9 SMS Marketing Examples That Actually Worked
by Ana Gotter • March 3, 2023
When you click on a pop-up asking you to share your email for that much-beloved 15% off first-time-customer discount, have you noticed that more brands are now also asking for your phone number?
There’s a good reason for that. Email marketing is still overwhelmingly powerful and a priority, as it can be used to nurture leads and sales (including repeat sales!) over a long period of time.
But SMS is increasingly important, too.
SMS marketing allows you to send texts to your contacts who have opted-in, announcing new products, features, or deals that they can’t miss! It’s becoming a more prevalent and increasingly valuable aspect of marketing.
So, today we will look at some SMS marketing examples, including five examples from our team here at Disruptive Advertising (thanks Allie Oates for your hard work!) that actually worked.
Why You Need SMS Marketing for Your Brand
SMS marketing is invaluable for businesses across all industries (especially eCommerce), including service-based businesses. You can reach users with text alerts that they’re practically programmed at this point to check, associating the sound with a message from friends or family.
You can deliver personalized, highly targeted messaging thanks to the many incredible SMS platforms available today, giving you one more very direct way to stay in touch with contacts and customers.
Super cool, right?!
And in case that explanation isn’t enough, take a look at these SMS marketing statistics:
- Email marketing has an open rate of around 20%, while SMS marketing has an average open rate of 82% (that’s insane!)
- 90% of customers in a study by SMS Comparison said that they find value from loyalty programs made through text
- 75% customers in the same study said they’d like special offers sent to them through text messages
- 96% of marketers using text messages said it helped them increase revenue
5 SMS Marketing Examples That Actually Worked
We talked to different team members here at Disruptive Advertising to hear about some of their winning SMS campaigns. Let’s take a look at five of the examples they shared.
1. DECIBULLZ: LABOR DAY SALE
Decibullz sells custom-molded ear plugs and earphones, and they had a big Labor Day sale.
Their goal with this particular campaign was to convert more users through SMS in order to reach a larger percentage of their audience during their high-impact sale event. It worked in tandem with their email efforts to capture more audience members and increase sales.
This was the message they shared:
The Result: 12% click rate and $280 in revenue. Not bad for a single text message.
2. BABYFACE®: FLASH SALE
Babyface® creates natural skin care products, and wanted to create a dedicated (and separate) strategy for SMS subscribers designed to promote engagement and loyalty.
This is a smart move, as many users love getting exclusive offers or loyalty perks through SMS messaging. ‘Exclusive’ is the a key phrase here; it can make your customers feel “included” and increase the odds of purchase while boosting brand loyalty.
We sent a “secret sale” only to SMS subscribers that would give them 15% off their next purchase. This offer was distributed exclusively through SMS and not email, which can help keep users subscribed for your SMS list.
This is the text our team created:
The Result: 16% click rate and $560 in revenue with only 750 SMS subscribers.
3. DOOMLINGS: LAST CALL REMINDER
Looking for marketing SMS examples that leverage urgency to drive results? This one from Doomlings is a create call.
Doomlings is a card game, and they wanted to give their SMS subscribers a “last call” reminder of a current sale. The idea was to create a sense of urgency to drive last-minute purchases since the sale was ending soon.
Remember to keep things short and concise with a simple call to action for “last call” messages for best results. You can see how we did it here in this text message marketing example:
The Result: $1,500 in revenue was generated on the last day of the sale alone!
4. ELUXURY: ABANDONED CART FLOW
They wanted to convert more users at a higher rate using dynamic copy that was personalized to the individual user seeing the message. So, we set up an abandoned cart flow specific to each SMS subscriber. The SMS message would include the subscriber’s name, cart contents, and a customized link back to their cart.
Personal, friendly, and short are essential here.
Since this particular SMS marketing example isn’t just for a single sale, the team kept it on an ongoing basis.
You can see an example of what this looks like here:
The Result: A 22% click rate on abandoned cart SMS messages, as opposed to a 4% click rate for the email subscribers.
5. WEAREVER’S LIST GROWTH
When we’re looking at SMS campaign examples, it’s important to look beyond the actual text messages themselves. List growth is an important part of the equation here, which is why we’re going to look at Wearever.
Wearever sells incontinence products to adults, and a big part of their audience is older adults who may not be as familiar with SMS marketing compared to younger adults.
So when we first introduced SMS marketing to Wearever, the immediate need focused on growing the subscriber list. We started by sending an email campaign to their existing email subscribers with an incentive to sign up for SMS, positioning the new platform as a “life saver” since you’ll never miss a sale again.
It’s important to explain why users should sign up, and what they get from it. Exclusive access to new products, never missing a sale, or loyalty perks. Offer incentives as it makes sense, whether it’s the promise of ongoing sales or a first-time discount upon subscribing.
And of course, make signing up easy, with no more than one or two steps.
See the email that we sent here:
The Result: 500 SMS subscribers generated from the single email campaign featured above.
5 Marketing SMS Best Practices to Follow (With Examples!)
Looking for a few more examples of SMS marketing? We’ve got you covered.
We’re going to share a few more tips to keep in mind, along with SMS campaign examples that show them in practice.
1. PERSONALIZE YOUR MESSAGES
We touched on this in one of the examples above, but we want to stress it again: Send segmented, personalized messages as a core part of your SMS marketing strategy.
Add the user’s name. Update them about an abandoned cart. Show them items that they’d love based on past purchases or activity.
I received the SMS message in the example below announcing a limited edition color of a hoodie I had previously purchased in a different color. It was personalized to me.
(And bonus: check out the “last four new colors sold out in twelve hours” urgency they’re pushing!).
2. KEEP THEM SHORT
Short and sweet is the way to go for SMS messages. This is a tip that our account managers shared with us again and again.
Ideally, stick to a single CTA and link and showcase a single product (or category of products, like the example below), or sale.
3. LEVERAGE SCARCITY & URGENCY
Us marketers love scarcity and urgency, and for good reason: They’re powerful selling tools when used correctly.
Scarcity reminds customers that inventory may run out, while urgency stresses that time might run out.
The SMS marketing example below leverages urgency extraordinarily successfully, reminding users that “It’s crunch time” with a major holiday only a few days away, and attaching a last-minute discount for good measure.
4. TEST VISUALS
Want to increase user attention after they click to open your SMS message? Consider adding visuals like images or GIFs to the message. This is particularly valuable for eCommerce brands who want to showcase specific products to drive sales.
5. DON’T SEND TOO MANY MESSAGES
No examples for this one, but it’s a straight forward tip.
Don’t spam users every day (or even every other day) with SMS messages. They’ll get overwhelmed and annoyed and unsubscribe.
How often you send SMS messages to individual users will depend on your overall strategy, but sending no more than one or two messages per week is often a good move.
The marketing text message examples we’ve looked at above are all real SMS campaign examples that showcase how to reach your audience successfully on a new platform. Whether you want to announce a new sale, foster a loyalty program, or reduce abandoned carts, SMS marketing can help.
Need help with your SMS marketing? We offer strategic development and campaign creation for our clients. Learn more about our SMS services here.