How to compose an effective text message
Writing successful marketing content is an art form in itself. You have to cram a lot of information into 160 characters, don’t waste them! Below are some tips on what should be contained within a marketing SMS message and advice on their aims, style, tone and concept.
Assess your Customers
1. The Legal stuff
Firstly your content must, by law, clearly state who the message is from- the name of your business. Secondly and usually at the end of the message it should include clear instructions about how to “opt out” of the marketing content. These two are legal requirements and must be included in everything that you send.
2. Grab Attention
The first two or three words in your message should act as a headline to grab the attention of your readers and force them to read the rest of it.
- VIP Night!
- 50% off!
- Summer Sale!
- Exclusive offer!
These headline grabbers can be written in capitals or a different colour to make them stand out – anything to grab and hold the reader’s attention.
3. Tell them about the offer
Next tell the customer what the offer is and how it benefits them. This part is also an ideal time to include the name of your business and make it comply with the law.
Exclusive offer: Come down to Jonny’s bar on Thursday nights and get 20% off all vodka shots.
Summer sale! Get 25% off all purchases in June at Jonny’s clothing.
4. Give them a Call to Action
Next should be an instruction, telling the customer what you would like them to do in order to receive the offer:
Exclusive offer! Come down to Jonny’s bar on Thursday nights and get 20% off all vodka shots. Quote code 2345 to claim.
Summer sale! Get 25% off all purchases in June. Visit store or log onto www.jonnys-clothing.com to receive this offer now!
5. End with the opt out
As previously mentioned end with the “opt out” clause. This should be worded something like: Text STOP to 73745 to end messages.
Exclusive offer! Come down to Jonny’s bar on Thursday nights and get 20% off all vodka shots. Quote code 2345 to claim. Text STOP to 73745 to end messages.
Summer sale! Get 25% off all purchases in June. Visit store or log onto www.jonnys-clothing.com to receive this offer now! Text STOP to 73745 to end messages.
Other tips and hints
- 1. DNT USE TXT SPK! No matter how tempting it is with the limited space available never use text speak to communicate with your customers. Firstly, not everybody understands it, secondly it doesn’t look very professional, and thirdly it could come across as patronising.
- 2. Choose a friendly name that your customers will recognise: When you begin to send bulk SMS messages you will be able to choose a “friendly name,” which is what appears in your customer’s inbox on receipt of the message.
- 3. Keep it simple! Use a “one offer one message” policy. There is no point in trying to cram lots of different offers into 160 characters, as this will only serve to confuse your customers and make them more likely to opt out.
- 4. Get the timing right: Research has shown that the most successful SMS messages are sent mid to late afternoon. Depending on the type of services you offer it also may be relevant to consider the time of the week. For example if you are a bar it may be advisable to send your content on a Thursday or Friday for example.
- 5. Check and test the message: Yes that’s right, send yourself the text message and see how it appears on your own small screen.
- 6. Keep revising and reviewing the content: Analyse how many opt outs there have been and how many sales the messages have generated. Use this to judge the success of the campaign and adjust if necessary.
- 7. Exclusivity and Urgency: Make the content feel exclusive to them and if necessary add an end date to the offer using words such as “Now,” “ends” etc.
So your content is complete, checked and tested. Press SEND and good luck!