They say timing is everything, and this is no exception when it comes to marketing to your customers. As perfect timing varies with each marketing channel and we want to give you a thorough overview of best practices for each (because we’re just that lovely), this 4-part series will cover best practices for SMS, social, email and traditional marketing.
SMS marketing is possibly the most time-sensitive marketing channel as it is the most direct and personal, therefore the most prone to being perceived as “intrusive” if not handled delicately.
After spending so much time and effort on building your precious customer database, the last thing you want to do is have a customer unsubscribe from your text list because you’ve woken them out of sleep to inform them of your roast chicken special in the morning.
Before you hit the send button, take heed of these SMS marketing best practices we’ve drawn up to help you figure out the best day and time to hit your customers up with offers.
1. Keep It Between Business Hours
It makes sense to keep marketing messages between working hours where possible, particularly during the weekdays. No one wants their unwinding time disrupted after a long day of dealing with the outside world.
Similarly, waking up to an offer first thing in the morning is about as enticing as the sound of the alarm clock, not only will it disgruntle customers but it will fly straight out of their minds once the morning rush begins.
Those bustling hours right before and after work are a definite no-no. Streets are black with flustered workers rushing to make the next bus/luas/underground and they certainly won’t have time to acknowledge your message. Best scenario is your offer gets a quick glance and back in the pocket you go. On the positive side, they won’t have time to unsubscribe from your text list!
3. Avoid Monday Mayhem
Research has deemed Mondays as having the lowest response rate to SMS marketing due to the overwhelming workload to get through after the weekend. Plus a lot of people are grumpy, let’s not test their patience shall we.
Friday is always a great day to send a text offer. Everyone is in a rather pleasant mood, and of course it’s pay day which means you should try to get yourself in the consumer’s thought process while they’re feeling generous. Blast out your special offers, customer loyalty discounts and promotions on a Friday afternoon to really maximise that weekend footfall.
If you’re in the food industry particularly, lunchtime is probably one of your most profitable opportunities. Sending a sense-evoking text offer between 11:30 and midday is one of the most direct and effective marketing strategies. Have them drooling at their desks by 12:00pm with delicious, dramatized descriptions of the lunch niceties you have to offer, mmm.
To increase customer loyalty, and if it’s relevant to your business, it can be a good idea to send customers a text when their product has been shipped, delivered or when their goods are ready for collection. This is particularly impressive for pre-ordered lunches. Customers simply cannot get enough of speedy, efficient service in any area of business so it’s good to let them know you’re on top of things.
The big question – how often should I send customers a text?
It is generally recommended that SMS marketing for most businesses should be limited to once a week. Particularly if you’re the type of business with fast-moving stock and rotating weekly offers. For fashion retailers, for example, whose stock might only change once every season, once a week text offers can be a bit much for the consumer. Unless of course you have a new amazing offer each week!
Never leave it go more than 3 weeks without sending a message to your opted-in customers. Messaging is not about once-off blasts, you’re aiming to keep them interested and engaged.
There are, of course, exceptions to these rules. Feel free to bend the rules a little on certain special occasions; if you’re notifying customers of sales, new store openings, holiday offers, season greetings, promoting store or local events, or have some general breaking news you feel your customers should know about.
The most important piece of marketing advice I can give is to keep testing. Strategies that work well for some businesses might differ for others; there is no Holy Grail handbook for SMS marketing!
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