Sending Effective Bulk SMS Campaigns: A Basic Primer

Sending bulk  sms campaigns are an incredibly effective way of marketing. With many people taking their mobile phone
everywhere they go (including the toilet)… Few other mediums can reach people in such a direct way. SMS messages provide one of the best open rates in the marketing world.

Not only that but research suggests that 97% of SMS messages are opened within 15 minutes of delivery.

And because SMS is such a direct medium, capitalising on a bulk sms campaign won’t require a big investment, but it will need some planning and strategy to ensure you can maximise the impact of your mobile marketing campaigns.

Here are some important dos and don’ts to be aware of when sending bulk marketing messages. Not only will they help you keep on the right side of the law, but following best practice guidelines will help you reach your audience more effectively, ensuring your money goes further and that all-important ROI is maintained if not improved.

But… Before you read this guide, it is well worth reading this guide on how SMS marketing can complement any email campaigns you are currently running and lift your campaign open rates from the usual 20% you get with email to as high as 97%!

How To Get An Excellent Response When Using Bulk SMS Messaging

DO offer a clear Call To Action (CTA) to encourage action from your customers. Whether this is a discount offer or a link to your website – make sure you give each recipient a strong reason to act upon your SMS. Experiment with offers, competitions and other marketing tools to see which work best for your brand and which offer the highest ROI. Using codes for discounts or offers such as free shipping can be a great way to track campaign response. For a comprehensive guide to writing great offers over SMS, please see the following blog post “How To Create The Best SMS Offers“.

DO make sure you are tracking the campaign response. Nothing worse than spending money on a marketing campaign without being able to articulate how much revenue or profit it has brought in.

DO ensure the content is appropriate for the audience. Knowing your audience will help you send more targeted, relevant advertising, which is far more likely to generate business. Don’t advertise things like baby products to a demographic made up of largely young, single men!

DO personalise your messages. Personalised messages will always garner a better response. Mail merge features can allow you to insert names, appointment times and other relevant information to ensure your messages get the best response possible… The best part in this is that the automation is doing all the hard work.

DO Make the most of tiny URLs… Sending customers links to PDFs is an ingenious method to direct them to more detailed information. Another technique involved sending them tiny URLs that take them to specific offer or landing pages on your website where they can get more data and interact with your brand. These techniques also make it really easy to track click-throughs and other campaign interactions.

DON’T forget to put your company name in the message. By law you have to identify your company clearly in the text message or, even better, in the Sender ID (the space used usually to set the Sender’s phone number). This is important for the customer and to ensure your marketing message is as clear as possible. It is also a requirement under the SPAM laws.

DON’T bombard the customer with too many SMS messages. By sending customers too many SMS, you weaken the impact, of your messaging, causing them to disregard your messages or even unsubscribe altogether. Equally, don’t be a stranger – regular messages can be excellent for building brand awareness and reminding your customers that you’re there. Schedule them into your marketing diary and build up a calendar of planned events.

DON’T think of SMS as a one-way platform. It is a great way of building engagement. Encourage recipients to interact and get in touch.

Mobile Marketing Rules

There are several things to be aware of including Privacy laws and SPAM regulations. Whilst these are not anything to fear and are much less complicated than they might seem, it’s important to be aware of them nonetheless. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for ensuring that companies abide by these rules and so they have the power to penalise companies that repeatedly flout the guidelines when it comes to SMS marketing.

DO offer your audience a way of opting out of receiving future messages. For more information on this, please see the following video which highlights your obligations under the SPAM laws and regulations in Australia

DO ensure marketing lists are compiled accurately. Remember, you can only market to people who have opted into receiving your messages, or to those you have a prior relationship with. Not only will this make sure you are targeting your customers effectively by reaching those most likely to be interested in your product or service, it will also ensure you are compliant with the SPAM laws.

DO make sure you are up to date and familiar with laws and industry codes of practice. The ACMA website has a great blog which outlines any changes regularly

DON’T send text messages without gaining permission from the receiver. Ask yourself… Is the telephone number I am sending these messages to the number of a current customer? Will the customer know who my business is and why they are receiving the SMS message? Has someone signed up this number to receive marketing from me?

Following these tips can help you maximise the impact offered by bulk SMS messages as a marketing tool.

If you want a comprehensive way of boosting the open rates of your mobile marketing messages, have a look at our previous blog post “5 Steps To Increase Your Marketing Campaign Open Rates From 20% To 97%“.