SMS campaigns are a powerful way to engage with customers at every level. When developed properly, your campaigns can attract customers, help retain them, close sales, and provide reminders.

What Is an SMS Campaign?

These campaigns use text messages to communicate with large numbers of customers, prospects, volunteers, or other recipients. Each campaign has a specific marketing goal and uses up to 160 characters to deliver crisp, compelling messaging. They also typically have embedded links that prompt readers to take important actions, from buying an item to signing up for a mailing list.

Each campaign has a specific purpose. The primary roles of SMS campaigns include:

  • Sell products or services by using links, offers, incentives, and coupons
  • Build brand awareness by driving readers to high-value content or social channels
  • Boost website traffic by highlighting content that matters to readers
  • Generate leads with incentives, offers, and special pricing

Campaigns may involve several waves, with each message having a different purpose. Subsequent messages can build upon earlier ones and may include SMS reminders that prompt action.

Why SMS Campaigns Work

An SMS message is quick, easy to read, and has a clear call to action that’s just a click away. Marketing data supports the value of SMS campaigns to consumers and brands alike. For example:

  • The click-through rate on SMS messages is 9.15 percent higher than that of other digital channels.
  • 5 percent of customers check text notifications within 5 minutes of receiving them.
  • In comparison to email, SMS is more effective. Retailers report that SMS has six to eight times higher engagement rates than email.
  • The average open rate for SMS is 98 percent, compared to 20 percent for email campaigns.

Planning is essential. It’s important to consider the various steps, sequences, and messages in each wave. Doing so gives readers coherent communication that builds, grows, and reinforces.

Let’s take a closer look at three phases of an SMS campaign—planning, creating, and executing.

Planning Your SMS Campaign

Planning your campaign involves determining its purpose. Are you alerting customers about a new product or a sale? Are you encouraging them to buy additional services?

Once the messages and purpose are well-defined, it’s time to pull together your lists. Be sure that you’re sending messages to those who have opted into the type of SMS campaign that you’re going to send.

Randomly texting customers who haven’t asked for your communications could run the risk of turning them off.

Consider setting up SMS reminders as part of your strategy. Reminders for appointments, annual services, payments, and other urgent tasks are important. They help customers stay engaged and, when done correctly, will engender loyalty.

Here are some tips on planning your reminders:

  • Send SMS reminders during normal business hours.
  • Allow customers to cancel or reschedule from the SMS message.
  • Personalize the content. Using the customers’ names and other specific details will help connect with them.

Creating Your SMS Campaign

How many times are you going to engage with your customers during a campaign? You don’t want to send too many messages, a mistake that can turn people off.

Also, consider the length of your texts. You don’t have many characters, so use them wisely. Brief is better; you don’t need to use all 160 characters if they’re not necessary.

Think about when you will send the texts. You want to know what customers are likely to be doing when the message arrives. Sending a text in the middle of the night, for example, is not a smart idea. Most businesses aim to send SMS messages between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Checking when you get responses is a good way to refine future campaigns.

Ensure that you include a call to action (CTA) or otherwise create a sense of urgency in the messages. Make it clear what you’re asking the customer to do, and make it easy for them to do so.

Executing Your SMS Campaign

There are many technologies needed for an effective campaign.

For example, you’ll need an SMS API that integrates with your systems to build campaigns and an SMS gateway that enables your computers to send and receive messages.

What tool are you using to execute, track, and measure your SMS campaign? There are many options out there. Mitto is one service that provides comprehensive SMS marketing solutions to help you build, execute, and analyze campaigns.

SMS campaigns can transform your marketing approach and deliver effective, compelling, and enticing messages that customers will respond to favorably.