What is SMS Marketing?

Ruben Buijs

Founder & Digital Consultant

Written on Aug 1, 2023

3 minutes

Lead generation

SMS Marketing refers to the practice of using text messages to promote products or services, engage with customers, and generate leads. It has become an increasingly popular and effective strategy in the field of lead generation due to its simplicity and high open rates. With the widespread use of mobile phones, SMS Marketing provides businesses with a direct and immediate means of communication with their target audience.

Examples of SMS Marketing

  1. Promotional Offers: Businesses can send text messages to their customers offering exclusive discounts, deals, or limited-time promotions. For example, a clothing store can send a message saying, "Get 20% off on all items this weekend. Show this message at the store to avail the discount."

  2. Appointment Reminders: Service-based businesses like salons, doctors' offices, or fitness centers can send SMS reminders to their clients about upcoming appointments. This helps reduce no-shows and improves customer satisfaction.

  3. Surveys and Feedback: SMS Marketing can be used to collect customer feedback or conduct surveys. For instance, a restaurant can send a message asking customers to rate their dining experience or provide suggestions for improvement.

Importance of SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing offers several advantages for lead generation:

  1. High Open Rates: Text messages have an incredibly high open rate, with studies showing that over 98% of SMS messages are read within a few minutes. This makes it a highly effective channel for reaching and engaging with potential leads.

  2. Direct and Immediate: Unlike other marketing channels, SMS Marketing allows businesses to directly reach their customers' mobile phones. Messages are delivered instantly, ensuring quick and immediate communication.

  3. Cost-effective: SMS campaigns are relatively inexpensive compared to other marketing methods, making it an affordable option for businesses of all sizes. It provides an excellent return on investment when used strategically.

How to Use SMS Marketing

To effectively use SMS Marketing for lead generation, consider the following steps:

  1. Build a Subscribed Database: Obtain permission from your customers to send them promotional messages. This can be done through opt-in forms on your website, at the point of sale, or through other marketing channels.

  2. Segment Your Audience: Divide your subscriber list into different groups based on demographics, behavior, or preferences. This allows you to send targeted messages that resonate with specific segments of your audience.

  3. Craft Engaging Messages: Keep your SMS messages concise, clear, and engaging. Use persuasive language, compelling offers, and a strong call-to-action to encourage recipients to take the desired action.

  4. Timing is Key: Be mindful of the timing when sending SMS messages. Sending messages during inappropriate hours can annoy your audience and lead to opt-outs. Aim for sending messages during business hours or when your audience is most likely to be receptive.

  5. Track and Analyze Results: Monitor the performance of your SMS campaigns. Track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to evaluate the effectiveness of your messages. Use this data to refine your strategy and improve future campaigns.

Useful Tips for SMS Marketing

Consider the following tips to make the most out of your SMS Marketing efforts:

  1. Personalize Messages: Address recipients by their first name to create a personalized touch. Personalization enhances engagement and makes customers feel valued.

  2. Use Shortcodes and Keywords: Shortcodes are easy-to-remember numbers that customers can use to interact with your business. Set up keywords that customers can text to the shortcode to receive specific offers or information.

  3. Optimize Landing Pages: If you include links in your SMS messages, ensure that the landing pages are mobile-friendly and optimized for a seamless user experience. A poor mobile experience can deter potential leads.

  4. Maintain Compliance: Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and regulations related to SMS Marketing in your region. Ensure you have proper consent from subscribers and include opt-out instructions in your messages.

  5. Test and Iterate: Experiment with different messaging strategies, offers, and timings. A/B test your SMS campaigns to identify what works best for your audience and continuously refine your approach.


SMS marketing is a method of sending promotional messages or alerts to customers or prospects through text messages.
SMS marketing involves businesses or organizations acquiring phone numbers from customers and sending them targeted messages via SMS platforms.
SMS marketing allows businesses to reach customers instantly, has high open rates, is cost-effective, and provides a direct and personalized communication channel.
SMS marketing can be used for various purposes such as sending promotional offers, discount codes, appointment reminders, event notifications, and order updates.
Yes, SMS marketing is highly effective as it allows businesses to directly reach customers, has high open and response rates, and enables quick and convenient communication.
Yes, SMS marketing requires businesses to have permission from customers before sending them text messages. Consent can be obtained through opt-in forms, keyword-based opt-ins, or through explicit customer consent.
Yes, in many countries, there are regulations governing SMS marketing, such as obtaining proper consent, providing opt-out options, and following spam regulations. It is important for businesses to comply with these regulations.
SMS marketing involves sending text-only messages, while MMS marketing allows businesses to send multimedia content such as images, videos, or audio along with text messages.
Yes, SMS marketing can be automated using marketing automation tools or SMS platforms that allow scheduling and triggering of messages based on specific events or customer actions.
The success of SMS marketing campaigns can be measured through metrics like open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI. SMS platforms often provide analytics and reporting features for tracking campaign performance.

Article by

Ruben Buijs

Ruben, the founder of Boei, leverages over a decade of consultancy experience at Ernst & Young to optimize lead generation. Boei specializes in converting website visitors into qualified leads. Outside of work, Ruben is passionate about crossfit and enjoys gaming occasionally.

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