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Many SMS marketing campaigns are needlessly complicated. They require too many steps to sign up, and send far too many texts pushing various products or services to the point of annoyance. Consumers repeatedly say–and show by their actions–that they want less, not more when it comes to their interactions with businesses via text. If you feel your business might be guilty of trying to do too much with your SMS campaign, the following tips can help.

Make it easier to opt-in

The easier you make it to opt-in, the more likely customers will be to do it. Don’t ask them to fill out all of their personal information first. All you need is their first name and phone number. A simple one-step opt-in process at the point-of-sale (POS) is all it takes. In addition to POS opt-ins, you can make it easier for customers to opt-in by registering for a short code and keyword so all they have to do sign up is text a single word to an easy-to-remember five- or six- digit number.

Don’t text too often

Once you’re entrusted with a customer’s phone number and permission to text it, don’t abuse it. Because text messages have such a good open rate, it’s tempting to use it at every possible turn to promote every product or service or send constant reminders to buy, buy buy. This approach doesn’t work with mobile as it does other channels. If they’re getting a text every day or two from your business, it will become more of an annoyance than it’s worth, and they’ll opt out. Try not to send more than one text–two at the most–per week.

Don’t promote too much

Mobile-only deals are the most common use of text message marketing. But mobile consumers see them for what they really are–a push to buy something. Yes they get a good deal but they still have to send money and you’re making the profit. While deals and other promotional messages are perfectly fine ways to use the SMS channel, they shouldn’t be the majority. No more than half of all texts you send should be promoting your business. What do you do with the other half?

Focus on value for the customer

SMS needs to be about more than directly marketing products and services. SMS marketing is an opportunity to really engage with customers and build a loyal customer base. The only way to accomplish is to make sure that they’re getting at least as much out of the relationship as you are. Send them a freebie on their birthday each year, allow them the convenience of getting appointment reminders and order status notifications via text. Use SMS to do micro content marketing. The more you focus on offering instead of taking, the more success you’ll see with your text message marketing efforts.

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