Text Message Marketing: 9 Ways to Make Every Word and Character Count

word and character count

With over 4.2 billion people across the world regularly texting, retailers and other businesses have begun to seize this platform as a means of promotion.

Text message marketing is an easy tool that can lead to considerable benefits when done right. But, the key phrase here is (of course) “when done right.”

In order to run a text message marketing campaign that actually turns results, you’ll need to learn to keep things sweet and to the point. After all, a standard text message is only 160 characters in length.

If you’re hoping to use text marketing to generate leads and sales, you’ll need to pay close attention to word and character count in your messages. You’ll need to be strategic and careful with every word. Here’s how!

1. Personalize It

It may be tempting to skip out on personalization of your marketing text messages. But the fact is, in a lot of cases, this element can be super important–and just the thing you need to ensure your text-messaging-energies are well-spent.

Add a simple tag at the beginning of your texts stating your business’s name–something as simple as “Walmart:”–so your audience is fully aware from the get-go just who’s texting them.

Although personalization takes up a bit of real estate, it’s typically worth the trade. Your business’s name alone could be enough to snag your audience’s attention!

2. Say It Once

When it comes to composing the content of your marketing text messages, it’s important to be concise. One way you can tackle this mission is by ruling out any redundancy in your messages.

When we speak or write content in longer forms, we often use more words than are necessary, using multiple words to communicate the same messages. In drafting marketing text messages, you’ll want to use as few words as possible to get your point across–you won’t have room to say the same thing twice.

Look at each word in your message. Is it adding something new? If not, delete it.

3. Ditch the “Very”

Similar to using more words than are strictly necessary, humans often add fluff to their sentences that’s sort of just…there. One example of this kind of content is the addition of words like “very” and other words that don’t really add to your message.

If you’re tempted to use “very” or another vague sort of modifier in your marketing texts, step back and ask yourself how that word is changing the meaning of your sentence.

Most of the time, “very” doesn’t change or shift meaning in any specific or particularly noticeable way–and while words like this have their place in the world, your marketing texts just aren’t it.

4. Trim Prepositions

In a lot of cases, prepositions are a useful and necessary tool. In other situations, however, they can be an indication of unnecessary words and loosey-goosey writing.

Often, the presence of a preposition (especially “of”) is an indicator of a simpler alternative phrasing, as in wordings like “height of the ceiling.” We could say “ceiling height” with equal clarity and fewer characters!

Use your best judgment when it comes to trimming prepositions. And while you’ve got your trimming pants on, consider trimming your links, too, for a similar impact. Just cut prepositions, create an SMS short code, and boom! A nice, tidy message.

5. Nix the Passive Voice

Another means of over-complicating and bulking up phrasings is the use of passive voice constructions. When it comes to your marketing text messages, doing away with any appearance of the passive voice can help in terms of character count and the general cadence of your messages.

Using the active voice tends to tighten messages and helps sentences get to the point in a cleaner and more concise way. Instead of writing, “This deal was set in place by our sales team,” you’d say, “Our sales team set this deal in place!”

Losing the passive voice usually allows messages to shed at least a couple of words, and it allows a more action-oriented voice.

6. Keep it Relevant

No matter how much time you spend writing and revising your marketing text messages, they won’t be valuable to anyone if they’re not well-thought-out and relevant.

If your messages aren’t relevant, they won’t convert to sales. In fact, irrelevant messages will likely lead to canceled subscriptions and a dwindling audience!

Your marketing texts should be written with your entire audience in mind. They should be timely, useful, and they should contribute something to the course of every individual’s day.

7. Get to the Point

You’re not being charged by the character to send marketing text messages, so why’s it so important to keep things brief in the first place?

Each day, about 18.7 billion text messages are sent worldwide. If you’re hoping for your marketing text messages to stand out among all those other texts, you’ll need to get to the point–fast. A message that takes more than a couple of seconds for your audience to absorb will fall short of making an impact.

To put it simply, your audience is busy. Keep it short, sweet, and get to the point!

8. Use it Wisely

One of the best ways to make your messages’ characters count is by using messages sparingly. Only send a text when you’ve got real content to leverage with your audience.

Sending a text that says, “Walmart: Stop by and save today!” isn’t a message that’s going to solicit much action. A message that reads, “Walmart: Stop by for an extra 20% off your purchase–valid through 11:59 pm, today,” however, is.

Use your text message marketing platform only when you have something to offer customers. Oh, and never, ever bother them with a message that won’t benefit them at all!

9. Plan Carefully

The best way to ensure you’re exercising the best text message marketing practices and sending valuable texts every time is to plan ahead for every message you send.

Taking a look at your content marketing plans for other marketing platforms and considering the coming weeks. Draft several text messages and coordinate these with upcoming sales, promotions, and holidays.

Planning your text message marketing in advance means you’ll have plenty of time to write valuable and effective messages. Plus, you’ll be more able and likely to revise!

Want More Tips on Word and Character Count?

There are lots of approaches you can take toward getting a nice, clean word and character count in your marketing text messages–from planning your marketing strategy far in advance, to trimming individual message copy.

For more tips on how to clean up your marketing copy and start promoting your content, check out our page!