SMS Marketing Services | Ultimate Guide To Mass Text Marketing 
SMS marketing services are the most direct and personal form of marketing. With high engagement and potential for a huge ROI, you can easily integrate it into your existing communication strategy.
Fortunately, with a mass texting service, text message marketing is easy. Just add your contacts, segment them into groups, write your SMS message, and send.
Given its effectiveness and simplicity, let’s take a deeper dive into text message marketing services. This way, you can learn what it is and how you might be able to use it for your business or organization.
In this guide, we’ll cover types of SMS marketing services, its benefits, best practices, examples, and how to get started.
What Is An SMS Marketing Service?
An SMS marketing service is a marketing strategy in which you promote your product or service with bulk text messages. For example, you might send out promotional messages, discounts, offers, or alerts to groups in your contact list.
This marketing strategy is especially effective because you can reach customers at their most personal point of communication: their mobile phones.
With the immediate visibility of text messages, it’s also a great way to ensure your message is opened and read.
Whether you’re looking to request customer feedback or send out discount code, SMS marketing is a powerful business tool.
SMS Marketing vs MMS Marketing
The difference between SMS and MMS marketing is that MMS messages can include multimedia elements. This might include an image, video, or audio file.
Meanwhile, SMS messages can only send text-based messages. So, you can’t send multimedia directly. Instead, you’d need to send a link to the image or video and host it through a third-party service.
The benefit of MMS marketing is that recipients can see multimedia directly in their native phone app. This is because, like SMS messages, MMS texts are sent over a cellular network.
On the other hand, an SMS marketing service is good for simply and concisely communicating information though words. It’s also typically cheaper than MMS.
Is SMS Marketing Illegal?
Mobile SMS marketing is legal, but you must comply with laws and regulations. While these can vary from state to state, explicit consent and opt-ins are typically the baseline.
The United States has mass texting laws in place to protect consumers from spam and scams.
If you fail to gain consent from your recipients and send unsolicited messages, you could face penalties and fines. Fortunately, DialMyCalls offers SMS keywords, making it easy for people to opt-in to receiving your messages.
Types of SMS Marketing Services
There are lots of different ways you can incorporate SMS marketing services into your business strategy.
Whether you want to send customers targeted offers, request feedback, or provide updates, bulk texting is the perfect solution.
To make sure you’re complying with laws and regulations, the first SMS marketing text you should send is an opt-in request. This gives you consent to send recipients future promotional messages.
Not only does this help you follow the law, but opt-ins mean you’re building a list of contacts that are legitimately interested in your business. After all, there’s no sense in sending people messages if they’re not really interested.
Ultimately, a list of engaged recipients builds the foundation for future SMS marketing success. Simply use DialMyCalls’ SMS keywords feature, and start building your list.
Here’s an example of an opt-in request text:
“Welcome to [Brand]! Reply ‘YES’ to subscribe to our exclusive deals and updates via SMS. Reply STOP to end.”
Deals, Discounts, and Coupons
Once you’ve got some customers opted-in to your list, you can start sending promotional SMS marketing texts. Deals, discounts, and coupons are all excellent incentives for driving sales. For example, you might send an SMS saying something like:
“Flash Sale Alert! Get 50% off your next purchase. Use code FLASH50 at checkout. Offer valid till midnight. Reply STOP to end.”
You might even consider separating your contacts into multiple groups to send more targeted offers. For example, you could segment your audience based on their purchase history, sending exclusive discounts on items related to their past buys.
Customers who recently bought running shoes might appreciate a 20% off coupon for athletic wear. Meanwhile, those who purchased skincare items could benefit from an offer on related beauty products.
Such targeted promotions not only increase the likelihood of a sale, but also enhance the customer’s experience by providing them with relevant deals.
Since DialMyCalls’ contact management software offers unlimited contact groups, you can create separate groups for other situations too. For example, you could create groups for your most consistent customers, and send targeted loyalty discounts.
Overall, this is a great strategy for improving customer retention and strengthening brand affinity.
For example, you could send an SMS message saying something like:
“Thanks for being a loyal customer! Use code LOYAL20 for an exclusive 20% off your next order. Reply STOP to end.”
Contests & Giveaways
SMS marketing services are also great for promoting contests and giveaways. These strategies are a great way to boost engagement and improve your brand’s visibility. When word spreads about your contest, it can also help grow your subscriber list.
Consider giving away a year-long subscription to your service or a free bundle of products in a raffle. People can simply text your SMS keyword and enter for a chance to win.
You can also incorporate other digital marketing strategies, like spreading the word on your social media pages or running paid ads.
Your message may look something like this:
“Enter for a chance to WIN a free getaway! Reply ‘TRIP’ to participate. T&C apply. Reply STOP to end.”
Collecting feedback from customers can help your business in a multitude of ways.
For one, it’s an excellent way to learn about your product or service and what you can do to improve. Additionally, it’s a great tool for understanding customer sentiment and enhancing the overall customer experience.
DialMyCalls has a text polling and survey feature that makes collecting feedback a breeze. For example, you could send a message saying something like:
“We value your opinion! Rate your recent purchase on a scale of 1-5. Or visit [link] to leave a detailed review. Reply STOP to end.”
Alerts and Notifications
One more way to make use of an SMS marketing service is sending customers alerts and notifications. For instance, you can keep recipients informed of updates to your product, or send abandoned cart reminders.
Ultimately, using alerts and notifications is a great strategy for keeping customers informed, ensuring transparency, and even closing sales.
One great example of using alerts and notifications for SMS marketing is for expiring subscriptions. For instance, you might write something like:
“Your monthly magazine subscription will renew in 3 days. Ensure your account has sufficient funds to avoid any disruption. Reply STOP to end.”
Why Should You Use SMS Marketing Services?
Text message marketing services have some unique advantages compared to other forms of digital marketing.
After all, since most people have their phones on them at almost all times, it’s the perfect way to reach your contacts.
So, let’s dive into why you should use SMS marketing.
Direct and Personal
Since our system sends SMS messages instantly, you can ensure recipients see your marketing campaigns immediately. This is especially important for tactics like flash sales, where time is of the essence.
Additionally, text messaging is a more intuitive and personal form of communication. This means your message is less likely to go unseen and get buried, unlike email and other marketing strategies.
Short and Concise
Since SMS messages have a character limit and can’t send multimedia, it forces you to write concisely. While this might seem frustrating, it’s always best to communicate as briefly, clearly, and directly as possible.
However, if you do want to send other elements in your texts, like photos, videos, and audio, you should check out MMS messaging. This allows you to distribute multimedia directly in your message, without needing to link to a third-party host.
SMS messages have a 98% open rate, and most recipients open them within just three minutes of receipt. So, if you’re looking to increase customer engagement, this can be a powerful tool.
If you set up two way text messaging, you can even create a direct line of communication with your audience. You’ll be able to both send and receive SMS texts, opening up new possibilities for your marketing efforts.
Lots of Applications
We’ve already mentioned some use cases for SMS marketing services, but the truth is you can use it in tons of different ways. The only limit is your own creativity!
Whether you’re trying to entice new customers to buy your product with a new product announcement, or looking to improve brand loyalty with targeted offers, there’s an application for you.
Combine With Other Marketing Strategies
While an SMS marketing service is powerful on its own, you can really take your game to the next level by combining it with other marketing strategies.
For example, to get people to opt-in to your list, you might start content marketing by creating a blog. Then, you can include instructions in your post for readers to opt-in to your list to receive special deals, or even useful resources.
While you can use other forms of marketing to funnel customers into your SMS channel, you can also do the opposite. For instance, you might send a text containing a link to your latest social media contest or giveaway to your contacts.
Ultimately, the best digital marketing strategies are able to harness the power of multiple channels to create a holistic plan.
Analytics & KPI Tracking
Finally, SMS marketing analytics are helpful because they let you understand what is and isn’t working. You can also run A/B tests, sending different versions of the same text to two separate groups and comparing the results.
In fact, you can track various SMS marketing performance benchmarks and KPIs, like list growth, redemption rates, conversion rates, unsubscribes, and lots more.
What Businesses Can Use SMS Marketing Services?
Just about any type of organization can take advantage of text message marketing services. However, some strategies are better suited to certain industries than others.
Below, we discuss different types of businesses using SMS marketing, and the best strategies for finding success. Just keep in mind that you’re not limited to these ideas, so feel free to get a little creative!
Ecommerce SMS Marketing Services
There’s no shortage of ways online retailers can make use of text messages in their marketing campaigns.
Some of our favorite SMS marketing strategies for ecommerce businesses include:
- Cart Abandonment Reminder: If customers leave products in their cart before checking out, you can send them a text reminder to complete their purchase.
- Exclusive Deals: Send special discount codes to everyone, or just a specific contact group. This is especially effective for time-sensitive flash sales.
- Product Launches: Releasing a new product? Let your customers know via SMS, or send a survey requesting feedback prior to launch.
- Order Confirmations: If you want to let customers know they’re purchase has been successful, consider setting up order confirmations and shipping updates.
Real Estate SMS Marketing Services
If you’re looking to sell a home or property, quick and direct communication is key. This is why texting is such a great tool to incorporate into your real estate business.
SMS marketing strategies for real estate could include:
- Property Listings: If you have a list of potential buyers, you can share new property listings or open house schedules with them.
- Real Estate Inquiries: With two way texting, potential buyers can contact you directly when you include your number on a property listing.
- Follow-ups: After showing a property, you can follow up directly with potential buyers via SMS.
Retail SMS Marketing Services
While SMS marketing services for retailers are often similar to ecommerce, brick-and-mortar retailers can utilize texts in even more ways.
For example, they can use the following strategies:
- In-store Events: One of the best advantages of traditional retail over ecommerce is that it utilizes physical space. If you have an in-store event coming up, let your contacts know via SMS.
- New Arrivals: Did you receive a shipment of the hottest and latest products? Then keep your customers in the loop by alerting them with a text message.
- Restocks: If people recently came into your store for a specific product but you were out of stock, let them sign up for an alert when it’s available again.
Healthcare SMS Marketing Services
Healthcare facilities like hospitals, doctors’ offices, and more can also make use of text message marketing services.
Here are some of the best use cases of healthcare SMS marketing:
- Appointment Reminders: Appointment reminders are key for helping patients remember to come in. After all, reducing no-shows is important due to their financial impact and to maintain existing schedules.
- Patient Feedback: Send patients a survey after each appointment to learn how your facility can improve its services, and where you’re succeeding.
- Health Tips: Let patients opt-in to receive daily or monthly health tips. This can help patients live healthier lives, and improve the patient-provider relationship.
Nonprofit SMS Marketing Services
Though nonprofits aren’t really businesses, they still need to market their cause effectively. Fortunately, text messages can help you connect with your donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders.
For example, you can use nonprofit SMS marketing in the following ways:
- Updates: Keep your contact list up-to-date with ongoing charitable activities and how your organization is making a difference.
- Donation Requests: Send a link to your donation page directly to your previous donors.
- Event Coordination: Have a fundraising event coming up? Then consider sending your contacts an SMS event invite, or use volunteer outreach alerts to recruit volunteers.
Restaurant SMS Marketing Services
Text messaging is a great tool for restaurants to keep their customers up to date on their menu and share special offers. With so much competition in the food industry, getting creative with SMS can have a huge impact.
Here are some restaurant SMS marketing strategies to consider implementing for your business:
- Loyalty Discounts: Let customers opt-in to your list so they can receive exclusive offers.
- Reservations: Send recipients reservation reminders directly to their phones. Or, you can accept reservations by enabling two way texting.
- Special Offers: Update customers on weekly specials at the beginning of the week. Or, keep them in the loop on a weekly offer, like a $1 taco night that changes days every week.
Car Dealership SMS Marketing Services
Car dealerships have lots of competition to deal with, but incorporating text messages can help separate your business from all the others.
Some of the best SMS marketing strategies for car dealerships include:
- Service Reminders: A large share of car dealerships’ revenue is generated by their parts and services department. So, remind customers to bring their car to the dealership for regular maintenance. You may even consider adding a discount code to your reminder.
- Customer Feedback: With the two way texting feature, you can easily request feedback through surveys or reviews. Knowing where you’re succeeding and where there’s room for improvement is key to growing a better business.
- Special Offers: Like many of the other types of organizations on this list, car dealerships can also make use of special offers. For example, you might offer end-of-year clearance discounts. You can even segment your audience into groups based on their model or vehicle preference to send targeted messages.
SMS Marketing Services For Other Organizations
We’ve already mentioned quite a few types of businesses and organizations that can take advantage of SMS marketing services. However, the truth is that virtually anyone who needs to promote something can make use of texting.
For example, churches can send recurring inspirational messages or event notifications to improve recipients’ connection to the church.
Meanwhile, sports leagues can send teams reminders to sign up, and teams can send players or their parents information about upcoming tryouts.
These are just a few examples. Whether you’re running a government agency or small social club, you can find a use for SMS marketing.
How To Use SMS Marketing Services
Getting started with an SMS marketing service is super simple. Below, we walk you through each step for sending out your first campaign.
1. Build Your Contact List
After signing up for DialMyCalls’ SMS Marketing service, you’ll need to either import your contacts or collect opt-ins to build your list.
For importing contacts, you can either add them manually, add them from a spreadsheet, or integrate with a third-party CRM.
Alternatively, you can share an SMS keyword that contacts can text to your number. Once people opt-in, you can automatically add them to a contact group based on the keyword they send.
2. Segment Your Audience
Once your list has some contacts, you can segment those contacts into different groups. This allows you to send targeted messages to the right people.
For example, you can separate contacts based on the product they expressed interest in. If you’re a mobile phone retailer, you can segment your audience into contacts interested in Apple phones, Android phones, and other products.
If you’re building your list with SMS keyword opt-ins, you can tell contacts to text the keyword “Apple” or “Android”, and our system can automatically add them to the appropriate group.
3. Write Your Message
Now that your contact list is growing and segmented into groups, you’re ready to write your first message.
Be sure you think about the type of campaign you want to send before crafting your message. In other words, ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your texts.
For example, are you sending discount codes in order to entice customers and drive sales? Or, do you want recipients to provide feedback on your latest product design so you can make tweaks to it?
Since the possibilities are virtually endless with SMS marketing, it’s important that you establish a clear goal for your messages.
4. Schedule or Send Your Text Messages
After determining your goal and writing your message, you’re ready to send it to your contact list.
To do this, you have a few options. For example, if you want to communicate as soon as possible, you can choose to send your text immediately.
Alternatively, you can schedule your text to go out at a particular time. For instance, if you want to run a flash sale on Wednesday from 12 PM to 5 PM, you may want to schedule your message to go out early Wednesday morning.
Finally, you can even schedule messages to go out based on a certain trigger. For instance, if someone texts a keyword to your number to opt-in, you can set up an automated text welcoming them to your list.
5. Monitor Analytics
Finally, after you send your message you can track important data and KPIs.
For example, if you have a small contact list, you can track your list growth and try to implement strategies to drive opt-ins.
On the other hand, if you have a large list, you may want to focus more on benchmarks like conversion rates.
If you find you have a low conversion rate, you may want to think about tweaking your sales-oriented messaging, or how you can better entice potential customers to convert.
Overall, tracking analytics is the best way to understand what areas you need to improve, and which strategies are working.
SMS Marketing Best Practices
Before diving into your first SMS marketing campaign, you should review industry standards and ethical guidelines. This will help you use this powerful marketing tool both effectively and responsibly.
Below, we provide a brief overview of some of the most important SMS marketing best practices.
Perhaps the most important thing to do when putting together an SMS marketing campaign is to get permission from your recipients.
Remember, it’s illegal to send unsolicited marketing materials via text message without permission. If you fail to follow this rule, you could face fines and penalties.
While you may think consent might get in the way of building a bigger list, it’s vital that you follow the law. Additionally, gaining consent ensures your recipients are actually interested in receiving your communications.
After all, it’s better to have a small list of highly-engaged recipients than a large list of people who completely ignore every message.
Provide An Opt-Out
Going along with consent and permission, providing an opt-out option is also important. While laws vary from state to state, opt-out options are often a legal requirement for SMS marketing services as well.
Like getting explicit permission from recipients, providing opt-outs is also better for your business. Since customers aren’t forced to receive your messages, you can maintain a healthy list of people that are actually interested in your messages.
Again, there’s no sense in sending marketing materials to people who don’t want them.
Avoid Marketing Fatigue
While an SMS marketing service does give you the ability to send as many text messages to customers as you want, more isn’t always better.
If you bombard recipients with messages, they could get “marketing fatigue” because you’re overwhelming them with texts. If this happens, they may decide to opt-out of your communication entirely.
So, be sure to develop your strategy ahead of time, and keep your volume of messages to an acceptable level.
Pick An Appropriate Time To Send
Be sure to use common sense when developing your text message marketing strategies.
For example, don’t send messages late at night or too early in the morning when your recipients aren’t awake. You want your recipients to see your message as soon as it’s sent.
So, unless you’re in a particular niche where you can reach your audience at strange hours, send your texts during normal waking hours.
Additionally, if you’re having a promotion like a flash sale, be sure to give potential customers ample time to make their purchase. While you do want to encourage a sense of urgency, they still need to consider and buy the product or service.
Write Concise And Direct Messages
Finally, it’s key to keep your messaging clear and concise. Fortunately, SMS has a character limit of 150-160 characters, so you’ll have to be succinct.
You should try to communicate your message in just one text. After all, sending multiple texts could overwhelm the recipient, causing them not to engage with your message.
Additionally, your text should get directly to the point by including a strong call to action.
So, ask yourself what you want your SMS to do. Are you trying to send a discount code to encourage sales? Then cut to the chase with a short message saying something like:
Hi [@FirstName]! Get 20% off with code LUNA20! Valid till [date]. Shop at lunasboutique.com. T&Cs. Reply STOP to opt out.
The example above gets to the point straight away and gives the recipient all the info they need to redeem the discount. It’s also personalized with a first name variable, and provides an opt-out option at the end.
Examples of SMS Marketing
Promotional Offer SMS
Event Reminder SMS
Product Launch SMS
Loyalty Program SMS
Feedback Request SMS
Appointment Reminder SMS
Exclusive Content SMS
Is An SMS Marketing Service Worth It?
An SMS marketing service can certainly be worth it, and it has huge potential to improve your promotional strategies. In fact, one company found that their average ROI on text message marketing was 500%.
Since text messages have such a high and fast open rate, most of your contacts will almost always see them within minutes. Texts are also a very personal form of communication, allowing you to build a better relationship with your audience.
Finally, you can easily integrate text message marketing into your broader marketing strategy. By combining the power of SMS marketing with social media, blogs, and more, you can supercharge your efforts.
Read More About SMS Marketing
Want to learn even more about SMS marketing services? Then check out some of these additional resources below, where we take a deeper dive so you can become an expert.
Of course, if you’re ready to try your hand at SMS marketing, consider signing up for DialMyCalls today. After all, sometimes the best way to learn is to just dive in and get started!
Getting started with SMS marketing is simple. Check out this article to familiarize yourself with the basics and prepare to send your first message.
Ready to send your SMS marketing campaign message? This article walks you through the process step-by-step.
Looking for more inspiration on how you can implement SMS marketing for your business? Read this article to discover some new ideas.
It’s only natural to make a few mistakes when you try out a new marketing strategy. Check out this article to learn common mistakes to avoid.
Wondering how much SMS marketing costs? Then check out this article to discover what kind of ROI you could achieve.
It’s key to stay up to date on the latest SMS marketing trends so you can implement successful strategies in your campaigns. Read this article to discover how to take things to the next level.
While both are effective strategies, SMS marketing offers a host of benefits that email marketing doesn’t. Check out this article to discover why text messages are a powerful alternative to email.