Eleven steps to SMS marketing success for small business

Here, we explore how SMS marketing and mobile audience targeting can benefit small businesses.

Ever wondered how the likes of Uber and John Lewis have dominated customer loyalty and competitive advantage in their respective marketplaces?

Did you know that SMS is the fastest growing marketing channel in the UK, and by 2020, will have reached 48.65 million users who have opted-in to receive business communication, no matter the size of the business delivering the message?

No other marketing platform can boast an average yearly growth rate of 3.75million people per year, as well as being GDPR compliant, yet another thing to add to the list of things to check up on as a small business.

For small businesses, SMS could be the perfect marketing tool. You don’t need to employ a marketing body to execute, and you don’t need a large budget; in fact, you can start sending text messages to consumers for as little as 1.9p per message.

SMS can enhance your brand image and the experts at Voodoo SMS have put together 11 easy ways in which you can use text message marketing to your advantage.

Rewarding loyalty

Offer ultimate product/service deals to reward loyal customers and to encourage new sign-ups. Uber offers a free ride to new customers. The redeemable user code is messaged to the new customer via SMS.

Instant notifications

Notify your customers when you want them to complete an action, or alert them regarding their order/appointment updates. The NHS sends appointment reminders and confirmations to the patients’ mobiles to ensure minimum no-shows.

POS discounts

Convince your customers to join your mobile marketing list by offering mobile only discounts and encourage them to visit your store/website. Dunkin’ Donuts ran a mobile marketing campaign encouraging customers to opt-in to receive mobile only offers. 7,500 consumers opted in, they had a 21 per cent increase in store traffic, and 17 per cent of participants forwarded the text onto potential new customers.

Pre-sale offers

Grant your customers exclusive discount offers which enhances their loyalty towards your brand. Rockstar Games offered a huge discount on its new gear for a small window of time.

New launches

Keep your regular customers in the loop about your new product or service launch and make sure they spread the word about it for you. Starbucks used a combination of SMS and social media marketing to inform its customers about their new brew flavours.

Autoresponse messages

Use autoresponders or automated replies to send confirmation that you have received or completed their request. The Royal Bank of Scotland offers auto replies when customers opt for SMS banking. Customers get replies when their transfer request is complete.

Missed chances

Let your customers know if they are not making the most out of your service or if they are losing out on an exceptional offer. Marks & Spencers offers free text alerts to their customers. All special events, major offers and news relevant to their customer’s interests are sent straight to their mobile devices.


Remember to send important reminders to your customers straight to their phones, whether it is an appointment or it is a piece of important information. John Lewis offers free store pickups from a local outlet. When the order is ready for collection, the customers are sent a text message reminder.

Time saving

Show your customers that you care. Rather than getting them to log in to their online account, let them complete simple, safe tasks via text messaging. Cathay Pacific employs a subscription based service that can update the passengers regarding their Flight Updates. Updates include pre-flight reminders and other notifications.

Short URL’s and videos

Inform your customers about your brand and your unique offerings via text messages; don’t hesitate in sending further information like videos and tutorials via SMS. To increase ticket sales for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Silverstone sent an SMS broadcast to over 45,000 recipients on Silverstone’s database.

Customer feedback

Ask your customers to rate their experience for your service or product. Keep your questions short and ask them what they think. Zipcar relies on two-way text messages to gather customer feedback. Customers are happy to report their experiences and the company gets a chance to improve their services.

Further reading on digital marketing

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics

Mobile marketing

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