Are you looking for 10 great text message marketing examples with explanations about why they work, when they’re effective, and how you can use them in your campaign today? If so, you’re in the right place. We’ve compiled a list of 10 different text message marketing examples you can use to provide value to your subscriber and differentiate your SMS campaign from your competitors. Keep reading for top brands such as Active Ride Shop, Chili’s, Rue21, Steve Madden, Brevite, and more.
P.S. If you haven’t heard about SMS Archives, check it out! It’s a powerful resource for text message marketers, with more than 2,500 text message examples from hundreds of brands. You can even filter your search by message type, message feature, industry, or event. Pretty cool, huh?
What Is Text Message Marketing?
First things first, text message marketing is when brands and organizations use an SMS short code to communicate with subscribers who opt into their text messaging program. Users subscribe to receive SMS and MMS messages on their mobile phones by texting a corresponding keyword to a short code. It’s kind of like email marketing, except it has way better open rates, with consumers opening 99 percent of the texts they receive, versus email marketing’s 20 percent open rates.
The Top 10 Text Message Marketing Examples
Check out the following 10 text message marketing examples that highlight a wide variety of brands using text message marketing to promote deals, engage subscribers, and strengthen brand recognition. As a bonus, we include a description of the brand, why the type of text message works, the best time to use the message, and a formula to help you reproduce them in your own text message marketing campaigns.
1. Active Ride Shop
Active Ride Shop aims to be the number one destination for all skateboarding needs. Since 1989, Active Ride Shop has been committed to providing Southern California with the best selection of skate products and the best shopping experience possible.
The Active Ride Shop text message program sends its subscribers’ regular mystery deals, giveaways, and the latest updates about Active Ride Shop.
Why this text works: In this first text message example, we highlight a message that can be used when a brand wants to focus on discovery incentives. Brands can use this style of a “mystery” text message to tap into the human nature of curiosity, increase the likelihood of strong click-through rates, and drive website traffic.
When to use this type of message: Use this style of text message to differentiate your regular SMS campaign messaging, increase website traffic, and test how this type of text message performs with your subscribers.
“[Brand Name]: MYSTERY BOX. Go! Limited supply, Limited time.
Take it further: Check out this article for more info on how to include a link preview similar to the message above.
Brevite specializes in designing and manufacturing modern camera backpacks and functional accessories.
The Brevite SMS program features regular restock alerts, flash sales, product information, and the latest Brevite updates.
Why this text works: This type of text message capitalizes on FOMO (fear of missing out) to introduce a sense of scarcity and increase a feeling of urgency by using language such as, “They’ve sold out 5x this year! Get your order in ASAP.”
When to use this type of message: Use this style of text message when you want to focus on driving sales for a specific product that’s popular among your audience.
“[Brand Name]: RESTOCK ALERT! Our [insert product name here] is back!
They’ve sold out 5x this year! Get your order in ASAP.
Use “[insert promo code]” for “[discount amount]” off.
Note: Check out this article for info on how to include a link preview similar to the message above.
Cabela’s is a US-based specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, boating, camping, shooting, and related outdoor recreation merchandise.
The Cabela’s text message coupon program sends customers mobile alerts for Cabela’s biggest sales, best deals, and newest products. Cabela’s ensures each mobile alert is tailored to fit the customer’s passions.
Why this text works: This type of text message works because of its simplicity. Promoting a sale and including a link for subscribers to shop is as uncomplicated as possible. This is a proven text message that gets results.
When to use this type of message: This type of message is useful when you don’t have a complex offer and want to drive direct traffic to a website.
“[Brand Name]: Enjoy explosive deals for a fantastic fourth!
Shop Now: [insert link]”
Chili’s Grill & Bar is an American casual dining restaurant chain founded in Texas in 1975. Chili’s serves American food influenced by Tex-Mex cuisine, such as spicy shrimp tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, bacon burgers, and steaks.
Chili’s uses SMS marketing alerts to send promotional offers and coupons and update subscribers about ordering options.
Why this text works: This style of text message works because it presents a clear offer that provides value to the subscriber.
When to use this type of message: This type of message can be useful when you want to drive additional purchases with a free item.
“[Brand Name]: Stop by for a FREE [item or product] on us by [date].
We’ll be on the lookout for you!
5. Intelligent Blends
Intelligent Blends is an innovative copacker, manufacturer, and solutions provider for the rapidly growing single-serve beverage market. Intelligent Blends has packed millions of single-serve pods for dozens of brands and roasters from all over the US and abroad.
Intelligent Blends sends their subscribers MMS and SMS messages with special holiday offers and BOGO deals throughout the year. Almost every MMS message features a link to purchase and an eye-catching image or graphic to entice customers to make a purchase.
Why this text works: Compared to previous examples, this text message is different. This text message focuses on using texting as a communication channel to distribute information about their products differently. In this example, the message is communicating how to set up an Alexa skill that enables updates for Intelligent Blends products.
When to use this type of message: Use this type of text message to help build other communication channels for your brand.
Add our Alexa skill by simply saying “Alexa, enable [brand skill]” for exclusive new deals, new product features, and more.”
Note: You can use this type of message to promote other channels besides an Alexa skill.
6. Liquid I.V.
Liquid I.V. creates a great-tasting, non-GMO electrolyte drink mix that utilizes the breakthrough science of cellular transport technology (CTT) to deliver hydration to the bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone.
The Liquid I.V. text message program sends subscribers special deals and updates about new Liquid I.V. products.
Why this text works: This text works because of its offered value, product, and call to action. Keeping the text simple and including an image of the product bundle being promoted creates an easy-to-read message that subscribers can understand quickly.
When to use this type of message: Use this type of text message to promote a product discount deal.
“[Brand Name]: Save __% on [product + product description]
Murad is a clinical skincare company offering science-backed professional skincare treatments and solutions that promote healthy, nourished, and beautiful skin.
Murad utilizes SMS and MMS marketing to inform subscribers about exclusive offers and sale items. Messages include pictures of products with links to purchase items.
Why this text works: Compared to traditional SMS marketing examples promoting discounts or sales, Murad is promoting a skincare survey that subscribers can take to receive an updated, customized skincare regimen. In this example, Murad uses a lead-magnet quiz in a text message to drive subscribers to convert when they receive their skincare regimen with recommended products from Murad.
When to use this type of message: Use this type of message to incorporate variety in your regular text messaging program.
“[Brand Name]: [insert relevant question] Take our quiz to [help your subscribers with something]!
Lets get started: [insert link]”
rue21 is an American specialty retailer of women’s casual apparel and accessories headquartered in the Pittsburgh suburb of Warrendale, Pennsylvania. Its clothes are designed to appeal to people who desire to feel youthful.
The rue21 uses SMS text marketing to communicate with subscribers. Each week, text messages can include an exclusive offer (including a coupon code) and a link to purchase the items.
Why this text works: This text serves to encourage engagement and provide a sense of involvement with rue21. It does this by offering subscribers an opportunity to be a part of their exclusive squad and a chance to inspire the brand’s upcoming collections.
When to use this type of message: Use this type of message when you want to focus on brand engagement instead of concentrating on selling a product.
“[Brand Name]: Be a ___ expert!
Text [insert your relevant keyword] to join our exclusive squad & inspire our upcoming styles.”
Schnucks is a supermarket chain. The company was established in 1939 with a 1,000-square-foot store in north St. Louis and now operates 112 stores in five states throughout the Midwest.
Schnucks sends subscribers SMS text messages detailing company initiatives and usually include a link to additional information.
Why this text works: This style of text message works to create a personalized connection by encouraging the subscriber to save the short code as a contact using a vCard (virtual contact card). For example, instead of receiving a message from “12345,” subscribers receive a message from “Henry,” increasing brand recognition and click-through rates. this is also an easy way for your subscribers to search previous text messages from your brand.
When to use this type of message: This type of text message is most effective during the opt-in confirmation process because establishing brand recognition from the beginning can benefit your brand later down the road.
“Download the contact card for [contact name] to search [brand name] quickly and easily in the future.
[insert virtual contact card]
Congratulations, you are subscribed to [brand name] text alerts.”
10. Steve Madden
Steve Madden is a publicly-traded company based in Long Island City, New York. Founded by the eponymous designer and businessman Steve Madden, the company designs and markets shoes and fashion accessories for adults and children. There are approximately 120 Steve Madden stores across the US and 250 in over 65 countries.
Steve Madden uses its text message program to send subscribers regular alerts about deals, product launches, specials, and the latest updates about everything Steve Madden.
Why this text works: This text works to drive revenue by giving subscribers an opportunity to save more using a coupon code that expires in a short amount of time.
When to use this type of message: Use this type of message when your text program is looking for different ways to promote a sale or offer.
“[Brand Name]: Your coupon expires in two days.
Click here and use coupon [insert coupon code] at checkout for __% off your new look:
Text Message Marketing Resources
Looking for more examples of brands using different techniques to grow their SMS subscriber lists? Check out the following list:
- How to Grow Your SMS List 520% Faster
- 31 Amazing SMS Marketing Website Pop-Up Examples
- 21 Retail Websites Using Text Message Marketing
- 16 Restaurant Websites Using SMS Marketing
- 13 MMS Marketing Examples From Taco John’s
Do you have questions about SMS marketing for your brand or organization? Contact our SMS marketing experts.