Clicking “send” on any SMS marketing campaign is a daunting task and with good reason. Typos, incorrect recipients and irrelevant offers can damage your brand, impact your chances of converting and waste your SMS spend. Thankfully, we have you covered, with our 7-point checklist for checking your SMS campaign and ensuring the best possible results for your text message marketing. 

Let’s jump straight in:

SMS campaign checklist #1 - Goal 

Before going anywhere near the send button, it’s important that you define the goal of your SMS campaign - whether that’s to reduce missed appointments, increase event attendance, or anything else that you want to improve. We like SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound) because they make identifying your audience, creating your content and measuring results all the easier. 

SMS campaign checklist #2 - Audience

The next step in checking your SMS campaign is identifying the right audience. Specifically, you want to:

- If needed, select your segmented audience that you create by SMS shortcodes and keywords;

- Ensure that your segmented phonebook or contact list contains all of the required details, especially if you’re using custom fields such as their first name; and

- Double-check that you have selected the right and most up-to-date contact list, and remove anyone who has opted out (if you aren't using an automatic opt out method, like our END to 88080 or online version)

SMS campaign checklist #3 - Content

You’re about to step into your audiences’ private 1:1 space; you need to make sure that your content is en-point. Before sending your SMS communication campaign, ensure that you have:

- Checked that your content is understandable, easy to read and is typo-free;

- Kept within the 160-characters, unless you’re happy with multiple messages; and

- Included valuable and engaging content that is relevant to your audience - this might be a personalised offer, a useful appointment reminder or some crucial information. 

SMS campaign checklist #4 - CTA

Following nicely on from your content is the requirement of a call to action (CTA). Your CTA will be aligned to your campaign’s goal, and should:

- Be clear and relevant to your audience - e.g. “Text YES to 88080 for 20% off ice cream”;

- Trigger an action - e.g. when someone texts CANCEL to 88080, Colin on reception know to cancel that persons dental appointment; and

- Be easy to complete - e.g. using an SMS shortcode and keyword, URL or telephone number. 

SMS campaign checklist #5 - Contact

Responsible SMS marketing is vital for your brand image, legal compliance, and customer relations. That’s why we recommend double-checking that:

- Your send ID is spelt correctly;

- You’ve included an SMS opt out if relevant; and 

- You’ve made it easy for customers to reply to you or get in touch. 

SMS campaign checklist #6 - Test

With all the will in the world, it’s difficult perfecting an SMS campaign without seeing it in action. Regardless of how big or small your campaign is, always send a test SMS to yourself or a colleague to:

- Check the formatting;

- Ensure that all links and shortcodes work; and

- Conduct a final proof. 

SMS campaign checklist #5 - Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to SMS campaigns. Whether you’re sending your messages live, or scheduling them for the future, check that your timing:

- Avoids unsociable hours or times when your audience will be unable to complete your CTA - e.g. sending a 5% off lunchtime deals message won’t be well-received at 3pm;

- Is relevant to the content of your message - e.g. a dog grooming appointment reminder received five minutes before isn’t much help; and

- Takes into account when you last messaged this audience - e.g. daily offers on weekly grocery shops is a bit much even for the biggest of eaters. 

Top tip: With Power2, you can create “blackout windows” to prevent you from sending messages during certain times. 

SMS campaign checklist #6 - Results

What good is an SMS campaign if you don’t know how well it performed? Before clicking the final button, use your goal to define what metrics to track and report on. This might include the amount of link clicks, the most engaged cities or the number of opt-outs - whichever metric, ensure that your SMS marketing and communication platform can track the results you want. 

SMS campaign checklist #7 - Follow up

And finally, once you’ve checked all of the above and you’re confident enough to release your 160-characters into the wild, ask yourself what the next step is. Have you created a follow-up campaign, will this audience be further segmented into a different bulk SMS campaigns, what will you do with the results? The possibilities are endless, which is why you need to define them now. 

Congratulations, you are now ready to send!

You’ve done it! We hope that our SMS checklist has been helped perfect your campaign to drive the results you want. Check back here next week for more tips and tricks.