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15 SMS Marketing Strategies And Best Practices In 2022


If you are a business owner who is seeking to elevate your enterprise to new heights, you might wish to consider delving into the dynamic world of SMS marketing. With its ability to effectively engage with customers and increase outreach, SMS marketing has become a highly efficacious tool for driving business growth. The deployment of the most effective SMS marketing strategies can, in fact, yield astonishing results.

For instance, if you’ve been observing a surge in the rate of individuals unsubscribing from your email list, SMS marketing can provide a viable solution for your dilemma. This is attributable to the fact that, when compared to email, SMS garners a far more impressive open rate — while email accounts for an open rate of around 20%, SMS is capable of achieving a soaring open rate of nearly 98%.

This data indicates that if you’ve neglected to incorporate SMS marketing strategies into your outreach arsenal, you are, without a doubt, forfeiting a colossal opportunity. Nevertheless, the incorporation of SMS and email marketing in a cohesive manner can reap astounding rewards. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses consider combining both approaches for optimal customer engagement and business growth.

Promotional Messages Vs Transactional Messages

To know SMS marketing strategies, let us see what you need to know about promotional messages and transactional messages.

Depending on your goals you can either use promotional messages or transactional messages, therefore it is important to educate yourself with the difference in the strategies to stay ahead of the curve. To explain it simply, if you want to increase brand awareness or promote a new product in the line, you will need to send promotional messages. On the other hand, if you want to send appointment reminders or shipping notifications, you will need to send transactional messages.

Let us now get started with 15 successful SMS marketing strategies. These are helpful for businesses that opt out of promotional messages. Each of these strategies comes with tips on how you can make the most out of it.

15 SMS Marketing Strategies For Promotional Messages

1. Incentivize people to sign up

Well, if you are looking forward to encourage your potential customers to convert into loyal crowd, offering them incentives is the best way to get them to opt-in into your SMS marketing campaigns. This could be in the form of a discount, a freebie, or early access to new products or services.

People love getting free stuff, so this is an excellent way to get more people on board with your SMS marketing campaigns. Also, incentives have the highest open rates of all other schemes – a whopping 98%. A promising incentive is likely to improve customer relationships and loyalty.

sms marketing strategies

One potential method for enhancing the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaigns is to provide consumers with a 10% discount as a reward for opting into your program. While this may not be a new approach, its efficacy has been confirmed repeatedly by a host of businesses across a wide spectrum of industries.

Esteemed corporations such as Starbucks, Uber, and Amazon have all achieved unparalleled success through the utilization of this strategy. These powerhouse brands have been able to effectively leverage the psychological principles of incentive and reward in order to stimulate customer engagement and catalyze business growth.

2. Use a keyword

Another potential strategy for driving consumer engagement with your SMS marketing campaigns is the use of a compelling keyword. A keyword refers to a specific word or phrase that consumers can text to a designated short code in order to register for your program.

For example, consider the possibility of implementing the keyword “GIMME” as a part of your promotional efforts, distributing it widely across your website, social media channels, and physical storefront. Subsequently, any prospective patrons who text the word “GIMME” to your designated short code would be instantaneously and seamlessly enrolled in your SMS marketing campaigns.

This approach represents a viable alternative to, or augmentative measure for, QR code deployment. By strategically integrating an eye-catching keyword into your outreach efforts, you can significantly augment customer engagement and ultimately drive long-term business growth.

3. Send time-sensitive offers

People are more likely to act on an offer if it is time-sensitive. This is because they feel a sense of urgency and do not want to miss out on a great deal.

You could send promotional messages offers that expire in 24 hours — further encouraging people to act quickly and take advantage of your offer. This is not only true in SMS marketing campaigns but in marketing in general. People have a fear of missing out (FOMO), so if you can access such an advantage using strategies, you are likely to step up the game.

4. Use a strong call-to-action (CTA)

CTA or call to action is the most essential part of any SMS marketing campaign, therefore it demands to be strong and effective to grab the focus. Your CTA should tell people what you want them to do, and it should be clear and concise.

Take it this way — if your CTA is not effective, people will not know what to do, or how to take any action, and they are likely to unsubscribe from your campaign because MOST have no time on their hands to search for the details if they aren’t provided. To make it successful, there are only a few things to keep in mind, like using strong verbs such as “buy,” “get,” and “download” or you can also use numbers in your CTA, such as “25% off” or “Buy 1 get 1 free”

5. Use personalization

One key factor that can significantly elevate the efficacy of your SMS marketing efforts is the personalization of your messaging. By incorporating personalized elements into your outreach, such as the recipient’s name or location, you can dramatically enhance the likelihood of customer engagement and ultimately optimize your return on investment.

Other types of customer-specific data can also be effectively harnessed to augment the customization of your messaging, such as a consumer’s purchase history or demonstrated interests. By leveraging these types of individualized insights, you can generate SMS marketing campaigns that are more targeted, relevant, and compelling, thereby maximizing customer engagement and driving business growth.

The more information you have, the more personalized your messages can be. Just make sure that you do not overdo it — too much personalization can come across as creepy.

One example of personalization would be if you run a clothing store and someone buys a dress from you. You could send them a follow-up SMS that says, “Hi (name), we hope you enjoyed your purchase! We have some great new arrivals that we think you would love to check out. Grab now”

6. Send exclusive offers

Another one of the highly effective method for stimulating long-term consumer engagement with your SMS marketing campaigns is the provision of exclusive incentives that are solely accessible to your subscribed audience. Such perks could take a variety of forms, such as discounted pricing, pre-release access to new products or services, or exclusive, value-added content.

By strategically leveraging these types of personalized, customer-specific benefits, businesses can generate a sense of exclusivity and appreciation amongst their subscriber base, in turn catalyzing greater customer engagement and fostering brand loyalty. The ultimate objective of offering these types of exclusive rewards is to generate a deep-seated sense of value and connection among your audience, motivating them to remain actively engaged with your SMS marketing campaigns over the long haul.

7. Use emojis

Incorporating emojis into your SMS marketing messages represents a simple yet effective tactic for imbuing your brand’s personality and boosting message engagement. Indeed, emojis offer a unique means of conveying complex ideas and emotions in a concise and visually appealing way, without overloading your messages with an unwieldy surplus of words.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that emojis hold particular sway among the younger demographic cohorts, namely millennials and Generation Z, making them an especially savvy means of fostering connections with this burgeoning customer base.

However, do take care to exercise moderation in your use of these ideograms; a surfeit of emojis can quickly erode message clarity and readability, thereby discouraging your target audience from engaging with your campaign. Typically, emojis are most effective when used to convey humor or lightheartedness. As such, it may be prudent to eschew their use in instances where your SMS marketing campaign assumes a more sober, serious tone.

8. Use segmentation

Partitioning your target market into segments based on shared characteristics is a fundamental facet of segmentation. The various ways in which this can be achieved includes, but is not restricted to, age, location, gender, interests, or purchase history.

By segmenting your target market, it affords you the opportunity to deliver bespoke, pertinent messages that are custom-tailored to their predilections, exigencies, and behaviors. This has the effect of amplifying engagement rates, conversions, and customer loyalty. It’s tantamount to shooting arrows in the dark in comparison to setting your sights on a bullseye. Which approach do you reckon would yield better results?

9. A/B test your messages

A/B testing, a powerful technique that compares two versions of a subject to discern which one outperforms the other, is employed to optimize SMS marketing messages by disseminating divergent versions of a message to two distinct clusters of individuals.

This enables you to meticulously monitor the engagement rates of each group, thereby allowing you to identify the message variant that resonates better with the intended audience. The application of A/B testing is a highly effective method for honing your SMS marketing strategies and ascertaining that your target market receives the most refined messages.

10. Schedule your messages in advance

If you want to ensure that your SMS marketing strategies hit the mark, scheduling your messages in advance is a must. With automated sending, you can dictate the timing and delivery of your messages with precision and ease, sparing yourself the anxiety of sending them manually.

Moreover, this approach allows you to focus on other pressing matters in your business. Whether you’re on vacation or in a meeting, you can have peace of mind knowing that your SMS marketing campaigns are running as planned, engaging with your audience as scheduled.

11. Automate your messages

By virtue of automation, SMS marketing messages can be dispatched based on predetermined triggers. As a case in point, a tailored message can be automated to be conveyed to an individual who leaves their shopping cart abandoned on your website.

In a similar vein, you can program automated messages to be dispatched to individuals when they attain a specific milestone in your sales funnel. The range of possibilities afforded by automation is inexhaustible.

The utilization of SMS marketing campaigns can be automated in several ways. One such approach involves the employment of SMS marketing platforms that incorporate automation features, or you could opt for a separate automation tool like Zapier. Regardless of the method used, the potency of automation is that it not only optimizes time management but also reinforces the efficacy of your SMS marketing strategies.

12. Use shortcodes

Imagine you are seeking ways to ramp up your marketing campaigns. Let us introduce you to short codes – a special type of phone numbers that are abbreviated compared to regular phone numbers, typically with only 5 or 6 digits. Short codes are an effective tool that can be used for multiple purposes, including conducting polls, running contests or distributing coupons.

Marketing campaigns can be quite arduous, however, with the use of short codes, people can effortlessly engage with your SMS marketing messages, thereby improving the success rate of your campaigns. Short codes are more straightforward to remember than regular phone numbers, making it easier for people to take action.

For instance, you can initiate a text-to-win contest using a shortcode. Here, people can text a shortcode to enter a contest for a chance to win a prize. Here’s an example:

“To participate, text the keyword WIN to 5555”.

13. Create a sense of urgency

The efficacy of SMS marketing strategies is hinged on the potent ability to stimulate and captivate one’s attention. By inducing a heightened sense of immediacy and a pressing call-to-action in the SMS marketing messages, individuals are impelled to respond expeditiously. This outcome is engendered by instilling a fabricated sense of scarcity, a psychological trigger that catalyzes individuals to act now, rather than later, before the opportunity ceases to exist.

There are a few different ways that you can create urgency in your SMS marketing campaigns. One way is to offer a discount that is only valid for a limited time. Another way is to let people know that there is a limited quantity of an item available. This is more advantageous in holiday or seasonal marketing.

Here is another example of a brand that used urgency to great effect:

LAST CHANCE! Get 50% off your purchase of $100 or more. Hurry, this offer expires at midnight!

Who would want to miss out on that?

14. Social Media Hooks

Promotional messages are incomplete without social media hooks. Using social media hooks is one of the important SEO and SMS marketing strategies in the market. You can also use social media hooks to get people to take action on your SMS marketing messages. A social media hook is a piece of content that is designed to be shareable on social media.

It could be a photo, a video, or even just a piece of text. The goal is to get people to share it on social media, which will help to spread the word about your brand.

Here is an example of a social media hook from Starbucks:

Check this out:

The cat is one of the most fashionable creatures around! It shoots rainbows, makes pancakes, and generally has a good time. And Starbucks has used just that promotional messages techniques to interact with their customers. This encourages their customers to share them on social media, because not only is it attractive but funny.

If you’re looking to get your customers involved in an interaction then this would be perfect for them- after all, we want our animal friends sharing their lives with us on social media too right?

15. Ask questions

If you’re seeking to generate a buzz around your SMS marketing campaigns, asking questions is a tactic you don’t want to miss out on. Asking a question not only stimulates critical thinking among your target audience, but also prompts them to participate in your brand conversation.

Through this engagement, you can gain valuable feedback from your customers which you can use to enhance your product or service offerings. Furthermore, it creates an avenue to start a dialogue and connect with your audience, leading to a more loyal customer base.

Here is another example of a brand that used this technique:

What’s your favorite color?

Text back and let us know!

As simplistic as this approach may seem, it is a veritable means of fostering engagement with your brand. Furthermore, it provides a remarkable avenue for gathering valuable feedback which can be employed to enhance your products or services, predicated on the color preferences of your clientele. As a matter of fact, this technique can also be extended to the facilitation of polls and surveys, tailored to the specificities of your business. Once you have acquired insights into the preferences of your target market, it allows you to tailor your marketing endeavors in a fashion that resonates better with your intended audience.


Incorporating promotional messages is an invaluable means of touching base with your customers, providing a platform to advertise your products or services. However, ensuring the optimal potency of your SMS marketing strategies is of paramount importance in surmounting any hurdles.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can take solace in the assured triumph of your SMS marketing campaigns. In the event that you require assistance with embarking on this journey, 12 channels is at your disposal. Our team of seasoned experts are on standby to guide you in the creation of SMS marketing campaigns that are tailor-made for your business, providing you with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

SMS marketing campaigns are a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can produce amazing results for your business. So what are you waiting for? Get started today! Create or manage your SMS marketing campaigns with us at 12 Channels efficiently and effectively!

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