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How to Send Coupons via SMS or Text Message

People love coupons and everyone reads their texts. Learn how to combine both to increase sales.

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Penny-pinchers and magazine-clipping grannies aren’t the only ones who like coupons. According to a March 2019 report, 45% of all US internet users search for coupons frequently. If your company doesn’t offer coupons, you risk losing business to competitors that do.

The same study also asked respondents how they prefer to receive mobile coupons. Text message was the second most popular answer. It’s no wonder that everyone from IKEA to Chipotle has an SMS-based coupon program.

As your resident textperts, we’ll explain how to choose an SMS coupon software, the different types of mobile coupons, how to send them, and whether or not they increase sales.

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What Is SMS Coupon Software?

SMS coupon software is designed specifically for sending out mobile promotions. There are many of these platforms online. A lot of them work great…if all you want to do is send coupons and nothing else.

However, for most retailers, it makes more sense to go with an all-in-one text marketing platform. After all, coupons are only one piece of the marketing puzzle. We recommending searching for a site that gives you the power to:

We’ve got some good news. We already offer all of these features! Plus, you can try them all free for two weeks. Want a second opinion before you sign up? See how we stack up to competitors on the third-party review site G2crowd.

3 Types of Text Message Coupons

Once you’ve selected an SMS coupon software or text marketing platform, we recommend you spend time thinking about what kind of coupons you want to send out. Here are three of the most popular.

1. Discount Codes

Most e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, let you create temporary discount codes. You can offer a fixed value, percentage, or shipping discount. These are tied to a word which is applied at checkout. The benefits of discount codes are that you can:

  • Specify the dates a code should be valid
  • Add a limit to how many times a code can be used
  • Create a minimum order amount that makes the code valid
  • Only allow the code to be used for certain products
Image for sending MMS
Hey YETI text club members! We want you to have the ultimate summer BBQ. Use code SUMMER2019 for free shipping on any orders over $100.

2. Barcodes and QR codes

Barcodes are especially useful if you run a brick-and-mortar store and have a POS system with a scanner. Using MMS, you can send your text message subscribers a barcode and scan it right from their phone. If you do offer this type of coupon, you should promote right in your store. Add a sign near the register encouraging people to text in your keyword and save on their order:

You might be thinking—if my customers are already in my store, why offer them a discount? As it turns out, shoppers are often on their phones while browsing in-store. 53% of them are actually searching for discounts on products they’re thinking about buying.

Offering a coupon may be just the thing that takes someone from window-shopper to happy customer. Plus, you’ll have valuable info you can use to bring them back later: their phone number.

Image for sending MMS
Publix: Want a free drink with your next chicken tender sub? Just bring in this coupon next time you come in! Offer valid until 12/7/19

3. “Show this Text at Checkout”

This is the easiest type of text message coupon to offer. There’s no need to create a unique discount code. Just write your message, explain the details of your promotion, and ask customers to show it to the cashier in order to redeem your coupon.

[Read: How This Upscale Dollar Store Keeps Customers Coming Back with Exclusive Texts]

Sending Coupons by Text Message

Now that you know the different types of text message coupons you can send, let’s walk through how to actually send one.

Collect Phone Numbers

There are two ways of doing this. The first one is with a keyword. Not to be confused with the discount code itself, a keyword is a word or phrase that customers can text to your number to sign up for messages.

For example, “Text the word OFFER3 to 239663 to join Bed, Bath and Beyond’s mobile coupons program.” (That’s their actual keyword and number, by the way. Thank us later.)

Graphic advertising Bed, Bath, and Beyond's text message coupon program

The second way to collect phone numbers is with a web form. With SimpleTexting you can create embeddable forms which can be added right to your site.

Web form used to collect phone numbers

Send Your Message

The next step is to write your text. Be sure to explain the terms of the promotion. Is there a minimum order quantity? Expiration date? Can it be used online or in-store only? Be sure to include all of these details. When you’re ready, click send.

It’s really that easy to send a mobile coupon!

Do Text Message Coupons Increase Sales?

The short answer? Yes. 86% of consumers say that a coupon affects their decision in choosing one brand over another. Another report found that 39% of customers spend more if they received a personalized coupon.

Text message coupons are one of the most popular use cases. Read about how beloved juice brand Main Squeeze uses text message coupons to sell more smoothies. They’re not the only ones. One of the nation’s leading car wash chains, Delta Sonic, speeds up their slow seasons with text messages.

Go ahead and join the thousands of businesses who use SMS to send coupons to their customers. Get started with a free trial and see what the hype is about.

Alfredo Salked
Alfredo Salked

Alfredo leads the marketing team at SimpleTexting. In addition to writing about SMS, he also talks about it—literally. Our how-to videos are narrated by him.

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