SMS marketing header image with man sending marketing campaign broadcast

SMS marketing: send promotional text message campaigns

Turbocharge your marketing using SMS campaigns. Discover the unrivalled reach and engagement of the humble text message.

  • Sign up and send your first promotional campaign in minutes.
  • Send SMS ads through your browser, via integration or API.
  • Replies are always free.

So what is SMS marketing?

Two handsets with examples of promotional text messages

SMS marketing is where businesses send text messages to advertise their products or services. We also call it promotional SMS or text advertising. It's a low effort, high impact form of marketing; a quick and easy way to drive revenue.

Many marketers and business owners are familiar with email marketing platforms. SMS marketing software is similar; you can log in to an online web app, upload contacts and create marketing campaigns. Or there are plenty of options to add text messaging capability to your own software; with or without coding.

A good marketing platform allows you to easily broadcast information about new products and services, discounts, promotions, coupons - anything.

How to do SMS marketing

It's easy to send promotional text messages with our SMS advertising software. Send your first campaign online in 3 simple steps.

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1

Upload your contact list and draft your message via our dashboard.

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2

Click send and your messages are sent instantly and guaranteed to reach your customers.

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3

Watch how successful your bulk text messaging campaign has been through our reporting and analytics.

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Send to one or many

Capture your customer's attention on the channel that's unmissable. With our bulk SMS marketing software you can send promotional text campaigns as ad hoc blasts. It's also fantastic for:

  • Blue check as bullet Product launches
  • Blue check as bullet Flash sales
  • Blue check as bullet SMS coupons
  • Blue check as bullet Events
  • Blue check as bullet Seasonal promotions
  • Blue check as bullet Text to win competitions
Drip SMS marketing waterdrop graphic on blue background

Drip send marketing messages

Connect simple automations to fire off texts when basic conditions are met. Or use our developer tools to code a fully customised solution. Then send texts when customers:

  • Blue check as bullet Create an account (welcome message)
  • Blue check as bullet Have not made a purchase for awhile (retention offers)
  • Blue check as bullet Add an item to their shopping basket and leave your website (cart abandonment)
  • Blue check as bullet Receive their order (surveys, review requests).

Why is text marketing so effective?

SMS messaging unlocks a powerful combination of strong reach and engagement, quick delivery, ease of use and low cost. This makes it a very effective marketing tool to drive sales and revenue.

Not convinced? Here are 9 more reasons why SMS is so effective for marketing.

Globe graphic with text marketing being sent around the world

1. Lightning fast messaging

Cut straight through to your customers almost instantly.

2. 98% open rate

Forget email's 20-30% open rate, when you send texts they are almost always read.

3. Reach anywhere

90% of people worldwide own a mobile device. Not all handsets are smart, but they all receive SMS.

Marketer pointing to graphs symbolising the high return on investment of SMS

4. Low cost

Only a few pence per message, pay only for what you use.

5. Return on investment (ROI)

Get big returns with low cost, high revenue advertising.

6. Easy to measure

So you know exactly how well your campaigns performed.

One marketer with different styles of messages, reactions and emojis

7. Send how you want, when you want.

Save drafts. Schedule texts. Add placeholders.

8. Easy to set up

We're serious; sign up and send in minutes.

9. Two-way conversations

Have conversations with your customers with free replies all in one place.

Plus our SMS gateway has features built especially for creating marketing campaigns:

  • Blue check as bullet In-built link shortener
  • Blue check as bullet Custom placeholders
  • Blue check as bullet Automated response builder
  • Blue check as bullet Message scheduling, templates and drafts
  • Blue check as bullet Opt-out handling
  • Blue check as bullet CRM contact sync (Salesforce, Zoho or Google Contacts)

And if you have any questions, our live chat is staffed 24/7. Start a conversation with a friendly team member any day, any time (even if it's 2am on Christmas Day).

Examples of text message marketing

Whatever you want to promote, your business can benefit from the humble SMS text message.
Here are some examples of SMS advertising.

Examples of food and beverage SMS marketing - one as a promotional campaign blast and one as an automation. Examples of food and beverage SMS marketing - one as a promotional campaign blast and one as an automation.
Food and beverage knife and fork graphic on blue background

Food and beverage industry

Get more guests through the door and money in the till with text message promotions. Send offers; kids eat free, daily specials, 2-for-1, happy hour, etc. Raise awareness about special events or new seasonal menus. Seek feedback and reviews. Then delight your guests by letting them book a table or place an order easily via reply message.

Examples of real estate text advertising - one as a marketing broadcast and one triggered by home open attendance. Examples of real estate text advertising - one as a marketing broadcast and one triggered by home open attendance.
Real estate house graphic on blue background

Sell homes and house tenants faster

If you’re in the real estate industry, SMS is the best way to get your new listings in front of potential buyers and tenants. With near-perfect open rates comes more awareness, more traffic and fewer home-opens to close the sale. It’s win-win.

Text marketing examples for in-store and online promotions Text marketing examples for in-store and online promotions
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Drive sales online or in-store

Brick and mortar, eCommerce or hybrid; text message advertising is fantastic for driving sales. Increase traffic, clicks or on foot, by promoting your products through text message. Or better yet, send a picture via MMS to really grab attention.

Find out more about how your industry is using text message advertising.

What to look for in a text marketing platform

It's no secret that we are the best value SMS gateway around. With affordable pricing and packed with features, your campaigns are set up for success.

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Global 24/7 Support

Our chat is staffed by real humans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and always will be.

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Security and Reliability

The ClickSend platform is built on enterprise-level security and provides a 100% Uptime SLA guarantee.

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Lightning Fast Delivery

ClickSend lives and breathes high performance direct routes. Your messages get delivered on time.

Check out what marketers are saying about us

Frequently Asked Questions About SMS Advertising

How much does text marketing cost?

Once you've used your free trial credits, pricing starts at £0.0246 per message. Cost may be affected by:

  • The country you're sending from and to
  • Whether your message fits in 160 characters (if your message is longer, it will be priced as multiple message parts).

Check out our pricing here.

What is the difference between marketing and transactional messages?

Simply put, transactional messages are designed to inform users about the product or service they purchased. It's not intended to drive conversions or brand engagement.

Marketing messages are intended to drive sales and revenue. Its an important distinction because there are rules for sending marketing, which don't apply to transactional messages.

What does opt-in mean? Why is it important?

Opt in means to subscribe. Your customers need to agree to receive promotional SMS before you send. Most countries have rules about this, so it's best to check the rules in the country that you're sending to.

Can I send SMS to numbers I found online? What about bought lists?

This is a big no-no.

For best results, send your marketing messages to people who will be interested in your message. They'll be the most engaged and likely to convert.

When buying a list, these contacts may have no idea who you are and no interest in your product. They're likely to unsubscribe, or worse, report spam. Which affects your sender reputation, your messages get dropped and you've lost time and money.

But if that's not convincing enough, it's illegal in most places.

Do I need to include an SMS opt-out?

Don't be that business that gets people to jump through hoops to unsubscribe. It's bad form (reflects badly on your business), and in most places illegal.

Luckily, its pretty easy to add an opt-out. When you create an SMS campaign, click 'Reply STOP' or 'Unsubscribe Link' to easily add the option to opt-out.

How do I build an opt-in contact list?

There are lots of ways you can build your contact list, here are a few ways to start:

  • Ask your customers for permission to contact them occasionally to send offers.
  • Add a signup form to your website and social media profiles.
  • Encourage people to subscribe with competitions or discounts.

For more ideas see: 22 Ways to Collect Customer Numbers.

What is the best time to send messages?

There are a lot of studies out there with big calls about the best send times, but there's no definitive answer. Send messages at different times and compare performance; find what works for your business.

Get sending with ClickSend

Join over 90,000 customers sending billions of messages across the UK and the world.

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