It’s About Time: Etiquette Tips For Scheduling Bulk SMS Messages
Companies that use opt-in SMS for marketing have the great privilege of reaching customers directly. That’s why it’s so important to avoid abusing it, lest your company seem irresponsible and annoying. The easiest way to abuse your privilege is by inappropriately or excessively timing your messages.
Whether you’re starting your SMS campaign or just really eager about the marketing process, it’s easy to get overzealous when texting your opt-in group. There’s no single book of SMS etiquette to reference, but a few rules of thumb will keep your SMS practices polite and helpful.
- Don’t SMS outside business hours. If you average business day is from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, try to maintain that as your SMS-sending window. It’s a narrow guideline but one that discourages what can be an even worse texting faux pas: sending messages during dinner hours and at night. Even a 160-character disturbance during these hours can be irritating—especially when they come from a business.
- Try not to send promotional texts more than once or twice a week. Unless for a specific purpose (i.e. an safety alerts, appointment reminders, sports score updates, automated billing alerts, etc.) it should not be necessary to send more than one or two bulk texts in a week. If you are promoting a special event, 2-3 days notice and a final reminder should be all that’s necessary to encourage your group to attend.
- Don’t send messages just because it has been a while. Yes, the point of SMS marketing is to stay on your customers’ minds, but sending a pointless message because you fear it had been a while since sending one defeats the purpose. Letting a few days go by without a message is preferable to overwhelming your audience with filler. Besides, it’s always nice to be known as the business that only reaches out when it has something of value to offer.
Of course, SMS timing advice isn’t just about the “don’ts” of mobile marketing. There are actually a couple of timing ideas you can try that could bolster your SMS marketing efforts.
- Send reminders a day in advance. If your business schedules appointments with clients feel free to send a reminder of them 1-2 days in advance. Remember to include a call to action in the message in case the client needs to change the appointment or cancel
- Send lunch specials in the morning. It slightly contradicts the “business hours” point above, but if your business is doing something special for lunch you should allow your opt-in SMS group a couple of hours to make plans. Even more so if you have a breakfast offer! That said, you should still try to avoid delivering SMS alerts unreasonably early whenever possible.
Your customers likely belong to a few different opt-in SMS and E-mail marketing campaigns. Your marketing efforts can sometimes feel like a fight for their attention. But thoughtful messaging practices that don’t keep your customers’ phones buzzing will prevent opt-outs. When in doubt it is better to err on the side of politeness.