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What Do All The Best SMS Marketing Messages Have In Common?

Over the last decade, we’ve seen many different approaches to SMS marketing campaigns. Here is what the top-performing SMS marketing messages have in common.

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It’s fascinating to study how successful brands approach their marketing.

How do they think?

What do they do?

What don’t they do?

What do they do differently from their competitors?

It’s one of the main reasons we regularly publish case studies with SimpleTexting’s most successful customers. 

To uncover the mindsets, strategies, and learnings that make SMS campaigns effective.

We’ve written close to 70 of these success stories, so we looked back to see if we could spot any patterns. We wanted to identify what the best SMS marketing messages and programs have in common.

Below we compiled five common traits that we noticed and that you can apply to your text messages.

1. Create a Sense of Exclusivity

Marketers are a busy lot. So sometimes we apply the same strategy across different channels. For example, you might share the same offer on social media and in an email.

If you’ve ever done that and noticed that the sky didn’t fall in, you might even decide to share the same content in your SMS messages.

Great text marketers know that creating a sense of exclusivity and anticipation when sending SMS is critical. 

For example, Matt Davis from Whisker Seeker created a MegaDeals program that offers first-access to SMS subscribers to deals and promotions. It centers around a monthly MegaDeal promotion.

According to Matt, the result is people actively waiting to receive the text from Whisker Seeker each month. This approach equals:

  • Click-through rates (CTRs) on texts as high as 47%
  • An unsubscribe rate of 0.5%
  • Conversion rates of 25%
"We push out a monthly MegaDeal promotion, and we find that people are actively waiting for the text, so it means people are more likely to interact with it."
Matt Davis
Matt Davis


2. Include a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

Your CTA is one of the most critical elements of your text messages.

You’ve probably heard this statement dozens of times when you’ve looked up tips on how to write SMS for marketing campaigns. It’s repeated so often for one reason: because it’s true.

When we looked at all of the highest converting SMS marketing campaigns, we noticed that they all have a clear CTA. 

Speaking of calls to action…

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Your CTA is the chance to motivate your audience to take real steps toward purchasing, visiting your store, or filling out a form. 

With text messages, you have limited space (160 characters) to convey to a subscriber why they should take the action you want them to. You need to use that space to tell them precisely what they can expect if they take action.

Aly Schilling, Owner of Aubrey’s Bead Closet, plans marketing campaigns around product launches and seasonal promotions.

Her text messages always include a strong CTA that clearly states what action a customer needs to take. Here’s an example of one of her text messages:

Necklace Holders have hit the website for the very first time and we’re SO excited!!!! Go grab yours now at our low introductory preorder price

3. Send Different Kinds of Texts

If you want to create texts that engage, delight, and convert, you need to diversify your efforts. Put another way–your text messages can’t be a one-trick pony. Otherwise, you risk people growing tired of your texts.

When your business gains access to someone’s inbox, your texts sit alongside messages from close friends and family. So, it’s essential not to be spammy or devoid of value.

One SimpleTexting customer that does a great job of this is Broken Spoke Boutique. The Nebraska boutique uses texts to both grow its retail and e-commerce sales.

For starters, as a member of the Broken Spoke Text Club, you automatically receive a discount texted to you on your birthday.

Go Shawty, it’s your Birthday! Come shop in the next week and receive 20% off any item!

Outside of the birthday text, Broken Spoke subscribers commonly receive messages on sales, discounts, events, and even reminders to tune into social media channels for things like product releases.

4. Focus on (Compliant) SMS Subscriber List Growth

Back in the day, marketers were all trying to grow large email marketing lists. The focus was solely on scale–more subscribers equal more people reading your email and better results. There’s been a shift in thinking in recent years.

Now the focus is on building a smaller but more engaged email list. What does this have to do with SMS marketing messages?

It seems like some of this thinking has crept into text marketing. With 98% open rates on texts, there’s not as huge a need to worry about list growth leading to lower engagement.

As a result, most of the best SMS marketers focus on growing their SMS list. For example, The Warehouse Sale doubled the percentage of site visitors who sign up for texts while maintaining a CTR on its messages of 20%.

To grow the number of subscribers, the company’s marketing manager built a SimpleTexting web form and embedded it on the store’s homepage to increase the number of SMS subscribers. When creating web forms, be sure to remember to follow TCPA rules for clear and conspicuous disclosure and express written consent.

5. Show Consistency With the Brand’s Tone and Voice

We’ve written before about brand voice in SMS marketing. Your text messages must have a voice that mirrors your brand’s personality–even with texting’s smaller character limit and straightforward interface. 

The fear of fitting into a character count can often lead brands to sound a bit robotic.

Of course, if your brand is professional and not known for its witty, LOL-inducing wordplay, then best not to get carried away here. The key takeaway here: you do you, and you’ll build a long term and profitable relationship with customers.

One of the best examples of this is Artist Couture. The brand uses SimpleTexting’s mobile sign-up widget for advertising its keyword “GLOWGETTER.” When someone clicks on the button, it opens up their native text messaging app with the keyword and number prefilled

The Artist Couture team did an excellent job aligning the mobile widget with the rest of the website’s branding, and its subsequent text messages maintain that same tone.

Hey sis! Welcome to the #GlowGang! I’ll keep you updated on everything Artist Couture! Now that we’re text bff’s, you’ll be the first to know all the tea! XOXO

More Tips on Sending the Best SMS Marketing Messages

The above represents some of the patterns we’ve noticed with our most successful customers. The five tips only represent the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton more text marketing best practices that can elevate your SMS messages.

With that in mind, here are some more resources we recommend checking out:

If you have more questions, our team of texting experts would love to help. We’re available 7 days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, take us for a test ride with a 14-day free trial. No credit card details are required.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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