When is the perfect time to send an SMS?

Last Updated 28 April 2020

One question we frequently receive here at Burst SMS is: when is the perfect time to send an SMS? Well, that answer depends on who you are targeting and what you are trying to accomplish.

1) General Marketing Messages

  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

The key to a high conversion SMS marketing campaign is by sending your message after all your competitors have executed their ad campaigns. The logic behind this is to prevent your message from being lost in all the promotional clutter.

The aforementioned times have shown to produce the best results, by catching people before lunch, at the end of the workday, or before dinner. Always remember who you are targeting, and whenever possible, to try and not send a text message during peak hours of work where it may come across as an unwanted distraction. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can structure your message, using our templates as a guide.

2) Appointment Reminders

  • 24hrs notice
  • 1hr before the appointment - A secondary text has shown to also be helpful

When it comes to appointments, it’s essential to keep customers in the loop – even if they are the forgetful sort. Reminders are most effective when sent 24 hours before an appointment, which is then followed by another reminder 1 hour before. Keep your text message short and to-the-point, and if you need help figuring out the best messaging, take a look at some of our high-conversion templates alert, reminder, and notification templates for some ideas.

3) Special Weekend Sales

  • Thursday before

If you would like customers to keep your promotion in mind ahead of a weekend sale, send them your campaign the Thursday before the weekend. Apply the General Marketing rule above, and adjust it to your customer’s profile as needed.

4) Restaurant/Cafe Promotions

Breakfast:

  • 8:00 a.m.

If you’re trying to catch the early crowd before work, send a message 1 hour before their workday begins, which gives them enough time to decide if they want to dine at your restaurant. Try not to send an SMS earlier than 8:00 a.m though as some recipients may still be in bed. Also, consider utilising some of our restaurant-specific SMS templates for some additional ideas and inspiration.

Lunch:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Typically, most people decide where they want to eat 1hr before lunch. So, if most people are taking their breaks between 12:00–1:00 p.m., then it’s reasonable to assume that sending your campaign between 11:00–11:30 a.m. would be the best time.

Dinner:

  • 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Similar to breakfast and lunch, you’ll want to target your consumers before they choose where to eat. Research shows that 46% of people decide where they want to eat for dinner 1hr before actually leaving; while the remaining 54% need more time to decide. Keep this in mind, and don’t be surprised if dinner ads may not convert as immediately as breakfast or lunch campaigns. Remember, consistency is critical. Repetition is welcomed when it comes to food-related campaigns, so let your customers know what you have to offer.

5) Holidays

  • 2-3 days before the holiday

Holidays are more memorable compared to weekly sales, so take the opportunity to send your SMS campaign a couple of days beforehand. Doing so will help customers prepare for your offer, while simultaneously avoiding other competitive ads by having your message delivered earlier. If you’re keen to know which holiday’s to prepare for, check this quick guide on all the holidays celebrated yearly, and in preparation, consider using our ready-made templates for each holiday.

Final Thoughts:

If there is one take-away you should consider from this article is that timing and situational awareness is key to a successful campaign. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Consider their feelings and timing of your campaign. Does it make sense? Will it give value to my customer now? If you follow these guidelines, you can’t fail!