7 Ways to Boost your SMS Marketing Performance

Are you using SMS to market to your customers? Good. In this article, I’ll share with you 7 great ways to squeeze more performance from your SMS marketing campaigns.


1. Group your customers and non-customers

This tip is marketing 101 yet most businesses still miss out this step and it is a shame because there is a lot of money left on the table because of this.

Most businesses will lump all of their contacts into one or maybe two groups, the problem with this set up is that:

  1. They can only send to these contacts once per week which limits the amount of revenue you can generate, and;
  2. They are not able to tailer the offer to increase those conversions, and;
  3. This tends to increase the number of unsubscribes

The only benefit to using this method is ease of set up, just stuff everyone in together and you’re ready to go.

“If there was one piece of advice I would give to our clients it would be to segment them out – they are leaving a lot of money on the table by not doing this”, Angus B from SMS Papa.

But as with anything the more time you spend organizing everything at the start the rewards you will reap.

When people see an SMS set up with 20 different groups on initial impression it looks confusing but they soon see the benefit of such a set up when they see how easy it is to come up with the messaging and offers plus the sales generated since they can technically send out 20 highly targeted SMS campaigns per week instead of just one or two.

2. Have an unsubscribe


Most businesses who use SMS marketing will have this in place but it is still worth mentioning. Just the legal headaches alone should be enough to push people away from not using an opt out inside their campaigns.

The other reason is that for new subscribers it really puts them at ease knowing they are working with a professional business that will allow them to escape their marketing plans.

3. Personalize

Personalization in marketing is essential and the same is of course true when it comes to SMS marketing.

There are 3 basic ways you can personalize an SMS message:

Use the recipient’s first name

This is what most people think of when they think of “personalization” but it is the least important part of an SMS campaign. This is an easy thing to set up and typically only means adding a special keyword tag like “fname” and the SMS platform will replace that keyword tag with the person’s first name as long as it is inside the contacts book.

Personalize the words

Even inside the same niche or industry there are different sub-markets and these markets will use different words to describe their challenges, fears, desires, goals and solutions.

As a marketer it is essential that you understand these hot buttons and use them inside your SMS marketing campaigns.

Pro marketers know that words aren’t just words, words have different “weighting” and so it is important to use the highest weighted words you can especially since you are working with a limited number of characters.

Personalize the offers

Finally, you will need to personalize the offers that you send to each of these segmented groups. If you are running a health club and you are running a promotion on muscle building supplements and sending that promotion to both men and women, it’s not going to be a hit with the women on your list in fact it is not going to be a hit with all of the men either since some of them may be there for rehab.

By segmenting your subscribers, you are able to recommend products and services that are in alignment with their personal goals and so this will naturally increase the sales revenue from these campaigns.

4. Establish the rules of engagement

When a person subscribes to your list it is a good idea to let them know how often they will be hearing from you as well as the type of content you will be sending through and assuring them that they can unsubscribe at any time.

This will let them know what to expect and will reduce any unsubscribes.

5. Don’t limit yourself to 160 chars

A standard SMS message is 160 characters but sometimes it can be tough to get everything you need to say into that number of chars so the best thing to do is add more characters.

Most SMS service providers will offer an extended SMS feature which allows its users to use sometimes up to 1000 characters.

This does of course cost additional credits.

If it is a straightforward SMS campaign where you have a special on a popular product then 160 chars will probably get the job done but if you are promoting a product that they haven’t heard of before or you are running a customer re-activation campaign then chances are you are going to need more chars which means adding up the potential ROI of the campaign in question.


6. Pre-eminence

Striking first is a solid strategy in business and if you have a bunch of SMS subscribers then you have an opportunity to engage them before they start seeing ads from your competitors.

If you are able to get them a few weeks before a shopping event, send them to a landing page, etc. you have a great chance of converting that sale and stealing that wallet share away from your competition.

It is crazy to think that retailers especially are not using SMS marketing to covertly take spend away from their competitors.

7. Boost other channels

If you have an important company newsletter, product launch, trade show event, catalogue, webinar, etc. whatever it is then you should be using SMS as the main tool for driving attendance.

While email should be used as well, you will only get roughly 20% of people opening your emails whereas with SMS you will likely get all of them opening and reading those texts – use the power of SMS to drive up the performance of your other marketing campaigns.