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Paola Bergamini
26 January 2021
Reading time: 6 min.

11 SMS Marketing Tips for Small Business

If you look at the statistics, SMS messages get a whopping 98% open rate. They also have a 209% higher response rate as compared to a phone, email, or Facebook. No wonder it was estimated that 48.7 million people would opt to get business SMS messages in 2020.

These numbers clearly suggest that there are plenty of benefits when it comes to SMS marketing.

First, it’s a direct and immediate channel, plus it supports and integrates with other channels will enable you to learn more about your customers, and boosts customer engagement.

Aside from all these benefits, you can easily track its response data that will allow you to monitor, track, and advance your campaigns.

But for all these to happen, you need an effective SMS marketing strategy. Here are 11 SMS marketing tips that small business can follow:

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1.Request people to opt-in and instructions to opt-out

Though SMS messages have a high open and conversion rate, it will not happen unless recipients opt-in to receive your messages. And it is impolite to text people who didn’t permit you to contact them, regardless of whether they’re already your regular customers or not. In fact, the recipient might find unwarranted messages irritating and might even end up blocking your number.

By asking for permission to send SMS, you are showing how much you care about the privacy of your customers. Thus, send a text to only those who will be happy to receive SMS from your brand. This is also in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

Besides, make sure that you offer clear instructions for opting out, and the process to unsubscribe from your messages should be easy. You can leave a message like “Reply STOP to unsubscribe from receiving future texts” at the end of a text message and use software that supports the command and removes those subscribers from your list automatically.

2. Send precise and relevant texts

Your texts should be precise and relevant lest your customers dismiss them and unsubscribe from them. It will eventually happen if they don’t contain the content they want to see.

You can start with your business name, use a Call to Action button (if necessary), and avoid using complicated terms, abbreviations, or acronyms that will make the message hard to understand.

In case you wish to point out some terms, use CAPS without overdoing it. When announcing a sale, ensure to call attention to the categories of articles that you are selling and the amount of discount. Likewise, when announcing an event, include all details on that event and add a link to a video explainer.

Also, if your subscribers have signed up for a fortnightly deal, they should only receive fortnightly deals.

In case you have a remote team, you can offer effective remote training to your team on enterprise applications from wherever you are with Whatfix From Home.

3.Time your SMS properly

Ensure to send your announcements a little earlier before the scheduled time. For instance, if there is going to be a big sale, get that info delivered to your customers the evening before.

Also, don’t text late in the evening. You don’t want to be interrupting your clients. And if there is an evening event scheduled, you can make an announcement in the morning on the day of that particular event.

4. Don’t spam

No doubt your customers want regular valuable information and announcements, but it can quickly turn into spamming their inbox. Thus, you should contact your customers in the most appropriate time-frame. Marketing experts say that the frequency of sending out SMS messages differ from industry to industry. You can ask for advice for example to a team of experts like the one of MailUp and ask for a consulting service for free.

5. Shortcodes aren’t the best option

Shortcodes are used to deliver mass text messages to customers. They are five or six-digit numbers. The numbers are used for one-way communications, including two-factor authentication, marketing blasts, and alerts. However, the disadvantage of shortcodes is that they don’t offer two-way texting that is preferred by customers.

As per a survey, three out of four consumers say they feel unsatisfied when they are not able to reply to a text message sent by the company.

It is thus far better to send a text from your existing business phone number.

6. Images can lure your customer into taking action

Images can lure your customers into taking action and making your marketing campaign unforgettable. So use them whenever applicable.

If you are running a product promotion, you can add a photo of the product to your text message. Or else, create an attractive image to announce an upcoming sale. Images can especially come of help if you want to create an extra copy without taking up valuable character space.

MMS Marketing Example

7. Send automated drip campaigns through text

Drip campaigns can effectively keep active customers engaged as you continue to deliver high-quality and relevant content.

Making use of your increasing contact lists, you can send SMS drip campaigns to welcome and onboard clients, help your leads to stay engaged with the brand, start using sophisticated solutions, and leverage automation to communicate at scale.

When you send coupons in a drip campaign, for instance, you could send a 6% off coupon as soon as a subscriber signs up, a 15% coupon after two weeks, and a 25% off coupon after three months.

The longer they stay, the better the bonus. Thus, you are incentivizing the desired action.

8. Use SMS keywords for opt-ins

Implementing SMS keywords is a great tactic to get more SMS subscribers. SMS opt-in works as it can help you to re-engage with your customers even after they leave your site. Moreover, the results from SMS marketing will improve leaps and bounds when you implement it.

9. Set up Live agent alerts

You can set up Live agent alerts so that they can jump in anytime a customer needs to converse to a real human. As you send out SMS blasts and SMS drip campaigns, your customers may carry on with the conversation.

Using a multi-channel customer support inbox, your team can also see conversations that require follow up and join conversations.

10. Send reminders and confirmations through text

As per consumers, SMS is the most convenient way to stay connected with service providers and businesses. It is said that 67% of people would instead communicate via text with businesses about appointments and scheduling than via email or phone.

Moreover, short and useful messages like appointment reminders, billing reminders, and booking confirmations could easily get lost through email.

11. Gather feedback and data

It is a great idea to end a welcome text or drip sequence with a survey or poll.

Chat drip marketing offers you a channel for real-time feedback from prospects or clients.

If you can create a survey within your drip campaign, you will get to know better about your audience member and also what they need.


One of the main reasons small business implements SMS marketing is because it is effective. As a matter of fact, small business owners don’t have a lot of time or resources to invest in marketing.

Thus, they look for ways to reach their customers directly. Automated text messaging comes to their rescue.

It not only is a low cost, but texting makes it simple for small business owners to implement a marketing strategy on their own.

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Paola Bergamini

I was born in 1993 in Como and I escaped from this little town to study in Milan, where I graduated in 2017 in philosophy. I've always been interested in marketing and communication and I love writing and reading. As Content Editor at MailUp, I try to keep up to date with Email and Digital Marketing news, in order to share trends, theories and tools about this constantly evolving sector.

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