How to Generate Response With Your Direct Mail

A lot of marketers go for flashy design with their direct mail. This can grab attention, but what if you could do something more? Can your direct mail make people think and react without even realizing it? Of course it can. So how can you design your mailings with that in mind?

Seebe Hydroelectric Dam near Exshaw at NightA lot of marketers go for flashy design with their direct mail. This can grab attention, but what if you could do something more? Can your direct mail make people think and react without even realizing it? Of course it can. So how can you design your mailings with that in mind?

Before we get into the how, we need to know more about this phenomenon. This is commonly referred to as neuromarketing — marketing that focuses on the brain and how it responds. People are not aware of where their first impressions come from, nor do we always understand what they mean; they just are. This means we can use that to our advantage as marketers and incorporate messaging and design to illicit a snap response once pulled from the mail box. This is thought to happen in the lower, old parts of our brain. Now, let’s see how we can do this:

  1. “Either or Scenario”: Create only two options to choose from in your direct mail. The good choice is your product or service and the bad choice is the other option. This is a great space for snap judgments, so make sure your distinction is very clear.
  2. Story: Use a real world story that shows your product or service and how it has helped other real people. This should be a short story that is clear and to the point. Testimonials are great!
  3. Messaging: Keep it short and simple. There is no need to get technical or to list a bunch of features — no one cares. Benefits sell for you so find the biggest one and use that in your message.
  4. Solve Problems: Your product or service solves problems for people show them how in your direct mail. Short and right to the point, you have this problem, our widget will solve it. One big benefit is your focus.
  5. Images: Invoke emotions and convey your message through powerful images and without a lot of copy.

On average, you have about 5 to 6 seconds for your message to be understood before the prospect or customer moves on. So in order to be most effective, you need to be using all five suggestions above while keeping your focus on your one overarching theme. Remember that the most important thing is to only be selling one thing at a time with your direct mail. The KISS method is your friend.

Your mail should never focus on reason or logic; that’s not what gets people to buy right away. It makes them think harder and slows down the whole buying process. Additionally, it is an instant turn-off for mail pieces. Do not end up in the trash! You highlight a big benefit when you solve their problem, just focus on that.

Take a look at your current mail pieces based on the five suggestions above: What could you change before you send out your next piece? Are you already doing some of them? Great, now just add the ones that are missing. Another thing to consider is to look at mail pieces you have received, which ones worked well on you? What did they have in common? This can help you build a better response with your direct mail campaigns. Do you have a great mail piece that worked really well for you? I would love to hear about it!

The Key to Effective Direct Mail Is Communication

Too many times, marketers are so focused on design that they lose sight of the importance of good copy. They end up with direct mail copywriting that is talking at someone instead of to them. This is not effective communication. This is seen as preaching to your prospects and customers. There is no value in that. Do not waste your time on copy that will not sell; after all, that is the whole point — to sell your product or service. Let’s look at how to make your direct mail copy sell.

Effective direct mail copywritingToo many times marketers are so focused on design that they lose sight of the importance of good copy. They end up with direct mail copywriting that is talking at someone instead of to them. This is not effective communication. This is seen as preaching to your prospects and customers. There is no value in that. Do not waste your time on copy that will not sell; after all, that is the whole point — to sell your product or service. Let’s look at how to make your direct mail copy sell.

Effective Direct Mail Communication is About:

  • Connecting Authentically: Create real emotional connections with your prospects and customers. Provide them with copy and offers that are relevant to them.
  • Share Your Values: Let customers and prospects know what is important to your company and what you stand for. Then, all your communication should reflect that.
  • Show Gratitude: Thank your customers for their business because they don’t have to choose you.
  • Questions: Take the time to know and understand the needs of your customers and prospects. Answer their questions before they have to ask them.
  • Testimonials: Be open and trustworthy — show your prospects on your direct mail what your customers truly think of you. Make them want to jump on board with you.

The more authentic your communication in your direct mail, the more trusted it is, therefore, you are going to get better results. People do business with companies they like and trust. Do you approach your direct mail messaging in this way right now? Once you are including the five elements above you are ready to finalize your copy writing. To do that, there are four more things you need to include.

Direct Mail Messaging Should Include:

  • Benefits : Let prospects and customers know how great life will be with your product or service.
  • Create Urgency: Give them a reason to respond quickly.
  • Highlight the Offer: Make sure it is clear and concise.
  • Response: Tell them what you want them to do and how to do it. Give them more than one way to make a purchase.

The more time you take to write good selling copy, the better your results are going to be. It is critical to include these four items in your direct mail copy. Without all four, your results will not be as good as they should have been. We always recommend having a person outside of your organization read your copy to make sure that it is understood in the way you intended it to be. There is nothing worse than flubbing your copy and making your customers and prospects angry.

So, are you and your team ready to create the best direct mail yet? When copy writing is done correctly, direct mail is very powerful. It is the only marketing channel that allows your customers and prospects to have a tactile experience. Take full advantage of that! Make it the best experience they have had with you yet! Now that you are creating great selling copy, you can take the time to get more creative with the design. Have fun with it, but remember that your copy writing is more important than a creative design! If your direct mail piece looks great but sends the wrong message, it will be ineffective.

How to Create Sticky Direct Mail

By sticky, I mean direct mail that really resonates or makes an impression on your prospects and customers. When this happens, they are more likely to respond to your offer. After your first hurdle of grabbing attention so that your mail piece does not end up in the trash, your next hurdle is drawing them into your messaging. This is where the sticky part takes place.

So, what do I mean by “sticky” and why should your direct mail be sticky? By sticky, I mean direct mail that really resonates or makes an impression on your prospects and customers. When this happens, they are more likely to respond to your offer. After your first hurdle of grabbing attention so that your mail piece does not end up in the trash, your next hurdle is drawing them into your messaging. This is where the sticky part takes place.

Here are three ways to make your messaging sticky:

1. Testimonials

People trust the opinions of others more than they trust companies. When you add testimonials to your direct mail you make your product or service more trustworthy, and people are curious about what others say so they will take the time to read them. The testimonials provide you with an unbiased opinion of your products or services; this is powerful for people who are unsure if they should buy from you.

2. Stories

People enjoy stories. When you create direct mail messaging with a story concept, you draw in the reader. In order to keep them interested, you need to have a good story. Build up curiosity so they want to know what will happen. Of course your story needs to fit in with your brand and product or service — just adding any old story is not going to help you. Everything in the direct mail piece needs to tie together to be effective.

3. Emotional

Emotion is a powerful sticky point. When nonprofits tug at heart strings to get donations, it works! Use emotion to draw people in. Even for-profits can do this. Think of ways that your product or service can create an emotional appeal. You don’t have to focus on just sad emotions — try out each one to see what will work best for you by testing ideas with a focus group of clients or people outside of your organization.

No matter what the format of your direct mail piece is, such as a letter, postcard or self-mailer, the stickiness of your messaging matters. On postcards, you will have to be very concise while still drawing them in. Letters give you plenty of space for messaging — keep in mind that people like to read the P.S. lines, so have a great sticky message here. Images can also help your direct mail be sticky. When you are able to convey your message through powerful images, it creates a great way to draw people in. Make sure that you are not using language to disengage people. Stay away from clichés, boasting and arrogant messaging. No one wants to read that. Open, honest language is the best.

Consider the messaging you have used on past direct mail pieces. What could you do with that messaging to make it even better? Do you find any of it to be boring? One thing you can’t do is have boring messaging in your direct mail. That is a sure way to get it thrown into the trash. If you know you have used good messaging in the past, use it again — but not word for word. Change it up to keep it fresh. If you use testimonials, don’t always use the same ones — switch them out. Interest in your direct mail pieces over time tapers off, so freshen up not only your look, but your messaging too.

Create your sticky now to increase your 2017 results. When you send mail to the right people, create an impression and provide a good offer: You will get results.

Making the Most of Marketing Moments

Attention is precious. Marketers need to orchestrate all their messaging elements to support the strategic objectives appropriate to that unique consumer at that stage in the discovery or buying process, while also taking into account the consumer frame of mind, the device in use and the expectations around the brand relationship. That’s a lot to fit in a moment!

CoverStory_beautyThe science of reaching relevant audiences online often relies on a complex array of technology-enabled, data-driven tools and platforms to get in front of the right consumers. Marketers engage consumer segments and consumers based on many intertwined variables that signal possible intent, interest or profile fit. But while the role of technology is to “seek and find”, the role of the content and messaging that technology delivers is engage, inspire and motivate; making the most of those moments when you manage to get a consumer’s attention.

Attention is precious. Marketers need to orchestrate all their messaging elements to support the strategic objectives appropriate to that unique consumer at that stage in the discovery or buying process, while also taking into account the consumer frame of mind, the device in use and the expectations around the brand relationship. That’s a lot to fit in a moment! It’s helpful to establish a strategic framework when planning to use an arsenal of different kinds of marketing moments to elevate consumer engagement and brand attachment. Authentic and memorable brand experiences can span a wide range of content types with the best marketing programs and campaigns using a carefully planned mix of micro moments, macro moments and guided journeys to create or deepen affinities.

Micro Moments

Not every consumer touch point will be or need be a significant investment or the complete brand story. In fact, the accumulation of smaller impressions can work harder to make certain messaging memorable or evoke positive emotions.

Micro moments are about making a connection. Marketers can use those little gaps in the consumer day while waiting at the bus stop or while catching up on social media to make that connection. Things like social posts, ads or other small pieces of content can create overall favorable impressions if presented in an opportune and relevant manner. They can tell just a part of the brand story, punctuate a key point, reinforce brand imagery, introduce a grander content play and can even be sequenced to tell a larger story over time. These small moments have a cumulative impact.

Investment in the creation and delivery of individual micro moments should be commensurate to their value in the overall strategy. As they tend to be fleeting and may have multiple versions, be realistic about the investment (and return) on any single piece of content. The micro moment strategy relies on a series of contacts and the investment should be viewed at the portfolio level across all the planned micro efforts.

Macro Moments

Immersive experiences like certain websites, interactive games, or apps allow brands the time, space and environment to tell a much fuller story. The complex messaging that can be supported in these macro moments provides brands the opportunity to romance consumers, appeal with different kinds of content (video, visual, infographic, games, etc..) or engage in more interactive experiences.

A macro moment requires a deeper investment level with more planning and time devoted to its development. That investment should be justified by strategic value, longevity of use or broad appeal, but could also include temporary but critical instillations with great operational value. Some examples might be a milestone anniversary website with a lot of brand history, or an interactive destination that supports a high profile multi-channel promotion or product launch.

Guided Journeys

Often task or goal oriented, guided journeys move consumers through an orchestrated experience that delivers a specific payoff or value at the end of that journey. Some examples might be apps or calculators that capture attention through a session that has predictable outputs of value to the consumer. Pick a paint color and try it on in a room, calculate your long term insurance needs, determine your best college choices or conquer some other task with the digital assistance of a helpful brand. Often these experiences have a gamified element to them to improve the experience of completing a taxing or difficult task. Brands benefit from the positive association with that accomplishment or completion. Guided journeys easily incorporate direct marketing goals and can lead directly to a lead or sale. The expected value of those direct returns would surely factor into the appropriate investment levels for those guided journeys.

The branded consumer experience is an accumulation of all kinds of brand exposures. If you deliver authentic and memorable branded experiences guided by the needs of the consuming audience you will likely use a mix of content and content types to get and keep your consumer’s attention. Having a mix gives you more tools, more learning over time and a greater chance of success in supporting your strategic brand goals.

 

 

 

Netflix Causes Customer Freakout

Let’s cut to the chase: Why hasn’t Netflix recently informed me, and its 75 million other subscribers, that there’s a price increase on the horizon?

Netflix Binge Watch memeI “cut” the cable cord back in 2010 and have relied heavily on streaming video to get my TV fix, with Netflix being my main squeeze since 2007. And who can beat $7.99/month, especially when compared to most people’s cable bill?

But I’m not here to profess my deep love for all things Netflix … instead, I want to ask this question:

Why hasn’t Netflix recently informed me, and its 75 million other subscribers, that there’s a price increase on the horizon?

There’s plenty of coverage on the subject of the price increase on Twitter:

Netflix tweetsBut what finally did it for me was the Marie Claire e-newsletter I received yesterday.

Marie Claire e-newsletter with Netflix articleNothing against Marie Claire, because I love those #LadyBoss slideshows, but this should not be my news source. Why haven’t I received ANY emails from Netflix about the increase? I searched through my inbox to see if there had been any, and I can’t find a single one.

Google the phrase “Netflix prices going up,” and you’ll receive 39 million results, with top hits coming from USA Today, ABC News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, but nothing from Netflix. I checked out the top story, from USA Today, which shed a bit more light:

This isn’t a new price hike for Netflix. Two years ago, the company announced it would raise the price of its standard plan to $9.99. At the time of the announcement in May 2014, Netflix said existing customers could maintain the older $7.99 price for two years, which is expected to expire this May.

Okay, so Netflix announced the increase in 2014 … but it’s 2016. Why not send an update?

Netflix could have cast the increase — which is $1 to $2, depending on if you were a new or existing member when the hike was unveiled — as something completely positive.

Netflix: Do you like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?

Me: Uh … I love it.

Netflix: Great! Well there’s a second season coming out April 15, not to mention Season 4 of OITNB in June, Gilmore Girls in the Fall and a lot more awesome stuff! And because we’re focused on creating fantastic original shows, we’ve found we need to increase the monthly subscription fee.

Honestly … Netflix would have had me at “second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Take my money, and give me more music videos starring Titus. But that hasn’t happened.

Instead, Netflix seems to be sitting back and letting everyone else cover the price increase. After doing some googling I found this Engadget article from Jan. 2016. Within the article, I came across the 4Q letter to shareholders announcing the increase.

Protip: Your customers, subscribers, readers should not have to google to find out about necessary information, like a price increase.

The reality: Most won’t. Instead, they’ll take to social media to express just how annoyed they are.

Netflix dropped the ball, and there’s a good chance some subscribers will cancel. Or, they’ll opt to downgrade the service to SD — instead of HD — and only have the capability of streaming to once device at a time for the lower price of $7.99.

Troll the Respawn JeremyFor me, this isn’t about the increase. It’s about Netflix’s poor handling of its customers and lack of messaging.

If Netflix can email me about a new show it just added, it can email me about a potential price increase. Letting the media run with this story — and have a fun time with the headlines — is just bad marketing.

5 Direct Mail Messaging Tips

Direct mail marketing has many areas of focus, so sometimes not enough time is spent on messaging. Too many times marketers are quick to try something while not thinking it all the way through. Just as the designer took time to lay out the art, you need to take time to lay out the message.

Direct mail marketing has many areas of focus, so sometimes not enough time is spent on messaging. Too many times marketers are quick to try something while not thinking it all the way through. Just as the designer took time to lay out the art, you need to take time to lay out the message. Thoroughly vetting WHAT you say and HOW you say it, is essential. In order to have your direct mail messaging be effective there are some things you should consider.

Here are five tips for better direct mail messages:

  1. Not Too Wordy: The easiest way to get your mail piece thrown in the trash is to put too many words on it. Think of ways to convey your message using less words. Bullets, color text, bolding and italics can all help to highlight the most important words. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) method is best.
  2. Repeat the Message: The more times a recipient sees the same message the better it is remembered. They are then more likely to respond. Another benefit of repeating the message is that the more often they hear or see it, the more they trust the message.
  3. Focused Theme: In direct mail it is very important to coordinate your message, your artwork, your design and your audience together to form your theme. When any of these is out of alignment it detracts from your message, confuses the recipient and your direct mail ends up in the trash.
  4. Rhyme: People enjoy rhyme. It’s easy to remember and fun to read. When your message rhymes it resonates more with recipients. Have some fun with your messaging. The best part about rhyme is that you can subliminally coax people with your message.
  5. Brand: Your brand is how people identify you. If your message conflicts with your brand people will not believe it. They will not trust your message and may even get angry about it. Take the time to craft your message to your brand.

Think about the last direct mail piece you received and really looked at. What about that messaging was intriguing for you? Usually you can pin point a few key words that stuck out to you. Using that information, how can you tailor your message to do the same thing? What words will grab attention and stand out to them?

All the words you place on the mail piece need to work together toward your goal. Is your goal for them to visit your website? Come to your store? Call you? Or something else? When you have a clearly defined goal it makes it easier to craft your message. Not every mailing will have the same goal, so make sure that when you carry messaging over from other campaigns that you carefully edit it to fit your new goal.

Remember that recycling the message from previous campaigns is good for recognition, so you want to do it. Just make sure that when you do, you are integrating it into the new campaign well. Some wording will need to change and you may need to highlight different key words. Crafting your messaging can be really fun, so take some time and get inspired to be creative.

Direct Mail: A New Perspective

The key to effective direct mail is perspective. Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Why is this so important in direct mail marketing? Knowing your audience and how they will perceive your message can make or break your results

The key to effective direct mail is perspective. Perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. Why is this so important in direct mail marketing? Knowing your audience and how they will perceive your message can make or break your results.

Many marketers spend all their time focused on the list and the creative, leaving the messaging as an afterthought. This does not work. All three components work together to get you top results with direct mail. So, how can you create better messaging?

Six keys to generate powerful messaging based on perspective:

  1. Focus: Who is your target audience? What are they interested in? What makes them tick?
  2. Benefits: What is your product or service going to do for your audience?
  3. Conversation: You are creating a conversation about your product or service with your audience. This may mean that it stretches across more than one marketing channel. You may start off the conversation with direct mail and lead them online to more information on your website or social media accounts.
  4. Opinions: Otherwise known as testimonials about your product or service by people like your audience. Real people making real statements are powerful persuasions.
  5. Inspire: If you can create language that inspires people to action, you have powerful means to generate response. This is your best call to action. How will you inspire?
  6. Review: Approach current customers who are similar to your target audience to solicit their views on your messaging. Are you getting the right message across? Does the call to action work? What would they say differently, you may be surprised at what you learn.

By taking the time to write your messaging to the perspective of the prospect/customer, you are first validating their position and thus grabbing their attention. Next you are creating an open environment to generate response. Make sure that you provide multiple ways to respond, such as phone, website, in person, mobile, social media and any others that are available to you.

Perspective is not about shoving products or services at people who should want them, but showing them how and why they need your products or services. Creating a belief of need in your product or service that they generate for themselves based on information your provided is the most powerful message you have. Take the time to write your messaging in this way.

Remember that you should create different messaging for different audiences even within the same campaign. Variable messaging will help you improve your results. You should test your messaging as well. See what works better and build on that. Always track your results. There are many ways to do that, from URL’s, phone numbers and special offer codes. Find what works best for you and implement it right away. Perspective can provide you with the means to better ROI.

6 Factors to Align Direct Marketing Channels With Your Customers

Studies abound about which channels consumers prefer for receiving direct marketing messages. Some studies say consumers prefer direct mail. Others say it’s email. Then, there is the growing use of personalized web experience, social media, text messaging and other forms of messaging. The proliferation of devices and channels seems to be

Studies abound about which channels consumers prefer for receiving direct marketing messages. Some studies say consumers prefer direct mail. Others say it’s email. Then, there is the growing use of personalized web experience, social media, text messaging, and other forms of messaging. The proliferation of devices and channels seems to be unending.

In reality, your customers and prospects will demonstrate to you which channel they prefer, based on their actions. That’s what makes direct marketing what it is. But we are going to offer five qualitative factors, and one bottom line quantitative factor, to internally evaluate and align your message delivery strategy and channel with your customer and prospect’s preferences.

Qualitative factors for customer preference can include:

  1. Pure-play Sales Marketing vs. Content
    As customers and prospects are presented with marketing messages, do they view it as pure-play marketing (i.e., they see through it as your attempt to sell something), or as information and content that will be helpful to them? For example, publishers have succeeded for years when their messaging felt more like helpful information than a pitch to sell a subscription.
  2. Time Sensitivity
    Clearly an email can feel more time sensitive than direct mail, yet, experienced direct mail copywriters have for years been able to convey urgency in copy. But for your customers and prospects, other channels can be perceived as more time sensitive. Email, social media, telesales and even texting are channels that may feel most urgent.
  3. Shelf Life
    Email can vanish in a click. Direct mail can disappear in the trash bin (although it can be fished out of the trash). Higher production value catalogs and direct mail may be held onto longer than down-and-dirty printed packages. And higher production values (such as colors, textures, folds, tip-ons, stickers, die-cuts,and the visual impact of an 11×17 fold-out brochure) are impossible to convey in an email.
  4. How Did They Get My Name?
    Customers probably won’t be as concerned about privacy, but prospects can be much more sensitive. This can be especially the case if your offer touches on information such as health of personal finances. The trust factor is huge in prospects taking an action to pursue learning more about you, or making a purchase decision.
  5. How Do I Know You?
    Prospecting via email can be challenging to get opens and clicks. Run the numbers first (see our post on how to run the numbers). Direct mail for prospecting is getting more and more costly. Social media followers opt-in when they see you on various platforms or are referred to you by a friend. But consider that consumers often identify with social media as a personal platform, not necessarily as a place, to interact with marketing organizations. Better: Your prospect initiates the contact with you, and thus, become a lead. How do you do that? Content marketing, using those other online channels, can be a game-changer for you.

Quantitative Factors: As for quantitative factors you can use to align direct marketing to the media, there is really only one set of numbers to evaluate: Sales and cost per order (or per thousand). As an internal metric, when you evaluate your sales and cost per thousand, you can identify the ultimate metric to assess how your marketing messaging aligns with results.

Bottom line: Be aware of the studies that claim to have answers about which media channel customers prefer. But consider that you know your product better than anyone, you know the channel (or channels) that work for you, and you know your numbers. In a time when we’re awash in devices, channels, and choices, balance how you use each one so you’re aligned with how to drive cost-efficient sales.

5 Tips to Create SMS Messages That Convert

When it comes to mobile marketing, there are many ways to drive your customers to take action. Whether that means visiting your website, visiting your store, contacting you, making an appointment or redeeming an offer, there is almost no better way than using SMS marketing … when done right.

When it comes to mobile marketing, there are many ways to drive your customers to take action. Whether that means visiting your website, visiting your store, contacting you, making an appointment or redeeming an offer, there is almost no better way than using SMS marketing … when done right.

You see, when you look at the top marketers who are using mobile, almost every single one uses SMS/Text messaging.

Do you think there is a reason for that?

Of course there is.

SMS gives marketers the widest reach among their customer base and offers the most effective communication channel when trying to drive immediate action.

Look at Starbucks, Macy’s, jcpenney, Lane Bryant, Crate and Barrel … They all leverage SMS as a key part of their mobile strategy.

Even Coca-Cola, the largest brand in the world, has been quoted saying it spends 70 percent of its mobile budget on SMS.

No matter how you slice it, SMS is the workhorse for many businesses when it comes to a comprehensive mobile strategy that leads to results.

The great thing about SMS is that businesses large and small can use it very effectively to drive action. Most of us want that action to be sales, and that’s when SMS can shine. At the end of the day, it’s super affordable when looking at the ROI it can generate, fairly easy to get started and very trackable.

In order to have SMS perform like a workhorse and drive the results you want, you should follow these five tips:

1. Utilize time-sensitivity in your messaging. Listen, more than 97 percent of SMS messages are read within 15 minutes. We both know your email isn’t competing with that. Because SMS is immediate, you need to make sure your messaging accounts for that and offers real value based on that immediacy. SMS is meant to be used like email or even push notifications. If you’re promoting an event that’s on Saturday, the SMS message better not go out the Monday before. It will be forgotten. You can always include a link or a promo code that can be redeemed for enhanced tracking and conversion reporting.

2. A clear call to action is mandatory. As a consumer, if you just broke through all the clutter to tell me something, you better not be delivering more noise. Make sure your messaging is clear and your recipients know exactly what action you want them to take. I’ve seen too many text messages trying to share too much info. Keep it brief. Keep it simple. Keep it clear.

3. Focus on driving customer lifetime value, not one-off engagements. SMS should be a part of your overall contact strategy. Like I said earlier, it shouldn’t be used the way you use email or push notifications. BUT, it should complement those forms of messaging. If you just try to send one-off messages vs. creating a contact strategy with SMS, you’ll be limiting just how successful you can be with SMS.

4. Know your crowd. Speak their language. When using SMS, you have limited characters to work with. Understand how consumers text, the language they use and use that to your advantage when composing your messages. If you’re too proper, it won’t come as natural for your consumer to engage. You language should fit within the text messaging environment.

5. Not everyone sleeps till 10 a.m. Oh wait, is that just me on the weekends? Not only is your call to action important, but the time at which you send your messages can be critical. Understand your customers’ time of day when delivering messages and always respect their time and time zone. I’d say never send before 8 a.m. (questionably, 9 a.m.) and never later than 6 or 7 p.m. Now, depending on your situation, it may warrant an earlier time or a later time. If I’m getting a flight reminder for a 6 a.m. flight, I better get that reminder with enough time in advance.

Start subscribing to how other businesses use SMS, especially the brands I mentioned earlier. Start recognizing what types of messages are sent when and what the call to action is. Ask yourself how you think they’d be measuring success of each message.

It will start to paint a picture for you in your own business so that when you start capitalizing on the power of SMS, these five tips are already natural for you.

What are some of the messages that you’ve found to be powerful?