Have you ever received a text message that’s written all in capitals?
IT’S LIKE SHOUTING RIGHT?
If you want good results from text messaging in your marketing and communication mix, it’s good to keep a few simple DOs and DON’Ts in mind.
DO personalise messages with your recipient’s firstname, or if it’s a more formal text, then a title and lastname. In doing this, you immediately engage the person and make them feel valued.
DO identify yourself at the beginning of the message – this is super-important and often ignored, or placed at the end of the message which is too late.
Smart phones allow the recipient to view the number and first line of your message, so by including who you are, your recipient is immediately prepared for your message.
DO keep it to the point. SMS means Short Message Service, so include the important or juicy bit of information in the text, then if you want them to read more, include a direct link to another destination.
DO include an Opt Out. This is not only important, but if ignored, can be catastrophic. Make it your business to be clear bout the SPAM regulations in your country – ignore them at your peril both in terms of your reputation and your bank account! In text messaging, include something along the lines of “To opt out reply STOP”
DO include a call to action – if you want results, you need to provide a direction. With an Appointment Reminder include reply Y to confirm, or call us on 8888 7777 to reschedule, whereas for a Special Offer or Registration, include a cut off date, and direct them to an online destination to purchase.
DON’T SPAM people. I say again, ignore at your peril!!!! Google Grays Online 2013 for an example of what not to do – this was an email campaign, but the same sorts of rules apply for promotional text messages.
DON’T force people to click on a link your website in order to Opt Out. If you make it difficult, you simply reinforce the negative impact.
DON’T bombard people. I always think that if we as business people all stopped and considered what we, as consumers, would want to receive, then as a business, we might think twice about what we send.
DON’T include sensitive information in a text message. As is the case with anything that goes through the internet, security is an issue, so if you don’t want someone else to read it, or get the information and use it, then don’t text it!
DON’T write your text messages in capital letters – IT’S LIKE SHOUTING!!!
DON’T use text messages for personal messages to customers, and this is actually a bit of a bug-bear for me. If you want to be in touch with a customer to celebrate something personal like a birthday or wedding anniversary, my view is that a text message is not the best method – unless as part of that message you are directing them to an obligation-free gift that will be of value to the customer. Instead, try a good old-fashioned greeting card in the post.
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