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6 bulk SMS best practices to follow

Headshot of Brant Williams

Brant Williams

VP Americas

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Feb 9, 2022
4 min read

SMS messaging is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. SMS open rates are as high as 98% (compared to 20% for emails), providing an incredible opportunity to get your message across to a broad audience. SMS messaging also has a 750% higher response rate than emails, ensuring the efforts you put into your bulk SMS campaigns can result in true engagement.

Before you jump headfirst into creating an SMS marketing strategy, it’s important to consider the most effective methods for doing so. For bulk SMS, there are some key best practices you should follow:

  1. Get permission from your audience

  2. Send messages at the right time

  3. Be concise and goal-focused

  4. Personalize your message

  5. Create a two-way conversation through automation

  6. Don’t send too many messages

To help you understand how to apply each of these bulk SMS best practices to your own business, we’ve addressed each one below.

1. Get permission from your audience

Security is a key component of any digital communication. One way to quickly turn your audience off is by sending unsolicited messages, without first asking them to ‘opt-in’. Depending on where your business is located, this may even be a legal requirement. 

As well as first asking if people want to receive SMS messages, it’s important to include an option to opt-out in all of your text messages, just as you would include an ‘unsubscribe’ option at the end of emails.

2. Send messages at the right time

If you want to get the best possible engagement from your audience, timing is integral. No one wants to be woken up at 6 am by a text message promoting an upcoming sale - so keeping commercial messages within reasonable business hours is a must. 

Outside of that, it really depends on your business and your audience to determine what times are best. Using a platform that allows you to track engagement levels makes it easy for you to measure how well your bulk SMS messages are received and do some trial and error to determine which timeslots are most effective. 

3. Be concise and goal-focussed

It goes without saying that text messages provide less real estate than emails to get your message across. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with long, confusing messages. Instead, it’s important that you create SMS text messages that are concise, to the point, and oriented toward the goal you’ve created for your bulk SMS campaign.

This goal can be anything from converting leads to receiving feedback and information back from your audience. 

4. Personalize your message

71% of consumers are frustrated when a shopping experience isn’t personalized, and 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. In other words, incorporating personalization into your bulk SMS strategy is incredibly beneficial.

To design an experience that’s individualized for each of your consumers, you first need to understand and define them. Contact management is great for this, as it allows you to segment your audiences according to certain demographics or criteria (for example, grouping everyone who has made a certain recent purchase), and build out bulk SMS messages accordingly.

5. Create a two-way conversation through automation

There’s little to no point in sending out bulk SMS messages en masse without then being available to collect and answer responses you may get. This is particularly the case if you’re requiring an answer from people, such as confirmation of an appointment or the recipient’s safety.

Of course, when dealing with sending messages in bulk, it’s impossible to be able to manually monitor and respond to messages you receive back. This is where automation comes into play, and can be a key way to continue the conversation without losing momentum or personalization.

When designing your automated message journey, it’s important to consider responses that sound natural, conversational, and relevant to the original bulk SMS you’ve sent out.

6. Don’t send too many messages

As with any marketing effort, you don’t want to overdo it and ‘spam’ your audience. A great way to make sure you’re not sending too many bulk SMS messages is to make sure each text you send is attached to your overall goal, brings value, and doesn’t repeat previous messages when it’s unnecessary or unhelpful to do so.

If you value the age-old idiom of ‘less is more’, you’ll find that you can keep your bulk SMS campaigns fresh and engaging.

Create and send engaging, data-driven bulk SMS messages

Sending messages in bulk doesn’t mean you have to lose that personal touch. By utilizing these 6 bulk SMS best practices, you can communicate with your customers, employees, or community with messages that are truly engaging, meaningful, and human-centric. 

It’s the perfect way to scale your communications, alleviating pressure on your teams, while still reaching and connecting with a broad audience. 

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