4 tips for better SMS marketing messages

You’ve probably seen businesses try to pull off ‘text speak’ by shortening their words, using slang and trying to seem ‘cool’ to their target audience.

All too often these attempts just end up like the time your Dad showed off his dance moves at your school disco.

Here are our tips to help you avoid that level of embarrassment.

1. Bring value to the customer

SMS marketing is still in its early stages, and the personal connection that most people have with their mobile phone means that they expect something of value (to them) out of your messages.

The minute that value isn’t clear is the minute they opt-out and you lose an opportunity to keep a customer.

Appointment reminders, service updates or reminders, bill notifications, and announcements of special events are all popular methods of creating value for the customer.

Put the reason for your text at the beginning, and if it needs a follow-up, include a phone number, rather than a web link as not all users have web access.

Massage appointment reminder: Your massage is tomorrow morning at 10.15am. Call us before 4pm today on 01234567890 to change.

2. Avoid abbreviating

I no u no wt I mn. Bt, ur cstmrs mt nt. LoL.


Instead of trying to cram a long message into tiny letters that can easily be misunderstood, learn the art of writing more with fewer words.

If you can’t say it in under 165 characters, consider using a letter or email instead.

Just stick to the facts, don’t embellish and use shorter words and recognised symbols that carry the same meaning: Call, instead of phone; RSVP, instead of please respond; meal, instead of dinner; % instead of per cent, and so on.

Many offers come with terms and conditions – everyone knows that. You can simply state ‘terms apply’ and ‘call 01234567890 for details’ to keep it short, yet stay within best-practices.

3. Avoid using slang

You know that feeling you get when your mother tries out some new term she’s picked up from watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy?

Well, that’s what your customers think when you try to get all down with da lingo, yo.

Use words everyone will understand and you’ll be respected.

4. Notice the time before you hit ‘send’

Most people have their mobiles with them 95% of the time. So, please make sure you’re not sending them messages in the middle of the night, or when they might be driving to or from work.

The best time for sending SMS marketing messages is mid to late afternoon before the commute home.

About the Author:

Pavel Webb is the affiliate manager at TextMagic, an online SMS gateway based in United Kingdom.