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SMS Marketing 101: How SMS Marketing Works

Follow our SMS Marketing 101 guide to discover the ins and outs of how SMS marketing works.

Illustration of hands holding mobile phones
June 22, 2023
Chloe Mulliner
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Reading time about 5 min

More businesses are incorporating SMS messaging into their marketing strategies because of its 98% open rates. Unlike email and even social media in most instances, SMS text marketing's become the chief avenue for assuring businesses that their outbound alerts, surveys, promotions, reminders, etc., are indeed reaching their target audience. If companies aren't using it to promote sales, they're using it to enhance their customer service experience, recruit or train new talent, and beyond. The possibilities with SMS marketing for ecommerce are virtually limitless.

Since it has so many uses and benefits for small businesses, your brand might be toying with the idea of text marketing, but maybe you're not sure how SMS marketing works.

The good news is that SMS marketing is easy to implement. In our SMS marketing 101 guide, we break it all down so you understand all the ins and outs of this powerful marketing solution.

What is SMS Marketing?

Before you get started on your first SMS marketing campaign, let’s explore what it is and how SMS marketing works.

SMS marketing, or text marketing, refers to a marketing strategy that involves sending short message service (SMS) messages to consumers’ mobile phones. Essentially, they’re text messages with a marketing initiative. For example, a business might text promotional offers, invitations, or announcements to help nurture leads and gain new customers.

With SMS messages, you can have one-on-one conversations with a customer, creating a real-time, engaging customer service experience. However, you can also send mass text messages to multiple customers simultaneously.

The beauty of using the EZ Texting platform as a marketing tool is that you can attract more eyes to your content and get your content into the hands of the right people at the right time. This is because you're sending content to customers who have agreed to receive your messages, making them more inclined to open and interact with them. Best of all, EZ Texting is a cost-effective communication solution. Learn more about general SMS marketing costs, and check out EZ Texting's pricing plans with flexible plans with industry-leading deliverability and no hidden fees.

Now, let’s look at some of the kinds of SMS messages you can send your customers:

  • Promotional offers
  • Announcements
  • Alerts
  • Updates
  • Invitations
  • Confirmations
  • Contests
  • Polls and surveys

With so much flexibility and customization, you can easily communicate with your customers in many different ways using SMS messages.

How to Start an SMS Marketing Campaign

Now that you understand how SMS marketing works, we can move on to how your business can start messaging.


Select an SMS Texting Interface

It all starts with selecting an SMS texting interface. This platform will provide you with all the tools you need to build customer lists and start an SMS marketing campaign. For example, EZ Texting's platform makes it easier than ever to organize all your contacts, create campaigns, and monitor your metrics like open rates and engagement.

The EZ Texting interface provides a hub where you'll have everything you need right at your fingertips to create your marketing strategy from start to finish.


Screenshot of EZ Texting dashboard


Understand the Laws

Before you start implementing our SMS marketing tips and strategies, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws and best practices to ensure you're compliant. If it's one thing you take away from your research, don't text any customers without their permission.


Gather an Audience

You can’t send out a message if you don’t have any contacts, so you’ll need to gain some subscribers. Remember, these are those who have opted in and agreed to receive your marketing content.

You can attract new subscribers to your text program in countless ways. For example, you could entice them with a special promo code, advertise your text program on your social media accounts and newsletters, and post signs about it at your place of business.

To make it easier for subscribers to join your text program, EZ Texting can assign a shortcode to your business, which your subscribers can text with a special keyword, indicating that they're opting in.

Let's say you own a bakery, so you might post the following message on your social media accounts, "You're invited to our exclusive Bear's Bakery VIP Club! Text BEARS to 112233 to join, and receive 15% off your next purchase with us!"

And don’t worry; as you accumulate subscribers, your texting platform will conveniently save and organize each one for you and even create handy customer lists.

Craft Your Message

Once you’ve gained a list of subscribers, you’re all set to begin creating messages to text out.

In some ways, the messages you send depend on the kind of business you're operating. For example, establishments that make appointments will likely use SMS messages to confirm bookings and send out reminders, but those businesses that sell products may use their text program to send sale announcements and discount codes.

The following are a few examples of SMS marketing messages you might see in various industries:

Real estate agencies like to use SMS messages to text invitations for open houses. As a real estate agent, you might send an SMS invitation that looks something like this, “(Realtor Rita) We’re hosting an open house for the 3 bed, 1 bath Craftsman home at 1144 Cats Way on June 8, 1 - 4 PM. Come join us!”

Sample SMS Message

Meanwhile, salons and spas use them to confirm appointments and send reminders about upcoming appointments. Instead of calling up each patient and leaving a voicemail, they can shoot over a quick text that their patients can easily confirm. An example of an SMS message containing a reminder might say, “(Relaxation Spa) Julie, this a reminder that you have a massage booked with Rachel for tomorrow, June 1, at 3 p.m. Please reply Y to confirm.”

Of course, you can use SMS marketing for e-commerce and retail businesses in many ways, too. One way is to create a VIP loyalty club where your text subscribers can earn special perks and access exclusive sales. Another idea is to use SMS messages to announce upcoming sales or send promo codes. For instance, "(Luna's Boutique) Summer is just around the corner. To celebrate, we're offering 20% off all purchases through May! Use the code SUMMER20 at checkout."


Send Your Messages

Now that you’ve selected who to send your texts to and drafted the messages, it’s time to click send! Timing is everything. Refresh the best time to send SMS messages to ensure you get the biggest bang per text!

Fortunately, you'll find that SMS platforms are intuitive and easy to use. You'll choose which contacts you want to message, use the text field to type your message, and then fire it off!


Screenshot of EZ Texting in-app


Track Your Campaigns

If you want your marketing campaigns to be as successful as possible, then tracking and analyzing each one is important. And because your texting message platform has analytical dashboards, you'll find it a breeze to monitor each message and see its performance. Using these metrics, you can make changes to future campaigns to help ensure you get the kind of traction you want.


snapshot of EZT analytic dashboard


Choose EZ Texting Today

With a better understanding of how SMS marketing works and SMS marketing best practices, it’s time to start implementing your campaigns! Learn more about SMS marketing, or if you’re ready to start texting, contact EZ Texting for an affordable and easy-to-use SMS marketing solution.

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