What is the best time to send SMS

Topic: Communication, Did you know, Guides, Uses of SMS

We sat down with Esendex Australia’s Key Account Manager (and resident expert on SMS) Leah Madafferi-Lowe to talk about SMS timing.

When customers look to do their first SMS Marketing campaign, they often ask, ‘what is the best time for me to send my SMS?’ We can certainly speculate some potential timeframes, however, learning the best time comes from post SMS send analytics and understanding the targeted audience. We’ll take you through several factors we use at Esendex to hypothesise the timing of sends.

Target audience

Whether you run a salon and have memorised every client’s school drop off routine, or if you sell SaaS and have an automated CRM populating with sales data – both situations have incredibly useful data. Similarly to scheduling social posts, we can usually guess accurate peak times for the best response rate. What sets SMS apart from social media, is the ability to segment your audience and send messages at different times to the appropriate segment. For example, if you run a boutique ground coffee delivery service, you may target the primary school parents post drop off or morning tea time. While the full-time workers (in our experience) have a better response rate at lunch or late afternoon.

Campaign goals

In some situations, businesses may find it more beneficial to target via customer need or intended conversion. It’s important to plan:

  • What is the goal of your campaign? e.g. Driving online sales, online traffic or maybe your goal is to increase foot traffic by driving your customers into your brick-and-mortar store?
  • What do you classify as a conversion for the planned activity? Do you specifically want customers to purchase products or are you happy with a browser signing up to your rewards newsletter?

In our experience, if you want people in your physical store, it’s important you allow them time to schedule a trip. This may be after work or on the weekend. The trick is giving an offer that will entice and expire but will allow them the time to get their ducks in a row before leaving.
If you’re more interested in online sales, an enticing offer with short expiry and link will work best. RescueTime found on average people open their phones 58 times a day and 30 of those times are during their workday. This allows for more ‘flash sale’ themed SMS and an approach that will inspire your audience to go online immediately.

There is never a single answer that will be the same for every business. Your industry, your target market will all affect the answer to what is the best time to send an SMS campaign. So how do you find out what works best for you?

Use data from A/B testing

  • Start with a few smaller campaigns so it is easy to assess your results.
  • Segment your database and send messages at different times to gauge the response rate.
  • If you are providing a special offer, use unique discount codes so you can measure the success of a campaign, and differentiate the lead source.
  • If you don’t have a discount code system, it can be as simple as – show this SMS in store for an extra 10% off!
  • Use a trackable URL within your message to measure the click-through rate.

If you’d like to find out more about partnering with Esendex for SMS campaigns, or if you’d like help with an existing Esendex account, please send us a message. We’re looking forward to speaking with you.

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Author Avatar
Leah Lowe

National Account Manager at Esendex Australia PTY Limited