Nowadays almost nobody leaves home without taking their mobile phone with them. For some, it’s the same inside – going to the toilet without it is unimaginable! The good news is that this means they would immediately see a text message. However, this also represents a challenge due to the length of text messages. So how do you effectively inform your customer using a limited number of characters?
Creating campaigns is a challenge already; Where do you find the time? How do you structure your message? How do you include all the information you would like to share? Below are our tips for great SMS text message-based campaigns.
Set a tone
When you start writing text messages, you might start looking for examples or inspiration, and you will probably come across texts that are ready for use. Try to avoid the temptation to paste verbatim – instead, take cues from it and apply your ‘practice style’. Even though you can’t use a logo in a text message, you can help people identify your practice via the language you use. Think about other companies around you – can you identify online stores or couriers messages just by the language they use? You see the differences in the text, and you recognise the different companies, their tone fits their customer journey and ordering process. This consistency is vital for building a positive image, and tone should be consistent – whether you choose formal, or informal, keep this in mind across all communications across all your channels.
Keep it short
Typically, a single SMS text message (without special characters) contains 160 characters, but modern systems mean that longer communications are merged seamlessly across multiple texts. For example, when creating a campaign in Animana, there’s a counter showing character and message usage which you can use to help plan costs.
Tip: Referring to more information on your website is a great way to provide extra value, without costing you in characters. If you choose to do this, keep your web addresses short with a free link shortener such as Bitly, which saves valuable characters, and give the recipient a better experience.
Example of the SMS text functionality in IDEXX Animana
Note the counter below the message, so you can easily see how many text messages are needed to send your message.
Make your message attractive and relevant
A good starting point is to start with a personalised salutation – “Dear John,…”, which you can easily do in Animana via the powerful merge code functionality.
Keep the content informative, but don’t get too technical. You are probably familiar with the messages your phone provider sends you when you go abroad. These messages are automated and reasonably ‘anonymous’, yet it is still possible for such a message to come across as attractive. For example; ‘Dear customer, welcome to Spain, where you can use your inclusive minutes and data to make calls, send text messages and surf the Internet at no extra cost‘. In this example, the tone of voice is informal, pleasant, but still provides excellent information.
Use active language
Avoid unnecessary words, past tenses and passive sentences. Rather than saying: “Spike needs to be vaccinated again”, try: ‘Consider vaccinating Spike’ or ‘Renew Spike’s vaccination’, simple changes like this increase customer engagement.
Test and keep testing
What works for one communication does not necessarily work for another. Treat your content library – the texts in the Animana Content Designer – as works in progress – tweak them to make them work for you. After you’ve sent a couple of campaigns, dive into the Animana reporting tool, consider a customer survey and adjust texts where necessary.