An Advanced Guide to SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS Marketing Campaign
Table of Contents

What Is an SMS Marketing Campaign?

SMS Campaign Ideas

Creative SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS Marketing Campaign Best Practices

Best SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS Campaign Software

How To Start Creating Successful SMS Marketing Campaigns

Nowadays, people use mobile phones beyond just receiving and making calls. We take photos, store data, and share information with our cell phones. It’s only natural for these technologies to have an incredible influence on marketing—we’re constantly using them.

But, if you ask us, an SMS marketing campaign is possibly the most effective of them all. In any case, if you’re not convinced yet, let the data speak for itself.

Statistics show that an average mobile user spends five and more hours on their smartphone daily. Moreover, texting statistics reveal that 97% of Americans send or receive texts at least once per day.

This makes SMS and messaging apps the most widely used on mobile devices. Needless to say, targeting your customers via their preferred channel positively impacts your company’s customer retention rates. Marketing experts have discovered the huge potential of text marketing as a fast, easy, and cost-effective marketing channel. A successful SMS marketing campaign reaches your targeted audience and converts leads into customers.

So why is SMS the preferred channel for marketers? A well-planned SMS marketing campaign provides a 98% open rate, compared to 20% for email marketing and a 1.2% social media click-through rate. As for understanding what an SMS campaign is and how it works, we've got you covered.

What Is an SMS Marketing Campaign?

An SMS marketing campaign offers infinite opportunities for delivering your company’s message to your customers through mass texting. A well-planned bulk SMS campaign is a proven means for notifying customers of upcoming promotions, product launches, events, and sales. From a financial perspective, SMS message campaigns are a cost-effective and timely method of reaching customers.

You can send out bulk SMS messages and communicate with millions of customers at the same time. So, why spend large amounts of money on distributing marketing content through other digital or print media? As a marketing channel, a mobile SMS campaign raises brand awareness, increases customer retention, and boosts sales.

SMS Campaign Ideas

82% of survey respondents admit to opening every text message they receive. This means that an SMS marketing campaign delivers your promotional messages directly to your customers’ inboxes, ensuring they will read them. Take your first step in starting a brand new SMS marketing campaign with these ideas and best practices.

Let Your Customers Know About Your Best Offers

Informed customers are happy customers. Make sure to keep your customers up to date with your company’s best offers, promotions, and products. This is a good way to make them feel important and thus, increase customer loyalty. Use short promotional texts and include the price to attract customers—you may also insert a link back to your website.

Send Text Message Reminders

Stay in touch with your customers, reduce no-shows, and increase attendance rates with a simple text message reminder. Service-based companies rely heavily on appointments and reservations. If you are a restaurant owner, doctor, lawyer, or consultant, text reminders can positively influence your appointment conversion rates. In fact, alerting your customers of upcoming appointments or reservations can reduce no-show rates by over 23 percent.

Notify Customers of Recent Actions

Keep your customers in the loop by sending notifications regarding their recent actions. Most successful companies recognize the importance of sending notification messages—it is the driving force in attracting, retaining, and converting customers. Relay automated SMS messages for specific customer actions in a number of scenarios. For instance, notify your customers of their latest purchase or let them know that their dinner prep is in progress.

Creative SMS Marketing Campaigns

Ideally, your SMS marketing message has 160 characters maximum. This means that you have to shorten your message to 160 characters to get your customers’ attention. Adding a creative touch to your SMS marketing message provides better customer engagement. Here are essential tips for making your SMS marketing campaign creative and attractive to potential and existing customers.

Become Your Customers’ Trusted Guide in the Industry

Build trust with your customers and stand out as an industry expert by sending messages with periodic informative tips. This is especially relevant if your target audience is information-hungry. Become the trusted source of useful info for your customers. For example, if you are a gym owner, you can send brief tips and tricks on muscle gain meal plans.

Generate a Pop Quiz SMS Campaign

SMS is a personal and informal channel, making it ideal for entertaining campaigns. Boost customer engagement with a trivia question marketing campaign. Ask them questions about your company, brand, specific products, or trending topics associated with your brand. Offer special prices or discounts for those who answer the question correctly first.

This type of bulk SMS campaign not only creates favorable interaction with your customers, but it also skyrockets customer loyalty rates.

Personalize Your SMS Marketing for Every Customer

When collecting customers’ phone numbers, the data most likely contains details like customer name, age, gender, and so forth. Use this data to your advantage and display a highly personal approach to each customer. You can congratulate your customers’ birthdays with a message and give them a special discount for the occasion. In short, a little attention goes a long way.

SMS Marketing Campaign Best Practices

Large enterprises and small businesses opt for sending bulk SMS messages to get their customers’ attention quickly and cost-effectively. What’s more, SMS is the preferred method of communication for customers; it’s more convenient than constantly receiving phone calls. However, you still need to follow certain steps to ensure you’re not spamming or bothering your customers with SMS texts. Use these tips and tricks to take full advantage of text marketing campaigns.

The KISS principle

Implement a KISS strategy for an effective SMS marketing campaign. And no, there’s no physical contact involved in this strategy—KISS stands for “Keep it short and simple.” Essentially, you should tell them your message and show them what to do next.

Timing matters

When it comes to a successful SMS marketing strategy, timing is everything. Consider the time of the day that’s most appropriate to send marketing messages. Make sure to also define the optimal frequency of messages to reach out to your customers. The most popular times of the week are:

  • 21%: 5 p.m.–6 p.m.
  • 17%: 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • 11%: 6 p.m.–7 p.m.

Keep It Light and Fun

People associate texts with informal conversations—they send SMS messages to talk to their friends and family. You want your SMS campaign to maintain the fun nature of texting. Apply a friendly tone and personalized approach to ensure better trust among customers. Specialists prefer to use texting abbreviations in their campaigns such as “ur” and “txt” to make the interaction casual and informal.

Best SMS Marketing Campaigns

For many multinational organizations, SMS marketing is a proven method of enhancing customer engagement and brand awareness. Some of the world's largest corporations have lately adopted SMS marketing. They feature valuable lessons that apply to a variety of areas, taking your SMS campaigns to the next level. Here are a few of the best SMS marketing campaigns to inspire you.


Fast-food giant McDonald’s is famous for conducting successful SMS campaigns. One of their event campaigns titled “Merry Xmas” took place in Italy. The event actually resulted in 1.5 million attendees within five weeks—they learned about the event via SMS.

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is another company that greatly benefits from bulk messaging. In an SMS campaign, Planet Hollywood offered prizes for customers who opted-in to receive their message and upgraded to an A-List Player’s Club membership. As a result, they witnessed an increase in membership of 13% and a 70% success rate.

Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods highlighted a new instant coffee they produced via a bulk SMS campaign. They offered customers who signed up for their mobile messages a free sample. The results were truly astonishing—they had over 400,000 sample requests and more than 80,000 mobile message opt-in offers.

SMS Campaign Software

Use high-quality software to power your SMS campaign and implement marketing automation. Good software allows you to automatically reach your potential customers. Distinctive features of a good SMS marketing software include:

  • Mass group texting
  • Automatic text replies
  • Text message scheduling
  • Comprehensive analytics
  • Built-in link shrinking

How To Start Creating Successful SMS Marketing Campaigns

Ask For Permission

No matter how urgent your message is, do not send messages to customers without their permission. Dexatel has an anti-spam policy that elaborates further on this topic. The rule of thumb is that your customers want to get messages from you. Otherwise, they could perceive you as a spammer.

Do not pursue customers who have no interest in your campaign. Instead, give them the opportunity to opt out.

Be Exclusive

Who does not like to be part of something special? Provide that sense of exclusivity to your customers; allow them to experience the thrill of feeling special via SMS offers. Make your recipients feel valued and unique—they’re not just another name on your contact list.

Be Relevant

You wouldn’t send the same message to your new and existing customers. New customers would prefer receiving promos, while loyal customers favor rewards from loyalty programs. Segmentation enables you to divide your customers into groups based on their common traits and send relevant SMS to each group. This increases the efficiency of your SMS and ensures a high return rate.

Measure Campaign Effectiveness

To improve your SMS message campaign, you must understand the flaws and strengths of your campaign. Analyze your customers’ feedback and gather statistics to see how your campaign is performing. Low open rates indicate that something is wrong with your message. Perhaps you need to improve your customer service.

Compare different metrics and shape your SMS marketing campaign accordingly to drive the best results.