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How to Run a Successful Text Marketing Campaign? A Complete Guide and Tips

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Man holding a phone doing SMS - How to Run a Successful Text Marketing Campaign? A Complete Guide and Tips

What is text messaging marketing?

Text messaging marketing, or SMS Marketing Campaign is a form of digital marketing strategy that involves sending bulk or individualized messages directly to customers' mobile devices via short message service (SMS). It allows businesses to bypass other marketing noise – such as social media ads and email campaigns – and reach their customers on a more personal level. Consumers must opt-in to receive your messages, but those who do will benefit from more timely and relevant communication.

Why use text messaging marketing?

Text message marketing is a great choice for businesses looking for ways to engage with their customers in real time. Text messages are more personal than other forms of marketing, creating the feeling that your business understands and appreciates its customers.

Additionally, customers are more likely to read text messages than emails, so businesses are more likely to get their message across. SMS messages also provide traceable, useful leads that businesses can use to build their customer database.

Finally, text message marketing increases customer lifetime value by 30%, and 54% of customers want to receive texts from brands. All of these factors make text message marketing an attractive option for businesses looking to build relationships with their customers and increase sales.

What is the average open rate for sms marketing?

What is the average open rate for SMS marketing? According to research, the open rate for SMS marketing is an impressive 98%, with 90% of SMS messages being read within the first three minutes. SMS marketing is also shown to have a higher engagement rate than other channels, with a click-through rate of 36%. Additionally, more than half of consumers prefer to receive updates from brands via text.

How to create and run a successful text message marketing campaign?

Many people holding and doing SMS - Man holding a phone doing SMS - How to Run a Successful Text Marketing Campaign? A Complete Guide and Tips

Step 1: Get permission

The importance of getting permission for a text message marketing campaign cannot be understated. Not only is it essential to comply with local laws and adhere to CTIA recommendations, but it also serves to protect your reputation and build trust with your customers. If customers are not given the option to opt-in to receive promotional messages, they may feel spammed. Furthermore, if customers do not give their consent to receive messages, your company could face legal problems.

To get permission for a text marketing campaign, you can request that customers opt-in via an online form, contest entry, or by texting a particular keyword to a mobile number or shortcode. It is also important to set expectations for customers regarding the types of messages they will receive and how frequently they will receive them. Finally, it is essential that you make it easy for customers to opt-out if they no longer wish to receive messages.

Step 2: Choose a unique business SMS code

Creating a unique SMS code for a text message marketing campaign starts with deciding on the right keyword. It should be specific to your SMS marketing campaign and easy to spell and remember. Choose a keyword with as few characters as possible. Make sure you stay compliant with the opt-out language and that your message doesn't exceed the character limit for a standard SMS (160 characters) or MMS (1600 characters). You can also use shortcodes to make your text messages more personalized.

Step 3: Consider a unique, brand-friendly shortcode

A unique, brand-friendly shortcode can help with a successful text message marketing campaign by providing a memorable 5- or 6-digit number that is optimized for marketing purposes and is individually approved by wireless carriers. By using contextually relevant keywords in marketing messages, customers can easily text the shortcode to connect with the business.

Additionally, businesses can use a keyword campaign on a short code to build customer lists, by integrating the keyword into other marketing efforts, such as in-store signage, emails, social media posts, and product packaging.

Finally, businesses can use local numbers, toll-free numbers, and dedicated short codes to have conversations with customers 1-on-1 or to send high-volume campaigns.

Businesses can use copy, visuals, and shortcodes to make the text messages more personalized and engaging while staying compliant with mobile carriers and their opt-out language rules.

Step 4: Associate the right keywords with your business

  1. Choose Contextually Relevant Keywords – Choose a word or phrase that users can text to the shortcode you’ve provided to encourage them to connect with you.

  2. Gather Necessary Assets – Before you build your campaigns, start gathering all the necessary assets, including digital or physical materials (e.g. in-store signage featuring your keyword) that you’ll use alongside your campaign and the overall message tone and style guide that you’ll follow to keep your campaigns consistent and professional.

  3. Create Keyword Campaigns – If you want to build customer lists, then a keyword campaign is the right strategy. Use a Keyword like "SUBSCRIBE" on a short code.

  4. Incorporate Key Elements – Incorporate key elements into each campaign so that it is effective in attracting business to your company.

  5. Perform Market Research – Perform market research to find the best path to meet your goals and get a glimpse of who you will be marketing towards.

Step 5: Send messages promoting content or blogs on your company's website

Text message marketing can be a powerful tool to promote content and blogs on a company's website.

  1. Create content targeting top-searched keywords by your consumer base. This content should be designed to generate new leads, create brand awareness, and inform readers about the features and benefits of your product or service.

  2. Create an SMS marketing campaign to promote new content added to the website. With an eye-grabbing headline and a link to the website, SMS readers will be encouraged to click and potentially generate a new lead.

  3. Send SMS marketing alerts on a weekly basis to announce new products. Include links to the website in each message.

  4. Use text messages to send customers to the website, drive them to social media feeds, and much more to boost engagement with the brand and other customers.

  5. Offer weekly or monthly tips via SMS as bite-sized content for subscribers. The tips should be designed to encourage consumers to trust the business or engage with it.

  6. Leverage social media accounts by launching regular SMS marketing campaigns to promote those accounts and improve follower counts.

  7. Promote Facebook Live videos, social media contests, and promotional videos via SMS to get more participation and engagement.

Step 6: Create a campaign around national holidays to promote your products

Creating a campaign around national holidays can be an effective way to promote your products through text message marketing. Holidays often draw people in search of discounts and special offers, and your SMS campaigns can be tailored to capitalize on this. For example, you could send a CTA encouraging people to buy gifts for their loved ones for Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Valentine’s Day. You can also send messages that make people feel special on their birthdays or for special occasions like tax season, summer vacation, or the start of the new year. This can be a great way to boost conversions and engage with customers.

Step 7: Alert customers when their favorite products are restocked in your store

  1. Use pop-up forms on your website to capture phone numbers from shoppers.

  2. Reach out to new customers with a friendly “Hello” text message.

  3. Keep the conversation going by sending promotional messages with product launches, discounts, promotions, loyalty programs, and product drops.

  4. Use automated date-triggered messages to send customers notifications when items they’ve purchased before are restocked in the store.

  5. Promote special offers and discounts to incentivize customers to purchase.

  6. Send reminders for flash sales and text-to-win competitions to increase engagement.

  7. Follow up with customers who abandon their carts with a text message reminding them to complete their order.

Step 8: Monitor customer engagement

  • Use Popups to Capture Phone Numbers - Popups allow customers to easily sign up for text messages. This is a great way to capture phone numbers and build an SMS list.

  • Say “Hi” to New Customers - Send out a welcome message to greet new customers and give them a brief overview of what you have to offer.

  • Keep the Conversation Going - Keep the conversation going by sending out regular SMS messages about your products and services. This will help keep your customers engaged and interested.

  • Promote Product Launches - Keep your customers updated about upcoming product launches and new products with text messages.

  • Amplify Discounts & Promotions - Use SMS messages to promote current discounts and promotions. This will encourage customers to take advantage of the offer.

  • Drive Cross-Sales - Use text messages to drive cross-sales and up-sales by recommending related products and services.

  • Follow-Up With Cart Abandoners - Send follow-up messages to customers who left items in their cart without completing their purchase.

  • Measure Analytics - Track the results of your text message campaigns. Look for open, click, redemption, subscribe, and unsubscribe rates for your text campaigns, so you know how they’re performing.

  • A/B Test - Test different versions of your text messages, such as changing the tagline or offer, to determine which one works best.

  • Repeat - After you measure and analyze the success of your text message marketing campaign, go through the entire process again. This will help you optimize your messages and tactics over time.

Step 9: Give weekly or monthly tips that only SMS subscribers receive

  • Create useful and engaging tips that are connected to your business. These could be DIY projects that involve using your products, safety, and maintenance tips, or money-saving tips.

  • Send SMS marketing alerts on a weekly basis to announce your new products and include links to your website.

  • Offer exclusive incentives to encourage people to subscribe to your SMS messages. These could include discount codes, flash sale alerts, and first alerts when popular items go on sale.

  • Make it easy for customers to opt-in and opt out of your SMS list. This helps to build trust with your customers and reinforces the idea that they are in control of the messages they receive.

  • Promote your social media accounts via SMS. This could include promoting Facebook Live videos, social media contests, and promotional videos.

  • Send a welcome message to customers who have signed up for SMS notifications. This message should explain why they should continue to receive SMS notifications and include a call to action.

Step 10: Take an opportunity to upsell a product the customer might be interested in

Taking the opportunity to upsell a product through a text message marketing campaign can help to increase average order value and customer lifetime value. By sending customers recommendations based on their past purchases, businesses can provide customers with products that match their tastes and interests. This can lead to improved brand awareness, increased customer trust, and further sales through CTAs such as order confirmation and discount offers.

Step 11: Create interactive messages that encourage customers to engage with your business

Interactive messages can help increase engagement with a text message marketing campaign by providing customers with personalized messages, video or voice messages, reminders for upcoming appointments, anniversary reminders, and more. They can also allow customers to provide organic feedback and open a dialogue with the business, which can help build trust between the consumer and the business.

Furthermore, interactive messages can include call-to-action prompts such as order confirmations, customer surveys, and temporary discounts to encourage customers to purchase additional items.

What is the best time to send SMS marketing messages?

Alarm clock with a dumbell in the background - What is the best time to send SMS marketing messages?

The best time to send SMS marketing messages depends on the audience, and the time zone they are in. With a platform that offers a scheduler, you can schedule SMS messages in your customer’s time zone. Studies show that marketing texts sent on Mondays see the lowest response rates, and texts sent between 10 am-8 pm are most effective. It's logical to send a welcome message immediately after someone signs up to receive texts, and it makes sense for a coffee brand to send texts in the morning when someone may be having their morning coffee. It's also wise to shoot your customer a reminder 24 hours after they've left something in their shopping cart.

However, it never makes sense to send a marketing text at 4 am, so consider your customer's time zone. Wilson recommends texting during typical business hours and being transparent about what customers should expect from your program.

Consistency is also key to running good SMS marketing campaigns, provided that you do not overwhelm your follower base. For example, you should observe when creating campaigns so that you can continue to improve your lead generation—such as what time of day you should send your texts (e.g., 8-10 am) and how many campaigns you should run per week or month. By being mindful of your customer’s time zone and the timing of your messages, you can ensure that your customers don't feel like they're flooded with messages at inappropriate hours or trapped in a subscription.

Tips for creating effective text message campaigns

1. Create a Targeted List

Build a list of phone numbers that have given consent to receive promotional messages. You can target 4 different groups of people within this feature: all text subscribers, specific customers, segments, and lists.

Segment your contact list so that you can tailor your messaging to different audiences. For instance, new customers may be offered free shipping on their first order, while existing customers may receive an upsell campaign or recommended products based on their previous purchases.

2. Create Relevant Messages

Creating relevant messages for your text message campaigns is essential to ensure that you see the greatest return on investment. To ensure that your messages resonate with your audience, here are some steps to consider when crafting your messages:

  • Choose contextually relevant keywords. These should be words or phrases that customers will text to the shortcode you’ve provided.

  • Keep the message short and sweet. Text messages tend to be brief, so make sure your messages are succinct and to the point.

  • Make sure the message is relevant. Make sure that your message adds value to the consumer’s experience with your brand.

  • Offer incentives. Consider adding coupons, promotions, and sneak peeks to your messages to pique interest.

  • Personalize content. Try to make the message more personal by using the customer’s name or other information.

  • Add visuals. Use images, emojis, and other visuals to make the message more engaging.

  • Communicate urgency. Insert language that encourages your customers to take action quickly.

3. Use Calls to Action

Using calls to action in SMS marketing texts can help create effective campaigns by increasing customer engagement and prompting them to take specific actions. For example, "Show this text" messages can prompt customers to use a discount, while "Click here" links can direct customers to additional information about an event or product launch. Text-to-Win campaigns are a great way to reward customers, while Text-to-Vote can help businesses better understand customer satisfaction. By including a "Buy now" button in targeted messages, companies can make it easier for customers to make a purchase.

Finally, including discounts and special offers can help customers convert, while follow-up messages can provide additional context and build trust. Using calls to action in text messages is a surefire way to create campaigns that engage customers and drive more sales.

4. Use Emojis

Using emojis in text message campaigns can help create effective communication with customers. Emojis provide a visual element to messages that can grab the attention of viewers, while also conveying larger feelings in a few characters. Additionally, they can make the message more friendly and approachable, creating a more personal connection with the customer. Emojis can also be used to emphasize keywords and CTA's, making them pop out of the text and driving customers to take action.

Ultimately, using emojis in SMS campaigns can help businesses create more engaging and effective messages that have a better chance of being read and acted upon.

5. Make it Short and Sweet

Making a text message campaign short and sweet can help it be more effective by ensuring readers get the information they need in a timely manner. It is important to keep messages under 160 characters and use short links instead of long-winded and spam-y links as a way to make the message more eye-catching.

As people have shorter attention spans than ever before, it is important to grab readers’ attention and communicate your message without any extra fluff. Additionally, having a sense of urgency with the message can help encourage readers to take action more quickly, such as taking advantage of a limited-time sale or promotion.

Using SMS campaigns can help to save time with digital marketing methods, and text messages are relatively simple to create. By making a text message campaign short and sweet, readers will have an easier time paying attention to the message and taking the desired action.

6. Personalize the Messages

Text message campaigns can easily be personalized to ensure that customers feel as if they are having an individual conversation with the brand.

Get to know your target audience. Take the time to do research on who your customers are and what kind of content they respond to.

Create message templates. Use templates to quickly create messages that are tailored to various customer segments. Include custom fields such as names and other personal information to make the messages feel more genuine.

7. Use Push Notifications

Using push notifications in text message campaigns can be a great way for businesses to reach their audience and create effective marketing strategies.

Push notifications are a form of communication through which businesses can send promotional messages or updates directly to their users, giving them instant access and attention. Push notifications are delivered directly to the users' mobile devices and boast a higher open rate than other digital marketing methods, with nearly 98% of text messages being opened. Plus, push notifications can be sent out almost instantaneously, with response times being only 3 seconds, compared to up to an hour with push notifications. This makes text messages an ideal tool for sending appointment reminders, promotional videos, coupons, and more.

With SMS marketing, businesses of all sizes can engage their customers, boost engagement with their brands, and increase sales.

8. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Leveraging your website content and maintaining a consistent blog or content feed on your website is one of the top SEO strategies in digital marketing. You can create content targeting top-searched keywords by your consumer base to generate new leads, create brand awareness, and inform your reader base about the features and benefits of your product or service. Then, you can create an SMS marketing campaign to promote new content added to your website.

Promote Social Media Accounts. If your company runs active social media accounts, consider launching regular SMS marketing campaigns to promote those accounts and improve your follower counts. With the ease of many people using their phones to access social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube, making the transition from text to the app is as simple as a screen tap.

9. Use SMS Marketing Platforms

Using SMS marketing platforms can help businesses create effective text message campaigns by providing an easy interface with a dedicated phone number, automation tools such as templates, segmentation of contact lists, customer service, lead management software, and reports. This allows businesses to easily create and send personalized messages to their customers, use templates to save time on drafting messages, manage reservations and online orders, send exclusive offers, drive action through text-to-win contests and SMS surveys, create digital mobile coupons, and reward customers through loyalty programs. All of these tools and integrations can help businesses create effective text message campaigns for their specific needs.

10. Track and Analyze Results

  • Check the reporting tools of your platform to monitor the performance of your text message campaign, including texts sent, messages received, click-through rates (CTRs), and trending engagement.

  • Measure the response rates to determine the success of the campaign.

  • Adjust your plan accordingly based on the performance results.

  • Use analytics tools to gauge the effectiveness of each communication channel. Check for reports such as how many people opened your text and for how long they engaged with your landing page if they clicked on the link.

  • Measure the success of the campaign with analytics such as opt-in and click-through rates, campaign revenue attribution, and abandoned cart recoveries.

  • Perform market research to find the best path to meet your goals and ensure that they are achievable.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, Text and SMS Marketing services can help businesses boost engagement, increase sales, and build customer loyalty. With personalized text campaigns, businesses can easily reach their target audience and keep them informed about new products, services, and promotions. These services are highly cost effective and can provide a high return on investment, making them an ideal marketing solution for businesses of all sizes.

If you're looking for a reliable and efficient way to connect with your customers and grow your business, Text, and SMS Marketing services can help you achieve your marketing goals. Slaterock Automation is offering an affordable and effective SMS marketing campaign alongside other digital marketing products. Give us a call to help you out.


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Founded by William Mingione and managed by Dominick Galauran.

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Slaterock Automation is a Digital Marketing Agency focused on bringing the power of Ai to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States and Canada. "We utilize Ai for businesses through functional web design, Ai SEO, and business process automation."


Slaterock Automation is a Certified Wix Partner, Certified Semrush Partner, and Certified Google Partner.  Slaterock has served over 100 Wix clients and currently manages over 25 active SEO and PPC campaigns.

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