One of the quickest ways to upset a text message subscriber? Send them messages at the wrong time. Just like you don’t want to be bothered at certain times of the day, you don’t want to text your customers at inconvenient times either. When a customer receives a text at the wrong time, they’re more likely to reply STOP.
So the short answer for the best time to send a marketing text message? When you first text your customers, stick to normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The longer answer? Adjust message times depending on your services and what your customers prefer. Consider the following when you want to send text messages that drive customers to act.
Watch customer behavior
You need to consider the times of day when your mobile customers are on their phones the most and what time periods are most relevant and appropriate for them.
Do you see spikes in traffic on your site at certain times of the day or on specific days of the week? Do online sales peak at specific times?
Use the data you already gather to make decisions about when to text your customers. And if you’re unsure, start asking them!
Test different days of the week
The best day to text customers varies from industry to industry and even business to business. After looking at customer behavior trends, start conducting tests. Determine which days of the week get responses or action from your audience. Over time you’ll discover which days to send texts and increase engagement and conversion rates.
Testing is key to building an efficient and powerful text messaging marketing strategy.
For example, in a study cited by The Drum, they found that online sales are the highest on Thursdays. If you’re in the e-commerce industry, you likely want to try sending text messages to your audience on Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings to drive more traffic.
But that’s just your starting point. Thursday won’t be the best day for everyone.
Avoid rush hour
People can’t read and engage with text messages while driving. Typically avoid sending messages between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Be aware of time zones
Customers often reside in different time zones. Send messages at times that will be the most impactful to those in each area. This is especially important for time-sensitive offers and making sure text messages are seen at the right time.
For instance, if a national restaurant wants to send a text at 1 p.m. reminding customers of their happy hour starting at 5 p.m., they would want to be sure that the text is sent out at 1 p.m. in each time zone. If time zones are not taken into account, customers on the east coast would be sent texts at 4 p.m when those on the west coast are the only ones receiving the messages at the correct time of 1 p.m. or vice versa.
You can gather this information automatically through sales or by asking people when they opt-in to receive text messages. To make it easy to use that information, automatically group your customers by time zone either in your CRM, your text messaging platform, or both. From there, you can further segment your customer lists when it’s time to send them specific offers.
Don’t send a message too early or too late. If you wouldn’t answer a phone call at a certain time, you also probably wouldn’t read a text either. People silence email on their phones all the time, but it’s not as common with text messages. No one likes to be woken up by a text.
Of course, this does depend on what industry you are in.
For example, if you own a gym and want your trainers to remind clients about an early morning class they signed up for, texting them before 9 a.m. is likely welcomed.
Schedule event reminders
For any event that you want to promote through texting, prepare to schedule announcements, gather RSVPs, and send reminders.
Here’s a basic template you can follow when creating text message drips for events.
TEXT 1: Approximately 2 weeks before your event. Announce your event and promotion, including a link to RSVP or sign up.
TEXT 2: Approximately 1 week before your event. Schedule a reminder to anyone who has not already RSVP’d to do so.
TEXT 3: 3-4 days before the event. Schedule a final RSVP reminder at whatever point you cut off RSVPs (if needed). Otherwise, make it a general reminder of when and where the event takes place.
TEXT 4: 1 day before. Schedule a reminder with any final details and info people may need.
TEXT 5: 1-2 hours before. Schedule a final reminder just before the events starts.
TEXT 6: 1-2 days after. Schedule a post-event follow-up text to thank people for participating and to start gathering feedback.
For anyone who does RSVP, a text should be sent right after they RSVP to confirm the important details. Then, schedule a specific reminder at least 24 hours before the event. Again, it depends on the exact event, but an additional reminder message one hour before can also be helpful in getting people to show up.
Skipio includes in-app event creation to help you streamline your event-focused communication. By creating an event in the Skipio calendar, you get a shareable RSVP page for your event. There’s no need for extra tools like Eventbrite or Facebook Events.
Send the RSVP page over text and anyone who RSVPs will be automatically added to your Skipio address book and receive the event’s reminder texts that you create when you make the event.
Drive foot traffic
If you’re trying to drive foot traffic, think about the time of day you want customers to come in. For midday traffic, you can send a text at 11:30 a.m. If you want to drive weekend traffic, send a text on Thursday or Friday.
Schedule follow-ups with intention
The fortune is in the follow-up. But if a text message subscriber or customer receives messages too frequently, they are more likely to unsubscribe. Be aware of how many texts you are sending.
Depending on the type of business, you’re limited in the number of text messages you can send each day. So if you’re a sole proprietor, you shouldn’t send more than 3,000 text messages in a day. (Private and public for-profit businesses have higher limits.) These limits, imposed by mobile carriers through The Campaign Registry, help prevent spam communication, which we all benefit from.
Optimize your marketing text messages
Follow-ups should be timely and directly relate to what your customers want/need. By keeping tabs on them, you optimize your lead nurturing, and sales go through more often.
Explore how Skipio and its tools can make your follow-up processes more effective so you can reach more customers in the ways that they care about.