How to effectively use SMS to advertise promotions?

SMS marketing is something that everyone experiences almost daily. A promotion in progress? An SMS. An upcoming promotion? An SMS. It must be said that this tool has significant advantages and remains unbeatable in terms of engagement of your target. In France, the cell phone is part of life and users send an average of 4 SMS per day. We can therefore say that SMS is, today, an essential means of communication.

Still it is necessary to use it wisely to transform it into an effective conversion tool. That’s good, we guide you step by step in this article.

Types of commercial SMS

Here aredifferent types of SMS used in marketing:

The Commercial SMS

It is a rather resent presentation which puts forward a promotion or the release of a new product. The content is generally of the information domain.

SMS Couponing

With this type of SMS, you can transmit discount coupons or a coupon to present. It is simple, fast and particularly effective. If you are looking to reach new prospects, this is the technique to use.

The SMS M-Ticket

Through this type of SMS, you can transmit an Internet link that allows access to a ticket. It is used a lot by transport companies, but also for shows and other concerts.

Advantages of SMS

SMS is among the very effective ways to interact with customers or prospects. As a bonus, it has a few advantages:

  • SMS is an excellent communication medium for promotional offers. It allows to significantly improve the traffic in store. The efficiency is much higher than emailing or flyers.
  • SMS gives the possibility to set up a more personal communication. It can be original, interactive. The messages can be adapted and invite conversion more easily.
  • SMS allows to set up a loyalty strategy thanks to the possibility of broadcasting effective and targeted promotions. This type of campaign is complementary to those carried out with more traditional means.
  • Communicating by SMS allows to dematerialize. It reduces the costs related to marketing campaigns, and as a bonus, we improve our environmental footprint. The planet will thank you…

SMS marketing regulations

SMS marketing campaigns are governed by the CNIL in order to protect cell phone users, rules must be respected. The National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties is there to protect everyone’s personal data, to accompany you in innovation and to preserve your individual liberties. Here are the legal obligations to respect:

The consent

To carry out an SMS campaign, you must have obtained from people their consent for SMS marketing. This is called opt-in consent. It is a method used on the Web and which allows to get email addresses and mobile numbers from a checkbox. There are however 2 exceptions to this rule:

  • If the person concerned by the sending of the marketing SMS is already a customer of yours,
  • If the content of the marketing SMS is not commercial.

The possibility to unsubscribe

As for a newsletter, you must clearly indicate on your SMS the possibility for the person who receives it to unsubscribe. Indeed, if a person returns a “stop” to your SMS marketing, you have the obligation to remove it from your database.

Your obligations as an advertiser

You must write your name and brand name legibly. Indicate the product and the subject of the SMS.

Schedules to respect

SMS marketing campaigns are prohibited from 8 pm to 8 am as well as on Sundays and holidays. The objective is not to harm the peace of mobile users.


The General Data Protection Regulation regulates the protection of personal data. When you handle people’s data, for example by sending a series of marketing SMS, you are responsible for the processing that will be done with these data. You must therefore indicate in a document (GDPR) the data you use and for which action.

7 tips for effective SMS

Ask for your prospects’ consent

Before you even think about sending an SMS, you’ll need to get permission from your customers. Whether it is SMS or emailing, the GDPR (General Regulation for Data Protection), forces you to do so. This is not only a legal issue but also strategic. You might as well get your message out to people who are really interested.

Don’t forget to mention that you will be sending text messages for promotional purposes, so that there is no ambiguity. This will increase the confidence of your subscribers.

Make messages personal

It’s a basic principle. The more special and privileged you feel, the more likely you are to take action. One way to achieve this is to include your recipient’s first name. In the same way, rather than starting immediately with your message, integrate the your brand name at the beginning of the SMS so that your customers immediately identify who is writing to them, even before opening the message.

Communicate on your sales promotions by SMS

Customer experience counts

Even SMS should keep the customer experience in mind. The SMS system allows you to include a link in your text message. You can then send the recipient directly to your landing page to make it easier for them and offer an optimal customer experience, designed for mobile.

Of course, to make this even more relevant, consider making your website mobile friendly.

Get to the point

160 characters is not a lot. Your marketing SMS must be short. It is therefore essential to get to the point. Although it seems unnatural, conciseness and clarity are the best allies for a good memorization of your message and your offer.

However, you have the option of sending longer text messages. However, it will also cost you more.

Here are the financial rules of your SMS

From 0 to 160 characters, we count 1 SMS

If you write from 160 to 306 characters, it will cost you the price of 2 SMS

For 307 to 459 characters, it will be the price of 3 SMS

Make room for creativity

SMS has a very high deliverability rate. It is an opportunity to stand out and exploit different possibilities. Instead of limiting yourself to promotional offers, you can also propose contests, special packages, events, etc. It is important to “reward” your customer for their attention. This can be with a discount or an invitation to an event. You can also provide gifts.

SMS communicate on sales promotions

Segment your audience

Segmentation is a central point for any marketing campaign. SMS is no exception to the rule. The more you know your audience, the more you segment it, the more impact your campaigns will have and the higher your ROI will be. This will allow you to send relevant SMS, which will really meet the needs of your customers.

Let’s say you are a retailer selling beauty products. A customer regularly buys face creams, but never makeup. You decide to send her a promotional SMS for lipsticks or make-up palettes. The risk is high that she won’t pay much attention to it. On the other hand, if she can get a discount on a skincare product that concerns her, there is a good chance that she will buy from you.

Choose your timing well

In the case of SMS marketing or emailing, the time of sending plays an essential role on the performance of your campaigns. Remember to respect the hours and days authorized by the legislation for sending your SMS marketing. And of course, put yourself in the shoes of your customers to determine which timing is the most relevant for your sendings.

Some examples of SMS Marketing

Promotional SMS

You can use them for your promotions, private sales, or even open houses.

Example: “Zen attitude” transmitter

Until June 30th, enjoy a 20% discount on our “relaxing massages” subscriptions upon presentation of this SMS to celebrate the 5 years of Zen massage room! STOP 36007

SMS event

You use recurring events that come up like Christmas, Valentine’s Day…

Example: “Jeff de Bruges” transmitter

Valentine’s day is coming ! In your Jeff de Bruges store in Nantes, enjoy a 20% discount on all the heart boxes in the window until February 13. STOP 36007

You confirm by SMS

You want to exchange with your customers to stimulate the relationship, confirm appointments, propose a short survey…

Example: Doctor Raast transmitter

We confirm the appointment with Dr. Raast for tomorrow at 10:30. Please confirm by answering OK to this SMS

Following the patient’s reply, you acknowledge receipt and wish him a good day

Our tip

Think about timing. Your marketing campaign may be relevant, attractive and personalized, but if you don’t send it at the right time… it won’t have the same results. You need to make sure that the time and day you send it is the most appropriate for your objectives and your message.

Anticipate… Don’t wait until the last moment to send your SMS. It is possible to use tools to delay the start of your SMS marketing campaign. This is the best way not to forget.

SMS has a high deliverability as well as open % is almost more than 95%. But before you get to that point, you need to focus your attention on the objectives, targets and rules.

SMS is a tool that allows instantaneous actions. It is therefore for e-commerce as for physical stores a sales booster.

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