SMS Marketing Best Practices: Tips for Creating Effective Campaigns

SMS Marketing Best Practices_ Tips for Creating Effective Campaigns

SMS marketing can be a powerful tool for reaching your audience quickly and effectively. But like any marketing strategy, it’s important to approach it with care and respect for your audience. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating SMS marketing campaigns:

Get Permission from Your Audience

Before sending any marketing messages, make sure that you have received explicit permission from your audience. This can include having them opt-in via a sign-up form or by sending a text message with a keyword

Asking for permission shows respect for your audience’s time and preferences and can lead to better engagement and results. 

Keep Your Messages Short and Sweet

SMS messages have a character limit, so it’s important to keep your messages brief and to the point. Make sure your message is easy to read and understand. Use concise language to get your point across. 

Remember, the goal of SMS marketing is to provide value to your audience in a quick and efficient way.

Personalize Your Messages

Use the recipient’s name or other personal information to make your message feel more tailored to them. This can help increase engagement and response rates. Personalization can go beyond just using their name, you can also include information like their previous purchases, preferences, or location to make the message more relevant to them.

Example: “Happy birthday [Recipient Name]! To celebrate your special day, we’re offering you 10% off your next purchase with us. Use code BDAY10 at checkout.” 

This message includes the recipient’s name and birthday, making it feel more personalized and tailored to them. By offering a birthday promotion, you can make your customers feel appreciated and valued, which can lead to increased loyalty and engagement. 

Include a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Make it clear what you want the recipient to do after reading your message, such as clicking a link, visiting a website, or making a purchase. 

The CTA should be concise, specific, and easy to understand. You can also use urgent language to create a sense of immediacy that can encourage action.

Example: “”Last chance to save on our exclusive sale! Use code SAVE25 at checkout to receive 25% off your purchase. Click the link to shop now!””

Send Messages at Appropriate Times

Consider the time of day and day of the week when sending messages to ensure that they are received at a time when the recipient is most likely to engage with them. 

Avoid sending messages too early or too late in the day, or on weekends when people may be busy with other activities. It’s better to send messages during regular business hours.

Here’s a handy little table you can reference:

Best day of the weekThursday-Saturday
Best days of the monthBeginning and end of the month, with the 13th being the best outlier
Best time of day12 PM to 1 PM
Best conversion rate8 PM with a 3.93% conversion rate

Test Your Messages Before Sending Them

Send test messages to yourself or a small group of people to ensure that your messages are displaying properly and are free of any errors. This can help you catch any mistakes before sending the message out to a larger audience. Also, consider testing different variations of your message to see which one works best.

Ask Customers to Opt-In to Receive Messages

SMS marketing texts are a two-way street, and they need to read that way from the first text you send to a new customer. 

Give all customers a clear option to either accept or reject future SMS messages right from the start of your interactions. If they respond in the affirmative, you can set up an autoresponder to send them a follow-up confirmation. 

Here are some ways you can ask customers to opt-in:

  1. Provide a short code or keyword for customers to text to a specific phone number to opt-in to your SMS messages.
  2. Use a pop-up on your website or mobile app that asks if customers would like to receive text message updates.
  3. Include a message on your receipts or order confirmations asking if customers would like to receive text message updates in the future.

Keep an eye on your affirmative versus negative response rates to see if you can tweak your messaging to encourage more opt-ins.

Identify Yourself

Customers need to know who the messenger is behind any SMS text message campaign, so make who you are clear. 

Other marketing channels offer far more up-front brand visibility than SMS marketing. 

With a text, all customers have to go off of at first is a seemingly random phone number, rather than a recognizable company email address or mobile app logo on their phones. 

Example: Hi [Recipient Name], this is Alex from Fresh Foods. Get 20% off on all fresh produce when you use the code FRESH20 at checkout. Shop now!

Offer Immediate Value

Use the immediacy of SMS marketing to offer your customers a sense of real-time value. Provide them with a timely call to action (CTA). 

For instance, you could announce a short-term discount on a new product or information about a flash sale. 

Example: Don’t miss out on our flash sale today only! Use code FLASHSALE10 at checkout to get 10% off your entire order. Shop now and save big!

Remember, the key to success is to provide value to your customers.

You can create a tailored offer page using OtterText, which enables you to monitor redemptions and refine your offers for optimal results.

Provide an Opportunity to Unsubscribe

Just as potential customers need to be able to opt in to initially receive text messages, current SMS subscribers need the option to stop receiving messages at any given point. 

Some SMS marketing platforms, such as OtterText, provide a built-in system that enables your customers to easily opt out at any time by simply texting the word “Stop”.

Ultimately, it’s better for both you and your customers to view SMS messages as welcome surprises instead of intrusive pop-ups. 

Respect Privacy and Security Concerns

Recognize that people are wary of clicking on links from random phone numbers. To encourage a better click-through rate, optimize your messaging to provide concrete proof you represent the company you say you do. 

Refrain from asking for credit card information or other transactional data via text. 

Also, it’s helpful to use an SMS marketing service like OtterText that allows you to send personalized messages for more trust.

Use Texts for Real-Time Updates

In your SMS marketing efforts, use this tool for its innate ability to offer time-sensitive updates and reminders. 

Your SMS marketing software can offer customers abandoned cart updates, appointment reminders, general notifications, order confirmations, and information about pricing changes. 

Real-time updates can be a game-changer for your customers, leading to more positive experiences with your brand.

Example: Hi, [customer name]! Just wanted to let you know your order has shipped. It should arrive in 2-3 days. Thanks for shopping with us!


SMS marketing can be a highly effective way to reach your audience and drive results. By following these best practices, you can create engaging and effective SMS campaigns that resonate with your customers and help you achieve your marketing goals. 

Here is a handy checklist of dos and don’ts you should keep in mind:

SMS Marketing DosSMS Marketing Don’ts
Get permission from your audienceSend messages too frequently
Keep your messages short and sweetSend irrelevant messages
Personalize your messagesUse slang or abbreviations excessively
Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)Forget to include opt-out instructions
Send messages at appropriate timesIgnore data privacy laws
Test your messages before sending themRely solely on SMS marketing

Ready to take your SMS marketing to the next level? Look no further than OtterText! Our versatile platform offers a range of features to help you reach more customers faster and easier than ever before.

With our custom opt-in web forms, mass group texting, text keywords, and the ability to schedule texts, you can easily create and send effective campaigns. Plus, with our auto-reply texts, two-way texting, and personalization options, you can engage with your audience in real time and build stronger relationships.So why wait? Sign up for OtterText today and get started with a free trial. You’ll be amazed at the impact SMS marketing can have on your business!