SMS marketing is one of those areas that many SMEs and start-ups seem to avoid, especially at the very beginning. The most frequently cited reason for this is annoyance and the presumption that it could irritate potential customers. Not many are ready to risk falling short of the stringent rules associated with this type of marketing.

However, with SMS messages having a 99% open rate, the potential is huge – too huge to miss out on in my mind and open rates when dealing with email are proved ineffective time and time again in comparison.

Below are some marketing tips every startup/SME owner should be aware of when building their brand using SMS.

1. Knowing the Regulations

One of the reasons why so many companies don’t pay much attention to SMS marketing is because they are scared of what breaking the rules could mean for them. There are strict rules, but as long as you choose a trusted partner that adheres to the ever-changing regulations, you shouldn’t run into any problems. The main rule you need to be aware of is to only send messages to people who authorised you to do so.

2. 160 Is the Magic Number

With SMS characters limited to 160, it is important that all marketers make sure their message gets contained into one SMS. Therefore, staying within the limit is the key to not spamming our customers with multiple messages.

3. Timing Is Everything

When planning an effective SMS marketing strategy, timing is everything. The majority are opened within minutes of arrival, therefore sending an SMS at the wrong time could mean sending offers to buy something when there is no interest. As marketers have to be able to reach their target audience when they’re making a buying decision, this is imperative to get right.

4. Call to Action

The call to action, or CTA, should be part of any marketing material that marketers send out and, SMS marketing is no exception. As there are no links or extra button features, everything relies on the words used. When someone joins an SMS service they want to know where to go next. A general line about a great product means nothing if they aren’t being sent directly to that product on your website. Include a URL, which has been shortened, or just your number so they can send something to a dedicated line.

5. Shortcode

SMS marketing should be integrated. Therefore, the number of people you connect with will determine how successful the campaign is. SMS shortcodes should be promoted across  other marketing channels to maximise success. It should appear in company email campaigns, social media campaigns, and even on any physical marketing materials that get sent out.

SMS marketing is a relatively easy form of marketing to integrate to any strategy – every company should be doing it! Frankly, with a ridiculous number of mobile phones out there which are SMS enables, there isn’t any reason why you can’t tap into this virtually limitless market potential. Mobile phone users represent all demographics, making it a marketing gold mine.

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