July 15, 2021

What Is SMS Marketing and Is It Important?

Any eCommerce business needs to use several types of marketing to acquire new customers, retain existing customers, improve brand awareness, and much more. But in the beginning, lots of eCommerce executives focus primarily on Google ads, social media content, and similar things.

What about SMS marketing? Do you even need SMS marketing when you spend most of your advertising budget on pop-up ads? Today, let’s break down SMS marketing in detail and explore whether it’s essential for your company and its advertising goals.

SMS Marketing Explained

SMS marketing, in a nutshell, is marketing through SMS messages. Like many other types of marketing, SMS marketing can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Sales deals or special offers
  • Promos
  • Traditional ads
  • Retention marketing messages
  • Loyalty rewards

Additionally, the flexibility of SMS marketing means you can use this form of marketing to remind prospects if they haven’t converted into total customers. No matter what type of SMS marketing you use, the goal is the same: to increase revenue, boost customer retention, and maximize consumer loyalty.

How Does Text Message Marketing Work?

There’s a lot to understand about short message service marketing before you can effectively leverage it for your organization.

For starters, SMS marketing has several limitations to keep in mind due to its medium. For example, SMS marketing messages have 160 character limits. While you can technically go over these, the message will be split into two parts. Therefore, successful SMS marketing usually works within this character limitation.

Additionally, SMS marketing requires customers or prospects to permit you to send them texts by its very nature. This permission can be acquired over the phone, through email marketing or website entry forms, or even at brick-and-mortar stores.

Alternatively, your SMS marketing team might use keywords. Using this method, you send keywords to customers, and if the customer replies with the keyword, they consent to be added to your company’s SMS marketing campaign.

While these limitations prevent you from being perhaps as creative as you can be with email marketing or traditional ads, SMS marketing still has many benefits that cement it as a core part of any successful eCommerce marketing campaign. We’ll look at those benefits more below.

Tools to Use with SMS Marketing

Because SMS is very limited by its text medium, most successful businesses will pursue SMS marketing by leveraging automation tools.

Like email marketing tools, many SMS marketing tools will automatically send SMS messages to all customers contained in the marketing database. This is very important as chances are your marketing personnel won’t have the time or energy to send individualized text messages to everyone on your marketing list.

To use automation software properly, you’ll also need CMS software or other database software containing customer contact information. Of course, there’s also specific SMS marketing software.

Like email marketing software, SMS marketing software allows you to customize your messages, send them to all recipients in your databases, and more with just a few clicks. Even better, many of the best text messaging marketing software apps can integrate phenomenally well with existing systems like customer relationship management tools and platforms.

Postscript is one great example of high-quality SMS marketing software. In a nutshell, Postscript makes SMS for your eCommerce business easy by:

  • Allowing you to build a TCPA-compliant customer list
  • Leveraging multiple sources to acquire phone numbers for SMS marketing, including traditional pop-ups, email opt-ins, links, landing pages, and much more
  • Automation tools so you can drive traffic and sales without having to divert more person-hours to the effort. Postscript supports welcome series, shipping notifications, cross-sells, abandoned carts, and other types of SMS messages.
  • Maximizing your return on investment using targeted SMS campaigns
  • Using special SMS marketing tools like photos, images, and even GIFs, which all do wonders to increase customer engagement
  • Talking directly with customers through 1:1 text message conversations when necessary – a major boost for your customer service team

As you can see, Postscript is a phenomenal SMS marketing tool to add to your kit. Consider trying it today and seeing how much stellar SMS marketing can bolster your organization.

Is Text Marketing Important for Your Business?

Yes, absolutely. There’s no question about the potential reach and impact of SMS marketing for your company, given that around 5 billion people around the world use at least one type of SMS service.

If you're an eCommerce business that wants to reach the broadest possible customer base, SMS marketing is not an option. Alongside email marketing, SMS marketing allows you to expand your brand's reach on a global scale while remaining relatively budget-friendly at the same time.

Traditional ads are an essential part of any company’s marketing campaign. But standard ads, including pop-up ads, social media content, and more, are all used for three main goals:

  • Increasing brand awareness and brand authority
  • Acquiring new customers who haven’t yet shopped at your store
  • Driving consumer engagement, especially with those on your target audience

In contrast, SMS marketing allows you to:

  • Retain customers
  • Boost customer loyalty with special offers and other incentives
  • And more

In a way, SMS marketing fills in a gap not fulfilled by traditional marketing vectors.

Benefits of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is important for your business, but what are its exact benefits? Let’s break down the unique benefits SMS marketing provides – and that other forms of marketing don’t always match – to your company one by one.

Instant Engagement

For starters, SMS marketing allows you to get your customers engaged with your brand instantly. Most people aren’t in the habit of ignoring text messages. So when their phones rumble, they will usually at least check your SMS message and see what it has to say.

While only about 31% of people respond to SMS messages from people they don’t know, that’s still much better than the typical engagement rate with regular ads or other types of marketing.

By instantly engaging with your customer base, you also passively increase brand awareness, remind former or current customers that your shop is still around, and so on. This instantaneous engagement is difficult to cultivate with any other type of marketing.

Word of Mouth Generation

Naturally, SMS marketing is excellent for generating improved word-of-mouth and building up your brand/brand awareness. When people get a text message from your company, they might tell their friends or family members nearby who they are responding to.

If your business has done its job and cultivated a customer who’s pleased with your services or products, that word-of-mouth will more than likely be positive. Imagine sending a text message to a longtime customer and getting three new customers in return just because they showed their friends the special deal they were sent.

Improved Communication

Another major benefit of SMS marketing is that proponents of other marketing tactics often understate: instant, improved communications between you and your core customers.

Do you have an emergency message or special flash sale you want everyone to know about? SMS marketing allows you to get that message out to your target audience faster than any other method available.

This also works both ways. If a customer wants to contact you instantaneously, texting you back with a yes or no to a special offer is a rapid-fire way to gain data and figure out how many people are coming to an event, responding to an invite, and so on.

With email marketing and other types of advertising, it can be tough to know who’s coming to a special sale or not. But SMS marketing allows you to get rapid answers when you need them fast.

Customer Connections

For many, SMS marketing is a great way to connect with their customers more deeply and personally. Traditional ads are effective but are often impersonal. After all, most Google and Facebook ads are not explicitly tailored for unique customers.

But with SMS marketing, you can talk directly to your target audience or, most importantly, customers. This necessarily makes a connection between you and those most essential to your organization and its bottom line.

With the right SMS software like Postscript.io, you’ll also be able to personalize your SMS messages by adding customer names, talking about their recent orders, and so on. All of this does wonders to boost brand loyalty.

Surveys and Feedback

SMS marketing can be great if your organization needs to collect direct, unfiltered feedback from its customers. While you can ask simple questions to your customers with basic messages, you can also craft dedicated surveys to get customer feedback on your products, services, customer service performance, and much more.

Since SMS messaging is instantaneous, you won’t even have to wait for the feedback the same way you might with an email survey or a volunteer survey on your website. Get enough data, and you’ll be able to improve your company and its marketing across the board.

Worldwide Access

As noted earlier, several billion people use SMS messaging every day. Because of this, SMS marketing allows you to reach the broadest possible advertising audience you could ever imagine.While it's true that your business will benefit from focusing on a specific target audience, having a worldwide audience is beneficial for eCommerce stores that sell to everyone, not just local customers in a particular state or country.

Since SMS text messages aren’t drastically different between nations, you won’t even have to worry about paying exorbitant fees to communicate with someone on the other side of the globe.

Cost Effectiveness

There's no denying that SMS marketing is very cost-effective. As a result, it's a great marketing channel for new startups or businesses that may not have as much of a marketing budget to flex compared to older, more settled organizations.

The cost-effectiveness of SMS marketing means you can reach out to as many people as possible on a budget. This is also great in the early days of your company when you may still be trying to cultivate a core consumer group of loyal buyers from the broader general audience.

Data Collection

Last but not least, SMS marketing is an excellent way to collect data on your customers and general shoppers. If you practice online reputation management (and you should!), SMS marketing platforms can help you get a feel for your organization and its brand reputation in a flash.

Bulk SMS Marketing vs. Email Marketing

While bulk SMS marketing has several major benefits, it’s also very similar to email marketing. Because of this, lots of eCommerce executives or marketing managers wonder whether SMS marketing is worthwhile compared to email marketing. Like SMS marketing, you marketers:

  • Can send a short-form or long-form information
  • It can be used to cultivate prospects and to convert customers
  • Requires opt-in by customers or prospects to acquire email addresses

However, email marketing has several advantages over SMS marketing, including:

  • Being able to spend much more long-form content, as emails don't have character restrictions as SMS messaging does. Because of this, email marketing can often include newsletters, press releases, or other informative content
  • Being able to add interactive content like videos or images in all visual promotional content

So, which is more effective? In our eyes, the answer is both.

Indeed, SMS marketing and email marketing are two sides of the same campaigning coin. You don’t want to avoid one in favor of the other. For the best results, you’ll leverage SMS marketing and email marketing together to acquire new customers, retain existing customers, and boost brand awareness overall.

If you have to pick between the other, your best bet is to look at your marketing budget and determine where most of your customers come from. If most of your customers are more likely to provide a phone number and respond to short advertising messages, SMS marketing might be the way to go.

On the other hand, if more of your customers are willing to hand over their emails and respond to long-form content, email marketing could be a better choice, at least in the short term.But eventually, your marketing team will want to use both SMS and email marketing to their maximum extent.


In the end, SMS marketing is vitally essential for eCommerce businesses that want to reach as many people as possible and retain those customers over the long term. No other type of marketing allows you to get people instantaneously around the globe, both to remind them about upcoming appointments or sales or offer them new incentives to return to your store.

While the above guide has a lot of value, you can learn much more about SMS marketing and building your brand up from scratch with Building Blocks: a masterclass in eCommerce marketing and brand building from start to finish.

Check out our free classes today and see how we can help your brand succeed in this competitive environment!

SMS Marketing Doesn't Suck: Here's How to Use it To Generate Revenue | Neil Patel
Postscript - Postscript SMS Marketing for Shopify | PostScript.io
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Regulatory Compliance | Experian
Worldwide Texting Statistics.pdf | Vermont.gov
6 Benefits of SMS Marketing | Smart Insights

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