How can you create an SMS marketing campaign? I’ll walk you through how I do it step by step.
SMS marketing (short message service) campaigns are text messages (usually promotional in nature) for marketing purposes. SMS marketing could involve sending one campaign to many contacts or having a one-on-one interaction with a single contact.
Common SMS marketing campaigns include:
Some of the most common types of SMS marketing include:
Although SMS marketing campaigns come with a whole host of benefits, here are a few of the most important.
As you begin creating your text campaigns, keep these simple best practices in mind:
🔖 There are additional best practices to consider as you work through the entirety of your SMS marketing program, too.
One of the best things about SMS is that it’s a quick, concise way to communicate. Honor that shorter format by including only the essential details your contact needs to know. If there’s more information you’d like to include, consider adding a link.
Compliance is the top priority for anyone using text marketing campaigns. While there’s a lot to know about compliance, the basic points are that:
While SMS marketing is highly regulated to prevent spam, you can help your contacts trust your messages by avoiding spammy words and phrases like:
When in doubt, if you wouldn’t open it, don’t send it.
Following the compliance point, be clear in your welcome text about how often you intend to text your contacts in a given week or month and follow through.
That way, you avoid the risk of overwhelming your contacts and ensure that they’re on board with the SMS marketing campaigns you plan to send.
Example: “Company Name: Reply Y to subscribe to auto texts about offers and transactions: 4 messages/month. Consent not required for purchase. Reply STOP to opt out, HELP for support. Message and data rates may apply.”
This is more than just a nice-to-have. The data suggests that 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messaging, so put some thought into addressing each contact’s interests and needs.
This can be as simple as including their name in the text or only sending them products related to ones they’ve purchased before.
You also want to zoom out and be sure you aren’t boring your contacts by sending the same types of messages over and over. Send a coupon one week, and then change it up with a relevant video, blog post, or event announcement the next.
Planning text marketing campaigns is helpful because you’ll think through strategic messaging, targeted audience segmentation, and coordinated timing (among other benefits).
How to send the best SMS marketing campaigns:
In order to communicate what types of campaigns you’ll send, you’ll need to decide that for yourself.
Think about your objectives for your SMS marketing campaigns as you do this. Do you want to:
Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish, you can decide whether to send discounts to draw in buyers, invitations to events you’re planning, content from your brand, or something else entirely.
Apparel brand Bombas does this very well, as you can see below. They tell new subscribers exactly what kind of texts they’ll receive.
We touched on personalized contact segments earlier, but it bears a little further discussion. The easiest way to make sure your contacts get only the information and deals they’ll want to engage with is to put them into segments based on their interests or goals.
Check out this example from sports equipment retailer Salomon. They’ve set up messages to figure out which activities each contact is interested in, and therefore, what content and offers they’ll be likely to engage with.
As we mentioned, your sending frequency matters.
This is most often determined by what type of brand you run. My favorite retailer sends me alerts about new products every week, but if you run a religious organization, you might send out daily devotionals or encouragements.
Consider mapping out your texts for the next week or month in advance so you can see how many of each kind of message your contacts are seeing.
Although you could send each individual text to every contact from your phone, that’s just not sustainable or scalable. A really effective and efficient SMS marketing strategy requires an SMS marketing platform.
There are a lot of SMS marketing platforms out there on the market, so take some time to look over your options (P.S. Start looking for your ideal SMS marketing software here).
Consider factors like any features you need to have access to, like automated messages or opt-in keywords, your budget, how many credits you’ll need, and how easy the platform is to use.
As with all things, you’re going to want to be comfortable with the process of creating campaigns before you start sending them.
Within your chosen SMS platform, go ahead and play with the campaign creation process. How do your messages translate to SMS form? Do you prefer MMS formats that allow images? It’s all worth exploring so you can work out the details before you begin texting contacts.
All platforms work a little differently, but here’s how it looks in SimpleTexting.
More of a visual or aural learner? Check out this video outlining the whole process.
The right welcome message can do worlds of good for how our subscribers feel about engaging with your texts, and one part of the perfect welcome message is making sure it goes out instantly to new subscribers.
Here’s a look at both options in SimpleTexting’s platform.
A keyword confirmation message looks like this.
And an autoresponder setup generally looks like this.
Now that you’ve mastered creating and setting up your campaign, it’s time to hit send!
Check over your campaign one last time before sending for any typos or anything you might have missed, then send it out.
After you send out your campaigns, you’ll need to keep an eye on how they’re performing. You can do this in your Analytics board.
Here’s an overview of the dashboard:
You can us Analytics to compare campaigns against one another, too.
Keep a close eye on whether your messages are sending successfully, how many people clicked any links you sent out, and your unsubscribe rates.
This will tell you how people are interacting with your campaigns and whether you need to focus on improving future texts.
Still not quite sure how to get started? Here are some SMS marketing examples you can take and use in your own business.
🔖 Here are tons of other text marketing campaign templates and examples you can sort through by industry.
While Mailchimp is technically an email platform and therefore only supports limited types of SMS, many SMS platforms (including SimpleTexting) integrate with Mailchimp so you can trigger marketing text campaigns to your email contacts.
Here’s what David Addison, Communication Lead, Tool of North America’s Mrs. Maisel Project, says about SimpleTexting’s Mailchimp integration: ‘By utilizing your Mailchimp integration, we were able to sync our contacts into our SimpleTexting profile. We did continue to email out daily updates on the event, but honestly, we just found texting was the most efficient way to fill newly opened tables in real time.’