19 Powerful SMS Marketing Ideas To Boost Your Sales

Here are a few of our favorite creative ways to use text message marketing.

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Jacob Statler
September 8, 2021

It's not easy to know which marketing tactics will be most effective, but one thing’s for sure — SMS marketing makes a significant impact. When nearly 54%  of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, neglecting SMS marketing is a liability. With 85% of customers preferring SMS over email, don’t miss the chance to reach out & engage more customers.

Don't let your customers slip away. If you're looking to increase sales with text message marketing, we’ve got 19 creative ideas for SMS campaigns.

Table of Contents:

What You Need to Know About SMS Marketing

Businesses are continuously finding creative ways to use text message marketing. If you’re thinking of jumping in, you probably have some questions. We’ve answered a few here for you.

Is SMS marketing expensive?

Compared to other marketing channels, text message marketing is quite cost-effective.The numbers speak for themselves — SMS reaches more people than traditional digital marketing methods. SMS messages have an average open rate of 98%, nearly 4 times higher than email marketing.

Is SMS marketing legal?

Yes, it’s legal and there are legal guidelines to follow. In the US, you can send SMS marketing messages only to customers who have given advanced permission.

How do I collect SMS consent?

Give customers the opportunity to opt-in using an SMS signup form. Make sure you also provide a simple way for customers to opt out or modify their SMS preferences.

How to Make Text Message Marketing Effective

Just like any other marketing method, you want your SMS marketing efforts to be effective. Here are a few guidelines to help that happen.

How Often Should You Text Customers?

There’s no “one size fits all '' answer — it varies from business to business. You’ll have to find your sweet spot by experimenting and tracking your SMS success. Start with 4-5 SMS messages per month (1-2 SMS messages a week). Gradually increase your SMS frequency while staying focused on providing incredible value. Sending too many SMS messages can result in a huge unsubscribe rate, so tracking your results is the key to success here.

What is the best time to send a marketing SMS?

Again, this depends on your product or service as well as your customer base — it’ll take some experimenting to find what works best for you. However, there are several general guidelines to give you a place to start. 

On average, Mondays still sport the lowest response rate — people coming off their weekend are playing content-catch-up with emails and snail-mail. Text messages sent on Thursdays have a solid response rate and Fridays between 2 pm and 5 pm work well for retailers — Charlotte Russe has seen great success with this. 

Be respectful of people's time. Late night or pre-dawn texts are a turnoff and can cost you subscribers. Take into consideration your subscribers’ time zones in your SMS marketing plan. 

Understand the Benefits of Long Code Numbers

A long code number is a 10-digit number assigned by wireless providers to businesses to send SMS messages from. There are advantages to using long code numbers:

  • They never expire
  • Appear more personal
  • Allows for 2-way conversation
  • More affordable than short-code numbers

If you're looking for a more personalized form of communication, long codes are the way to go. They can be set up for one-to-one communication and allow messages with more length than standard text messaging allows. 

5 Massive Benefits of SMS Marketing

If you're not utilizing SMS marketing, you're missing out on profitable opportunities for your business. 

  1. With SMS Marketing, You Meet Customers Where They Are —Whether your customers are relaxing at home, riding the train, or sweating at the gym, you’re able to reach them. You can deliver your SMS message to their nearby phone tucked into a purse, a pocket, or more likely - their hand. What’s more effective than that?
  2. You're Able to Reach More Customers vs. Email Marketing —One of the many advantages of marketing via text message is that your customers don't need internet access, just a working phone with cell service. You'll reach more people unhindered by the restrictions of email, which has limited availability and requires Internet. If they’ve got bars, you can reach them.
  3. SMS Conversion Rates Are Remarkably High —According to TechJury, the CTR rate for SMS offer message campaigns is just over 9% higher than other digital channels such as email subject lines or banner spots. Picture this, if you send 500 offer emails and 500 offer SMS messages, you’ll nab 45 more click-throughs from your SMS marketing campaign.  
  4. SMS Is a Cost-Effective Marketing Channel —It's tough to argue with the cost-effectiveness of SMS. Compared to more expensive search and display ads, SMS is an exceptional option for businesses who want their message delivered efficiently and personally, minus the hassle and higher expense. SuperPhone has a handy calculator to help you determine cost based on your subscriber list and the number of texts sent per month.
  5. SMS Marketing Boosts Brand Awareness & Strengthens Customer Loyalty —As more consumers rely on their phones for everyday communication, brands using SMS marketing harness this powerful medium to work in their favor. Current studies show that 53% of customers say they feel more positive about a company after receiving an informative text message. Remember, informative translates as value.

19 SMS Marketing Ideas You Should Use Right Now

If you're looking to reach your customers in a fresh way in addition to your other marketing channels, SMS is your solution. However, with so many different SMS marketing ideas to choose from, deciding what’ll work best can feel overwhelming. But don't worry, we've compiled a list of tried and true SMS marketing ideas you can implement today.

1. Send Out Welcome Offers To New Subscribers

Send out a timely SMS to welcome customers immediately after they opt in to your list to build customer loyalty and brand awareness. Offering new subscribers exclusive promotions or discounts on their next purchase makes them feel appreciated and begins to build your relationship with them. Bonus Tip — to make it easy for customers, include a clickable link that can be redeemed right from their phones.

2. Leverage the Power of Instant Feedback

Start a dialog with your customers to get responses on how they feel about your products. By sending out text messages for feedback requests, you can ask for product suggestions & ideas to improve their experience. To develop the quality of its offerings, Twilio regularly sends out feedback request messages to their customers. By providing a number that customers can text at the end of an event purchase, they get valuable feedback and suggestions to improve future offers. 

3. Take Advantage of National Holidays

Planning a campaign around national holidays is an excellent strategy to grab customer attention. For example, if Christmas is coming up soon, send messages leading up to Christmas (12 Days of Christmas Specials). Remind your customers of special offers only available during the Holiday season.

Office Depot creates SMS marketing campaigns geared towards the next upcoming holiday. Their focus on seasonal and holiday items makes their offers appear fresh and relevant while creating urgency (once the holiday is over, so is the offer).

4. Broadcast Product Launches to Inform Customers

Promote your next product launch through SMS marketing. To make your product launch as successful as possible, we suggest you:

  • Determine which days best showcase your product.
  • Develop engaging content to broadcast each day of your launch.
  • Offer special promotions throughout your product launch.

Ford has made it easy for customers to learn more about their products with an SMS campaign that sends out automated messages. The first message in this series introduced their truck's features, and the latter messages focused on additional information and purchase options.  

5. Utilize Interactive Content to Build Intrigue

Interactive content is any type of content — calculators, quizzes, videos, interactive graphics — that encourages users to engage and it’s quickly becoming a go to in the content world. 93% of marketers rate it as highly effective in educating buyers. This type of content allows customers to satisfy their curiosity about your products while also connecting more closely with your brand. Consumers want to engage with brands today rather than be served passive information to be consumed and gone.

6. Don’t Forget to Send Out Thank-You Messages

Don't forget to send thank-you messages to your customers for being loyal or referring a friend. Get creative with how your thank-you message looks and use it as an opportunity for further engagement.

7. Build Loyalty by Offering Customers Special Birthday Discounts

Send your customers a thoughtful birthday text with an offer to kick off celebrating their big day. Who doesn’t love their birthday to be acknowledged? This is sure to establish stronger relationships and get people coming back year after year!

8. Drive Desire with Seasonal Product Campaigns

Send out messages to promote seasonal products. For example, send messages with discounts, and promotional offers for Fall as Summer nears its end. Dollar General has been using SMS marketing to connect with customers for years. They send out seasonal offers via text message to let shoppers know about new items and discounts they might not have heard about otherwise.

9. Send Free Tips to Build Trust

Message tips to your customers regularly to show your subscribers you care and you’ve got solutions to help them. Customers will feel special, and they’ll begin to see you as an authority when your tips bring value to their life and that builds trust. EqualParts has found a way to stand out in the saturated and competitive world of cookware by using SMS as its primary means for sending customers cooking tips.

10. Announce Flash Sales or Discounts for Deal Lovers

Send out occasional flash sales and discounts to promote new, trending products.

  • You'll inform customers of promotions for the products they're interested in.
  • Customers who receive discounts or sales messages feel valued, appreciated, and part of an exclusive club.
  • They'll come back to do business with you again — it feels like an exceptional experience because they were in the know thanks to your SMS message.

Dressbarn has found a way to connect with its customers by sending subscribers time-sensitive flash sales and unique promo code offers.

11. Draw Customers in with Sweepstakes & Contests

Invite your customers to participate in sweepstakes and contests. By doing this, you'll engage with customers, promote your products, and drive traffic to your store, which can increase sales and grow brand awareness. Everyone loves to win something.

12. Grow Your Bottom Line with Abandoned Cart Campaigns

According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is a staggering 69.80%. Nearly three-quarters of online shoppers leave before finalizing their purchases! You can fix this by sending abandoned cart messages through SMS, increasing the chance of customers purchasing those items.

Abandoned cart SMS campaigns have been incredibly successful for Grunt Style. In just one week, the company earned more than $4 in profit from every text message sent while also seeing a 25% click-through rate and 45% customer recovery rate on all texts opened up.

13. Provide Real-Time Order Updates to Instill Confidence

With real-time order updates, you remind customers that you're right there with them throughout the purchase process. Petco has used SMS marketing to level up its grooming service. Customers receive text updates on their pet's appointment status plus special, one-time offers directly from Petco. This easy to use option gives customers a solid reason to choose Petco over their competitors.

14. Use Your Website Content to Bring Customers Back to Shop Again

Send out content updates from your website to funnel customers back to your store so they can purchase from you. Sharing your website content through SMS keeps your business in the forefront of their minds and primes them for purchase.  

15. Share Company News and Create Excitement

Communicate news updates with your customers, keeping them notified of exciting new content coming up for the company. A text message with a news update lets them know you’re thinking of them and don’t want them to miss out on the excitement. 

16. Build Buying Urgency with Time-Sensitive Offers

Utilize time-sensitive offers to create urgency and inform customers about promotional offers for products they are interested in. Time-sensitive offers encourage your customer to whip out their credit card, so they don’t miss out. Through communicating limited-time deals and specials via SMS, Papa Murphy's became one of the most successful take-and-bake pizza companies.

17. Promote Your Social Media Content & Grow Your Following

Send out relevant social media posts to customers, which can increase brand awareness, get eyes on your content, and grow your social media following.

18. Urge Shoppers to Leave Online Reviews to Develop Credibility

A great way to boost your reviews is by sending an SMS marketing message asking for a review. Including a clickable link to post their feedback makes it painless for your customer to drop a few lines about their experience with your business and your product. That’s a win-win.

19. Upsell Relevant Products To Showcase Variety

Sending messages to your customers containing information about related products is a great way to engage them with them. It can also be used to increase sales by including promotions and discounts on those items you think they might like.

Optimize SMS Marketing For Your Business With the Power of SuperPhone

SMS marketing is a highly effective way to engage your customers and SuperPhone makes it easier than ever. SuperPhone is the superior service to send SMS marketing messages that’ll engage and excite your customers. You can chat 1 to 1, 1 to many, or send automated text messages to your customers. This enables you to build and nurture customer relationships and broadcast company news and promotions to your entire list. Plus, with our advanced analytics, you track the success of your SMS marketing campaign — making it easier to plan the next steps towards boosting your sales.

Request access today by clicking on the button in the top-right corner of this page.

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Jacob Statler

Writer, traveler, and SEO content marketer

Jacob has a passion for sales, marketing, and adventure.

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