Last week I got sms from my local shopping center, telling me about upcoming event called “beauty night”. Instantly I had three ideas how they could have made it better.
It came from a shortcode “165” and the mall name was not mentioned until at the very end. If they had used plain text “MallName” sender name it would have been clear from the start.
They also used some funny date format (15.3) And had one capitalised word in the middle of the sentence. Attention to detail will make your texts look more professional and appealing.
Lastly, I would have really loved to get a link to a page about this event. I really missed it.
Here are four simple tips for creating an enjoyable sms campaign for your customers.
1. Get The Text Right
Opposed to e-mails, text messages are very limited by text length and it has no visual effects. You have only plain ol’ text, so it is very important to get it right.
Here are some very simple rules to get you started:
- Proofread – one simple typo can ruin the whole sms
- Keep it simple – use short and simple sentences, so it is easier to read
- Don’t use txt speak – nbdy wnts to rd ths
- Put the link at the end – a good common practice
- Use link shortening tools or even better – your own short link with your domain
- Make sure the user knows what to expect from the link
Cut to the chase – leave out all unnecessary details and just get to the point. Chattering on without a clear aim will only drive away your potential customers.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Dont be afraid to experiment with different keywords or highlighting some words with CAPITAL letters. You only have a few seconds to make the impression to the reader, until he closes the text.
2. Improve Landing Page
Make sure the landing page of the sms content link is optimized for tablets and phones. It should follow the basic requirements for any mobile-device optimised pages:
- No clutter – cut down on any excess elements you can live without
- Keep the images small – improve page loading speed on the phone
- Use appealing images – images are the first thing your brain processes
- Make sure the text is easily readable on the phone – get the font size right
Having a link to a fully featured browser, will decrease the conversion rate significantly, as the page will load slowly and it is hard to navigate on it using the relatively small screen of the phone.
(Source: Responsive Web by Chris Bannister)
If you have some kind of forms, make sure you improve those the most. Forms are the most complicated part of your website and it is crucial to make the forms easy to fill in. Include examples where possible and fine-tune any error messages.
3. Measure Your Campaign Efficiency
There are lots of free tools to measure the link click rate and the conversion rate. Arguably the most popular is Google Analytics with its endless possibilities.
Google Analytics may be the Titan of web analytics, but it is also a bit difficult to grasp at the beginning. Fortunately there are alike services like HubSpot or Bit.ly, which make the whole analytics process a lot more straightforward.
If possible, set up a conversion flow funnel. This way you can see where most of the users get stuck and you can easily improve the landing page for your next campaign. Don’t forget to fine-tune your forms!
Finding out and removing any bottlenecks can give a significant boost your campaign performance.
4. Time Your SMS Right
Timing the sms right, can also significantly improve the results. Based on the Experian email marketing benchmark study, the best time to send your marketing campaign is around 8 PM and 12 AM.
If you have large enough client base (at least 1000 customers), you can easily make small experiments and improve your next campaign, based on the results. For example you can make A/B test, where test-group A gets SMS around 12 AM in the morning and test-group B gets the same text at 8 PM.
If you are making your first experiments, a quick tip is to look at your web analytics for mobile users. This will give you a nod in the right direction, when the mobile users are most active.