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Triggered vs. Scheduled? Here’s How to Nail SMS Mobile Marketing

Scheduled SMS campaigns deliver consistency and reach, keeping your brand top of mind. Triggered campaigns add personalization and timeliness, engaging customers on an individual level. But it's only by adopting a combined strategy that you’ll start to see the results you’re looking for - elevated customer loyalty, increased conversions, and a far healthier ROI. Here’s how to get started

Are you a plan-it-all-out, ship-at-regular-intervals kinda SMS marketer? Or a hell-bent on ensuring your customers are continually engaged – aka ‘scheduled’ SMS marketer? Or are you more of a persuade-em-with-the-hyper-personal, convince-with-bang-on-target-and-time messaging that reaches the parts scheduled messaging just can’t SMS marketer? 

If your KPIs are all about engagement, retention, and maximizing ROI (and let’s face it, whose aren’t?), then it’s neither one nor the other. You need to be combing them for maximum marketing impact. 

How come? 

Scheduled SMS campaigns

It’s all about consistency and reach, right? These campaigns offer consistency and reach, allowing you to proactively engage with your audience regularly. You plan and schedule these messages in advance, ensuring a constant flow of communication. Whether it’s weekly promotions, exclusive updates, or exciting announcements, scheduled campaigns keep your brand front and center, capturing your customers’ attention and keeping them interested … they’re the reliable heartbeat of an SMS strategy, if you like.  

Triggered SMS campaigns

On the other hand, add a touch of that crucial personalization and timeliness to your messages. That’s the magic that happens when you respond to specific customer actions or events as they happen. So whether it’s a gentle nudge to recover an abandoned cart, a coupon to use on a new coffee when you’re in-store, or a post-purchase follow-up, triggered campaigns mean connecting with your audience on a hyper-personalized level. By delivering the right message at the right time, you create moments of genuine engagement that resonate with customers and inspire action. 

The thing is, some marketers are still using just one or the other. But by combining scheduled and triggered campaigns, you create a dynamic and hit-em-where-it-counts strategy that covers all bases. Together, they form a powerful duo that nurtures customer relationships, drives conversions, and ultimately increases your return on investment. Think about it:  

  • You’re an online retailer. With a combined campaign approach, you can send scheduled SMS campaigns to your subscriber base, announcing flash sales, new arrivals, and exclusive promotions. Of course, many customers bite, but a few cart abandonment can be left behind. Your triggered campaigns will ship a personalized SMS reminding them of the items left behind and offering a limited-time discount – and they complete their purchase. 
  • You’re a growing finance brand. Using scheduled messages, you’ll keep customers updated about account balances, transaction alerts, and payment due dates. But when a customer performs a significant financial transaction, such as a large deposit or a mortgage application, a triggered personalized message with tailored advice, next steps, or a dedicated customer service contact will keep that customer connected and engaged, strengthening loyalty. 
  • You’re a gaming operator. When it comes to loyal and high-value players, you’ll maybe design a combination of scheduled and triggered SMS campaigns that make them feel like VIPs. Scheduled campaigns will deliver exclusive VIP promotions, personalized bonuses, and invitations to special events. In contrast, triggered campaigns will be activated when a player achieves a specific VIP status – or reaches another milestone in their gameplay. Triggered messages could offer enhanced rewards, dedicated customer support, or even surprise promotions to acknowledge loyalty. 

See how this approach doubles down on creating impact? But before you rush to your dashboard and start setting up a ton of new SMS campaigns, it’s worth keeping in mind that a combined strategy is all about finding the perfect harmony between consistent engagement and personalized interactions. By understanding your audience first, planning strategically, and then leveraging automation, you’ll have the foundation to build a powerful SMS marketing machine that captivates your customers and drives results.  

Here are a few best practices that’ll help you kick-start the journey: 

Define clear goals.

As you’d do with every element of your marketing strategy, you want to start art by identifying your goals for combined SMS campaigns. More conversions?  Better engagement? Increased retention? Establish these first to guide your strategy and help you measure success. 

Develop a content calendar.

Create a content calendar to plan your scheduled SMS campaigns in advance. Consider important dates, holidays, and promotional periods to map out the content, offers, and key messages you’ll ship during these times to ensure a consistent and strategic flow of comms. 

Think hard about timing!

Timing is everything in marketing, and SMS is no different. Test different sending times to find the sweet spot when your audience will most likely engage. Don’t forget to keep in mind time zones and the urgency or relevance of your content. 

Always personalize triggered messages.

You know how to personalize campaigns (if you’re not up to speed yet, we’ve got loads of great posts that can help). Personalization creates a greater sense of connection and boosts the chances of conversion. 

Leverage automation.

Implementing an SMS marketing platform that integrates with automation tools means you can set triggers based on specific customer actions and send personalized messages in real time. It’ll save you time, ensure consistency, and allow for scalability. You can find out more here.  

Monitor and measure.

Keep a close eye on key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall campaign performance. Monitor the effectiveness of your combined campaigns, track customer engagement – and make data-backed decisions to optimize your efforts! 

Stay compliant.

Doing all of the above will count for nothing if you’re not adhering to SMS marketing regulations and best practices. Ensure you obtain customers’ consent, provide clear opt-out options, and respect privacy regulations. Compliance builds trust and safeguards your brand reputation. 

Ultimately, the preference for scheduled or triggered campaigns may depend on factors such as marketing objectives, customer journeys, and the specific dynamics of your industry. However, the most successful SMS marketing strategies often embrace the power of both approaches, recognizing the value they bring when used in synergy. Let’s get the conversation started to learn more about how Optimove can help your business get the most out of your SMS marketing! 

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Pauline Fyfe

Pauline is a content writer, copywriter, and marketing professional who specializes in writing for start-ups, scale-ups and growing tech brands. She graduated from Central Saint Martin’s in London with an MA in Design at a time when the Internet was just coming into being. Deciding that’s where her real interests lay, she’s pursued a career focused on digital marketing ever since - and never looked back!