2023 Best Practices for SMS Marketing

By Mary Bonczkiewicz


SMS marketing is a fast-rising tool for businesses and brands to enhance communications between themselves and their customers. To be successful, brands must continuously adapt and grow to meet changes in technology and trends by using data-driven insights to optimize campaigns in real time.

Each year, more and more people are turning to digital technology, with 84 percent of people owning smart phones worldwide in 2022. As the new year of 2023 rings in, it’s projected that even more people will use smartphones, with a predicted 6.92 billion users globally. With smartphone usage projections continuing to rise, businesses and brands should consider enhancing their short message service (SMS) marketing tactics and incorporating as many mobile touch points as possible to reach more people than ever through text messages, mobile app advertising, and mobile commerce. 

SMS Marketing is Taking Over

As technology progresses, so does consumer desire for efficiency and time saving. Ninety-one percent of people have their phones within reach at all times, which makes SMS marketing the fastest, most seamless way to reach millions of consumers.
SMS marketing is a fairly new idea, but it’s definitely working. Here are some reasons why:
  • 76 percent of respondents engage with text messages more than any other phone activity
  • 1 in 3 consumers checks their text notifications within one minute of receiving a text
  • 70 percent of consumers have opted-in for text message services from businesses
Now that we know that text messages can quickly grab attention, let’s explore some SMS marketing best practices that will help you make the most of the opportunity.

1. Maintain Brand Tone and Ensure Compliance

It’s important that your text message communications closely follow your brand’s tone. Consider your business goals for successful SMS marketing and how you can achieve them. While doing so, brands also have to understand the laws and compliance guidelines for mobile messaging. You should always address who you are in any text message you send and make sure you have explicit permission from the mobile user to communicate with them via SMS.

2. Make Signing Up a Breeze

As stated above, brands must receive permission from the customer to text them. You can earn their permission by having customers check a box instore or online allowing you to text them. Below is an example from Subway:

Offering incentives for signing up is a great way to draw mobile users in. Some popular incentives include:
  • Promo code discount
  • Free shipping
  • Free gift with first purchase

3. Offer Exclusive Benefits

The question consumers often ask themselves is: How do I benefit from this? Brands should consider offering incentives tailored specifically to text message recipients to reward them for subscribing. See example below.

4. Use Personalization

Personalization has become a must in modern marketing to resonate with customers. In fact, message personalization is the #1 tactic used by email marketers to increase engagement rates. Similar tactics should also apply to text message marketing. Customers feel valued when they feel a brand deeply understands them and their needs. 

5. Allow for Two-Way Communication

If your customers allow you to send them text messages, they’d likely appreciate being able to send a text back. There are several reasons this could be beneficial for both your customer and brand. Being able to stay on the same application to ask businesses questions about their orders or letting a store know that they’ve arrived for curbside-pickup is simpler than having to make a phone call or shopping online. It is an efficient and organized way of keeping all communication in one place. See example below.

Stay Ahead of the Digital Curve

Keeping up with mobile marketing trends is crucial in this pivotal moment of ever-changing digital technology. We saw this with the increase in digital presence due to the pandemic and people now working remotely online. We can bet on there being more digital spikes in the future. Make sure your business is ready for them by keeping up with the latest SMS marketing guidelines. Research laws and compliance guidelines for mobile messaging to get started. From there, get customers to sign up for text message marketing either by email, online, or in-store. See the success it can bring your business. 

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