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What are the best practices for sending SMS Campaigns?

Many patients report marketing over SMS feels intrusive. Instead, we recommend saving SMS for emergent, time-sensitive campaigns like closures or insurance deductible resets.

Fortunately, healthcare emails have an average open rate of 41%, significantly surpassing many other marketing channels. This means your marketing messages are still likely to be seen by patients via email.

Be mindful about length.

It's tempting to copy an email campaign directly into SMS, but these don't usually perform the way you might expect. There are a few reasons for this:

Phone screens are not optimized for reading long messages. Because of this, we have less control on the formatting of these messages. Customizations like bold text or italics will be wiped, which can make messages hard to read.

Long messages and messages with lots of emojis are more likely to be flagged by carriers as spam, creating deliverability concerns.

For that reason, we recommend limiting SMS campaign messages to 455 characters.

Don't include images in SMS Campaigns.

Due to CAN-SPAM regulations, images attached to SMS campaigns will not be sent.

Always include a call to action.

Campaigns are most effective when you are calling on a patient to take an action. Most often, this will be booking. Use Smart Commands like INSERTBOOKINGLINK, which will add a link to your booking page, to make it easy for patients to take action.

Ensure patients know the text is from you.

Include your practice name in the copy. This ensures patients have full context and can take action without needing to reply to check. For example, instead of “we have availability after 7 pm now”, you could write “[Practice name] now offers appointments after 7pm!”