Savvy marketers know the benefits of using multiple channels to reach customers. Email, social media, commercials, and online ads can all help you connect with your client base. However, one channel often gets overlooked: short messaging service (SMS) marketing. 

You might miss critical opportunities to engage your clients if you’re not yet using SMS texts in your marketing arsenal. SMS marketing is a convenient way to reach clients one-on-one. Once they consent to receive text messages from your brand, you can share company updates, sale and discount codes, shipping details, and other helpful information. 

Keep in mind that there are various laws and regulations concerning SMS marketing, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act. Before embarking on a campaign, make sure you understand the legal implications that apply to you. That way, you can avoid any unnecessary complications or fines.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to get you started, including many helpful SMS marketing examples. So, let’s get to it!

Why SMS marketing is effective

What’s so special about text message marketing, and why should you consider it? Here are a few reasons.

Direct communication with customers

Unlike some other marketing channels, you can form a one-on-one connection with clients via SMS texts. You can personalize your content to fit their interests and shopping behaviors. Plus, customers can reply directly to your texts, letting you communicate with them just like a regular text from a friend.

High open and conversion rates

With an impressive average open rate of 98%, you’ll likely get eyeballs on your text! That’s higher than email, which hovers around 36% for all industries. Even better, 95% of marketers say SMS marketing increases conversions and revenue.

Cost-effectiveness of SMS marketing

Sending text messages is much cheaper than other advertising methods. Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single advertisement, you can reach clients for less than a few pennies per text.

Best SMS marketing practices

To begin an effective SMS marketing campaign, you’ll need a strategy and an understanding of best practices. 

How to use SMS marketing 

There are several steps before you can begin sending SMS marketing texts:

  1. Establish a list of subscribers who consent to receiving your SMS texts.
  2. Sign up for an SMS marketing service that offers the features you need.
  3. Design an SMS campaign strategy, including messaging content. Explore marketing SMS examples for ideas.
  4. Determine when you’ll send SMS marketing texts.
  5. Use automation features to streamline your processes.

Getting the right permissions

Before sending clients an SMS text, you need their written consent. Many brands use online or printed opt-in forms to obtain a customer’s approval. There are several ways you can encourage clients to sign up for your SMS texts:

  • Website pop-ups, landing pages, sign-up forms, and text-to-join
  • A prompt at the end of an online purchase process
  • During check-in/checkout at your event, brick-and-mortar store, or office 
  • Through other marketing channels, like email or social media

Make sure your consent forms clearly describe what customers will receive from you — SMS marketing texts. 

Personalization techniques for higher engagement

Customers tend to be more responsive when they receive tailored SMS texts rather than generic ones. To boost your click rates and conversions, look for ways to provide personalized messages that align with their interests or prior interactions with your brand. 

As you do for your other marketing channels, segment your SMS subscribers according to demographics, behaviors, and prior purchases. You can vary your messaging to target each group. If appropriate, include your recipient’s first name in your texts. 

Avoid sending irrelevant SMS messages. Otherwise, you may find that customers unsubscribe from your list.

Aligning SMS with your overall marketing strategy

SMS marketing works best when combined with a holistic, comprehensive marketing strategy. Look for ways to use SMS with other marketing techniques. For example, you might use SMS to provide delivery updates for an online order or share a special discount for SMS subscribers. Identify ways that SMS can complement your other communication channels.

SMS marketing campaign examples and templates

There are all kinds of ways to use SMS texts for marketing purposes. Here are a few of our best SMS marketing examples for inspiration!

Welcome messages

When clients sign up for your SMS list, welcome them to your company! You can include extra encouragement to start shopping — like a one-time discount code. 

Hi there [Name],

Thanks for joining XYZ Company’s exclusive community! Now that you’re a subscriber, you’ll receive custom content, like product previews and special discounts. We’re offering you 10% off anything in our store to thank you for signing up! To redeem the offer, use [promotional code] during checkout. As always, we’re available 24/7 at [XYZ Company URL]. 

Product and service alerts

Product and service alerts inform clients of new products, services, or stock replenishment. 

Great news — the [product] is back in stock! We know you’ve been waiting patiently, so don’t miss your opportunity to order today! Visit [company website] or our store at [location] to buy now! 

Special offers and deals

Offering subscribers a one-time deal or special offer can increase sales and boost engagement.

Hi [Name],

We know how much you love [product], so [company name] is giving you $25 off your next order! Use [promotional code] during checkout. The sale ends [date/time], so act fast!

Order and shipping updates

You can share shipping and order status updates through SMS texts whenever a client buys something from you.

Hi [Name],

We’ve received your order for [product]! We’re processing it and estimate delivery by [date/time] to [customer’s address]. You can track your shipment anytime at [URL link]. Thanks so much for your business!

Event Invitations

Do you have an upcoming webinar, conference, or other event you think your clients will enjoy? Invite them to attend via SMS text!


Join [company] for a free, member-only webinar hosted by [speaker’s name]. During this exclusive one-hour event on [date/time], you’ll learn to:

  • [Item 1]
  • [Item 2]
  • {Item 3]

Sign up today via our website [include link]!

Appreciation messages

Customers love to feel special. Show them how much you appreciate their business with a simple thank you SMS text.

Thanks so much for your recent visit to [company name]. We enjoyed serving you and hope you had a wonderful experience! Until next time!

Customer feedback and surveys

Ever wonder what your clients think about your brand? Ask for their feedback next time they shop with you.

Hi [name],

You recently bought a [product] with [company name] on [date]. How was your experience? Simply reply to this message to provide feedback — we value your opinion!

Cross-sell and upsell opportunities

Sometimes, clients buy products that align well with other items you sell. Use an SMS text to encourage/inform them of additional products that add value to their purchase!

Enjoying your [product name]? You might also like [product name]! With both [products 1 and 2], you’ll get [benefits of both products]. Get 10% off when you purchase by [date/time].

Birthday and anniversary greetings

Major client milestones like birthdays and anniversaries are excellent opportunities to show your clients you care. 

It’s your birthday! Let [company name] celebrate with you! Please stop by our store any day this month for a free [small gift]!

Donation drives and community building

SMS marketing isn’t just for retailers and ecommerce companies — non-profits and community organizations can benefit from it, too.

[Organization name] seeks canned goods to support our [charity fundraiser]. Bring your [items needed] to our [location] to donate. We appreciate your help!

Appointment and booking confirmations

Reminding clients of upcoming appointments boosts engagement and helps reduce no-shows. You can include a link to reschedule if your client can’t make the appointment.

Hi [name],

We’re looking forward to your visit at [company name] on [date] at [time]! To confirm your booking, please reply YES to this message. If you’d like to reschedule, you can use our online calendar to select a better time [include a link to the appointment calendar]. 

A sample text to confirm a restaurant reservation. Image source: Constant Contact

Security and verification codes

Keeping your customer’s data secure is vital. You can authenticate your client’s website visit via SMS with a security or verification code.

[Company name]: Your one-time code is [code number]. It expires in 5 minutes. 

Creating and managing SMS campaigns

Making the most of your SMS marketing campaign involves a few steps.

Build a list of SMS subscribers

Use every opportunity to attract new subscribers to your SMS list. Promote it on your website, during online or offline purchases, and through your other marketing channels. Tell clients how they’ll benefit from signing up.

Choose the right SMS marketing software

Finding SMS marketing software that meets your organization’s needs is essential. Consider the features you want, like automation, pre-designed templates, analytics, and subscriber management. Tip: Constant Contact offers all those features and more! 

Structuring an SMS campaign

Decide what type of messages you’ll send through SMS. Often, companies use various kinds of texts, like marketing, informational, customer feedback, and security confirmations. Marketing texts typically focus on sales and promotions, while informative texts provide subscribers with important company updates. You can select which texts work well with your organization and outline ideas for content.

Automating SMS campaigns

SMS marketing software makes it possible to automate much of your work. For instance, you could automate welcome SMS messages whenever you receive a new subscriber or set up shipping updates for clients who buy with you online. That way, your clients receive timely texts, and you save time.

Best times to send SMS messages

To increase the likelihood of clients reading your SMS texts, send them when you know they’re active, like between mid-morning and early evening. Some SMS marketing platforms can recommend ideal send times. 

Important considerations and pitfalls to avoid

With their high open rates and conversions, SMS marketing texts can help you boost sales and client engagement. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Try not to duplicate messaging between SMS and other marketing channels. You want your SMS texts to stand out while still maintaining brand consistency. Make sure your customers and clients understand the specific benefit of receiving SMS marketing from your business.

Another potential pitfall is over-communication. Be mindful of your client’s time and responsibilities. Contacting your customers too often may cause them to unsubscribe.

Advanced SMS marketing strategies

As you become more comfortable with SMS marketing, you can try more advanced strategies.

Utilizing MMS for enhanced messaging

SMS messages contain text and links, but you can truly up your game with multimedia messaging service (MMS) messages. With MMS messages, you can include pictures, audio soundbites, and video within your messaging. For example, you can show your customer a video of your newest product through an MMS message.

Implementing SMS keywords and shortcodes

SMS keywords and shortcodes let customers indicate their preferences or take a specific action. For instance, you could use keywords to invite subscribers to a text group about a particular topic or to confirm an appointment.

Drip campaigns and automated sequences

A drip campaign sends automatic messages according to a schedule you establish. You can sequence your messages according to where your clients are in the buyer’s journey. 

Leveraging customer data for personalization

As you build relationships with clients, you’ll learn more about them, which helps you tailor SMS texts to suit their needs. You can use existing customer data to segment your subscribers and ask about their message preferences. 

Integrating SMS with CRM platforms

Some customer relationship management (CRM) platforms integrate directly with SMS marketing software, allowing you to store client data in one place. If you use a CRM system, check its compatibility with your SMS software.

Measuring success with SMS analytics

Open rates, click-throughs, and conversions are essential metrics to track. As you build momentum with your SMS strategy, measure its performance over time. You can tweak and adjust as you learn how your subscribers react to your messages.

Software and tools for SMS marketing

There are many different SMS marketing platforms with distinct features and pricing structures. A few popular software options include:

  • Omnisend: Supports U.S. and international SMS texts. Offers 2-way SMS and automation workflows. 
  • SimpleTexting: Caters to small businesses. Includes functionality for drip campaigns, recurring texts, and MMS messages. 
  • EZ Texting: Suitable for all industries and business sizes. Users can obtain dedicated short codes, send MMS messages, and engage in two-way texting.
  • Constant Contact: Constant Contact’s SMS marketing feature allows you to amplify your marketing efforts with the help of our artificial intelligence (AI) content generator. Plus, you can set up drip campaigns, automate future texts, and view analytics. 

Regulations and compliance

Understanding the various laws and regulations concerning marketing texts is crucial before beginning an SMS campaign. It’s best to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can walk you through the ins and outs of applicable laws and help you stay compliant.

The TCPA prohibits organizations from sending unsolicited marketing texts. Before texting, ensure you have a client’s written permission. You should include clear language in your opt-in form so customers know what they’re signing up for. 

TCPA requires companies to obtain written consent before sending marketing texts. Image source: Constant Contact

It’s vital to provide subscribers with an easy way to opt out of your marketing texts if they wish to. Use a STOP autoreply to give SMS subscribers an easy way to opt out of SMS messages. Failing to adhere to regulations can result in costly fines and legal headaches. 

Keep ethical considerations in mind, too. Avoid texting obscene or illicit content and from selling client details to third parties. 

Develop stronger client relationships — and boost sales! — with these SMS marketing examples as your guide

SMS marketing provides a unique opportunity to interact with customers, no matter where they are. A carefully crafted strategy can lead to higher sales and increased client engagement.

To learn more about SMS texting and how it can benefit your organization, check out a few of our other resources: