The 3 Most Common Mistakes made in SMS Marketing

Based on Malaysia’s Hand Phone User Survey 2017, feature phones are still in demand for a certain segment of people. This caused businesses to incorporate SMS marketing into their strategies, by blasting out bulk SMS so they can reach out to as many consumers as possible.

Good content is important because it will eventually turn leads into loyal customers due to its long lasting first impression. Yet many are ruining their chances with poor SMS marketing practices.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes made in SMS marketing:

1. No Call to Action (CTA)

Failing to provide a CTA or using a not suitable one will leave recipients wondering why they received the SMS in the first place. A CTA is the most important part of your SMS message because it tells recipients what it is and what to do. For example: ‘Show this SMS to get 20% off’, ‘Click here (a text link) to secure your seat’, ‘Reply “YES” or call 03-XXXXXXX for more info’ etc.

Every SMS should end with a strong CTA that is clear, concise, obvious and appealing to your recipients.

2. Incorrect timing

Text messages are often read almost immediately after it has been received. So you would need to make sure that you send out your SMS at a relevant time to make them effective. For instance, if you run a restaurant, sending out messages about a special lunch menu and discounts should be from around 11am to 1pm. Sending out after peak lunch hours might not be as effective.

Often texting at the wrong time may be an annoyance to your customers. Avoid sending out your SMS at an inconvenient time like early morning or late at night. The best tip: Before you blast out your SMS, think about when you would like to receive it and take that into account.

3. Text link way too long

A standard SMS can fit 160 characters while a Unicode SMS (Chinese characters/emoji) can fit 70 characters. Most SMS campaigns encourage customers to click a text link. However standard URL eat up a lot of characters. For marketers who would like to fit everything into 1 SMS, they are forced to shorten their intended message. But with a free URL shortening service like, you can easily win back those few precious characters.


Avoid these 3 mistakes and you would be one step closer to a better SMS marketing strategy. However, there is no direct formula for SMS marketing, so you would have to test, test and test some more to see what works best for you.