21 SMS marketing examples to kickstart your strategy

Illustrated, decorative image featuring a person’s hands tapping the screen of their phone.

Sixty-five percent of consumers want a more personalized experience, and 33% are tired of being offered irrelevant products they’ve shown no interest in. Today’s marketers have to meet these needs with targeted, personalized campaigns that directly reach consumers. Enter SMS marketing.

SMS marketing is quickly becoming a critical part of every marketer’s toolbox. It lets you connect with consumers through one of their favorite channels. On top of that, today’s business texting platforms empower you to send contacts personalized messages at scale, adding that personal touch they crave.

Modern SMS marketing campaigns can result in jaw-dropping open, click-through, response, and engagement rates. For example, thirty-three percent of SMS recipients react to CTAs. But in order to achieve such impressive results, you have to create relevant and engaging campaigns.

SMS marketing is a new and evolving channel, however, so coming up with resonant message ideas can be a challenge. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 21 SMS marketing examples for a wide range of use cases and industries. In this guide, we’ll review:

  • What SMS marketing is and key benefits
  • Marketing SMS examples by use case
  • Examples by industry
  • Tips and best practices for running successful campaigns

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing, also called text message marketing, is the strategy of sending promotional messages that encourage leads and customers to take one more step toward becoming loyal customers.

Dictionary-style definition of SMS marketing: the strategy of sending promotional texts to leads and customers; also called text marketing or text message marketing.

SMS marketing falls under the umbrella of mass texting, which is sending text blasts to a list of recipients. (Mass texting is also called bulk texting.) Just as the terms “mass” and “bulk” suggest, these traditional texting strategies result in impersonal communications and are less effective for relationship-building.

Unlike its predecessor, SMS marketing focuses on sending hyper-personalized messages to segmented lists of contacts, and today’s texting platforms empower marketers to create that more tailored (and effective) approach. This modern form of SMS marketing is often called conversational marketing.

Benefits of SMS marketing

Today’s personalized SMS marketing is a game-changer, delivering outstanding results for businesses. Here’s what you can achieve with well-crafted text campaigns:

  • Strong opt-in rates. 55% of consumers are most likely to opt into healthcare texts, while 46% would opt into texts from e-commerce platforms or retailers.
  • High open rates. With its impressive 98% open rate, texting is one of the best ways to directly reach customers.
  • Fast delivery. Sixty percent of consumers read a text within 5 minutes of receipt.
  • Impressive click-through rates. Recipients aren’t just opening your texts and closing them immediately. SMS marketing click-through rates can be as high as 36%.
  • Astronomical response rates. If you’re leaning into the conversational approach, this stat is for you. Texts have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook.
  • Increased conversions. Thirty-three percent of SMS recipients react to CTAs in SMS marketing messages, and 47% of those recipients who react make purchases.

Illustration of the statistics introduced in this section.

The trick is figuring out how to create and send campaigns that resonate with your recipients. Let’s explore five of the best marketing SMS examples to learn how to create campaigns that hit the mark.

SMS marketing campaign examples by use case

Marketing texts come in all shapes and sizes, from friendly welcome texts to handy VIP reward reminders. Here are 15 SMS marketing examples of the most-used campaign types along with an example of each.

Text to join campaigns

A text-to-join campaign is the best way to increase your list size. This type of campaign actually starts on a different channel, like your website. You’ll share your SMS number and invite your audience to subscribe to your promotional messages by texting a specific keyword. Once they initiate contact, you can respond with a welcome text.


Welcome texts

Make a great impression on new leads, customers, or loyalty program members with welcome texts. In your welcome message, remind recipients what they signed up for and let them know they can message your team at any time for assistance.



Promotional messages are the backbone of text message marketing—after all, who doesn’t love a good deal? Sending promo codes or special offers can boost sales quickly. Include the relevant code and expiration date so recipients can take action quickly.


Flash sales and deals

Amp up the excitement of promotional texts through flash sales. Highlight the limited time window so your recipients feel the urge to start shopping ASAP.


Personalized product recommendations

Use data on customers’ past purchases to inform product recommendations. Send suggestions to small lists so you can craft hyper-specific messages.


Product drops and launches

Product launches are always one of the most exciting times for a business. Share launch updates to remind existing customers about your products and intrigue new leads.


Subscription updates

Help customers make the most of their subscriptions through SMS reminders. Keep them in the loop with service updates, new offerings, and action items.


Drip campaigns and lead nurture campaigns

SMS drip campaigns help you maintain relationships with leads and customers over time. For the best results, focus each campaign on a single event or product. Avoid sending texts too close together, though, or they might come across as spam.




Abandoned cart alerts

In today’s go-go-go world, it’s easy for leads to get sidetracked. Keep them focused with abandoned cart reminders. Be sure to extend a helping hand in case they’re stuck on a technicality.


Event invitations and RSVPs

Having an exciting opening, gathering, conference, or demo? Event invitations and reminders can pique leads’ and customers’ interest, induce FOMO, and boost attendance. In SMS examples for real estate marketing, you’ll notice that invitations are even more personalized than usual, given the tight-knit relationship between realtor and home buyer.



VIP service promotions

Encourage high-value leads and customers to use exclusive VIP services for enhanced engagement. Simplify access to both appointment scheduling and SMS-based services by promoting these services through texts.


Loyalty program reminders 

Customers who sign up for your rewards program are already impressed by your brand. And if they’re already impressed, it’s easier to encourage them to purchase from your brand again. Get the ball rolling with enticing SMS membership perk reminders.


Thank yous

Expressing gratitude through a simple thank-you message can have a big impact on customers. Sending these appreciative messages via SMS opens a direct line of communication, empowering them to reach out with questions and paving the way for future sales.



SMS surveys are a convenient way for customers to share feedback with your team. Use an automated chat-based survey for a more streamlined experience. Start with a number-based question for quick engagement, and your recipient’s response will trigger a follow-up question.

SMS survey text reading: Agent: Thanks for choosing Wilderness Water Bottles, Jonas! How did you feel about your new 32 oz bottle? Text a number 1 (not so great) to 5 (excellent) to let us know! Text STOP to unsubscribe. Jonas: 4 Agent: We’re glad you enjoyed your order. Can we do anything to make future orders even better?

Automated text messages

With automated text messaging, your team can send personalized texts each time customers reach significant funnel milestones—without having to send these messages one by one. For example, you might automate welcome texts to send when customers subscribe for promotional texts. You might also automate follow-ups if leads attend events.


Real-life SMS marketing examples by industry

Now you’ve got plenty of ideas for potential marketing campaigns. But what kinds of texts will work best for your specific company? Here are real-life text message marketing examples from five businesses in different industries.


eCommerce businesses use SMS marketing to quickly boost brand awareness and drive sales. Send abandoned cart reminders, stock alerts, and sale announcements to capture customers’ attention. Linking your texts to holidays and other well-known events (e.g., the Superbowl) infuses your message with a sense of relevance and timeliness. Below, check out how lingerie brand EBY uses Labor Day to introduce their sale.

Screenshot of an EBY text that reads “EBY: Happy Labor Day! Soak in the last rays of Summer and savings! Time is almost up to save up to 50% on your EBY order! https://eby.attn.tv/l/659/wcF7G”


Retail stores harness the power of SMS marketing to drive foot traffic and increase online sales. Their campaigns often mirror those run by eCommerce businesses. They also send event reminders and announcements for unique in-store promotions. Word Market’s promotional text for a buy-online-pick-up-in-store deal is a compelling example of this:

Screenshot of a World Market text that reads “EXTENDED! 20% off with Buy Online, Pick Up In Store. Use code STORE20. ENDS 9/6. Shop now: http://dgs.co/ybhktp”


SMS marketing is an invaluable tool for promoting events and demos. In B2B SMS marketing examples, you’ll notice that B2B messages can still be friendly and engaging. After all, you’re texting people, not brands. Note how Twilio spices up their SIGNAL conference promotion with emojis:

Screenshot of a Twilio text that reads “Hey SIGNAL crew! We’re gearing up for a fun and engaging conversation with Trevor Noah, Comedian and Host of The Daily Show, starting today at 12:30PM PT / 3:30PM ET. Be sure to join us online to experience what’s in store!”

Professional services

Boost audience engagement with SMS marketing. Share time-sensitive updates, paperwork reminders, and more to keep your audience informed and interested. Eagle Investors, for example, shares stock alerts with subscribers, while promoting additional services.

Screenshot of two Eagle Investor texts listing new stock alerts.

Higher education

SMS marketing is one of the best ways to reach and engage prospective students. Provide them with a convenient platform to ask questions through. Then, if they opt into updates, maintain a consistent presence to keep your institution top of mind. Take a page from Seminole State College’s SMS playbook, where they use texts to answer questions efficiently.

Screenshot of an initial text that says “Hi! I was wondering if you offer a music degree?” and a response that says “good morning, her is information on our music education: https://www.seminolestate.edu/music”

Getting started with SMS marketing

Now that you’ve got a clear idea of which campaigns suit your business, it’s time to put your plans into action. But launching an SMS campaign successfully involves more than just great ideas. In this section, we’ll walk you through the technical steps behind sending marketing texts—and how to run top-notch campaigns.

How to send marketing text messages

Here’s how to send a basic one-to-many text. It will send one time. If a recipient replies, that response will go straight to your team without any of the other recipients seeing it, protecting each individual’s privacy.

  1. Get the right tools. You’re looking for a versatile texting platform that lets you send personalized mass texts. It should also empower recipients to respond so you can form strong connections through one-on-one conversations. Explore these SMS marketing reviews to find a platform that best suits your needs.
  2. Select a list of recipients. The smaller you can segment your list, the better. Remember that your recipients are more likely to read highly targeted messages specifically relevant to them. It’ll be easier to customize messages if your recipients share common attributes, like spending patterns or locations.
  3. Craft your SMS template. Write the SMS marketing template that your texting platform will send. Include custom fields (like {{Name}} and {{Loyalty Status}}), and your SMS platform will automatically populate these fields with each recipient’s unique information in outgoing messages.
  4. Choose when to send your message. You can send your message immediately or schedule it for later.

Following these steps will set you up to send a basic SMS marketing text, like a one-time deal announcement or event reminder. After mastering this process, consider learning how to send automatic text messages to increase efficiency.

SMS marketing best practices

Now you know the basics of sending a marketing text. Here are ten SMS marketing best practices to ensure you’re sending an effective — and compliant — message:

Illustration of 10 SMS marketing best practices

  1. Comply with opt-in and opt-out regulations. It’s crucial to secure opt-ins before you text leads or customers—even if they’ve made purchases from your business before. You also need to include simple opt-out language in each message. Texting only opted-in recipients is a requirement for SMS compliance, and it ensures you’re messaging an engaged audience.
  2. Prioritize value. To boost read and response rates, focus on delivering messages that provide real value. While promotions and deals are important, balance your approach by sharing product tips, VIP service offers, and event reminders. (Just make sure your recipients agreed to receive those kinds of messages.)
  3. Use a casual yet professional tone. Texting is inherently casual, but you can’t forget that you’re representing a business. Maintain a friendly and polite tone, like you would with a neighbor. Avoid text abbreviations unless your audience is younger, and check messages for typos before you send—you can’t take back texts! You might even consider brushing up on texting etiquette before you send your first message.
  4. Include a CTA. SMS marketing is no different from, say, email marketing. You have to include a call to action (CTA) to prompt recipients to take next steps after reading your texts. Ask them to try a tip, take a poll, respond to a survey, or simply reach out for assistance.
  5. Personalize wherever possible. As we mentioned in the setup instructions, personalization is a game-changer. Target your messages to small lists of recipients, and include custom field information in your SMS templates. Each recipient will receive tailored messages, increasing click-through rates and responses.
  6. Spark conversations. Texting is naturally a conversational channel. Go with the flow, and invite your recipients to respond to your SMS marketing texts. If you receive a message better suited for another team, like customer service, your platform should make it easy to forward that message to them.
  7. Send at the right time. Send messages at the most convenient time for your recipients—typically during business hours. In the examples of SMS marketing messages, each message arrived during a standard 9-5 workday. Remember that the TCPA prohibits sending or scheduling texts to arrive between 9pm and 8am in your recipients’ time zone.
  8. Align with your overall marketing strategy. SMS marketing is most effective as part of a big-picture marketing strategy. Use it as an additional touchpoint. You can even create cross-platform campaigns that include texting as a part of a CRM workflow.
  9. Test and try again. Your SMS marketing strategy can always be improved. Don’t be afraid to create a campaign, check your reports to gauge success, then tweak your next campaign to see whether you can achieve even more impressive results. Your business text messaging platform should support iteration by offering campaign reports that track response rates, delivered messages, and unsubscribe rates.
  10. Ask for feedback. Surveys are an invaluable tool. (Especially the chat-based surveys we mentioned earlier.) Consider asking your list recipients or loyal customers what content they enjoy receiving—and what could use a makeover.

Unlocking SMS marketing’s full potential

SMS marketing is an effective tool for teams that want to reach their audience directly. By following our guidelines and taking inspiration from these SMS marketing examples, you can tap into the immense potential of this high-powered channel. Remember: ultimately, it’s personalized, relevant messages that will increase lead engagement and drive sales.

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