Effective SMS Marketing: Writing Texts That Sell

Email marketing has been the gold standard for businesses for well over a decade now, but recent years have seen these messages fading in popularity. In fact, because so many companies send out at minimum a weekly email blast about sales and promotions, many customers delete rather than even opening these messages, eventually turning them into spam trap fodder. To get through to customers, businesses need a new angle.


That’s where SMS marketing comes in. SMS marketing is low commitment, easy to opt into, can help direct users to apps, and is an ideal way to upsell when working with pre-existing customers. Most importantly, SMS is the preferred communication for most younger customers today.

Opening Up

One reason that SMS marketing is so much more effective than email is the open rate – how many people actually open and look at the message you’ve sent. With emails, that rate is 22% – and that could be up to several days later depending on how often your customers check non-work or urgent emails. Additionally. this number is even smaller if your company isn’t writing high-powered subject lines.

SMS messages, on the other hand, have a 98% open rate. Why waste your time sending messages that won’t get read, when you can virtually guarantee a receptive audience with SMS marketing?

The Marketplace Is Mobile

The largest growing sales sector over the last few years has been mobile sales, with purchases through mobile platforms steadily making gains over desktop shopping. And while customers can of course check their email from their cell phones and tablets, most won’t look through a long sales email on their miniature phone screen. The point of the message – the intended sale – needs to be more obvious.

Text messaging is much better aligned with the psychology of mobile sales, the desire of customers for immediate satisfaction, and the short burst engagement that mobile platforms are known for. When a customer opens a text that’s one or two sentences long and immediately offers a quick discount code if they make a purchase, they’re more likely to respond than if they have to navigate the longform email, peruse a sales flier, and act from there. The format and the platform are in alignment.

A Persistent Form

Finally, unlike email – which is definitely waning, even in a lot of professional contexts – text message use is only increasing. As of early 2016, most people said they were sending either as many or more text messages than a year earlier, even as other messaging apps multiply. SMS has a firm hold on marketshare and there’s no reason to think that its hold will be declining in the near future.

If you’re not currently using SMS to talk to your customers, it’s time to start reaching out. Remember – SMS marketing is permission based, so make sure to get customer permission to text them first, and offer an incentive to get them to sign-on. Making a small opening for this market today will quickly yield profits well beyond what email currently accomplishes.