6 Ways to make your business SMS messages more engaging

Topic: Marketing, Retail, Utilities

As technology evolves, consumers’ daily lives become busier, and new products and services hit the market, the platforms people use to engage with their favourite brands continue to change. UK consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day.

Email has been established for more than four decades, and has become the stalwart of many businesses’ communication strategies. However, inboxes are becoming increasingly noisy as 247 billion emails are sent every day. This equates to one email every 0.00000035 seconds.

As marketers work tirelessly to hit the top of their customers’ inboxes or grab the attention of the relevant audience, it’s imperative to employ multiple channels to maximise brand exposure. There are 897 million mobile email users worldwide. Yet, SMS a mobile native messaging platform remains underused and often overlooked for many businesses trying to get their message heard.

Why should SMS be part of your business communications strategy?

sms message

Email marketing has an open rate of 95%, compared to just 21% from email and 75% for traditional channels like direct mail.

It’s available on any mobile device. Unlike email, SMS doesn’t rely on a smartphone for mobile access. As of 2019, there were 80.97 million mobile subscriptions in the UK.

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It’s low cost and easy to implement. SMS doesn’t require any special software, hardware, or prior experience. Start sending from day one!

As with any marketing channel, the competition is fierce. Consumers are numb to marketing messages, and therefore getting their attention is more challenging than ever. To achieve effective, engaging, and impactful marketing campaigns, here are six tips for creating templates your customers can’t ignore:

1. Keep messages personal 

Business SMS doesn’t need to feel like mass marketing. Dynamic fields make it easier for brands to customise fields such as name, date, or location without additional admin work. 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and relevant recommendations.

  • Including your customers’ names lets them know your message was intended for them.
  • If you’re running product-specific campaigns, it helps to include information on recent activity (such as purchase, subscription, or attendance at an event). 47% of consumers check Amazon if the brand they’re shopping with doesn’t provide relevant product suggestions.
  • Referencing a customer’s location further improves the relevance of the message.
2. Clear value, with clear action

The key to success on any marketing platform is creating value for your intended audience. Businesses must think about why the recipient would be interested in their message and what the intended action is off the back of it. Compared with other channels, SMS Marketing is much more impactful. The ideal length of a single SMS message is just 160 characters. While SMS offers the option to link through to a landing page, web page, or PDF, your message must be compelling enough for your target audience to click the link.

  • Segment your lists to ensure campaigns are targeted. Delivering the relevant information to the right audience not only helps stay personal but will drastically increase engagement.
  • Don’t repeat yourself. If you’re sending a multi-stage campaign, try to ensure your messages and offers are differentiated, so the campaign doesn’t become stagnant.
3. Understand what your customers really want

SMS Surveys are one of the most effective ways to get feedback from your customers. Compared to other channels, SMS has a 209% better response rate for customer surveys. Combine YES/NO, Free text, and Net Promoter Score questions to gain actionable insights on improving your products and services. Customer experience is arguably the most influential driver behind loyalty. Despite this, one in three businesses has never collected feedback from their customers.

  • Don’t guess what your customers want. Short SMS Surveys offer a non-intrusive way for customers to provide valuable feedback at a time that suits them.
  • Request feedback at an appropriate time in the journey. Scheduling your surveys for a time that makes sense to the customer will provide a more accurate response. For example, don’t ask for a product review one day after purchase.
4. Incorporate your branding 

Keeping your brand front of mind across your customers and prospects requires regular and consistent touchpoints. Research shows that 16 million text messages are sent across the globe every minute, which means your brand must be instantly recognisable. 

  • Send your message from a custom sender ID, rather than a generic number.
  • Use message templates to ensure consistency in appearance and tone of voice.
  • Link to branded and mobile optimised landing pages.
5. Set the right tone

Depending on your industry, customers, and product, your brand’s tone of voice may differ from colloquial and conversational to formal and professional. Maintaining a consistent tone in your text messages is important, so that your customers are sure the message has come from you and isn’t spam. The nature of SMS means that messages must be short and compelling, if you’re a B2C brand with a fun and friendly tone of voice, using abbreviations or ‘text speak’ will help keep messages short. However, businesses with a formal tone of voice will need to think carefully about how they structure their message.

  • When using abbreviations, try to stick to common abbreviations that your customers will instantly understand.
  • Don’t over-dress your message with unnecessary adjectives. Keep it to the point, and remember to make your value clear.
6. Use data to drive your strategy

With any marketing campaign, it’s essential to define your goals and objectives as part of your strategy. Having defined goals helps keep your messages consistent, on-brand, and aligned with your overall strategy. A content plan and calendar can also help achieve this. A content calendar helps keep messages aligned and ensures timing is consistent so your customers know when they can expect to hear from you and that you’re talking to your customers frequently.

  • Create a content calendar to track when your messages are going out and ensure you’re speaking to your customers regularly.
  • Keep an eye on your engagement and make tweaks when things look like there’s room for improvement, don’t let campaigns stagnant. Rewording a CTA could substantially improve conversions.

Whether you’re already using SMS or you’re thinking of implementing it into your business for the first time, we have a wealth of helpful information and guides on how to get the most from your business SMS campaigns. To find out how we can help you accelerate business growth and improve communication with your customers, speak to one of our experts today on 0808 503 3490 or at sales@esendex.com for more information.

Author Avatar
James Bosley

I'm James, Marketing Manager for the UK and Ireland at Esendex. I have experience in creating technical, informative, and educational content across a range of industries. I'm passionate about helping brands build better relationships with their customers through effective and engaging communication. I hope you find our blog helpful, and feedback is always welcome!