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Sins that will kill your SMS marketing

Olena Kozhevnikova
13 May, 2021

Companies incorporate mobile into their efforts to maintain their market position, drive conversion and keep up with the changing times. Great paths are being opened to reach as many customers as possible on their personal device. Marketers add QR codes, rich media, augmented reality, and mobile apps for tech-savvy audiences. Even the most battle weary experts raise their eyebrows seeing results. Though not every business needs all those tools, for sure, every business needs a sound mobile marketing strategy. However, an improper use of SMS may cause much more damage than the worst marketing campaigns via Viber or E-mail channels. Here, we will articulate eight common mistakes, which can disturb customer’s confidence and deteriorate their experience.

1. Omitting an opt-out option

Texting to people who do not wish to read your content does not make any sense. Moreover, this is against the law, particularly with the arrival of the 2018 GDPR regulations. If people want to leave your mailing list, you must let them. Options include allowing people to reply with STOP (or other customized word, case insensitive) or including an automatically unsubscribe URL. For transactional messages, this may be a specific number to call or, at least, a link to the preference center. When this happens, BSG digital marketing provider removes this user from your future marketing campaigns and adds them to a stop-list (editable). Contrary to the popular belief, an opt-out option is not supposed to “punish” the sender, and it is not the same as labeling your message as “spam”. This feature is intended to work as a two-way communication

2. Too much focusing on selling

After you get a person to click on your SMS advertisement or browse your landing page, without onward engagement, those leads will drop. It’s crucial to have a plan how to build a strong connection with the target audience and add value for them, besides driving traffic. Overlooking customer’s geolocation data is among the common mistakes in marketing ― informing the customer about a hot offer when they walk around your store or caffe can be extremely efficient. Along with SMS, send rich media, create elegant landing pages, arrange sweepstakes and polls, foster a dialogue as if it was face-to-face: for example, ask people to vote for their favourite flavour of your product or to confirm that they are using the best billing plan. Occasionally, you should send them actionable insights, tips and interesting videos related to your niche. Customers really expect this.

3. Disregarding call to action

As soon as you have elaborated the strategy and determined your audience, time is right to optimize your messages. They should be clear and understable. Offer something enticing and invite people to take action. A call-to-action (CTA) button must fill a prominent spot above the fold, instantly visible without a need to scroll down. Its absence or incorrect placement are the great marketing failures which considerably damage click-through rates. Along with telling your clients what they should do next, don’t forget to specify the relevant contact details. Remember to add something of the following:

  • reply option;
  • business website address;
  • business physical address to visit;
  • coupon to show in the store;
  • number to call.

4. Spelling, grammar and linguistic mistakes

Ensuring the grammatical correctness of your business’s written material, obviously, has many grounds. Under the pressure of time, be sure to eliminate spelling mistakes, typos, and to use the correct punctuation. Thus, your readers receive a good first impression, while you maintain your company’s credibility and professional reputation. The correctness of the sender’s name is displayed in the SMS test report. Try to put yourself in a customer’s place when they receive your message: are the contact details correct? Does the message make sense? How can it be improved?

If you text to the foreign audience, don’t get lost in translations. One of the famous marketing campaigns that went wrong was Pepsi’s promotion to the Chinese market. The slogan it launched with read: “Pepsi brings you back to life”. What happened was too literal translation: the phrase was actually translated as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”. In the contest of unrealistic marketing promises, this would be an absolute winner. The cultural research of the new national market is quite necessary, including asking native speakers what your motto actually means.

5. Treating everyone in the same manner

Another mistake that mobile marketers sometimes make is not categorizing their audience. Smartphones are very personal devices – they connect us with loved ones, keep precious memories, and many people even put their phones near their pillow. Consequently, mobile marketing should be personalized as well. Even merely including your user’s name in notifications can improve your conversion rates. Breaking customers down into the smaller segments prevents many marketing blunders, enabling you to offer products and services, narrowly targeted to what people want and need. Personalized messages have a potential to distinguish you from your competitors. The variables include age, gender, location, whether a person is a current or a prospect target, their interests, income, purchasing history. Understanding where your clients spend time on their devices clues you in which is the best mobile channel to reach them out. And to reduce messaging cost, it is meaningful to perform carrier provider lookup by number roaming and portability status.

6. Too Much Targeting

We already know how easy today is to collect and track all information about our targets. Geo-fence messaging we mentioned in paragraph 2 is an example of handling geographic information to target certain people near your company. However, targeting can also be too much. We may get so enthusiastic about the possibilities opened by high personalization, that our marketing campaign fails at the point where we target a very small group of individuals, while somebody we may miss. This leads to cost and time unnecessarily spent to tailor every message for every potential situation.

7. Overloading or not enough contact with your audience

According to the stats, 4 595 SMSs are sent every second globally. It’s a big challenge to maintain exactly the right level of contact with the audience. By its nature, to send bulk SMS online is intrusive. And too many messages can annoy and even infuriate. On the other hand, you don’t want to be forgotten. It is best to communicate with the frequency you promised to the customers when they’ve opted in to receive your texts. Other SMS marketing mistakes to avoid include word-for-word repeated messages, sending the call-to-action which is already completed, and too short time gaps between the messages (less than two-three weeks).

8. Meaningless application

Smartphone applications are a powerful way to comfortably reach customers. But unless your application provides something truly meaningful to the end-user, it is not worth all efforts and costs to develop it, especially at the expense of your general marketing strategy. After all, many consumers tend not to download the apps even from their loved brands. However, online store apps (especially if they outperform a mobile website), practical and time-saving apps will always be in demand.

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