Are you using SMS for marketing or fundraising campaigns?  If not, you may be missing out.

SMS marketing can be an exceptionally effective and affordable channel that can significantly enhance any marketing or fundraising efforts, offering:

  1. High Engagement Rates: As a communication tool used by two-thirds of the global population, SMS messages have an open rate typically around 98%.
  2. Cost Effectiveness: At $0.015-$0.050 per message, SMS doesn’t require the same level of production as other channels.
  3. Direct Communication: SMS allows you to reach customers directly on their mobile phones without needing an internet connection, which can be highly effective in building stronger, more personal relationships.
  4. Ease of Use: It’s easy to set up SMS campaigns once you have your data and SMS provider in place, and texts can be deployed quickly. All you need is under 160 characters of copy!
  5. Another touchpoint: SMS works well alongside email, social media, and traditional direct response channels to create a comprehensive multi-channel strategy.

While SMS marketing offers many advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges that businesses will need to navigate to maximize its effectiveness, including:

Message Conciseness: SMS limits the number of characters to typically 160 per message. Conveying a compelling marketing message within this constraint, while including a call to action and complying with legal requirements to include opt-out instructions, requires skillful crafting of content.

High Competition and Message Overload: Many businesses use SMS marketing, which can lead to message overload for consumers. Standing out among numerous other messages and avoiding customer annoyance are significant challenges.

Privacy Concerns: Customers are increasingly sensitive about their privacy. Businesses must ensure they are not only compliant with privacy laws but also transparent about how they collect, use, and store personal data obtained through SMS activities.

Data Integration with Other Marketing Channels: It’s important that you determine how you want to collect and store SMS opt-in/opt-out data and how you’ll ensure your SMS platform and CRM talk to each other.

Effectively addressing these challenges is essential for businesses to successfully leverage SMS marketing as part of their broader digital marketing strategy.

5 Considerations for Executing Effective SMS Marketing Messages:

  1. Conciseness: You have 160 characters to deliver your message as effectively as possible. It takes experience to achieve that, as illustrated by these two sentences (157).
  2. Call to Action (CTA): How do you punctuate it to make it stand out? Where do you place it in the message to make sure it’s top priority? Do you want to use a link?
  3. Timing: Send messages at appropriate times. Early mornings or late nights should be avoided, taking into consideration the best times when your customers are likely to be receptive, based on their routines or your business type.
  4. Voice: SMS works better when it sounds more authentic and feels like you are communicating with a person. Some nonprofits and businesses choose to sign their SMS messages with a name of a staff member.
  5. Analytics: Track the performance of your SMS campaigns using metrics including click-through rates and conversion rates. Use these insights to refine your approach for the next campaign.

Overall, adding SMS messaging to your marketing plan is a no-brainer. Companies looking to do so should consider the inclusion of this service in Statements of Work (SOWs) with trusted agencies who already know your brand and marketing objectives.

If you’re looking to add SMS to your marketing plan, or seek a new partner to forge ahead across many platforms, we’d love to chat.