August 21, 2023

How to optimise the timing and frequency of your SMS campaigns

In today’s landscape, SMS has emerged as a leading platform within the marketing toolkit. According to Gartner, SMS boasts one of the highest open rates of all marketing channels at 98% and delivers an impressive average response rate of 45%. However, it is paramount not to underestimate the impact of timing and frequency when creating your campaigns. Sending numerous messages at unfavourable times can prompt potential customers to unsubscribe from your service. This article explores effective strategies for enhancing the timing and frequency of your SMS marketing campaigns.

Know Your Audience
Firstly, it’s important to understand who your audience is and what motivates them. Consider their potential phone-checking habits – is it morning or evening? Do they work 9 to 5 jobs without phone access during the day? Answering these questions can help you determine the best time to send messages. For instance, if your audience tends to check their phones in the evening, sending messages in the late afternoon or early evening may increase your engagement.

A 2023 report by Attentive shows that consumers are willing to share more than just their basic information in exchange for incentives such as a gift, personalised recommendations or discounts. If you are lacking in demographic data for your audience, consider a customer survey to discover who they are. You could even ask questions to gauge their preferred timing for receiving messages and the type of content they find most engaging. Use this data to segment your audience, allowing you to tailor messages specifically to each group, making messages relevant and effective.

In addition to data-driven segmentation, turn to research reports for useful timing insights. Following the analysis of 10 original research reports, SimpleTexting uncovers timing insights for SMS campaigns, providing some general guidelines. According to the data, Thursday emerges as the best day of the week to send SMS messages. The findings suggest that people are generally in a better mood and looking forward to the upcoming weekend, making them more receptive to reading messages. Monday shows as the least favourable day for sending SMS messages, as people often feel overwhelmed with tasks at the start of the week. Sending messages on Monday could lead to a higher likelihood of your audience opting out. The data also suggests that the most successful times to send SMS messages are between 10 AM-12 PM and 2 PM-4 PM. This of course is dependent on your audience, their patterns, and behaviours. However, it’s worth experimenting with these proven timings and monitoring how successful they are for you.

Frequency and Automation
Implementing strategic timing techniques can help increase engagement rates and avoid your potential customers feeling overwhelmed or spammed by a flurry of messages. According to PostScript, sending an average of 5 messages per month should maintain a balance between engaging your audience, and staying present in front of them without causing them to unsubscribe.

When it comes to tools, it is crucial to leverage automation wherever possible. SMS marketing automation involves setting up well-structured workflows with trigger points that automatically send messages to your audience based on specific rules, actions, or timing. For example, when a customer completes an online purchase, they receive a personalised purchase confirmation message triggered by the purchase itself.

Furthermore, scheduling your campaigns enables you to reach a global audience at prime opportune moments by delivering across multiple time zones without manual intervention. Embracing automation and scheduling not only increases efficiency and saves time, but also creates a consistent brand presence, putting you in front of your audience and leading to higher engagement rates.

A/B Testing for Effectiveness
The key to finding your messages’ ideal timing and frequency is trial and error. A/B testing allows you to experiment with the timing of your messages, as well as the type of content you’re sending and its relevance to your audience. As an example, E-Commerce brands could test different cart abandonment messages, offering free shipping to Segment A, and a 15% discount to Segment B. Here are some A/B testing ideas:

  • Timing: Days of the week, times of the day, AM vs PM.
  • Frequency: Find the right number of messages without overloading your audience.
  • Content: Promotional offers, personalised recommendations, exclusive content.
  • Personalisation: Compare with generic messages to gauge the impact of personalisation.
  • Incentives: Test types of incentives to see what performs best.
  • Emojis: Assess whether they enhance your engagement or not.
  • Link placement: Test link placement in different positions to optimise conversions.

Finding the right balance through A/B testing is crucial for the success of your SMS marketing. By experimenting and adapting you can optimise engagement, therefore creating strong brand trust and loyalty.

Monitor and Analyse Results
Over time, pay close attention to the results of your SMS campaigns and begin to identify patterns and trends. Observing and analysing your results will help you understand the effectiveness of your strategy.

Focus on key metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and opt-outs regularly. This data can offer insights into customer behaviours, preferences, and habits. For example, you might find that certain times of the day or days of the week provide you with higher conversion rates. Therefore, offering you the information you need to determine the best timing and frequency for your campaigns. This data also allows you to identify your customer’s content preferences. Analyse the response rates on different types of messages and use this to fine-tune your future content. Is your audience responding and engaging more with a promotional message advertising a flash sale, or a personalised product selection based on their preferences? Every audience is unique, therefore, consistently testing and analysing your results is key to maintaining success in SMS marketing.

Key Highlights
Carefully optimising the timing and frequency of SMS campaigns can make all the difference in whether they are successful. Remember, there’s no one size fits all approach, therefore testing, experimenting, and adapting based on your results are imperative to success. Take away these insights for SMS success:

  • Timing and frequency play a critical role in the success of SMS marketing.
  • Know your audience’s phone-checking habits for maximum impact.
  • Segment your audience based on preferences to deliver personalised and effective content.
  • Find the right number of messages per month that suits your audience to avoid overwhelming them.
  • Leverage automation and scheduling to reach a global audience with minimal effort.
  • Experiment with A/B testing to fine-tune timing, content, and relevance.
  • Monitor key metrics to understand customer behaviour and refine your strategy.
  • When optimised, SMS marketing can be a very powerful tool for business success.

With these insights and strategies, you can enhance the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaigns and achieve remarkable results for your business.

Looking for cost-effective SMS delivery? Our team specialises in providing high-volume messaging solutions tailored to your Enterprise business needs. Get in touch to explore how we can help drive successful results for your brand.

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