Sending Your First Campaign

The SMS Marketing Guidebook

Excited to send out your first SMS marketing campaign? You've grown your list, familiarized yourself with how it all works, and you're finally ready to text your customers. Here's some basic beginner guidelines.

Make Sure Each Campaign Creates Value.

Before you sending out any SMS marketing campaigns, ask yourself, "Does this text create value for my subscribers?" If you're hesitant or unsure, don't send the campaign. Why? Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Would you like to receive worthless texts from a business you love? Probably not. Furthermore, these invaluable text messages may become a nuisance and cause customers to unsubscribe. It could damage your brand image. The bottom line is, make sure every text you send creates real value for customers.

Pay Attention to Frequency.

You must avoid sending your subscribers more text messages than what they expect. This can and will become annoying to your subscribers and encourage them to opt out. Think about how many texts per month you'd like to receive from your business and stick to that number. Don't ever go over the amount of touches per month that you've specified in your auto-reply. If you ever find yourself needing to break this rule, do so only on rare occasions ... and the offer you're sending out should be one heck of a deal.

Start Your Text Off With the Deal.

SMS campaigns should be short and to the point. SMS stands for "Short Messaging System." You get 160 characters to get your message across, and that's it. Your customers are busy, and probably on the run. With those two things in mind, cut right to the chase. Put your coupon, promo, or other important message out there first. It doesn't need to be cluttered with other verbiage. Your customers will appreciate it. If you have leftover space in your text, then you can have some fun if that's the type of crowd you're communicating to.

Include a Direct Call to Action.

When putting together your SMS marketing campaign, it's important to have a clear "call to action." A call to action is a request or instruction telling customers to do something. For example, one of the most popular is "show this text." If you owned a restaurant, your text might include "Show this text to get your FREE appetizer!" This lets your customer know what the next move is. It gives them a push in the right direction.

Create a Sense of Urgency.

Creating a sense of urgency within your campaigns helps you achieve the results you're looking for. Put an expiration date in the text. This inspires subscribers to take action in a timely manner. Here's a good example. "Tomorrow night at Bob's Burgers, show this text for a free drink with the purchase of one burger. Expires 2/24/13."

SMS Marketing Campaign Examples

There are different ways that you can engineer SMS marketing campaigns to be successful. Some techniques will be more effective than others. A lot will depend on your audience and the type of industry you're in. Here are some generic campaign ideas.

  • Save More - "Show this text for 50% off any entree with the purchase of one at full price! Deal expires 2/24/13."
  • Spend More - "Show this text for a $10 gift card when you spend $50 or more on Christmas gift cards this year! Deal expires 12/25/12."
  • Buy More - "Show this text for $5 off the salad bar when you purchase a featured lunch special. Expires 2/27/13."
  • Get More - "Show this text for a free ice cream cone with the purchase of 2 others. Expires 2/27/12."

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