How to Get Started With SMS Marketing


SMS marketing is an important communication channel for marketing. But if you haven’t done it before, it can seem difficult to get started. Often I hear marketers talk about how SMS marketing isn’t right for their business. Or they’re worried about customers responding negatively to their messages. And these are valid concerns. However, when done properly SMS marketing can be a very effective communication tool with clear benefits for businesses of all sizes.

Benefits of SMS marketing

  • Relatively low cost
  • Close to 100% open rates (the highest of all marketing mediums)
  • Almost immediate delivery
  • ROI tracking
  • Personalisation and targeting capabilities

So if you have a short message you want customers to see as soon as possible, sending an SMS is an excellent way to go. But before you jump in, there are a few things you need to know.

Your requirements

Just like email marketing, SMS marketing is permission based. So it’s vital to have consent and comply with anti-spam legislation. Here in Australia, the Spam Act 2003 incorporates email and SMS marketing with the same basic requirements applying to both.

  1. Consent must exist prior to sending your message
  2. The recipient should easily be able to identify the sender
  3. The recipient needs to have a simple method for opting out

Australia’s governing body ACMA provide good advice for adhering to anti-spam legislation around consent for SMS marketing. Plus sms marketing software providers like Vision6 take the worry of processing opt out requests off your hands as this happens automatically with the capture of SMS responses from your campaigns.

Common uses

SMS marketing is a whole lot more than sending sales and promotional messages to customers. In fact, if these are the only SMS messages you’re sending to customers, you may need to reassess your SMS marketing. SMS is also a great option for:

  • Event and appointment reminders
  • Birthday and anniversary messages
  • Service alerts
  • Emergency notices (such as product recalls)

And yes…

  • Competitions
  • Time sensitive promotions

Important considerations

People tend to be more protective of their mobile phone than they are their email address. This is mostly because it’s considered a personal device reserved for communicating with friends and family. So be mindful how you start communicating with people via SMS.

  • Make your messages helpful first, promotional second.
  • When asking for a mobile phone number, be clear on why you’re asking for it and the types of messages people can expect to receive from you.
  • Always give people options. Let them choose how they want to be contacted whether it’s via email, mobile or both.
  • Only send SMS messages at appropriate times. Nobody likes being woken up at 6am by the buzzing of their phone.

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