They say in life, timing is everything and nowhere is this more true than in text marketing where the timing of your text message can have a lot to do with whether i
They say in life, timing is everything and nowhere is this more true than in text marketing where the timing of your text message can have a lot to do with whether it engages and excites your audience or falls flat.
Timing amplifies the marketing power of your text messages, especially because research indicates that most people are likely to read your text within minutes of receiving it. How do you know if you’re timing your text messages to get the maximum bang for your buck? Here’s what to consider when you’re trying to plan the timing of your texts.
What marketers get wrong about timing text messages
Here’s what to think about when it comes to the timing of your text marketing initiatives.
Mistake 1: Not paying attention to the national conversation
If there’s national breaking news, an emergency or significant loss of life that’s consuming the conversation nationally, it might be smart to consider holding off on sending some of your mass text messages until the conversation has died down. You obviously won’t want to let every national crisis dictate your timing, but use your discretion when there’s something major in the news to determine if your text messages could be perceived as poor taste when sent at the same time.
Mistake 2: Forgetting about major events or holidays
If you send a dinner special out via text at 7:00 PM during the Super Bowl, how many customers do you think will come into your restaurant looking to grab a table? Probably not that many because people have likely already made their Super Bowl plans. Unless you’re a sports bar with extra tables available, this might not be the best day to test a dinner promotion.
On the flip side, planning ahead for major holidays and events could help your business. If Valentine’s Day is coming up, you might consider letting your subscribers know about your heart-shaped pizza offer or a dining package you’ve put together for the night. Let them know in advance so they can plan to come to your establishment. You could even include a link in your message to encourage them to RSVP.
Mistake 3: Not getting into the minds of your customers
You want to anticipate how your customers will be thinking and feeling and craft texts to capitalize on this. For example, If you own a restaurant and are looking to send out a lunch special, send or schedule it to drop at 11:30 AM, right when hungry office workers are starting to think about what’s for lunch.
The rule of thumb is this: Make sure to send your texts out when they will create the most value for your customers. This increases the relevancy and likelihood that they will take advantage of your promotions. You don’t have to manually send these texts either, you can easily schedule automatic follow up texts to go out whenever you need.
Mistake 4: Not thinking about business goals
If business happens to be slow on a particular night, consider send out a spontaneous text offering your customers a valuable incentive for swinging by to grab a bite. Of course, you might not want to try this if business is slow because it’s the Super Bowl or there’s a major ice storm—which is why you need to take a moment to think about what’s happening in a larger context before you activate this strategy. But, in a lot of cases you might just be having a slow night and a special, promotional text might go a long way for your business. You should be nimble enough with your timing that you can adjust to immediate business needs.
Crafting a text that gets noticed
While timing is important when developing your text marketing strategy, it’s not the only element that goes into a winning formula. What you’re saying — and offering — can also have a major impact. Here’s how to make sure what you say is working in tandem with your timing.
1. Include a powerful offer
A strong value-added offer is essential to making any text marketing strategy because it gives your audience a reason to take action after reading your text (and a reason to continue opening your texts). An exclusive discount for members of your text list, or free gift with purchase, can go a lot further to create interest rather than simply telling people about your products or services.
2. Create urgency
Attaching a time limit to your special offer can motivate people to take action. Without a sense of urgency there’s a chance people could read your texts and then forget about them amidst the chaos of everyday life. Since you know people are likely to read your texts shortly after receiving them, try to create an offer and time limit that applies to the present moment more than the future. If your offer is valid for a long time or won’t be active until a future date, consider sending automatic texts to remind your audience about the offer until they redeem it.
3. Supplement your text with photos and GIFs
Sending an MMS message with photos and GIFs can be a strong way to convey your brand’s personality, culture and what you’re trying to say. Especially if your audience is well-versed in GIFs this can be a way to speak their language and appeal to visual learners. You don’t have to get too technical to take advantage of this. Even a mobile coupon made with a free online program such as Canva could be a simple, positive way to spice up your messages.
Review your strategy regularly
Even though you might think you have the perfect timing and copy for your text message marketing strategy, it’s important to review your data regularly to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts as possible. Experiment with sending texts at different times of the day using link tracking and offer redemption data to evaluate how effective each time of day is. Even the best text marketing strategies require regular measurement and maintenance so make sure you’re paying attention to important KPIs for your business and making small tweaks and improvements so you can stay at the top of your game.