How to ensure your SMS messages are read

Marketing SMS messages are more likely to be received and acted upon than emails and faxes. But, it is not immune to consumer rejection. How can you make sure your customers read your text instead of deleting it right away?

Don’t send big files. Graphics and pictures that take too long to download or open, will only frustrate your customers. Don’t waste space. The less effort a recipient has to put in to receive and read your messages, the better.

Give your customers a reason to look forward to your promotional messages. You have to give something to get something, and the easiest way to do it, is to give away freebies like mobile vouchers, airtime, discounts or prizes. You don’t have to give something away in every single message, but do it on a regular basis.

Keep your SMS messages “single”. As soon as a text goes past 160 characters, it will be delivered in multiple parts. If one of those parts get delayed or aren’t delivered at all, your content will be less than effective.

Don’t spam your customers. Going cuckoo for coco pops with your texting is a sure way to elicit a negative response. Don’t go overboard. Rather conduct a survey to find out how many times a week your customers want to hear from you and at what time of the day do they prefer to receive your communication.

Keep it professional. Marketers are often swayed in the wrong direction when it comes to constructing texts because it is such an informal medium. Don’t use SMS lingo – it is not to say your audience knows the meaning of these “abbreviations”. Keep your spelling and grammar in check as well.

But make it fun. Now keeping it professional doesn’t imply that you have to send dull, run-of-the-mill messages that put your customers to sleep. Just the opposite. Be creative. Think outside the box. Try different techniques. Play with your words and graphics. Just keep your content “tight” – neat and non-offensive with a clear purpose and call to action.

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