What is SMS Campaigns? Definition, Examples

SMS marketing is returning into the fold as an effective way to reach out to customers.

Jun 11, 2021 - By Adomas Sulcas


SMS marketing is returning into the fold as an effective way to reach out to customers.

Some years ago, most marketers had shelved SMS marketing campaigns as something only useful to very specific audiences or industries.

However, as we have previously outlined in our SMS marketing statistics post, this channel is incredibly effective across all industries and age brackets.

Think about your personal phone use. Most people will check their phone first thing in the morning. Additionally, they will often keep it around throughout the entire day.

That alone provides a strong incentive to create powerful SMS marketing campaigns as you will always be able to reach your customer with promotional material.

Of course, you should always apply a well-built strategy for SMS marketing campaigns to maximize your ROI. So, let’s dive into the different types of SMS marketing campaigns, their benefits and associated costs!

What is SMS Campaigns?

SMS campaigns are a lot like email marketing as the content will often be almost identical. You will always want to have something promotional or a general reminder included. There should always be a call-to-action. And they should be short and sweet.

An important difference, though, is that SMS messages are even shorter and there’s no visual content included. Other than that, everything else is mostly the same, except for the delivery method.

SMS Campaign Benefits and Costs

SMS marketing benefits are clear. They offer an extremely responsive and receptive channel for all marketing purposes. Due to their incredibly high open rate (up to 98%) and impressive click-through-rate (up to 36%), SMS marketing is often used in a wide variety of scenarios. A common application is for promotional offers, CPA marketing, important updates, scheduling, etc.

However, SMS marketing does have its associated costs. These are generally two-fold. One is quite obvious – you will have to pay some rate for each SMS message.

Additionally, you will most likely have to rent keywords to maximize effectiveness. Renting keywords means having a shared number where customers can text a word (say, “COFFEE”) to get promotional offers, updates, or opt-in. Of course, SMS marketing vendors might have other costs for using their software.

Bulk SMS Campaign

Bulk (or mass) SMS campaigns are one of the simplest and most well-known strategies. In essence, it’s simply sending the same message to as large an audience as possible. As SMS marketing is regulated by laws, usually the audience is limited to your client list or those who have opted-in to receive marketing offers.

Sending a bulk SMS campaign is quite simple. All you need to do, really, is prepare the copy for the message. Then use your preferred SMS marketing vendor to set up a bulk message to the selected client list. 

Mass SMS campaigns will blast the list with a single SMS message, therefore you should always pick the most suitable thing to market. For example, this strategy is used by ecommerce businesses to market new offers, travel agencies to show off new trips, and real estate companies to update potential buyers on new plots and buildings.

Promotional SMS Campaigns

Outside of bulk, there are other promotional SMS campaigns. These can widely vary between industries and business types but generally will be used to promote some limited time or otherwise desirable offer.

Real Estate SMS Marketing

As mentioned previously, these are generally used to promote newly acquired plots and buildings. However, there are other ways to use SMS marketing.

A powerful way to utilize SMS marketing is to reserve a keyword for each property and then set up a short explanation with important measurements.

That way potential buyers can text the keyword if they are interested in the property which essentially prospects leads for you.

For Restaurants

Restaurants and fast food chains like Subway, Pizza Hut and others have historically used SMS marketing to great effect. Since they sell mostly small ticket items (e.g. foods) it’s easy to get users opted-in by offering one free item. Then SMS marketing for restaurants and takeaways will heavily rely on sending promotional offers to keep the clients coming.

For Retail

In retail, SMS marketing will be utilized to drive shopping. The premise is simple – they get people to opt-in and send bulk campaigns for both special offers and brand awareness. Since retail has a strong affluence for brand-based marketing, SMS messages can be used to to expand the omnichannel strategy and maintain consumer attention on the brand.

For Fundraising

An infrequent use case for SMS marketing is for fundraising. Basically, since SMS messages have such high engagement rates for very little investment, they are the perfect choice for fundraising. They can also be utilized to increase fundraising event attendance by sending out reminders.

For Events

As mentioned above, it has been shown that sending reminders about appointments and events can increase attendance by nearly 67%!

Therefore, simply sending out reminders makes SMS marketing in this sphere more effective.

Automated SMS Drip Campaign

SMS drip campaigns are just like email drip campaigns. They are event-based setups that continually send marketing materials to your clients. Just that it’s done through SMS rather than email.

Drip marketing campaign automation has to be done through a dedicated provider. Smaller businesses might be able to get other campaigns running through simpler solutions that allow mass messaging.

However, drip campaigns need to have a wide variety of content delivered over a set amount of time to a dedicated audience. Basically, without a dedicated SMS marketing provider that supports drip campaigns this will be impossible.

SMS Campaign Advertising Examples

Many companies delegate their SMS campaigns for specific dates or events. These will often include well-known holidays like Halloween, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. Generally, marketing through holidays is easy as keywords can be reserved that are easily memorizable, in turn providing great returns.

However, businesses shouldn’t limit themselves to holidays for SMS marketing campaigns. Any opportunity is as good as any other for SMS marketing as it combines incredibly well with all other channels.

Basically, if you can use SMS campaigns to enhance your other channels, it’s a good enough reason to be sending text-messages.

SMS Campaign Metrics

As with any other marketing channel, tracking SMS campaign metrics to optimize performance is key. Since the read rate is so high by default (up to 97%), doing in-depth analysis on open rates of each campaign isn’t likely to bring much benefit.

Most important metrics to keep track of are:

  • Interaction rate. Tracking this metric will allow you to gauge how interested your audience is. It might not have anything to do with content, though, rather the accuracy of your targeting.
  • Unsubscribe rate. Tracking large changes in average unsubscribe rates can indicate you are spamming people with low quality or too much content.
  • Delivery rate. Points to general failure to deliver. While there may be carrier errors, finding out how many “dead” numbers you have and if you trip up spam filters will be key to continual SMS marketing success.
  • Conversion rate. Well, this one is obvious. Measure conversion rates to understand how effective your campaigns are.
  • Customer acquisition costs. Tracking customer acquisition costs will allow you to get a more accurate pointer on long-term channel performance.
  • Growth rate. This metric should always (optimally) exceed the unsubscribe rate. Otherwise, you are bleeding money over time as less active subscribers mean less bang for your buck from each SMS.

Start with Poweful Text Marketing Campaigns

All of the details we have outlined above should be more than enough for you to get started on your text marketing journey. Track the metrics, use the strategies, and you are on the path to successful text marketing campaigns.

If you are looking for more information about optimizing SMS marketing or other channels, read our other blog posts. We have plenty of posts on all types of marketing that will allow you to squeeze out the most out of each and every campaign!

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