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Text Message Marketing: Annoying, Brilliant or Both?

The technology we use for marketing is developing at a rapid pace. Things that seemed like science fiction even a few years ago, like artificial intelligence-driven campaigns and virtual reality experiences, are now mainstream.

Sometimes, this means that we can forget about one of the most basic technologies of all: the humble text message. Marketing via SMS can seem like an old-fashioned way to go about things, but it’s not. It actually can be an effective marketing tool.

It’s worth considering that even the most advanced marketing campaigns still make use of smartphones, and text messages are typically displayed in a much more prominent way than the notifications from apps. If you send your customers an SMS, you can be assured that their phones will beep, and they will look at the message. That’s more than can be said for a notification or even an email.

That said, text messages can be a little annoying if you don’t use them correctly. In this article, I’ll review some principles that will help you get the best results out of your SMS marketing efforts.

Be professional

SMS messages are rife with abbreviations, emoticons, and slang. That’s fine if you’re writing to your friends, but not when writing to your clients. Here are some SMS style Do’s and Don’ts:

  • DON’T use text abbreviations. You can’t assume that everyone will understand what you mean.
  • DON’T be stiff and impersonal as though the words were generated by a computer.
  • DO use language that’s consistent with the style and personality of your brand.
  • DON’T litter your marketing messages with emoticons.
  • DO use the occasional relevant emoticon that adds value to the message.
  • DON’T use ALL CAPS. ALL CAPS IS THE VISUAL EQUIVALENT OF YELLING. Tone it down and send a message that’s friendlier to the eyes.
  • DON’T overuse exclamation marks and question marks (. . ). It makes you seem desperate.
  • DO use the occasional exclamation mark if something is very exciting. And when you ask a question, one question mark is enough.

SMS Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t use them correctly, SMS marketing can definitely backfire and annoy your customers. Make sure to ask permission, make it easy for consumers to opt-out, and only send specific or time-sensitive messages — such as a sale.

Consulting with Neil Patel


Neil Patel

He is the co-founder of NP Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.


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