Believe it or not, running your first text messaging campaign doesn’t have to be complicated. There are several things that you can do to keep it simple – so simple that even a five-year-old can relate!
Here are four general rules to help you run a successful text messaging campaign.
Rule One: Keep it simple
Your users are busy people, so it’s in your best interest to keep your messages as short and sweet as possible. Since a text message is already limited to 160 characters, make sure readers can get the gist of your message in one glance, without having to go back to reread it.
Reduce your message to the most important point, and use a link to direct people to additional information if they are interested in reading more. This is your way of saying, “I care about your time, but here is something you might be interested in,” without asking too much of your subscribers.
Rule Two: Keep it exciting
Does your organization have a big event coming up? Why not get your mobile subscribers in on the excitement? Texting out news that gives your users something to do or think about can help guarantee that your message won’t be a dud.
Picture messages can help make your message more interesting right from the start. For example, send a picture of volunteers in action or your office celebrating a big win to remind supporters of the momentum gained by helping hands.
Or take a page from United We Dream – on Mother’s Day, they encouraged their mobile list to text in pictures of their mothers accompanied by stories of their mom’s courageous efforts in immigration reform.
Rule Three: Focus on the present
Keep up with the times! Don’t wait to talk about an event that happened a week ago – because chances are, people will have forgotten it by then. Referring to recent stories or news will help catch your users’ attention and ensure that their interest levels stay high.
Text messaging is known for its immediacy, so being timely about your broadcasts will show that you’re on top of your news. Anything related to your organization’s progress – be it in the media or in your office – should be shared as soon as possible for the biggest impact.
Rule Four: Be okay with falling down
Five year olds run, and fall, and get back up, and fall some more…as you get used to running text message campaigns, don’t be afraid of failure. It’s a natural part of the process to have users opt out of your campaign.
In fact, it’s healthy, because it means that you’re experimenting with your messaging content in order to see what works best. Use A/B testing on your content and collect data on your users in order to see what works best for them. Celebrate your small victories, and keep the bigger picture in mind – that you’re using a powerful tool that can engage users and drive them to take action.
And in case you do make a mistake – like DoSomething did when they accidentally sent a message meant for a segmented audience to their entire mobile list – you can use it as an opportunity to learn something valuable from your mistake.
Remember that the more effort you put into your campaigns, the more rewards you’ll receive. So go ahead – be adventurous, be brave, and when you have any doubts, remember that you can always contact us.