Best Practices for Avoiding Sending Spam Texts
Text messages have replaced emails as the preferred way consumers communicate with brands. In fact, 85 percent of consumers would rather receive a text message from a brand rather than an email or phone call. However, just because consumers prefer SMS doesn’t mean brands should overuse the channel.
Email serves as a cautionary tale in this regard, as nearly half of all emails received by consumers today are considered spam. What happened? Brands overworked the channel by not following best practices outlined by marketing leaders.
Once your message is categorized as spam, customers ignore future outreach, rendering all marketing efforts ineffective. Even the most well-intentioned companies fall prey to sending accidentally "spammy" texts. By following best practices, like the ones below, brands can avoid that dreadful spam label and grow a personal connection with their customers.
Building Proper Contact Lists
Unethical list building results in intrusive brand outreach and unsure, confused recipients — not what retail marketers hope to achieve with their campaigns. To avoid this, practice organic list building via opt-in marketing.
Not only is opt-in marketing a best practice, but it’s also legally mandated. Federal regulations require proof of consent for everyone on your list. Fines and other penalties await a brand if the mandates aren’t followed. Additionally, opt-in marketing ensures that everyone on the list actually wants to hear from your brand, creating better return on investment metrics.
Communicating Privacy Policies
It’s imperative retailers are transparent with their targeted recipients as it helps create trust and, subsequently, increases campaign effectiveness. While sending your texts, clearly communicate privacy policies, anti-spam guidelines and opt-out options. Additionally, providing opt-out instructions for recipients fine-tunes your list and ensures you’re only reaching people who truly want to hear from you.
Business Casual Messaging
SMS is by nature a casual channel. When brands break into the channel, it’s important to maintain the same tone, trustworthiness and value consumers already experience and expect with their normal text conversations. However, overly casual wording points to spam.
To create the perfect balance between casual and promotional, marketers should avoid using abbreviations, such as “u” instead of “you,” as well as long streaks of capitalized letters. Poor grammar, spelling errors and typos also indicate spam, and recipients may disregard future text communications.
Timing is Key
Be sure to schedule your messages at appropriate times. Consumers are more likely to interact with the message when they first receive it. Sending texts late at night or too early in the morning decreases the likelihood of interaction and increases the chances of your message being marked as spam. When scheduling messages, it’s important to keep time zones in mind. Try sending messages as close to general business hours as possible. Also, review analytics to determine the best time to reach your specific target audience so campaigns better resonate with them.
All content needs to offer value to its recipients, giving consumers a reason to stay engaged. Otherwise, customers may get overwhelmed or annoyed and unsubscribe. Text messaging can positively impact your brand’s marketing efforts because of its versatility, personalization capabilities and engagement metrics. However, don’t overuse or misuse the channel, as you’ll lose customers and decrease text messaging marketing’s overall effectiveness.
Matt Baglia is the co-founder and CEO of SlickText, a platform that allows brands to quickly and easily spread the word to your best customers with a simple text message.
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Matt Baglia is the co-founder and CEO of SlickText. In his role, he oversees the product and engineering teams and is responsible for the strategic direction of the company. With a strong background in product management and web development, his direct focus on technology and user experience has been foundational for the success of SlickText in recent years. Prior to SlickText, Matt served as the director of product for Colibri Learning where he was primarily focused on front end design and UX. He holds a Bachelors in Business from the State University of New York at Fredonia.