Just when is the best time to send an SMS?

by Albert Calderon
13 June 2017
Just when is the best time to send an SMS?
Picking the best time to send customers an SMS is about more than getting your message heard. It’s also about reducing opt-outs and encouraging engagement. 

So when is the perfect time to send an SMS? The answer depends on who you’re targeting and the desired outcome. Upset a customer by sending an SMS at the wrong time and they won’t just ignore your message – they could easily unsubscribe. Follow these tips to get you started – the success of future SMS campaigns could depend on it. 

Business talk during business hours

People often have their mobiles switched on – and on hand – at all times of the day and night. But that doesn’t mean they want to receive a coupon at 2am or an appointment reminder a week in advance.
The fastest way to upset mobile database subscribers is to send them an SMS at the wrong time. Mobile is one channel where you can reach people throughout the day, so sending an SMS during business hours could make your message stand out.

Timing is everything

So how do you determine the best time to connect with customers? You need to consider several factors, such as when your customers use their phones and when the message is most relevant. SMS recipients have the power to engage with your message as and when they want, but if it arrives at the wrong time or is put off until later, it may be discarded.
Appointment reminders are easy to schedule, usually one day or one hour prior – sometimes both. Payment reminders can operate on a similar schedule.

The text resurgence

Test and optimise

If your message is promotional, it takes a little more consideration and finesse. Fine-tune a campaign by tracking and reporting on recipient engagement using learnings from your delivery receipts, timestamps, opt-ins and opt-outs data.
Keeping an eye on opt-outs and logging when they occur could reveal when you’ve sent a message at the wrong time. Monitoring the performance of one message and then testing it against the next campaign will allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your send times.

Special times for special events

It also pays to be mindful of the message itself. If it’s a special event or a weekend sale, you need to give customers enough notice so they can plan to attend – but not so much notice that they forget. If it’s a notification of a holiday event or sale, your competitors will likely send out similar messages. Make your SMS campaign standout by sending the message 'off the hour' – at 10.15am instead of 10am, for example.

Track the source

Sending an SMS with a short URL link to the relevant campaign site – which then tracks the source code – will help you measure the conversion success of the campaign.
Utilising ‘rich data’ email formats in conjunction with the SMS channel as a follow-up can also increase an SMS campaign’s effectiveness and conversion rate.
You may not get it right immediately, but by testing and taking advantage of campaign data, you can be confident that your messages will be heard at the right time.
If you’d like to learn more about our SMS services, find out more here or call us on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Albert Calderon
Business Consultant - MessageNet

Albert Calderon joined Salmat in November 1996 as an Analyst Programmer with the Marketing Database division. In the years that followed, Albert assisted in the implementation of numerous retail marketing databases such as David Jones, Mitsubishi and CBA, some of which are still in operation today. He undertook numerous roles across the business including Customer Services & Operations Manager, before he left the business in 2010. In March 2015, Albert returned to Salmat as Account Director to manage our high profile retail clients for the Salmat Digital division. In July 2016, Albert took on responsibility of management of Salmat’s MessageNet SMS service.

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