Text message marketing, SMS marketing, mobile marketing: all different names to describe the same thing: marketing via short messaging service.

Considering the huge potential audience business stands to reach (17% of the global population are mobile users), it comes as no surprise that texting campaign services are gaining popularity as an effective way to promote products and services.

As we can all attest however, text marketing can be a bit overdone at times, and sometimes even downright irritating. Once an SMS marketer starts to annoy clients, chances of him recovering their attention is slim to none.

You therefore need to tread carefully when you want to use SMS marketing.

Below are three key ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ of a successful SMS marketing campaign:

The ‘Do’s’

1.       Keep It Simple

The temptation to send very long messages may, at first, appear attractive, however, recipients are unlikely to be prepared to read long messages so it’s best to get straight to the point. Use clear and concise language and include a bold call-to-action.

2.       Timing is Everything

Choosing the right time to make your send is important. When is your audience most likely to read your message? Are you offering a time-sensitive deal? Sending messages late at night, for example, may prove to be ineffective if your customers are waking up to a deal which has already passed.

3.       Support SMS marketing with other forms of marketing

Uninspired SMS marketing on its own is likely to yield very low results, so, if appropriate, accompany your text-based campaign with online banners, print advertisements and other real-world marketing tools. Perhaps the easiest way is via a short code SMS marketing campaign.

The ‘Don’t’s’

1.       Don’t Over Do It

Nothing will see your messages deleted unread than filling your audiences’ inbox with a never-ending stream of pitches, so take it easy. With SMS marketing, less is definitely more.

2.       Avoid the hard-sell sales pitch

If your deal is value-rich and can be explained in a few words (“Half price lunches, today only!”), by all means do it, but if you’re pushing a higher-priced item or require a greater commitment than a few dollars from your customer, take it slow. Build the relationship first, then make your offer.

3.       Don’t send to everyone in your mailing list

At the end of the day, the profile you build of your clients is just as important as product or service you sell. Segment your list into ideal target-audience categories (such as age, sex, income, purchase history, location) and then market to them directly for maximum effectiveness.