We all know that SMS campaigns are a core part of grabbing people’s attention, but are your messages actually converting into sales? If you’re sending mass text messages as part of your marketing but aren’t seeing the sales, this guide is exactly what you need to truly learn how to write SMS for marketing campaigns that convert.


Are You Measuring Results?

Far too often, we see that the performance of many text message marketing campaigns are not properly tracked. If you don’t know your SMS conversion rates, you’re flying blind and won’t be able to improve your sales.

If you don’t know the conversion rates of your SMS campaigns, that is step zero to writing SMS campaigns that actually convert.

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to measuring your campaign’s performance, some basic information you should be tracking is:

Who’s Clicking? Keep track of your clickthrough rates (CTR).

Who’s Converting? Keep track of how many people are actually converting/buying something (your conversion rate).

How Much Are you Making? Break down what revenue you’re earning per message (EPM) by dividing the revenue you made by the number of SMS messages sent (this can be eye-opening, for better or for worse).

Who’s Unsubscribing? Keep a close watch on this, and if you see it spike try to narrow down what may have been the cause. If you can keep this under 3%, you’re winning.


What Is a Good Conversion Rate?

This article is going to give you tips on writing and sending SMS text message campaigns that actually convert, but it’s important that we establish what’s considered a “good conversion rate.”

Studies show that 82% of people claim they open every single text message they receive (this blows the doors off of email marketing).

On top of that, 90% of SMS messages being sent are read within the first three minutes (even if it’s just to soothe people’s compulsion to clear all of their notifications).

We don’t want this to seem like a fluffy non-answer, but the truth is that there are a ton of variables that factor into the conversion rates of an SMS campaign.

For the sake of this article, we’ll call a solid conversion rate anywhere between 30%-40%+ depending on the industry, the product, and many of the factors that come into play.


Writing SMS Campaigns that ACTUALLY Convert

There is no secret, mystical, single silver bullet that will ensure your SMS campaigns will convert, but there are several best practices that you can use every time that will give you a much better shot at getting a sale.

Use as many of these tips as you can in each of your SMS campaigns for optimal results.


1. Keep it SHORT

The nature of text messages are that they are pithy and to the point. 

Say exactly what you’re offering, and then concisely ask for a sale (more on how to do that later) by offering something to your audience in a way that sounds attractive.

That’s pretty much it in terms of the body of your text. You can often get away with adding some emojis, or some humor, but don’t overdo it or you can come across as a tryhard rube to your audience.

Keep the message short– we don’t recommend going over 160 characters in your messages (the character limit for a single text).


2. Use Attention-Grabbing First Lines

Text marketing doesn’t have the luxury of a headline, so you’ve got to use punchy opening lines in your SMS marketing messages instead.

When texting your customers, the more compelling your opening line the better. Here are some example phrases:

  • “Did you forget something?”
  • “Our best product is almost out of stock!”
  • “Hurry or you’ll miss out!”

Whatever you choose, you want the first line of your SMS marketing copy to incentivize them to keep reading.


3. Ask for Single Word Responses

Sometimes the name of the game is just getting that first engagement with an SMS message you’ve sent. By capturing enough attention to get your audience interacting with you, you’re increasing your chances of them converting into a sale.

One trick to get a response is to send out a text that asks for a single-word or short reply. For example, a company that sells shaving products could ask for customers to respond with their most loved type of facial hair.

For each person that takes the time to respond with something like “handlebar” “goatee” or “The Swanson”, you now have them one step closer to a sale because you’ve gotten some interaction.


4. Target Low-Hanging Fruit

This one may be cheating a little, but all’s fair in love and sales. In some cases, when you’re looking to improve your conversion rate for an SMS marketing campaign (or just need a marketing win), the best thing you can do is target specific people with a concentrated effort.

It might seem counter-intuitive not to send a marketing message to your entire text list, but try these marketing strategies on select subsets of customers to get higher open rates and hopefully more conversions.

Here are two prime candidates:

Cart Abandoners: These are the people who almost bought from you already. Consider sending an abandoned cart campaign with a discount code for the items they nearly purchased in an effort to push them into buying from you now.

Past Customers: Send a dedicated message to people who purchased a specific item in the past, targeting them with a complimentary item, an add-on that goes with the item they purchased, or an additional offer that aligns with what they already spent money on (such as upgrades, special editions, new models, etc.)

Get creative, and build a targeted campaign for specific customers based on what you know they showed interest in or spent money on.


5. Use an Awesome Call to Action

Be sure you include a strong call to action (CTA), or all of the other efforts you employ from this list will be cut off at the knees.

Depending on your industry and what your exact campaign is about, consider using the following words in your calls to action:

  • Buy
  • View
  • Claim
  • Reserve
  • Get
  • Grab
  • Support
  • See How
  • Find Out
  • Start
  • Click Here
  • See Your Custom Offer

Be sure that your call to action is always hyperlinked, and leads people directly to what you’re asking them to buy.

Use Text-Calibur for Creative SMS Marketing

Do you need help with your business texting needs? Don’t waste the phone numbers in your database. Sign up for a Text-Calibur account now to start using all of these tips to get more sales today.