Building my business

11 SMS Best Practice Tips from Message Media

Hayley Tait Jun / 09 / 2020

woman reading a text message

SMS marketing is one of THE most powerful forms of marketing in your toolkit. The pros at Message Media (AKA Shortcuts’ fab SMS provider) say that 90% of text messages are read within 90 seconds. Heck, that’s quick!

Over the years, a lot of the channels we use to communicate have become flooded with marketing messages – from the rising tide of junk in our letterbox to our email inbox, Facebook messages and even Instagram influencer ads. The good ole’ text message on the other hand? Nope, we still largely use SMS for social communication. This makes it a marketing goldmine! Your audience are so much more receptive and attentive to a text message sent directly to them, in contrast to emails flooding their inbox.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, we’re delivering all of Message Media’s best practice tips for sending effective SMS campaigns.

Make it personal

Let’s face it , everything about your work has a personal element to it. Often your clients will dish out their deepest, darkest secrets to you while they’re  sitting in the chair, and long-term clients often become best friends! You can afford to be on a first name basis over text.

For your newer clients, using their name grabs their attention and makes them feel like you really are speaking to them (even if it was a bulk message campaign). Next time you send an SMS campaign, simply use the first name field in your message to greet the recipient by their first name.

Be a name, not a number

If possible, it’s ideal to register your business name to a dedicated number. Otherwise, your messages will come from any available phone number at the time which can look spammy to clients, and they may not want to open the message or click links.

If you decide to pass on a dedicated number, then no worries! Just make sure to mention your business name in the body of your message to establish that recognition and put your clients at ease.

Keep it short

In the 2020 world we live in, many of us have forgotten how a text message actually works (raise your hand if you’re guilty!). We may not realise it, but many of our messages now are sent using data, so it’s not technically a text message which rely on character counts.

Back in the day, we had to be super picky with what we sent over text – sending things like “how r u” to friends, to cut down that character count. One text message can only contain 160 characters. As soon as you exceed that, BAM! You’re actually sending two text messages. And if you go over 320 characters, you’re sending three text messages. See what we’re saying?

SMS are designed to be short and snappy, which is part of what makes them so effective. Message Media helps make your text message more efficient by doing a character conversion and removing what they call “junk characters” Characters that essentially take up too much space, like symbols, formatted content, and hidden characters from your message.

(Ironically, that explanation was the opposite of short).  

Clean your database

Get that database squeaky clean! The last thing you want is to send two text messages to the same person! Not only is it a waste of message spend, but you risk ticking-off your client as well. Eeek!

Message Media’s platform alongside Shortcuts helps with de-duplication, and removing invalid, inactive, or unrecognisable numbers from your send.

Save time with templates

We know how precious your time is, so SMS templates really are the best way to get your message out efficiently. Shortcuts Marketing have a heap of essential SMS templates for you to use at the most important points of a client’s experience with you. These include it’s time to see you again campaigns, happy birthday campaigns, we miss you campaigns, and no-show follow-up campaigns – just to name a few!

Click here to learn more about Shortcuts Marketing SMS templates.

Make sure your offer expires

An expiry date creates FOMO! If client’s think they have all the time in the world to claim an offer, then they’ll take as much time as they like doing so. Or even worse… Forget altogether!

Add an expiration date, please!

Tell your client what to do next

All effective marketing has a call to action (or CTA). Without it, clients won’t know where to go or what to do to claim an offer or complete a task. Classic and effective CTA’s include in your next message are:

  • Contact us
  • Call now
  • Get in touch
  • Reach out
  • Learn more
  • Click for more
  • Click here
  • Download now

You get the gist.

Shorten your links

To save on character count, use a link shortener which clips URLS down to a much more SMS friendly length. These links get shortened down to just 22 characters, so you have more room for client-converting copy. Check out Bitly – it’s one of our faves!

Schedule ahead

Schedule your messages in line with the action you want to drive. Want to remind a client they’re due for a visit? You can set up automated SMS campaigns within Shortcuts Marketing that will trigger a text message to be sent to your client at these crucial times.

Follow the rules

As with any marketing, there are a few rules you need to follow. If you want to send a bulk SMS campaign to your customer base, keep in mind that the recipients must have opted in to receive marketing updates from you.

Your SMS should also include a way for the person to opt-out of communication if they no longer wish to receive marketing SMS’s from you. Shortcuts Marketing automatically adds an opt-out to the end of your SMS messages so you’re always obeying the rules 😉.

Track and monitor your results

There’s no point in sending out offers and promotions  if you can’t track results and where they came from!

Make sure to make any links included in your text messages trackable. You’ll quickly learn what converts and what you may need to tweak. Bitly and UTM.io are some great tools to convert your plain-Jane links into trackable links.  

Use your Bundle Bonus!

Did you know that for the rest of June, we’re boosting your SMS bundle by 50%! Uh-huh – that means free SMSs just for you, lucky lil thing.

Here’s the sitch – any Shortcuts client with SMS bundles on their package will receive a supercharge to their bundle with an extra Bundle Bonus this month! Yep, the bigger the bundle, the better the bonus.

That means if you’re on a 200 message SMS bundle, you’ll have 300 SMS you can send! 500 SMS bundle becomes 750, and the 1,000 message bundle becomes a massive 1,500 SMS you can send.

You can use these bonus messages for the rest of June, and there’s absolutely nothing you need to do to! Shortcuts’ system will take care of it for you, so send away!

Click here to learn more (and happy sending!)

(Pssst – Original blog credit goes to our partner and SMS provider, Message Media. Check it out here!)


Hayley Tait
Hayley Tait

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