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Five Tips for Better Text-Message Marketing

Five Tips for Writing Marketing Text Messages

Connecting with consumers when they’re on the go is more important than ever, and text message marketing (also referred to as SMS, or short message service marketing) can be a highly effective technique.

But the proliferation of mobile devices doesn’t guarantee marketing success. If your pitches don’t resonate with consumers and motivate them to act, then your efforts are for naught.

Here are five tips for writing marketing texts that get read and produce results:

1. Be brief and focused.
Your text message should be laser focused and succinct. There’s no room for fluff in mobile marketing. Know who your target audience is and speak directly to it. Leave out extraneous details and simply describe how to take advantage of your offer and its benefits.

2. Avoid hype, slang and abbreviations.
If your text message looks like spam, consumers will delete it without a second thought. It’s critical that you leave out anything that might seem too slick and promotional. That includes marketing hype like “amazing” offers, slang and text abbreviations, all of which cheapen the perception of your brand and can destroy your campaign.

3. Offer something of immediate value.

No one wants to receive texts from a company unless the messages offer something of immediate value. Because text messaging is an instantaneous medium, you should include real-time offers. Whether you’re providing information about a sale or a new product, the message should describe the benefits of acting now.

4. Identify yourself.
How often have you received a text that doesn’t identify the company or brand? Instead, you often see a phone number you don’t recognize and a vague message that could have come from any number of companies. And how often have you simply deleted those anonymous messages? It’s essential that you clearly identify your business or brand to avoid getting the spam treatment.

5. Make consumers feel special.
Don’t clutter consumers’ text message inboxes with offers and news they could easily get from your website or your brick-and-mortar locations. Instead, make recipients of your texts feel they’re special and have qualified for an exclusive promotion. Otherwise, they will most likely opt out of receiving any future texts from you.

Related: The Top Five Mobile Marketing Mistakes

Examples of Mobile Marketing Texts

Here are a few sample texts to help you avoid mistakes and write an effective marketing message:

Bad Example 1: Amazing prices at www.abcbags.com almost 2G2BT. Miss these prices AYOR.

Bad Example 2: Hey! Did you see this sale? www.abcbags.com. Gotta get your bag before it’s too late.

Both texts include the hype, abbreviations and slang that can hurt your campaign.

Now, look at some good examples:

Good Example 1: 50% off all leather laptop bags at www.abcbags.com for the next 48 hours only. Use coupon code HALFOFFTEXT at checkout.

Good Example 2: ABC Bags 50% off leather laptop bags through 3/31/12. Show this message to store manager to get half off. Find a store: www.abcbags.com/locations.

Notice in each example that the offer is succinctly stated, with a clear call-to-action. Each text also provides a sense of value, timeliness and exclusivity. The messages create a sense of urgency, which people would expect from a text.

Remember that finding the right messages for your audience will take time and experimentation. But the tips and examples above should help you achieve your goals of getting noticed and making some sales. 

Related: Five Tips for Mobile Marketing Beyond Text-Message Ads

Susan Gunelius is CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc., an Orlando, Fla.- based marketing communications company. She has authored several books, including Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, published by Entrepreneur Media. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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