What is SMS marketing?

SMS Marketing consists of sending transactional messages or promotional campaigns for marketing purposes using messages composed of a text of up to 160 characters via an SMS (Short Message Service) messaging service. These messages are primarily intended to communicate offers, updates, and urgent alerts to people who have consented to receive these messages from your business through their mobile phones.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about SMS marketing and give you an idea of ​​how it can improve your overall digital marketing strategy.

Why is SMS marketing effective?

SMS is one of the most useful and effective marketing channels available to you, for several reasons:

– Smartphones are everywhere: 

With nearly 80% of French people owning a mobile phone in 2021, texting is a great way for your business to directly reach a huge number of customers.

– Complete your email marketing: 

While email marketing and SMS have many similarities in their strategic implementation, they work much better in tandem because they are complementary. You can use SMS to send instant notifications to your contacts, while emails allow you to deliver longer content.

– High engagement rates:

SMS engagement rates are huge compared to email, with 90% of SMS messages read within 3 minutes of receipt. This makes SMS a useful and simple solution for delivering information to your customers or prospects, with a high success rate.

How SMS Marketing Works 

Messages for SMS marketing are sent from “short codes” as opposed to full phone numbers. These short codes are generally 5 to 6 digits long and can be associated with a sender or shared between several senders.

There are two main types of messages you can send in SMS marketing:

– Campaign messages: 

Campaign messages are one-to-many type messages, comprising classic text, which are generally used to communicate promotions (coupons, sales, etc.) or general information (details of events, updates. day, weather alerts, etc.).

– Transactional messages: 

Transactional messages are one-to-one messages that are triggered by a particular event or behavior, such as an order confirmation or a shipping notification for an online purchase. These messages communicate relevant information to a single individual.

How to use SMS marketing for your business

SMS can be used in different ways. We’re going to share some of the most common use cases here to give you an idea of ​​what you can do with SMS in marketing and help your business grow.

– Short-term promotions for retail or e-commerce 

Coupons and promotions are a great way to get more customers to your store or website. If you’re having a limited-time sale or promotion, obviously you want as many people as possible to hear about it.

SMS is a great channel to communicate about these specials, especially if you want to let customers know when they’re on the go. This way, you can be sure that they won’t miss your offer because they didn’t get the message on time.

– Urgent updates on your events or customer orders

There are many elements that go into the planning and execution of an event. The more people you have at an event, the more difficult it becomes to communicate the necessary information to everyone.

SMS gives you the advantage of being able to easily communicate any changes, cancellations, general information or updates with better real-time engagement than email or other channels.

– Appointment reminders

If your business is scheduled to meet at specific times, you certainly know the frustration of customers forgetting the meeting times and arriving late. Sometimes clients don’t even show up at all.

Not only does this mess up your schedule, it also wastes your time and money, as you may have turned down other appointments because that time slot was already booked. Sending reminder SMS is a fantastic way to make sure people don’t forget their appointments and show up at the right time.

– Internal alerts

If you have a large number of employees, it can be difficult to communicate urgent messages (office closings, emergency updates, etc.) to all recipients at the same time. You can email them, but they might not read it in time. Texting is a great way to ensure that all of your employees receive your message on time.

SMS marketing, for what type of business?

SMS marketing can be a great addition to your digital marketing efforts no matter what type of business you are because it helps communicate very urgent information in a very reliable way.

However, there are certain types of businesses that cannot live without SMS in their marketing strategy:

– Online stores / e-commerce: 

Whether it’s sending promotional campaigns or order / shipping confirmations, SMS is a great tool for e-commerce.

– Travel agencies: 

SMS is essential for travel agencies because customers need real-time information. This includes flight time updates, cancellations, weather alerts and many other last minute changes. With SMS, you can tell customers exactly what they need to know, without having to worry if they see your message on time.

– Service companies that work by appointment: 

By sending SMS reminders, you make sure your clients never miss their appointments again. This will save your business a lot of time and money in the event of no-shows and delays.

– Large companies with more than 100 employees: 

Internal communication is important, but sometimes it is difficult to communicate quickly with all the employees of a large company. For urgent information, the email is too slow. Using SMS for your internal communication remains the best way to ensure that each employee receives the information you want to send them at the right time.

What are the rules and best practices of SMS marketing?

Before you dive headlong into implementing an SMS marketing strategy, be sure to follow the best practices outlined below. Because if text messaging is a very effective and direct communication channel for communicating with your customers, there are many rules that you must take into account.

– Make sure your contacts accept your SMS

This is the first rule, and the most important: you must receive permission from your contacts before sending them SMS messages.

SMS has an extremely high open rate, but there’s no point in sending messages to people who don’t want them, not to mention that the opt-in (recipient’s consent) is required in most countries, including France.

– Pay attention to the timing of your messages.

Unlike email, which most of us check a few times a day at most, people open SMS messages on their mobile almost immediately. It’s great for urgent messages, but you don’t want to abuse this power by disturbing your contacts at any time of the day.

Some countries even have laws on when you can send marketing SMS. In France, for example, SMS marketing is not allowed on Sundays, public holidays and after 10 p.m.

– Include your company name in your messages.

When sending bulk SMS, most providers use a shortcode, which means that contacts do not know the origin of the message. That’s why you need to make sure your contacts know that it was your company that sent this or that message. 

– Use SMS to complement your digital marketing strategy

The beauty of digital marketing is that there are many channels you can use to engage with your customers. All of these channels should in theory be linked to create a marketing communication system that allows your business to forge close relationships with your customers and prospects.

As we said, SMS and email marketing are two very complementary channels. You can create marketing campaigns through both channels, using email to include more detailed information and SMS to communicate more urgent information.


Now you probably have a better idea of ​​what SMS marketing is and why it is an attractive solution for your marketing campaigns and a valuable medium of communication, which has the following advantages, among others: reliable communication channel, direct line with your customers, high engagement.

All you have to do is choose a tool to implement your SMS marketing strategy, such as CleverSMS, Sendinblue, Primotexto, etc.

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