Blog/Best Practices

6 Discount Message Examples and What They Teach Us

Text messages that include discounts are the bread and butter of most SMS marketing strategies. Here’s how to write discount messages that drive more revenue.

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We’ve written about promotional texts on SimpleTexting’s blog a lot.

Can you blame us?

The conversion rate of text marketing is 5x higher than email marketing. We’ve seen SMS conversion rates that hover around 45%. We’ve even seen a 156x ROI on one of our customer’s discount messages. 

Text messages with discounts work.

And the marketing team at SimpleTexting takes helping you optimize your text messages seriously.

We’ve covered how to write text messages like Ernest Hemingway, provided you with 110 text message templates for sales, and nailed down what the best SMS marketing messages have in common.

Yet we’ve never tackled how to write discount messages. Until now that is.

Why Send Text Messages With Discounts?

First, let’s talk about why you want to include special offers in your text messages.

Consider why people sign up for texts from brands in the first place. They want something. 

It could be regular updates on new product launches. A text hotline they can send their most burning questions to. It could even be a way for them to receive the latest and greatest article from your content team.

But, most of the time, what they’re looking for is access to exclusive discounts and promotions. 

According to our 2020 Text Marketing Report, 50% of respondents said that flash sales and time-sensitive promotions would encourage them to opt into a business’s text messages.

Discount messages are the best tool for text marketers who want to keep subscribers engaged and see an immediate uptick in sales.

Here’s What Separates the Good Discount Messages From the Great

A discount message goes for the close. And like great salespeople, it gets someone reaching for their credit card. 

Here are six ways you can increase sales from your next SMS marketing campaign.

1. Reinforce the Benefits of Your Product or Service

Sure, a discount offer or coupon is great. But why does that really matter to your subscribers? 

You need to reinforce why someone should act on your promotion. Making a case for your product in a discount message does three things:

  • Catches and holds your audience’s attention
  • Handles any objections they might have
  • Encourages them to purchase

Put another way, get your audience itching to click the link in your text by reminding them of the main benefits of your product or service. Here’s a discount message example that uses this tactic.

Today 8:00 AM
Who else wants to look great on the beach this summer? For 24 hours, our VIP text subscribers can get 15% off all home gym equipment. Your beach bod awaits you:

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

There is nothing that kills your text message’s conversion rate faster than customer hesitation. Anytime a customer thinks “maybe later”, there’s a high chance they’re going to ghost you.

With text messages, you can create a very strong sense of urgency because 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes. You don’t have to worry that your customer won’t see your message.

There are a ton of different creative ways to do this–you could offer free shipping or reward for a limited number of buyers. The most important element of this tactic is that it’s something tangible–not just a vague reference to “limited supplies” or “limited time”.

Today 8:00 AM
We’re giving the first 100 people to buy from our just launched summer collection a $25 gift card. If you want to be one of the lucky few, get on it now:

3. Use a Benefit-Based Call-to-Action (CTA)

Everywhere people look they’re told to “Buy Now” or “Shop Here.” It’s too generic a CTA to motivate someone to take action these days.

You want to be able to elicit a strong response from your audience with a benefits-focused CTA. Instead of “Check out today’s deals!” consider something like “Your next summer dress is right at your fingertips.” Here’s how it works in practice.

Today 8:00 AM
Who else wants to know feel comfortable and look stylish? With their billowy sleeves and loose ties you won’t want to wear anything else. Your next summer dress is right at your fingertips.:

The person who receives this text isn’t thinking, “Oh great, someone wants me to click.” They’re thinking, “Heck yeah I want to get paid faster!”

4. Make It Exclusive

There are a bunch of ways you can make your discount messages exclusive. You can combine urgency and exclusivity with a “while-supplies-last” offer or provide early access to a sale.

If you want to be super clever, you can use your text messages to create a sense of belonging and exclusivity. 

For example, your text message copy could tell a story about an exclusive set of members who enjoy the awesome benefits of using your service, making them want to belong too.

Today 8:00 AM
Our genius members figured out the smarter way to bank. They get $0 monthly fees and free international transfers. No commitment. No fees. Join the Revolut club and get a discounted chrome card:

5. Aim for Novelty

People are bombarded with offers all day long. Here’s a screenshot of just one email inbox searching for the term “10% off”. As you can tell, some of these emails are never opened even though they’re all offering something of value.

In your fight against getting lost in the crowd, novelty is a great weapon. You want your discount messages to point to the fact that you’re offering something new and exciting. 

Here’s a discount message example that takes into account the power of novelty.

Today 8:00 AM
We’re trying out something. We’re giving our subscribers 20% off Gordon Ramsay’s online cooking course with the purchase of each cast-iron skillet for the next week. Get cooking now:

6. Include an Image

This example is backed with data from an A/B test we ran. It showed that texts with photos generate a higher click-through rate. 

Without getting too scientific, 50% of our brain is dedicated to visual processing. As a result, research has shown that those who use visual communication to persuade an audience succeed 43% more often than those who rely on words alone.

It’s why your discount messages can benefit significantly from a strategic image that either reinforces the core benefit or shows someone enjoying the product.

Today 3:30 PM
There are summer dresses…and there are summer dresses. This new collection from Francois Pierre is
You can get 15% off and turn heads here:

Our customer Year Round Brown sends a graphic of a tanned woman that highlights the primary 50% off tanning offer. The tanning salon used this tactic to grow revenue by 20%.

"Being able to send an image with the text makes it feel very legitimate. Plus, seeing a tanned person makes someone want to tan."
Kaitlin Brodeur
Kaitlin Brodeur

Marketing Executive

The Takeaway From Our Six Discount Message Examples

Creating a relevant discount message sounds easy-ish. After all, you’ve created a product for this particular audience and then offered them a discount code. What more could they ask for?

The problem is that customers are fussy. Their attention is pulled in a million different directions.

We’ve provided you with six great tactics to apply to your discount text messages and drive action. 

They’ll help get your audience excited about your texts, and the all-important sales will soon follow.

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