Timing your offer when you use text message marketing is essential. Sending a well thought-out deal at the right time will increase your rates of return exponentially. Here is a look at four ways to use timing to get the most out of your mobile marketing efforts.
The Customer Decides
The best time to send your text is when the customer wants it. That sounds sensible, but it’s amazing how often they are sent to meet the convenience of the marketer, not the consumer.
How do you know when your customer wants it? The three best ways to find out are:
- Ask them
- Test your campaign to see when messages get read
When a visitor opts in to your text messaging list, include a short poll to find out when they want to receive messages. Short means two or three questions maximum, each of which can be answered with a single click.
For example, ask when is the best time of day to receive offers from you. Then give them a choice of three time periods, with a fourth spot where they can write it their preferred time. Be sure to find out their time zone.
Test your next text campaign. Monitor when your messages are getting opened and adjust the rest of the campaign accordingly.
You can research by reading marketing data that gives specific information about the habits of customers in your niche. Good sources of information are marketing blogs and trade magazines.
Use Common Sense
Ask yourself when your offer will be of practical use to your customer. For example, just before mealtime is a good point to send restaurant offers to hungry consumers.
If you are a retailer, pinpoint periods of when you get the most shoppers. Send your messages during that period and you are much more likely to get your messages opened and your offers used.
If you have a promo code or great deal for your specific audience, don’t send it when the stores are closed. The message will simply get deleted or stored away, never to be used.
If you have a business opportunity to promote, send it in the time zone of the prospect. If you work on the East Coast, you are going strong at 9 a.m. , but it’s 6 a.m. on the West Coast and your potential customer is still snoozing.
Follow Best Practices
Over time, marketers have figured out several basic principles when it comes to timing their promotional text messages. These are based on both industry studies and personal experience shared among marketers.
For example, according to Mobile Marketer News, Monday is the worst possible day to send texts. They have the lowest response rates. Beyond the fact that people hate Mondays, it is most likely due to the fact that people receive so much content after the weekend, via email, text and social media.
Don’t send text messages during the commuter rush. Whether your prospects are driving or using mass transit, their attention isn’t on marketing. The usual times to avoid are 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.
Don’t send very early in the morning or very late at night. Customers feel this is a sign of disrespect. They also are unlikely to open your message.
Combine with Emails
Use a one-two punch for your mobile marketing efforts. According to an article in Direct Marketing News, using the two together reinforces the message and increases engagement.
First deliver a text message with your call to action. Keep it short and direct. For example, let customers interested in video games know you have a special sale going on for the next three days. Include a promo code for an additional discount. This gets their attention.
Then follow this up with an email that lists popular models on sale. Include a website link and give fuller information about prices and discounts. Explain in more detail why they should take action and how to make the most of the sale.
Prospects have inboxes that are crammed with marketing material. By setting the stage with a text message, you alert them to check for your email because it has real value for them.
Text messages are an excellent way to spread the word about your business. To get the best response, time them to suit the needs of your prospects.