Making mistakes in SMS marketing are normal – but you really need to avoid these.
Ready to add SMS to your marketing mix? Great! Of course, as with all communication channels, there are certain things to keep in mind if you want your campaign to be successful. So before you start sending SMS messages, you should think about which customers you want to send what kind of messages to. While there is no one campaign roadmap that fits every business equally, you can learn from the mistakes others have made before you. That’s why today we’re going to talk about three basic mistakes in SMS marketing that you need to avoid.
1. The dangerous one – sending SMS without permission
Many mistakes in SMS marketing that you can make are not particularly bad, but simply part of the learning process. However, this does not apply to our first mistake on this list: Sending SMS to recipients who have not explicitly agreed to receive them!
It is imperative that you thoroughly understand the legal basics before sending your first SMS. The requirements for sending SMS change depending on what you use SMS for and who your customers are. This applies not only to consents, but also, for example, to the content of your SMS and the way you manage your SMS marketing.
Failure to comply with the GDPR and the laws of other countries can be really expensive. In the US, for example, under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you can expect to be fined between $500 and $1500 per SMS if you didn’t use opt-in or continued to send messages to recipients after they opted out.
We therefore strongly recommend that you always use a double-opt-in, especially in SMS marketing, and that you thoroughly investigate the current legal situation in the recipient countries before launching your campaigns. We have summarized legal basics and an overview of international practices for you. Please note that we cannot guarantee that the data is complete or always up-to-date and that we cannot and do not provide legal advice.
2. The wasteful – sending SMS without a plan
Mobile marketing should fit into your marketing mix seamlessly. This also means that you know exactly which people you are targeting via SMS at what time and why. Your target group definition also needs to take into account why you want to reach the person via SMS in particular.
If it is only about the fast opening rate and the high reading rate, you have to pay attention to personalization, which we discuss in the third point of this post. As with the other points, you can only exploit the potential of SMS if you send messages that are personalized and, above all, relevant and wanted. If you fail to do this, it is one of the most elementary mistakes in SMS marketing.
However, before you start sending your marketing SMS, there is one more thing you should do: validate the phone numbers of your recipients. Although you will pay between 0.5 and 1 cent per number for validation, depending on the query type, this will prevent you from sending SMS to invalid numbers. Validation saves a lot of money in the long run.
In this example you can see a combination of several errors. For one, personalization is missing. Depending on the target group, it would be better to use placeholders to insert the first name of the respective recipient, for example.
It is also not apparent who sent the SMS. The number is obviously not yet known to the recipient and could be replaced by a standard alphanumeric sender. Furthermore, even a farewell is missing, which could tell the recipients who is texting them. This is not only one of the most avoidable mistakes in SMS marketing, but also directly harms the performance of your campaign: Would you click on the link in an SMS whose sender you do not know?
3. The low achiever – sending SMS without personalization
If you have the opportunity to talk to your customers via SMS, you are in a very privileged situation. Your SMS will show up where your customers also receive personal messages from friends and family. You should definitely use this opportunity wisely. One-on-one conversation with your customers will benefit you a lot and will feature heavily in the marketing strategies of all major companies in the coming years, not least because zero party data is becoming increasingly important as a source of information.
At the same time, one-on-one conversation also means that you need to really engage with your customers. If you send messages that are not personalized or, in the worst case, even irrelevant, you can expect a very high unsubscribe rate. This makes the lack of personalization one of the most unreasonable mistakes in SMS marketing.
While it’s especially important that your conversation with customers is as organic and authentic as possible, you can still have some level of automation in your processes. The use of placeholders and precisely defined target groups must go hand in hand here, so that your customers still receive messages that are tailored to them.
Avoiding mistakes in SMS marketing: Careful planning and clear target groups
Learning from our top three mistakes, there are clear guidelines that should be considered when planning any SMS campaign.
- Make sure your SMS sending is legal and desired.
- Define and separate your target audiences as best you can and validate the numbers of future recipients.
- Customize the message in detail for each target group and remember to personalize them.
Once these points are checked off, you can get creative and enjoy an SMS campaign with great potential.
Another tip: Before sending your SMS, ask yourself: is the message personal, easy to understand and will your customer know what to do even without prior knowledge?
If these points are also met, you will not have to worry about making the biggest mistakes in SMS marketing.
If you still need inspiration for your campaign, we recommend our blog post on the customer journey, where we show different ways of using SMS profitably.
Do you have any other tips on which mistakes should be avoided at all costs? We look forward to your comments!
Header: iStock.com/Designer, edited color.