13 SMS mistakes that could come back to haunt you…Topic: SMS Marketing
20 September 2023
Halloween is approaching, and while it’s a season for scares and spooks, your mobile messaging strategy shouldn’t be one of them. In the spirit of the season, we’ve conjured up a list of 13 deadly SMS mistakes that you should steer clear of.
1. Overloading your customers with messages…
Don’t send your customers into a frenzy by sending too many messages – it can lead to a surge in opt-outs and a poor brand image. Instead, keep it timely and relevant. And rather than sending messages during inopportune moments like the school run, bedtime, or important meetings, get to know your audience to time your messages perfectly.
2. Not offering clear opt-out or opt-in
When it comes to mobile marketing channels, it’s important you follow the relevant regulations. For example, if you’re launching an SMS marketing campaign, make sure you follow these best practices:
- Provide an easy way for recipients to opt out of your promotional messages.
- Obtain your recipients’ consent before you send them any messages. Here’s a handy guide on how to increase SMS opt-in rates.
- Clearly identify yourself in every message so customers know that you’re not sending them spam.
Dive deeper into the do’s and don’ts of SMS marketing here.
3. Going over 160 characters
Long-winded messages will put your recipients to sleep faster than a ghostly lullaby. Keep your messages clear and concise. Not only do shorter messages tend to have more impact, but SMS messages have only a 160 character limit. If you’re using RCS or WhatsApp, you can get away with writing longer messages (character limits are 8,000 and 4,096 respectively).
However, according to Neilson Norman Group, we have just 10 seconds to capture customer attention. So, work on crafting short, snappy copy that packs a punch!
Struggling for inspiration? We have a template library full of messages so you can just copy, paste and send!
4. Not identifying yourself in your message
Don’t let your messages be an enigma. Always clearly identify yourself as the sender. Not only is it the first step to captivating engagement, but it’s also a legal requirement.
In addition to obtaining consent, your text, RCS and WhatsApp messages must clearly indicate who you are, the fact you’re selling something and what your promotions are (along with the conditions).
5. Sending messages with spelling errors
Spellcheck should be your ghostwriter’s best friend. Sending messages with errors can cast a dark shadow on your brand’s credibility. Make sure to proofread every message you send out.
Not only this, but be careful when it comes to text talk! LOLs and BRBs have no place in mobile-based customer communication. So unless you’re certain it works for your audience and is relevant to your brand, avoid text slang wherever possible.
6. Not having a clear Call to Action
Every SMS, RCS or WhatsApp should have a clear call to action. Whether it’s trying a new service, browsing a new product range, confirming an appointment, or covering a shift, your recipients need to know what’s expected of them.
7. Not knowing your customers
If you don’t know your customers and their needs better than they know themselves, you’re not setting your campaigns up for the best chance of success. So, who are your customers and what do they want? Why do they seek your products/services or why should they seek you?
These are just a few examples of the things you should know about your customerbase, current and prospective. Speaking to your existing customers is a great approach but you should also speak to your customer-facing teams, such as sales and customer support.
8. Not tailoring messages to the individual customer
80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a personalised experience, therefore don’t be a faceless entity. Personalise your messages wherever possible. Even addressing recipients by their name can make a world of difference.
9. Messaging for no reason
If you don’t have a reason to reach out, don’t reach out. Each message should be relevant and interesting to avoid coming across as spam. In addition to transactional messages (e.g. order confirmations, appointment reminders and security alerts) and marketing notifications, stay on top of key events to always have a reason to connect with your customers.
Check out our annual marketing calendar for some inspiration.
10. Not adopting a multichannel communication strategy
Consumers are always looking for a convenient customer experience and that includes tailoring your comms strategy to their customer journey. For example, consumers typically engage with businesses over a range of devices/channels throughout their journey. So, if you’re not using a multichannel comms strategy, then you’re missing a trick.
If you are already following a multichannel strategy, make sure you’re not only offering a range of touchpoints, but also ensuring they’re connected. This means your customers will receive a consistent experience, regardless of the channel or device they engage with.
Discover more ways on improving the multichannel customer experience here.
11. Not making the most of your chosen communication channel
Being present on a range of channels not only increases your reach, but also allows you to tap into different features and functionalities. Make sure you know what makes these different channels special and how to get the most out of these features.
Here’s a brief overview of the top three messaging channels:
|Short Messaging Service, also known as SMS, is a form of text message that is sent from one device to another.||Rich Communication Service, also known as RCS, operates within your phone’s default texting app and is available on Android devices.||The world’s favourite messaging channel. There are three types – explore the differences here.|
|Send messages of up to 160 characters.||Send messages of up to 8,000 characters.||Send messages of up to 4,096 characters.|
|Doesn’t require WiFi or mobile data.||Requires WiFi or a data connection.||Requires WiFi or a data connection.|
|Send plain text messages (for a richer experience, you can send links to landing pages).||Send plain text messages or create rich messaging experiences by sending branded messages and media, interactive buttons, access read receipts, location sharing integrations and more.||Send plain text messages or create rich messaging experiences by sending branded messages and media, interactive buttons, access location sharing integrations and more. Here are some examples of messages you can send via WABP.|
There’s no one channel that is better than the other. In fact, you should use a mix of these channels to maximise your ROI. Best practice is to know what makes each channel unique/great and use this knowledge to tailor your messaging to the precise channel.
For example, SMS is easily accessible and doesn’t require a data connection, which is one of the biggest differences if you’re considering SMS vs RCS vs WhatsApp. Send your important alerts (e.g. appointment reminders, multifactor authentications and order updates) via SMS.
RCS and WhatsApp Business Platform allow you to create rich experiences, so craft messages with images, videos, interactive buttons and more to engage with your audience. WhatsApp also offers automation, so you can set up a chatbot, and end-to-end encryption, which is ideal for sending sensitive information.
12. Avoiding automation
Mobile messaging is a great channel to add to your customer service tech stack. If you find that your team are handling similar types of cases and questions, consider whether you can deploy automated messaging.
A chatbot is an excellent chance to turn some of those repetitive questions (FAQs) and customer service scripts into natural-sounding dialogue that’s delivered by a bot rather than a human agent.
13. Not working with the right messaging partner
You can read all the resources about mobile messaging strategies, but if you want to truly maximise your investment and efforts, work with a dedicated messaging partner. The right partner will be experienced in working with businesses like yours and can help you get more out of your SMS, RCS and WhatsApp messaging campaigns.
Is your SMS campaign ready to haunt and delight this Halloween?
When done right, mobile messaging channels like SMS, RCS and WhatsApp can be powerful tools to engage with your audience and drive results. So, avoid these ghoulish blunders, and you’ll keep your customers engaged and your brand image untarnished.
Interested in learning more? Explore our resources section to dive deeper into different messaging channels, best practices, comparisons, real-life applications and more.
Or, reach out to our team of experts – we’re ready to help.