SMS Marketing for Retail

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Introduction to SMS and Text Marketing for Retail Businesses

A guide to SMS marketing for retail businesses.Bring in More Sales With SMS for Retail

Operating a retail business comes with a difficult set of challenges.

For small and locally owned stores, the challenges are even greater: We’ve all seen promising mom-and-pop stores start up one month and disappear the next.

How can you attract more customers, connect with them, and keep them coming back, all while operating on a tight budget?

The solution is simple: text message marketing. By sending mobile coupons, text alerts, and SMS sweepstakes, you can increase customer loyalty, drive customer traffic on demand, and bring in more revenue.

Uses of SMS Marketing for Retail

Retail businesses are in a great position to benefit from text message marketing. Customer loyalty programs are simple to set up with SMS, and research shows that repeat customers spend 67% more than first-timers.

Here are just a few ways to use texts to reward your repeat customers:

Bring customers back to your store with exclusive text coupons

Raven Books Coupon: Show this text to the cashier for 15% off your next purchase. Applies to new & used items. Exp 7/29

Draw customers in by notifying them about new arrivals with text alerts

Gamer’s Goods Alert! Diablo III was released today and we’ve stocked up! Pick up your copy today for $5 off any other game.

Let customers know when their product is ready with custom text notifications

Ted’s Boots & Repair – Mr. Lin: Your boots are repaired and available for pickup anytime 9-6. Thanks for choosing Ted’s!

Promote sales events with timely texts

Tony’s Tunes: Rock-n-Roll Summer Sale! This week only, all Rock/Pop CDs & Records are 33% off.

How to Collect Subscribers for a Retail SMS Marketing Campaign

How to collect subscribers for a Retail SMS Marketing campaign.

We’ve seen how text marketing can move your merchandise. With exclusive coupons and timely text alerts, you’ll soon see customers filling your store like never before.

But before you can start texting, you’ve got to get customers to opt in to receive your texts. All they have to do is text your keyword to 555888 or enter their number into our intuitive web form. 

But how do you collect their phone numbers and consent? This article will share some fail-safe strategies to attract subscribers and supercharge your store.

Two simple steps: Entice and display

The secret to getting subscribers is simple. We’ve broken it down to two easy steps:

  1. EnticeGive customers incentives to subscribe!
  2. DisplayGet the word out!

Now let’s take a closer look.


Your most loyal customers won’t need much convincing to opt in to your texts.

Problem is, you don’t only want to cater to already-loyal customers, you also want to create loyal customers. Text marketing does exactly that, but first you’ll need to offer new patrons powerful incentives to opt in.

Here are three incentives that’ll build your subscriber list fast:

Instant gratification

Customers like discounts for the future, but they love discounts right now. Offer an immediate incentive for opting in on the spot.

Get 10% off today’s purchase! Just text “SHOPMART” to 555888 for an instant discount and monthly text coupons!

VIP list

Have a store representative or cashier ask the customer in person if they’d like to receive discreet text notifications about big sales.

“Your total will be $24.95. Would you like to sign up to receive valuable text coupons and notifications about our biggest sales?”

Sweepstakes and giveaway promotions

One of the most powerful and popular ways to gain subscribers is to hold an attention-grabbing sweepstakes. Give away your own products or a more extravagant prize.

WIN A $200 SHOPPING SPREE! Just text “COMPLUS” to 555888 to enter to win and to join our VIP coupon list.

For in-depth advice on running a sweepstakes with SimpleTexting, see our advanced article.

Don’t forget what you’re using your texts for in the first place:

  • Text coupons
  • Service alerts
  • Timely notifications

Often these services are incentive enough to get people to opt in. Advertise them as just that, friendly services, rather than sneaky ads. Let customers know what they’re signing up for—they’ll appreciate your honestly and reward you with their business and their trust.


Even the most enticing incentives in the world won’t work if no one knows about them. That’s why you’ve got to display your text promotions prominently.

Whether you’re advertising a sweepstakes or monthly coupons, stick with the adage: KISS—Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Be clear and concise with your message.

A small message can make a big statement: It’s easy to read and easy to integrate everywhere.

Here are just a few places to promote your text campaign:

  • Store window: Create an eye-catching sign to let passersby know about your campaign
  • Cash register: Place a small sign on your register about discounts to bring in subscribers looking to save
  • Receipts: Put a concise note on your receipts to advertise your text services
  • Website: Promote your text offers on the landing page of your website
  • In-store signs and table tents: Let loyal customers know how to stay connected

To get the most for your money, be sure to integrate your simple keyword and instructions into any existing advertising that you’re already paying for:

  • Newspaper and/or magazine ads
  • Radio and/or television spots
  • Internet display ads

Follow these simple steps, and in no time you’ll be getting subscribers, connecting with customers, and selling out your stock.

Get Started with a Free Trial of SMS for Retail

If you’re ready to give text marketing a try, we encourage you to sign up for a free trial account with us.

You’ll get 50 messages plus your own custom keyword.

And yes, it’s really free. No credit card, no contract, just free.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid account, just change your billing plan from the dashboard. Simple!