Need to boost your marketing efforts? SMS marketing could be just what you need.
Fifty-two percent of consumers say they prefer to communicate via text for marketing and promotional messages. And according to Zipwhip’s 2021 State of Texting report, 58% of consumers say that texting is the fastest way to reach them, making it a strong alternative to emails.
When it comes to email vs text, SMS has a much higher open rate and can require less work to compose. Sending a text to your customers ensures that your message will be seen.
Below, we provide tips on how to write an effective marketing and promotional text. We also include templates and examples showing how to use these messages with customers.
How to write an SMS for marketing and promotional purposes
To get the most out of your text message promotion and marketing efforts, you’ll want to use business-texting software. Automation features such as scheduled messages, auto-replies, templates and keywords will save you from wasting time with repetitive tasks and keep you organized when texting all your customers. Learn more about how business texting software works.
When you’re ready to write your promotional or marketing message, consider the following:
- Let the customer know who you are. They may not have your business number saved on their phone. Introduce yourself upfront or save it for your text message signature.
- Keep the message short. Texts are meant to be read quickly, so get right to the point. Business texting software may come with a high SMS character count for longer messages when applicable, but if you find that your marketing or promotional text is getting too long, you may need to send an email instead.
- Include an image. If your promotional text is about a new product or you’re advertising a sale, include a simple graphic or an image of the featured item(s). Adding an image to your marketing message will increase the chance of a click-through versus sending a plain text alone.
- Include a call to action (CTA). Whether you want customers to redeem an offer code or you want them to visit your store, offer a clear CTA to spur your customer into action. For tips on how to write an effective text marketing CTA, read this blog post.
- Don’t use a URL shortener. If the goal for your promotional text is to drive traffic to your website, use a link as your CTA. When including a link in your marketing message, we recommend using the entire link instead of using a link shortener. Phone carriers see shortened links as suspicious and may flag your message as spam. Learn more about best practices when including a text message link in this blog post.
And a few important details before you send any text message promotion or marketing messages:
- Don’t send texts without permission. It goes against TCPA compliance and your recipients may feel like you’ve invaded their space. Our TCPA e-book provides examples of how you can gather an opt-in text list of subscribers.
- Don’t overwhelm customers with promotional or marketing messages. Texting is meant to enhance other forms of marketing and promotional outreach, not replace them. Send only relevant texts to your customers and send them every now and then. When and how many will vary from business to business.
We cover all this and more in our free e-book The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers.
Marketing and promotional SMS templates and examples
Below, you’ll find examples of SMS writing to include in your marketing and promotional campaigns. If you’re a Zipwhip customer, just copy and paste the plain text into your text window. Be sure to change up anything that can speak specifically to your business.
Discount message examples
Sending your customers a discount via text may be more impactful than delivering the same message over email. Email is a valuable tool for businesses, but it’s not always the most visible medium. Consumers don’t read all their emails and messages can easily get lost in a crowded inbox. A text message ensures your recipient will see your discount offer.
1. Discount message to attract customers, gym or studio
Treat yourself for the new year. 😌 All personal training sessions are 20% off TODAY ONLY. Stop by the studio to get your discount!
2. Discount message example for sports teams
Hey [First Name]! A few tickets are still available for Friday’s game against Michigan. I can get you set up with a 15% discount if you purchase today. Are you interested?
Keena – Seattle Football League Office ⚽– Text STOP to unsubscribe
3. Discount offer message sample for retail
Need a gift ASAP? Our gift cards are 10% off today through Friday, in-store and online.
Drew – Seattle’s Best Restaurant –Text STOP to unsubscribe
Sales promotion templates
Send promotional SMS campaigns to your customers about sales your business is running or flash sales that customers can only redeem for a limited time.
4. Sales promotion template for retail
Our end-of-season sale starts NOW. Stop by the shop this week for 15% off summer apparel and select accessories. Stock is limited!
5. Flash sale promo SMS
Today only! Get free shipping on your order, no minimum required. Shop now: ADD URL
Text STOP to unsubscribe
SMS advertising examples
Text advertising is a convenient way to let your text subscribers know about upcoming events or promotional campaigns in more personal way than a general email.
6. Advertising promo SMS for gym or studio
Hi [First Name]. Bring a friend any time during the month of December and get $100 if they sign up as a member! Tap the link to learn more. ADD URL
7. Promotional message example with discount for retail location
📣 Our new location in Queen Anne is now open! Come celebrate with us and get 15% off your purchase today through Saturday. See you there!
JP – Seattle Wellness Shop – Text STOP to unsubscribe
8. Promotional SMS campaign for gym or fitness studio
It’s Ab Challenge Month, [First Name]! Every Tuesday and Thursday in January, Coach Luc’s 6 p.m. class will focus on all things abs. You’re going to feel the burn! 😜 Sign-ups are happening now at the front desk.
Ryan– Seattle’s Best Gym– Reply STOP to unsubscribe
9. Text message promotion with prize incentive
Get to the game early today! Be one of the first 100 fans at the stadium and get a free Seattle City Soccer t-shirt. See you there!
10. Restaurant SMS sample for an event promotion
Hey [First Name]! Join us this Friday at 7PM for live music and a special Happy Hour menu featuring craft cocktails, local beers and new appetizers. Visit our website to learn more. Hope to see you there! ADD URL
Danielle – Seattle Gastro Pub on 5th – Text STOP to unsubscribe
Holiday marketing and promotional SMS
Over the holidays, your customers may appreciate getting a marketing and promotional text instead of another email in their inbox, which tends to be overloaded with messages from brands and stores during the time of year. See other ways texting can be used during the holidays in this blog post: 10 Holiday Text Message Templates to Use with Customers This Year.
11. Discount message example for Mother’s Day retail, flash sale
Need a last-minute gift for Mom? We’ve got you covered. Our best-selling candles are 20% off TODAY. 😲 This offer is valid for in-store purchases only. Quantities are limited!
Krystal – Seattle Candle Shop – Text STOP to unsubscribe
12. Promotional text for a service during the holidays
Not the best at gift wrapping? 🎁 Or you just hate doing it? We’ll wrap your in-store purchases for FREE. Today and tomorrow only. Just show this text to redeem this offer. See you soon!
Braden – Seattle One Apparel – Reply STOP to unsubscribe
Loyalty rewards and birthday messages
Another use for marketing and promotional texts is incorporating the medium into your loyalty program. Redeeming rewards is much easier when using texts because of its accessibility; Your customer doesn’t have to scroll too far to find what they’re looking for.
13. Restaurant SMS sample for birthday treats
Happy birthday month, [First Name]! 🥳 Show this text to your server on your next visit this month and we’ll give you a free appetizer. 🙌
Jordan – Best Sushi – Text STOP to unsubscribe
14. Restaurant SMS sample for cafe
Hey [First Name]. It’s [Your Name] from Seattle Café. We’ve launched a new rewards program where you can earn free coffee ☕️and treats 🥐! Sign up or learn more here: ADD URL
Announcements for new products or services
Pique your customers’ interest in a new product or service with a text message. Include a photo of the new item to make the message more impactful, and don’t forget to include a link to your product or service’s web page.
15. New stock arrival messages to customers
Our best-selling basic tees have been sold out for months, but they’re now back in stock. Grab The Comfy Tee before it’s gone again!
Shop now: ADD URL
16. New arrivals SMS sample
Fremont Wear: From loungewear jumpsuits to mini pastel backpacks, our Spring collection will prepare you for sunnier times ahead. Check out the newest arrivals here: ADD URL
17. New collection SMS text message
Fremont Skincare: Just launched! New limited edition travel sets for every skin type and concern to take with you on your next vacation or getaway. See them here: ADD URL
Text STOP to unsubscribe
Contest promotional text
Contests are a fun way to engage with your audience. See how radio stations use texting for games and contests in this blog post: Creative Ways Radio Stations Use Texting to Engage Listeners
18. Promotional message example for sports teams
Hey Seattle City Soccer fans! We’re giving away 2 SEASON TICKETS to one lucky winner and a friend. Just reply to this text with the word TICKETS and you’ll be entered to win. See full contest details here: ADD URL
19. Text message promotion for sports teams
WIN this autographed Seattle City Soccer jersey! Just reply to this text with the word JERSEY and you’ll be entered to win. We’ll text the winner this Friday. Good luck!
Keena – Seattle Football League Office ⚽– Text STOP to unsubscribe
For more information about Zipwhip and our business-texting software, visit our How Zipwhip Works page. Or sign up for a free trial. Want to see more free text templates? Check out our post: 61 Text Templates Businesses Can Use Right Now