10 Best SMS Marketing Campaign Examples

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SMS marketing is perceived to be an intrusive channel, but in reality it is less intrusive than email and paid social ads because customers must consent to receive texts, giving them control over what they receive and when they opt out.

Over 75% of customers prefer to receive promotions via text message as opposed to seeing advertisements while browsing the Internet and social media channels. 

Loverboy, for instance, prompted ecommerce orders for a new wine-based spritz via text alerts. According to the company, Loverboy received 1,500 orders on the first day alone, resulting in nearly 50% of inventory being sold prior to the product's official release. 

In March 2020, Giant Eagle Grocery began texting customers with COVID-related information. In less than 3 months, the brand reported that over 10,000 customers communicated with the store via text message regarding curbside pickup or delivery.

SMS marketing campaigns can generate millions of dollars in revenue for loyal niche customers, who prefer to receive real-time updates sent to the device they check more than 80 times per day.

Have a look at these stats:

Apart from product promotions, site-wide sales, and holiday-based texts, a few of the best types of texts to send include:

  • Conversational texts when a customer has initiated the outreach and is looking for information
  • Birthday or anniversary messages
  • Reward program updates, etc.

Remember this

You can send almost any type of text message to customers, but you should match your brand voice as much as possible. 

Have a look at the 10 best examples of SMS marketing (compiled in no particular order) with explanations of why they work and when they're effective, so that you can also implement similar campaigns:

1. FOMO - Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask is a sustainable outdoor kitchen gear and accessories brand. With its headquarters at Bend, Oregon, Hydro Flask gear is on a mission to replace single-use plastics like plastic water bottles and to-go containers.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Hydro Flask FOMO Campaign

Why this text is effective: This style of a “colorful” text message capitalizes on FOMO (fear of missing out) to introduce a sense of urgency by using language such as, “We’re retiring these colors, which means you get 25% off while supplies last.” 

The message was clear, concise, and provided shopping instructions.

When to use this type of SMS: This message can be used when you want to clear old stock or some particular colors/sizes of your products. You can also increase the likelihood of strong click-through rates and drive website traffic via such SMSes.

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: We’re retiring these [colors/products/sizes], which means you get [discount] off till [supplies last/specific date and time]

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Last call! [Your favorite product/category/brand] clearance sale ends soon. Up to [discount] off till [supplies last/specific date and time].

 [insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: Last [2/3 days/24 or 36 hours] + free shipping on [your favorite product/category/brand] ends at midnight of [date]. HURRY!

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

2. Product category sale - Verb

Verb is a PETA-certified cruelty-free, all-natural hair care brand launched in 2011 in Austin, but raised in New York! :-)

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Verb Shampoo Campaign

Why this text is effective: The creative coupon code “SUDSFREE” is easy to remember say than a “15OFF” for customers and also goes well with their messaging. The SMS is very clear and concise while conveying that the discount is only on dry shampoos and excludes value and custom kits. 

When to use this type of SMS: This SMS can be used when you want to send a discount for a particular product or category to engage with new and old customers alike. You can try such promotions of a particular product or product category if they’re not ringing in expected sales.

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: [Discount] off [Product/Product category name]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. Excludes [product/product category/taxes/shipping charge].

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Up to [Discount] off [Product/Product category name]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: Thousands of [Product/Product category name/style name] at [Discount off]. You’ve earned this. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

3. Holiday promos - Brevite

Brevite specializes in designing and manufacturing sustainable everyday backpacks, modern camera backpacks, and functional accessories.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Brevite Pride Month Sale

Why this text is effective: This MMS combines two holiday promos into one short, crisp text message: Happy 4th of July and the Pride Month sale! The text creates a sense of urgency (the sale ends tonight) and when combined with product images, it’s more than likely to arouse an impulsive click to buy. 

Hot tip 

Images enhance your messaging campaigns by breaking up a predominantly text-based channel. These images could be product photos, gifs, or marketing graphics, but they should be relevant to the campaign's content.

When to use this type of SMS: During a holiday period filled with sales and discounts, it is essential to stand out. Precisely what this crisp and concise MMS achieves. :-)

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: Happy [Holiday]. Our sale ends [tonight/# of days/date and time]. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Be the best gift giver [this season/holiday/festival] with our [best prices] on [Product/Product category name]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: Our biggest and best [this season/holiday/festival] sale is on. Take [discount] off on [Product/Product category name/style name]. Save now and beat the rush. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

4. Thank you - Brooklinen

Brooklinen was built to deliver simple, beautiful, high-quality home essentials at a fair price. Without middlemen.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Brooklinen Repurchase Campaign

Why this text is effective: Even in a short SMS, the informal conversational tone of the copy promotes a sense of familiarity and friendliness.

By offering credit based on a previous purchase, Brooklinen makes the customer feel valued and encourages them to buy again. This creative SMS campaign engages and rewards loyal customers for their purchases.

When to use this type of SMS: This is an SMS that’ll be handy when you want to show your appreciation to a customer and entice them to purchase again. Such campaigns increase brand loyalty, product affinity, and CLV in the long-term.

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: [Thank you/We appreciate you!].

As a way to say thanks for your last purchase, we’re giving you a [credit/coupon/discount] towards your next purchase [of XX amount or more] by [date and time]. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], thank you for signing up. Here’s [discount] on [Product/Product category name] for 24 hours. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], thank you for adding your fav [Product/Product category name] to your wishlist. Your wait is over. We’ve got them; use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

5. Two-way conversation - Beautylish

Beautylish, a small team of fiercely dedicated people headquartered near Union Square in San Francisco, brings you curated global brands along with expert makeup advice.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Beautylish Order Delivery SMS Campaign

Why this text is effective: At its core, this SMS from Beautylish is a delivery confirmation alert: it contains the brand name, order confirmation number, and delivery status. 

But Beautylish goes beyond just an alert. They make this an opportunity to encourage recipients to participate by rating their level of excitement over order delivery. If the customer chooses to respond, Beautylish sends them a GIF. This simple yet entertaining interaction between the brand and the customer creates a memorable experience.

When to use this type of SMS: Such an SMS creates an opportunity for conversation with your customers. Whether you follow Beautylish's example by sending reaction gifs or create a set of text-based responses, such two-way communication between you and your customers helps to strengthen engagement and loyalty. 

Such interactive SMS communication can be used to get quick and short customer reviews, ratings, and feedback about products they’ve purchased. This is also an excellent medium to gently push your NPS surveys to your customers.

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: Your order [Order Number] has been delivered on [date and time].
On a scale of 1 to 5, how excited are you? 

[Automated text or image-based response set up to be sent based on customer’s responses]

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], thank you for signing up. Reply with your fav product name, get [discount] off: [Product name 1, Product name 2, Product name 3]. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

[Customer’s response]

Automated text: “Brand name: Try our [Product name selected by the customer], get [discount] off. Shop now [Creative code]:

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], thank you for your review on [product name]. Reply with your fav product name, get [discount] off: [Product name 1, Product name 2, Product name 3]. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

[Customer’s response]

Automated text: “Brand name: Try our [Product name selected by the customer], get [discount] off. Shop now [Creative code]:

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

6. VIP customers - Murad

Dr. Murad founded Murad, Inc. in 1989 as the first brand of clinical skincare products, setting a new standard for high performance skincare.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Murad VIP Sale

Why this text is effective: Murad makes their VIP customers feel special and exclusive: anointing them as family and friends! Appreciating them with an early and exclusive offer of 20% off! The code also reminds the customer that they’re part of the Murad family: “Family20”, which makes it sticky. 

By adding product images, this MMS enhances product affinity and an innate sense to buy impulsively.

When to use this type of SMS: This kind of text message lends itself well to scenarios wherein you want to thank your repeat customers, who’ve been supremely loyal: brand advocates and product evangelists. Such exclusive and early offers make your VIP customers feel valued and special, which is likely to increase their overall AOV and CLV. 

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: Our VIPs shop early. Exclusive [Discount] for you, which means you save BIG. Use [Code]: 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], we don’t want a [legend/VIP/valuable customer] to miss out on [product name/category]. Add it to your fav collection NOW. Here’s [discount] off for your [early/first/exclusive access]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], we’re letting you know first. Access our [latest/spring/hot/new arrivals] first for [24/36 hours/date]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

7. Brand anniversary - Anastasia Beverly Hills

ABH Cosmetics, the brow-shaping and beauty products brand, launched a Beverly Hills flagship salon in 1997 and their first product line in 2000. 

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - ABH Cosmetics 24 Years Celebration Sale

Why this text is effective: ABH celebrates their brand’s 24th anniversary by providing 20% off brow and 25% off on orders more than $75. To increase the chances of customers clicking through, they send it around payday with their checkout code that calls out loud: “AFTERPAYDAY”.

By adding product images, this MMS increases the reflex to buy impulsively.

When to use this type of SMS: You can celebrate your brand’s milestone with your customers. Ideally with customers who’ve been loyal for a long time. Anniversary milestones always evoke a nostalgic tint to the buying behavior. Quite a few customers may buy just as a token of appreciation of your brand’s longevity and the value you’ve provided them over their entire lifecycle. 

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: Take [Discount] on [product name] with [Terms & Conditions/exclusions] to celebrate [brand’s ## anniversary]. Use [Easy-to-remember, creative code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], celebrate our [# anniversary] with us. On this special moment, here’s [discount] off for your [favorite product/category/brand]. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], we’re celebrating your [#(10th/20th purchase] with us today [on date]. Here’s a special [discount] only for you on your next purchase. Use [Creative coupon code] at checkout. 

 [insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

8. Free trial - Cariuma

Cariuma creates comfy and consciously-made sneakers and related accessories.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Cariuma FOMO SMS Campaign

Why this text is effective: Cariuma understands their customer’s pain point: socks that go missing! Clever wordplay highlights that their socks are a pair that the customers will miss in case they disappear! :-) Their easy-to-remember checkout code “COMFYSOCKS” goes well with their core brand value. The text mentions that it’s available in four colors, without revealing the four, to arouse curiosity and increase site traffic.

When to use this type of SMS: This kind of text message is perfect when you want to convert subscribers to first-time customers or one-time buyers into repeat customers as the case may be. Free trial of a product increases product adoption and affinity in the long run. 

You can also use this campaign to try out new product lines on a certain set or segment of existing customers. Your most vocal customers are likely to give you feedback which can further improve the product quality and messaging thereof.

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: [Clever and creative copy]. Try [product name] for free/on us. Use [easy-to-remember code] at checkout.

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], if you buy [product/brand name], get [accessory/cross-selling product/combo product/upselling product] for free trial/on the house/on us! Use [Creative/easy-to-remember coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]” 

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], on order worth [dollar amount] on any product/site-wide, get [lesser value product] as free sample/on the house/on us! Use [Creative/easy-to-remember coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

9. Social impact - Humane Society of the United States

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with millions of supporters, takes on puppy mills, factory farms, the fur trade, trophy hunting, animal cosmetics testing, and other cruel industries. Through their rescue, response, and sanctuary work, as well as other hands-on animal care services, they help thousands of animals every year.

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - HSUS Save Animals Campaign

Why this text is effective: HSUS inspired us with this MMS. They call out their donor (Brea) by first name and induce a sense of urgency 

(for today only) while strongly bringing out the social impact and mission of their brand (save even more animals).

Images of cute or forlorn puppies (or kittens) always make one go aww and click, right?

When to use this type of SMS: You can add your DTC brand’s social impact story in text messages to create a bond, a value for your customers that may be bigger than your product experience itself. Something that makes them feel good about themselves. Like what Mamaearth (a 100% toxin-free beauty products brand) does as part of their order delivered confirmation text:

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Mamaearth Plant Tree Campaign

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: We’ll [match/donate xx % of] your order price today to [NGO/cause/charity]. Your one click will make a HUGE difference to [NGO/cause/charity]. Use [Creative Code] at checkout: 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], thanks for buying [product/brand name]. As promised, we’ve [planted a tree/donated to a noble cause/added to our charity fund]. Here’s proof:

[insert link to the specific landing page/proof of noble deed]” 

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], your [order number] is delivered. Congrats on your contribution to [planting a tree/donating to a noble cause/adding to our charity fund]. Here’s proof:

[insert link to the specific landing page/proof of noble deed]”

10. Free accessory - Ulta Beauty

Ulta is a chain of beauty stores in the United States. Since opening their first store in 1990, Ulta Beauty has grown to become the largest US beauty retailer and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skincare products, hair care products, and salon services. 

SMS Marketing Campaign Example - Ulta Beauty Free Bag Campaign

Why this text is effective: Ulta nudges their customer to make any $70 online purchase by offering a 24-piece beauty bag as a free accessory. They’re also revealing that the customer can choose any one of the two different beauty bags for free! This free beauty bag (being a necessary evil for someone who carries their makeup along with them; The Devil Wears Prada? :-) is bound to increase website traffic and sales.

When to use this type of SMS: You can use such “free upsells/cross sells” to test the water. Your customers are likely to take the plunge and the outcome of this campaign will give you an insight into whether the free accessory is worth being sold as an independent product or as part of a combo deal in the future. 

Syntax of the SMS:

“Brand name: Get a free [accessory name] with any online purchase of [amount or higher]. Choose now/shop now. Use [Free accessory name code] at checkout.

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

More syntax examples

  • “Brand name: Hi [Customer name], if you buy [product/brand name], get a [accessory/cross-selling product/combo product/upselling product] for free! Use [Creative/easy-to-remember coupon code] at checkout. 

 [insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]” 

  • “Brand name: [Customer name], on [specific product name], get a [lesser value product/accessory/cross-selling product/combo product/upselling product] for free! Shipping free too. Use [Creative/easy-to-remember coupon code] at checkout. 

[insert link to the specific landing page/PDP]”

Before you send your SMSes

Hope you’re as inspired as we were from these 10 SMS marketing campaign examples to provide value to your customers and differentiate your SMS marketing campaign from those of your competitors. 

Hot tips:

  • SMS opt-in is mandated by law. Each text message should be preceded by an opt-in form that explains that customers should provide their phone numbers so that apart from transactional messages, you will also send them exclusive offers, sales, and other promotions.
  • When sending SMS, you must prioritize the most essential information in each message due to the limited number of characters available. 
  • If you need more room to tell your story, combine your SMS and email efforts to create effective multi-channel campaigns.

Moda can help you deliver your text messages regardless of where you are in your SMS marketing journey. With its no-code template and flow designer, anyone can use Moda to send messages. 

Sign up for early access today.