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10 Examples of Bad SMS Marketing

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The worth of marketing by SMS lies both in its configuration and closeness to shoppers. SMS marketing mistakes are a common phenomenon and could cost you valuable business. Cell phones are, in most cases, almost exclusively in the hands of the owner. 

SMSs are also additionally short, simple, and easily consumable. Additionally, the intended interest groups of marketing by SMS are generally of the digital age. That makes SMS the ideal alternative to email, which has for quite some time been the mode for computerized advertising.

1. Over texting

You may not have a telephone list for your targeted group. The marketers make the mistake of harvesting the contacts using software and then send bulk SMS using the same software. 

Examples of Bad SMS Marketing

After sending the first batch, you forget to reconfigure the software so that it does not send SMSs without control. The result of over texting will be a line of angry customers who do not want to receive any more texts from you. 

When texting for marketing purposes, be diligent and text sparingly either once a day, thrice a week, or something closer to that. 

2. Use of slang language

Marketing SMSs have an upper limit of 160 characters, which is about two sentences. If you are not used to SMS marketing, 160 characters are way too little to fit in all the information you want to give out. 

According to professional essay writers, the easier way SMS marketers could go for is to use abbreviations or initialized words. If you want to say welcome and buy, you write welcome n by. That’s wrong in marketing and the readers may not take you seriously. 

Every word in SMS marketing must be complete and well written. 

3. Non-scheduled texts

Scheduling your texts will help you reach more. If you send texts at the wrong time, they will likely be deleted. Consistency in non-scheduled SMS can make your clients opt out of your lists. 

For best practice, send your marketing texts in an orderly manner. Mostly, texts for Friday dinner can be sent on Thursday evening and a reminder on Friday at 2 pm or 5 pm. Messages for a Sunday concert and be sent on Friday and a reminder of Saturday evening and so on. 

If you send an SMS on Monday morning for a sale or an event set to take place on Saturday, your texting could as well be counted as a loss. 

4. Non-regards to the law

There are laws that govern the way information is passed, although very little has been put in the law regarding SMS. Lack of proper regulation on the use of SMS has left loopholes into what marketers can send to consumers.

When marketing using SMS, you should take regard of the law and in the absence of law, your responsibility is required. Avoid using hard language or sending explicit language. 

Your marketing via SMS must display respect to the recipient and display you as a responsible person on your part. 

5. Not having an opt-out option

It is okay to send your marketing messages by SMS, but remember to follow the best practices. Your client could have decided to join your texting list independently. Same way, they joined voluntarily without compulsion, your client should have the option to freely opt-out. 

It does not display a good image for your clients or potential clients to have to call you to remove them from your list. In most cases, when you include an opt-out option, you will likely retain clients instead of losing them. 

6. Failure to identify yourself

Your marketing by SMS strategy is as formal as marketing by email or writing an official letter. Although SMSs are limited by characters, be as formal as possible. You can start by introducing yourself and what you do very briefly. After the introduction, go straight to the point.

People are still a bit confused but, overall, increasingly becoming aware of their privacy and rights. If you keep sending SMSs without introducing yourself, people may not take it kindly and some might even suspect you as a bad person.

Anytime you introduce yourself, you create confidence in the mind of the recipient and they will likely be good clients. 

7. Not directing on what to do

The purpose of sending your texts is to reach out to as many clients as possible. Once you press the send button, you hope that the readers will respond and begin sending in orders. 

If there is nothing for the readers on what to do next, there will be no need for action. Once you prepare your marketing SMS, include a call to action line, and direct the client either to call, visit your website, or email. 

8. Asking too many questions

The purpose of marketing is to provide answers to a problem. One of the great mistakes that marketers make is to begin asking endless questions to the recipients. The questions are good and they may work for you in some instances, but in most instances, they don’t work.

The best way will be to provide answers directly without including questions. There will not be a so… what? A question to your SMS from the recipient. 

9. Scaring messages

Marketing is always urgent, owing to the stiff competition from all sides. Most marketers understand this too well and they do their best to include urgency in every message they send out.

Some of the text messages received are way too scaring and they would likely be received negatively. A marketer sends an urgent marketing message that says: “It is end time! hurry and buy…” the message may not serve the intended purpose.

10. Not asking for permission

SMS for marketing and sending SMSs generally is poorly regulated, although the governing rules are taking place fast. Already, there are several rules in place, although more rules need to be put in place. 

Before including someone in your SMS marketing list, it is an act of humility to send them an SMS and request if it is okay to include them. 


About 276 million people in the US currently own a mobile phone. The cost of sending SMS for marketing purposes could be high, but the return can be much higher. The use of SMS as a marketing tool is relatively new but its gaining pace rapidly. If marketers utilized SMS marketing well, the market could work in their favor.

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Kalin Kassabov

Kalin Kassabov

Kalin Kassabov is the ProTexting co-Founder and CEO. Kalin shares insights, tips, and case studies to help businesses and marketers effectively leverage SMS and MMS to reach and engage their target audience and drive results. ProTexting offers professional SMS and MMS Marketing Services for over 16 years.