While short, snappy copy catches attention and prompts customers to act, it’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to the success of your SMS campaign. When you send your messages out also plays a huge role in how quickly your customers engage with you (if at all).
So, when is the best time for businesses to send SMS messages? This will vary largely on factors like your industry, customer preferences, message intentions and goals. But here are some rough guidelines.
The best time to send SMS messages according to the day
The best time to text your customers on weekdays is in the morning or in the afternoon. People are more inclined to check their phones during the first hours of their working day so between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m works well.
You have another window of opportunity during the evening when customers have finished work and are looking to wind down from their busy day by scrolling on their phones. This is usually between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m, though, we advise you schedule SMS messages for between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to account for the commute home.
Weekends are not too different to weekdays, in that people are typically busier during the middle of the day. But, you can afford to send SMS messages a little later than you would on a weekday. We recommend between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, particularly as 75% of consumers check their phone within the first 30 minutes of waking up.
Another great time is on Sunday afternoon between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. During this window, your customers will typically be winding down from the weekend and preparing for the start of a new week.
The best time to send SMS messages according to message type
If you’re sending texts that are promoting something (e.g. a sale, a product launch etc), we recommend you do so a day or two before your promotion starts. This will give your customers enough time to interact with the sale before it starts.
Make sure these texts are sent only during business hours, which is defined by the TCPA as between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Any earlier or later and you risk looking unprofessional.
Transactional texts are those that contain time-sensitive information and/or help your customers use your services and products. Think along the lines of payment confirmations, appointment reminders and delivery updates.
These kinds of text messages are usually triggered by an action on behalf of the customer, so they can be sent at any time. For example, when your customer makes a purchase, send out a confirmation via SMS immediately to reassure them. Appointment reminders should be sent at least 24 hours in advance to give customers time to reschedule or cancel.
The best time to send SMS messages according to industry
Those in hospitality can use SMS to send offers, promote new menus, gather customer feedback, and manage bookings or orders. As most people visit restaurants and bars in the evening, the best time to send a text is in the afternoon, before they’ve decided where they will be dining. Or, if you’re promoting a new menu or weekend event, send the promo SMS midweek.
We recommend texting between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., especially on the weekends. If you’re a takeaway venue, look out for large, televised events (e.g. sports games) and use these to boost your orders by sending out a campaign before kick-off.
If your business provides any kind of service, whether it’s a barber shop or a law firm, use SMS to send out reminders and boost efficiency. Not only does sending out reminders help reduce appointment no-shows, but it also enhances the overall customer experience.
Let’s say your client booked an appointment for 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. Once they’ve booked, send them a text confirmation. Then, 24 hours before their scheduled appointment, remind them of the time, date, and location via SMS. You can even let them reschedule via text if they are no longer able to make this commitment, whether that’s by asking them to reply or adding a link to a landing page.
The best time to send SMS messages varies, depending on business, industry and goals
Before you launch your campaign, consider what time of day and week your product or service will generate the highest amount of interest and engagement. If you’re not sure, send out test texts at different times and on different days to see which performs the best.
Every customer is different, even within the same industry, so, you may find various members of your audience are more receptive to certain days or times than others. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your metrics, such as open rates and response rates. These figures can help you make changes and continual improvements.
To learn more about SMS and how to plan a campaign that succeeds, check out our guide. The TextAnywhere Quick Start guide covers everything you need to know about planning and delivering SMS campaigns.