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Crafting Your SMS Marketing Strategy

SMS marketing allows businesses to have direct communication with their customers. Discover best practices for creating an SMS marketing strategy that drives engagement.

Finding the right way to communicate with your customers is essential for a business. SMS marketing can help you build a loyal customer base regardless of business size by offering a unique blend of immediacy, intimacy, and efficiency.

An SMS marketing strategy is a direct line into the pockets of your customers. Understanding SMS marketing can help businesses build a connection with customers to foster loyalty and drive action.

With a concise nature, SMS marketing campaigns ensure your customer gets the most relevant information to ensure your message is delivered and seen.

Integrating SMS into your marketing strategy ensures your brand stays on top of customers' minds. But what is SMS marketing, and how does it work? Keep reading to learn how to leverage text message marketing for your business to improve your digital marketing strategy.

SMS stands for "Short Message Service" and refers to text messaging. Also known as text message marketing, SMS marketing involves sending text messages to engage directly with consumers. It's similar to email marketing, but rather than sending an email to an inbox, you're sending a text message to a customer's smartphone.

SMS messages are short texts and limited in length, which requires every word to convey value and relevance. Despite being concise, SMS can effectively communicate offers, updates, reminders, and more.

The brevity of these messages ensures that the essential message is easily understood, making it a highly effective tool for building relationships and communicating with your target audience.

The Purpose of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing aims to provide businesses with a direct line to their customers. SMS messages provide instant communication and are typically read quickly, making them ideal for time-sensitive messages like promotions or order updates.

They allow for highly personalized interactions, and with the right SMS marketing automation strategies, businesses can tailor campaigns and messages to individual preferences to ensure relevance and foster loyalty.

For instance, SMS marketing automation strategies can include sending text messages for cart abandonment after a certain period of time, order updates and shipping notifications, and promotional campaigns.

SMS marketing campaigns are versatile and can cater to many businesses' needs and various customer touch points. Once your customers sign up to receive SMS communications, you can determine the types of messages you'd like to send to them.

Examples of the best SMS marketing strategies include:

  • Promotional alerts: Promotional SMS messages about special deals or discounts are some of the most common SMS marketing messages sent. A simple message like "Hey Tom! Enjoy 15% off sitewide. Use code SAVE15 at checkout. Offer valid until Tuesday!" can encourage customers to take action immediately.
  • Flash sales and limited-time offers: SMS marketing strategies that use messages to promote flash sales can create a sense of urgency and drive sales through limited-time promotions. A message like "Flash Sale Alert! Get 30% off on select items for the next 24 hours! Shop now" can encourage customers to take action before time runs out.
  • Reminders: An SMS marketing strategy can also be used for appointment reminders. For instance, an apartment leasing office might send a message like "Hi Alex, just a reminder about your scheduled tour with us at 3 tomorrow. Reply 'C' to confirm" can remind customers about services they won't want to miss out on.
  • Transactional messages: Transactional SMS messages can improve communication between businesses and customers. For instance, e-commerce customers typically like to know when their package will be delivered. Your business can send a message like "Hi, Mark! Your package will be delivered tomorrow by 9. Track your order with this link" to provide essential information.
  • Feedback: Sending customers an SMS survey allows them to provide immediate feedback on their experiences, products, or services. For instance, you can send SMS customer service feedback requests asking them to rate their experience. Businesses can quickly gather feedback by integrating quick, simple questions and a rating scale. Plus, since text messaging is convenient for your customers, you can typically expect more responses.

Why is SMS marketing important?

SMS marketing strategies allow businesses to communicate directly with customers in the most convenient way for them. Cost-effective and adaptable, SMS marketing strategies can be tailored to various industries and target audiences.

The benefits of using texts to communicate with customers include:

High open rates

While some emails (especially those without catchy subject lines) can end up unopened, SMS messages have an exceptionally high open rate, making it one of the most effective channels for ensuring your messages are seen.

In fact, 95% of text messages are read and responded to within 4 minutes of being received.

Direct communication

Text messages offer immediacy and intimacy. Since they end up directly with the recipient's other text messages, they're a more personal and direct form of communication.

This directness often results in faster action on their part, whether clicking on a promotion or replying to your message.

Wide reach

SMS marketing offers a reach similar to that of email marketing. Regardless of internet connection, most mobile phone users can receive and read text messages, making it a convenient and accessible marketing medium.

Remember that, much like sending bulk email campaigns, you must obtain the recipient's permission before sending bulk SMS marketing blasts from platforms like Mailchimp.


Compared to traditional advertising or other digital marketing channels, SMS campaigns can be cost-effective. With lower costs per message and the ability to send bulk texts, brands can achieve substantial returns on investment (ROIs), especially since SMS boasts high engagement rates.


SMS marketing strategies are the most mobile-friendly method for communicating with customers. Texts are inherently designed for mobile devices, ensuring your marketing message is both received and formatted perfectly every time.

Increases engagement

With their concise and direct nature, SMS messages drive higher levels of engagement. Whether it's a feedback request, flash sale, or loyalty reward, the immediacy of these messages often spurs recipients into action.


Creating an effective text message is typically faster than designing intricate digital marketing campaigns or elaborate advertisements. This efficiency allows brands to react to customers in real-time by sending promotions, updates, or alerts using SMS automation software.

Crafting an effective SMS marketing strategy ensures each message resonates with your intended recipient and prompts action.

By leveraging the immediacy and intimacy of SMS, businesses can build deeper relationships with customers to keep them loyal and engaged. To create an effective SMS marketing strategy, follow these steps:

Define goals and objectives

Before launching an SMS campaign, you should understand your goals and objectives.

Do you want to boost sales through limited-time promotions, or are you looking to gather feedback? Defining the precise objectives of each individual SMS marketing campaign can help you compare metrics over time.

Understand your target audience

Your messaging must be precise and relevant to your target audience. Whether using SMS marketing automation strategies like reminders, cart abandonment messages, or promotions, you should understand who you're speaking to.

Past purchase patterns, product preferences, and feedback allow you to tailor your SMS campaigns to different audience segments based on their preferences to make your messages more impactful.

Build a quality subscriber list

Whether sending an email or an SMS message, you must build a subscriber list and send only solicited communications. SMS marketing requires explicit consent.

To build a quality subscriber list, you can use social media, email, or website opt-in campaigns to encourage customers to sign up for communications and SMS alerts. Offering incentives like deals or access to sales can help encourage signups.

Segment your subscriber list

Not every SMS message you send will be relevant to every subscriber. Segmentation allows you to divide your list based on factors like purchase history, demographics, or engagement to target the right audiences at the right times.

Segmentation also allows for deeper personalization, allowing you to create content most relevant to your SMS subscribers.

Create compelling content

SMS messages must be concise, and you don't have supporting images to help encourage customers to take action.

A clear call to action (CTA) ensures that every message tells customers what to do next. In addition, you should use urgency, exclusivity, and emotion to make your message stand out.

Choose the right timing

With SMS automation tools, you can choose the timing to ensure your texts reach the right customers at the right time. Consider where your SMS subscribers live and avoid sending texts at odd hours, such as early in the morning or late at night.

Test and optimize

SMS marketing strategies enable you to test and learn from real data to continuously improve. You can use A/B testing with different messages, timings, or CTAs to determine what elements work best. You can also encourage feedback on your SMS campaigns to refine your strategy.

Best practices for sending SMS marketing messages

SMS marketing can be an effective strategy when done right. However, like email marketing, you should aim to use the best practices to ensure consistent communication that complies with regulations.

Ensuring your SMS campaigns drive results and respect the preferences and privacy of recipients is crucial. Follow these best practices for sending SMS marketing messages:

Obtain consent

You must obtain consent to send customers marketing texts. You should have explicit opt-ins before sending any promotional message to ensure the recipient has opted in via a signup form, subscription code, or other clear and understandable method.

In addition, you must have easy opt-outs that allow recipients to opt out of receiving your messages at any point.

Keep messages concise

Messages should be clear and concise. Ensure the main offer, CTA, and other relevant information is upfront and easily understandable. Avoid fluff, like unnecessary words or information that can influence the impact of your message.

Comply with regulations

Familiarize yourself with regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) or Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

You should regularly update your subscriber lists to remove any customers who have opted out of receiving your texts. If you're using SMS marketing automation strategies, your software should automatically remove those who have opted out from receiving further communications.

Avoid text message fatigue

Like email marketing, SMS marketing should provide value. Don't bombard recipients with multiple text messages throughout the day because it can increase opt-outs.

Instead, consider how often to send messages and test your strategy to find an optimal frequency based on your audience and offerings.

Personalize content

Personalizing content can significantly enhance engagement and conversion rates. Address recipients by name whenever possible to make the message feel more personal.

You can also tailor offers based on behavior or purchase history, sending deals and promotions based on the recipient's preferences.

Maintain consistency

Each message should offer value while maintaining brand consistency. Ensure the tone of your SMS campaigns is consistent with your brand's voice and other marketing channels. You can also incorporate branding elements like a signature, hashtag, or consistent phrasing.

Analyze performance

Analyze the performance of each SMS campaign you send to determine how successful it was. Measure engagement metrics like click-through rates (CTRs) for messages with links or redemption rates for those with promo codes.

Improve engagement with effective SMS marketing campaigns

SMS marketing is a direct and personal form of communication between businesses and their customers. Text messages are convenient and fast, providing essential information that's easily digestible. When used effectively, it can lead to improved engagement, immediate responses, and improved relationships.

Use Mailchimp SMS marketing tools to create effective text message campaigns. Create automated campaigns, segment your audience, and track performance metrics. Sign up today.

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