Zippia estimates that the average American sees as many as 10,000 ads each day. That makes it incredibly challenging to craft marketing messages that stand out from the noise in your audience’s email and social media feeds to capture their attention. And it’s even harder to motivate them to engage with your message. But it isn’t impossible.

Text marketing helps you engage your audience by allowing you to send SMS messages directly to them. It also increases the chances that they’ll support your brand. In fact, according to Validity’s State of Marketing in 2023 report, text messages influence more than half of customers to buy a product. 

Understanding what SMS is and how it works as a marketing tool will help you incorporate it into your own strategy.

What is SMS Marketing?

SMS stands for short message service, but most people know it simply as text messaging. It's a method of communication that is widely used by people around the world to send and receive messages. And as a digital marketing tactic, SMS text messages help brands engage customers through mobile devices.

Text communication allows brands to send targeted messages to their audiences quickly. And it's incredibly effective. In fact, studies have found that SMS has a click-through rate of over 35%, making it an effective way to communicate and build relationships with consumers.

While a traditional SMS only contains 160 characters of plain text, modern technology allows users to send longer messages that include media, including images, audio clips, and links. These are known as MMS messages. And thanks to MMS, businesses can even send promotional offers and customer feedback surveys, making marketing communications even more valuable.


MMS stands for multimedia messaging service. And the biggest difference between SMS and MMS is that an MMS message allows users to send a text that exceeds 160 characters and attach media, like images and audio clips.

These additions require more data to send, which means businesses run the risk of a failed delivery if they don't have a strong cellular connection. But, because including media like Gifs and videos in a text makes messaging more engaging and impactful, brands still incorporate MMS into their marketing efforts.

How does SMS marketing work?

Effective SMS marketing is similar to email. Brands collect customer information and then send messages in hopes of achieving various goals, including building brand recognition and driving sales. But to effectively engage consumers with text, marketers need to be clear about their goals and create a strategy for using text to achieve them.

First and foremost, marketers need to get their customers' permission before sending any SMS messages, either through mobile sign-ups or opt-in programs. Once consumers opt in, brands must send engaging content that drives sales and enables the business to build long-term relationships with subscribers. This includes sustained engagement through polls, contests, surveys, and product updates, which can help keep audiences interested and increase customer loyalty.

After implementing a strategy, it's also essential to monitor its success by tracking KPIs like open and response rates. Monitoring your SMS marketing success will help you discover which messaging tactics are most successful (and which you can abandon).

4 benefits of using text as a marketing tactic

By leveraging the power of text marketing, businesses can reap a variety of benefits, including reaching a larger audience, increasing engagement, and boosting customer satisfaction.

1. Expand your audience

A text message campaign works as an opportunity to build a network of people who have already expressed interest in a brand and opted in to receive text messages. This makes reaching out to potential new customers and building relationships with them easier because they've already given consent.

2. Boost engagement

A recent report found that 90% of consumers want to text businesses. And communicating via customers' preferred channel increases the chances that they'll be interested and engaged. Especially compared to other forms of messaging, like social media posts or print ads in magazines.

SMS messaging also allows businesses to include images, videos, GIFs, links, and other forms of content in their messages. And that means brands can get creative with the types of content they share with customers and capture their attention in unique ways. This is probably why text messaging also has better engagement rates than emails, proving its effectiveness as a marketing tool.

3. Collect better data

Collecting data with text messages helps businesses do better marketing in the future. Businesses can learn how people respond to their messages and what works best. This helps them make their messages even better so more people will be interested in what they say. It also lets them know who is interested in their products so they can send those people special offers and discounts that make it easier for them to buy from the business.

4. Build deeper connections

SMS campaigns allow businesses to segment their audiences to customize text messages for specific target markets or demographics. Personalization improves marketing because it lets businesses send information and updates tailored to different people. 

Segmentation helps ensure the right messages reach the right people. And makes it easier for customers to buy from them. It also makes customers feel special because they know the message was made just for them.

6 Types of SMS Marketing Messages

There are many different types of marketing messages businesses can send to their customers. And each serves a different purpose within an SMS marketing strategy.

1. The welcome message

The first SMS message a brand sends, the welcome text, is a powerful way to make a great first impression and build customer relationships. These messages are typically short and sweet but still have a significant impact. They can briefly introduce the company, provide information on how customers can engage with the brand or business, or simply thank subscribers for opting in.

2. Product updates

Sending texts about new products is a great way to inform loyal customers when new items come out. It's also a great way to retain customers, even when experiencing problems like stockouts. For example, businesses can send customers who sign up for alerts a message when something is back in stock so they can buy it right away. They can even send links directly to the product a customer is interested in, driving sales by making it even easier for customers to purchase.

3. Promotions and giveaways

Texts about clearance sales, seasonal sales, and discounts can help businesses get customers to buy their products. It's an excellent way to let people know when there are special offers so they're aware of opportunities to save. And since customers are more likely to buy from a brand when they know they're getting a good deal, these texts are also a great way to capitalize on consumers' FOMO and motivate hesitant buyers.

4. Holiday greetings

The holidays are a great time for businesses to talk to their customers. And major shopping days like Black Friday present a significant opportunity for businesses to tell their customers about sales or discounts and even send them special holiday messages. It's a good way for a business to show that it cares, and it helps maintain a connection with customers.

5. Shipping and delivery updates

Most customers want to receive updates about their purchases. And text updates are the perfect way to let them know when their order is coming, so they won't worry if it's late. It also helps build customer loyalty because it shows that the brand cares about their orders and wants to keep them happy. And that helps customers feel better about their decision to buy from and support the business.

Collecting customer information to send text updates doesn't just improve their experience; it's an opportunity to encourage them to opt into a text list. And once they do, they'll be more likely to engage with the brand and become a long-term customer.

6. Upselling and cross-selling messages

When customers opt-in to texts after placing an order, it provides an opportunity to increase their order value through upselling or cross-selling. Businesses can send a message recommending products that people may be interested in based on their past purchases.

And by making a helpful recommendation that includes a link to the product, brands can show they understand what the customer's needs are. They also prove that they can meet those needs. And that helps customers feel better about their decision to buy from and support the business.

Jumpstart Your SMS Marketing Strategy With Emotive

SMS marketing is one of the best ways for brands to connect with larger audiences and boost customer satisfaction.. With its ability to personalize messages for specific target markets or demographics, SMS campaigns enable businesses to make sure they are sending the right message to the right people to maximize engagement and drive sales.

Using an automated platform like Emotive helps marketers streamline their SMS strategy so they can quickly create customized text-based campaigns without having to keep track of each subscriber manually. By leveraging this technology, you'll unlock your true potential as a marketer by engaging more effectively with your audience than ever!