SMS marketing is a crucial part of any modern business’s strategy. Text messages have a high open rate, and they help your clients feel more connected to your business. Get a quick refresher on SMS marketing, then take a look at how businesses are using it today—from real-world examples to templates you can make your own. 

What Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing refers to sending SMS (short message service) texts for promotions. The term is used interchangeably with text marketing, although technically, text marketing can also include MMS (multimedia messaging service). In fact, many companies that say they use SMS actually use MMS, as they include multimedia.

Why do companies of all sizes use text messages for marketing? There are multiple reasons, including:

  • It’s incredibly fast
  • It has a high open rate (98%)
  • It has high response rates
  • It’s the preferred communication method of your customers
  • It’s easy to manage with the right software
  • It’s easy to set up
  • You can track results and make adjustments as necessary

Examples of Effective SMS Marketing

You don’t have to look hard to see plenty of examples of SMS marketing from businesses of all sizes. While the following examples mostly come from larger companies, they can easily be adapted for businesses of any size.

The Short List From USA Today

This is an innovative version of text marketing from USA Today. It is a daily SMS that summarizes the most popular stories of the day, complete with links to full stories.

text example - the short list


Stock Alerts From Eagle Investors

The way that Eagle Investors sends out stock alerts via text is a great example of how you can customize SMS marketing to fit your business model. This service from the broker is designed to help clients stay up-to-date with the market and make quick movements. But you could adapt it to your industry by sharing industry news or can’t-miss opportunities.


Eagle investors example
Image source:

Best of Target

This example from the nationwide retailer is a great example of how you can use text messaging to promote sales or specific products. It is a regular text with new releases and top deals.

Best of target example

Text Marketing Templates to Try

There is a long list of situations where SMS marketing can come in handy. The following are just some of the ways you can use this type of marketing.

  • Welcome texts
  • Announcing new products
  • Announcing flash sales
  • Announcing seasonal sales
  • Requests for surveys
  • Promoting social media posts
  • Providing general customer support
  • Confirming orders
  • Providing tracking information
  • Billing reminders
  • Appointment reminders
  • Booking appointments or reservations
  • Sending internal updates (such as hour changes)
  • Sending security codes

Now, take a look at some templates for these situations.

Welcome Message Template

These are the first messages that you send to someone once they sign up for your text marketing list.

→“Thanks for joining [Company]’s list! Look forward to receiving the best deals and latest products right in your text messages.”

Sales and Promotion Templates

This is easily among the most common situations where you will be using text marketing, so we’ve included several templates.

→“[Product] is on sale for a limited time! Click the link here to learn more.”

→“Thanks for being a loyal customer! Use the following coupon code [Code] to get 20% off on your next order.”

→“Get ready for a flash sale! Now until midnight, all [Category] are 50% off!”

→“Spend at least $15 and get free delivery on your order.”

→”We’re excited to announce our new [Product]. Learn more at the link.” 

Event Templates 

SMS messaging for events can include announcing events, sending reminders, or even offering a way to RSVP. 

→”Join us at [Bar] on [Date] at [Time] for half-priced cocktails.” 

→”[Company] is hosting a FREE webinar about [How to solve common client pain point]. RSVP at the link.”

Customer Loyalty Templates 

You can use your list of client phone numbers to boost customer engagement and loyalty. This can be as simple as making it a point to send SMS messages on client birthdays or providing updates on your loyalty program. 

→”Happy Birthday, [Name], from all of us at [Company]. Have a free drink on us tonight with the following coupon code [Code]. Just show this text to our waitstaff.” 

→”Happy Birthday, [Name]! To celebrate, [Company] is giving you 20% off your purchase today only. Enter coupon code [Code] at the checkout.” 

→”Thanks for being a member of our loyalty program at [Company]. You currently have 100 points, which is the equivalent of $10.00 off.” 

Transactional Templates

Transaction messages can include anything related to a product, from order confirmations to tracking to refund information.

→“Thanks for your order of [Product]. Your order is currently being processed with order number [Number]. Feel free to reach out with any questions.”

→“Your order number [Number] has shipped! Click the following link to track its progress to your home.”

→“You’ve received your [Product]. We hope everything is as expected. If you have any questions or need to return your item, respond to this message.”

Payment Templates

Payment templates can include both requests for payment and payment confirmation. It can even include automatic payment reminders.

→“This is [Company]. We’d like to remind you that you have a balance of [Amount] due on [Date].”

You can even take that next step further and include a link to pay.

→“For your convenience, click on the link to pay. [Link]”

For other payment situations, you may use templates like:

→“Thank you for your payment of [Amount] on [Date].”

→“This is a reminder that your payment of [Amount] will automatically be paid with the saved credit card on [Date].”

Appointment Templates

Your text marketing efforts may include appointment reminders and confirmations.

→“Thanks for scheduling an appointment with [Name] on [Date] at [Time].”

→“This is [Company]. We’re looking forward to seeing you on [Date] at [Time]. Reply to this text if you need to reschedule.”

→“This is [Dental practice name]. You’re due for another dental cleaning. Reply to this text, call us at [Number], or follow the link [Website] to schedule your next cleaning.”

You can also extend this to classes, workshops, or events. 

→”We can’t wait to see you at [Class] on [Date] at [Time]. If you won’t be able to make it, please respond to this message.” 

Company Update Templates

SMS campaigns can be a highly efficient way for small business owners to send updates about things like opening hours, offerings, or anything else.

→”Starting [Date], we will have summer hours! We’ll be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. every single day of the week.”

Important Tips for Text Marketing

For a successful SMS marketing campaign, you want to keep a few things in mind:

  • You must legally get an opt-in to send marketing texts
  • You must legally include the option to opt-out
  • Keep it short (SMS messages are limited to 160 characters)
  • Be concise but clear
  • Personalize with names when possible
  • Include a CTA

Get Started With Text Marketing

 Ready to dive in with SMS marketing campaigns? Getting started is easy. Podium offers software to streamline your text message marketing, as well as all of your other interactions with clients via text. With SMS messages, you will be reaching clients how they prefer to hear from you, resulting in a higher open rate and a better client experience. 

Start a free, no-strings-attached 14-day trial today.

Jono Andrews
Jono Andrews Group Manager of Product Marketing
Jono is a Group Manager of Product Marketing at Podium, the premiere marketing and communications platform that connects local businesses with their customers.  He loves to help local businesses see success in creating the best customer experience.

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