One of the reasons SMS are so popular is that they are a very personal medium. We receive them on our cell phones, which we use to stay in touch with the world, but also with family and friends. This personal contact with your customers is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss. The flip side of all this? When sending SMS to your customers, you need to be careful not to overdo it – too many messages will be perceived as intrusive… and then your customer will unsubscribe from receiving SMS very quickly.
Many people are aware of this fact, so it’s only natural that the question arises: how often should I text my customers? To shed some light on this, we’d like to take a look at the most common approaches and share our tips with you.
Minimalist: Send transaction-based SMS
There are companies that only send SMS during a transaction with their customers. In this case, of course, the question of “how often” they sent SMS does not arise, but we still want to mention it briefly.
The reason: sending transaction-based SMS is a great additional service for your customers, but you should be aware of how you are allowed to use it. If you get the consent of your customers to send SMS regarding the shipment of a product, the consent applies exactly to this. This means: In this case, you may not send your customers any marketing SMS without first obtaining separate consent. If you have consent for multiple purposes, pay attention to how many SMS you send your customers in total.
By the way: Our customers like to include the sending of SMS in eCommerce via our integrations.
Reliable: Pre-scheduled SMS campaign
A popular option is to carefully pre-plan your messages and thus determine exactly when you want to send which message to whom. In many cases, this makes a lot of sense, because it means your customers know how often they will receive SMS messages, and you yourself can make the best use of your resources. That’s why pre-scheduled SMS campaigns are the most popular solution. However, make sure to keep some flexibility – respond to customers’ requests and adjust your plan whenever needed.
Pre-scheduled SMS campaigns are suitable for any business and for a wide variety of content, from exclusive offers to content campaigns to surveys. If your customers know what to expect, you can benefit from particularly high open and click-through rates here.
Experimental: Sending SMS spontaneously
In some cases, spontaneous SMS can also work. In local retail or restaurants, spontaneous and exclusive offers may pop up that can be sent out via SMS to reach customers at short notice.
However, special caution is required when sending SMS spontaneously, because you quickly run the risk of sending too many SMS to customers and thus appearing pushy.
Therefore, always ask yourself the following questions
- How many SMS have you sent in the past few days?
- Is your message really relevant?
- Is there an SMS campaign that is running right now?
before you decide to spontaneously send an SMS.
The ideal world: Whenever customers want it
In an ideal world, you send your customers a message whenever it’s appropriate and desired. Now, we’re assuming you’re not clairvoyant, but there is a way to get one step closer to this ideal case anyway:
Ask your customers.
The personal touch of SMS is one of your greatest opportunities; use it with permission and thoughtfulness. The more information you have about what your customers want and expect from your SMS messaging, the closer you can get to the ideal.
Okay, but how often?
We understand, you want to hear a number. How often should you send SMS? Providing this reliable number is not so easy, because it depends on many different factors. Offers from a restaurant will usually make sense more frequently than those from an electronics store, for example. Local differences are also important. In the USA, for example, many more offers are sent via SMS than in Germany. That’s not all: even your target groups may differ among themselves in how often they want to receive SMS.
Some companies are guided by such questions as: How often is a customer ready to buy? or How often do we want a customer to make a purchase? and adjust the frequency of their messages accordingly. Of course, this strategy is also not suitable for all companies and organizations equally. There is another way, which is not only more elegant, but also far more promising: find out what works for your company individually.
Finding your own groove
So we’re still looking for a concrete number. In the US, the frequency of SMS sent by companies is relatively high; most companies send between one and three SMS per week, but a few send more. Basically, many companies seem to do well with one SMS per week. However: In the US, SMS marketing is used much more extensively than, for example, in Germany.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you try to approach the ideal SMS frequency. This will also give you a feel for what your customers expect from you. Here are our most important tips for finding out the ideal frequency:
- Conduct a representative survey in advance. How often do your customers want to receive SMS?
- Conduct A/B tests.
- Let your customers adjust the frequency of the messages themselves.
What else do I need to consider?
As in any SMS campaign, you should always get consent from your recipients and use a double opt-in process if possible.
However, there are a few other aspects you should consider to ensure that your SMS messages are well received by your customers.
1. Quality is more important than quantity
If your customers don’t see any added value in your messages, it doesn’t matter if you send just one SMS a month or one a week – you’ll only keep your customers if your SMS are relevant to them.
2. When do you send your SMS?
You should also consider the time of day and day of the week when you send SMS. On holidays, your customers are more likely to feel bothered by an SMS, the same is true for the early morning or late evening. Also, keep in mind that in some countries, SMS from businesses are banned at certain times of the day and will only be delivered during a specific time frame.
3. Make sure your customers know what to expect
Let your customers know, approximately, how many SMS messages they can expect to receive per week or month. A good time to provide this information is when you ask for the double opt-in, as this is when your recipients will find it particularly easy to follow up.
Conclusion: Stay flexible
There is no set rule for how often companies should send marketing SMS to their customers. Even in individual industries, numbers are hard to pin down because the frequency should be based on the needs of your customers and your offers. Especially if your customers are not used to receiving marketing SMS, don’t start with three SMS per week right away. When in doubt, start small or, even better, ask your customers what they want – and be prepared to adapt if they change their mind. Stay flexible and always keep in mind that talking to your customers on their cell phones is a privilege.
How often do you send text messages to your customers? We look forward to hearing from you.
All the best
Header picture by pixelfit via iStock