Top 5 SMS Best Practices

3 mins
Three women and two men, standing while holding their mobile phones

Short Message Service, or SMS, is a Great Communication Tool for Consumers and Businesses Alike

Short message service, or SMS, is a great communication tool for consumers and businesses alike. It gives organizations an open link to their audience, being able to deliver messages for marketing or transactional purposes, directly to the device consumers spend most of their time on: their smartphone. As SMS’s popularity continues to increase, scams have become commonplace. Consumers are losing trust in SMS messages being sent to them from businesses due to losing millions every year. According to a CBS News report in June 2023, in the year 2022 alone, U.S. consumers lost $330 million to fraudulent text messages, while in year 2021 and 2020, U.S. consumers lost $131 million and $86 million respectively. 

With these statistics in mind, we’ve put together the top 5 SMS best practices that businesses, just like yours, can follow when sending SMS messages to your audience. By adhering to these best practices, you can ensure that your SMS messages resonate trust with your audience. Establishing trust and building positive relationships will always increase the effectiveness of any type of SMS campaign you wish to send.  


1. Identify yourself

The first SMS best practice you need to be aware of is identifying yourself to your audience. Not only do consumers need to know the business behind the message, but identifying yourself is generally required under SMS marketing laws. You can buy a dedicated virtual SMS number and send from the same number each time. This way customers get to know your number and recognize when you have sent them an SMS. These work great for brands with a reputation, or for reaching out to existing customers. By personalizing your SMS messages, you build brand awareness and trust with your audience.  


2. Provide immediate value

Who is your target audience? What are you sending the SMS message for? What action are you trying to get the consumer to complete? As SMS is a short message service and the standard SMS message being a maximum of 160 characters, it’s important for you to answer these questions in a quick and simple manner. Providing immediate value can be in the form of a CTA link, reply request or even an MMS image. In saying this, if you’re providing a CTA link, ensure that it is short (remember, you only have 160 characters!) and clearly represents the domain to which your audience is going to. 


3. Add an unsubscribe option

Consumers need to feel that their privacy and personal space are being respected. Opt-out links show this by providing your audience with the ability to opt-out of any further SMS messages if they desire. Adding an unsubscribe option to an SMS marketing message is also a requirement under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act that protect consumers from commercial text messages from companies with which they don’t already have a relationship in the United States. 


4. Send your message at the right time

Like all communication, timing is key. To ensure that your SMS messages feel credible to the consumer, be sure to schedule them to be sent at times that make sense for your business messaging and/or marketing campaigns. If you’re sending an SMS for two-factor authentication, it needs to be sent immediately after it has been requested by the consumer. However, if you’re sending an SMS to ask for feedback through a customer satisfaction survey, you may want to schedule it to be sent out after your audience attends their appointment or has made a purchase.  


5. Be consistent

Ensure that you're displaying your mobile number consistently across all platforms. If a consumer needs to second-guess themselves when opening an SMS message received from your business, then you’ve most likely already lost their trust.  

If there’s a known scam that has been circulating in your industry or if the scammer has been impersonating your business specifically, it’s important to get ahead of it quickly. A simple social media post or blog article notifying your audience of the scam and letting them know that you’re aware of its circulation can help to avoid any loss of trust or reputation. Great examples of these can be seen on the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) website 


Easily Implement SMS Best Practices with Notifyre Today

Are you ready to kick-start your SMS marketing campaign? Maybe you’re looking for an easy way to automate SMS appointment reminders or deliver critical information via SMS alerts or notifications to your audience. No matter what you’re looking at implementing SMS for, Notifyre has your best practices covered. Get started by signing up to Notifyre and learn more about our SMS personalization tools 

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