The Impact of SMS Marketing in the Digital Age

SMS marketing allows businesses to communicate with customers and prospects via text message. It’s one of the most direct and personal channels for companies to share time-sensitive offers, product updates, and other important information.

A Powerful Mobile Marketing Channel

With over 5 billion people accessing mobile devices worldwide, SMS has become an indispensable mobile marketing channel. Text messages enjoy unparalleled open and response rates compared to email and other digital channels.

Customers are constantly connected to their phones, creating a prime opportunity for businesses to reach them. SMS marketing allows you to share your messages at the ideal time and place – right in the palms of your audience’s hands.

Versatile Use Cases

SMS marketing encompasses various text messaging strategies, including:

  • Promotional campaigns like discounts, flash sales, and new product alerts
  • Transactional notifications such as order/shipping confirmations
  • Conversational messaging for customer support and personalized outreach

Businesses across industries are leveraging SMS to drive engagement, revenue, and customer loyalty. From e-commerce brands to restaurants, nonprofits, and beyond – SMS marketing is a versatile solution.

Whether you want to recapture abandoned shopping carts, share exclusive VIP offers, or simply communicate important updates – a well-executed SMS strategy allows you to connect with customers in real-time through the medium they use most.


Benefits of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing provides numerous powerful advantages that make it an essential piece of the modern marketing mix. Here are some of the key benefits:

It’s Fast

Thanks to the real-time nature of text messaging, SMS marketing allows you to get time-sensitive information in front of your audience almost instantly. Customers receive and read your messages right away, rather than having them get buried in an overcrowded email inbox.

This immediacy is ideal for sharing flash sales, back-in-stock alerts, appointment reminders, and other time-critical messages.

It Has Near-Perfect Open Rates

Unlike email, 98% of text messages are opened and read. This unmatched open rate blows other marketing channels out of the water. For businesses looking to ensure their messages are seen, SMS is unbeatable.

It Gets High Response Rates

SMS doesn’t just get your messages opened – it inspires action. Text messages have a huge 45% response rate compared to just 6% for email. Whether you’re running a promotion, collecting feedback, or sending another call-to-action, SMS marketing delivers results.

Customers prefer the convenience and immediacy of responding to text messages. This two-way communication enables high engagement.

Other Key Benefits

  • It’s personal: SMS offers a direct line to your audience for building stronger customer relationships.
  • High ROI: The low cost and high response rates of SMS drive impressive returns.
  • Wide reach: With virtually no learning curve or technical requirements, you can reach your entire audience through text.

With its speed, open rates, response rates, and ability to create 1-on-1 conversations, SMS marketing gives businesses a remarkably effective tool for cutting through the noise and connecting with customers where they are.


How to Use SMS Marketing: Best Practices

To maximize the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns, it’s crucial to follow mobile marketing best practices. Here are some key tips:

Get a List of Customers You Have Permission to Message

The most critical component of SMS marketing is an opt-in subscriber list. Purchasers and leads who have explicitly given consent to receive your text messages. Blasting SMS campaigns to randomized numbers is illegal and will damage your reputation.

There are various ways to build an SMS list, such as opt-in forms on your website, in-store signups, SMS keywords, and collecting mobile numbers at purchase. The key is transparency and getting affirmative consent.

Use a Tool to Send Your Messages

While you could potentially send individual SMS blasts straight from your phone, businesses need a proper SMS marketing platform or service to manage campaigns at scale. Look for these key features:

  • Contact management and segmentation
  • Campaign scheduling and automation
  • Customizable templates and message building
  • Analytics and performance tracking
  • Regulatory compliance measures

Popular SMS marketing tools include Postscript, Slicktext, Avochato, and more.

Craft Your Message

SMS messages need to be brief, scannable, and impactful. Get the main offer or call-to-action across in 1-2 concise sentences with a compelling call-to-action. Messages should be 160 characters or fewer.

Make sure to identify who the message is from at the start. Use an official business name and be recognizable. Including multimedia like images or GIFs can increase engagement as well.

Reach the Right Customers at the Right Time

Segmentation and scheduling are critical for SMS marketing. Not every blast will be relevant to every subscriber. Leverage tools to segment subscribers by criteria like location, purchase behavior, interests and demographics.

Then schedule messages based on time zones, daily habits, and purchasing contexts. Sending a breakfast promo at 7am or a happy hour deal at 5pm can improve conversions dramatically.

Track Results

SMS marketing platforms provide comprehensive reporting on metrics like what messages were delivered and when teamed up with tracking links can tell you how many people clicked on your SMS message.

See what messaging resonates best, which segments respond better, and which campaigns drive the most ROI. Use A/B testing to continually refine your approach.

Give Customers a Way to Opt Out

In addition to opt-in compliance, it’s critical to include instructions on how recipients can opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving future SMS messages. This is required by law and respects the permission-based nature of SMS marketing.

A simple “Reply STOP to opt-out” does the trick. Make it clear and easy for customers to customize their SMS preferences according to their needs.

By following SMS marketing best practices around permission, tools, messaging, segmentation, optimization and compliance – businesses can effectively tap into this powerful channel to engage their audiences.


SMS Marketing Strategies to Try

With the basics of SMS marketing covered, it’s time to explore some proven strategic approaches businesses can implement:

Welcome Texts

Create an exceptional first impression by sending new subscribers a welcome SMS when they opt-in to your list. You can share a special offer, set expectations for message frequency, or encourage them to add your SMS short code to their contacts.

New Product Arrivals

Keep your biggest fans in the loop on upcoming launches and product drops. SMS allows you to build hype and get inventory updates directly to interested customers first. Encourage them to set calendar reminders for launch day.

Flash Sales

Limited-time flash sales are perfect for SMS blasts. The urgency and time-sensitivity compel customers to quick purchase to secure the deal. Be sure to make pricing, discounts, and expiration times crystal clear.

Seasonal Sales

Similar to flash sales, seasonal promotions around Black Friday, holidays, or other major events pair nicely with SMS. Get ahead of the curve by announcing the deals first through texts before email and other channels.

Ask Customers to Fill Out Surveys

SMS isn’t just for pushing promotions – it’s great for two-way engagement. Send quick surveys or get customer feedback via text. The personal, direct nature leads to high response rates.

Cross Promote Your Social Media Accounts

Have a big social media contest or promotion? Drive more eyeballs and engagement by notifying your SMS subscribers to participate online for a chance to win.

From attention-grabbing promotions to strategic nurturing and engagement plays, SMS marketing empowers businesses to get creative in reaching audiences. Always focus on providing value and delightful experiences at every touchpoint.


Getting Started with SMS Marketing

Ready to tap into the power of SMS? Here are some key tips for kicking off your text messaging campaigns properly:

Importance of Opt-In Lists

We can’t emphasize this enough – only send SMS messages to customers and prospects who have explicitly opted-in to receive texts from your business. Not only is permission-based marketing essential for compliance, but it also fosters trust with your audience.

Clearly disclose what subscribers can expect when they opt-in. Will they receive promotional offers, order notifications, or a mix? Set transparent expectations upfront.

Identifying Yourself in Messages

Every text should start by clearly identifying who the message is from. Use your official business name, brand name, or a recognizable SMS short code. Customers need to know who is texting them right away.

Send Time Optimization

When you send SMS messages matters immensely. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll see higher engagement in the mid-morning through mid-evening hours. More specifically, consider factors like:

  • Subscriber time zones
  • Days/times they place orders
  • Work schedules for your target audience

Proper scheduling maximizes visibility when your messages hit subscribers’ devices.

Message Length Best Practices

SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Craft your text copies to be as concise and impactful as possible within that constraint. Use URL shorteners for longer links.

If you have more to say, you can utilize MMS (multimedia messaging) for longer content and visuals. Just know MMS is slightly more expensive.

Legal & Regulatory Compliance

Beyond permission, there are other SMS marketing regulations to follow. Always include opt-out instructions, typically: “Reply STOP to cancel.”

You’ll also need to disclose your organization’s name, services, and other details when subscribers first opt-in. Consult guidelines like the CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices.

With a thoughtful, compliant approach out of the gate, you’ll be able to fully leverage SMS as a powerful mobile marketing channel while building trust with your audience.


SMS Marketing Resources/Tools

To launch and optimize your SMS campaigns, you’ll need the right tools and resources. Here are some popular options to explore:

SMS Marketing Platforms

When it comes to managing SMS marketing at scale, using a dedicated platform is a must. 

SMS platforms like are great for launching and managing your SMS campaigns.

These platforms provide full suites for building subscriber lists, creating campaigns, tracking analytics, and ensuring compliance. Many integrate with popular e-commerce platforms and marketing apps.

Building SMS Subscriber Lists

In addition to website opt-in forms, here are some recommended tactics for organically growing your SMS marketing lists:

  • Offer exclusive SMS discounts/perks for subscribing
  • Run SMS keywords/short code campaigns
  • Collect phone numbers at checkout
  • Promote your SMS program on social media
  • Add SMS sign-ups to email footers
  • Provide sign-up opportunities in-store

The key is making SMS opt-in easily accessible across multiple customer touchpoints.

Tracking Campaign Performance

SMS marketing platforms provide robust dashboards for monitoring critical metrics like:

  • Subscriber growth rates
  • Opt-out/opt-in rates
  • Conversion rates
  • ROI/revenue attributed

Compliance Resources

Ensuring your SMS efforts are compliant is crucial both legally and to maintain customer trust. 

Some key regulations and guidelines to follow from ACMA.

With the right tools and resources in place, you’ll be able to effectively execute SMS marketing strategies that engage customers and drive business growth compliantly.