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The Critical Components of a Promotional Text

              BONUS MATERIAL: The Psychology of SMS Marketing

One of the best ways for businesses to increase sales and engagement is through a promotional text message. With just 160 characters to play with, you might think creating one of these is a piece of cake. But actually, there are plenty of ways to get promotional texts wrong. In this blog, we break down the critical components of a text promotion and provide some essential dos and don’ts that’ll help your campaign succeed.

What is a promotional text campaign, and why use them?

Texts grab attention; the majority (98%) of people open a text and read it. Furthermore, most people keep their phones close by and check them regularly - 66% of Americans do this 160 times a day. So when a text arrives, it usually gets seen pretty quickly.

The speed at which texts are seen, and their fantastic open rate, is great news. But if you’re trying to achieve business growth, what you really need is for customers to open your promotional text and then take the desired action (such as making a purchase). You can increase the likelihood of that happening if you get your messaging right. Let’s look at the critical components of a promotional text.

What to include in your promotional text

In those precious 160 characters, you have no choice but to get your message across succinctly. Your copy should consist of the offer you want to promote, a call-to-action and in most cases, a website link.

Promotional copy

A typical promotion aims to get the customer to spend money with your business. Therefore, your promotional text needs to offer real value and be persuasive enough to tempt the customer to take action.

  • Do - offer something unique to make the customer feel special.

  • Do - be conversational.

  • Don’t - be spammy. Avoid overusing capital letters, exclamation marks and words that are overly promotional like ‘FREE FREE FREE!!!’.


Within your promotional text copy, it’s a good idea to add your customer’s name. This can make the customer feel like you’re conversing with them and that you personally know them. If you use an SMS provider, you can add a merge tag to pull names from your database into your text.

  • Do - segment your audience into different groups to help with targeting.

  • Do - use customer insights to identify what they might be interested in.

  • Don’t - cross the line and personalise your campaign too deeply. That can take your message from intelligent to creepy, like Netflix found out when they let slip that they know exactly what their subscribers are watching and when. Only use data insights that your customers have shared with you, not what you’ve gleaned from additional research.


The only way your customer will know what action you want them to take is if you tell them. And you can do that via a call-to-action (CTA). It can be as simple as ‘use this code’, ‘order online’ or call [number]’.

  • Do - be clear. Tell the customer exactly what you want them to do. If you include a time-limited discount code, state the expiry date.

  • Do - be brief. Use the main part of the text to explain the promotion.

  • Dont - oversell and underdeliver. Make sure that the customer gets what they’re expecting once they take the desired action.


If you want customers to visit your website or specific landing page, you should include a link within your promotional text.

  • Do - use a link shortening service to save character space in your message.

  • Don’t - forget to test your link before sending your text promotion to ensure there are no webpage errors.

Promotional text timings

When you’ve finished with your text promotion copy, consider the time you should send out the campaign. The timing must be relevant. For example, if you run a takeaway business, your text will miss its mark if you send it at 8 am on a Monday.

A better time would be Friday around 4 pm when customers start to wind down from work and are ready to think about what they’ll have for dinner that evening.

  • Do - be mindful of how and when your business’s product or service fits into customers’ lives.

  • Do - schedule your promotional text ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about sending it when you might be busy.

  • Don’t - send at inappropriate times like late in the evening or early in the morning as customers may find this intrusive. Some countries also have rules about texting during ‘do not disturb’ hours.

Examples of a well-written promotional text

Now that we know the critical components of a promotional text message let’s look at some examples.

Flash sale text

Hi Ally, 24-hour flash sale on vintage clothing this Saturday at Urban Revivals! Get 40% off 60s and 70s fashions - visit us and show code: URBAN40.

Flash sale promotional text example

Back-in-stock text

Finally Mia! Our legendary Double Black Fake Lash Mascara is back! 🤩 Order online now while stocks last!

New product launch text

The countdown is over, John. The First Edition Salizare Walnut Handcrafted Leather Wallet has arrived. 50 available. Order now: 

Seasonal text

Festive greetings, Brodie! Grab some Christmas cheer with 3 for 2 on all perfumes and aftershaves. Enter code 342 at checkout: 

* Further reading: see 15 Holiday Text Message Templates to Delight Your Customers.

Increase foot traffic text

Hi Mikel. The Gallery presents ‘Galatic’, a new oil paint collection by Amit Jorge, 26/03/21 at 7pm. Champagne on arrival. Call 012 345 6789 to book your place.

Foot traffic increase promotional text example

Get started sending your promotional text campaign

SMS is an extremely powerful marketing tool, not least because of its great open and response rate. A promotional text campaign could help increase sales, engagement and footfall for your business.

Use our tips above to ensure you include all the critical components that make up a successful promotional text. Why not try out Messente for free today to see how easy it is to get started? Sign up for your account here (no credit card details required).

Marcus Kallavus
2021-03-17 00:00:00 UTC