By now you’re probably sick of being reminded that SMS marketing has an engagement rate eight times greater than email marketing. But did you know that 43% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when mobile offers are part of a multi-channel campaign? With an opportunity to increase your bottom line, text message marketing cannot be ignored.  And, given the number of people glued to their smartphones, it’s no wonder why this and other mobile marketing trends made it to our 2016 Local Marketing Trends Playbook.

If you missed Part One,  check it out to learn how you can get started with SMS marketing, today.


As you may have already expected, text message marketing has it’s own set of create sms marketing campaignsexpectations and rules that you should take care to learn and follow if you’re hoping to find success in your strategy. Character limitations, as well as text-only capabilities, mean that you’ll have to get even more creative in order to keep messages interesting, engaging and  actionable.

Lucky for you, we’ve concocted seven different campaigns to entice customers to take action, beyond claiming and redeeming  new customer or loyalty offers. Remember that on average, people read SMS marketing messages within three minutes of receiving them, so it’s important to send something compelling their way so your business can reap the benefits immediately.

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1. Scavenger Hunt

This campaign is very useful for fostering engagement as it helps gamify the experience. You can use this as a way to position your business within the context of the community. Ask a question about a parade, event or staple in town, and urge users to post a photo on social media and tag your business in it! Winners can receive a free gift, exclusive offer or be featured by your business.

You can also use this tactic to bring more customers in-store by having them seek out an item hidden throughout it. Try making the sought-after item on the hunt be a product  you sell for even more promotion. This could be especially powerful when coupled with a holiday, such as halloween to make it fun for kids who are trick-or-treating, or around springtime and include “easter eggs” they’ll need to find.

2. First 5 to Respond

This is a tried and true method, which relies on timeliness to urge recipients to take fast action. By promising the first x number of people to respond an exclusive, whether it’s early access to a sale, free shipping with a phone or e-commerce order, discount, small gift, etc., the competitive spirit comes out and prompts customers to engage immediately. It also helps entice them to pay your business a visit.

3. Trivia/Pop Quiz

Similar to the scavenger hunt, these messages ask some sort of trivia question, either about your community, shop, current events, historical events, best practices, or any other trending topic that you might want to take advantage of! Anyone who responds correctly, can receive a special offer, prize or discount. Why not create a theme around it, and have it recur on a regular cadence, i.e. every Tuesday, or the first Monday of every month? Some members will find this format addicting, and may even convince other friends to sign up and compete against!

4. Link to a Video on YouTube

Video has become a requirement for most consumer-facing products and services. What better way to appeal to these younger audiences than through their preferred medium? By including a link to your latest video outlining a new workout, massage treatment, hair style, service, construction project, or product compounds engagement and is essential for targeting younger demographics. If you’re not quite ready to create your own YouTube channel, don’t worry, you could also try sending them a useful tutorial on the benefits of certain treatments, how they work, or before and after transformations to help educate potential customers on your business and the types of services you provide. This type of campaign also allows you to reengage returning customers on new offerings.

5. Flash Sale or Pop-Up Event

Take a page out of the book of some larger brands, and try this approach for a surefire way to drive traffic to your business. Give your SMS list an exclusive preview of your new collection, before anyone else gets to see it. Or, give them first dibs at a special sale! You already know that your recipients are likely to view your message soon after receiving it, so a special event or sale that’s here today and gone tomorrow really puts the pressure on them to act and take advantage ASAP.

6. Push Recipients to Social Media Pages

If you’re already holding contests on your social pages, you can use your SMS list to drive more customers to enter and engage with these.  This is also a great way to get more people to follow or like your business pages across various sites.

7. Make it Personal

As always, it’s vital to personalize your outreach. You can do this by asking them an industry-related preference question for better targeting, going forward. If you’re a restaurant owner, ask what their favorite entree is, or what trends they’re looking forward to. If you’re in home services, try asking about their favorite architecture or interior design styles. Messages tailored to their preferences, are sure to keep your business at the top of their mind.

As a reminder, Signpost automatically captures SMS list opt-ins and sends them messages to drive feedback, reviews, and referrals, all without having to lift a finger! 

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Continue on to Part Three: Evaluating and Optimizing SMS Marketing Campaigns