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7 innovative SMS campaign ideas [with examples]

Ready to take your SMS campaigns to the next level? Get inspired with these seven innovative ideas and real-life examples that will captivate your audience and boost engagement.
Marketer sending innovative SMS campaign messages to customers.

SMS marketing has become an essential tool for marketers to connect with their desired audience in a more personal and effective way. But to truly stand out and make a lasting impression, you need to think outside the box and bring a fresh perspective to your campaigns. In this blog post, we’ve handpicked seven innovative SMS campaign ideas that are changing the game, backed up with real-life examples to inspire your next marketing campaign.

1. Embrace multimedia messaging services (MMS) for interactive and engaging messaging

If you want to take your SMS campaigns to the next level, consider using Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS). MMS empowers you to integrate images, audio, and video into your text messages, offering your audience a richer and more immersive experience that goes beyond the limitations of plain text.

A notable example of a successful MMS campaign is White + Warren’s approach to promoting their latest cashmere collection. The brand utilized MMS by sending their customers an eye-catching snippet of their newest offerings, accompanied by an enticing 25% discount code. This not only showed the company’s branding but also provided a visual incentive to take advantage of the sale marketed.

White + Warren, MMS, and discount message.

So, if you want to stand out in the crowded mobile messaging space, consider using MMS to create more engaging and interactive campaigns that will resonate with your audience and drive better results.

2. Grow your SMS lists with email

Email marketing is not limited to promoting products or sending newsletters. It can also be an effective way of expanding your SMS subscriber base and spreading the word about your text message campaigns. By combining the strengths of these two communication channels, you can maximize your marketing efforts and drive greater engagement with your target audience.

Saje, for example, offers a great example of how to integrate SMS and email campaigns. The promotional email shows a screenshot of a text conversation that encourages customers to text ‘SAJE’ to 34857. As an incentive, customers get a 20% discount on their purchases. This smart approach promotes the use of text messaging as an additional way of communication, seamlessly combining the two mediums for a more successful marketing campaign.

Saje email, text us to save 20% off.

3. Create time-sensitive flash sales

Flash sales can be a great way to create a sense of urgency, generate excitement, and convert potential customers into actual buyers. SMS campaigns are an ideal medium for this, as they offer instant notifications and easy access to purchase opportunities. By announcing limited-time deals via SMS, you can capture your audience’s attention and encourage them to make purchases right away, resulting in a high return on investment.

A great example of this is Urban Decay, which used an SMS campaign to announce a Black Friday deal: customers could get 50% off on their makeup palettes while supplies last. The offer also included an additional 25% off on the whole site using a discount code. This offer, available for a limited time, was effectively communicated via a simple and concise text message, motivating customers to act quickly and grab a bargain before it was gone.

Urban Decay new Black Friday deals promotion SMS message.

4. Inform customers about back-in-stock items

With the help of SMS marketing, notifying customers when their favorite products are back in stock can drive immediate sales and maintain strong relationships. By keeping your audience informed, you not only meet their expectations but also showcase your commitment to providing the best possible customer service.

Dormify is a prime example of a brand that utilizes back in stock SMS notifications. The retailer effectively informs customers about the arrival of sought-after inventory restocks, creating urgency by emphasizing the limited availability. In addition, the brand optimizes the customer experience by including a direct link for easy purchasing, making it incredibly convenient for customers to secure their desired items.

Dormify, back in stock SMS message.

5. Reward your loyal customers with exclusive offers

SMS campaigns are an effective way to celebrate and reward your most loyal customers, by sharing exclusive offers and discounts. This kind of personal touch strengthens the bond between the brand and the customer and encourages repeat purchases.

Glossier’s gifting campaign stands as a prime illustration of an effective customer reward strategy. The brand provides a free product, typically valued at $22 when customers spend over $75. However, this offer is only valid for a limited time, which creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity. This approach not only makes customers feel valued but also drives immediate sales.

Glossier, exclusive offer SMS message.

6. Follow up with cart abandoners

Abandoned carts pose a persistent challenge in ecommerce, resulting in lost sales and frustrated marketers. However, by using SMS marketing, you can recover lost revenue and maintain customer interest by following up with customers who left your store without completing their purchase. By sending a gentle reminder, you can effectively re-engage cart abandoners and remind them of what they’re missing out on.

It’s important to keep in mind that when sending abandoned cart messages, you can’t add GIFs or beautiful product images as you can when sending emails, and your text can’t be longer than 160 characters. That means your copy needs to be both concise and engaging.

Take for example this SMS message from OSEA. The brand offers free shipping to the recipient. Offering free shipping can be even more effective for a cart recovery campaign than offering a discount, as many shoppers leave their carts because they didn’t expect the shipping fee. Even if you already offer free shipping, your abandoned cart text message is a good place to remind shoppers of that.

OSEA Malibu, cart abandoner follow-up SMS with a personalized message and free shipping offer.

Aside from offering free shipping, OSEA does a good job here of personalizing the message to Donald and creating a sense of urgency by letting him know his cart is about to expire.

7. Play with SMS polls and surveys

SMS polls and surveys provide valuable insights into consumer preferences while simultaneously engaging your audience. By offering them the opportunity to participate in your brand’s decision-making process, you can develop products and strategies that cater to their unique needs, fostering a strong relationship between you and your customers.

Good American makes use of customer feedback by sending a short SMS survey. To further encourage participation, the retailer offers a 20% discount code for the customer’s next purchase. This dual approach not only gathers important customer insight but also rewards them for their involvement, further solidifying a positive relationship between the brand and its audience.

Good American, SMS poll with a quick survey and a 20% discount code.

Ready, Set, SMS

In conclusion, SMS marketing is a valuable strategy that can help your business connect with customers in a more meaningful and impactful way. By implementing the innovative SMS ideas we’ve discussed, you can take your marketing efforts to the next level and achieve greater success. So why wait? It’s time to put these ideas into action, explore the possibilities of SMS marketing, and see how it can help you reach your business goals.

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