What Is SMS Marketing?

Read on to learn the basics of SMS marketing (commonly referred to as SMS short code marketing), and find out how you can use it for your brand’s promotional offers. To see how brands are using SMS marketing, check out SMSarchives.com.


SMS Messaging

SMS text messages are small messages that people and brands send to mobile phones. Usually, these messages can contain up to 160 characters, and they’re made up of text, clickable phone numbers, and links. These are common text messages—you know them, you use them, and now you know their technical name.

So how are SMS text messages used for marketing?


SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is the broad term for a combination of commercial text messaging-related practices. These practices can include a text message poll or a contest, or signing up for regular text message alerts or daily coupon deals, for example. There’s a lot of variety.

When most brands talk about SMS marketing, they mean the practice of sending mass text message alerts to interested consumers. It’s similar to email marketing, but instead of emails, a brand will send out text messages to consumers who have opted in to a mobile marketing campaign. Text message marketing has a 99% open rate, which is staggeringly effective, especially when compared to the open rates for traditional email or telemarketing campaigns.


Opt-In SMS Marketing

Text message marketing is strictly a subscriber-only form of marketing. A brand can’t send messages to consumers who haven’t opted in to the brand’s SMS campaign. Doing so willfully violates the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which opens the brand up to potentially thousands (if not millions) of dollars in legal fees.

Consumers first need to go through an opt-in process that confirms their willingness and consent to receive messages. They start this opt-in process by texting a keyword, for example, “PIZZA,” to the brand’s short code, which is a phone number that contains five to six digits. They’ll then get a response confirming their subscription. Once that’s done, the messaging can begin!

In addition to offering the opt-in method of sending a keyword to a short code, consumers may also subscribe via an opt-in form on a brand’s website. A third option is the point-of-sale method. A customer can opt in for an SMS campaign when checking out at a physical store location. A brand can acquire consent in various ways, but consent must be acquired, without exceptions, for businesses to send text messages to consumers.


Can SMS Short Codes Be Used for Bulk SMS?

Yes. SMS short codes are the only wireless-carrier-approved method for sending bulk SMS to consumers.


How Do I Send SMS Short Code Messages?

The first step to sending SMS short code messages is to acquire your own SMS short code. Next, you’ll need to find an SMS short code provider to host your short code. The SMS short code provider will give you all the tools and software you need to send, receive, and manage short code messaging.

We hope this answered your question about SMS marketing and short codes. If you have any remaining questions or concerns, take advantage of our Learning Center—the best resource on this topic on the Internet.