Your customers are putting a lot of trust in you when they hand over permission to send a text message directly to their phone. Text messaging is one of the more intimate forms of communication. It’s not like a mass print mailer or email (the majority of which go straight to the trash or junk folder). Text messages are almost always opened and read, usually within just three minutes of being received. As a business owner or marketer, it’s your job to ensure that you’re not taking advantage of that trust, because if you do, customers will opt-out–and fast. The following tips can help you ensure you’re sending impactful messages that keep your opt-ins sticking around.

Know your target audience and cater to them

If, in your mind, your audience is everyone, then when you set out to try and target that audience, you’ll reach nobody. In an ideal world, everyone in the world would love your business and the products/services you offer. But in the real world, only certain demographics will. Before you can even think about crafting a text message to send, you have to figure out who you’re trying to reach. What kinds of people are most likely to be interested in what you’re selling or who is most likely to need it? Find out what compels your target audience. What do they like and dislike? What kind of approach is the most likely to succeed with them?

Understand the message you’re trying to get across

Along with knowing your target audience, you need to know your message–not the exact wording of any one given text message–the overall message you’re trying to send with your entire SMS campaign, your brand’s message. You can fuss over the exact wording of individual texts later but when first putting together your SMS campaign you need to have a clear vision for it and a clear message that you want to come through with each and every text. That message can be as simple as “we care about our customers.”

Select the right channels

Because text message marketing is one of the least expensive and one of the most expensive mobile channels, SMS is a given. But what about other channels. SMS marketing can’t be successful all on it’s own. For one, you need to make use of other channels to make your customers aware of your SMS channel. SMS can also function as a doorway to other channels. You can use SMS to funnel customers into your mobile site, social media pages, or video content. Which channels you use to get more opt-ins and which ones you advertise in your text messages will depend on your target audience and mobile marketing aims.

Never stop fine-tuning

No matter how hard you try, some customers will still opt out. The best you can do is try to learn from those opt-outs. Pay attention to opt-out trends. Where you sending too many promotional text messages prior to a surge in opt-outs? Maybe you need to be less pushy. Have recent texts been a little too long or uninteresting? Maybe you can reduce opt-outs by working on conciseness and directness. Continually fine tune your SMS strategy. It’s never finished.