SMS Best Practices

With increasing regulation and filters placed by network carriers today, it is more important than ever to follow SMS best practices to avoid being flagged by carriers and to achieve optimal deliverability. Below are some best practices you can implement to improve deliverability and engagement with customers.

  • Collect genuine customer opt-in through your website, contact form or during the account sign up process. Define your opt-in and customer privacy practices in your privacy policy and terms of service. This is requested and reviewed by carriers regularly to ensure privacy best practices are being followed.

  • Always include opt out text in your message content (Text STOP to opt out) so that customers know how to opt out. When customer texts STOP/UNSUBSCRIBE, Sonar automatically opts them out of receiving any further communication. Sonar also listens for additional opt out keywords which can be found here.

  • Personalize your messages to your customers with their first name. With Sonar you can add multiple customer properties which can be added to a message as a dynamic variable by using “{{“ and selecting the dynamic variable you want. To include name, you can use {{first_name}} dynamic variable. Personalization helps drive more responses from customers and builds trust with your brand.

  • Include your full company name in your messages to customers. Carrier partners look for this detail to ensure you’re communicating your identity with your customers.

  • Be more colloquial in your messages. Include a first name introducing yourself. Instead of saying, “Hi, this is XYZ Company”, say “Hi, this is {{team_member_first_name}} from XYZ”. This would improve response rates from customers.

  • Use double opt-in before you mass message customers. This would ensure that you’re sending messages only to customers who want to hear from you.

  • Engage with customers in 2-way conversations. 2-way conversations with customers builds trust amongst carriers and increases deliverability.

  • Use Sonar’s URL shortener to shorten URLs instead of commercial link shorteners in your campaign messages. You can also use this to track link clicks to better understand the traffic you’re driving via SMS to your landing page.

  • User Sonar’s follow-up feature to drive more customer responses from unresponsive customers. With follow-ups, you can setup an automated cadence of follow-ups to avoid manual follow-ups with customers.

  • Scrub your opt-in list to ensure the phone numbers collected are valid. When a customer list is uploaded into Sonar, invalid numbers would be automatically flagged. Sonar also displays error codes for when messages are not delivered so that you can understand why the messages failed. You can find the list of deliverability errors here.

  • It is recommended to include multiple message variants in your campaigns. Sonar, by default requires at least two message variants for a campaign. This improves deliverability and allows for A/B testing of message content. Sonar allows for the ability to add multiple message variants (more than 2), which is recommended based on the count of recipients. With multiple variants, you can look at message variant level analytics to understand which message variants resonate well with your customers and receive higher engagement.