What Is SMS Marketing? The Complete Guide For 2022

May 11, 2022

Admit it, each time you hear a text message arrive on your phone, you find yourself checking that message within seconds. You are quick to see who is trying to contact you, and your customers are no different. That is why SMS marketing has become such a powerful marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. 

SMS marketing uses text messages to promote products or send alerts, reminders, coupons, and other information to customers. According to a study by the Mobile Marketing Association, SMS has a 98% open rate, making it one of the most effective channels for reaching your audience. 

It is important for businesses, particularly in eCommerce, to have an SMS marketing strategy in place. Lucky for you, we will be covering the best practices for marketing through text messages in this guide. 

After reading this guide you will know:

  • The 7 best practices for SMS marketing 
  • The top tools and software for building automated SMS campaigns
  • Common uses and strategies for SMS advertising 

What Is SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing Statistics

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SMS marketing is a form of permission-based marketing that allows businesses to send text messages to customers who have opted-in to receiving them. SMS messages are typically sent for promotional purposes, such as announcing a new product or service, or running a sale or discount. 

However, SMS can also be used for transactional purposes, such as confirming an appointment or sending a shipping update. With 6.4 billion smartphone users on the planet, you’d be doing a huge disservice to your business by skipping out on mobile marketing. By reaching out to your customers through mobile messaging, you are more likely to catch their attention no matter where they are!

Because SMS marketing is permission-based, businesses can only send text messages to consumers who have opted-in to receiving them. In order to opt-in, consumers must give their explicit permission by providing their phone number and agreeing to receive SMS messages from the business. 

The good news is that most customers are willing to sign-up for SMS messaging from their favorite brands. In fact, as much as 64% of consumers think brands should contact them through text messages more often!

What Are The Key Benefits Of Using SMS Marketing?

SMS Marketing Benefits

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SMS marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies out there. The average adult uses their phone for 3 hours and 43 minutes every day. That’s a lot of screen time, and that’s why SMS marketing has a response rate of 45%. 

There are many other benefits of SMS marketing, but here are some of the key ones: 


SMS marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions available for eCommerce businesses. Not only is it affordable, but it also has the potential to reach a large audience. 

SMS marketing is more cost-effective than other communication channels because it doesn’t require a lot of resources to set up and maintain. This leads to incredibly high ROI, with some brands seeing an average ROI of 500% for their text messaging campaigns. 

Plus, it’s a great way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them updated on new products and special offers.

Widespread Mobile Usage

Mobile devices are everywhere these days. In fact, mobile users are one of the most significant population areas to focus on for digital marketing. This means that eCommerce businesses need to cater to mobile users in order to stay competitive. SMS marketing is a great way to connect with more customers and increase sales through mobile shoppers.

According to recent statistics, 69.4% of mobile users shop from their phones. This number is only going to continue to grow as mobile technology becomes more and more advanced. SMS marketing is the perfect way to reach these potential customers and convert them into paying customers.

High Open & Read Rates

SMS marketing has one of the highest open rates of any marketing channel – as high as 98%! That means that nearly all of your customers will see your message when you send it. Compare that to email open rates, which are typically only around 20%

For small businesses, SMS marketing is a great way to reach out to customers and get your message across. With such high open rates, you’re guaranteed that nearly all of your target audience will see your message. 

Instant Message Reach

SMS marketing is the perfect way to reach your customers in real-time. The beauty of instant messaging your customer is just that – it’s instant! With SMS marketing, you can reach more people with your marketing efforts and automate your marketing campaigns.

SMS is also a great way to reach customers who don’t have social media accounts. There are now 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide, and 55% of those users communicate through the native messenger app on their phone. 

That is why committing to an SMS marketing strategy is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience and stay in contact with both past and future customers.

How Is SMS Marketing Used?

Omnisend SMS Marketing

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SMS marketing is a form of marketing that uses text messages to reach out to customers. It’s a way for business owners to stay in touch with their customers and promote their products or services.

SMS marketing can be an effective way to reach out to customers, but it’s important to remember that it’s a time-sensitive form of marketing. That means you need to have your SMS software set up and ready to go, and your written content should be concise and on point. You’ll also want to include links and call-to-actions (CTAs) in your messages so that customers can easily take action.

5 Examples Of Effective SMS Marketing

SMS marketing can take many different forms, and each type can be effective in its own way, depending on the industry. Here are a few examples of how SMS marketing can be used effectively:

1. Promotional SMS Messages

Promotional SMS Text Marketing

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The most common way brands use SMS marketing is for promotional messages. Mass text messages can be a great way to reach out and notify your customers about upcoming promos or sales. By sending mass texts, you are able to give the user instant access any time there’s an important update so they don’t have to miss anything! 

For example, 91% of consumers want notifications from their favorite brands because it gives them hope for immediate savings in certain situations like flash sales & limited-time deals.

You should always make sure that these types of promotions come through as soon as possible by using shortcodes which will allow people to receive alerts all at once, instead of several minutes apart.

2. Loyalty Program Awards

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Text messaging is a fantastic marketing tool that you can use to grow customer loyalty for your brand. By personalizing messages and offering convenience, text message marketing can be a key driver of customer loyalty. 

Why use loyalty programs? The idea behind a rewards or milestone-based program is that it will encourage customers to make purchases, refer friends who may also buy from you in turn and bring more traffic into your store. 

Using SMS messages to maintain your loyalty programs is an easy way for small businesses with limited marketing budgets to build customer connections and increase sales. By providing SMS subscribers with timely and relevant information, your brand can increase conversion rates and keep customers coming back for more.

3. Customer Alerts & Notifications

SMS Marketing Notifications

SMS marketing is not just for sales-related messages! It can also be used to share emergency alerts, restock notifications, company success stories, testimonials, company news, product/service updates, and more. 

SMS marketing is a powerful way to keep your customers and employees in the loop, no matter what sort of information you need to share. In addition to being quick and easy, SMS messages are also highly visible – meaning that your message is more likely to be seen and read than if it were sent via email or another method.

4. Cart Abandonment Messages

SMS marketing can also be used to improve customer retention in the form of cart abandonment messages. For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you can use SMS messages to remind customers who have abandoned their shopping carts that they still have items in their cart. 

This is especially effective since text messages are so instant and personal. Plus, studies have shown that SMS messages have a high open-rate, so you know your message will be seen and can help reduce cart abandonment.

There are many marketing automation tools, like CartStack, that will help with automating your cart abandonment messaging. A tool like CartStack makes it easy for you to send the perfect message at the perfect time, helping you recover more abandoned carts and keep your customers coming back for more. 

5. Text Competition Campaigns

Text Competition Campaigns

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SMS marketing is a powerful tool for customer engagement and customer retention. One effective way to use SMS marketing is through SMS competitions, which can be used to increase customer engagement by engaging customers in fun, interactive activities that encourage them to interact with your brand.

Another effective strategy for using SMS marketing is text-based surveys, which allow you to gather valuable customer data and insights that can help you better understand your customers and improve customer experience. Whether you are looking to collect feedback about your products or simply boost customer engagement, SMS marketing can help you achieve your goals. 

SMS Marketing: 6+ Best Practices To Use

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to effectively reach their customers and grow their brand.

With workflows, appointment reminders, and contact lists at your disposal, maximizing the effectiveness of your SMS marketing campaigns has never been easier. By using these practices and tools, you can save valuable time and resources while getting your campaigns up and running right from the start.

Whether you are new to SMS marketing or have been using it for years, it is important to always stay up-to-date with current best practices in order to ensure that you are making the most of this valuable channel. So what are some key considerations when it comes to optimizing your SMS marketing efforts? Here are just a few:

Text Frequency Consistency

Pay attention to frequency and consistency. It is important to find a balance between sending too many messages and not enough. If you send too many messages, you risk becoming spammy and turning off your subscribers. On the other hand, if you don’t send enough messages, your subscribers may forget why they signed up in the first place.

Personalized Messaging

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At its core, SMS marketing is all about creating a feeling of exclusivity among users. When you send personalized messages that make users feel valued and important, they will be more likely to engage with your brand and continue interacting with your business over time.

To personalize your SMS marketing messages, try including: 

  • Name
  • Location
  • Last purchase 
  • Previous feedback
  • Holidays and events

Another key factor in the success of personalizing your sms text messages is the use of segmentation strategies. By carefully targeting specific segments of your audience with tailored content, you can improve cart abandonment rates and see revenue increases of 8% per message.

Segmentation is a great way to re-engage shoppers that have not been successfully converted through a cart abandonment email. By segmenting your customers into specific contact lists, you’ll be able to easily see which groups are more likely to convert through their mobile phone versus email marketing.

Create And Use An Identity

SMS advertising is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses looking to reach a wider audience and increase their brand visibility. But it is important to have a familiar identity in SMS advertising, such as a shortcode that your customers can easily recognize, because otherwise your customers may think the message is spam and unsubscribe from future messages.

To maximize the impact of your messages, it is also important to include an introduction or greeting at the beginning of each text, as this helps create a sense of familiarity and establishes trust between you and your customers. Whether you’re promoting a new product or service, or simply keeping your users up-to-date on the latest news from your company, be sure to combine a personal message with a clear brand identity.

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Be Responsive To Replies

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It’s important for businesses involved in SMS marketing to be able to respond quickly and effectively to any responses made by users. This can be a resource-intensive task, but it’s important in order to maintain a familiar identity with your subscribers. If you’re not able to respond quickly or effectively, you run the risk of losing subscribers.

Have Consent And Provide Options

No one likes getting unsolicited text messages, especially when they’re from a business or brand that they don’t recognize. That’s why it’s so important, as a business owner or marketer, to make sure that you have explicit consent from your contacts before sending them any SMS advertising messages. 

To get consent, you need to make it clear what users are opting into by subscribing to your text message marketing campaign. They should know exactly what kind of messages they can expect to receive, and how often. Once they’ve subscribed, make sure to give them the option to unsubscribe at any time. 

Tailor Your Message In Character Count

Don’t forget to consider character limits when sending out bulk SMS messages. These limits can vary depending on your specific messaging platform, but they typically range from around 70-160 characters per message. Because of this, it is essential that you tailor your content so that it is brief, informative, and engaging all at once.

Another important factor to consider when creating your SMS marketing content is how you are going to display it. This means thinking about things like line breaks, font size and style, and whether you’re sending multimedia messages that include images.

Analyze And Track Success

SMS Marketing Analytics

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One key tool for achieving success through SMS advertising is analytics. With an in-depth analytics dashboard you can view invaluable insights into how well your campaigns are performing, and measure key metrics such as open rates, conversion rates, and more. 

That is why it is crucial to find a multichannel marketing tool that includes A/B testing tools, like CartStack. By utilizing analytics dashboards and A/B testing tools, you can fine-tune your text message campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

3 Tools To Use In SMS Marketing

1 – CartStack

Cartstack SMS Marketing

CartStack is a multichannel customer recovery platform that helps businesses recover abandoned carts and boost sales. On top of robust cart abandonment email tools and templates, CartStack also comes with Abandoned Cart SMS marketing automation.

CartStack’s Abandoned Cart SMS marketing features include:

  • Pre-built SMS drip campaigns
  • Real-time analytics and reporting
  • Simple set-up and message building
  • A/B testing

It’s simple to set up and use, and you can sign-up today for a free 14-day free trial. Plans for CartStack start at $29 per month. 

2 – Omnisend

Omnisend SMS Marketing

Omnisend is a powerful omnichannel marketing platform that makes it easy to connect with your customers via SMS text messages and other channels like email, Facebook Messenger, and more. 

Some of the other features that come with Omnisend:  

  • Audience segmentation 
  • Automated campaigns
  • Two-way messaging

Pricing starts at just $16.

3 – Drip

Drip SMS Marketing

Drip is a powerful marketing platform that helps businesses reach their customers through email, sms text messages, and social media. The platform comes with pre-built playbooks and campaign automation to make marketing easier, and it can seamlessly integrate data from Shopify or WooCommerce. 

The best features of Drip include:

  • Pre-built playbooks for SMS and social media
  • “No code” message builder
  • Multiple integrations

Pricing plans start at $49 per month.

Jumpstart Your SMS Marketing Campaign Now

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with their customers in a more personal and direct way. With SMS messaging, you can deliver targeted messages directly to your customers’ phones, allowing you to quickly and easily reach them wherever they are.

Remember to stick to the 7 best practices for SMS marketing:

  1. Text frequently and consistently
  2. Personalize your messages
  3. Create a recognizable identity or shortcode
  4. Be responsive to replies
  5. Always get permission
  6. Keep message short and informative
  7. Monitor analytics and A/B test for best results