Don’t make these bulk SMS mistakesTopic: How-to guides
15 August 2022
If you’ve clicked on this article, it’s safe to say that you’re thinking about using bulk SMS to reach your target audience.
(Great call. As it happens, we’re huge fans of bulk SMS too.)
Bulk SMS is an incredibly versatile tool that enables brands to contact huge audiences while also maintaining efficiency and personalisation.
This can help companies of all shapes and sizes to set up more effective communications, whether they’re sharing business information or looking to drive action.
However, while bulk SMS can achieve exceptional results, it still needs to be managed correctly. Many companies make costly SMS errors that can lead to reduced engagement, fewer conversions, and wasted budgets.
SMS feels inherently more intimate than other mass-marketing channels.
If you can make bulk SMS work for your business, you can forge a stronger connection with your entire customer base. If you get it wrong, you can irritate and frustrate every single member of your audience.
Before you rush off to fire up a bulk SMS campaign, let’s take a look at how you can avoid these common pitfalls, maximise the effectiveness of your communications, and add genuine value to the lives of your customers and prospects.
What is bulk SMS?
Bulk SMS is a tool that enables businesses to quickly deliver hundreds (or thousands) of messages to their target audience.
These bulk messages are fully-automated, meaning you don’t need to spend time on tedious campaign setup or repetitive message creation.
Once you’ve imported your contact list, crafted your SMS templates, and scheduled your messages, you’ll be ready to launch a bulk campaign.
Bulk SMS is ideal for companies looking to move from small-scale messaging to automated, wide-reaching communications.
The tool is perfect for delivering a range of business messages, from product advertisements to special offers and customer notifications.
Bulk SMS can also be personalised using dynamic templates and scheduled for specific times, so you can send the right message, to the right customer, at the right moment.
Plus, the customer journey doesn’t need to finish once an SMS has been opened.
You can also set up intuitive SMS landing pages that maintain customer interest and drive action. These landing pages can contain rich visual assets to capture attention, trackable links to improve campaign measurement, and dynamic fields to enhance personalisation.
What are the most common bulk SMS mistakes?
Bulk SMS has the potential to generate jaw-dropping results for your business.
However, although bulk messaging is fairly simple to set up, it takes planning and preparation to master.
Small, basic mistakes can have a big, negative impact on your SMS performance.
Sure, you can rush the process and launch half-baked communications – but it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
If you want to launch ridiculously efficient bulk SMS that captures customer attention and drives tangible results, you’ll need to stick to best practices and avoid these common errors.
1. Bad audience segmentation
Bulk SMS campaigns can instantly connect your business with a massive audience.
But it’s important to remember that your SMS messages are reaching real people – you need to think about engaging individuals, not numbers in a contact list.
When a user checks their mobile phone and opens a message from your brand, they want to read something that feels targeted and relevant – not an off-the-shelf template that’s quickly deleted and forgotten.
To produce relevant messages that make an impact, consider the types of customers that you’re messaging:
- What is the demographic of this audience?
- What are their specific pain points and challenges?
- What action do you want them to take after reading your message?
Clearly-defined audience segmentation is also key to improving the relevance and efficiency of mass SMS communication.
You need to identify the different audience segments that make up your total customer base and tailor your messaging to these unique groups.
If you’re scratching your head about how to start segmenting your audience, below is a list of common segmentation types from GWI:
“Demographic: These describe the outward-facing attributes of a person. For example, their age, gender or marital status.
Behavioural: These tell you the actions they take. This could be their online shopping habits, the social media sites they visit or what devices they use.
Psychographic or attitudinal: These give you clues into their wider perceptions, interests and mindsets. For example, why they like or dislike certain brands, why they enjoy certain movie genres, their lifestyle choices or values.
Geographics: These explain where your target market is located. This can be as expansive or narrow as you like, from continent to zip code.”
Remember – not every business update, special offer and product launch will appeal to every single recipient, so think carefully about your target audience when using bulk SMS.
2. Forgetting that SMS is personal
Unfortunately, many businesses often equate ‘bulk messaging’ with ‘generic messaging’.
This can spell disaster for your SMS communications.
A generic SMS template sticks out like a sore thumb to consumers. If you haven’t made an effort to tailor the message to the individual, your business can be perceived as uninteresting, unprofessional, and just downright lazy.
The more relevant an SMS message feels the more likely customers are to engage with it.
In fact, research shows that more than 54% of consumers said that they would be more likely to purchase products from a company if they received a personalised SMS message from them.
Don’t panic – this doesn’t mean handwriting letters to every individual in your contact list.
Personalisation can be as simple as using dynamic templates to include a first name or sending an SMS that’s triggered by a specific event (e.g. a birthday or customer anniversary).
3. Sending the right message (at the wrong time)
When you’re trying to set up successful bulk SMS, it’s easy to obsess over what you’re sending and who you’re sending it to.
And don’t get us wrong – your SMS content and target audience are both super important.
But one element of bulk SMS is criminally overlooked by many businesses, and that’s when you’re sending a new message.
The timing of your bulk SMS can have a major impact on the visibility and success of your communications.
Think carefully about the timing of your SMS – when are your audience most likely to engage with a message? Is the content relevant and useful at the time of arrival?
For example, if the vast majority of your audience tends to visit your website on the weekend, it might not be the best idea to send a discount code in the middle of the week.
This is why paying close attention to the performance of your messages is vital. Over time, you’ll be able to gather some valuable learnings that can inform the timing of future campaigns.
It’s also wise to avoid oversaturating customers with excessive messages, so make sure that your bulk SMS campaigns are sent at tactical moments to maximise their impact.
A great example of tactical SMS timing comes in the form of geofencing.
By setting up geo-targeting around a physical store, you can immediately contact nearby prospects with an irresistible flash sale or discount. Your SMS appears in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time, and that’s a surefire way to capture new customers.
4. Your CTAs are MIA
You don’t have a huge amount of room for content when it comes to SMS, so you need to make every character work as hard as possible.
If you’re designing a new message template, it’s crucial that you include a strong, clear, and compelling CTA.
Since you’re working with limited space, the CTA plays a critical role in highlighting the purpose of your message. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to encourage your audience to confirm an appointment, subscribe to a newsletter, or purchase a product.
The CTA is the key to success.
Even the most strategically-timed and accurately-targeted SMS campaign will struggle to deliver results if you’ve failed to drive your desired action.
Keep your CTA short and sweet, focus on the single response that you’d like to achieve, and you’ll be on the right track.
5. Taking on bulk SMS solo
Without the support of a professional service provider, businesses can often struggle to launch effective SMS campaigns.
Precious resources can be wasted on sending ineffective messages, reaching irrelevant customers, and running inefficient communications.
Sometimes a helping hand can make a world of difference.
A business communication expert, well-versed in the art of bulk SMS, can optimise your messaging to achieve maximum impact with minimal stress.
SMS professionals can help you to import your customer data, segment your contact lists, and deliver speedy and reliable mobile communications that generate mind-blowing results.
If you’re interested in working alongside an award-winning business communications service provider, why not get in touch with Esendex today?
Our bulk SMS experts can help your business to harness the awesome power of mass messaging.