SMS messages are powerful for transaction communication. The messages are easy to write when the content contains only a shipping message or an access code. But to compose marketing Text messaging can be much more challenging.
For example, to avoid ellipses (…) or make sure a message is not split in two, the message is limited to just 160 characters in the US (the limit varies by country).
The context of SMS messages (also known as text messages) is unique. An omnichannel retailer in Boise, Idaho, wanted contact with customers during the Covid-19 shutdown. The purpose was to let them know about available services and products. However, many of the customers had not received a text message from the retailer in more than two years. When the message expired, some of these customers were annoyed.
An email to the same customers may not have attracted any ire. But text messages are more immediate and intimate, which requires marketers to be careful.
Here are four tips for writing better text messages for marketing.
1. Pay attention
If you were writing a promotional copy or even a blog post, the suggestion to "catch the attention" would be "write a strong headline." An SMS has no heading, but the first phrase or sentence should still catch the attention to entice the recipient to read the entire communication.
There is a compelling example of grabbing the attention of the first section of "Copywriting 101: How to Craft Compelling Copy,”An ebook from Copyblogger.
It starts with a headline: "Don't Read This, or the Kitty Gets It." The implied threat to a kitten almost guarantees that people will read the next sentence.
Of course, everyone reads on.
The author, Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, writes, “Poor Fluffy. I asked you not to do this and you have broken the rules. It does not look good for this cute little kitten that I have taken as hostage so that my requirements would not be met. However, she is very sweet. "
Clark goes on to argue that the primary purpose of a written marketing copy is to get the audience to read the next sentence. The headline convinces someone to read the first sentence. The first sentence attracts him to read the second, and so on – right down to the offer and the call to action.
2. Keep it simple
Imagine a copywriter and an entrepreneur sitting across a desk from each other. They are there to write the marketing copy for an SMS campaign to increase sales of a new product.
The first draft of the copywriter was 100 small characters.
New COVID-19 mask will not fog glasses or chafe.
It's only $ 1.99 for five. Visit short.url to buy.
But the owner wanted to squeeze in some more text because the limit is 160 characters.
“Can we mention that they receive free shipping on orders over $ 35? I think we should also say that it has more than 32 reviews on Amazon. And that we have been active since 2019. In addition, there are many colors. "
When they had finished reading the message:
New COVID-19 mask. Many colors. 5 for $ 1.99.
Free shipping over $ 35.> 32 Amazon reviews.
From a reliable company founded in 2019.
Visit (short.url) to buy.
The message is now close to 160 characters. But is it better for complexity? Probably not. Adding too much information just dilutes the copy and communication.
Try to keep your message as simple as possible.
3. Ask for something
Your SMS marketing message needs a prompt. For example, a merchant started using a text message to ask buyers a style question about net promoter points – "would you recommend us to a friend?"
The message read:
Thanks for your order. We love you for that. But we have to ask, would you recommend us to a friend? Send 👍 or 👎.
The call to action here is a question, "would you recommend us to a friend?" The message also spells emoji's choice for the answer. It works well in conjunction with an SMS message.
4. Test your copy
Test and test if SMS marketing messages are among the best ways to learn what resonates with your audience.
I am aware of the latest promotion from a retailer with more than 7,000 contacts in their text list. The dealer ran several test rounds using samples from about 100 recipients. In the end, the campaign not only enjoyed the open rate of 98 percent, which is common with text messages, but also earned a conversion rate of 40 percent.