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Best SMS Marketing Guide- Tools, Platforms, Benefits, & More


sms marketing guide
SMS Marketing Guide

The implementation of SMS advertising as a form of marketing is a potentially potent strategy with the capability to effectively connect with customers. Nevertheless, it is paramount to apprehend both the advantageous and detrimental aspects of SMS marketing ere embarking on this promotional route. Failing to arm oneself with a comprehensive SMS marketing guide could prove disastrous, resulting in a lost opportunity for unparalleled brand recognition.

Our intention herein is to present an exhaustive SMS marketing guide that covers all facets, from judicious tool and platform selection to the launch of your inaugural campaign, culminating in a detailed analysis of how to measure and evaluate the efficacy of said campaign.

What Is SMS Advertising And How Does It Work?

SMS advertising, an esteemed marketing strategy, is an approach whereby commercial entities send text messages to patrons or prospects to promote their commodities or services. An SMS marketing guide, equipped with strategies for crafting compelling messages, can aid businesses in transmitting targeted, alluring missives, including special offers, vouchers, reminders, and other messaging forms, to their audience. Crafting an effective SMS advertising message requires due diligence in ensuring the message’s substance and relevance to the target recipient.

The Benefits Of SMS Advertising

The merits of SMS advertising are numerous, and include the following:

  1. Broad Reach: SMS advertising is a potent way to reach an extensive audience as there are over 3.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide.
  2. Cost-Effective: Among the most affordable marketing channels, SMS advertising offers considerable savings and efficacy.
  3. Personalization: SMS messages can be customized, thereby rendering them more appealing and connecting more meaningfully with the recipient.
  4. Timeliness: SMS messaging is a real-time technique of communicating with customers, making it possible to connect with them in the moment.
  5. Measurability: SMS advertising campaigns can be accurately tracked and analyzed, enabling businesses to discern what is functional and what isn’t.

The Disadvantages Of SMS Advertising

Notwithstanding the ample advantages of SMS advertising, it is imperative to be mindful of its drawbacks, which include but are not limited to:

  1. Mandatory Opt-In: SMS advertising necessitates the prior consent of customers to receive promotional text messages. This condition can be met through the provision of a keyword or short code that the client can dispatch to a designated number.
  2. Character Limitation: The messaging system for SMS advertising is limited to a meager 160 characters. Consequently, there is a pressing need to ensure that the messaging is succinct and to the point.
  3. Intrusiveness: When executed poorly, SMS advertising has the potential to be intrusive and bothersome to the recipient. Therefore, it is critical to send only relevant and valuable messages to avoid the risk of aggravating patrons.

How To Get Started With SMS Advertising

To commence an SMS marketing campaign, it is incumbent upon the marketer to undertake several vital tasks, including but not limited to:

  1. Set Goals: First and foremost, the marketer must identify their objectives for the SMS advertising campaign. Do they wish to bolster sales, drive traffic to their website, or promote a novel product or service? The clarity of these goals will form the foundation of the campaign.
  2. Identify Target Audience: Determining the target audience is crucial to the success of the SMS advertising campaign, as it assists the marketer in crafting messages that resonate with the audience and determines how frequently the messages are dispatched.
  3. Select Tools and Platforms: Numerous SMS advertising tools and platforms are available in the market. To optimize their budget and align their needs with the features of each platform, marketers must conduct extensive research to select the appropriate ones.
  4. Campaign Setup: Once the marketer has defined their objectives, identified their audience, and selected the appropriate tools, they can commence setting up their SMS advertising campaign. This includes crafting the messaging, scheduling the messaging, and configuring any automated features.
  5. Track Results: Finally, it is imperative to track the efficacy of the SMS advertising campaign. Measuring open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates are all pertinent metrics that can assist in determining the campaign’s effectiveness.

Tools for SMS Advertising

Now that you have learned how to get started, there are also several tools you should know that help you reach the marketing goals with ease. Here is a list of 5 SMS Advertising tools in 2023 that may interest you:

1. BulkSMS: BulkSMS is the ultimate choice for brands looking for a web-based platform with diverse features that enable them to send automated messages. It is particularly useful when a brand needs to reach multiple contacts and desires the flexibility to schedule messages according to their preferences. With its versatile functionalities, BulkSMS has earned its reputation as a reliable and effective tool for any organization’s messaging needs.

2. EZ Texting: Another web-based platform, EZ Texting provides also provides several features akin to BulkSMS, including several of the message templates, custom options, and automated features, all geared towards making SMS advertising campaigns more powerful.

3. Trumpia: Well, like the other 2, Trumpia, a cloud-based platform, is also in the business with offering businesses seeking a flexible and scalable solution with features such as message automation, contact management, and campaign tracking.

4. CallFire: CallFire is also a cloud-based platform like Trumpia, with more advanced and easy to use features that similarly match the features mentioned as in with Trumpia.

5. SlickText: And lastly, SlickText is a web-based platform ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, offering message templates, contact management, and campaign tracking features to help take your SMS marketing campaign to the next level.

Though choosing the right option is always hard with so many options in the market, it is advisable to check whether your business needs a web-based or cloud-based platform to do the bid. Weigh the options an prices, and budget your SMS advertising goals accordingly.

SMS Advertising Platforms

When it comes to SMS advertising, your platform can make all the difference. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming. But fear not! Here are five popular SMS marketing platforms to help you get started: Trumpia, CallFire,OmniSend as the cloud-based platforms, SlickTex, and SimpleTexting, the web-based platforms with several coverting features such as templates, personalization, testing, automation, contact management, and campaign tracking.

Of the ones mentioned, EZ Texting, BulkSMS, and SimpleTexting offer a limited free trial version, and Trumpia, CallFire, and SlickText may offer a free plan. Keep in mind, however, that Omnisend does not offer a free trial or plan. Ultimately, the platform you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and time constraints. Don’t forget to review their offerings before making a decision!

Your choice of SMS advertising platform or tool is an important one. You need to think about your budget and what features are most necessary for you, as well as which type suits you best with how much time there is available in-between campaigns (a web-based versus cloud-based service). A great way to find these things out would be by looking at their offerings on paper!

Difference between tools and platforms

SMS advertising, a marketing tactic widely utilized in modern times, presents two primary types of tools: tools and platforms. Basic in nature, tools enable communication with target audiences through the conveyance of SMS messages. Conversely, platforms offer a plethora of advanced features, such as the automation of messages and campaign tracking.

It is imperative to note that the potential success of a marketing strategy utilizing either tool or platform is wholly contingent upon the effectiveness of the platform. Premium SMS advertising tools or platforms that harbor a multifaceted array of features, including message automation, contact management, and campaign tracking, unequivocally elevate the potential of your promotional endeavors.

The Risks Of SMS marketing

SMS advertising is not without its risks. In fact, there are several risks associated with SMS advertising campaigns that you need to be aware of before starting one. These risks include:

  1. Spam complaints: If you bombard your recipients with irrelevant and unwanted messages, you run the risk of receiving spam complaints. Such complaints can get your number blacklisted and your messages blocked – not a good look!
  2. Opt-out rates: If your messages are boring, irrelevant, or not personalized, you may see a high opt-out rate. This converts to customers unsubscribing from your list and losing your potential leads and loyalty points.
  3. Delivery failures: If you are using an unreliable SMS advertising platform, you have signed yourself up for delivery failure and your messages will fail to reach intended customers with missed opportunities and wasted time and effort.
  4. Compliance issues: Laws and regulations are often neglected by several businesses but may be the most risky of other features that may levy taxes, fines, or penalties upon you when not taken care of. It is always advisable to contact an expert to help you avoid such situations and be well-versed in the subject.
  5. Lack of engagement: Dull texts do not attract focus, also if you texts are too promotional, it might put off several recipients too. Therefore having an enticing content is essential to hoard the full potential of the campaign and see the results you have been waiting for.

Make sure you know of the risks of the campaign before you dive in the pool of SMS advertising campaigns, and plan accordingly. This may help you to save time and resources in a long run!

Tips For Creating Successful SMS campaigns

1. Keep your messages to the point

There only a limited characters available for you to convey your message with SMS marketing efforts. And to make sure, you convey the message effectively, the intented message should be short and interesting. This way, when the customers open the message, they just don’t start to delete it or ignore, but engage and take action.

2. Make sure youCTA is clear

Your customers need to know exactly what you want them to do after receiving your message. Use a clear and concise call to action to tell them what action you want them to take, such as visiting your website, subscribing to your service, or making a purchase.

3. Use attractive visuals

Visuals can be a powerful tool to capture your customer’s attention and make your message stand out. Use attractive images or graphics to make your message more memorable.

4. Timing is everything

Sending your messages at the right time is crucial for success in SMS marketing. Consider your audience’s daily routine and send messages at a time when they are most likely to be available to read and act on them. By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaign.

5. Personalize your messages

Adding their name or personal details can make your messages feel more relevant and encourage them to take action.

6. Test, test, test

Testing if your campaign is working as you intended is definitely important when you have an option to do so. There is no absolute need to skip this step when you can benefit from knowing if your campaign is working fine and the CTA is clear. To do this send out a sample amount of texts to yourself or trusted companions and get an opinion.

7. Measure your results

Tracking and measuring your results is also crucial to improving your SMS campaigns. Metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates can help you determine what’s working and what’s not.

Remember to keep your messages short and to the point, with a clear call to action. Including attractive visuals can also help capture your customer’s attention and make your message more memorable. Timing is also important, so make sure to send your messages at a time when your customers are likely to be available to read and act on them.

Overall, by following these tips and best practices, you can create successful SMS campaigns that will help you connect with your customers and promote your business.

SMS campaign Measuring Metrics

Measuring success is important for any marketing campaign and SMS marketing is no exception. Therefore you need to know a few metrics to know how to measure your campaign success without having to waste time and resources with couple of other failure campaigns.

1. Open rates: If you want to know how many recipients opened your SMS message, open rate is the metric you have to measure and it needs to be high as to indicate that your message is efficient and has successfully seen by your target audience.

2. Click-through rates: Well, if you have a link in your message, CTR allows you to measure how many people have actually clicked the link determining if your message is engaging enough for the recipients to take action.

3. Conversion rates: Conversion as the name implies, allows to measure how many recipients have took the desired action after receiving your SMS message. Whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for a service, a high conversion rate indicates that your message was successful in motivating recipients to take action.

4. Engagement rates: The measurement of engagement rates is a pivotal metric that determines the frequency and quality of recipient interactions with your SMS messages. The nature of these interactions can vary greatly, ranging from simple replies and clicks on links to more complex actions. A high level of engagement indicates that your message content is of a superior quality, with a high degree of effectiveness in captivating and retaining the attention of your target audience.

5. Opt-out rates: The measurement of opt-out rates provides an important indication of the number of recipients who disengage from your SMS messages after receiving them. Maintaining a low opt-out rate is essential for businesses to avoid potential losses in terms of prospective customers and ensure the continued growth of their SMS marketing campaigns.

6. Complaint rates: The calculation of complaint rates represents a critical aspect of SMS message campaign management. Recipients who file complaints with regulatory bodies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can pose a significant threat to a company’s brand image and may result in legal ramifications. Hence, it is imperative to devote considerable time and effort to ensure that all SMS messages comply with relevant regulations and guidelines to minimize any associated legal risks.

7. Returns on investment: The realization of a satisfactory return on investment (ROI) is a fundamental objective for businesses seeking to optimize their SMS advertising campaigns. Conducting a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis can aid in determining whether the returns generated by a campaign surpass the expenses incurred. This valuable insight can help companies refine their messaging strategies and improve future campaigns for maximum profitability.

8. A/B testing or Split testing: Employing A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, offers businesses an opportunity to compare two distinct versions of their SMS messages and evaluate their relative performance in the market. By scrutinizing key performance metrics such as call-to-action, click-through rate, and ROI, businesses can optimize their messages for maximum effectiveness and enhance the overall success of their SMS advertising campaign.

9. Conducting Surveys: Soliciting feedback from surveys represents an invaluable tool for understanding the effectiveness of SMS marketing campaigns. Gathering feedback from customers enables businesses to identify areas of weakness and adapt future campaigns to better align with customer needs and preferences, thus improving the overall efficacy of their SMS messaging strategy.

10. Analytics: You can use analytics tools to track a variety of different data points related to your SMS campaigns, including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, engagement rates, opt-out rates, and complaint rates.

Measuring the efficaciousness of SMS campaigns demands a judicious evaluation of metrics, with a firm recognition that not all metrics are created equal. Select metrics, such as open rates and click-through rates, stand as imperative metrics deserving of greater emphasis than their counterparts, such as opt-out rates and complaint rates. Furthermore, distinct businesses harbor diverse aspirations concerning SMS campaigns, thereby signifying the significance of selecting metrics that align with your specific business objectives.

Tools to Measure SMS Campaign Success

Once the crucial metrics have been identified for SMS campaigns, they must be tracked and employed to gauge the success of said campaigns. A litany of disparate tools and platforms are available to track SMS campaign metrics, including:

1. Google Analytics: Google Analytics, a complimentary platform replete with comprehensive capabilities for monitoring a varied array of data points regarding your SMS campaigns. The litany of data points include open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, engagement rates, opt-out rates, and complaint rates, amongst others.

2. CallRail: CallRail, is another remunerated platform that presents the capacity to track information concerning telephone calls generated from your SMS campaigns. The expanse of data includes call duration, caller location, and call recording, thereby augmenting the efficacy of your promotional pursuits.

3. HubSpot: HubSpot is the most comprehensive marketing platform for SMS campaigns. With it, you can measure open rates and click-throughs with accuracy unlike any other service out there! HubSpot also offers A/B testing capabilities so that your messages are always optimized to perfection – just take advantage of this free trial today if interested in learning more about how awesome Hubspot is!

4. Salesforce: Salesforce provides a paid platform that allows you to track data related to the success of your SMS campaigns, including open rates and click-throughs. Additionally, it has A/B testing capabilities so users can optimize their campaigns on demand!

5. SendHub: SendHub is a paid platform that allows you to track a variety of data points related to your SMS campaigns, including open rates, click-through rates, and opt-outs. You can also use SendHub to segment your contacts into different groups so you can target them with more relevant messages.

There are several other options to choose from when it comes to SMS marketing platforms, so be sure to do your research before selecting one.

Assuming you’ve chosen a platform and have set up a campaign, there are a few key things to keep in mind when sending out your first messages. Those we have already discussed but will revise.

#1 Always make sure your content is relevant and engaging

Nobody wants to receive a generic marketing message, so put some thought into what you’re sending.

#2 Keep your messages short and to the point 

People are more likely to read and respond to a text that’s concise and easy to digest.

#3 Always give people the option to opt-out of future messages

This will help ensure that your campaigns are successful and avoid any potential legal complications.

FAQs about SMS Advertising

Why should you choose SMS advertising?

Businesses have ample cause to ponder SMS advertising as a marketing technique due to its multifarious benefits, which encompasses a notably high open rate, ability to attain a wide-ranging audience, and ability to generate lucrative leads and sales. Furthermore, SMS marketing remains an exemplary method for remaining at the forefront of customers’ minds while furnishing them with updates on products, services, and promotional offerings.

Is SMS advertising for small businesses?

Certainly! SMS advertising proves a phenomenal instrument for small businesses, particularly when operating on a tight budget. SMS marketing presents the opportunity to communicate with a vast audience sans the outrageous costs, concurrently enabling businesses to establish connections with customers and procure profitable leads.

How do I know if SMS advertising is beneficial for my business?

To discern whether SMS advertising is a boon for your business, several pivotal indicators must be considered, including open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and opt-out rate. If these metrics exhibit high figures collectively, then SMS marketing is evidently proving efficacious for you. Nevertheless, if you’re grappling with low open rates or soaring opt-out rates, it’s time to reevaluate your approach.

What are SMS advertising campaigns that work?

Several of SMS advertising campaigns have proven to be successful, comprising loyalty programs, appointment reminders, and promotional offers. When constructing your campaign, it’s imperative to consider your target audience and goals. By doing so, you can ensure that your SMS marketing strategy resonates with your intended audience and delivers on your objectives.

Should my business opt for cross-channel marketing?

Incorporating cross-channel marketing into your strategy can be an effective way to broaden your reach and engage customers on multiple platforms. However, it’s vital to avoid overextending yourself. For instance, if you’re already utilizing email marketing, contemplate integrating SMS messages into your campaigns instead of starting anew. This approach can enable you to conserve valuable time and resources while still connecting with a vast audience.


Looking to expand your marketing strategy with SMS advertising? It can be a fantastic way to connect with customers and grow your business, but it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons. Don’t forget to choose a platform that suits your needs and create content that is both relevant and engaging to your audience. And of course, always provide an easy opt-out option to respect people’s privacy and preferences. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to success with SMS marketing.

But why tackle the challenge alone when you can partner with 12 Channels? Our agency is your ultimate SMS marketing guide! Whether you need help choosing the right platform, creating compelling content, or measuring success, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website or get in touch to learn how we can help you achieve your SMS advertising goals. With our expertise and resources, you can create a campaign that resonates with your target audience and drives results.

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