SMS marketing is one of the most misunderstood digital marketing techniques there is. It can be extremely powerful, but the results can vary greatly and depend on so many factors. If you don’t go about it the right way, you could end up not only becoming an irritant to your subscribers but get into legal trouble. When you understand how to use it correctly, however, the results can be very impressive. Let’s take a look at what you should do and avoid when using SMS marketing.
Do – Segment Your List Properly
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with SMS marketing is sending the same message to everybody. You should segment your SMS list just as you would your email list, and your SMS marketing tool needs to be integrable with your donor CRM tool if you have one.
You should then adjust the type of message and the frequency based on donor metrics. Big regular donors shouldn’t be contacted as often as people you’re trying to get more engagement from. It’s OK to send multiple messages to small irregular donors as this is what will encourage them to give, but doing that with big donors could irritate them. You should only contact them when it’s necessary or when you have special events geared towards them.
Don’t – Send Wordy Vague Texts
You only have a few characters to drive your point home with SMS marketing, so use them wisely. Your readers should be able to tell exactly why you’re contacting them, what you want from them, and what they need to do next. You also need to give them clear instructions on how you want them to perform that action.
The only way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to start with a good structure and test it. Text messaging mastery comes from learning from other people’s examples as well. If you want a few examples of good tests, and want to learn more about text fundraising etiquette, you can check out Tatango. Not only do they show a few examples of the messages major organizations have used, but also some text messaging best practices you can follow.
Do – Send Texts at the Right Times
One thing you have to understand with SMS marketing is when the best times to send messages are. This can be difficult to gauge, but the most important thing is to send messages when people are more likely to see them and follow your call to action.
If you send messages at eight in the morning when most people are commuting or during the day when they might be working or at school, you can‘t expect to get the same results as if you send messages in the evening while they’re kicked back and relaxed. So, try to identify when people are more attentive and start sending messages at different times during hot periods to see what works best.
Don’t – Send Messages Too Often
Be careful to not send too many messages, however. It’s usually better to not send more than two to three messages per week. You can test with higher frequencies, but start small so you don’t irritate them and lose tons of subscriptions.
These are just some of the dos and don’ts of SMS marketing you should keep in mind. Make sure that you start with a real plan and understanding of SMS marketing before you start, and use a good platform to maximize your efforts.
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