This post was contributed by Tim Preston of VYBRNT SMS in partnership with SL Interactive. It’s specific to Australian SMS laws and regulations. Please check your local data privacy laws before initiating SMS marketing.

SMS marketing is an effective marketing channel for brands. Research shows that text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook.

While the benefits of SMS marketing are limitless, it’s critical that your business approach text messaging with careful consideration. You don’t want to frustrate your customers with unwanted texts or untimely messages.

VYBRNT SMS is designed for easy SMS promotional campaign sending. The platform helps you build powerful growth funnels.

In this post, you’ll learn how to avoid common SMS marketing mistakes and get practical strategies to grow your campaigns.

1. Sending Unwanted Texts

SMS is a highly intrusive tool because your customers don’t have the option to “open” it, like an email. It simply gets delivered to their device. So, it’s important not to send unwanted texts to your audience.

Before creating an SMS campaign, you’ll want to know your ideal customers’ pain points. You need an understanding of what your customers need, when they need it, and what messaging will land with them. Your prospects aren’t looking for just anything; they want a solution that solves their problem.

For example, a busy family may benefit from a nice local restaurant delivery offer at 3 pm on a Friday. It could save the family time. But send that same offer at 7 am, when dinner is the last thing on their mind, and it can result in the family member unsubscribing from your campaign.

Your first message to subscribers should quickly grab their attention. Here’s an example:

“Too tired to cook? Order takeaway before 7 pm and get a free dessert for the family. Call 0000 0000 (opt-out)”

2. Messaging Opted-Out Subscribers

Sending marketing messages to people that have not subscribed to your campaign is unlawful. In Australia, breaching spam laws can lead to serious financial penalties (up to $210,000 per day) and action in the Federal Court of Australia. Check your country’s spam laws to understand the penalties your business could face.

3. Forgetting an Opt-Out in Your SMS

Australian laws require you include a simple way for your customers to opt-out of receiving your texts. This opt-out must be in every marketing SMS you send.

Luckily, with VYBRNT SMS, you don’t have to create an opt-out process from scratch. The platform comes with a mobile-optimised unsubscribe facility, which automatically tracks the opt-outs. This valuable insight allows you to identify potential gaps in your messaging and improve your communications.

4. Sending Messages from Random Phone Numbers

Each SMS must identify that your business authorised the message. Use the legal name of your business, or your name and Australian Business Number.

In Australia, you will typically have four choices to use as the sender of the message (this alos can be called SenderID, Sender Name, Alpha Tag, From, or Originator). Let’s go through all these options:

Business Name

The business name is the most professional way to send your SMS messages. The name can be up to 11 characters, and it should match your brand or product as closely as possible. Recipients can’t reply to these messages, as it is not sent from a mobile number. If you are expecting people to reply, you should use a dedicated virtual number.

With VYBRNT SMS, you can send SMS messages from your business name using ActiveCampaign within the Australian market and in most countries around the world.

Mobile Number

With a mobile number, SMS replies will arrive on your phone. A two-way line offers the additional convenience of customers replying directly to the message. Mobile numbers help create a direct conversation, turning a marketing campaign into a direct conversation with the customer.

When to use it: This option can work if you are sending your messages to a very specific, small group (less than 100 people). For example, you could use a mobile number for internal staff notices or for key customers or suppliers.

Dedicated Virtual Number

A dedicated virtual number enables true two-way communication for your business. These numbers are assigned through the telcos, and they have a line rental fee associated with them.

Some providers lock you in with a long-term contract with these numbers, while others won’t allow you to change the number. ActiveCampaign provides a built-in dedicated virtual number.

This option is recommended for campaigns with Yes/No questions or multiple-choice questions. Here’s an example of an SMS for a sports competition:

“Who was the NBA MVP in 2015? A: Stephen Curry B: Lebron James C: Russell Westbrook. Text your response to 0000 0000 for a chance to win season tickets!”

Shared Number

With shared numbers, your messages are sent from a random number on the first day and another random number the next day. You have no control over other businesses or people using those same numbers for their campaigns.

5. Sending Untimely Messages

Timing is everything. Imagine receiving a special offer from your favorite brand but in the middle of the night. It’s not useful.

While timing will vary depending on your industry, product, and customers, you can start testing what works for your brand by sending SMS messages based on your email campaign schedule. Then, you can run A/B tests based on the days of the week and the time of the day.

6. Sending SMS Without a Strategy

To maximise your marketing efforts, SMS should be one component of an overarching marketing strategy. For instance, you can create a monthly or quarterly content calendar coordinating across SMS, email, and social media.

Start with your customer lifecycle to determine who to send messages. You want to tailor the customer experience to fit the subscriber’s journey.

You’ll also want to take advantage of automation to build complex sequences. For example, you may only send an SMS if subscribers aren’t opening their emails at all or on the last day of a promotion.

7. Sending a Link to a Non-Optimised Mobile Website

In your text message, you’ll want to include a link to a mobile-optimised website. A few good components of a landing page are:

  • A clear call to action
  • Minimal distractions
  • Strong copywriting

Studies also consistently show that fast page speed will result in better conversions. So, aim to have your landing page load in less than 3 seconds.

Build Effective SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS marketing is an essential tool for your business. With text messaging, you can quickly engage potential customers with coupons and special offers. Avoid the above-mentioned SMS marketing mistakes when launching your next campaign.

VYBRNT SMS is a simple and effective add-on to your existing ActiveCampaign platform that will help you drive sales, increase engagement, and convert leads.