Step by Step Guide to an SMS Campaign

Jack Prot

SMS is good for:

o Short lead times and immediacy

o Cost effective personalised communication

o Ongoing 1 to 1 relationships

o Automated data capture and compliance

o Direct revenue and uplift opportunities

Basic Rules for SMS

In addition to permission, there are five key elements that differentiate SMS marketing from traditional marketing. These are also the key success factors for its use. A minimum of 2 factors is necessary for a successful campaign.

You need Permission plus:

1: Relevance

2: Location

3: Time

4: Adding Value

5: Interactive

Step 1: Planning the campaign


o Why are you communicating via mobile?

o What do you want to achieve?

Offer plan:

o What’s the definition of your offer?

o How are you going to say it?

o When should it be sent?

o Who are you targeting?

o Is viral marketing a possibility?


o Do you need to cap the responses?

o Message receipt -have you systems in place to handle the volume?

Step 2: Creating the campaign

Some SMS Service Providers enable you to create, test and track your basic campaign yourself via your web browser. This can be very useful for simple push campaigns such as; event notifications, requested information (i.e results, account info), “show this message for a free..” style campaigns, staff memos etc. However, the more complex the campaign, the more likely you will require professional help in both the planning and fulfilment of the campaign.

Step 3: Copywriting

o You only have 160 characters-use them wisely

o Be aware of limitations of different screens

o Be personal (it can be an intrusive medium)

o Be targeted

o Talk in the same language as your customers

o Lrn txt spk-especially for youth markets

o Use an SMS copywriter

Step 4: Test , test and test again..

o Test the campaign on different screens

o Test different networks (i.e. Vodaphone, Orange)

o Check to see if the appropriate replies are sent etc

o If it is a competition, plan for unusual/wrong answers and have suitable replies in place.

o Test language, typos and technical (not all symbols will come out as you expect).

Step 5: Measurement and tracking

Some indicators that you may use to measure success of the campaign are:

o Open rates

o Foot traffic (to website etc)

o Offer acceptance

o Replies

o Redemption rate

o Brand awareness…


o Use it as an automated data capture

o Consider timing

o Trial different approaches

o Exploit “landgrab” opportunities by using SMS before your competitors do.

o Use only opt in and give opt out route (the more automated the better)

o Identify yourself

Common Mistakes:

o Poor targeting and relevance

o Not identifying the sender

o Poor copywriting

o Targeting wrong audience with wrong offer/message

o Messages sent out at wrong time

o Not allowing recipient to unsubscribe

o Typos

o No personalisation

o Inability for systems/customer service, to handle responses


o It’s an important marketing medium and it’s here to stay

o It’s about the experience not the technology

o Plan ahead so you get it right

o Be creative with your campaign

o Keep IT Simple Stupid (KISS) applies

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