So, you’ve decided that SMS marketing is the right marketing tool to add to your campaign, but you’re stuck for how best to launch your first campaign…
There’s a lot to get to grips with to launch an effective SMS marketing campaign, but one of the first obstacles that businesses come across is the phrasing and length of their messages. The text needs to be just right; not too long, not too short – the goldilocks of marketing.
But which is best: short texts or long texts? Let’s take a look at the differences, and what you have to play with in terms of character limit.
Understanding the Text Message Character Limit
When pay-as-you-go was the leading payment method for mobile phones, character limits held significant importance. If you went over the character limit, then you had to pay for a whole new text. Now that many contracts come with unlimited messaging as standard, less and less people think about the length of text that they are sending.
However, there is still a character limit to abide by when it comes to paying per message sent, which can influence your choice on text message length in your campaign. The standard character limit of one text message is 160 characters. However, this limit can be exceeded without breaking up the flow of a text.
It’s possible to send multiple texts as one, with the character limit separating the texts at 153 characters. This means that very long texts are an option, but they generally cost considerably more. For a good return on investment from your SMS campaign, it’s important to go with the length that you think is right for your business message.
To help you decide, let’s take a look and the advantages and disadvanatges of short texts vs long texts…
Short Texts: Create a Catchy Message That Is Straight to the Point
The nature of the text message is short: a quick way to send summarized information from one person to another. After all, SMS stands for ‘short messaging service’, so you would think that the right answer to the debate is in the name, but that’s not always the case.
Short texts can be catchy and informative, without going overboard. They offer plenty of advantages, but also a few disadvantages:
- Short texts don’t beat around the bush, they get straight to the point
- They are less expensive than sending long texts
- Short texts are quicker to write and quicker to read
- You’re forced to make the message memorable and catchy in a short space
- There is a strict limit on the amount of information that you can send
- You run the risk of the message being too short and not memorable
- A low character count may mean that you leave information out
Long Texts: Get Your Message Across in an Informative Way
Long texts give you the freedom to say exactly want you want to say without having to shorten your words or explanation. As less people have to worry about character limits now, abruptly short texts aren’t always expected.
A long text gives you room to get creative, but like short texts, there are both advantages and disadvantages:
- No limits on the amount of information that you can share
- More room for an enticing call to action
- Extra characters to aptly describe what you’re offering
- Ample space to properly tell customers about promotions and events
- Easier to create a professional tone without worry over characters
- More expensive than short texts
- Can cost more to produce the content
- Needs to stay engaging for much longer
- There’s a risk that too much information is shared, ruining the sense of anticipation
A Long Text Inside a Small Text: Pushing the Limits of SMS Marketing
Both short and long texts have advantages that make them the ideal format for your messages, enabling your business to create variety within a campaign. However, if long and short texts were the only options with SMS marketing, it wouldn’t be known as such as diverse medium for communicating with customers.
These days, you can take text marketing to the next level with the inclusion of features that can hide a lot of content inside even the smallest of text messages. Take a look at some of the top ways to enhance your marketing:
Polls can help your business to provide and gain additional information without the need for significant content. An audience can text in their response to a poll quickly for fast turnaround time on customer opinion gathering.
The addition of multimedia, such as videos, can make the message that you have to send limitless, without the need for extra characters. With 60% of the recorded video views in the fourth quarter on 2017 coming from mobiles, mobiles are already one of the most popular platforms for multimedia content.
Engage your audience without lengthy content by launching and advertising a contest or sending out coupons via text message. A brief promotion description can create as much of a buzz as a thousand words can!
Instead of filling your text with content, link out to a place where high-quality content isn’t restricted by character length. Through SMS marketing you can drive traffic to a company website with ease.
Voice broadcasting extends the limit of what can be said in a text even further. You can promote your business with minimal character use by saying your message instead of writing it!
Social Media Integration
By linking your text campaign to social media, you can redirect and engage your audience seamlessly. Social media integration takes your campaign to a new level with endless possibility for audience engagement.
Marketing Done Your Way
Texting is the preferred medium of communication for around one third of Americans, with almost two thirds of Americans owning a smartphone device. No matter how you choose to capitalise on the enormous target market, SMS marketing can keep up.
From new features that allow your business to stay up to date with the latest trends, to the ability to send short, long, and multimedia messages, text marketing allows you to launch a marketing campaign that is done your way, from start to finish.