Text Message Marketing: Here’s What You Need to Know [2024]

March 13, 2024 (Updated) | By Sam Pelton
woman texting while holding cup of coffee

It seems to be getting harder and harder for businesses to capture their audience's attention.

One seemingly simple channel that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years is text message marketing.

With around 97% of Americans owning a mobile phone and around 5.4 billion people worldwide having a mobile subscription, text message marketing offers a unique opportunity for businesses to reach their customers directly and in real-time.

But how do you get started with text message marketing? In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to unlock the power of text message marketing for your business.

From building your subscriber list to creating effective text messages, we'll show you how to create a successful text message marketing campaign that will engage your audience and drive results.

Sound fun? Let's get started!

What Is Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing involves using SMS or MMS to send out marketing messages to your leads or customers for the purpose of increasing sales.

While some email service providers (ESPs) offer SMS tools, text message marketing is typically accomplished through SMS-specific marketing platforms or API services.

What Are Benefits of Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing is a powerful tool that offers numerous benefits to businesses. Here are some of the biggest advantages of using text message marketing.

High Open Rates

Text messages have high open rates, making SMS the perfect channel to ensure your message is seen by your audience.

Real-Time Communication

Since text messages are delivered instantly, it’s ideal for sending time-sensitive information.

While social media and email are delivered instantly, recipients may not see your message for hours and hours.

In contrast, with text messages, they’ll most likely read your message quickly.

Think about your own habits—how long do you go without checking your text messages? If you needed to ask your spouse to pick up milk on the way home, would you send them an email? In our day and age, you’d most likely send them a text.

Direct and Personalized

Text message marketing allows businesses to send personalized messages directly to their customers' mobile phones.

Your texts will show up in the same inbox that they use to communicate with their friends and family—unlike email, which people are using less and less for personal communication.

Positive ROI

Since texting is such an effective way to reach people, you can see significant positive ROI.

That potential ROI makes SMS an affordable way to reach your audience, and it can be significantly less expensive in the long run than other marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print media.

Plus, your ROI can be more instant. You send out a text and—boom!—in many cases you should see ROI within the next hour.

More Revenue

Most text message marketing campaigns have the goal of getting more revenue. Sending a text notifying people about a new product, discount, or promotion is an easy way to drive up some quick revenue.

Infographic showing benefits of text message marketing

What Are Disadvantages of Text Message Marketing (and What Should You Avoid)?

There are a few things to keep in mind when pursuing text message marketing.


While the specific laws regarding text marketing compliance have been relaxed due to a fairly recent Supreme Court decision, SMS still has a few compliance regulations you should follow so that you get the best delivery possible.

These regulations have been set forth by the CTIA in partnership with the major mobile carriers. If the regulations aren’t followed, the mobile carriers may block your messages from being delivered to your recipients.

Some of these compliance regulations include:

  • Make sure people are actually opting in to receive your texts. (Here are some ways people can opt in.)
  • Make sure you honor opt-outs. (SMS platforms automatically handle opt-outs for you if people reply STOP to any of your messages.)
  • Register your brand with the mobile carriers so that they can pre-vet your traffic to make sure it’s legitimate. (With Mobile Text Alerts, you can fill out an easy form in order to register your traffic.)
  • Don’t send texts outside of normal daytime hours in the timezone of your recipient(s).
  • Identify yourself and include opt-out instructions in all of your text messages.
  • Avoid mentioning content related to SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco/drugs). If you have a legitimate use case for this type of content (for example, if you're a marketer for a vineyard), chat with our SMS experts to get some advice on how you can go about texting for your business.
  • Don’t use URL shortening services like bit.ly—instead, use the full link or company-branded link shorteners.

As long as you follow these guidelines, you’ll be just fine as you go about your text message marketing efforts.

Collecting Phone Numbers

Collecting phone numbers for text message marketing can admittedly be a bit trickier than collecting, say, emails. People are more hesitant to give out their phone numbers, precisely because they don’t want unwanted spam (as email inboxes are inevitably inundated with).

But this potential difficulty is mitigated once you realize that since more people actually read their texts, as opposed to emails, you don’t need as large of an audience in order to make an impact and see good ROI.

Furthermore, there are several tools Mobile Text Alerts offers in order to help make it easier for you to get more people to sign up:

How Can Companies Use Text Message Marketing?

Businesses and non-profits both small and large send text messages for a variety of reasons:

  • Promos and discounts
  • New products and inventory
  • Lead follow-up
  • Customer care interactions
  • Loyalty programs
  • Events
  • Payment collection
  • Follow-up for lost customers
  • Internal company communication
  • Emergency notices for employees or members
  • Last-minute updates
  • Simply staying connected with large groups of people

Below are some specific examples of ways different industries can use texting.

From: Layna’s Lovelies - Today only! BOGO company-branded T’s. Shop now: http://mbltxt.com/zFH

From: Calvary Baptist - Services are canceled tomorrow due to the snow. Stay safe!

From: Jackson Norse - Hope you enjoyed the investment webinar! Interested in a free consultation? Book here for a 30-minute 1-on-1 video session with me: http://mbltxt.com/qGI

From: Del Rio Construction HR - Lightning possible near worksite area. Please stop work immediately and follow your foreman’s instructions.

From: Beautifully Blessed Boutique - Going live now! New pieces to showcase, you’re gonna love ‘em! Click here: http://mbltxt.com/zVu

From: Westridge Elementary - Hello kindergarten parents! Just a reminder that your student will be performing in the opening assembly today at 2pm and you are invited. Hope to see you there!

  • Enterprise Businesses

From: Johnsco Enterprises - Reminder: Franchisees must attend the informational meeting today at 11am CST regarding implementing texting services for your franchise. Here’s the link to join: http://mbltxt.com/zVq

From: City of Redding - The city is under a boil water notice until Monday at 8am while the filtration system is under maintenance. Please refrain from using unfiltered water without first boiling it.

From: Women’s Health Clinic of Lincoln - Hi Katie, just a reminder about your appointment with Dr. McGrady tomorrow at 2:10pm. Please arrive 10 minutes early to fill out paperwork.

From: ML Manufacturing - Announcement! Mandatory safety meeting today at 2pm. Please contact your supervisor if you can’t attend.

From: FA Nebraska - Don’t forget to return borrowed sports equipment by Friday at 5pm.

From: Lori Nicholson - New listing just posted that meets all your criteria! 3 BR, 2 BA. Check it out here and reply back if you’d like to book a showing: http://mbltxt.com/zFc

From: Clara’s Cupcakes - $30 off any purchase of $100 or more! Expires 10/31. Use promo code 30OFFNOW at checkout. Shop here: http://mbltxt.com/yEG

  • Small Businesses

From: Clips & Tips - Happy Mother’s Day! Half-priced cuts for all moms this weekend only. Mention the promo when you come in. Appointments will fill up fast so book now: http://mbltxt.com/ys5

  • Transportation

From: Ryker’s Transportation - Insurance reps are available today from 10am–12pm in the conference room if you want to stop in with any questions.

From: Jason the Finance Guru - It’s go time! The “3 Steps to Start Investing” webinar starts in T minus 5 minutes. See you there!

What Are Text Message Marketing Tips and Best Practices?

Here are a few tips you can keep in mind when using an SMS system.

Concise Is Nice

In general, you want to keep your messages as brief and concise as possible. This is what people expect with text messages.

Keeping things brief will also save you money—SMS can technically only have 160 characters per message, so if you include more than that in your message, you’ll end up using up more messaging credits in the Mobile Text Alerts platform.

“True Value” Texts

As with email marketing, but even more important, you need to make sure to give your audience something of value in your text messages.

People aren’t as tolerant of what they consider to be spam in their SMS inboxes as they are in their email inboxes.

If they receive messages that aren’t valuable to them, they will start to ignore you—or will unsubscribe.

And… Action!

In many ways, SMS is no different than other marketing initiatives. Just like with other types of marketing, you’ll usually want to include a call-to-action so that recipients know what step to take next.

For your call-to-action, it’s often best to use a trackable link so that you can get a better feel for how successful your SMS campaigns are.

Give ‘Em Something to Look At

Using emojis, GIFs, and images can help your messages stand out a little more, and it’s generally accepted within marketing in general that using visual elements helps your marketing be more effective.

However, note that with SMS, using images can cost you more messaging credits, so that’s something to keep in mind as you plan out your marketing campaigns.

Screenshot of marketing message on send message page

The Name of the Game

Include your recipients’ names in order to give your messages a more personalized feel. With Mobile Text Alerts, you can auto-fill recipient’s first names, just like you typically can with email service providers.

Just make sure you have accurate names before you do this! Although including the first name can be a nice touch, including the wrong name can have the opposite effect.


With marketing, the more relevant your messages are, the more effective they are.

One way to help you make sure you send the most relevant messages possible is to separate out your subscriber list into segmented groups. So instead of mass blasting everyone in your list indiscriminately, tailor your messages to characteristics that are unique to each group.

Doing this has multiple benefits:

  • It can help you save money (because you’re not wasting money on sending irrelevant messages)
  • It can help you get fewer unsubscriptions (because people won’t be unsubscribing from receiving messages they don’t actually want)
  • It can help you get more granular about evaluating which of your groups respond better to certain types of messaging or certain offers

Time to Get a Watch

While timing is important for other types of marketing too, it’s even more important for text message marketing.

For example, if someone gets an email at 2 in the morning, it won’t bother them. But if someone gets a text message at 2 in the morning, that could be a different story.

Keep your messages within normal daytime hours. You can experiment with what times of the day work best for your audience (mornings? lunchtime? after work?).

Another timing issue you want to keep in mind is frequency.

People may receive multiple emails per month from a company—it may annoy them slightly, but they probably won’t be too bothered.

They will be less understanding when it comes to text messages. Stick to just 1–4 texts per month at first. (You can experiment with ramping up later on if you think it will be effective with your audience.)

Get a Free 14-Day Trial with Mobile Text Alerts

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Man looking at watch and holding phone

Analysis, Not Paralysis

Like all marketing, you’ll need to measure results so that you can determine what’s being successful and what’s not being successful.

You can use in-app reporting within Mobile Text Alerts to determine delivery rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates to help you evaluate your marketing messages.

You can take what’s performing well and try to optimize it even further, or take what’s not performing well and revamp it to make it better.

How Can a Text Message Marketing Platform Help?

Mobile Text Alerts gives you several tools to help with your SMS marketing efforts.

Easy-to-Use, Out-of-the-Box Platform

You want a text marketing tool that can help you get off the ground running. Something that’s easy to set up and easy to use, but also scalable.

Mobile Text Alerts allows you to get started quickly, without needing to go through a lot of setup hassle. Plus the interface is intuitive enough that you can figure out how it works in no time.

Live Support a Click Away

You ever experienced it where, try as you might, you just can’t get a hold of a real support person? You might just have a simple question but all you get are bots.

In the Mobile Text Alerts dashboard, you have access to live support people directly on whatever page you’re viewing—no need to chat with a bot or wait for days for someone to get back to you.

Automation Nation

Automation helps free up time and hassle so you can be more productive.

Mobile Text Alerts has built-in automation tools like message scheduling, drip campaigns, and smart replies—or you can set up your own automations via Zapier.com or API.

Texting Is a 2-Way Street

In order to manage individual conversations, you need some way to view and respond to replies that people send into your text blasts. Or maybe you want to use your texting platform for customer service interactions.

The Mobile Text Alerts 2-way inbox allows you to manage all of this directly within the interface. (You can even assign certain conversations to particular users.)

screenshot of inbox page

The Morning Report

As mentioned previously, you want to be able to see analytics in regards to your message blasts, so that you can make more informed decisions about your marketing campaigns.

Mobile Text Alerts gives you reporting options so you can see what messages you sent, who they were sent to, how many people clicked links, and more.

1-on-1 Time

Sometimes it’s good to get advice from people who have a lot of experience. People who can tell you the in’s and out’s of how to use a product—and of best practices and strategies to try. People who can answer your questions and help give you a better understanding of how to move forward.

With Mobile Text Alerts, you can get a free 1-on-1 consultation with an SMS expert. They’ll walk you through the platform, give you advice individualized to your situation, and can help you find the answers you’re looking for.

How to Get Started with Text Message Marketing for Your Business

Text message marketing is a powerful tool that can help businesses connect with their customers in a direct and personal way.

By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can create a successful text message marketing campaign that engages your audience and drives results. With the right strategy and tools, text message marketing can help you take your business to the next level.

Intrigued about text marketing? Book a free call today so you can get the info you need.

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Start sending mass text messages to your entire list today!