Dos and Don`ts When Doing SMS Marketing In Singapore

Dos and Don`ts When Doing SMS Marketing In Singapore

SMS marketing is a new kid on the block.

It is still evolving but oddly enough, the channel is a powerful marketing tool. No other marketing medium has the traction of reaching customers like text messages.

However, it is not foolproof. It is easy to make a mistake when message marketing.

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Some practices will work and others won’t. Some of the don’ts contain fatal flaws.

The best thing to do as a marketer is to dig your feet a little deeper into it and check if you are on the right track.


Do’s in SMS Marketing

  • Understand the rules

In the SMS marketing world, there are rules too.

Majorly, they regulate how you obtain the contacts in your messaging list and privacy.

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It is important to understand the laws behind SMS marketing before you start to avoid legal tussles.

  • Perfect-Time Text Delivery

You already know that almost every SMS gets opened.

What you should not rely on is a late opening. People read most of the texts minutes after arrival.

When you do the wrong timing, you could send them an offer to buy something when they don’t have any interest in purchasing it.

For instance, the reason why restaurants always send buying offers three times a day is to reach their customers when people are thinking about something to eat.

  • Always, Make Call-to-Action be a Web Link or a Mobile Number

Every marketing material has a call to action.

SMS marketing is no different. However, you have far a few options to dispose of in the text. There are no anchor links or buttons you can take advantage of. Everything depends on your word usage.

More importantly, when a person joins an SMS service, he wants to know where to go next.

A general line about that great product will mean nothing if he is not sent directly to that product or website. Include a shortened URL or your contacts so that they can send response dedicated to that line.

  • Make your Shortcode Known to the Public

Integrate SMS marketing in every of your marketing channel.

Like any other success, it is a game of numbers, and you are likely to be more successful when you reach out to a multitude of people.

To expand your reach, promote your SMS code across all other marketing channels.

Use your email campaign, social media campaigns and include it on physical marketing of materials you send out.

Like a gate, your SMS code is the entry to the SMS marketing campaign.

  • Get Permission Before Texting

Its annoying to receive a promotional text from a company that you did not subscribe to their messaging list.

Besides, there are rules governing SMS marketing.

And the most severe offence of these rules is sending messages to potential customers without first getting their consent.

  • Follow up, but not too much

It is clear that SMS has an incredibly high open rate.

However, it pays in spades to send a follow-up message to keep the campaign top in mind.

Moreover, it is essential you clarify to your subscriber how frequent you will contact them. Plan a follow-up without maxing out your promised message count.


Don’ts In Message Marketing

  • Don`t exceed 160 Characters

In the SMS marketing world, 160 is an essential number.

It redesigns the language of your message, quite literally. Nearly all mobile networks break SMS into a multiple of 160 characters.

Meaning, if you exceed this limit, your ad could be slashed right down the middle.

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What’s more, other networks refuse to carry long texts, and the slashing is inconsistent. The remaining safest option is not to go beyond the 160 characters.

  • Do not Spam the Subscriber’s Inbox

It is okay to send messages to your subscribers frequently.

But customers quickly become annoyed if you start spamming their inbox. They begin to feel like you’re compromising their trust.

The next thing they will do is start ignoring your campaign.

To an extreme extent, they may unsubscribe from your message list or finally block you.

Sending the same message over and over again can be spamming too. The key is to come out clear on how frequent you will contact your subscriber and let them know

  • Do not Create Generalize Campaigns

No one wants to be interrupted by his phone by a message that has no use to him.

It is tempting to create a fit-all messaging campaign and send it all to your customer and client which rarely works.

An effective campaign should be specific, that is, targeting a precise group.

For instance, if you`re promoting different products, you can segment your message list to send specific information or offer to customers of particular interest.

General messaging never give more punch to SMS marketing.

  • Don’t Make it Difficult to Opt-Out

Regardless of the current performance of your marketing, you must make it easy for subscribers to get off your message list if they wish too.

It is not only a good practice, but it shows your level of confidence in your customers.

Understand that your subscribers have a right to opt-out of your campaign whenever they wish.

The easiest thing is to remind customers that they can text “STOP” to unsubscribe.

If people want to leave your list, let them go and focus on those who want to stay.

Consider that annoying people is not a good way to build trust and win sales.


SMS Marketing In Singapore: How Does It Work And Does It Really Work?

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How far does your phone ever get away from you? How close to hand is it when watching television, reading a newspaper or when working on your tablet or laptop? Do you leave home or (shop) without it?

Because on average, an ordinary person checks their phone 80 times a day.

And on the battle for the modern man’s attention, are the internet, social media sites, and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger alongside SMS. It is easier to think that SMS is already outdated. But the humble text has staying power. It is just beginning to flex its muscle as a mobile messaging tool for organizations.

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However, many startups seem to avoid it as a marketing channel, at least in the beginning. They think about how it would annoy their customers and how they don’t want to risk falling in the tight rules of SMS marketing in Singapore.

But they’re leaving behind all the money on the table because SMS messages have 98% open rate and 90% readership. They only stop at emailing which open rate dwindles at 25%.

True, there are strict rules. But the law that matters most is only to message people who authorized you to do so.

And so,

How does SMS Marketing in Singapore Work?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to marketing via text message (SMS): traditional and modern. The first one focuses mainly on broadcast messaging while the second one places higher value on individual interactions via targeted messages.

Broadcast SMS marketing is when merchants, brands, or agencies send messages to multiple recipients at the same time. This type of marketing is effective because everyone is seeing the same message at the same time. The obvious advantage of this type of marketing is that you can target lots of people at once and you don’t need to worry about delivery, as the messages will be distributed by the telecoms network.

But what if we want to target just one or two individuals instead of the entire world? There are two ways to achieve this: targeted broadcast SMS marketing and modern, personalized digital marketing. The first one entails using a list of recipients’ phone numbers and sending a single message to all of them. The second one involves using a digital marketing platform to create an individualized marketing message tailored for each person on the list. For example, if you own a gym, you might want to send out a motivational message to your members encouraging them to workout. Or if you are an entertainment brand, you might want to send out a message to your fans to encourage them to buy your tickets to an upcoming show.

Broadcast SMS marketing is still very popular because it’s so easy to do. In fact, many marketing agencies and businesses have their own entire departments just to handle text messaging. But there are distinct disadvantages to this type of marketing. The most obvious one is that you’re not able to track the results of your efforts. It is, therefore, difficult to determine what is working and what is not. You might want to try a new approach and experiment with different ways of communicating with your audience. Or, at least, you should be able to track the results of your efforts using a traditional marketing channel.


How Does SMS Marketing Compare to Other Forms of Marketing?

If you’re wondering how SMS marketing compares to other forms of marketing, there are a few things you should know. First of all, it depends on what metrics you’re using to compare the two. For example, cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is often used as an indicator of success for online lead generation because it takes into consideration the amount of money you spend on ads versus the amount of customers you acquire. Unfortunately, CPA is not a standard measurement used for other marketing channels, so you might have difficulty comparing the results of different marketing channels using CPA as a metric.

On the other hand, you could use reach or open rate to measure the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaign. Reach is the total number of people who see or hear your message compared to the total number of people you intend to reach. Open rate measures how effective your message is at getting people to engage with it. For example, if you run a series of SMS campaigns targeting different groups of people at different intervals, you can use open rate to measure the overall success of the campaign. In this case, open rate would be the sum of the open rates for the different campaigns.

SMS marketing is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have a relatively cheap and easy way to target lots of people at the same time. On the other, you have an individualized and often one-to-one form of communication that is both effective and personalized.


Why Is SMS Marketing Important For Businesses?

If we compare traditional marketing – which usually refers to marketing via billboards, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines – to newer forms of marketing, such as digital marketing and social media marketing, we can see a huge shift in how people are acquiring information. And since businesses are usually the ones paying for these services, it’s only fair that they should get value for their money.

When it comes to marketing, millennials prefer to get information via email, while Gen Z prefers to learn about new products via YouTube tutorials or blogs. But despite the fact that millennials are currently leading the way in digital marketing and social media, the generation before them (the baby boomers) still lead the way when it comes to traditional marketing channels.

It’s important to have a strategy in place for each of these platforms because not all tactics will work for every business. For example, if you try to maximize your YouTube views by simply throwing a bunch of ads at the platform, you’ll likely see very little to no results. On the other hand, if you create engaging videos with educational content and add value to the community, you’ll start to see more value in your ads on YouTube.

SMS marketing is still an inexpensive and viable option for businesses. Even at a cost of just a few cents per text message, businesses can gain significant value. When coupled with a strong marketing automation platform, they can optimize all of their broadcast SMS efforts into one single, unified campaign.

Marketing via SMS can be very effective for businesses because it allows them to target and communicate with potential customers when they are most likely to be receptive to their message. However, despite its many advantages, it shouldn’t be considered a one-stop-shop for all of your marketing needs. There are plenty of other platforms that can be used in conjunction with text messaging to reach your audience and create business growth.

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Whether you decide to go completely digital or want to keep some elements of a traditional strategy, it’s important to remember that marketing is an ever-changing and evolving field. As new technologies emerge, traditional markers of success may become obsolete. For this reason, it’s important to stay abreast of the latest trends and know which ones will help your business succeed.


How to Create an SMS Marketing Campaign?

There are two basic concepts of a classic SMS marketing campaign—a keyword alongside a shortcode.

An example of an SMS campaign can be Text “READY” to 7777 for our monthly News update.

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“READY” is the keyword in the body of the message and 7777 is the shortcode that goes into the recipient box.

When customers send that message, they are opting into your campaign.

Moreover, there are alternative ways to get customers to opt in. On the order form, you can allow the buyers to check a box or alternatively, avail their contact numbers online.

The customer has to confirm that the number they enter is correct.

Why SMS Marketing is Becoming Even More Important

  • SMS has High Read and Response Rate

Email can sit unread for several days, phone calls go unanswered, but texts are read almost instantly after you’ve sent them. In reality, SMS has a 98% open rate and 45% response rate.

Such high read stems from the fact that the average person typically receives far fewer text messages than they receive emails and social media updates. As a result, SMS user sees almost all the messages they receive.

Moreover, SMS marketing is a direct and immediate channel.

The likelihood of your message reaching the intended target is of higher rate than with emails, PPC, organic traffic or social media leads.

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  • Ease to Trace Customer`s Interaction with Your Ad

Tracing your customer’s response to your ad is uncomplicated with SMS marketing.

You can easily see who opened your message, what link they’ve clicked and who ignored your message.

The response data enables you to monitor, track and improve your product.

By using these analytics, your business can generate the intended campaigns and constantly build an exceptional understanding that allows you to track each step in the conversion process starting with the initial delivery.

  • You Learn more about Your Customers

Due to its interactive nature, mobile messaging makes it possible to get feedback from the recipient’s reply by clicking the reply button or clicking on your link.

You can use this response to improve your product in a short period.

  • It can support and integrate with other channels

SMS is a great stand-alone channel; however, it can enhance and support other marketing media like Facebook and email.

For example, you can use Facebook to grow your SMS lists.

You can also remind your customers to read your email sent by brand hours or even days before.

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What`s more, a simple SMS follow-up asking “Have you read my email” can increase email open up rate and boost the chances of your marketing videos or content going viral.


SMS Marketing Tactics that Give Marketing More Punch

  • Customer notification

SMS is likely the fastest way to reach your customer notifying them about issues like account security or recent changes in their account setting.

Moreover, in the case of fraudulent activity, SMS remains the fastest way to reach out to your customer.

  • Coupons: Deliver Customers Exclusive Offers

To give SMS marketing more power, create exclusively-created coupon codes for each subscriber.

You will lock out non-subscribers from enjoying the advantage of your exclusive deal. That way your customers would have subscribed to save.

  • Drip Campaigns

Auto-send messages on the bases of the period customers are subscribers.

You can generate triggers or custom-made reactions depending on individual status.

For the instant of coupons, for example, you can send a 10% off coupon immediately after the subscriber signs up, a 20% coupon after a month and 30% off the coupon after 2 months.

The longer a subscriber sticks around, the higher the possible bonus. So, you`re influencing the action you want customers to take.

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The best part is, that you can automate this schedule to run on autopilot.

  • Poll your Customers

With a variety of services, you can conduct a poll to collect feedback over some time.

You can then graph the consumer-say from your online dashboard and use the result to improve your operations internally.

  • Run a sweepstake contest

Entice your customers to sign themselves up for sweepstakes by messaging a specific keyword.

You then select some winners from all the subscribers. Or you can choose to give smaller prizes to each member who texted the keyword. Again, this is a classic promotion tactic.

In conclusion, it is easy to think that as people start to use web-based messenger SMS will go out of fashion.

There are no signs of this happening.

People are using an online messaging system more often, but they still receive and pay more attention to text messages.

As a marketer, it helps to note that people are more attached to their phones today.

If you can get them to opt-in, they are never going to miss an update or offer your company offer again.

SMS marketing in Singapore works more effectively if done correctly.

Get in touch with us for the best digital marketing services in Singapore. 



People are becoming comfortable accepting and responding to SMS from preferred dealers and service provider.

So, SMS marketing should play a role in any marketing campaign you have.

However, like any other marketing channel, there are rules that you need to follow to keep your business a notch higher above your competitors.

Get in touch with us for SMS and digital marketing services in Singapore. 

Our team will work with you to ensure that the campaigns deliver the expected results.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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