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SMS Marketing Mistakes to Avoid [6 biggest tips]

Aug 12, 2019

SMS marketing is one of the oldest and still effective marketing methods of all times. 27 years have passed from the day since the engineer Neil Papworth typed “Merry Christmas” on his computer and sent to the cellphone of Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. Currently, many succeeded companies like Textedly widely use this method to achieve their business development intentions. The effectiveness of this method has been proved not once. The factors that contribute to its vigorous success are as follows:

  • 90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes. This is 5 times faster compared to email open rates.

  • 62% of mobile users have internet access

  • 178.1 mobile apps have been downloaded by 2018

  •  48.71% website traffic comes from mobile devices as of the first quarter of 2019

 Conditioned with the instant growth of mobile reliance and implementation, businesses should be able to provide mobile-friendly content and adjust their websites to current customer trends. 

In spite of being in usage for so many years, there are still minor and major mistakes that companies make in SMS marketing. The results of these mistakes can be vital for the company from losing return customers to major fines. Some of the serious cases in the EU can be fining companies up to 20 million Euros. Consequently, all business owners should be aware of the little nuances of text message marketing and pay attention to what they send to their customers. Here you will find 6 big problems that many companies face and will learn how to avoid mistakes that can ruin your business.


1. Starting a campaign without permission

One of the most widespread and illegal mistakes is starting a campaign without permission. It is usually obtained either by hand or electronically. The customers should authorise the company to send messages, otherwise, they may face serious consequences and be fined as a result. The ways of getting permission are numerous; the users may text a keyword, they may provide a phone number or sign up electronically. These are counted as permissions, although you should make sure the customers are aware of what they are signing up for. 

Solution: Make sure you have used one of these ways to obtain customer permission. Failing to gain customer permission and sending messages may result in serious jurisdictional issues that are not included in your plans of business development. Ask the customers whether they know why they have signed up for messages. The case is that very often customers agree to sign up without a mere idea what they will receive and why. Therefore, provide proper information to your customers.


2. Generic content

SMS messages without a personal touch don’t have a long way to go. You should avoid sending “one-size-fit-all” messages to all customers with the hope of getting feedback. First and foremost, take care that your message includes something the customer actually wants. Here are certain tips to follow and make your message to the point:

  • Include the customer’s name in the message

  • Use your brand name in the message

  • Use local details, such as public holidays or other festivity discounts.


Solution: In order to be sure you send relevant and appealing information to your customers, you may adjust your message according to their gender, age, location and more. This method will enable you to narrow the target audience and make your message as relevant as possible. There are many SMS marketing platforms like Textedly that can help you pass through this way easily and effectively and provide compelling information tailored to the special interests of your customers.

3. Poor timing

It’s calculated that the most productive timing for text message marketing is from 12 pm to 8 pm. These are considered the hours when the majority of customers are the most active. Of course, these hours may fluctuate depending on the target audiences’ specific needs and wants. Furthermore, there is a so-called universal truth in marketing, that anything, from 9 am and after 8 pm, is personal and shouldn’t be interrupted or disturbed. However, the best way to be aware of your customers’ timing habits is testing. Never stop testing to learn more about the specialties of your target audience.

Solution: Generally try to send messages from 5-7pm, these are the relaxing hours of the majority of people, who are at home and open to receive messages. However, this time period may vary according to the business type you run. Whether you use SMS marketing as a restaurateur, non-profit organization, retailer, enterpriser or somebody else, you should be aware of the proper times of SMS marketing relevant to your business scope.

4. Sending too many text messages

Another widespread mistake that may put your business development at risk is sending too many text messages. Gathering a legitimate SMS marketing listing isn’t enough to start a campaign. You should know how to avoid mistakes that may lead the customer to opt-out. Sending the same message over and over is a direct ticket to opt-out. Try to be relevant and don’t overdo with the number of messages.

Solution: The average amount of sending messages to a customer is 2-3 times a week and no more. Of course, the desire to engage as many customers as possible is irresistible, but you should be delicate with limits and don’t annoy them. No one wants to get the same message over and over and delete it numerous times, so your spontaneous mistake may lead the customers to unsubscribe from your list. Thus, pay attention to similar details and don’t bombard the customers with spammy messages. 


5. Missing call-to-action in the text

Probably you have at least once received a message from a company that sounds like “Hello, we exist” and nothing more. The core value of any mass group texting in SMS marketing is the CTA (call-to-action). The call-to-action is the essential part of your message that should stimulate the customers and prompt them to turn from a passive customer into an active one. If your goal isn’t saying “Hello” to your customers, then be sure your message has a CTA. It will help your customers to understand why they have received that message after all. Otherwise, that would be a waste of time and money without any considerable outcome. 

Solution: Sending a message without a CTA is like shooting in a dark space. You will spend time and money and will get nothing as a result. Thus, be prepared and make sure you have included a compelling CTA in your text message. The best way to avoid this mistake is following the best practices of CTA which can be found online.


6. Lack of strong contact list

Building a strong contact list isn’t easy and almost impossible online. Generally, you are supposed to get customers’ phone numbers to send messages. If you fail to create a strong SMS list, you will market only to a small group with reduced effectiveness.

Solution: Make your SMS list information available everywhere. Post it on your website, social network pages or accounts, write people in-person. Moreover, you should offer something to people who would like to sign up. You can engage them with meal or service discounts, promotional products and more.

Key takeaways

Understanding these mistakes and avoiding them in your SMS marketing, you will make a revolutionary step for your business growth. SMS marketing remains the most effective and stable marketing method for decades. With a well-tailored SMS marketing campaign, you will overdo even the most cutting-edge companies in your industries. Furthermore, you will increase your customer retention rates if you use this great communication tool. Consider these big issues once more and boost the number of your return customers instantly.