SMS is a simple, convenient and readily available method of communication, so it’s no surprise that it’s a firm favourite amongst consumers. Although text messaging has now been around for over two decades, it’s only recently that businesses have begun to realise it’s massive potential as a marketing channel. The good news is that SMS marketing has increased so rapidly in popularity, it’s now quickly becoming one of the preferred communication methods for customers when it comes to interacting with brands and businesses. SMS marketing requires less effort than email, it’s convenient, and it can often provide much more of a personal touch, enabling brands to build better relationships with shoppers.

But, whilst a massive percentage of consumers say that they’d like to see more SMS communication with brands, it’s important to keep some best practices in mind to ensure that you achieve the right results. Simple mistakes in SMS marketing can quickly send your campaign downhill, so keep these tips in mind to keep your text message recipients happy.

sms marketing

Send SMS Illustration by Ally Jaye Reeves

#1. Get Consent:

No marketer worth their salt would send a marketing email without first asking for permission, so ensure that the same always applies to text marketing. In fact, it’s even more important. Sending a text message to somebody’s phone is often far more invasive than simply sending an email, since text messages are harder to ignore. Before sending any marketing text messages, make sure that all the numbers you’re communicating with have opted in, either by texting a number using their handset or giving you express permission online. To be sure, you might want to go for a double opt in method. Once the consumer has signed up to SMS updates on your site, send them a text message to confirm that they actually want this.

#2. Language and Content:

Deciding on the type of content and language to include in your SMS marketing messages can be tricky. In the end, it all boils down to the type of audience your brand is trying to engage with and understanding what they want and expect from you. However, it’s important to follow a few general rules of thumb. For example, avoid using text talk, since it’s outdated and could create an unprofessional, sloppy image for your business that won’t help your reputation. It’s also important to consider the type of texts that you send. Bear in mind exactly what your recipients have signed up for. If they’ve asked for promotional texts, avoid sending other types of messages since this could end up being more annoying than useful.

#3. Consider Text Frequency:

The frequency with which you send SMS marketing messages is a hugely important factor which you’ll need to weigh up carefully before making a decision. If you’ve ever been part of a group chat that you’ve had to mute to avoid distractions, or have a friend who double texts constantly, you’ll know just how annoying it can be when your phone’s notifications are going off every minute. Don’t annoy your subscribers with constant messages. Of course, the frequency will depend on your audience’s preferences. For instance, young people are more used to text messaging, and therefore may not mind more frequent texts when compared to older business customers for example. The recommended amount is around 2-4 messages per month, or play it even safer and ask your subscribers directly how many they’d be happy receiving.

#4. Time Your Messages Right:

Even the most infrequent of marketing text messages can quickly become a nuisance if they’re always received at the most inconvenient time of day. To avoid annoying your subscribers and losing followers, it’s a good idea to stick to only sending messages during business hours. Although it might be exciting to get updates from friends and loved ones late into the night, messages about 50% off deals and free delivery might not have quite the same effect. Do some market research to find out when your audience are likely to be most responsive to texts, for example during their lunch break or the commute home from work.

#5. Remaining Compliant:

Lastly, it’s vital to ensure that your marketing text messages comply with all rules and guidelines. For example, it’s crucial to always include a disclaimer regarding network charges any time you use a text call-to-action, which basically lets the recipient know that replying to the text message or clicking through to a link may incur text message or data charges on their plan, just like any other message or data use. You should also include a range of keywords in each SMS campaign. These include STOP, which recipients can text to opt out, HELP, and INFO, which can be used to receive the appropriate information. Including an option to opt out of text messages is extremely important and failing to do so could mean that you’re actually breaking the law.

Applying each of these best practices to your marketing campaign will ensure that it engages and builds trust with your customers.


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