention to content that helps them in some way, whether by making them laugh, providing entertainment, or by helping them to do something better/ cheaper/ faster. No one has time to listen to a pure marketing pitch, and neither do your users- they will opt-out without even thinking twice- which leads to my next point:

4. It’s Easier to Ignore You Than To Give You My Attention

Clicked on a banner ad lately? Have you even noticed a banner ad lately? Chances are, you haven’t. It’s not that they’ve gone away, it’s just that you’ve come to expect them, and your mind now knows to ignore them. Similarly, very obvious marketing tactics in your SMS marketing campaign are not only easy to ignore, but they almost feel rude at a time where companies and organizations are so focused on providing information that the user actually wants. Your campaign should be focused on helping your users first, with only subtle, periodic references to selling.

5. Clear and Easy Call To Action

Whether you want users to visit your web page, download an app, or change their behavior in some way, make your CTAs clear and easy to understand. One hundred and sixty characters isn’t a lot of space for superfluous text, so make sure your users know exactly what you want them to do and can quickly take action.

Have your own tips on creating a mobile marketing campaign that converts? Share them in the comments section!

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