In a recent VentureBeat article, I talked about how chatbots and mobile messaging will become increasingly more accessible. At the moment, it may seem like only well-resourced corporations can take advantage of this technology, but we are already seeing small businesses setting up auto-responders and messaging campaigns delivered through the major messaging apps. With this in mind, and considering that your customers want your business to be on messaging apps, we need to go over some of the best practices to follow with your mobile messaging campaigns.

1. Keep the messages simple

Our first mobile messaging best practice is to keep things simple. When moving from email marketing to mobile messaging, you may bring some (bad) habits with you. Mobile messaging isn’t email. You do not need lots of words, multiple touch points, fancy creatives, excessive politeness, or anything else you would consider normal for email. Mobile messaging is about getting to the point. Your customers do not have time to read (millennials now read less than the average person). More importantly, messaging apps are not designed for large amounts of words.

Think of the way you interact with your friends through these apps. You probably use short sentences with multiple messages sent in quick succession. It makes it easier for your business. Imagine the time you spend crafting beautiful words, lovely images, and well-crafted sentences in your emails. All of that can be forgotten. Focus on the message you want your readers to read and the action you want them to take; that’s it.

2. Explain how to opt out

Much like with email, your customers need to be able to opt out. This is more than just a nice thing to do — it is a legal requirement. Ensure you notify anyone on your list how to unsubscribe. Sometimes the process might be as simple as sending an opt-out keyword (“STOP,” for example).

3. Be personal and respectful

Mobile phones are hugely valuable to people. We have everything in them, from personal contacts to photos of the people we cherish. You need to keep this in mind whenever you send messages. Make sure you talk to your subscribers on a personal level, because mobile messaging is all about one-to-one conversation. Don’t invade their personal space. Keep message frequency low and, if possible, at their request. A good example is to set up buttons your subscribers can interact with. You are not actively broadcasting your content; you are offering them a way to keep engaging with you.

4. Start small

It’s easy to get excited by the opportunity mobile messaging offers. You could start by setting up an autoresponder on Facebook Messenger and 2 hours later have 19 campaigns, buttons after each message, call-to-actions, download links, one-click call-to-support teams, and so on. Take a deep breath. Your customers do want to talk to you through messaging apps, but there is a high chance they would feel lost in all the campaigns and interactions.

Start small and focus on a few (two or three) goals. Is it to enable your customers to opt in for content updates? Offer them a simple keyword opt-in. Is it to give your clients a centralized place to find your social media accounts? Deliver a simple autoresponder with all the links.

Once you’re up and running, you can start implementing more options and creating more complex campaigns over time.

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