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7 Common Mistakes SMS Marketers Make

SMS marketing is a great way to reach a dedicated target audience. The perks of SMS marketing are vast, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start crafting your SMS marketing campaign today. Before you do, you might want to check out the common mistakes made by rookie marketers.

While SMS marketing is a powerful tool, it can easily be misused if not utilized properly. In this article, we will go over some of the most common mistakes you should avoid when creating your SMS marketing campaign.

1. Sending an SMS without user consent

User consent is crucial when it comes to starting an SMS campaign. This is probably the most important thing you need to remember. You can’t simply collect numbers from potential customers then spam them with your text marketing. Not only it is frowned upon, but it is also forbidden by the law. Every country has its own SMS marketing legislation.


For your SMS marketing campaign to remain legal, you must obtain permission from your customers before you start sending text messages. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to leave a shortcode or a number that they can use to opt in to your SMS campaign.

2. Sending poorly-crafted text messages

This is another major issue when it comes to running an SMS marketing campaign. Sending random texts without even studying your target audience can lead to an unfruitful SMS marketing campaign. If a user has decided to opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, they expect to be dazzled.

Even though your texts should be based on your respective SMS marketing strategy, there are guidelines that you should follow:

  • A call-to-action is a must. You don’t want to bore your clients if you don’t have something to offer.
  • Make it personal. Add a customer’s name in the text or even add yours.
  • Select the right keywords.
  • Send useful questions and surveys.

Given that 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes, you don’t want to disappoint your clients with untargeted, poorly-crafted texts. To make sure you’re sending the right texts to the right audience, take the time to study your target audience, and research their demographics.

3. Not experimenting with different messages

Your SMS marketing campaign can always be improved. You just need to be willing to do the necessary research, and find new and exciting ways to entertain your target audience. Experimenting with different messages doesn’t mean falling off track and moving in a different direction. It means finding new ways to alter your existing marketing efforts. Here are some ways:

  • Change your call-to-action strategy
  • Include phone numbers instead of links
  • Change the timing of your messaging
  • Link to a video instead of an article

By simply tweaking the way you communicate with your target audience, you may achieve different results. This is what experimenting with different messages is about—trying new things and comparing results to understand what works best for your business.

4. Making it hard for users to opt-out

You don’t want to be someone who uses tricks to keep their audience engaged. Your target audience shouldn’t need to solve a math equation to opt-out from your SMS marketing campaign. Not only is this bad for your reputation, but it is also against SMS legislation.


Annoying people is not the best way to run an SMS marketing campaign. If they want to opt-out from your campaign, they should be able to do it instantly. Always remind your users that they can easily opt-out from your campaign by sending a “STOP” or “Opt-Out” text. At least this way, you’ll know who your true clients are.

5. Not customizing your messages

Sending vague and generic messages is a mistake many SMS marketers make. Your audience consists of people with different preferences, tastes, and styles. If you offer multiple products or services, you shouldn’t just promote all of them to each of your customers. Instead, you should do surveys and questionnaires where you ask your audience what would they like to be informed about. Depending on what they answer, place each of them on a particular list of people, and send text messages that they would like to receive. Address each specific individual according to their needs and preferences. This is how your potential clients become loyal customers.

6. Sending long text messages

Sending long text messages that are confusing to read is not why your clients opted-in to your SMS campaign. They want to read quick, smooth, and helpful messages that won’t take much of their time.

Your texts should be concise, short, and on-point. The character limit for an SMS is 160 characters, while MMS is 300 characters. Optimize your texts within these limits, and learn how to say plenty without actually saying much. This is the art of creating optimized messages.

7. Bad timing for messaging

This is another rookie mistake that you should be concerned about. Tell me, how would you like it if I sent you a text way early in the morning, during rush-hour, or in the middle of the night? You would probably not even read the message or be annoyed. That’s exactly how your customers will feel if you don’t time your text messages properly.


Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste simply because you didn’t do the research. Before you start your SMS marketing campaign, you need to learn about:

  • The time zones of your target audience
  • The best times in the day to send a text message
  • The best times in the day to send text messages during weekdays and weekends
  • The best times in the year to send text messages

This is all about research. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, national holidays, spring and summer sales—you need to hit the right timing to send the right messages to the right audience. That is what SMS marketing is all about.

Get ready to start your own SMS marketing campaign

These are the seven most commonly made mistakes by SMS marketers. You know by now what you need to do to kickstart a great SMS marketing campaign. Let’s take a quick recap of the most important things you need to remember:

  • Your SMS marketing must align with the SMS legislation from your country
  • Always send targeted and optimized text messages
  • Experiment with different text messaging approaches
  • Allow users to opt out of your campaign easily
  • Align your text messages to respond to the preferences of your users
  • Pick the right timing to send text messages

SMS marketing is a lot more than just learning how to avoid these seven mistakes, but this is a good start for you. With a little more experience, you’ll do just fine, and create an awesome SMS marketing campaign of your own. Good luck!

Jeff M