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12 SMS Marketing Best Practices to Head Start Your Campaign

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Published: Dec 14, 2020

Don’t let poor implementation get in the way of a successful texting campaign.

In this post, we list some easy to implement SMS marketing best practices to boost your list building and conversion rates (and how CallHub’s features help you implement them.)

What kinds of texts can you send?

Before we get into the best practices, let’s differentiate the types of texting you can use in your SMS marketing campaigns.

SMS Opt-in. These campaigns are mainly used for list building. A potential contact sends a keyword to your number in order to be added to your contact list. You can send follow-ups to collect further data.

Mass texting allows you to broadcast personalized messages to contacts. You can schedule a mass text to go out, and it will autofill with each individual contact’s data, as long as you have them in your database.

Peer-to-peer texting. Texting agents engage contacts in 1-to-1 personal conversations. The tradeoff is that the scale of your texting campaign is limited by the number of agents you have.

Get an Opt-in from Contacts

You don’t want to send texts to contacts who haven’t subscribed to your text messages.

Two reasons:

  • You stay in compliance with TCPA regulations, or other regulations relevant to your region.
  • People are more likely to respond or take action if they know who you are and have explicitly given their permission to receive texts.

There are several ways contacts can subscribe, for example, by:

  • Entering a phone number on a web form
  • Sending a keyword to a number
  • Opting in during a call
  • Subscribing in person

Have a prominent CTA

The more obvious your CTA is, the more people are going to join your texting list.

If you’re using SMS opt-in to collect contacts, make it stand in your messaging, your website and your social media handles.

biden-opt-in

For opt-ins through website forms, make the form a constant throughout the prominent pages of your site.

Confirm Opt-ins

The initial text from your campaigns should confirm the opt-in of your contacts.

Include details like:

  • Who you are and the name of the program
  • Purpose of the campaign
  • How to opt out – what keyword to text in
  • Message and data rates

With SMS opt-in campaigns, a message will go out automatically to everyone who texts in with a keyword.

The recent Democratic Primary gives us some examples:

campaign-initial-text

Send personalized text messages

Personalization is an easy way to make your text messages stand out from the rest.

Tailor your messaging to your contacts with CallHub’s default custom fields (listed below), or even add your own:

  • {first_name}
  • {last_name}
  • {mobile_number}
  • {phone_number}
  • {email}
  • {country}
  • {city}
personalized-sms

Make replying quick with text templates

In many cases people expect quick replies to their text messages. (ex. When you are having text conversations with contacts.)

Adding text message templates to your peer-to-peer texting campaigns will make it easier for your agents to reply and handle multiple conversations at the same time.

peer-to-peer-texting-templated-reply

Use MMS for more engaging messages

More engaging content (like MMS) generates conversions 70% of the time than passive textual content, with 36% conversions. 

Add a visual element to your text messages (images, GIFs, videos) to make it more likely that contacts take action.

mms-text-example

Know what kind of texts work for your campaign

You need to set expectations for what action a contact needs to take when they receive a message.

  • For peer-to-peer texting, where two people are involved in an exchange, a more casual, conversational text message will work better.
  • For mass texting, where you are broadcasting a text to send updates to contacts a more informational text message is the way to go.

Here’s an example of a conversational text message:

conversational-text

Keep your agents occupied

When you’re running a peer-to-peer texting campaign, you assign batches of contacts among your texting agents.

An efficient campaign is one that can reassign agents to a batch of texts in a way that everyone is occupied.

If any of your agents can’t make it to a shift or contact the people assigned to them, CallHub identifies these agents and lets you move unengaged contacts to active volunteers.

reassign-contacts

Send follow ups and responses

Send follow ups to your contacts as reminders or with the objective of keeping them engaged.

  • In SMS opt-in campaigns, you can schedule nudges to go out if they don’t respond to your opt-in flow.
  • In Mass texting campaigns, you can set up responses to go out based on a keyword that contacts reply with.
  • In Peer-to-peer texting campaigns, agents can reply to text messages with templated text responses or by typing out a response.
automated-reply

If you’re running calling campaigns to contacts with CallHub, you can have agents send out text  message follow ups to calls right from their calling interface.

Time your texts

Make sure your texts go out when it makes the most sense.

For example, If you’re sending reminders for GOTV, or appointment reminders, the best time for your text messages to go out would be within 24 hours of the relevant date.

It also goes without saying that sending texts outside of normal hours is best avoided—sending texts only between 9AM to 8PM.

Make it easy to take action

Text messaging is the ideal channel to reach out to contacts with time sensitive information, or whenever you want them to take an action (like donate.)

Want your audience to take immediate action, such as tuning in to an event livestream?

You can send a quick broadcast text message letting people know. With 90% of people reading a text message within 5 minutes, it’s one of the most immediate ways to notify people about a live event.

opt-out-text

Make sure you add a link to your mobile optimized web page so that it is easy for them to go from reading your text to taking action on it.

Make it easy to opt-out

Some people are bound to change their minds about receiving texts.

It’s up to the sender to make sure it is easy for them to opt-out of text messages if they want to.

Most texting providers let you automatically unsubscribe people from your list if they reply with keywords like STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE.

cta-text-message

Ready to put these SMS marketing best practices to work? Sign up for CallHub and try it out for free.

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