What is SMS marketing?

Text message marketing is a targeted strategy that convinces with a high engagement rate. Used correctly, the method is an important building block for an advertising strategy.

Why SMS marketing is still important?

While messaging services are increasingly replacing classic SMS at least for private use, things are somewhat different in mobile advertising. In addition to WhatsApp marketing, newsletter marketing or influencer marketing, SMS marketing can be an important part of a rounded marketing strategy. It allows you to reach existing or potential customers in a very targeted way. Therefore, when planning your offer and your marketing mix, you should at least consider this type of communication.

What is SMS marketing and how does it work?

SMS marketing is an important tool for interacting with people and targeting your customer base. As a rule, messages are not sent from smartphone to smartphone, but rather using a program or a platform. Messages can be sent to select users or the entire customer base. Recipients must actively choose to be included in a distribution list, so that smishing or spam can be excluded. For SMS marketing, you need a short code. The goal of this strategy is customer engagement via links or calls.


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Why is SMS marketing worth it?

SMS marketing is worth it for plenty of different reasons. Among them are:

Targeting accuracy

SMS marketing reaches the people you want to address. The chance that the SMS will be received and read is very high compared to other methods. The percentage of SMS that are actually opened is significantly higher than for emails, for example.


People who receive an SMS after giving their consent not only open it frequently, but also often click on links sent along with it or take part in advertised promotions. The engagement rate for SMS marketing is therefore comparatively high and the chances of success are increased.


Because recipients agree to be sent messages in advance, the acceptance for SMS marketing is high.

Easy to create

Characters, emojis and maybe a link — SMS are fairly sparse. Their creation is super simple and makes do without graphic aids.

Easy evaluation

With an up-to-date list of numbers, you not only have a good overview of the number of SMS sent, but you can also perform simple and helpful analyses. This way you can quickly check which campaigns are successful.


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What are the challenges of SMS marketing?

While SMS marketing is a worthwhile method, you should also give some thought to potential hurdles and challenges ahead of time. These include:

Opt-in principle

SMS marketing is only ever permitted via the opt-in principle. This means that recipients must expressly agree to receive your advertising SMS in advance. If consent is given, you can include them in your list. The possibility to revoke consent must also be given.


An SMS can contain a maximum of 160 characters. While brevity may seem like a positive of SMS marketing, it’s actually not so easy to accommodate all the relevant information and include a link in an appealing manner. Proper planning is even more important.


This also applies to the costs incurred. Firstly, sending an SMS is more expensive than sending an email, for example. Secondly, you should offer your customers added value so they will actually click on a shared link. Whether it’s a discount promotion, a sweepstakes, or another incentive, calculate the costs involved in advance for your SMS marketing to be successful and profitable.


The list of recipients in SMS marketing is usually much smaller than with other methods. The bounce rate is also comparatively high. Although these cons are made up for by the high level of engagement, they should be considered.


Due to the higher costs and the direct delivery, a well-thought-out strategy is particularly important for SMS marketing. It’s preferable to send an SMS from time to time only and ensure its content is relevant for the target group. This is how your chances of success improve.

Which platforms and programs are there?

Numerous platforms and programs are available for SMS marketing. These differ mainly in terms of pricing and their features. Here are three recommended solutions:


SlickText is one of the best-known providers in SMS marketing. Its pricing is transparent and there are no hidden costs. After a free trial period of two weeks, you can choose from different rates and change them later. SlickText offers different features, surveys, campaigns and planning. Detailed analyses and automatic deletion of incorrect numbers are also included.


Omnisend offers SMS marketing, but also provides the combination with email marketing. The provider operates worldwide and is suitable for companies with an international base of customers. Many steps can be automated and planned, making it even easier to carry out the various campaigns. Analysis doesn’t just cover the actual SMS marketing but compares it with your other marketing strategies. SMS marketing is part of Omnisend’s paid Pro plan.


TextMagic is a very user-friendly tool for SMS marketing. The price calculator lets you estimate how expensive a campaign will be. Contacts are auto-checked and filtered in case of doubt. Emails can be converted into SMS, and a comprehensive feedback solution is also included. TextMagic offers SMS marketing for over 190 countries and in numerous different languages.

How to get started with SMS marketing?

While SMS marketing is a relatively simple method, you should still plan your strategy carefully. First and foremost, this includes building a list of subscribers. As mentioned, your contacts must explicitly agree to be included in the list and this can be time-consuming. You can promote your campaign via your website, email, or print products, for example. When you have enough subscribers, you can begin SMS marketing.

Best practices for SMS marketing

How you design your campaign is up to you. However, the following characteristics distinguish good SMS marketing:


A person who shares his or her phone number with you, shows a great deal of trust in you. For the sake of your brand, you should do it justice. Store the number securely and enable unsubscribing. You’ll want to make it easy as possible for users to unsubscribe should they wish to.


While limiting the number of SMS is a good idea, so is paying attention to the quality of its content. Promotional messages can quickly cause fatigue, which is why the added value for the recipient should be clearly recognizable in every SMS. The right professional, friendly approach ensures that your customers feel they are in safe hands with you.


Avoid using SMS marketing purely for advertising and sharing information. Actively seek feedback or respond to the feedback you receive. This creates a closer bond with your customer base.

Conclusion: SMS marketing is worth considering

Whether advertising your business, your service, a new product, news from your restaurant or within non-profit marketing, SMS marketing is often underestimated as a tool to reach customers and forging a closer bond. Consider it alongside other content marketing tools or newsletter initiatives via Mailchimp or one of its alternatives.


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