Simple Tips for Tweaking Your SMS Marketing Campaign

Learn how to get more out of your SMS marketing campaign.

BY: JAVI CALDERON ON TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Simple Tips for Tweaking Your SMS Marketing Campaign
Simple Tips for Tweaking Your SMS Marketing Campaign


SMS marketing (the process of marketing to large groups of consumers through a bulk text message) is an example of mobile marketing, and is certainly one of the most – if not the most – interactive, immediate and personal marketing strategies in use today. Not only is the process of creating and distributing a bulk SMS message far more cost and time efficient than Email marketing, but SMS also has the added advantage of reaching out to targets through their cellular phone, which most adults keep within arm’s reach throughout the day.

Unfortunately, business owners are usually surprised and dismayed when they see the preliminary reports from their first SMS campaign. Seeing 5% returns on a message that went out to 1,000 recipients, the initial response is either that SMS marketing simply doesn’t work, or the message needs to be sent out to more people.

Both of these completely understandable responses, however, are off base.

For starters, depending on your product, just ten sales off a 1,000 recipient message will probably cover the costs. Second, the key to improvement is not increasing the number of recipients, but learning what turned off those that didn’t respond. Patience, and tweaking your message through trial and error are certainly your best bet for getting the most out of your SMS marketing efforts.

Text messaging is a very personal and informal form of communication, reserved specifically for friends and family. No one is interested in a text message that seems generic or sent out at random. To succeed in SMS marketing you have to provide the recipient with value and convince them that the message was intended specifically for them.

Trial and Error Techniques for Improving Your SMS Marketing Efforts

If you’re using a bulk SMS gateway to handle your bulk messaging, consider breaking your large pool of recipients down into smaller groups. With smaller groups you can take a scientific approach of conducting tests by altering certain variables in your message to see what elicits more or less response.

There are multiple variables to play with: timing, wording, location-specific messages, etc. Unfortunately, for the many advantages that SMS marketing offers, one of the disadvantages is the limited amount of information you receive from your recipients. For starters, you have two pieces of information that you can use to begin tweaking your approach – the area code of the recipient, and the time they responded to your message.

At first glance you probably think these data points are useless, however, a little creativity can illustrate how to manipulate the variables you have available to maximize your efforts and the information available to you.

For example, if you’re receiving high response rates from a particular area code, create a more personal message that speaks to that area. As I said before, text message is a very personal tool; try creating messages with area-specific information specifically directed towards several of your high-response area codes. Whether these recipients are from Texas, California or Maine, adding information (like location) that makes the message more personal will help generate results.

Along the same lines, if you notice a time period when you’re getting above-average response rates, then consider a test of sending a message to one of your groups only during this time for a while. Likewise, if there is a time of the day when you’re getting no responses, improve your efficiency by focusing your efforts and resources during other times.

There are various time-related variables you can test. Not only can you test a particular time of day for the best result, you can test different days of the week, or times during the month. Maybe some folks will be more inclined to response on payday, second and fourth Fridays of the month? Or on the weekends?  

As you can see, the key is to maximize your efforts by finding what works. There are multitudes of variables that you can work through. These tests may seem tedious and time consuming, but once you’ve compiled and sorted through the information you can develop an effective strategy that will maximize your efforts and results.

About the Author

Javi Calderon Javi Calderon is a freelance writer, copywriter and journalist with interests in music, sports, small business marketing, and technology. Full Biography