Text Messaging – It’s about time

Text messaging is a routine daily activity for billions of people, with the average consumer using 2-3 different messaging apps on their phone and sending multiple messages per day.

All mobile phones can send and receive text messages providing users who don’t have a smartphone or access to a computer with a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to communicate.

As a result, text messaging has become the universal communication channel ahead of both social media and email and it’s no surprise that consumers want to connect with businesses in the same way.

It’s even more surprising that only around 48% of UK businesses possess bulk SMS capability whereas research indicates that 90% of global consumers want to communicate with businesses via text messaging and around 67% prefer text messaging over any other channel.

It’s about time therefore, that businesses who want to gain competitive advantage or who want to stay competitive within their own market start to utilise text messaging in their multichannel communications.

Time is also a critical consideration in order to ensure maximum impact and effectiveness of text messaging as there are optimal times to communicate with differing customer groups and with different industry sectors.

The key benefit of SMS communication is speed as text messages are sent in seconds and tend to be opened as quickly but sending a text message at the wrong time can lose impact.

It’s therefore worth thinking through your service offering and target customer base before considering the optimal time to send a text.

Again, good SMS platforms can assist a business via scheduling of messages allowing you to plan your campaigns in advance and ensure your messages are sent at just the right time.

SMS Marketing

The optimal time for a business to send an SMS marketing campaign is between 12:00 and 15:00 for both weekdays and at the weekend.

Between 12.00 and 15.00 is the optimal time to send SMS marketing messages as most people either take their lunch breaks or are most active on their mobile phones during this time.

Using the right SMS platform will allow you to send URL links and measure the time of the traffic to your webpage enabling you to better understand when your customers are most engaged and clicking.

For retailers, weekend sales or special events are best sent on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. It’s a good idea to create a sense of urgency for the shopper within the message e.g. a time limited deal, offering a discount or something free or redeemable during the offer period.

Some retailers report improved success at the end of the month, typically after the 26th of the month around pay day and often send messages between 10:00 and 13:00 on a Saturday as people start to make their shopping plans for the day. Late Sunday afternoon 15:00-17:00 can also be a sweet spot for online shoppers looking for some retail therapy.

Takeaway or fast food outlets communicating special offers or delivery services tend to benefit from a late afternoon send time, just as people start to think about their evening meal and are best messaging customers in the early evening before a big sporting event or the latest hit TV show is just about to begin.

Customer Notifications

Appointment reminders are best timed immediately following the appointment being made enabling the customer to add this to their diary, one 24 hours before the appointment, with the possibility of a 3rd text a few hours before the appointment in industries where appointments are limited and where a missed appointment can be costly to the business.

Logistic and delivery companies can keep their customers informed and updated at various stages of the transaction, confirming delivery dates within 24 hours of purchase and then confirming the delivery time ideally 24 hours before to avoid those frustrating waiting times when a customer cannot leave their home for fear of missing that all important parcel.

Clearly, it’s also about time when getting the best ROI out of SMS marketing and text message communications.