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How to Write Winning Promotional SMS Messages (+ Examples)

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When it comes to promoting your business and reaching more potential customers, promotional Short Messaging System (SMS) messages should be in every owner, sales rep, and marketer’s toolkit. At their core, promotional messages are ads sent via text message to your clients to alert them of upcoming sales, discounts, and offers. 

Globally, texts have a 98% open rate, and 50% of consumers have been persuaded to make a purchase through a promotional SMS message. So, if you’re not already utilizing them to market your products and services, you’re missing out on a prime promotional platform.

This guide will unpack promotional texts to highlight their effectiveness, use cases, and best practices. Whether you’re a digital marketer, entrepreneur, or working in a commercial enterprise, advertising via SMS is your ticket to increased engagement, interest, and profit.

What is Promotional SMS?

A promotional SMS can be any text message advertising some aspect of your business. They can promote products, services, sales, discounts, or anything else you offer.

Promotional SMS messages are perhaps the best way to reach customers as they’re well-received, quick, and worth every dollar you invest. By the numbers, promotional SMS campaigns:

  • Generate $71 in revenue for every $1 businesses spend on them
  • Are the preferred method of learning about deals and offers for 91% of consumers
  • Increase sales for 96% of marketers that give them a try
  • Boast a Click-Through Rate (CTR) of nearly 20% versus email’s paltry 4.2% (we’ll touch more on this important metric later in the guide)  
  • Are only opted out of by about 5% of consumers

Since promotional SMS messages are so effective, economical, and exciting for consumers, you may be tempted to utilize them en masse to reach your contacts on a consistent basis. Overusing promotional texts, however, can cause frustration amongst recipients and nearly half of consumers report they’ve been annoyed by overzealous SMS campaigns in the past.

We’ll dive deeper into messaging timing and frequency in a little bit, but, for now, some pertinent use cases where promotional SMS messages make sense include:

  • When you’re having a large sale that you believe will interest your clients
  • When you want to offer a specific group of customers an exclusive discount
  • When you’re launching a new product and want everyone to know about it
  • Other important events that don’t happen on a daily basis

The Legal Framework for Promotional SMS

Alongside oversending, you’ll also want to be wary of the legal ramifications and regulations regarding promotional SMS messages. There are two major pieces of legislation in the US governing the mass distribution of text messages:

  • The CAN-SPAM Act
  • The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Both statutes contain various rules and limitations dictating how you can and can’t utilize text messages to contact consumers. When it comes to promotional SMS campaigns, however, the most important takeaways are:

  • Users must opt-in to receiving messages from you before you can send them
  • You must identify ads as such when sent via text message
  • Your messages cannot be misleading, false, or deceitful
  • You must offer your clients the ability to opt out of receiving messages at any time


Crafting Effective Promotional Messages

Promotional SMSs are specific to the businesses that send them and their clients, offerings, and industry. Nonetheless, there are some key tips you can utilize to craft more compelling marketing messages:

  • Be concise. Your clients don’t want to read a novel every time their phone dings. Standard SMS messages only support 160 characters, which should be more than enough to convey your idea and offerings. However, should you need to send longer messages, Mozeo lets you send texts up to 300 characters!

  • Be witty, friendly, and fun. A little flair goes a long way when crafting promotional messages. Include quirky wording, jokes, or company slogans in your texts to remind clients of your brand and make your message more compelling. 

  • Be transparent. Just because you should add a little personality to your messages, it shouldn’t detract from your main goal of promoting your products. Above all, make sure your messages are logical and easily understood by your target market.

  • Include a Call to Action (CTA). Promotional messages are useless unless they direct recipients to a product, offer, or sale. Include a small blurb imploring customers to visit your store, website, or eCommerce page, and, if pertinent, include a link to the offerings your text is advertising. 


Three Examples of Effective Promotional Texts

Before jumping headfirst into writing your own promotional texts, consider some model messages that effectively communicate their intention and offerings. Below, we’ll provide three examples of excellent text messages advertising flash sales, new product launches, and loyalty rewards programs.

Flash Sales

Act fast (name)! Everything in our store is 25% off for the next two hours! Visit (link) before (time) to save big on your next purchase form (business name). Reply STOP to STOP

New Product Launches

We’ve got something special for you (name)! The new (product) from (business) just dropped, and it’s going fast! To get yours, head to (link) while supplies last. Reply STOP to STOP

Loyalty Rewards Programs

Hey (name), you’ve really been digging (business), and we want to reward your loyalty! Visit (link) to join our rewards program and start saving today! Reply STOP to STOP

Best Practices for Promotional SMS Campaigns

Promotional SMS messages are important tools for corralling more customers and spreading the word about your products. To optimize their effectiveness, however, you’ll want to recognize a few essential best practices and put them to use in your campaigns.

Pay Attention to Timing and Frequency

As previously mentioned, many consumers can become annoyed by companies that send messages too frequently or at inopportune times. Additionally, the TCPA dictates that no promotional text messages can be sent between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. in the recipient’s timezone.

To maintain legal compliance and reach the most consumers without disturbing or deterring them from your company:


Track the Right Metrics

To ensure your promotional SMS campaigns are performing as you’d like, you’ll have to track several Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to get a sense of their efficacy. Some metrics you’ll want to pay attention to include:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) – This metric gauges how many people, as a percentage, click on the links included in your messages. To calculate it, divide the number of times your link is clicked by the total number of messages sent. As mentioned, SMS campaigns boast CTRs of around 20% so if your campaign is scoring in this realm, it’s likely relatively healthy and effective.

  • Conversion rate – Your conversion rate measures how many clients took a desired action, such as purchasing a product or visiting your sales page. To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of clients who converted by the total number of messages you sent out. Conversion rates are highly industry-specific, so it’s best to measure them before and after implementing SMS campaigns to understand the difference they make to your business.

  • Return on Investment (ROI) – ROI gauges how much you spend on a campaign against how much revenue it generates for your business. To calculate ROI, subtract the initial cost of your campaign from the revenue it generates, divide that sum by the initial cost of the campaign, and then multiply the result by 100 to reach a percentage. As mentioned, SMS campaigns can boast ROIs of 7,100%—so they’re certainly a worthwhile use of your marketing budget.


Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

While SMS messages are among the most effective tools digital marketers can use to grow their businesses, they can still hamper campaigns if they’re misused. Some of the most common SMS mistakes marketers make include:

  • Breaking TCPA and CAN-SPAM standards – Common legal missteps include messaging at inappropriate times, to unregistered clients, or without following proper guidelines. 

  • Not responding to clients quickly enough 90% of consumers say an immediate response is either “crucial” or “very important” when they message a business for customer service assistance. So, if you let them wait too long after they enquire about one of your promotional messages, you may miss a solid conversion opportunity. 

  • Not personalizing messages76% of consumers report frustration with brands that don’t bother to personalize their messaging. Simply including clients’ names and locational information can prevent this potential annoyance with your campaigns. 

In order to avoid these and other common pitfalls facing contemporary SMS marketing campaigns, trust Mozeo for all your messaging needs.

Build an Effective Promotional SMS Strategy with Mozeo

Promotional SMS messages advertise sales, products, discounts, or other offerings you want your customers to know about. They can be highly effective tools for achieving your company’s marketing goals, as texts boast a 98% open rate and a 7,100% ROI. Winning SMS campaigns, however, must consider legal compliance, consumer preferences, and critical marketing strategies to generate optimal revenue.

To ensure your next SMS campaign exceeds your expectations, go with Mozeo for a smooth SMS experience. Mozeo makes it easy to group customers together and send them salient SMS messages that capture their attention and compel them to explore your products. We even manage responses and legal compliance, so you’ll never message too late or to the wrong number again.

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