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21 SMS marketing campaign ideas to exceed your goals

Alia Paavola
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SMS marketing is quickly becoming one of the most effective channels to reach your customers and build a long-standing relationship. But how do you do it right?

We’re giving you 21 SMS marketing examples of how you can leverage texting to boost engagement and conversions. 

21 SMS marketing campaign ideas

If you’re looking for SMS marketing campaign ideas, look no further. The following ideas and examples will help you meet revenue, retention, and customer engagement goals. 

Take them, tweak them to match your needs and goals, and press the send button!

Welcome messages

A study found that customers who receive welcome messages are 33 percent more engaged with a brand. Greet new SMS subscribers with a welcome text message. Introduce your brand and share what customers can expect. For best results, include a call to action to keep them engaged. This could be a call to browse your website, use a promo code to make a purchase, or ask you a question. 

A welcome text message from LovePop
A welcome text message from LovePop

Security codes

Use SMS security codes to protect customers and curb unauthorized access to accounts.  In a time when online security is of utmost importance, customers appreciate SMS security codes.

This type of SMS is often referred to as SMS authentication or two-factor authentication.SMS authentication campaigns can be entirely automated. That way, when customers attempt to log in, they receive a security code text within seconds.

A security code SMS from Ticketmaster
A security code SMS from Ticketmaster

Survey customers

Collect valuable feedback for your company with SMS surveys. Deliver CSAT, NPS, or other custom surveys to customers, employees, or leads via text message. More businesses have turned to text surveys because of SMS’ immediacy and high response rate compared to email. 

There are two ways to do it: Send customers a link to an online survey or ask the question directly in the text message.

An SMS survey example from IKEA
A text message survey sent by IKEA

Ask for a review

90 percent of customers read reviews before purchasing a product. But while reviews help build credibility with potential customers, they can be tricky to obtain. One great way to collect more customer reviews is via SMS. 

After a positive interaction with a customer, send them a link to your review page via SMS.

Customer review request sent via SMS
City Dog requesting reviews via SMS

Event promotion

Use SMS to promote your next in-person or digital event. Spread the word and get RSVPs for concerts, webinars, networking opportunities, and more. 

Your SMS event promotion should include:

  • Event date, time, and location
  • A call-to-action to encourage RSVPs
  • A website or event page link to share more information

An event promotion text from Laugh Factory
An event promotion text from Laugh Factory.

Booking confirmation

Put customers’ minds at ease with booking confirmation texts. In the text, share applicable details like date, location, or time. This ensures customers know about their upcoming stay, travel accommodation, or reservation. Booking confirmation SMS campaigns provide customers with digital documentation that reduces misunderstandings and makes it easier for customers to access necessary details.

A booking confirmation text example
A booking confirmation text from AirBNB

Appointment reminders

Don’t lose out on revenue from missed appointments. Instead, use an SMS campaign to send reminders. In the message, you can share important details, such as the date, time, location, and your cancellation policy. 

Texting is a gentle yet effective way to remind customers about upcoming meetings, appointments, and more. In fact, a G2 study found that 83 percent of consumers prefer to receive appointment reminders via text.

An appointment reminder text from Petco
A grooming confirmation text from Petco

See more appointment reminder text templates and examples for inspiration.

Order confirmation

Use SMS to share order updates with customers. This includes order confirmations, shipping details, delivery status, return information, and more. Using an SMS campaign for order updates keeps customers in the know. It can save your team time, as customers will be less likely to contact you asking for a status update.

An order update SMS marketing example
A series of order update texts from Urban Outfitters

Promote a sale or discount

Customers love a good deal. The average click-through rate for offer messages sent via SMS is more than 9 percent, which is higher than other digital channels. 

So use SMS to alert customers to a sale, promotion, discount code, or coupon. There are many types of promotional marketing messages businesses can send. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:

  • Share an annual sale 
  • Promote a holiday sale
  • Give a loyalty discount
  • Offer an early bird discount
  • Promote a seasonal offer
  • Share a limited-time discount
A holiday promotion SMS
A holiday deal promoted via SMS

Flash sale

Foster a sense of urgency with your SMS subscribers by sending a flash-sale text campaign. These SMS campaigns encourage customers to buy quickly to get a limited-time discount. While flash sales are common on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can use this tactic any time of year. 

Use words that encourage immediacy, like: hurry, today only, last chance, or final hours.

A flash-sale marketing text message example
A flash-sale text promotion from Nixon

Time-sensitive updates or company news

Use SMS to send time-sensitive information that affects customers or staff. For example, you can notify customers about service outages, business hour changes, flight delays, and similar. SMS is also a great way to share company news like new store openings, policy updates, mergers, and other.

SMS alert example from United Airlines
An example of a flight delay text alert from United Airlines

Personalized offer

Customers love to feel important and special. In fact, a recent study found that 76 percent of customers get frustrated when they get generic messages. To show your customers they’re more than just a number on paper, send personalized SMS marketing campaigns. For example:.

  • Birthday discounts
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Discounts on liked or saved products

Personalized offer SMS campaign example
An example of a personalized birthday promotion

VIP promotion

Segment your most loyal customers and create an SMS marketing campaign only for them. Give them access to a free gift or a special discount. Make VIP customers feel like they are part of an exclusive community. This will help them feel valued and emotionally connected to your brand. Customers with emotional connections to brands offer a higher lifetime value and are less likely to jump ship.

A VIP offer SMS marketing campaign
A VIP offer text from OrangeTheory Fitness

Holiday greetings

Send warm wishes to your customers, partners, or employees for the holidays. Whether it is  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or else, sending a personalized holiday message can elicit joy and build loyalty. 

A holiday greeting SMS example
A holiday greeting SMS message

Abandoned cart reminder

Baymard Institute found that the average cart abandonment rate is just shy of 70 percent. This means companies are leaving a lot of revenue on the table. And SMS reminders are an effective way to reduce abandoned cart numbers. 

Consider offering customers free shipping, a discount, or expedited shipping in your text. These offerings may incentivize customers to finish the checkout process. 

An abandoned cart SMS example
An abandoned cart SMS example

Back-in-stock alert

Notify customers when an out-of-stock product they expressed interest in is back. Sending this alert via SMS is a great way to encourage customers to return and complete a purchase. You could send each customer a link to a particular restocked item. Or, share a general announcement about several restocks to many customers at once.

Back-in-stock notifications see up to a 15 percent conversion rate. 

A back-in-stock SMS campaign from Lulus
A back-in-stock notification from Lulus

Seasonal campaigns

Set up SMS campaigns to target customers during particular seasons. For example, a snow removal company could create an SMS marketing campaign in the winter. While a landscaping business may want to push a seasonal marketing effort in spring or summer. 

Keep in mind that you don't need to tie a seasonal campaign to one of the four seasons. Instead, your business could use it to send reminders at particular intervals. For example, a dentist's office could have a recurring campaign set up to remind patients to come in for a cleaning every six months.

Overall, seasonal campaigns focus on relevancy and anticipating customer needs.

A seasonal SMS campaign example
A seasonal discount SMS example

Post-purchase check-in

Keep more customers with a post-purchase SMS campaign. Use texting to check in with customers after a purchase. Or, use it to set up onboarding calls with new customers, share helpful resources, or confirm satisfaction levels.

SMS can help you follow up on every step of the buyer’s journey and ensure customers get the most from your product. Plus, you can address any customer issues or questions quickly.

A post-purchase SMS campaign example
An example of a post-purchase SMS campaign


Create excitement about a new product or event with a waitlist SMS campaign. Use SMS to share information about the release or event with new or existing customers. Encourage customers to sign up for the waitlist. In exchange, offer them alerts about the product drop, early access to the product, or a discount. 

Such an SMS marketing campaign allows you to collect a list of potential buyers before a product release. When the launch occurs, you’ll have a better chance of converting these potential buyers. 

A waitlist SMS example
A waitlist SMS example

Billing reminders

Given the sheer number of subscriptions and bills customers have these days, it’s easy for customers to forget about upcoming payments. Use SMS to send payment reminders to your customers’ mobile phones. This will help you collect payments on time.

Most customers appreciate the heads-up about payments. This includes reminders about automatic subscription renewals and late payments. Payment reminders are especially helpful for brands that charge on a recurring basis. Healthcare companies also can benefit because bills typically aren’t collected at the time of service.

Billing reminder SMS example

Referral program

Use SMS to get the word out about your referral program. Encourage existing customers to refer friends or family in exchange for a discount or gift. Referrals, known as word-of-mouth, are a cost-effective way to acquire new customers. 

A referral SMS marketing campaign
A referral SMS marketing campaign example

Check out more SMS marketing templates and examples from Textline. 

Tips and best practices for successful SMS marketing campaigns

  • Incentivize SMS opt-ins. The first step to a successful marketing campaign is building your SMS contact list. Offer dollar-off discounts, promotions, or free gifts to encourage more opt-ins.
  • Make it easy to opt out. To comply with texting regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, you must make it easy for customers to opt out at any time. This includes unsubscribing contacts automatically if they reply with words like STOP or END.
  • Keep messages concise and relevant. Texts are 160 characters. As a result, keep your messages short and to the point. Encourage two-way conversations. Texting supports rapid back-and-forth communication. So keep texts conversational when it makes sense. Let customers know you will respond to any questions or how to contact you to keep the conversation flowing. 
  • Ensure your content is engaging. Don’t just send a salesy text blast in hopes of boosting revenue. Top-performing SMS campaigns are engaging, helpful, and personal.
  • Add a CTA. Make sure your text campaigns have a CTA. Without it, customers won’t know what action you want them to take. 
  • Keep timing in mind. Send messages at the best time for your customers. And keep in mind that to, to comply with text marketing laws, you must send messages between 8am and 9pm in your recipient’s time zone.
  • Keep frequency in mind. Pay attention to the number of text messages you send each customer per month. Too many messages may result in a higher unsubscribe rate. 
  • Personalize the text. When it comes to boosting engagement, personalization goes a long way. One simple way to personalize a text is to insert a customer’s first name. 
  • Keep your language on-brand. Ensure your text message campaigns embody your organization’s voice and tone. Don’t go off-brand just because it’s a new marketing channel. 
  • Align messages with company goals. Like any new initiative, make sure SMS marketing campaigns line up with your company’s goals. This alignment could be with a revenue target, a customer engagement objective, or a retention goal. 

Bring your SMS marketing ideas to life with Textline

SMS marketing campaigns are perfect if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to reach customers. And a text messaging platform like Textline equips you with the right SMS tools to reach customers with creative campaigns. You can easily set up two-way texting, text message blasts, automated messages, and more. 

Try Textline for free today and discover how it can help you reach your business goals.

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