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Promotional Message Definition and Examples

Promotional Message Definition and Examples

Learn what a promotional message is and the key to writing the perfect one.

Promotional messaging, or “promos” are messages sent with the intent to sell, upsell, or advertise a product, business, or service.

They can be a great way to share news and engage customers. But when they start to slide towards the overly-promotional end of the scale, it starts to get a little dicey.

There’s nothing like receiving a text like this…

Today 8:00 AM
DEAL$ DEALS DEAL$!!! Come on DOWN to MIKES CRAB SHACK, there’s a FREE BAG O’CRABS and meet and greet with SALTY CRABBO for the kiddos🦀🧨 🦀🧨 🦀🧨 🦀

…to turn you off from a brand.

Not to mention some of the elements of this message may get your number blocked. Find out what we mean in this pocket guide to promotional messaging.

Promotional Messaging Defined

Promotional messages are just that—promotional. The trick to an excellent promotional message, however, is not to come off too salesy.

What do we mean by salesy?

  • Messages that don’t provide clear value to a customer
  • Messages that come across as overly promotional
  • Messages without a clear call to action
  • Messages that overuse caps lock or include buzzwords like “free”

As we hinted at earlier, when it comes to text marketing, it’s frowned upon by many mobile carriers to use the word “free” and to capitalize complete words (TODAY, SALE, SIGN UP).

Certain tactics like that can be considered spam and may be restricted by the various phone carriers. As a result, your number can be blocked, which will severely interfere with your ability to communicate with clients.

The trick to writing a good promotional message is to simply send a text that you would want to receive from a business.

It should be conversational, stick to one main topic, be timely/topical, provide a clear picture of what action the customer is to take and deliver some added value/information.

Like this:

Today 10:20 AM
Hey Anthro lovers! In honor of Earth Day 🌍 use code Earth2020 for a free silicone straw pack with a purchase of $50+.

Promotional Message Examples

There are a few variations on the traditional sales text. Here are just a few examples of promotional messages your business might send.

Mobile Coupons

Sharing discounts directly to customers’ phones is a great way to translate messages into actions quickly. 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last six months. Shopping from your phone is the new norm, so why not drive more mobile purchases with mobile coupons!

Today 11:13 AM
Pepper & Mint Rewards: As a thank you for joining our text club, enter code “bogo” at checkout for one free bag of tea leaves with your purchase!

Traditional Advertisements

Sometimes your business may experience a slower period, in which case you may want to give people a reason to pay you a visit. Because 98% of texts are read within three minutes of being received, text ads are a great way to push people to you exactly when you need them.

Today 1:42 PM
Rain got you down this afternoon ☔️? It’s warm and dry here at Regal Cinemas! Come join us for a movie: check out our schedule and new releases here: http://txt.tl/mJPLPM

Product/Service Announcement

If you’ve recently launched a new product or service, it’s certainly a newsworthy event to your customers. Capitalize on that momentum and text your audience before, during, and after the big release.

Today 3:41 PM
The moment you’ve been waiting for is here. The Salty Blonde x Revolve collection is now LIVE on our site. Pieces are limited, so get yours before they’re gone! http://txt.tl/mJPLPM

Sales Alert

Another event worth noting to customers would be sales and clearance events. Your sales alerts must include what’s discounted, for how long, and price points in order to draw the most intrigue. If it’s a larger sale, like an annual or semi-annual event, priming your customers with texts leading up to it can also help build anticipation.

Today 11:55 AM
Patagonia’s annual sale is only 🌲 2 🌲 days away! Set your alarms for 12pm EST for special early access for our text club members!

Holiday Promotion

According to an Adobe study, U.S. holiday shoppers spent a record $126 billion online holiday shopping last year. The rules tend to go out the door when it comes to the holidays because spending habits simply aren’t the same. In order to help you break through the highest volume of marketing noise of the year, share your promotions with customers over a text message. With texts, the open rate is 78% higher than email, giving your message a much better chance of getting noticed.

Also, be sure to include a photo whenever possible. Research shows that messages with photos have higher click-through rates.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, 15% off cashmere! Shop JCPenny today and gift your loved ones something luxurious. http://txt.tl/mJPLPM

Flash Sale

A flash sale is a type of promotion that runs for only a short amount of time and usually features a specific product/service. Another common hallmark of flash sales is a limited quantity of items up for grabs. Flash sales are great for offloading old products that may be out of season. They can also just be an exciting way to drive new or more traffic to your site. Either way, texts are a fantastic way to announce a flash sale because they’re read so quickly. The odds of your customer seeing the text right when the flash sale is happening is exponentially higher.

Today 1:17 PM
Lunch hour flash sale at Vintage Records! All 1970’s records are BOGO. Don’t miss out on the Cher, Dylan, or Zeppelin you’ve been eyeing 👀!

When it comes to sales, promotional messages may very well become the lifeblood of your business. Our final pieces of advice:

  • Message consistently
  • Keep it quick and casual
  • Don’t send any messages you wouldn’t be excited to receive

With those three tips in mind, you’re sure to see an ROI like many of our customers already have!

Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.

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