SMS marketing best practices in 2020

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SMS marketing best practices in 2020

When it comes to SMS marketing, there are many difficulties for new people. However, you can follow some best practices here to have a nice SMS marketing for your business.

7 SMS marketing considerations

There are some points that you need to pay attention to if you want your SMS marketing not a way to waste your time and money. SMS marketing can boost your sales performance to the sky and it also can turn your business to dust if you do it wrong.

To get your job easier, let’s see 7 SMS marketing best practices:

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1. Get consent from the audience

A Woman With Long Hair Is Right Target Audience

Do you remember SMS marketing compliance that we have talked about in previous topics? Yes! It is always the top priority to be compliant at all times when you conduct an SMS marketing campaign. The reasons are:

  • Your SMS marketing needs to be targeted accurately as much as possible. You will not want to send messages to people who don’t want to receive them. People don’t want to receive messages that mean they are not interested in your products or services. It is a total waste of time and money because they are not your potential customers.
  • To protect people from privacy violations caused by digital and mobile marketing, TCPA/GDPR, and other compliances have set a high penalty for any kind of breach. For example, a single message violating TCPA can make the sender pay a fine from $500 to $1000. Because you are going to send hundreds to thousands of messages in each campaign, a massive amount of violations like that can ruin your business in a blink of an eye.

2. Wisely choose your short code

SMS Marketing Is Wisely Choose For Ecommerce Store

A short code is a phone number that contains 5 or 6 digits in length. You can choose your short code to send a massive amount of messages to the audience in a short time. To optimize your SMS marketing, you should consider the short code that is easy to remember and can be used to send the keywords that are suitable for your business.

3. Be clever and compliant, all the times

Once you’ve had an audience’s interest in your SMS campaign, you should keep yourself concise to not abuse this privilege. You will be required to create engaging, brief, and interesting messages for your audience to keep them stay in your contact list. Provide them with an offer they can’t refuse or information that really matters. If you fail to do so, your audience will get opted-out because they receive the same marketing messages flow day after day.

And don’t forget to tell the audience how to opt-out usually. It is a compliance requirement.

4. Use the right keywords with your business

When working with short code, keywords are crucial. The keyword is the couple of characters or a word that the audience used to text you to get opted-in or to register a coupon, or book something from your store. Be smart to think about your keyword. It would be better if your keyword can help your audience to remember your brand.

For example, your brand is selling clothes and you are launching a discount campaign to raise brand awareness. You can set your brand name as the keyword. 

5. Have a conversation and respond in real-time

Over 95% of SMS messages are replied within 3 minutes after being sent. No matter what you sent to people, most of them will be read and replied in a short time. This is what makes SMS marketing an awesome weapon for marketers today.

What does it mean? It means SMS marketing is so powerful to approach and make conversations with customers. Your job is using this tool to create “a true conversation” with your audience. There are two main points you need to pay attention to:

  • Response time: Because the audience will respond to you in a very short time if they are interested in your product so they are eager to hear from you. Try to reply to your audience as fast as possible. The best way to achieve this is to use automated campaigns. It allows you to set up the flow of messages based on your audience’s replies.
  • Conversation quality: Even if you have the best response time but your reply quality is inappropriate, the audience doesn’t want to text with you.

For example:

Your ads: Text BEAUTIFUL to 95860 for a 20% discount next time

Audience (to your short code): BEAUTIFUL

You: Thank you. Do you want to get more information, promotion events, discount codes from us next time? Text Y to proceed, STOP to opt-out.

Audience: Y

You: Congratulations, you are in! So now let our awesome store conquer your wardrobe.

At this point, your audience will be tired and not want to text you anymore, no matter how awesome your store is. Why? Remember the reason he texted you at first? “The 20% discount”! Yes, it is! He is patiently waiting for that until your second message but you show up nothing. The best practice here is to give the audience what he/she wants if he/she had done what you say at first. 

6. Provide value

Like the above point, providing value in SMS marketing means your messages should have benefits for the sendee not just for you and your store. You want to get more customers, more orders, and more sales. Think about buyers, they want good products, decent discounts, and more benefits (information, customer service, etc.) Your SMS marketing campaign must include those content for customers.

Being more specific in the message will be the best practice. For example:

Message 1: Hi Kelly, we currently have a 30% discount for any coffee mugs at if you use this code 30LOVE.

Message 2: Hi Kelly, please use 30LOVE to have a 30% discount on any coffee mugs at our stores. Bring friends to have even better deals. Visit our site for more information.

The second message provides more benefits for customers and for you. More people will come to you.

7. The schedule

Do you want to receive a discount code at 2 am? It must be the worst experience for anyone. The same story with the marketing messages come at 10 pm or 6 am. So to optimize your SMS marketing campaign, you should set your schedule smart.

On weekdays, the best time is between 8 am and noon. People tend to do simple tasks on the first part of the workday and receiving messages is one of those. If you want to send your messages in the afternoon, start after 3 pm but the best practice is after 5 pm and before 8 pm. Two options have the same average reply rate of above 30%.

On weekends, you should send messages in the morning, specifically after 9 am and before 3 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, people tend to go shopping in the morning and spare the afternoon for their family.

However, your message schedule must adapt your the products or service you are providing.

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SMS marketing copywriting tips

Be creative in call-to-action

Everyone sees “buy now”, “act now”, etc. every day in many forms of advertising. Because of the omnipresence, those phrases that used to be “call-to-action” are not likely to work today. People automatically ignore those phrases. Instead of keeping the old school call-to-actions, you have to be creative in your messages.

Demo Messages For SMS Marketing

First, consider using other words, rather than old words (buy, get, act, etc.) There are a lot of words and phrases that can describe your call. What you need to give them the motivation to act what you want them to, not just a command. Try to call them to visit your awesome store site instead of buying something as an example.

Second, place yourself in the customer’s shoes. They don’t just want to buy, they want to get the benefit from products. If they don’t see any benefit they want in your call-to-action, it is more likely they won’t buy it. You may need to change your approach from the prices to the benefits and then you would know how to do it. For example, you can text “Enjoy your morning coffee with our customized mugs at WeLoveCoffee” instead of “Buy the best mugs at our store”


Yes: Do you like coffee? Why don’t enhance your morning coffee with our coffee mug? Start now!

No: Hi. Welcome to WeLoveCoffee. Buy your best coffee mug from our store now!

Be professional

Although your audience will be teens and young adults, you must use proper language when texting with them. Your message will not only be the message but is your brand’s voice. You should stay with standard grammar and vocabulary to keep a professional image.


Yes: Text COFFEE to 48566 for the hottest deal.

No: Text COFFEE 2 48566 4 the hottest deal LMAO!

Be powerful

Your SMS message is limited by 160 characters (if you use MMS, it would be 1600 characters, however, no customer expects to receive a 1600-characters message), so you need to make this message so powerful to get them attracted. Consider using more adjectives in your message to make your voice louder and your tone more interesting.


Yes: Let’s your rich and warm coffee poured in the awesome mug from WeLoveCoffee.

No: Use our coffee mug and drink your coffee every morning.

Be focused

SMS messages will be sent to the very individual so it is required that you should focus on every customer in every message. How to achieve it?

First, you have to personalize the message as much as possible. Ask the customer about their feelings to make the conversation more natural. 

Second, you have to acknowledge your customer behavior to send the right message. For example, when your customer has visited your store and placed no order, you may send them some discount codes to let them know that you are caring about them; or if they have bought something from you for weeks, your message asking them about the product quality can do the same.


How to track your customer’s behavior like this? The simple answer is to use the SMS marketing app. Messent Standard campaign and Automated campaign can help you do it well with its set of segments and conditions. Every time your customer takes action on your store, that attribution will be saved and categorized in the data. For example, Messent will know who has ordered from your store, how much value is that order, what is his location, and even more.


SMS marketing practice, in general, is quite hard and complicated but nothing is impossible. You can master it once you have a good foundation and follow the best practices that we’ve shared above.

To be short, just remember that:

  • Get permission from the audience
  • Pay attention to sending schedule
  • Be creative and professional
  • Place yourself in the customer’s shoes
  • Respond in the real-time

We think following those guidelines above and you will take a huge leap to become a good SMS marketer.

Let’s find out more about the world of e-commerce here

SMS Tutorial Series:

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