6 June 2019
12 ways to get the best from your bulk messaging service
Send a message to hundreds or thousands of customers within minutes. Bulk messaging is efficient, highly effective, and you can easily monitor and manage your campaign from a web interface.
Here’s how to maximise your high volume SMS campaign for the best results:
1. Make it personal
Personalisation plays a huge role in capturing customers’ attention and loyalty. A customised SMS makes customers feel that the message is personally geared to their needs.
Huge numbers of SMS can be personalised just as easily as individual texts, quickly and easily. Use mail merge to ensure your SMS greets each recipient by name.
2. Keep it short
With only 160 characters, your message must be short. In any case, SMS is designed to be short, snappy and will save you money.
Don’t waste your allocation on junk characters! Your bulk messaging service should include character conversion, which removes symbols, formatted content, and hidden characters from your messages.
3. Include links
Similarly, while including links is a great technique, don’t use up characters on a long weblink. Use short URLs to cut your weblink to just 22 characters, making more room for customer-converting text.
Use links to encourage engagement with your website, landing page, or social media channels. Mobile landing pages can also provide more information or action buttons to drive responses.
4. Save time with templates
When sending to multiple recipients, save time with an SMS template. A template pre-populates your message with the structure and content already set up by you, with the addition of content for each campaign.
For example, notifications and alerts via SMS can use a predetermined template with standard information, with details like names, dates or addresses added in.
5. Be a name, not a number
Build customer trust and recognition with an SMS from your business name. Anonymous numbers risk being seen as spam, discouraging customers from clicking.
A dedicated or virtual number means that your SMS comes from the same number, every time. Encourage your customer to save your number to your phone, and they will recognise your number every time.
Whether you choose a dedicated number or not, make sure you identify your business in the body of the message, to ensure customers know who you are.
6. Timing and scheduling
Time your messages for the action you want to drive. Let customers know of your major sale a few days in advance. A message about a new restaurant has greater resonance towards the end of the week, just before customers plan their weekend.
Avoid sending message too early or late in the day, which is where social sending helps, ensuring your messages don’t bother customers at unsociable hours (ie outside 8am and 6pm). A mid-morning or lunchtime SMS can be the perfect time to inspire action.
Schedule your send to go out at your chosen time, meaning that you can do this ahead of time.
7. Tell your customer what to do next
Always include a call-to-action (CTA) in your bulk messaging to encourage your customer to take the next step. Whether it’s visiting your website, giving feedback, or making a purchase, be clear about what you want them to do. Use phrases such as ‘Text to win’, ‘Buy now’ or ‘Contact us’ and other instructions to incite a response.
8. Make sure your offer expires
Customers won’t feel compelled to act if your offer is indefinite. Always Include an expiry date to create a sense of urgency.
9. Follow the rules
There are specific rules and regulations regarding SMS campaigns, so you must be aware of and abide by those in your region as they cover consent to receive SMS and the right to decline unsolicited SMS. Opt-out provisions are particularly important, and short URLs can be useful here to link to the relevant page on your website.
If you are partnering with an SMS provider, a good organisation can help you navigate any legal requirements.
10. Clean your database
Bulk messaging is cost-effective but can add up if your database includes old or inactive numbers. Reduce wasted cost by cleaning up your database and only sending to active numbers.
Tools such as deduplication, which prevents the same customer receiving the same SMS twice, can help.
To improve the effectiveness of your campaign and clean your database, lookups provide information on any phone numbers from any country within seconds. Lookups remove invalid numbers, inactive or unrecognisable numbers, cutting the cost of your send and helping with compliance.
11. Track and monitor your results
A good campaign reveals how your customers engage with your content, enabling you to refine your next one.
Using short URLs, which are unique trackable links, you can track your results with analytics. A bulk send can provide a large amount of data that has the potential to reveal how to best create conversions and further improve sales. Find out valuable insights, such as which content and CTAs drive the greatest response.
13. Partner with a reliable SMS provider
Bulk messaging is highly effective, but there are a range of elements to consider. With an experienced SMS provider, you can trust that your messages will be sent at the right time and to the right recipients.
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