Mobile commerce is growing and there is no doubt about it. From small-screen friendly web designs to SMS marketing and QR codes, marketers are shifting their focus from the big screen on your desk to the smaller one in your hand.

SMS marketing is exploding with popularity all over the world due to it’s ease of use and effectiveness. It is a particular favourite amongst small businesses thanks to how straightforward it is to set up and use (who can’t send a text these days?) and its sizeable ROI. As more and more marketers begin to adopt this new stream, many don’t take the time to research and understand the best practices of text message marketing that may ultimately determine their success.

It is not just about sending a text. There are certain do’s and dont’s you should know about before you start messaging. Here they are:


  • Build Your Contacts List the Right Way.

That’s right, there is a right way and a wrong way. Try to build your list from scratch by asking customers and prospects to give you their phone number if they would like to receive communications from you. You can use similar tactics to growing your email marketing list. Do not under any circumstances go out there and purchase a bunch of phone numbers from a vendor. Think about it, why would you text someone who has never heard of your business and has never expressed a desire to hear from you? Instead build your contacts list the honest way. It may take longer, however you know you have the numbers of people who a truly interested in what you have to offer and want to interact with your business.

  • Offer Value and Be Specific.

A text message is a lot less disruptive than a phone call, nevertheless if you are to contact someone you’d better have a good reason to do so. Every time you send SMS to someone from your list, make sure it offers them something of value. Be it an update about new stock coming in, reminder for their next appointment with you, an exclusive discount code or announcing a sale, you should always offer something valuable and compelling.

Keep It Short and Sweet.

Think of a text as it is a tweet. Keep it short and to the point. Yes, you can pay extra for more characters but at the end of the day people want short, sharp and to the point communications. A standard format message allows you to make your point in 160 characters, so make every single one of them count.

Include a Compelling Call to Action.

Whether it is a landing page, an email campaign or an sms marketing campaign, everything you send out should have a clear call to action. So be sure to reap the full potential of your marketing SMS by including a call to action within your messages. This could be anything from asking recipients to let their friends know about a sale by forwarding on the message, or replying to the message with a simple code in order to receive special offers.


Buy Telephone Numbers.

We’ve mentioned this earlier but in case you’ve missed it, don’t buy lists with telephone numbers, instead work to growing your own.

Always Try to Sell.

SMS marketing is great for bringing customers in and keeping your business top of mind, but every now and then you can take a more personal approach. How about sending cheerful Happy Birthday message to someone who you know is celebrating that day? Same goes for Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Many companies send cards to their customers during the holiday season, but a simple text would have the same impact at a fraction of the cost!

Forget to Introduce Yourself.

This is an important one that’s why we kept it for last. Don’t forget to introduce yourself! It’s simple, but you’ll be amazed how many times I’ve received great deals in text message form only to be left wondering who sent them.

Exclusive deal. Only today, 50% of all stock, come and join the discount bonanza! From: Anonymous….

SMS Marketing – Bad Example

  • Huge sale on now! Visit
  • GreatShoes has amazing new stock in at even more amazing prices!

The first text is too short and not very specific. What’s on sale? How og is the sale going on for? etc.
The second message has no clear call to action.

SMS Marketing – Good Examples

  • Up to 70% off on all leather goods! Visit and use the discount code 70OFFLEATHER at the check out!
  • Our winter essentials are finally here. Visit and get a FREE pair of socks with your purchase. Be the first one to rock the winter look!
  • GreatShoes wishes you very Merry and Bootiful Christmas!

These messages are good because they have a clear call to action, a compelling offer and a personal tone.

You might not create the perfect message straight away but these text message marketing tips will certainly help you and guide you through your campaigns!