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7 Keys to Success for SMS Marketing 

Are you using SMS text messaging to communicate with customers? Your competitors are. The SMS marketing segment is expected to grow by a CAGR of 21% between 2023 and 2030.

Why is SMS such an effective communication channel?

SMS Cuts Through the Clutter

Text messages may be short, but the list of their benefits is not. Here are several ways SMS is a must-use consumer engagement channel:

They have higher open and click through rates. Although the 98% open rate often attributed to SMS (based on 2010 data) is no longer true, SMS open rates are still higher than email. According to recent data (from the same company that did the original research), 55% of text messages are opened. Another survey found that U.S. internet users opened and read 42% of commercial/promotional text messages versus 32% sent via email.

Consumers trust text messages. They receive spam through text at a rate of less than 3%, while email is over 50%.

They get faster responses. Americans check their smartphones 144 times per day (once every 10 minutes).In contrast, people may only check their personal email several times a day, so messages may go unread for several hours. When people read texts right away, those messages are less likely to get buried in their inbox—and overlooked.

They generate better ROI. A recent survey found that the ROI for an SMS advertising campaign is 102%, compared to email (93%) and social media (81%).

How can you take full advantage of SMS text messaging?


Related eBook: Context Is Key: How to Break Through the Notification Noise to Drive Customer Engagement


7 SMS Marketing Best Practices

  1. Comply with federal and state regulations and industry guidelines, including:
    • The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA is a federal law that limits the use of SMS text messages, robo-dialing systems and pre-recorded messages.
    • Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) guidelines. The CTIA’s  voluntary guidelines (Messaging Principles and Best Practices) specify that all non-consumer message sendersshould obtain opt-in consent before sending text messages to consumers.
    • State-specific rules. All 50 states require SMS marketers to comply with federal laws. Some states have passed additional rules and regulations related to text marketing.
  2. Deliver consistent messages. Text messages should be conversational and match the tone (and content) of emails, social media and/or video ads, and any other advertising.
  3. Include the brand name in the first sentence of all messages. If people don’t recognize the phone number when they glance at the text notification, they probably won’t read the message. People only see the first sentence in their SMS inbox, so it’s important to tell them what brand is sending the message. Including the company name provides an immediate call to action—”read this text.” Including the call to action in that first sentence is ideal. For example: Click here to save $5 on your next purchase at Sunrise Cafe.
  4. Include a call-to-action link that provides immediate value. In your welcome campaign, offer a promotion for $5 off the next purchase. The recipient feels good and has a positive association with your brand because you’re offering a discount.
  5. Personalize messages based on demographics, purchase history, and interests/needs. According to McKinsey research, most (71%) consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% get frustrated when that doesn’t happen. The majority of consumers said they’re more likely to purchase (76%) and repurchase (78%) from brands that personalize. The more personalized the message, the higher the conversion rate, click-through rate and ROI will be. CSG’s customer journey management platform uses real-time customer data profiles to send each customer the right personalized message at the right time.
  6. Send a message at least once every two weeks, during business hours. People who opted in want to hear from your company, so be consistent.
    • You can send personalized messages more often (perhaps 6 – 8 times per month).
    • Send messages Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone. Click-through rates are higher on weekdays than weekends. Mondays and Thursdays are best for high engagement.
    • Avoid sending messages on the hour and half hour, when most business texts go out.
  7. Monitor, analyze and adjust. Check in and correct the messages as needed.
    • Monitor opt-out rates. If opt-out rates increase, it’s time to check in and evaluate your messages and campaign strategy.
    • Check conversion rates. How effective are your incentives? You may need to increase the incentive—perhaps by offering a larger discount or a different special offer.
    • Adjust the messaging and tone if you aren’t seeing the desired results.
    • Survey customers to determine whether your messages are personalized enough.

Delivering personalized notifications via the channel many customers prefer—SMS text messaging—creates engagement that customers crave and brands need.

CSG’s Smart(er) Notifications solution bridges our Engagement Channels messaging platforms with CSG Xponent, our customer engagement solution. Xponent combines a powerful customer data management platform with best-in-class customer journey management and journey analytics. By providing real-time, personalized interactive notifications in the preferred channel (SMS , email, voice, etc.) at the best time with the right context, Smart(er) Notifications increases engagement, propels desired customer actions, builds trusted customer relationships and loyalty, decreases churn and backlash, and increases operational efficiencies.

Get Started With Your SMS Marketing Strategy Today

Contact us today to develop a smarter approach to cross-channel communication.

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Joe Smith, Sr. Consultant, CX

Joe Smith

Sr. Consultant, CX