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8 Must-See SMS Marketing Examples for SMS Campaigns

Take a look at some of the most effective and creative uses of text marketing to date and learn about what made these campaigns so successful.

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Instant delivery, fast open rates, high engagement, and speedy responses—text marketing is truly a playground for innovative brand messaging.

But crafting the perfect campaign is easier said than done. We pulled together a list of 8 creative and successful text marketing examples in an effort to identify what makes a campaign truly great. We’ll give you a little background on each campaign’s purpose as well our reasoning for why it was so successful.

 8 Outside the Box SMS Marketing Examples

These SMS marketing campaigns left us so impressed that we had to share them. They also contain valuable lessons that can easily pivot to a number of different applications and can help take your SMS campaigns to the next level.

1. Amazon Treasure Truck Texts

Billions of people love Amazon for giving us the ability to search, click, and order without getting up from the couch. So, if people are going to leave their houses to shop something from Amazon, it has to be a pretty neat experience.

Enter, the Treasure Truck. Originating in Seattle back in 2016, the Treasure Truck quickly became a cult favorite. The truck drives through select cities offering a limited number of special daily deal items such as cooking supplies, games, and toys. The catch? The only way to snag the deal is to subscribe to texts!

By subscribing, you receive a few deals a month texted directly to you. Each deal comes with a unique link out to the secret Treasure Truck page where you can select your pickup location.

Once you complete your purchase on the Amazon App, you simply drive to the drop site at your designated time slot and return home with your “prize” that same day!

Photo CreditL Business Insider

❤️Why we love this campaign: The Treasure Truck is a great example of how an e-commerce company can use SMS to generate exciting offline experiences!

2. Disney’s Text To Wait Campaign

In 2019, the much anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in Disneyland and Disney World. The grand opening was met with thousands of eager fans flooding the new park to experience all the attractions. One of the most popular spots being a replica of Oga’s Cantina where guests can enjoy intergalactic treats.

With Disney being the name in customer service, they anticipated the high demand for this attraction. They decided to use texting as a way to manage the crowds and give everyone a chance to experience the space!

Photo Credit: Twitter

Now, guests who wish to enter the Cantina can text in their name and number of people in their party to hold a virtual spot in line. While they wait they can explore the park and, when it’s their turn to enter, they receive a text directing them to head back to the attraction!

❤️Why we love this campaign: People spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things (and if you’ve ever been to Disney, one line can feel like a lifetime). This example shows how texts can create a better customer experience, they don’t have to be promotional.

3. IHOP’s Time-Targeted Text Campaign

IHOP is notoriously busy in the mornings, the chain needed a way to bring in more businesses during the afternoon. In order to tackle this issue, they created the keyword IHOP.

When texted to 88111, it delivers a text coupon good for a free short stack of pancakes during a designated day.

These coupons were the gateway to joining their larger text marketing effort that triggered further discounts and deals, aimed at building up mid-week business. As a result, one IHOP franchise reported around 105 coupon redemptions within 30 days with an ongoing mobile coupon redemption rate of 10%! This resulted in an increase in revenue and afternoon traffic.

They’ve since gone on to change the offer associated with that keyword now rewarding new text club members with a limited-time offer coupon instead.

❤️Why we love this campaign: This IHOP franchise took advantage of text marketing’s ability to send time-sensitive material and used it to drive businesses where it served their bottom line!

[Read: Delta Sonic Speeds Up Slower Seasons With Their Text Club]

4. Abercrombie’s Exciting Text-To-Win Contest

Text-to-win contests are a great way to grow your contact list. The clothing brand Abercrombie took a unique twist by using a tiered reward which sweetened the deal even more.

Photo Credit: Twitter

They created the keyword “Surprise” and invited folks to text it in to 98995. In return, customers automatically received either a $5, $10, $25, or $500 gift card/coupon! Everyone is a winner (and incentivized to make a purchase) but the potential of the $500 prize makes it even more tempting to join their list.

❤️Why we love this campaign: Growing your contact list is one of the trickiest parts of text marketing. Abercrombie found the perfect approach with this campaign. Not only do they draw contacts in with a big-ticket giveaway, but they offer an incentive to everyone who joins. This immediate gratification creates a solid foundation for your company-contact relationship.

5. Arby’s Texting Meets Philanthropy

Arby’s took its existing text marketing platform and turned it into a resource for good by partnering with the No Kid Hungry Campaign. In this campaign Arby’s used SMS to spread the word about No Kid Hungry’s nationwide promotion to end childhood hunger.

Photo Credit: Summer Share

They did this by encouraging people to text the keyword ‘Food’ to their short code, 877877. People are then met with an autoresponse thanking them for texting in and prompting recipients to enter an address, city, state, or zip code to help find a free meal near them.

With over 2,000+ participating locations nationwide, Arby’s and their summer text campaign helped thousands of children who rely on school meals as their main source of food.

❤️Why we love this campaign: The feel-good reason? Arby’s used its platform to raise awareness for a cause they support. The business reason? They used a helpful resource as a way to bring people into their text club, which combined making a difference with building up a strong pool of contacts for future deals. An approach that brand loyalty dreams are made of.

6. Lands’ End Holiday Reminder Texts

Text reminders are usually used for appointments, payments, and other event-based scenarios. However, the retailer Lands’ End took the reminder text idea and turned it into a way to promote Mother’s Day sales.

They created a campaign that encouraged some more…forgetful kids and spouses to sign up to receive a text reminder for Mother’s Day. In addition to the event reminder, Lands’ End followed up with promotional tips and gift guides to Lands’ End products perfect for the outdoorsy mom.

❤️Why we love this campaign: This clever campaign demonstrates how to use texting as a secondary promotional tool. While the original intent is just to ensure nobody forgets Mother’s Day, they ultimately start a conversation that drives sales and gift card purchases for the holiday. It’s the perfect example of how campaigns can start a conversation with your customers.

7. Paramount Celebrity Text

Who wouldn’t want to feel like their favorite celebrity was texting them? Paramount Studios capitalized on that one-on-one conversation feel that bulk SMS can offer by putting Katy Perry fans directly in contact with the star (well…sort of).

In order to advertise the release of their upcoming film Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D, they invited fans to text the keyword KP3D to their short code 82442. From there, fans were connected with exclusive content about the star and exciting updates about the upcoming release. In addition, they also used this as a space to remind fans to purchase their tickets in the days and weeks coming up the release.

❤️Why we love this campaign: For a largely teenage fan base, this was the perfect way to drive an emotional engagement with the film. Consumers were able to interact with the film from their own mobile devices giving everyone the VIP experience.

8. National Cancer Institute Smoking PSA

Many nonprofits have the resources to help, but they struggle to get them into the hands of those who need them. The National Cancer Institute found that texting was their universal barrier breaker, specifically when communicating with youth.

In a large-scale effort to help teens and young adults quit smoking, the NCI set up an ongoing text-based program to help them wean off the products. All the teens have to do to get help is text QUIT to 47848. From there, a series of follow-up questions regarding their age, smoking habits, and zip code is used to get a better idea of the resources they may need.

The campaign has staggered, auto-scheduled texts from there that support youths as they start their journey to quit, complete with triggers for when they need extra encouragement or relapse.

❤️Why we love this campaign: The National Cancer Institute shows nonprofits how to use texting as an easy and discreet resource for communicating with people in need. Initiatives like this are a great way to get people connected with your resources without loads of effort or steps on the receiver’s end. Life-saving help can be delivered literally one text at a time.

Create Your Own SMS Marketing Campaigns

It’s easy to see great examples of creative SMS campaigns and feel intimidated by them, or feel like there’s no way they could translate to your business. However, creating amazing text message marketing campaigns doesn’t have to be daunting.

SimpleTexting’s SMS marketing platform makes SMS marketing a breeze. You’ll be able to write out your text messages, add links and images, and schedule out when you want your messages to send. SimpleTexting helps take the complexity out of SMS marketing and let’s you focus on reaching customers.

SMS Marketing Campaign FAQ

In addition to the takeaways from each of the campaigns above, here are some final campaign FAQs to learn from.

How Do You Use SMS Marketing?
As the examples above demonstrate, there’s no one single use for SMS marketing. In fact, it’s not even exclusive to promotional content! However, some of the most common use cases include:
  • Customer service
  • Deals and discount
  • Review/feedback collection
  • Sharing updates, notifications, and reminders
The best thing about SMS marketing messages is they’re completely customizable to fit your needs. To write a good text message, be sure to introduce yourself, address the purpose of the message, and close with a call to action a customer can take immediately.
Writing persuasive SMS marketing messages is a practiced art. We’ve written a more in-depth guide on what all the best text message advertisements have in common, check it out here!

We’ve got text marketing fever, and the only cure is more creative campaigns! Do you know of one we missed? Share it with us! Or better yet, get started with text marketing today and perhaps your brand will make the next roundup of knockout text campaigns!

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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