How-to: Write an Effective SMS

Apr 14, 2017 From: How-to



What could be easier than writing an SMS? Well, how about writing War and Peace? We are not joking. At first sight, SMS seem very simple because of their brevity, but this seeming simplicity hides many complexities. You need to develop a storyline, build up towards a culmination and a subsequent denouement in about 160 symbols; and there are no workarounds. We will help you to figure out how to do this.

Let's start by saying that there are two types of message; effective ones and ineffective ones. We will consider only the first type, as nobody wants to waste their money and time.

Unlike email-marketing and other advertising options, SMS-marketing is limited in its tools. You can’t “play” with fonts and colors or add images or videos to your text. Your main weapon is words. Getting the results you need depends on your choice of words, how they go together and how you form a message with them. This means the main task of SMS-copywriting is the creation of messages that will bring new clients and increase your income.  

Start with a Personalisation



Message personalisation can raise the efficiency of your SMS mail-outs; and this isn't surprising. Psychologists all over the world have long affirmed that people like to hear or read their names. You will earn brownie points if you address your clients by name. It will create the feeling that you know them and care about them, so they will trust you more.  

“20% discount for any goods for the whole week, ”

“Hello John. We’ve got 20% discount for any goods for the whole week”

Now think which option would be more attractive for you.

However, what can you do if you don’t know the names of your clients? This happens very often because not everyone gives their real names in questionnaires. Don’t panic! There is a general phrase, which can help you in this situation. Just write “Dear client”. This won’t be the same naming them personally, but it will also help create a positive impression.

Be Short



“In a galaxy far, far away…” This phrase is from the beginning of George Lucas’ movies, but it is not suitable for the beginning of your message at all. Forget about this way of writing, as we need to quickly get to the point in the limited format of an SMS. Everyone gets notifications when they receive an SMS. People can read the first words of the message in these notifications. It follows that these actual words must be interesting for your clients. So don’t beat around the bush, cut to the chase.
A good message:

"Anna, 50% discount for all of our Spa procedures..."  

The message shouldn’t  be like this:  

"Anna, in these sunny spring days we would like to tell you..."

Your Text Should Be Clear



You need to write messages in simple and accessible language. Keep it simple, don’t show off your refined tastes and education. The text of the message has to be easy for an ordinary person to understand. And another more tip for you; there shouldn't be any technical jargon in the message. You may have been in the industry for a long time and know all the terms and nuances, but for most of people, these words are confusing.  

"Julia. We’ve got a 30% discount for non-injection carboxytherapy and plasmolifting for you for 3 days"  

Potential customer Julia, even if she fits the criteria of the target audience, may be confused by reading such a  message. The message would sound completely different way, if you wrote it like this:  

"Julia, we’re offering 30% discounts on beauty procedures for 3 days"

Now, even if Julia has never done these procedures before, she will understand the offer right away, and she might be interested in it.

Write a text with simple sentences. If the long or compound words have shorter synonyms, use them. If there isn't any synonym, then try to exclude this word from the message.

You mustn’t forget about the "tonality" of your message. Your manner with clients is as important as the content. Whether friendly or official, what style you choose depends on many factors such as the nature of your target audience, how you place yourself in the market, what services or goods you offer, etc.   

You can achieve the best response from clients by combining a clear text and a suitable communication style.  

Don’t mislead your Clients



The techniques popularised by the famous psychologist Paul Ekman make it easy to catch out liars. Make sure all the information in your message is truthful. Lean it, and don't give in to the temptation to embellish reality. Believe us when we say that messages containing false information may get a response, but this won’t be effective. Here’s an example to illustrate:

A woman, let’s name her Rachelle, decided to take a loan from a bank for her needs. One well-known bank was carrying out a marketing campaign at that time, with the goal of attracting new clients. The bank promised low interest loans - only 3% per year. Rachelle was interested in this offer and she went to the bank, where it became clear that the interest rate available to her was not 3%, but 10%. This is a considerable difference, isn't it? Rachelle, of course, was disappointed and left. It became clear afterwards that this extremely low rate was only for a special group of clients who had been with the bank for a long time, despite the fact that the rate had been announced with great fanfare to attract the attention of potential clients. Is it worth saying this wheeze didn’t work?

As we all know, it’s obvious that all secrets come out in the end.

Offer Something Interesting



Spin some hype! Discounts and special offers are great, of course, but limited runs of unique products can benefit from SMS marketing more effectively, and can push clients to action. Establish clear rules when holding a special offer, especially as in some countries this is demanded by regulations. Otherwise, there may be a situation where your client, remembering that you have an offer on, comes to you a week, after it has been discontinued. This can spoil the client's mood and your reputation. So remember to state the end date in your messages.  

Write the important part of the message in capital letters to be confident that it will be noticed.

"DISCOUNT! 20% for all types of goods..."  

Of course, you should use capital sparingly, don’t get too fond of them. There’s no need to write the whole message with capital letters, in the hope of better results. Remember that only the most important information, which will draw an attention of clients, should be in capitals.

Tell them the Details



There are a limited number of characters in messages, but this doesn't mean that you have to limit yourself to a couple of words, leaving out information which is important for clients. Be concrete and write the details; what special offers do you have on, when it is possible to come to your office, etc. The more information your clients know about you and your offer, the more probable it is they will contact you.

"Dear client. We have prepared special discounts for you. For detailed information, you can visit the office"  

"Dear client. We have prepared special discounts for you. For detailed information, you can call *** 9AM - 6PM"

We have listed only some of the most important tips for the creation of SMS content. These straightforward rules for SMS-copywriting and understanding your target audience will help you to write the right text for your SMS mail-out, helping you to achieve the best result.

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