Win more with SMS marketing.

Want to build your brand? Win new customers? Boost loyalty? Tick off on all this and more with text message marketing.

This article has been written by Amanda Ranville Amanda Ranville wrote in use-cases February 9, 2024
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Marketing is all about getting your brand noticed by the right people at the right time. Right? Well, there’s no better way to time your marketing messages to perfection than with SMS.

Targeted and timely, texting is an easy and effective way to get marketing messages across. Let’s dive into the what, why, and how of SMS marketing campaigns — so you can hit the ground running with yours.

What is an SMS marketing campaign?

Put simply, an SMS marketing campaign uses texts (and the occasional image) to send campaign messages out to the masses.

Whether you’re promoting a new product, nurturing customer relationships, offering a new service, or generally building brand awareness, it’s a hugely powerful marketing and communications tool for businesses large and small.

Why? For starters, the average person checks their phones 352 times per day, so you know your messages will get seen. Plus, it’s easy to personalise texts and really connect with each and every customer.

And, in today’s digital age, customers have come to expect the speed, convenience, and immediacy of channels like texting. If you don’t embrace it, you could get left behind.

The perks (and pitfalls) of SMS marketing.

Every marketer worth their salt will know that different communication channels suit different marketing campaigns. And, much as we love SMS, we know it’s not right for every message.

To help you work out when to use texts instead of other channels like email, social, or paid ads, here are the pros and cons of SMS marketing.

The perks: speed, simplicity, and support.

SMS shines when you need to get messages out fast. Think flash sales. Exclusive offers. Product teasers. Last-minute updates to event details.

With 65% of consumers opening a text message within five minutes of receiving it – and with open rates of 98% for texts from businesses – you know your message will be seen.

It’s easy to set up text campaigns, too. This includes customising with fields like your customers’ name, location, or special offers.

And, last but not least, SMS marketing can be a lot cheaper than other forms of advertising and marketing. Most messages cost just a few cents, and you can set yourself up with a plan starting from less than $50 a month — then sit back and watch the results pour in.

The pitfalls: consent and character limits.

Of course, SMS has its limits. Like, a character limit of 160 that you need to keep in mind for standard texts. If you’ve got a lot to say, then a text message probably isn’t the right format for you. MMS or mobile landing pages might be better. Or a different channel altogether.

You’ve also got to be mindful of the rules and regulations (more on this below). If you don’t get customer consent, you could risk a fine.

Finally, like any marketing channel, there’s an art to SMS. Get it right, and your customers will eagerly open, read, and click through. Get it wrong — whether you’re bombarding them with too many messages or sending them information they don’t want — and you could risk losing them.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you get it right. Read on for SMS marketing tips and best practices.

Master SMS marketing with these best practice tips.

Before you dive in with your first SMS marketing campaign, spend some time wrapping your head around how it works. Get these things right from the start, and you’ll never look back.

Play by the rules.

There are rules to help protect people from receiving unwanted messages from spammers, scammers, and overly zealous businesses.

If you’re using SMS for marketing, then the ACMA rules apply to you too. The main things to be aware of? You need to get your customers’ consent in writing, and you need to provide easy ways for them to unsubscribe. This could be as simple as adding “Reply STOP to opt-out” to every message you send. And making sure you respect customers’ wishes by removing them from your list.

Don’t forget to keep a record of your customers’ written consent. For example, if they tick a checkbox on a form, then you’ll need evidence of the form. Take a deep-dive into the SMS opt-in and opt-out rules, or get inspo for building your subscriber list.

Note our rules are not complete – it’ll be up to you to know and abide by all content and consent rules.

Amplify your brand voice.

Sure, text messages are short. But that doesn’t mean your brand voice can’t shine through. The tone you use and the words you choose should reflect other channels — like your website and social media. If your brand allows, inject a little creativity. An eye-catching adjective can work wonders in a text. Or throw in a fun emoji.

For example, if you’re consistently upbeat and perky in your marketing, then use conversational, punchy greetings and offers. Like, “Hey, Sam! Check this delicious deal out!”

Or, if your brand exudes more high-end, luxury vibes, then go for something a little more formal — avoiding the exclamation marks and honing in on exclusivity. Like, “Ella, your exclusive invitation awaits.” Regardless, the number one thing to keep in mind here is consistency. Find your voice, and stick to it.

Achieve perfect timing.

Timing is everything. Question is, exactly when is the right time to text? Morning or night? Midweek or weekend? Given that it can depend on your customers’ habits, preferences, and even where they live, there’s no straightforward answer (sorry).

What you can do, though, is test and learn. Send campaigns at different times, and monitor the results. Or even ask for customer feedback in surveys. You’ll soon start to see patterns.

Then, set up a schedule for sending. This will help you avoid bombarding customers with too many messages, which could increase the likelihood that they opt out.

It’s time to get conversational with your customers.

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Add a call to action.

Marketing is all about getting people to do something, right? Sign up to a loyalty program. Book an appointment. Buy something. Reply to a text. You get the idea.

Make your text messages work harder for you by including a clear call to action (CTA) every time. This could be a link to a product page or sign-up form. It could be a promo code that the customer can show you next time they’re in-store. Just remember, you have to give your customers something to do — otherwise, what’s the point?

Personalise when you can.

Personalisation is key to effective SMS marketing. You can customise fields like a customer’s name or locations, and you can also tailor your offers based on their past purchases or preferences.

You can also segment your audience to send more targeted messages, which helps create a more engaging and relevant experience.

Choose a proven platform.

As SMS marketing becomes part of your everyday activities, you’ll want to know you’ve got a solid platform behind you. One that helps you save time, blast out bulk SMS marketing at the click of a button, send catchy MMS, and more.

When choosing your messaging platform, look for features like scalability, automation and personalisation capabilities, and the ability to integrate with the tools your team already use every day.

Try SMS for marketing.

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Kick-start SMS marketing with these campaign ideas.

Now that you’ve wrapped your head around what ‘best’ looks like when it comes to your SMS marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some marketing messages in action.

Here are some of the most popular ways that marketers use SMS.

A friendly welcome message.

Nurture customer relationships right from the start. When someone subscribes to your SMS program, send a short welcome message — ideally with a little offer or discount to say thanks for signing up.

TEMPLATE: Thanks for signing up to the [Brand] mailing list, [Name]. As a newbie, treat yourself to 10% off with code [PromoCode]. Reply STOP to opt out. Shop at [URL].

A thanks-for-ordering message.

If a customer buys something from you in-store, it’s easy to say thanks. Online, though, it’s harder. Follow up on online purchases with a quick thank-you message — and include a handy link to their order details.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], thanks for shopping at [Brand]. We’re packing your order. Track it at [URL]. Reply STOP to opt out.

A tasty discount or deal message.

Text messages are perfect for when you’re announcing a flash sale or short-time-only discount. Let your loyal customers know about the sale before anyone else.

TEMPLATE: Hey [Name], here’s a sneak peek at this weekend’s amazing deals at [Brand]. Special members like you get early access: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

An abandoned cart message.

Don’t let nearly-there shoppers disappear. Integrate SMS with your ecommerce platform, like Shopify or BigCommerce. Send a quick reminder to customers who leave items in their online shopping cart — perhaps with the added incentive of a little discount to help seal the deal.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], you forgot something in your cart. Finish your shopping at [Brand] and get 10% off. Use code [Code] at checkout: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

ROI up 1000x with abandoned cart SMS reminders.

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A helpful, here’s-some-news message.

Just published a cool new article on your blog? Bring in more traffic with a little teaser text, targeting the people who you think may be interested in the topic. You could do something similar to boost social traffic, too.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name]. Know you love [Topic]. Check out this latest article on [Article name] — happy reading. [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

An upcoming event reminder message.

If event marketing’s your jam, then SMS is your new BFF. It’s great for registration confirmations, reminders or alerts — helping keep everyone in the loop about the big event.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], thanks for registering for [Event]. See you at [Address] on [Date] at [Time]. Here are the details: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

Want more text message inspiration?

Browse all of our ready-to-go templates. It’s easy to make them your own.

Get started with your first SMS marketing campaign.

The use cases above just scratch the surface of what’s possible with SMS marketing. To see how easy it is to engage your customers and boost your marketing campaigns is to dive right in.

Start a 14-day free trial and experience the difference it makes.

FAQs about SMS marketing.

They sure do – and they’ve got the open and click-through rates to prove it. SMS is a direct, immediate communication channel that helps your brand cut through the noise. Just remember, success relies on following the SMS marketing best practices outlined above. Always make sure your text messages remain helpful and relevant to your customers.
SMS marketing is a cost-effective way to get your message across. With high open and response rates, it delivers a strong return on your investment. And, because it’s so direct, it’s an easy way to reach out to each and every customer in just a few clicks.
Yes and no. It really depends on your audience. If they’re open to receiving text messages from you, then absolutely. You could be in retail, ecommerce, hospitality, healthcare, entertainment, or another sector entirely – if you’ve got a relationship to build or a product to sell, then SMS can help. Your best bet is to start by building an SMS subscriber list. If you find people aren’t interested in signing up, then maybe it’s not the right channel for you.
There sure are. We go into detail about these further up, but just remember that you need to get customers’ consent before you start sending text messages. And don’t forget to provide an easy way for them to opt out, too. Stay on top of the rules around SMS. If you’re sending to other countries, make sure to familiarise yourself with the rules overseas too.
This can depend. Consider your audience, business type, and the value you provide. It’s important to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind and avoiding message fatigue. Keep an eye on customer responses and adjust the frequency accordingly. It’s all about maintaining a healthy relationship with your audience. Learn about business texting etiquette.
Totally. In fact, personalisation helps create a more engaging and relevant experience. Learn more about our SMS personalisation feature.

Ready to roll?

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