Getty Images

What are the different types of SMS marketing?

How should marketers text their audiences? First, ensure customers opted in to receive texts. Then, promote, incentivize and update customers on products and orders.

As marketing becomes increasingly digital, brands can struggle to stand out and capture audiences' attention. SMS marketing creates a different, effective way to engage with customers.

SMS communications have higher open rates than most other types of digital communication, and people tend to read text messages as soon as they receive them. Further, SMS campaigns help brands segment audiences more efficiently and target customer groups that would benefit from certain offers or promotions. As a result, SMS marketing can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase customer engagement and drive sales growth.

If marketing teams embrace SMS strategies, they can do the following:

  • Create more efficient marketing communications.
  • Invest in a low-cost marketing strategy.
  • Enhance marketing and sales communications.
  • Supplement other digital marketing activities, like email communications, display advertising and social media promotions.
  • Tailor messages to fit target audience's needs and preferences.

Implementing different types of SMS marketing tactics can help businesses effectively engage with their target audiences and drive sales growth. Explore eight common types of SMS marketing to build an efficient strategy.

1. Opt-in requests

One type of SMS marketing message is an opt-in request. These messages are typically the first a brand sends. It requires customers to give explicit consent before receiving promotional content from a company.

With opt-in messages, the brand gives customers control over what they receive and ensures they only engage with content they are interested in. This tactic can help customers trust the organization and gain control over their own data.

2. Promotional messages

Promotional messages are one of the most common types of SMS marketing communications. Marketers use these messages to inform customers about special offers, discounts and other time-sensitive information. Through promotional messages, organizations can effectively reach their target audience with relevant content to entice them to purchase their products or services.

Additionally, it enables brands to create more awareness around new offerings, thus increasing customer engagement opportunities. These campaigns can also drive conversions and increase sales revenue.

3. Transactional messages

Transactional SMS marketing tactics inform customers about purchases they've made. Some common transactional messages do the following:

  • Update customers on orders.
  • Confirm purchases and bookings.
  • Provide service notifications.
  • Share shipping details.
  • Update customers on billing information.

Such messages enable organizations to automate communications, reduce customer service inquiries and ensure customers remain informed throughout their journey with the brand.

Transactional messages are nonpromotional in nature, and customers often prefer this type of communication for support-related items.

4. Loyalty programs and rewards updates

SMS marketing for loyalty programs and promotions can increase customer engagement and revenue. Organizations can use automated text messages to offer rewards to customers for their loyalty, like exclusive offers, discounts or other incentives.

Additionally, businesses can use text messages to manage customer complaints and feedback in real time, as they offer a direct line of communication to the brand. Marketers can also segment audiences based on preferences and interests, enabling them to send tailored messages that further incentivize customers to make repeat purchases. Given the low cost of SMS marketing and the highly engaged loyalty program members, this approach helps businesses maximize their ROI.

5. Contests and giveaways

Building off highly engaged audiences, SMS marketing can also help teams run contests and giveaways. Organizations can easily run SMS campaigns that let customers enter for a chance to win rewards or discounts if they send a text message with a specific hashtag or keyword.

Additionally, businesses can use this type of marketing tactic to increase engagement and let customers participate in polls or surveys. This type of campaign helps companies better understand their target audience while offering them chances to win prizes.

6. Surveys and polls

While marketers can text customers surveys and polls to offer prizes for giveaways, they can also use SMS marketing to solicit immediate feedback and customer reviews. If teams send out automated text messages with survey questions, they can obtain valuable feedback in real time without much effort.

Additionally, SMS polling helps organizations track customer sentiment and behavior over time, enabling them to uncover trends and identify opportunities for improvement or growth. These campaigns build off one another, offer insights and provide opportunities to further segment audiences.

In turn, marketers can better personalize messages and show customers content they may find relevant and engaging. SMS surveys and polls can glean the data necessary to create targeted campaigns that can yield higher conversions and increase customer loyalty.

7. Geofencing notifications

Another common type of SMS marketing tactic includes getting in front of customers at timely opportunities, which geofencing can do. Geofencing notifications let businesses send automated messages to customers when they enter or leave a certain geographical area. This type of campaign offers businesses a powerful tool to engage with consumers and drive foot traffic to physical stores.

For example, organizations can use geofencing notifications to inform customers of limited-time offers near their location or offer relevant information about products or services available nearby. Marketers can also use geofencing notifications to remind loyal customers to revisit if they have been away for an extended period.

8. Alerts and notifications

Marketers can use alerts and notifications to inform customers when items are back in stock or offer abandoned shopping cart reminders. Also, automated text messages with specific product information can quickly notify customers about inventory updates. These campaigns help businesses reengage with potential customers, while increasing their chances of conversion.

Alert notifications can also personalize messages tailored to each customer's preferences and interests collected through polls, surveys or other sources of customer data and feedback. Personalization helps create a more enjoyable and engaging experience for customers and can further incentivize them to make repeat purchases.

Dig Deeper on Marketing and sales

Content Management
Unified Communications
Data Management
Enterprise AI