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The best time to send your SMS marketing messages.

Resources & Blog

The best time to send your SMS marketing messages.

The importance of timing

Creating an SMS marketing campaign isn't always as simple as logging into your account, typing out a 160-character message and then hitting send. Multiple factors need to be considered before sending out a campaign. Firstly, you need to create a campaign that offers value to customers, such as a promotional offer, appointment reminders or a booking confirmation. Additionally, you need to determine who the campaign will be sent to. You may want to send some campaigns to all of your contacts, whilst more targeted offers can be sent to specific groups based on demographical variables such as location, age, gender, purchase history and more.

One of the biggest factors that can influence the success of your SMS marketing campaigns is the time of day in which you send out your campaigns. You could be sending out an amazing discount or the wittiest text ever created, but if you send out a campaign at the wrong time then your efforts could become wasted. In contrast, a less attractive discount that is sent out at the optimal time of day could perform significantly better and generate higher engagement. Therefore, the importance of sending out campaigns during peak times should not be overlooked. Of course, peak times vary depending on the content that is included in the campaign as well as the industry in which your business operates.

Retail

It should be no surprise that SMS marketing can generate fantastic results for retail shops. The benefit of texting is that it can be used by retailers for many different reasons. Retailers can use SMS marketing to launch new products, provide exclusive sales offers, confirm order deliveries and much more. Since the retail sector is highly competitive in terms of both substitute products and discounting techniques, sending out campaigns at peak times is crucial for success. After extensive research, we believe that the optimal time for retail stores to send out SMS campaigns is between 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday's or 3 pm to 7 pm on Sunday's. This is because consumers are in a much more relaxed state during the weekend and typically spend more money than they would during weekdays. Additionally, retail campaigns that perform best are typically sent during the end of the month (26th - 31st). Sending texts during this period ensures that your offers coincide with the most paydays, which could be the deciding factor for consumers that are on the fence.

Restaurants and takeaways

SMS marketing is also very popular amongst restaurants and takeaway owners due to its effectiveness and low time commitment. It can be used to offer discounts, promote seasonal items, collect feedback and for booking and order confirmations. Since consumers typically visit restaurants during the evening, the peak time for restaurant and takeaway owners to send out SMS campaigns is different from that of retail shops. The challenge for restaurant and takeaway owners is to ensure that text campaigns are not sent out too early or too late. If they are sent out too early then there is a risk that they may be forgotten or that a competitor could swoop in later. However, sending out a campaign too late is risky as consumers may have already decided on what they will be eating. Therefore, the peak time to send out an SMS campaign should be between 3 pm to 5 pm on any day of the week, with an emphasis on the weekend. Additionally, if there is a significant event on TV, such as a sporting event or reality television, then takeaway owners can significantly boost orders by sending a campaign out at around 7 pm.

Services

SMS marketing doesn't always have to be sales focused. It can also be used to improve efficiency and overall customer experience, which is particularly important for businesses that offer a service that includes appointments or meetings (doctors, opticians, salons etc.). By sending out reminders, service providers can reduce the number of no-shows from customers, which helps cut costs and also demonstrates great customer service. Our research shows that service providers should send out two messages to customers who have an upcoming appointment or meeting. The first message should be sent immediately after the booking is confirmed, preferably within the first minute. This reassures the customer that their booking has been made correctly and confirmed by your company. The second message should be sent 24 hours before the appointment is scheduled to take place, which ensures that your customers can contact you if they need to reschedule.

General

Of course, many businesses will not fall into the sectors that have already been mentioned. When you decide on the peak time to send out your next SMS campaign, try to think about times that your product or service generates the highest engagement. This could be calculated based on time of day, day of the week, weekday or weekend and time of the month for example. You should then be able to make an educated guess as to when your customers would most like to receive notifications from you. However, if you are still unsure, then a safe bet is to send out messages between 12 pm to 3 pm on both weekdays and weekends. Approximately 33% of mobile users state that this is their favoured time to receive SMS messages from companies.

Additional factors

Some additional factors that should be considered before sending out your SMS campaigns. Firstly, if you send texts internationally then it is important to consider time zones. For example, if you sent out a campaign in the U.S. at 9 am Eastern Time, any customer that was on the west coast would receive your message at 6 am. This could lead to some unsatisfied customers that may have been woken up by your message alert. Therefore, to avoid this, you can either segment your data based on region or you can send out campaigns at a time that is appropriate for all of the numbers that you hold.

Secondly, if you have an upcoming event that you would like to promote via SMS marketing, then it is important to ensure that your campaign is sent out in advance. Sending out a campaign on the day of the event could significantly reduce the number of attendees or sales that you generate, as customers are likely to have already made plans. Text marketing can be used to promote events such as fundraisers, in-store sales and store opening parties. Additionally, SMS can be used to inform customers of upcoming dates such as Black Friday or Boxing Day, which ensures that your company takes centre stage in the run-up to these dates.

Finally, it is important to note that there is no right or wrong answer when sending out your SMS campaigns. You are free to send out messages on whichever day and whatever time you feel like. Although, you should avoid unsociable hours of course. A great way to determine the most successful time for your business to send out campaigns is to split your contact list in half and then send the same message at two different times (A/B testing). You can then determine which message was the most successful based on our reporting tools and then send campaigns out to all of your contacts at this time in the future.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

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