Text message marketing is an incredibly powerful method for marketing to customers instantly. In order to maximize your success however, it must be leveraged properly. Below are 7 guidelines to help your SMS marketing campaign, especially over the Holiday Season:

1. Be clear about your program:

A key advantage of text message marketing is that of its convenience to any customer. In saying this, it’s important to be clear when you communicate to your audience/consumers. Make sure your subscribers are aware of what types of text messages they can expect to receive. This may only need to be one sentence in your auto reply if that’s all it takes. Just make sure they aren’t going to be blindsided when their first text message campaign arrives. If you don’t, they’ll most likely opt out, as your text program wasn’t what they expected.

2. Get permission:

You must have permission from subscribers in order to send them text messages. Otherwise, you’ll be spamming, breaking laws, and possibly subject to hefty legal penalties. A second, and possibly most vital point is that it will damage your brand’s image, which could also annoy your customers in the process. So how do you successfully gain permission from customers? If subscribers are opting in by texting a keyword to your shortcode, then you have the permission you need. If you are manually uploading a list or adding subscribers one by one, you must absolutely have written consent.

3. Pay attention to frequency:

Do not send texts all the time! Nobody wants to get an excessive amount of texts on their phone from your business. A good goal to have is to send 2-4 texts per month. Any more can annoy your customers. You may find them opting out or developing a poor attitude towards your business. Ensure your subscribers know how often you will be texting them. You need to be crystal clear about how many text messages they can expect to receive from your business or organization.

 4. Provide an exit:

Your subscribers need to know that they can opt out of your SMS marketing campaigns at any given time. Include “TXT STOP to cancel” in your messages or an unsubscribe link.

5. Text during normal hours:

Only send text marketing campaigns during business hours – be courteous to your subscribers. Be sure they won’t enjoy waking up to your texts in the middle of the night. Also, think about how “ineffective” it is to send your texts outside of your business hours. One of the many benefits of text marketing is to inspire immediate action from your customers. No one will visit your store in the middle of the night!

6. Use common language:

Use text-messaging shorthand as sparingly as possible. Although it does save you precious characters in your message, it can also look very unprofessional. You don’t want your text messages sounding like they were written by a tech savvy teen. If you need to save characters in your text by using text-messaging shorthand, start with the most obvious words first and try to keep it to a minimum!

7. Provide value:

Every text campaign should be valuable to your subscribers! If your customers are willing to give you explicit permission to text them, make sure you give them something worth-while in return. Ensure you’re not sending the same campaigns over and over again. You need to keep things fresh and exciting for your subscribers so they feel glad to be part of your “special text program”. If you’re not, your text program may not be worth it for them. It’s then likely they’ll unsubscribe from your list.