Though it seems with such an informal communications platform, subverting the general marketing rules seems to be par for the course. Right?
As your mother always said, "Mind your manners," and that sentiment is even more applicable to SMS marketing than any other strategy you've got going on. Since the rules are more easily broken in such an informal medium (everyone does it!), then it takes even more effort to watch your "P's" and "Q's."
- Ensure your SMS list is full of opt-ins (no SPAM!).
- State clearly that by signing up for your SMS campaign, it's a subscription rather than a one time deal.
- Include a privacy statement on your opt-in form.
- Consider including a double opt-in mechanism, asking your subscriber to confirm whether they'd like to receive your SMS campaign (typically, double opt-ins also confirm cell phone numbers).
- Inform your subscribers that charges may apply to receive messages.
- Customize messages to meet your customers' interests and needs.
- Avoid overtly informal messages.
- Avoid sarcasm, flippant phrases or anything that can easily be misconstrued and misinterpreted.
- Use commonly used abbreviations (if you must).
- Don't rely on abbreviations (who wants to read: "Hi! ALR 4 our sale BCZ time is running out! IOHO this offer is GR8!) GAL!
- Lead with your offer.
- Ensure that if you do include an offer, make it easy to redeem (return text, scannable coupon or linked).
- And, include directions on how to download or redeem your promotions.
- Write concisely (don't use the entire 160 character availability).
- Include an opt-out shortcode in each message.
If you stick to these SMS marketing rules, you will open yourself (and business) to more engaged subscribers which will lead to more leads, sales and overall branding.