Thursday, 22 January 2015

Am I sending too many SMS messages to my customers?

So how many SMS promotions is too many?

It's a vexing question, but I guess the easy answer is, your customers will certainly let you know if you do cross the line...they will OPT OUT.

Customers have many reasons for wanting to stop getting your messages..they have moved, they get too many text messages (so blame your competitors!), they have changed phones...but unless you do something awfully wrong, or you truly are being a pest, it's not often you'd get lots of optouts.

But you will get some...and that is okay. Just don't take it personally.

Back to the question, am I doing too many text messages to clients..

To answer that, think of what SMS promotions you get on your personal handset from businesses you deal with.

You might get SMS reminders from the hairdresser or dentist, and that's a very handy service. No complaints there.

But what about a clothing store? Unless they are HOT specials, you probably want to aim for no more than once a month. Having said that, you could be a deal-of-the-day retailer, and customers want to get notices.

If you're a restaurant or cafe, maybe weekly specials would work well.

If you're a hotel or holiday resort, sending weekly SMS would probably annoy people, but if you have weekend getaways, maybe weekly or twice a month is appropriate.

Maybe give customers the option...and give them a good reason to join your SMS VIP list. For example: "get weekly VIP specials via SMS and get 20% off"... or "get a free bottle of bubbly and chocs on arrival" or "dessert is on the house".

Many of our clients do SMS promotions, and they range from VIP alerts for a fashion store, a wholesale butcher with weekly specials, clubs with meeting notices..many different uses.

You will get a feel for what is right for your customers. The important thing is to test and measure.

If you start getting more optouts (STOP, REMOVE) than usual, then you might be doing something wrong.

It may also be an idea to do a bit of research and call customers to confirm their optout and ask them why they unsubscribed.

I recall an example from one of our local restaurants who are a Brazilian restaurant, so are not the sort of place you'd go to all the time. But they suddenly started sending me SMS messages every week. I didn't opt in but they do take mobile numbers when you book so they weren't technically breaching the Spam Act.

The problem was, they started sending silly weekly specials that were annoying because they didn't tell me anything new. No specials or news. Just "Hi we're open" type messages.

And then one day they promoted "breakfast and brunch now available", which was great. So I  went along one Saturday [late] morning for brunch (as one does in Melbourne) ....only to be told "sorry we don't do brunch on weekends".

..the next message I opted out!

If you have something truly genuine or newsworthy to tell your customers, that would make them love you more, then send it!