Resources & Blog

Creating an effective SMS campaign

Resources & Blog

Creating an effective SMS campaign


There are many ways that you can use SMS to communicate with your customers. For example, you may way to send them a promotional offer, run a competition, collect feedback or inform them of store openings. Whatever the reason, as long as your message provides value to your customers then it will be well received. Before you start, though, it's important to consider how you can make your campaigns as effective as possible. Essentially, the more time you spend on preparing your SMS campaign, the better your results will be. Here are three simple questions that we believe you should think about before getting started:

1 - What's your call to action?

Think about what it is that is driving you to send your upcoming SMS campaign. Are you planning a flash sale? Do you have a new local store opening? Perhaps you're looking for some feedback from customers? Or, maybe you're thinking of running a competition? Whatever the reason, you as the business owner need to determine a clear call to action before you get started. Then once you have it, stick with it. By offering no call to action, your message adds no value. Whereas, including more than one can be confusing to consumers and result in no actions taken.

Now you have your call to action, it's time to think about the content of your message. You have 160 characters to persuade your customers to take action and the words that you include will have a significant impact on performance. We'd suggest that you always try to include the 5 W's and the H in your message: who, what, when, where, why and how. You can find out more information on how to write the perfect SMS offer here.

  • Who - when collecting contact numbers, be sure to ask for the name of your customer. You can then address them on a first name basis when sending texts.
  • What - this is the part when you include your call to action. It's important to get straight to the point and tell people why you are texting them right away.
  • When - if your message is time sensitive then be sure to include that. For example, include the expiry date of an offer, the date of an upcoming appointment or the expected time of delivery.
  • Where - provide your customers with a location. For example, an address to your store, a contact number or a link to a page on your site where they can use your offer.
  • Why - include a reason for your message. If you are offering a discount, then you should try to link it to an event such as Black Friday or Spring Sale.
  • How - make sure you inform your customers of any steps they need to take if necessary. For example, they may need to post a selfie on social media to be included in your competition.

2 - When will you send?

Timing can also have a big impact on the success of your SMS campaign, especially if you are including a promotional offer. As a general approach, you should consider positioning your discount at the end of the month. If you provide a necessity product then you should look to position your discounts at the end of the month. It goes without saying that consumers are more reluctant to part with their money during this period, so they'll be looking to save in as many areas as possible. If you put out a good offer, then they will be much more inclined to purchase from you as opposed to a competitor.

Whereas, if you provide a normal or luxury good then you should target customers at the start of the month. Your customers will have more money and time to either visit your store or website. It is also important to offer free trials at the beginning of the month as people will have more money to pay the follow-up costs when the trial has expired. You may also want to think about the time of day that you send your message. A corporate company is likely to get much more success if they send messages during traditional nine to five hours. On the other hand, takeaways will get more orders if they send messages during the evening on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. You can find out more information on the best times for specific industries here.

3 - What's the occasion?

Finally, it's important to think about why you are sending your message. It's easy to get excited when a campaign performs well but you don't want to turn into a company that offers discounts every week simply because you can. Sending too many offers can ultimately devalue your brand because your customers will begin to expect offers. Instead of paying full price in the future, they'll wait for your next offer and purchase at a discounted rate. To avoid this, use words that link your campaign to an event and be sure to use buzzwords such as "flash sale" or "one time only".

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.


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