Top 7 SMS marketing mistakes you should avoid

Sending short messages is one of the most popular communication methods. It’s easy, cheap and reliable for consumers and obviously profitable for businesses. Sms is still one of the top three communication methods people most engage with. 

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the most common sms marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. 

1- Texting without permission: 

Sending promotional short messages without getting people’s consent is a common practice for many businesses. The problem is people often don’t like to receive promotional messages without consent and block your number right away. Getting blocked would definitely waste all the time and money you spent on sending these messages not to mention the damage it does to your customer loyalty

To make sure your time and money is not wasted, you need to use opt-in messages to get people’s consent for receiving promotional messages. 

You can ask them to send a specific keyword to your number and get their phone number listed in your marketing lists. Here’s one example

You should also provide the option to opt out of your list. It should be easy and free for people to do this. Refusing to provide an easy opting-out process would only make people block you or consider you a spammer. 

2- Sending long messages: 

Obviously, people use sms for sending short messages. You can’t expect a long subject or body message that has worked in your email campaigns to work in your sms campaigns as well. So the key here is to make sure that your promotional messages are short and to the point. 

For sms marketing to be effective, you need to send short, time-sensitive messages. Avoid including too many links or using weird formatting and numbers. Remember that your messages should have a feeling of urgency embedded within. 

3- bad timing: 

Sms marketing has the most impact when its CTA’s are clicked or followed along as soon as possible. You don’t want people to ignore your message because it’s not a good time to take action. For example, messages that are received at 1:00 A.M are obviously ignored by most people. 

It’s always necessary to consider the time-zone of your recipient before sending a message. Research shows that the best time to send messages is during the working hours (8 a.m to 8 p.m).  

Aside from considering the time-zone of your recipients, it’s always a good idea to send short messages when there is a need for a quick action. Your short messages should convey urgency. People review their short messages once and might forget to get back to you if there’s still a long time to pass. Make sure that you include a call to action that requires immediate action. 

4- Not having a proper CTA

Having a suitable CTA (call-to-action) is a must for your short messages. Without a proper CTA, you would only leave your recipient high and dry and wondering what to do next. 

Including a proper CTA in your message will show people what to do accordingly. You can ask your recipient to click on a link and view a page, or do something off-line such as visiting your store and taking advantage of your sales offers. 

If you’re directing people to your sales pages, make sure to optimize your page to have the most conversions. Use a fast hosting service to get your page load speed optimized and use these guidelines to learn how to optimize your page for more conversion. 

You can also prompt your recipient to send a particular keyword to receive a promo code or be enlisted somewhere as well. Asking your recipient to send a keyword is a good way to start a communication and build trust with your audience. 

5- Sending too many messages: 

Short messages boast an open rate of more than 90%. It’s tempting to use so many messages when you know that short messages probably have more chances of being viewed. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make in sms marketing. Because people tend to check on their short messages more frequently, they might get bored and irritated with your unnecessary short messages. 

Relevance is the key here. Send promotional short messages only if you think the audience is interested in the offer and would take action rather quickly. 

Keep your short messages to one or two per week per customer to see optimal results.  

6- lack of personalization 

Just like email marketing, you need to personalize your messages for sms marketing. This could include addressing your recipient by first name or spending time to discover their pain points and interests and sending a message that addresses those accordingly. 

You can find valuable information about your recipients using the info from your analytics section in your platform. What are some of the most common messages people respond to the most? When is the best time to send emails? What promotions are your recipients interested in? 

Knowing the answers to these questions could help you craft messages that trigger actions. 

Apart from using your sms marketing platforms analytics section, you can use a survey tool such as SurveyAnyplace to get to know your audience better. You can also create and send web forms to your audience and use a free tool such as Jotform’s PDF editor to automatically gather data and extract insights.  

7- Not using other marketing channels

Sms marketing won’t work on its own. It’s a fact that you need to take advantage of various marketing channels in order to see real results. Each marketing channel might have its own advantages you can’t afford to miss. 

Sms marketing is always complemented with mobile app marketing. Sending timely notifications and providing engagement through suitable gamification are absolutely worth the try if you’re using sms marketing. For example AppInstitute’s online food ordering system is a one-of-a-kind all-in-one mobile marketing platform for restaurants.     


There’s no doubt that sms marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels out there. It’s accessible and boasts a 90% open rate. But it doesn’t mean you can exploit sms marketing and get away with it. You can easily get your audience bored and annoyed if you continually make the mistakes listed above. Make sure you stay away from these mistakes and you’ll reap the benefits of sms marketing.