The most common objection to SMS marketing is, "I hate getting text blasts. Text message marketing is a scam!" We understand the frustration of receiving unwanted texts.

However, our engineers are watching in real-time as brands using SMS personal messaging increase their text subscribers, brand sentiment, and sales.

But it's not just us. Marketing experts are reporting handsome returns on properly-executed SMS marketing strategies.

"Various sources report SMS open and response rates as high as 98% and 45%, respectively — in contrast to corresponding figures of 20% and 6% for email." - Gartner

"Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. And, on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email." - Campaign Monitor


There are many reasons for SMS marketing success. Society predominantly uses mobile devices over personal computers to go about their lives. It's also much easier to check a text message over one's email account.

Advancements to text message marketing techniques - such as SMS personal messaging - nurture authentic connections with consumers. These authentic engagements are overshadowing text messaging scams.

How to Identify Classic SMS Scams

Typically, SMS scams seek to steal personal information. Scammers hope that by gleaning information from naive mobile users, they can rob their identity. 

Here are some of the classic text message scams plaguing mobile users.

You "win" a prize

One of the most common text message scams asks you to provide information to claim a prize. Also a phishing tactic on social media, the individual (or bot) informs you that you are a winner. They make it sound as though you providing personal information is just a formality.

Someone "stole" your info

In an ironic twist, scammers tell you that someone has stolen your information or hacked into your bank or email account. To "help" you, they ask you to verify your login credentials or personal information to shut down the security breach. 

Tragedy "strikes" you or someone you love

Some scammers are creative enough to convince naive consumers that a friend or family member is in danger. The con artist will then ask you to verify your identity to "make sure we have the right person."

Someone "owes" a refund

Some counterfeit texts try to convince you that your bank, the IRS, or a vendor owes you a refund. To issue your refund, they "just need a little information."

Knowing the Difference Between a Text Scam and Spam

In an SMS scam, individuals are phishing for information. But with spam, there is usually very little danger of identity theft.

Just like with email marketing, some organizations don't follow proper subscriber guidelines. As a result, they spam their recipients with unwanted texts and emails.

Most of the time, marketers and consumers are suspicious of an SMS marketing strategy because of the potential for spam. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to make your marketing spam-free while building better relationships with your consumers.

Spam-Proofing Your Marketing Strategy

No matter what marketing channel you choose, the possibility that you might unintentionally spam a consumer is always present. 

Because of the heightened accessibility of text messages, consumers are less likely to tolerate spam texts than they are spam emails. 

Studies show that mobile users feel a sense of delight upon receiving a text message. They compulsively want to check right away. Whether or not your SMS marketing strategy delights your customers depends upon your ability to personalize the text message conversation.

How SMS Personal Messaging Achieves the Highest Open and Conversion Rates

Vendors that achieve high open and conversion rates with their text message marketing always incorporate "the human touch."

That's not to say that you should steer clear of automation - quite the contrary! But whatever tools you use to engage your prospects over text should include specific ingredients to ensure authentic engagement.

Think Long-term Sustainability

Those times when text messages resemble a scam or spam usually results from marketers thinking short-term. Inexperienced marketers may even violate the golden rule in text and email marketing: asking permission before contacting a consumer.

That said, it is possible to coerce some consumers into buying from you. But in today's digital environment, using text message marketing in scammy or spammy ways will ultimately repel audiences.

As you and your marketing team nurture a deeper appreciation for your customers, the way you use your marketing channels will improve.

Use a 10DLC or Dedicated Short Code

In SMS marketing, some brands try to save money by investing in shared short code or standard long code.

In shared short code, more than one brand uses the same 6-digit number to send texts to customers. Authorities frequently block shared short code numbers because, chances are, at least one brand will abuse it.

Standard long code is cheap, but it frequently violates SMS marketing laws by sending A2P messages (texts from an organization) over P2P channels (those channels reserved for people-to-people texting). Cell carriers frequently block standard long code numbers.

Dedicated short code ensures that you and you only own the 6-digit number. That said, dedicated short code is the most expensive solution. Additionally, texts from 6-digit numbers are impersonal. Government and nonprofit organizations frequently use dedicated short code to send informative or emergency text blasts.

By far, the best solution for text message marketing is 10DLC (commercial long code). 10DLC numbers are verified A2P senders accepted by most major carriers.

Use Scalable, 2-Way Conversations

Once you've chosen your SMS platform, you must put yourself in the shoes of your consumers.

You don't just want to send your customers text blasts - you want to engage them.

With authentic engagement, you can foster more excitement and interest from your prospects. This approach increases your chances of clicks and conversions.

Experts at Emotive focus on delivering authentic, 2-way text conversations between consumers and your brand. 

The Secret About Online Shoppers and Abandoned Carts

SMS marketers with the highest ROI know that one secret to text message marketing success is targeting those that abandoned their carts online.

Source: Baymard Institute

Following-up with those consumers leads to many benefits, such as gathering valuable customer feedback, troubleshooting a declined payment, or answering questions about a product.

Traditionally, many considered your best approach to converting abandoned carts into revenue to be email marketing. However, SMS marketing enjoys double the open rates of email marketing. As a result, you'll have a better chance of converting your customers.

Integrate with Your Subscriber and eCommerce Applications with Your SMS Platform

21st Century eCommerce tools like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce streamline the online shopping experience. But did you also know that cutting-edge SMS platforms will work with these applications to achieve "1-click" integration?

That means that your text message marketing enhances the omnichannel experience for your customers. "Being everywhere" makes it easier for consumers to locate and purchase the products/services they need.

Use Analytics Tools to Refine Your SMS Marketing Strategy

When launching your SMS marketing campaigns, pay attention to the 2-way text conversations that generate the most engagements. 

Using analytics to test and identify the best text messages help you make your automation tools smarter and more effective. Remember, you can still get great results from automation so long as you incorporate the "human touch."

It's Not Always About Sales

If you only ever engage your customers over text when you want them to buy something, you may be souring relationships.

SMS personal messaging requires your marketing team to think outside the box. Consider changing your CTAs to an event and contest invite, or by offering free tips that deliver value to your customers.

Mixing up your sales-driven messages with non-sales-driven texts will increase customer loyalty and brand sentiment.

Summing Up

Identifying when text message marketing is a scam (or spam) will help your marketing team connect better with your audience. The reality is that any marketing technique can harass consumers when misused.

As obnoxious as poorly-used SMS marketing can be, SMS personal messaging happens to be one of the most successful marketing approaches. The art of SMS personal messaging transforms unwanted text blasts into 2-way conversations that connect with consumers authentically.  

As a result, your text message marketing can become the leading revenue driver for your brand.