Is Online SMS Considered Digital Marketing?

Is Online SMS Considered Digital MarketingIs online SMS considered digital marketing? Answer: It is considered a digital marketing strategy, but technically it’s an “offline marketing channel”.

While online SMS (short message service) falls under the “mobile marketing” umbrella which is mostly digital (i.e. mobile push notifications, in-app mobile ads, etc.) online SMS uses mobile carrier lines to deliver text messages, just like your mobile phone which is one of the reasons why it can out-perform digital marketing channels.

In this article, we’ll cover what online SMS actually is and why it has become even more powerful today than ever before.


What is Online SMS Marketing?

Online SMS marketing, also referred to as text message marketing or SMS marketing, is a marketing tool that involves sending promotional messages, updates, or notifications to customers via text message in an attempt to boost overall marketing efforts.

How Does Online SMS Marketing Work?

If you’re looking to drive sales with online SMS marketing then the typical process is as follows:

  1. Create a lead campaign: This is a campaign that is designed to funnel new subscribers into specific “buckets” or contact groups. This involves coming up with an offer, creating a keyword and assigning a mobile number.
  2. Opt-in: Your target audience sees your opt-in form and texts that keyword to that mobile number and is now a subscriber.
  3. Messaging: You can now send text messages to those subscribers either directly from the online SMS platform or via an API.
  4. Engagement: Customers receive the messages and interact with them by opening them and/or tapping a link inside the message.

Examples of Online SMS Marketing Use Cases

Online SMS marketing can be used in various ways, such as:

  • Promotional campaigns: Businesses can send exclusive offers, discounts, or promotional codes to their SMS subscribers.
  • Appointment reminders: Service-based businesses (e.g., salons, and healthcare providers) can send automated reminders for upcoming appointments.
  • Order updates: E-commerce businesses can notify customers about order confirmations, shipping updates, or delivery statuses via SMS.
  • Customer support: Companies can provide quick customer support by allowing customers to text inquiries or issues.
  • Surveys and feedback: Businesses can gather customer feedback or conduct quick surveys through SMS.
  • Boosting sales with personalised promotions: personalise your campaigns to further increase their effectiveness.

With its versatility and ability to reach customers directly on their mobile devices, online SMS marketing has become a valuable tool for businesses across various industries.


Benefits of Online SMS Marketing

There are a few key advantages of web-based text messaging:

High Engagement Rates

One of the most significant benefits of online SMS marketing is its remarkably high open and response rates compared to other digital channels like email.

According to industry studies, SMS messages have an open rate of 98%, with 90% of them being read within the first three minutes of delivery.

Additionally, SMS campaigns typically see response rates from 8%+, which is substantially higher than the average email response rate of around 3%.


People are constantly on the move and frequently have their smartphones within reach. Online SMS marketing allows businesses to reach customers wherever they are, ensuring that their messages are delivered instantly and directly to their target audience’s mobile devices.

Cost-Effective Channel

Compared to other digital marketing channels, online SMS marketing can be a highly cost-effective solution, especially for small businesses or those with limited marketing budgets.


4 Best Practices & Tips

Relevance Is King

Relevance is a critical part of any SMS marketing strategy. Before you send your next message make sure that you’re answering some of these questions:

  • Who are you targeting?
  • What is in it for the recipient?
  • Will this message help them overcome a problem or move them closer to a desired outcome?
  • What do you want them to do next?

Frequency Matters

Treat messaging like a phone call, would you call this person every day with an offer? Or once a week or once every 2 weeks?

SMS is similar to email in so many ways except for frequency, the more you text the more money you will make BUT also the more unsubscribes as people are less tolerant of SMS than they are with emails.

Use Segmentation

To ensure that you’re sending highly relevant SMS messages AND sending the maximum number of texts to improve sales, segmenting is your best strategy.

If you’ve got one big group then you can only text them once per week BUT if you’ve split that group up into 5 different themed groups then you can send out up to 5 SMS campaigns, this strategy will increase sales and reduce unsubscribes.

Use SMS with Email Marketing

One of the best marketing strategies that businesses use is to use SMS marketing with email marketing.

While email marketing and SMS marketing are very similar they are different enough to use side-by-side to boost overall results.

For example, if you’ve got a big sales email campaign going out and you know only 23% of your recipients are going to open that email, then follow up with an SMS message to those same users as a reminder to read that email. This will help boost your email open rates.

Case Studies

Princess Polly

The fashion brand Princess Polly plugged online SMS marketing campaign into its strategy and saw great results. Within just 3 months, the SMS campaigns generated millions in sales. By texting their customers, including their most loyal ones, Princess Polly was able to drive engagement and revenue.

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness, a fitness franchise in Australia, used online SMS to send class reminders, special offers, and other updates to their members. This led to a 30% increase in class attendance and a 15% boost in membership renewals.


Silverstone, the iconic British motor racing circuit, used online SMS to sell tickets for their events. This SMS campaign led to a 680% increase in sales. The text messages were sent to a niche audience of racing enthusiasts and included personalized offers.

How To Get Started

Step 1: Find an SMS marketing platform

Head over to and sign up for some free SMS credits.

Step 2: Paste in a few contacts

Once you’ve signed up, paste in a few of your mobile contacts.

Step 3: Write your marketing message

Here you can write your marketing message, update or reminder. There’s also an option to set up templates if you plan on sending the same messages.

Step 4: Send SMS

Finally, click “send” or “schedule” to send your text message out.

That’s it!