12 things you need to do before launching your next SMS campaign

By Stu Thom | 20 May 2015
12 things you need to do before launching your next SMS campaign

Even if you regard yourself a seasoned pro, there are probably a few handy tips in here that can improve your SMS campaign results.

1. Set up a Header. Choose how your sender name will appear when people receive your SMS. There are typically three options, depending on your provider:

  • Default number: The sender number is picked randomly and may change every time you send a blast.
  • Dedicated number: The best approach is to have all your SMS communications from the same number. This is available for a small monthly fee per dedicated number.
  • Alphanumeric header: For stronger branding, choose an alphanumeric header e.g. “CompanyName”. You have a maximum of 11 characters including spaces.

2. Set up reporting type. You can choose from a wide range of reports, including opt-in, opt-out, delivery receipts, timestamps, hard bounce, message volumes, and more.

3. Choose reporting frequency. Do you want to receive your reporting daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Think about the wider business needs.

4. Set up Reply Routing. Where do you want customer replies to go? You can set up reply routing straight to your email inbox, a group email address (e.g. the marketing inbox), your mobile, web portal or somewhere else. Routing replies to your email or mobile will help you respond and track campaigns on the go.

5. Integrate SMS into your environment. Consider what’s easiest for your business. For example, you can integrate SMS into your applications, send SMS directly from your email client (Email to SMS) or send SMS from your browser (Web or Online SMS).

6. Time for a test run. Don’t hit send on your campaign until you have sent a test blast to colleagues. Check everything looks good, test the links and opt-out, and reread the message content.

7. Character count. 160 characters are all you have to get your message across, so always check your character count. Anything over this limit, even if it’s just one character, will be charged as more than one SMS.

8. Shorten links: Use a URL shortener like bit.ly for your URLs.

9. Track links. See how many people click through your links. This is a great tool for A/B testing, letting you see which variation of your SMS attracts the most conversions.

Marketers, here are 3 more checks to make:

10. Get permission. Sending SMS messages without permission from the recipient is illegal in Australia and can result in fines, as well as frustrated customers. Always get consent.

11. Set up opt-outs. Another must-have for SMS marketing in Australia is a mandatory opt-out function. The simplest way is to add “reply STOP to opt out” at the end of marketing messages. However, if you’re using a header, you need to include a mobile number.

12. Set up opt-ins. Encourage people to subscribe to SMS updates using text. Simply set up your opt-in trigger keyword – this should be a single memorable word. Then set up bounce-back replies to confirm subscriptions.

Ticked everything on this list? Congratulations, you’re ready to hit send on your SMS campaign!

Need help? Our friendly MessageNet team is here to help you get the most out of your SMS communications. Get in touch today!

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