Businesses use SMS marketing for many different reasons, such as telling customers about offers, rewarding them with loyalty points, or notifying them about shipping updates. SMS allows them to engage with their customers and build rapport with them.

When you leverage a promotional text messaging service, you're tapping into the immense potential of SMS marketing. If you have a promotional message for your target market, you should consider launching an SMS campaign. 

A text message promotion can help to improve customer engagement and increase sales. Despite considerable interest in this marketing channel, many business owners are failing to use SMS marketing.

If you're a business owner that's serious about engaging and reaching as many potential customers as possible, you should use SMS for promotional messaging. From running effective flash sales with mobile coupons to building up a loyalty program for new customers, SMS campaigns offer a way for you to communicate directly with customers and quickly capture their attention.

The type of SMS messages that businesses send to their customers can be placed into two categories: promotional SMS and transactional SMS. Each type has its own purpose and legal requirements.

What is promotional SMS?

Promotional SMS messages are used by businesses as a way to send tailored messages to customers for marketing and advertising purposes. The goal of each message is to entice the customer to click a link or button within the text message, redirect them to a website, and then purchase the promoted product.

Businesses use promotional SMS messages to promote their products and events, usually offering exclusive deals and discounts to gain more consumer interest and ultimately leading to more conversions.

Promotional SMS is a form of SMS marketing. Text message marketing as a whole is one of the best ways to contact customers directly. The stats speak for themselves, 98% of texts are read and 75% of consumers want to receive texts with special offers.

If you want to send marketing messages effectively, you need access to the right SMS templates. Whether you want to boost sales through clearance events or send urgent communications to existing customers, the right SMS marketing platform (for sending promotional messages) will ensure customers receive messages at the perfect moment.

Promotional SMS is a proven way to upgrade any business's marketing strategy and boost customer engagement.

Woman showing a credit card

What is the difference between promotional and transactional SMS

Transactional SMS messages are not for marketing purposes. Instead, Transactional SMS messages are used for sending appointment and booking alerts, order confirmation, and informational messages to registered customers.

Transactional messages can be identified by the Sender ID that the business chooses, this Sender ID is 6 characters long and should represent the business or product name.

Promotional messages are delivered to the customer's phone with the primary goal of advertising an offer, sale, or deal.

Promotional messages must be sent at a reasonable time such as between the hours of 8 am - 9 pm to ensure you aren't hassling the customer. But, a transactional message can be sent 24/7 without any time restrictions.

It's important for transactional messages to be delivered around the clock as they usually contain vital information, such as booking a doctor's appointment and then receiving the text to confirm the date and time. Now you might be asking, which one should I choose for my business?

If your business goals are to increase website traffic, customer engagement, and retention or purchase rate, you should consider promotional SMS. Promotional SMS messages containing coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than coupons being promoted in other ways such as email.

If your business aims to increase brand credibility or educate customers on important details so that they rely on your brand for information, transactional SMS messages are a good solution.

Ecommerce brands use the best of both worlds. Here is an example: an e-commerce brand might send a customer a promotional SMS with a link to an offer on their website. Once the customer buys the product in the sale, the brand will then send out a transactional message in the form of a shipping or delivery update. This can bring great value to the customer.

Things to Consider When Writing a Promotional SMS?

Two people texting next to each other

1. Personalization

The most effective promotional text messages are personal ones. Personalizing promotional campaigns around the target audience is a sure-fire way to make your SMS marketing campaign effective. Businesses must take into account their customer's age, gender, location, and more in order to maximize customer engagement on each promotional message.

Here's a great way to turn a basic promotional marketing message into a personalized one:

  • Basic: "Hello, welcome to CoffeeShop, click here to make your first purchase".

  • Professional and personal: "Hello John, it's cold in Canada today, warm up with some free trade coffee? Here's 40% off, just for you.
Friends sitting on stairs with mobile phones

2. Professionalism

Promotional SMS messages should be kept somewhat formal. This doesn't mean your promotional SMS campaign should be boring.

Although we advise steering clear of slang, abbreviations, and emojis, they can be utilized if and when they are suitable. For instance, you can tailor SMS marketing messages to a younger target audience by using emojis in the SMS messages. Here are some more tips to make promotional SMS marketing more professional:

  • Never use all caps in sentences. Some businesses confuse 'unique' texts to gain the attention of the customer with 'loud' and 'obnoxious texts which hassle them, there is a fine line between the two. For instance, avoid text messages that look like this: "HI JOHN. NEW SALE THIS WEEKEND! DON'T MISS OUT". This example is far from subtle and can damage your brand's image.

  • Refrain from using too many exclamations and question marks. Promotional text messages can come across as unprofessional when question marks and exclamation marks are overused. Take a look at this example of what not to do: "Hi John!? Happy Birthday ! Here's 40% off your next purchase!!!". Use single question and exclamation marks when necessary.

  • Don't be impersonal. Promotional SMS should engage customers, one of the best ways to do this is to keep it personal.

3. Precision

Promotional SMS should convey information in an easily digestible way. If a business is advertising a sale, the start and end date of the sale should be clear.

The type of product on sale should also be stated in the marketing message. Here's an example: " Hi John, 50% off coffee beans, offer ends this Friday at midnight". The more specific the information, the better.

4. Simple and Short

Have you ever heard of the saying "keep it short and sweet", the same applies to promotional SMS messages sent out on every SMS campaign. They should be concise and get to the point right away.

There is a 160 character limit restriction on text messages, meaning the entirety of a message must convey all the relevant information in a short message. This can be difficult to achieve, here are some tips:

  • Identify the main information you want to get across. Is it an offer or promotion, or an appointment reminder? Prioritizing the 'main' reason for the text message will ensure that the customer receives the important parts first.

  • Identify any further relevant points. If you have space within the character limit, it's worth going into further detail about a product or service and even includes a link.

5. Call-to-Action

A call to action or CTA is an interactive element that motivates a customer to complete a specific action to take advantage of the opportunity presented by your business.

CTAs can be either buying buttons, subscription signups, social media share buttons, or links that include a certain word like "Try it now". Not including a CTA on your promotional SMS can make your text message marketing campaign fail. No CTA will result in low click-through rates and conversions. Also, make sure the CTA is eye-catching and clear.

Benefits of promotional SMS messages

Building loyal customers

Promotional texts are a great channel to engage and build a loyal customers base. You can offer customers sales promotions or more information about the services your business offers. This makes your customer base and clients feel appreciated by making them the focus. The more you give, the more you get back.

Improving communication

Long-term relationships are built upon good communication. The same applies to promotional text marketing. An SMS message is a personal message from your brand to your audience. Let them in on a secret sale, promotional offer, or birthday message.

Black woman with blonde hair using laptop and a phone


Promotional SMS is a relatively cheap method of communication in comparison to traditional marketing efforts. Many modern companies are saving a lot of cash by opting for promotional marketing rather than sending out letters and brochures.

Generating word of mouth

Use SMS to drive new audiences to your brand and engage existing ones. Word of mouth is a powerful promotion tool that can be taken advantage of with the use of shareable offers such as "$10 for you and $10 for a friend if you refer this sign up link to them". If you offer something of value to your customer, they will be more likely to spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues.

Time saves money

SMS marketing saves a lot of time, especially when compared to traditional marketing methods. If you use an SMS API you can save even more time. Also, with the scheduling component of SMS, you can plan and organize marketing campaigns for specific launch dates. With this freedom, you can invest more time into other areas of your business and feel confident that your SMS marketing is being handled proficiently.

Examples of effective promotional SMS messages

Promotional SMS needs to be done right. There are many ways that promotional SMS can be conducted in improper ways.

In order to avoid sending lackluster SMS messages, let's take a look at some great examples of how promotional SMS messages can be done right in different industries:


"Our end-of-season sale starts NOW. Stop by the shop this week for 20% off summer apparel. Stock is limited!

Urban Fits - Reply STOP to unsubscribe"


"Hey, John! Bring a friend during December and get $100 if they sign up as a member. Tap the link to learn more. Add URL.

Fit Centr - Reply STOP to unsubscribe"


"Hey, Emily! Join us this Friday at 7 pm for live music and a special Happy Hour menu. Visit our website. Add URL.

Bar 1 -Text STOP to unsubscribe"

Special occasions

"Need a last-minute gift for Mom? Our best-selling candles are 20% off today. Valid for in-store purchases only.

The Candle Shop -Text STOP to unsubscribe"


"Not the best at gift wrapping? We'll wrap your in-store purchases for free. Today and tomorrow only.

One Apparel - Reply STOP to unsubscribe"

These are good examples of how promotional texts can be used in different industries. The use of rhetorical questioning at the start of the text is a great way to hook the customer. All of the texts are concise, relevant to their products, and offer an opt-out option at the bottom.

How to get started with promotional texts

Promotional SMS is best done with the help of an SMS API platform. SMS APIs allow your business to send and receive SMS messages through their website, platform, or application. On top of that, they can do most of the heavy lifting for your business and your SMS needs.

To get started with promotional messages, you must have access to the right SMS API platform.

This is where Messente comes into play. With a full range of promotional SMS templates and message examples at your disposal, you can quickly begin crafting personalized messaging campaigns. Messente delivers business-critical pin codes, notifications, and marketing messages right into your customer's hands. 

The question arises, how do I start sending promotional texts with Messente? Here's how:

  • Register with Messente

  • Add credits

  • Upload desired contacts

  • Create and launch a promotional SMS campaign

Important takeaways from this article:

  • Transactional SMS is used by businesses to relay transactional information such as order confirmation or recurring billing.

  • Promotional SMS is used by businesses to send marketing and advertising material to customers who have subscribed such as new merchandise announcements or discount codes.

  • Promotional messages require written consent showing the customer chose to opt-in.

  • Businesses cannot send promotional messages before 8 am and after 9 pm local time.

  • Transactional SMS messages have no time restraints.

  • Promotional texts are one of the best marketing channels to increase engagement and broaden your business's audience.

  • The more familiar you become with SMS and collect data on what your subscribers respond to, the better you'll understand how to go about texting your customers.

  • Choosing the right SMS platform will impact how well your marketing campaigns perform.