9 minutes to read

Choosing the best time to send promotional SMS

Businesses use text message campaigns in different ways, but first and foremost ― to advertise and sell goods and services. SMS marketing is inexpensive and has a stunning 98% open rate promising retailers a great return for money. SMS response rate is 45% (compared to 6% for email). However, although customers at some point will most likely view your text, they will not necessarily be receptive to it. And you want the recipient not merely to throw a glance, but to take action. 

The mainstay of effective text message blasts is providing the relevant content for the right audience at a convenient time. Choosing the best time to send scheduled SMS will determine how many people will read it and choose to proceed to conversion. Texting at all costs has to be kept a non-intrusive channel that users accept and appreciate ​​as long as it doesn’t annoy and generates value. Understanding how to send a text message at a specific time is essential for an effective marketing strategy. 

How to choose a perfect time for text message blasts?

If you have ever pursued the answer, what time is the best time to schedule SMS, you’ve likely encountered a myriad of “it depends.” Figuring out your best time to send text blast will draw on who you are, who you’re addressing, and their habits, your goals, and your industry. Most people take their phones everywhere; however, there are time spans during the day when they are more approachable. For example, they may passively check their phones throughout business hours, but become more active in the evening.

You can detect these precious moments only if you carefully study their behavior: what they purchase, the hour, the weekday, etc. If we move our customers to a digital environment, different metrics and reports allow us to recognize their purchasing patterns. Therefore, it is important to include a short link in the bulk marketing SMS, since it enables tracking to get a full insight into the clientele.

In general terms, mobile phones are mainly used between 12:00 and 18:00. And the best time to carry out bulk text message campaigns is from 9:00 to 17:00. One-third of mobile opted-in users favor promotional messages between 12:00 and 15:00 throughout the week. The next time interval in terms of efficiency is 9:00-12:00 during weekdays, with one-quarter of mobile users open to receive advertisements. They arrive at work, have time to check inboxes, and even to have a sudden online shopping. Some other recently published statistics found the peak online purchase time lying between 20:00 and 21:00 before they say goodnight. After this point, customers might not like a message, or they may choose to leave it till the morning and forget.

On weekends, the best time slots are also 9:00–12:00, giving people time to think of your offer before they get busy with family or friends. Sunday 16:00–19:00 is the final time in the week to send scheduled SMS when most people have finished their activities and are relaxing and planning their next week.

While there is no single optimal time to launch a short text messaging, there are definitely worse times to do it. Needless to say that you should not schedule your SMS in too early morning hours or late at night. Indeed, you are communicating with consumers instantly and personally, and you have to respect their private time. You don’t want to shake up a person who forgot to switch on “Do not disturb” mode. Time zones are quite an important factor to consider when using an international SMS platform: texting at 9 a.m. in Bucharest would be an abrupt wake-up call for someone in Lisbon. It is also unlikely that people respond to SMS received during rush hour or commuting to work.

How is text scheduling influenced by the type of your business?

It is important to consider the type of business, product, or service you’ll be offering when you reflect on how to send a text at a certain time since it will determine the deadline. A dateless proposition is not the same as a last-minute concert ticket promotion.

Service-led organizations (dentist, car service, barbershop, etc.) should send out an automated text minutes after the customer or patient booked up. Then they should follow it up with an alert a day before the date. This reduces missed appointments by more than 20%.

Retailers should keep in mind that most people, unfortunately, have their payday at the end of the month. This makes sending SMS sale promos between the 26-th and 31-st a potential gold mine. Flash offers at a brick-and-mortar clothes store will be effective between 14:00 and 16:00. While Saturday 10:00–13:00, Sunday 15:00–17:00 are good spots for online buyers. 

For restaurants, the perfect time to offer a noon meal is between 11:00 and 13:00. 15:00–17:00 is the optimum timespan to offer people something freshly cooked and delicious as they gear up for dinner. Takeaways have a leeway to send scheduled text message in the early evening (around 19:00) when the football matches and reality shows are about to get on the air.

Consider the type of your messaging and your key goals

The most useful tip for deciding how to schedule a text message is determining what you want your customers to do and when. Again, if your eatery is distributing a lunchtime discount, the best time is mid-morning, when people are deciding on lunch. In event marketing, it’s preferable to send reminders days in advance. If you sell online and are familiar with Google Analytics, study a report ― on what days and times your website are visited the most. Schedule the flash offer precisely at that time, to bring the sense of urgency that leads to an impulse purchase. Discounts and sales should be announced at least five days ahead.

Sending a promo code or a coupon that expires, you need the right balance between doing this too far in advance resulting in a lack of urgency, and too late when not everybody will have a chance to take action. As for appointment reminders, send them as close as possible to 24 hours in advance to make them “sticky”. 

Every sector is different and every case is unique: for instance, a parent will hardly be happy to hear from school on a Saturday afternoon, and a young working adult will not appreciate receiving an offer of “buy one get one free” pizza at 10:30 in the morning. Whatever bulk SMS you are sending, it always makes sense to perform MNP lookup, since nowadays many mobile subscribers like to switch between the operators seeking out more competitive rates with keeping their old number. This verification will protect you from overpays due to variations in billing plans.

A separate category of business SMS is transactional messages. They carry time-sensitive information that customers require to use a product or service. Order and payment confirmations, verification codes, one-time passwords, account updates, and reservation confirmations are examples of transactional texts. Unlike promotions, they can be launched at any moment, because they are typically triggered by a customer’s action. The sooner the user receives them, the better ― minutes of expectation is confusing and disturbing.

How to choose the best day to send bulk SMS?

When we speak about how to send a text message at a specific time, it is not just a matter of setting an hour, but also a day. As a rule of thumb, for business-to-customers messages, the optimal sending days are Wednesday to Sunday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are good for a weekend promotion. Thursday is the right day to advertise Saturday events. Fridays demonstrate an impressive 44% increase in the dispatched SMS campaigns.

In terms of time in the year, there are also some scheduling SMS best practices established. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, lead-up to Christmas, Boxing Day ― it goes without saying that on these dates making your store stand out is a challenge. But a couple of properly-timed messages can lead consumers to your shop. Valentine’s Day is another major occasion to send scheduled SMS with gift ideas. Both Mother’s and Father’s Day are big days for retailers to remind people about cards and presents a week and even a day before. A simple SMS can also boost spring and summer sales. And, of course, personalized birthday congratulations and offers are the right way to make customers feel special and smile.

Why is A/B testing important when you send texts?

You can hardly figure out how to send scheduled text messages, what works and what doesn’t unless you give it a go. Remember that the times and days of a week suggested above are broad-brush, and your clients may be different. We recommend occasionally performing A/B tests: try to send messages at various times and days to understand how your customers tick. 

By introducing link tracking into your SMS marketing strategy, you can find which time drove more engagement to your business precisely. Launch your text campaign on different moments and analyze open and response rates. Once you’ve determined the optimum time slot for your audience using A/B testing, you can schedule a series of bulk messaging campaigns at the online texting platform.

Conclusion

SMS marketing works only when the timing is right. Even a fantastic offer sent at 4:00 am, will not bring you a good response, but will more than likely displease people. Similarly, they will perceive a text message on the last day of a sale, only giving them a couple of hours to buy.

Mobile phone is the most personal thing people have, which means that their privacy may not be indiscriminately invaded. Before launching a campaign, it is essential to consider how time affects it, taking into account all variables: product, customer, type of expected action. BSG provides all tools needed to reach out to the target audience at the right time.