When To Send: SMS Broadcast Frequency & Best Practices
Earlier this year, we unpacked the compliance rules around Text Message Marketing broadcast frequency. Maintaining the minimum required send frequency is critical to stay in good standing with the mobile carriers, CTIA, and per TCPA. But what’s the ideal SMS broadcast frequency for maximum engagement and return? What’s too much? As you focus on growing your list before the holiday season (link Q4 acquisition blog post), sending texts consistently and frequently to build channel awareness and reach your subscribers as they engage with your brand is equally important.
Two Broadcasts A Week Set The Stage
Any channel needs a consistent messaging strategy to thrive, and this should begin as soon as new contacts opt-in. With your Text Message Marketing program, we recommend sending 2 broadcasts messages per week to your complete list of subscribers as a minimum frequency. This “sets the stage” for regular communication and trains your list to expect to hear from you in the channel. This channel awareness, and compelling message copy, has helped our clients earn 9x higher Click-Through and 3x higher Revenue/Message rates compared to broadcast email. Check out our 2023 Listrak Cross-Channel Benchmark Report for additional campaign performance metrics. Additionally, consumer data and survey results to date have found that shoppers want to hear from their favorite brands via text – So if contacts are taking steps to sign up and provide their valuable first-party data, you should strike while the iron is hot with a consistent message frequency.
On the flip side, remember that SMS is also an inherently different channel than email, and you likely don’t need to send multiple times daily to be most effective. Simply start with our recommended 2 broadcasts a week to your entire list, then evaluate your promotional calendar to look for other compelling opportunities to send. The holiday season/Q4 calls for a higher frequency and might include multiple texts on key shopping days, but not necessarily all throughout the year.
You Don’t Need A Sale Or Coupon To Send
If you’re finding it a challenge to plan 2 full broadcasts sends a week, and think you should only send when you have a discount to give, think again! We’ve seen powerful messaging strategies both with and without a coupon incentive, so don’t wait to send until you feel you have something to give away. Consumers want “newness” in a post-COVID world so consider regular communication with your new arrivals and trending SKUs. You can even automate outreach through recurring broadcasts with evergreen copy: Set up a weekly campaign for your full list of subscribers and check off multiple boxes – One send, going to all subscribers, that protects margin.
Build On Successful Campaigns With Follow-Up Messaging
When you do have a compelling offer to give, top product inventory is running low, a sale is ending, or other scenarios arise, look at your SMS broadcast performance and send another message if subscribers are engaging with your campaigns. The most common scenarios here include ‘last chance’ messaging on key shopping days, but this could also include if there are limited seats left for your event or if a new collection announced is already gaining lots of site traffic, among others. When you see high Click-Through and Conversion Rate engagement, schedule another message to go out.
Listrak’s AI Assistant can help you set up additional broadcasts like these when you’re low on time and don’t have the resources to write more copy. Use the tool to curate and schedule more broadcasts in a matter of seconds – You can even put directions into the OpenAI-powered solution to use phrasing like ‘Last Chance,’ ‘Final Reminder,’ or ‘Time’s Running Out,’ and ensure the copy still matches your brand voice.
Work Smarter, Not Harder, With Strategic Segmentation
Once you’ve established a consistent frequency with two sends a week to your complete list, you can leverage strategic segmentation for additional broadcasts. We recommend focusing in on Last Click Date and Last Order Date recency to narrow in on engaged contacts over lapsing or unengaged. Use a lookback window like the last 30 or 60 days across your audiences so they’re mutually exclusive, and consider sending targeted messages relevant to how active certain groups are. For example, send early access for a new collection to your Active Recent Buyers you know are clicking and purchasing, and send a deep discount coupon to your Inactive Lapsing Buyers who haven’t been around in a bit.
You can also build audiences unique to your business goals rooted in loyalty status or geographic location to send supplemental messaging on topics like extra bonus points or in-store offers. Whatever the campaign may be, let a smaller volume earn higher ROI with a thoughtfully curated segment so you’re not just sending all your messages to your complete list each time.
Get Started Now
While SMS may bring more investment and compliance rules than your other digital marketing programs at times, it’s a highly effective channel for efficient and high-converting communication with your subscribers. Remember, minimum send requirements for compliance are critical, but a consistent frequency is even more important for maintaining maximum engagement and ROI. Start by sending twice weekly to your entire list, consider extending outreach to build on successful campaigns, and leverage strategic segmentation to target your most valuable contacts. Don’t wait to send until you have a coupon, and consider showcasing other aspects of your brand, products, and benefits with SMS broadcast campaigns. Stay tuned here for more ideas throughout the year, and work with your Account Manager to review your program for more opportunities and optimizations leading up to Q4.