Promotional Text Messages

Promotional Text Marketing Examples and Best Practices

Promotional text message campaigns have become deeply woven into today’s consumer society. There was once a time when a brand stood out for its forward-thinking approach to marketing by sending a text message promotion. However, today a brand is more than likely going to be left behind or ignored by consumers for not sending promotions using what has become the most ubiquitous form of communication.

What are promotional text messages?

When a brand or organization wants to spark purchasing, or more commonly re-purchasing, their first goal is to communicate in such a way that their consumer is most likely to receive and read the information. With read rates of more than 98% nationally, using text messaging to send promotions is easily the sharpest knife in the marketer’s drawer. (source: Mobile Marketing Association)

Why brands and businesses should be using promotional text messages

In business, there is a long-standing and oft followed rule that the most efficient path to increasing transactions and revenue is to bring existing customers back more frequently and cause more purchases. One of the reasons this is widely adopted is the high costs associated with new customer acquisition. One of the ways to champion this customer re-visitation behavior is through the use of text message promotions. Bringing your brand front-of-mind to consumers who have demonstrated an affinity for your business is a very valuable tool.

The following are 5 Best Practices for sending promotional text messages:

  1. Adhering to an irregular cadence. At Text2VIP we have always encouraged clients to keep their promotions from becoming predictable. When brands make the mistake of sending the same offers at the same time on the same day each week, it is no longer perceived as an ‘offer’ or ‘promotion’. If as a consumer you’ve come to expect a special on a Pizza from Joe’s Pizza at 3 pm every Monday, why would that consumer elect to order any other day than Monday? Mixing up both the nature of the offer and cadence is key to capturing the consumer’s attention.
  2. Be respectful and professional. The team at Text2VIP often reminds clients to only send promotional SMS which are in good taste and on point. It is inappropriate to use SMS slang. SMS marketing is an incredible privilege granted to the business owner by the consumer. The value proposition in exchange should be specific to the consumer’s interest in your business or product. It is not the forum to convey your political opinions or speak negatively about your competitors. If you’re ever at a loss or are looking for creative input, the success team at Text2VIP is ready to help at no cost.
  3. Frequency of messaging. As mentioned previously, the consumer has given you permission to send them promotional SMS/MMS. When you do this, you will interrupt phone calls, conversations, meetings, and meals. The fact that SMS grabs the consumer’s attention so immediately is the basis for its effectiveness in the first place. When someone opts into your text message promotions, they receive a message with an expectancy for message frequency. Very few consumers want to hear from your business 5x a week. By the same token, telling the consumer to expect to receive offers from your business once weekly and then messaging them once a month is poor execution.
  4. Include specifics, details, and exclusions. Text message promotions should never be misleading. A consumer who receives an SMS promotion from your business offering 10% off, will be met with shock and disappointment when they go to redeem and only find out then that a $200 minimum purchase applies to the promotion. If space is limited to convey all specific details surrounding a text message promotion the business can always include a link to further details or a click-to-call number for the consumer to get more info.
  5. Remember to include a call to action. Craft your text message promotions in such a way that the consumer knows exactly what to do next, how to do it, and any time restrictions which may apply. E.g. “Click this link to place your order”, “Use promo code XYZ” to apply the discount. “Space or quantities are limited please call this number – to reserve yours today.”

When these suggestions are followed businesses see great results from their text message promotions. Just see what some of these Text2VIP clients have said here.

Below are some creative text message promotions examples from recognizable brands

Papa John’s promotional SMS campaign

Papa John’s promotional SMS campaigns are sent for specific offers; for example, “2 large pizzas” or “large 2-topping pizzas.” One recent offer was Papa John’s Valentine’s Day special. Recipients received a photo of the heart-shaped pizza in addition to the description of the offer. Including a photo in a promotional text message is a no-brainer when it comes to food or any item that will be perceived as visually appealing. Also, Papa John’s text offers typically feature a special promo code. Aside from making the redemption of the promotion trackable, it reinforces to the consumer the value associated with being in the text club. i.e. This offer isn’t available to just anyone that walks in the door – I received this because I’m in the text club!

Best Buys’s promotional SMS campaign

The Best Buy SMS promotional text message below did an excellent job leading with the “Top Deals” verbiage, they touch upon different product categories, and lastly, include a link to make it simple for the consumer to begin shopping, making the call to action quite clear.

Best Buy's Promotional Text Sample

A great example of a non-profit’s use of promotional text messages can be read on the Text2VIP blog post case study about The National Kidney Foundation and Good Morning America.

Effective text message promotions should include a compelling item, event, or discount.  The terms and call to action should be clearly established and apparent.  Being creative and original will capture a customer’s attention, and keeping the content professional and delivery unpredictable will all go a long way!

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