SMS Marketing Examples

What Is Mass Text Messaging? Plus 4 Industry Examples

mass text message marketing

Have you noticed that a growing number of businesses are sending their customers text messages? For many years, organizations heavily relied on email marketing as the primary source of communication with their customers. But the data makes it clear why all types of businesses are branching out into the text messaging space. While email marketing has an open rate of 20% (on a good day), text messages have an open rate of 99%. Think about it; how often do you leave text messages unread? Now, compare those text messages to the number of unread emails sitting in your inbox, which you probably don’t even plan to open.

It’s no wonder so many businesses are supplementing their email marketing with mass text messaging. But how do these organizations send these bulk messages? That’s what we’re discussing here today—everything you need to know about text message marketing.


What Is Mass Text Messaging?

Mass text messaging is a form of SMS communication that allows a brand or organization to send an individual text message to many mobile phones at the same time. To be clear, this isn’t the same as a group text. Just like organizations use mass email marketing software to send bulk emails to many subscribers all at one time or send individual emails triggered by an action, marketers use a mass texting platform like Tatango to create SMS marketing campaigns.

Mass text messaging helps organizations raise brand awareness, drive sales, share news updates, increase web traffic, receive donations, launch new products, distribute promo codes, and generate revenue.

Mass texting options are endless and help improve the customer experience. Many organizations also rely on mass texting to send customers important notifications like an appointment reminder, product shipment information, or an alert when a restaurant customer’s table is ready.


What Do I Need to Do to Send Mass Text Messages to My Customers?

Mass Text Messaging Software

As you’ve just learned, mass texting is similar to mass email marketing. To do it efficiently and in compliance with the law, it’s best to use a platform. Tatango’s mass text messaging platform helps you create engaging text message marketing campaigns. We ensure our clients comply with regulations and communicate with their customers as efficiently and effectively as possible.

SMS Short Code

You’ve probably noticed that mass text messages typically don’t come from a standard phone number that includes an area code and seven digits. Once you’ve determined which mass text messaging service you’d like to use, you’ll need to obtain a short code. A short code is a 5- or 6-digit phone number that allows you to send automated SMS messages to customers.

There are two types of short codes, a vanity short code and a generic short code. A vanity short code is one you can choose. Many organizations prefer memorable short codes, like 007007 or 12345. A generic short code is assigned at random and can be harder to remember. Vanity short codes cost $1,000 per month, and generic short codes cost $500 per month.

Additionally, you can choose whether you want a dedicated or shared short code. A dedicated short code is used exclusively by your organization, while a shared short code is used by multiple organizations.

You can lease a short code (they’re not for sale) directly from the U.S. Short Code Administration, or you can work with your mass text message service provider, and they can obtain it for you. To avoid the hassle, we recommend going through your SMS marketing software provider.


Once you’ve leased your short code, you can start communicating with your customers. To run campaigns, you must set up keywords. Keywords are essential for organizations using a shared short code for mass texting to ensure customers are engaging with the right campaign.

For example, a coffee shop running a mass text marketing campaign to encourage participation in their loyalty program may direct customers to text the keyword “LATTE” or “COFFEE” to their short code. Keywords help your SMS marketing software add and remove campaign subscribers, even if you share a short code with thousands of other organizations.

Mass Text Message Compliance

Now that you’re ready to dazzle your customers with promotions and incredible savings through bulk SMS messages, let’s talk about compliance.

The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) regulates communications across the United States and enforces the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). This law protects consumers against unsolicited phone calls through auto-dialing systems or artificial and pre-recorded messages. Additionally, the TCPA protects consumers against unwanted mass text messages.

Before sending mass text messages, businesses must take two necessary steps to comply with the TCPA. Any organization that plans to send bulk text messages must first obtain written consent from their recipients and must state that this consent to send text messages was not a condition of purchase. Failure to comply with these two regulations can result in a fine of $500 to $1,500 per unwanted text message, per person.

No matter how you invite consumers to opt in to your SMS marketing campaign (e.g., through a web form, point of sale, mobile device, or even pen and paper), you must disclose the following: “By participating, you consent to receive text messages sent by an automatic telephone dialing system.” If you collected a customer’s phone number during a previous purchase, but you didn’t obtain written proof of the customer’s consent to receive text messages, you’ll be violating the TCPA’s guidelines if you send that customer any text messages.

According to the TCPA, you must also ensure the automated telephone dialing system disclosure is “clear and conspicuous” to your customers before they opt in to your SMS campaign. It should appear in close proximity to where the customer enters their mobile number to opt in. Display that disclosure right in front of the consumer by tying it to the initial participation SMS communication request.

The TCPA also requires you to clearly elaborate to the consumer that “consent is not a condition of purchase” to make the consumer aware that they don’t have to join your text message marketing campaign to make a purchase. All organizations that want to send mass SMS messages must comply with rules to safeguard themselves from costly lawsuits.

In addition to the TCPA, businesses that wish to use mass text messaging must also be aware of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) guidelines. The CTIA is a nonprofit trade organization representing wireless carriers (such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon), manufacturers, and providers of wireless products and services. This organization oversees all aspects of SMS short codes, hence its importance to the text marketing industry. While the guidelines established by the CTIA are not laws, not following these guidelines may lead to suspension of your short code by the wireless carriers.

Per the CTIA guidelines, you must include the following items in the opt-in and opt-out SMS messages sent to consumers within your SMS marketing program.

Requirements upon opt-in:

  • Program name or description
  • How to opt out, sent at least once a month (“Txt STOP 2 end”)
  • How to find more information (“Text HELP for help”)
  • Recurring-messages disclosure (“3 msgs/mo”)
  • “Message and data rates may apply” disclosure

Opt-out requirements a program must respond to:

  • Stop
  • End
  • Cancel
  • Unsubscribe
  • Quit

When building a text message marketing campaign, being in compliance from the start is crucial. Organizations that fail to do so risk losing a large sum of money and risk getting suspended by the wireless carriers.


What Are the Types of Mass Text Messages?

You have two options for sending texts to your subscribers, and you don’t have to stick to one or the other. Most businesses choose the type of message they use based on their campaign and the messaging around it.

SMS — Short Messaging Service

what is mass text messaging sms example

An SMS message can be sent by a company as a mass text to many recipients or by one person to a single recipient. Each SMS message can contain up to 160 characters, including text, emojis, clickable phone numbers, and hyperlinks (see examples above). Keep in mind that the hyperlink counts toward the character limit.

MMS — Multimedia Messaging Service

what is mass text messaging mms example

An MMS message can contain up to 5,000 characters, and its additional media functionality allows a business to send subscribers various types of media content including video, sound files, images, multiple contacts, and GIFs (see examples above). If you’ve ever received a mass text with a fun GIF or pretty picture, that was an MMS mass text.


Why Do Businesses and Organizations Use Mass Text Messaging?

Businesses and organizations turn to mass text messaging as part of their marketing and communications strategies for two main reasons. For a long time, email was the default mode for communications and digital marketing promotion. With the emergence of SMS marketing, more and more companies rely on mass text messages to send important updates and promotions. The data has proven it to be a very effective and efficient way to communicate with customers.

First, SMS marketing messages have a 99% read and open rate, and 90% of mass texts are read within three minutes of being sent. This data is exactly why many organizations are using mass text messaging. Its efficiency has been particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass text messages deliver important updates and information directly into the consumer’s hands (literally!).

Another key reason businesses are increasingly turning to mass text messages is the average click-through rate of 46%. This rate is incomparable to the average email click-through rate of 2.5%. Mass text messaging has done wonders for many brand’s ROIs.

For example, the popular tanning salon Seattle Sun Tan added mass text messaging to its marketing tactics and saw impressive results. Within the first 30 days of its SMS marketing campaign, Seattle Sun Tan had 4,750 customers opt in to receive mass text messages with special offers. This initial campaign generated $196,000 in new sales from customers redeeming their first offer. Seattle Sun Tan also found that customers who redeemed the initial mobile offer spent 500% more than regular customers. Read the case study about Seattle Sun Tan’s success with mass texts.


How Are Businesses and Organizations Using Mass Text Message Marketing?

Across many different industries, businesses and organizations leverage mass text message marketing to reach their customers, deploy effective marketing campaigns, and generate revenue. Marketing is quickly shifting, and we’re seeing different types of organizations use mass text messaging in different ways. Check out the four industry examples below.


Retail Text Marketing

Top retailers use enterprise SMS marketing software to inform subscribers about deals, drive new sales, send SMS surveys, and announce new products. By linking directly to products, personalizing text messages, and reminding customers about products they left in their online shopping cart, mass texting helps retailers grow their revenue and earn money with every text they send.


Restaurant Text Marketing

Restaurants use enterprise SMS marketing to inform subscribers about new menu items, incentivize return visits with coupon codes, and update customers about deliveries. Keep your restaurant top of mind around mealtime using SMS marketing software to send deals and crave-worthy photos to subscribers.


Agency Text Marketing

Agencies use enterprise SMS marketing to improve their clients’ results, beat out the competition, and grow their client email and text message marketing lists. Agency clients can use Tatango mass texting software for advertising opt-ins, sending messages on behalf of clients, and creating a successful growth strategy.


Political Text Marketing

Political groups and candidates use SMS marketing to solicit donations, remind their audiences to vote, and send out important news alerts and campaign reminders. Automated text messaging software enables political groups to communicate urgent campaign information in real time, automate donations, and segment their audiences based on voting locations or time zones.


4 Proven Mass Text Messages


1. Save-More SMS Campaign

mass text messaging example save more SMS campaign

Campaigns like the ones in this first example are sure to drive traffic to your business or website with a simple discount. At Tatango, we call it a “Save-More SMS Campaign” because it provides subscribers an opportunity to save more with the deal you offer them.

Three key elements make this type of text message effective:

  • The benefit the subscriber will receive (e.g., “Take 20% off, take $10 off”)
  • A call to action (e.g., “Visit a store today, save w/code”)
  • An expiration date to increase a sense of urgency (e.g., “EXP __, ENDS __”)

Mass text template: “Take [discount amount] off when you [take an action]. EXP [date]”


2. Spend-More SMS Campaign

mass text messaging example spend more SMS campaign

The text message campaigns in this example highlight an SMS promotion that increases your brand’s per-order total. At Tatango, we call it a “Spend-More SMS Campaign” because it provides subscribers with a tempting opportunity to spend more with the deal you offer them.

Three key elements make this type of text message effective:

  • The benefit the subscriber will receive (e.g., “For free delivery, save 15%”)
  • A call to action (e.g., “on purchases $__+, when you spend $__”)
  • An expiration date to increase a sense of urgency (e.g., “EXP __/__”)

Mass text template: “Receive [offer] when you spend $___ +. EXP [date]”


3. Buy-More SMS Campaign

mass text messaging example buy more campaign

The campaigns in this example feature an SMS promotion that encourages additional purchases per order by rewarding customers for buying more. At Tatango, we call it a “Buy-More SMS Campaign” because it gives subscribers an opportunity to purchase discounted items with the deal you provide.

Three key elements make this type of text message effective:

  • The benefit the subscriber will receive (e.g., “Save $7, get ___ for just ___”)
  • A call to action (e.g., “Buy ___, when you order ___”)
  • An expiration date to increase a sense of urgency (e.g., “EXP __/__, only thru __/__”)

Mass text template: “Get [item] for just [discount] when you purchase [item]. EXP [date]”


4. Get-More SMS Campaign

mass text messaging example get more campaign

The text message campaigns shown here highlight an SMS promotion that encourages customers to buy an item by rewarding them with an additional item. At Tatango, we call it a “Get-More SMS Campaign” because it provides subscribers an opportunity to receive additional items for free or at a reduced cost with the deal you offer them.

Three key elements make this type of text message effective:

  • The benefit the subscriber will receive (e.g., “FREE ___, add one on us”)
  • A call to action (e.g., “when you buy [item]” or “when you add [item] to your cart”)
  • An expiration date to increase a sense of urgency (e.g., “EXP __/__, Ends ___ ”)

Mass text template: “FREE [product] when you buy [product]. Ends [date]”


What You Should Look for in a Mass Text Messaging Platform

Businesses can choose from many mass text message marketing platforms. Partnering with a platform that prioritizes compliance is vital to the success of your marketing. Additionally, it’s important to choose an SMS marketing platform that is innovative and is up to date on all text message marketing best practices and standards. The platform your business decides to work with must be a true partner and asset to your marketing strategy.

We’d love to chat with you about your mass text message strategy and how Tatango can partner with you to make your business goals come to life. Contact an SMS marketing expert today.

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