Types of SMS Messages You Must Know

Short Messaging Service (SMS) is the text communication service of internet facilities, telephone systems or mobile devices which gives you the opportunity to send short messages to those with the means of receiving them. SMS messages can be classified into different types and the more you know about them, the easier it will be for you to compose them.

Love SMS

Love SMS messages typically contain short and snappy words that express the romantic feelings of a person towards another. These types of messages are sent to show the affection of a person for another. They can be sent between siblings, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and so on. They are also used to express gratitude, reassurance, promise and so on.

Jokes

Jokes are sent in form of text messages to excite friends and relations in humorous ways. The jokes typically contain witty words expressing thoughts indirectly. However, their tone is normally informal and friendly enough so that the receiver will know that the sender meant them as jokes. They also contain imaginative words so that the receiver will be adequately amused.

Birthday SMS

Birthday SMS messages contain birthday greetings for your loved ones. They are sent to brighten the day for the recipient and boost the relationship between the sender and the recipient. It is ideal to send birthday greetings before the actual day or early on the day. If it is a special birthday, such as 25th or 60th birthday, the message can be send weeks or months before the day. The message can be used to remind the recipient of the day (if he forgets) or promise to get something special for him or her. It will also go a long way to show the extent to which you appreciate your friend, relative or colleague.

Friendship SMS

Friendship SMS messages are used by friends to express appreciation and show love for one another. Friendship messages are typically short phrases or sentences of profound gratitude with descriptions of how important the recipient is to the sender. In some instances, they may contain pledges of loyalty in return for great friendship deeds which the beneficiary feels he will not be able to give back. Since friends do not send such messages frequently, they are considered as sincere deeds of heartfelt appreciation. As a result of this, it is very important to send messages like these to your friends when they do things worthwhile for you so that they will know that you really appreciate the deeds.

The 160 Character Challenge: Copywriting for SMS Text Message Marketing

So, you got all excited about SMS Text Message Marketing and have high hopes for what it can do for your business. Rightly so! Mobile marketing is now coming into its own, and text message campaigns are being used to extraordinary effect by many businesses.

You’ve set up with a service provider and you’ve started building a list of people to send your messages to, but here you are staring at the blank screen of your PC. How on earth do you communicate any kind of meaningful message when you only have 160 characters to play with?

First, the good news

It may seem like an impossibly short space in which to say anything meaningful, but it depends on your perspective. Here’s a thought: you get 20 characters more than a twitter update! Twitter is being used today in some very creative and effective ways by online marketers. So if they can pull it off with even fewer words, there has to be great hope for the SMS text message.

We need to challenge this idea that copy can’t be effective if it’s short. Radio advertising has long been recognized as one of the most consistently effective kinds of advertising. The most common radio ad runs 30 seconds in length. Would it surprise you to know that these ads generally contain fewer than 70 words, and the best radio ad writers insist that repetition is a key ingredient? 70 words with repetition, and it is highly effective.

Some may argue that writing SMS text messages can hardly be called “copywriting” at all when you have so few words to play with. I would say that for this very reason it requires the best, most disciplined and thoughtful of copywriting to consistently achieve results and build an audience.

What About “Serial” SMS Text Message Marketing?

One way around the challenge may be to consider the option of splitting your copy into multiple text messages. There are several factors, however, that would caution we only do this very sparingly.

Firstly, it can be an annoyance to the receiver, and may also encumber them with extra cost, depending on their cell phone service plan.

Secondly, there can be delays between receiving the multiple parts of your message. Sometimes the SMS service provider may be at fault, but it can be as simple a reason as the receiver going in and out of clear reception areas. It’s also possible for recipients to receive the message installments in the wrong order, and all of this may lead to confusion. So this tactic must only be employed sparingly or it may well lead to an increase in subscribers opting out.

So How DO You Do it?

In a way, writing effective SMS text messages is like writing ONLY a headline. Good copywriters often say that if they have 8 hours to write a piece of copy they will spend 7 of those hours on the headline and the last 1 on the rest of the piece. Headlines are THAT critical; they are an art form all in themselves. A headline can make or break your copy because readers will make their decision whether to keep reading based on whether the headline grabs them. For this reason, great copywriters are practiced headline writers.

Writing great headlines is great training for writing SMS text messages.

1. Shoot an arrow.

A great text message is an arrow, not a shotgun. You’re firing one point at a set target, not blasting a pile of buckshot in a general direction. All the best copywriting – long or short – has one definite aim to it. The vast majority of text messages are acted on (if they are going to be) within 20 minutes. So your message must grab attention, be clear, and be immediately actionable.

2. Talk benefits – not features.

The age old principle of all sales writing is more imperative in this form than any other. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Don’t try to list all the things your widget does; just tell them how you can improve their life.

Great copywriting does not attempt to “create demand”. Rather, it seeks to channel existing demand. In other words, find out what your customers already want, and scratch that itch. That’s the best news ever for short copywriting, because if you had to create demand in every 160 character message before you could call to action – talk about an impossible task!

3. Write the call to action first, and keep it short.

“Call 800-555-5555 now”. That’s a clear call to action in 21 characters. That leaves you 139 characters to hit a need and give your solution. “Can’t face cooking after work tonight? Our delicious lasagna will be hot and ready for you. 20% off with this txt message – $10! Call 800-555-5555 now”… 10 characters to spare.

4. Resist the urge to abbreviate words.

Remember the “KIPS” principle… Keep It Professional Stupid! That doesn’t mean writing an office memo, but you don’t want to write like you’re a high school sophomore texting your best friend after school.

5. Test! Test! Test!

Test different approaches. Once your list begins to grow you should do this within campaigns. Have 2 versions of the same basic message, and send each to half of your list. Over time you’ll begin to develop a sense for what works best.

Writing for SMS Text Message Marketing with just 160 characters? It can be done, and done well.

Welcome to the New World of Mobile Text Message Marketing!

I have been so captivated about this new and exciting marketing trend that I set up this blog to gather ideas, comments and input from experts, professionals as well as ordinary citizens. My goal is to get this site as the central, focus point on pertinent news, information and developing trends about the text message or short code marketing industry.

Remember the internet about 10 to 15years ago? What did the ‘experts’ say then?

Where are they now? And by the way, who has not heard of Bill Gates?

Now let me make a very bold statement!

I believe that the mobile text marketing industry is going to be the next biggest thing since the internet! Businesses which learn, use and capitalize on this trend will thrive and grow; those which do not will simply die! Individuals who understand and take advantage of this trend by exposing and marketing the product to businesses (small, medium and large) will generate substantial fortune!

And businesses who OFFER these services have the potential of creating unimaginable wealth to its investors and owners (remember Microsoft and Google).

Now, don’t take my word for it, listen to the following quotes:

o Mobile marketing is changing the advertising and marketing landscape the same way that the internet did a decade ago’. Source: Unknown.

o ‘There will be more than 350 billion text messages sent in the US alone this year’. Source: Mobile Marketing Association

o Short code text message advertising is the most powerful advertising medium ever invented’ Source: New York Times.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will discuss the following:

o What is mobile/sms/ text marketing? How does it work?

o What does “short code” mean? Why is it so important?

o Hint: Remember the domain name on the internet? The short code is the equivalent on your mobile device! I’ll show you how to get one inexpensively!

o If you are a small business owner (restaurant, bar, car wash, grocery store, car dealership, real estate) how do you get a leg up in your neighborhood?

o If you are an individual who wants to take advantage of this trend. How and where do you start?

o And much more!!

Stay tuned and let me hear from you.