The rise in text message (SMS) marketing by businesses is phenomenal, and the growth of this effective method of promotion shows no signs of stopping. While there is a raft of advice and statistics available about how this will grow your business, it can be quite easy to get it wrong! In order to maximise the success of your mobile messaging we have compiled a short list of common mistakes that are best avoided, mistakes which could reduce the success of your mobile campaign, or even damage the reputation of your business!
- Failure to use all available mediums and channels to promote your campaign. If your promotion consists of an inbound text marketing campaign (where you promote your keyword and short code number, prompting people to text in), ensure you ‘spread the word’ wherever possible. Without promoting your inbound campaign it will be totally ineffective. Think about all the channels your already use, these might be leaflets, newspaper/magazine adverts, business cards, radio/tv broadcasts, website, emails and social media (Facebook / twitter / Linkedin / Pinterest). Wherever you put out marketing messages about your business, you should also be putting out details of your SMS campaign.
- Not making use of the data you collect. Inbound mobile marketing campaigns will not only generate you warm leads, but will also allow you to collate mobile numbers of people who have expressed an interest in what you do (and collect email addresses if using a service such as tellmeTXT). By not retaining these details and using them for future communications you fail to maximise on the results generated from your original campaign.
- Not following up on enquiries. When someone has sent a text to your keyword and short code, they have expressed a genuine interest in what you do. Such a warm lead is the best sort of lead you can have, so make sure you follow it up. You have their mobile number (and maybe their email address), so contact them, engage with them, and try to turn that warm lead into a sale or appointment.
- Text spamming. Sending out text messages to large lists of mobile numbers is verging on spamming. Anyone receiving an unexpected commercial text message from a company they do not know, about a subject that is not relevant to them is annoying and runs the risk of alienating them. Buying or otherwise obtaining lists of mobile numbers for people that your business has no prior relationship or contact with will be largely ineffective and potentially damaging. We recommend not using untargeted bulk messaging as a means to promote your business, instead if you must send out broadcast texts, use mobile lists you have obtained legitimately, and keep your messages relevant to the people you are sending them too.
- Text Bombarding. Again, related to sending out text messages to lists of mobile numbers. Assuming you are not falling foul of the warning given in point 4, when messaging your customers, ensure you don’t overdo it. We would recommend not doing this anymore frequently than once a month.
- Lack of an opt-out. When it comes to texting people, even when it is relevant, the person in question may no longer want you to text them. You must offer them a simple and efficient way of opting out of future messages, and it must stick. There is nothing worse than opting out, only to receive more messages.
- Boring Campaigns. Whether you are texting your customers, or running an inbound campaign prompting them to text you, keep it interesting. You wouldn’t run advertising campaigns saying ‘buy my stuff’ and the same goes for mobile messaging. While an inbound campaign can be used for callbacks, or brochure distribution, by being creative and offering customers something of value that incentivises them to text will lead to a far more effective campaign.
We feel that if you avoid these 7 common mistakes, your SMS marketing will be far more effective. Tell us what you think, have you used mobile marketing and been guilty of any of these errors, or have you witnessed campaigns making these mistakes? Do let us know.