Have you ever felt like you're making all kinds of mistakes that might be slowing your sales growth? It's pretty easy to do and relatively common.
That's especially true regarding the use of SMS texts in marketing, and it can be super frustrating to realize that you're not pulling in the revenue you feel you should be.
It's even worse when you don't even know what those mistakes are or how to correct them. But SMS marketing isn't something you should give up on.
After all, the vast majority of Americans today check their phones at least 47 times per day. That's a massive opportunity for those engaging in SMS marketing.
With that in mind, we put together a list of 14 of the most common text marketing mistakes that could be hurting your sales growth and how to avoid them.
1. Sending Texts Your Customers Don't Want
SMS messages are a great way to stay in touch with your audience, but it's important not to send unwanted or intrusive messages. SMS texts are delivered directly to your customer's device, so they don't have the option to "open" it like an email.
This can be an awesome benefit if you have a timely message that you know your audience will appreciate. Still, it can also be a nuisance if you send too many messages or messages that are not appropriate.
Only Send Relevant Texts
Whenever you decide to conduct an SMS campaign, you must commit to sending relevant messages that will resonate with your audience.
To do that, you'll want to make sure that you understand their pain points, such as:
- What are they looking for?
- What do they need?
- When do they need it?
By understanding these things, you'll be able to create a campaign that appeals to them and provides the information they need.
2. Sending SMS Texts to Opted-Out Subscribers
If you send text messages to subscribers who opted out of your list, you're not only being annoying, but you're also breaking the law. The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) passed in 2004 and was designed to crack down on this.
If your former customers receive a spam text message, they have the right to take legal action against you. Sending text messages to someone who has unsubscribed from your list is a massive "No, No."
3. Ignoring SMS Opt-In Rules
According to the law, you must get written consent before you can send commercial SMS texts to someone. Failing to do so is another huge mistake that can hurt your sales.
Imagine sending an unsolicited SMS text, which makes the recipient angry. That person then proceeds to bad mouth your business to everyone they know.
Talk about bad PR! Of course, an increasingly bad reputation will negatively impact your bottom line.
So be sure to get that written consent and ensure your audience is actively subscribed to your list. Keep in mind that consent can be in the form of a written document that is signed by hand, or you can obtain it digitally.
Either way, it's essential to have it to avoid any potential legal problems down the road.
4. Complicating the Opt-Out
As more and more businesses rely on SMS marketing to reach and improve relationships with their customers, it's critical to make sure that users have the ability to opt out. That's especially true if they no longer want to receive messages.
Opt-out rates can be high if users don't have an easy way to unsubscribe, which can hurt your reputation and your relationship with customers.
Fortunately, you can take steps to make opting-out straightforward for your users. Make sure that opt-out instructions are included in every message, and provide a dedicated phone number or email address for users to contact if they want to be removed from the list.
Opt-out options should be visible and easy to find; don't hide them in fine print or bury them in complex menus.
5. No Clear Brand Identification
Tell the truth. Would you respond to a text message from an unidentified source? Most people won't. On the other hand, many people respond in record time when they receive a message from someone they know and like.
That's just as true when consumers get messages from brands they respect and with whom they want to do business.
However, forgetting to identify themselves is a common mistake some businesses still make when sending SMS messages to their customers.
"No-name-texts" don't really build trust and definitely don't encourage a reader to act on the offer. If that's you, you're missing an opportunity for better brand recognition while increasing the chances of your messages being perceived as spam.
Simply including your business name in the message can increase brand recognition and give potential customers a sense of trust. Moreover, you can avoid the hassle and wasted resources associated with having your messages marked as spam.
6. Texting Outside Business Hours
You know how immensely irritating it can be if you've ever been on the receiving end of a telemarketer's call. The same thing applies when it comes to SMS texts. Nobody wants to receive a marketing message when they're in the middle of something else.
So, if you want your SMS marketing campaign to be successful, ensure you're sending your messages at a time when people are likely to be receptive to them. Plan your campaign carefully and take the time to schedule your messages for maximum impact.
Unless it's an emergency, you should stick to sending text messages between 9 AM to 5 PM. This is easy when all your customers live in your city. But what if you cater to customers overseas in entirely different time zones?
In that case, it's best to use an SMS platform that lets you schedule texts in advance so you can make sure your customers receive your messages during business hours in their local time zones.
7. Not Welcoming Customers
SMS messages are a great way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them up-to-date on your business's latest news and deals. However, it's important to remember that people might not even recognize they signed up for your SMS marketing list.
And if you send a text without welcoming them, they just may block you because they think it's spam.
Instead, send a personalized welcome text by saying thanks, using their name, and reminding them why they subscribed in the beginning. You should also tell first-time subscribers what to expect in the coming weeks.
Doing this will help ensure that your SMS messages are well-received and appreciated. It will also help avoid any potential misunderstandings or customer complaints.
8. Using Too Many Emojis
Using emojis can be a good way to add some personality to your texts and emails. They can also help clarify your meaning, especially when trying to convey tone or emotion.
However, it's important not to overdo it. Using too many can make your message harder to understand, as opposed to clearer.
Additionally, if you're having a conversation with someone via text, and they're not responding with emojis the way that you are, it might be best to stop using them altogether.
People often mirror each other's body language and facial expressions in face-to-face interactions. If that's not happening, it could be because they're not trying to build a rapport with you. In that case, it just may be best to steer clear of emojis altogether.
9. Lack of Personalization
In today's competitive marketplace, businesses need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. You'll likely see lots of advice about how personalizing your SMS texts can help you do that.
The truth is, most businesses personalize their messages now. If they don't, they're behind the curve. It's no longer a way to stand out, but it's still vital. So, you have to do it.
Indeed, you might stand out if you do not personalize your texts, but it would be in a negative way. Of course, that's not what you want.
So what are the benefits of personalization if everybody's doing it these days?
Glad you asked.
By tailoring content to your audience's specific needs and interests, you can make a more meaningful connection that resonates on a deeper level.
This is especially true when it comes to text marketing. When done correctly, text marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach and engage your target audience.
10. Focusing Too Much On the Sale
The goal of most SMS marketing campaigns is to sell more products or services. However, if you put too much focus on the sale itself, you may actually end up turning potential customers away.
Instead of trying to hard-sell your product or service, concentrate on providing value. This could mean offering helpful information, coupons, or discounts or simply building a relationship with your customers.
When you provide value, customers will be more likely to buy from you when they are ready. And even if they don't buy right away, they will remember you when they need what you're selling.
Place an emphasis on providing value, and the sales will follow.
11. Using Too Much Slang
In recent years, there has been a trend among businesses to use slang and informal abbreviations in their communications with customers. While this might seem like a way to bring the business "closer to the customer," the reality is that it can actually drive customers away.
Slang can be challenging to understand and make the business seem unprofessional. It’s important to use clear, concise language in all business communications.
12. Forgetting a Call to Action (CTA)
SMS texts are an excellent way to reach out to your customers and promote your product or service. However, these messages are only effective if they include a clear call to action.
Without a CTA, SMS messages can quickly become lost in the shuffle. It tells your customers exactly what you would like them to do next. It should be concise and direct and included at the end of your SMS message.
When writing a CTA, there are a few fundamental rules to keep in mind in order to make it effective:
- First, it is important to be personal and address the reader directly. This helps to create a sense of urgency and scarcity and reduce risk.
- Additionally, using power words can also help get people to take action.
- Finally, social proof is also a great way to trigger people's curiosity and get them to take the desired action.
Following these simple rules, you can write a compelling CTA to help you achieve your goals.
13. Linking to Pages Not Optimized for Mobile
Put some thought into where you want text recipients to go from your message. A bad experience on a mobile website can be enough to make people give up and leave, no matter how great your offer is.
It's crucial to ensure that when you place a link into a text message, it points back to a website that's optimized for mobile viewing.
Your content should be easy to read and navigate. Buttons should also be easy to click. Also, pay attention to loading times - people are unlikely to stick around if your pages take too long to load.
By offering a well-designed mobile experience, you'll be much more likely to keep people engaged.
14. Doing Stuff That Gets Your SMS Text Marked as Spam
We saved this one for last because several issues are bunched up together. This isn't you sending out the same message repeatedly and being spammy.
These are issues that get your mobile carrier thinking there's something wrong with your number.
For example, it's essential to be mindful of how you format your text message. Using all capital letters (all caps) can seem like you're shouting at the person receiving the message.
Additionally, inserting an email address into your message will most likely result in carrier filtering. To be safe, remove it. We also recommend using a URL shortener to shorten your links.
Keep in mind that texts ending in an URL are more likely to be filtered. If you shorten your URL, make sure it is trustworthy, and if it's easily avoidable, don't end your message with a link.
Finally, having a dollar sign in your bulk text messages will increase your spam score with your mobile carrier.
Wrapping it All Up
People make many common mistakes when they market services or products via SMS texts. Those mistakes can cost them when it comes to sales.
On the other hand, when it comes to boosting sales, SMS can be a powerful tool when done correctly. But as with any tool, there are ways to use it effectively and ways to misuse it.
Let's summarize real quick. Here are some ways to boost sales without turning off your customers.
By following our advice in this article, you can help keep your sales from slowing down. Now get out there and grow your business.