SMS marketing is becoming an increasingly popular marketing strategy among businesses of all sizes. Not only is it the fastest, most convenient, and preferred method of communication for the majority of young people, it’s also one of the most cost-effective marketing channels there is. But as more businesses adopt a text message marketing strategy, businesses need to try harder to be noticed in a domain that’s become increasingly crowded. Here are six best practices that every business should take note of.

Get permission

Not only is this a best practice, it’s the law. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires businesses to get permission from customers before sending them promotional text messages. Don’t think of this as a roadblock but rather as an opportunity to have an audience made up entirely of people who want to hear from your business. Even if it wasn’t illegal, you wouldn’t want to send unsolicited texts because mobile phone users tend to be younger, tech savvy, and very annoyed with spam. To build a large database of phone numbers, make sure to use existing marketing channels to advertise your SMS program. Make it easy for customers to opt in and offer rewards for doing so.

Send texts at the right time

Because 90% of text messages are noticed and read within seconds, they’re the perfect way to send time-sensitive messages. But on the flip side, a text message can be a total failure if it’s not sensitive to time. Avoid sending texts during times that are more likely to annoy customers like early in the morning on weekends or late in the evening on weekdays. There are plenty of SMS scheduler tools that will allow you to time your messages for the most optimum moments.

A call to action

One of the things people like most about SMS marketing is that it’s usually direct and to the point. Your marketing messages should also be to the point. A great way to do this is to include a call to action that concisely and directly tells recipients what you want them to do. Examples might be “click on this link to learn more” or “come in with this coupon to receive…”

Use simple language

Another way to use the inherent benefits of text messaging to your advantage is to use simple, easy-to-understand language. That means no slang, acronyms, or jargon even if it’s what all the kids are saying these days. It comes across as awkward and unnatural and there may be many in your audience who will not understand the message.

Make it exclusive

One of the things that will keep customers from opting out is the perception that the SMS channel has a degree of exclusivity to it. Many of your SMS recipients will also follow your business on social media and may receive newsletters or coupons via email. If your texts are saying the same things you’re saying on these other channels, they’re more likely to opt out. Another way to make it exclusive is to give them special treatment like mobile-only deals.

Analyze metrics

You want to constantly improve your SMS marketing campaign by paying attention to what works and what doesn’t. The only way to do that is by paying attention to your metrics. Low open rates are a sign that your text messages aren’t perceived as valuable by recipients. Low click-through rates mean you’re not creative enough incentive or your call to action may not be clear enough.