SMS marketing is an effective and convenient way for businesses to communicate with their customers, offering an immediate and direct channel that isn’t likely to be ignored. Not only does SMS marketing result in higher open rates, but also higher click-through and response rates.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind that will help you create the most successful SMS marketing campaigns:
Get permission first
It’s essential that your business has obtained permission from your customers before they are contacted using SMS marketing. If you don’t have the explicit consent of your contact list, you could be in breach of the law and subject to legal action, including sizeable fines. What's more, your brand could be severely damaged if customers associate you with 'spammy' marketing tactics — not ideal when you’re asking them to leave you feedback.
Offer an option to opt out
In the same way that you must obtain opt-in permissions before you contact people, it's a legal requirement that you must offer an option to opt out of future messages in every SMS that is sent.
Hence, at BrightLocal, text messages sent from Get Reviews campaigns will always include instructions on how to opt out. If any of your recipients choose to opt out, we will automatically prevent any further SMS messages being sent to those numbers. All generic opt-out replies will be accepted by the numbers we use to distribute campaigns, e.g. STOP, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, etc.
Send campaigns during social hours
As SMS messages are intended to be delivered, read, and responded to immediately, it’s important to respect time zones by considering which hours are 'antisocial' when sending your campaign. For example, your customers probably won’t appreciate an alert at 3.00am, and you’re unlikely to receive a positive review response from this interaction.
A good rule of thumb is to send SMS campaigns between 9.00am and 9.00pm in the correct time zone for your recipients.
Please note: As BrightLocal supports locations across multiple time zones, we do not supply a recommended window for sending SMS campaigns. When you send a campaign from Reputation Manager, you should ensure that your messages will reach recipients within social hours at their respective locations.
Personalize the message
When running an SMS campaign, it’s a good idea to personalize the message. Including your business name early on in the message will let recipients recognize your brand and clearly understand who is contacting them.
Customers are generally more responsive to personalized communications, so addressing messages to customers by name is also effective. When sending to multiple contacts, you can use placeholders in a Get Reviews SMS campaign to automatically include both business name and customer name in your text message.
Don't send too many SMS messages
Whilst the temptation might be to send many campaigns, it must be remembered that customers are already being bombarded with marketing messages by SMS, email, and social media on a daily basis. Sending frequent and repeat requests to your customers is not advisable at all — it’s invasive and annoying. On the other hand, timing your message carefully and reaching out to your customers following a recent interaction they’ve had with your service will likely improve response rate.