SMS Marketing Strategy:
How To Plan for 2023

As you develop your marketing strategy for 2023, make your list and check it twice. Did you include an SMS marketing plan to it?

These text message techniques can help you add another layer and communication tool to your outreach.

1. Define your goals

The best place to start with your SMS marketing strategy is to create a plan for how to use text messaging to reach your audience.

Begin by answering these questions:

Who needs to receive your message?
Identify your target audience so you know how many different messages you may need to send. Depending on your SMS platform, you may be limited to how many text messages you can send in bulk, as well as how large a contact list you can upload.

What type of content are you sending?
Depending on your audience, you may need to customize your content. You can include PDFs, images, and links to engage with your audience.

What is the call-to-action (CTA)?
To improve your engagement and response rates, you will want to ask one single CTA of your contacts. It could be to click on a link, which you can track, or to to include a specific reply.

How will you measure success?
You can track your read rates, response rates, response times (how long it takes someone to text you back), and link clicks. You can also A/B test SMS campaign sends to see which messages perform best with an audience.

What type of number will you use?
When you send an email, you consider “who” the message will come from and then also who the replies will go to. An SMS marketing tip is to consider what type of number you will be sending texts from. It can include:

  • Short code: Short code messaging may include five- or six-digit numbers, is easy to send promotions and offers, is best for automated notifications, and you can send more messages faster.
  • Long code: A long code number will look similar to a regular, local business phone number and include 10 digits. Long codes can increase brand awareness and credibility, you can respond to text messages and carry on a two-way conversation, and is a more personal form of communication.
  • Toll-free: Toll-free SMS includes seeing a number that comes from an 800 variation. Toll-free texting is most commonly used for transactional messaging such as account-related alerts, notifications, and customer care messaging.

Some SMS platforms include automated landline exclusion to assure optimal delivery to the numbers you are sending text messages to.

2. Optimize for conversion from the start

As you put your SMS marketing plan in place, you want to make sure you set the tone for optimizing campaigns and text messages to increase your ROI — this is a marketing strategy after all! Business texting is another avenue to measure success.

Use these SMS marketing tips to help you create the best text messages possible.


Contacts want to be addressed personally and know who is texting them. While you don’t need to have a formal email signature in your text message, you should consider putting in an identifier such as “Anna from TextUs” so contacts know who they are replying to and WHY they should reply.

Segment campaigns

You can create SMS campaigns to specific contact groups. If you are an enterprise company, adopting text message marketing across the company and departments will increase your overall efficiency.

Keep it brief

SMS marketing already has fewer words than emails, but our usage data shows that the best engagement and response rates happen when text messages are under 150 characters.

A/B test

You are probably familiar with A/B testing your email marketing campaigns, but you can also test your text message marketing techniques. Not every SMS platform offers this feature, so make sure you double check if this is a top need for your marketing strategy effectiveness.

3. Decide when to automate vs communicate 1:1

Email marketing campaigns are generally sent in masses and use tokens to personalize some content and actions.

SMS marketing tactics differ in that you want to pay attention to your audience.

Depending on the audience and number you choose, you may find better engagement with 1:1 text messages. You may see this if you are a recruiter and working with one candidate at a time.

Because most people do not generally reply to your email, but rather click on a link for engagement, text message marketing techniques rely on conversational use cases at times for high engagement.

If you are sending announcements and information to a large number of contacts, then automation would work better for your needs.

It’s important to map out your customer journey and learn how they want to be contacted.

You will also want to compare text campaign performance to your other outbound communication channels with the ability to export campaign results.

4. Incorporate texting into existing tactics

While SMS is a marketing tactic on its own you should implement, it is a great complement to other marketing tactics in your strategy. With an average 98% read rate and 48.5% average response rate, you increase the likelihood of contacts engaging when you partner SMS with these other marketing tactics.


Use SMS to remind attendees of an event, send links to sign up, and send announcements.


Use short codes for contacts to enter contests or promos.

Re-target current customers

Inform your customers of new services, features or products relevant to their business use cases.

Engagement Surveys

Send survey links or collect feedback from text messages.


Use a short code to have people advocate for your issue or join a cause.


Create an SMS campaign that automatically tracks and engages with referrals.

Exclusive discounts and deals

Offer text only promotions, special offers or early launch announcements.

Share relevant resources

Share a new blog to a prospect that meets their pain point, send a case study link or PDF to a prospect or showcase a video testimonial from a happy customer.


If your emails aren’t read, try following up with a text message for better results.

5. Beware of the Dos...

Here are a few SMS marketing tips that we recommend you do based on our customer success:

  • Do ask permission to text
  • Do respect your contacts’ time and attention
  • Do use proper spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation
  • Do keep it short
  • Do respond to texts

And the Don’ts

Here are a few SMS marketing tips that we recommend you DON’T include in your SMS marketing strategy:

  • Don’t use inappropriate abbreviations
  • Don’t text at weird hours
  • Don’t send inappropriate rich media
  • Don’t skip proofreading
  • Don’t blast contacts at the same time on every communication tool (text, phone call, email, direct mail).

For more SMS marketing tips on the do’s and don’ts of business texting, download our infographic!

6. Create and use texting templates

Texting templates help you save time, especially when you need to mass text a larger group of contacts. To get you started, here are some templates you can use for marketing purposes.

Oscar: Want to receive special codes and information about sales and promotions at BooksPlus? Simply reply “TEXTUS” to confirm opt in!

Heather: Special sale for SMS subscribers! Get 20% until 6/10 with the code “TEXTUS”

Victor: Thanks for joining the VIP Club! Enjoy 15% off and FREE shipping all month long with code “VIP”

Greg: GolfGallery is hosting an exclusive event for customers! 4/12 from 12-4pm we will have apps, drinks, and a golf pro giving tips. RSVP by replying “TEE UP”

Tina: Congratulations on your new home -I hope you are settling in! If you can think of any friends looking for homes please feel free to refer me with the link below. Thanks! Brenda! (Insert Referral Link)

Gary: Want a chance to win FREE playoff tickets? Simply reply back “PENS” to be entered to win.

Heather - It’s fireworks night on July 3 at American Family Field! What better way to celebrate the holiday than with the best view and team in America! Reply back with “FREEDOM” to hear our deals!

Andy: Curious how others are using our platform in e-commerce? Read our case study with Squarespace here.

Hey Frank! I’d love to show you how our features can boost your team’s productivity. Join us for a live demo this Wednesday 3/6 at 4pm ET. Confirm attendance here:

Are you joining us at the GigWork Conference? Meet us at the Sip & Spin for drinks and free schwag, Tues @ 7pm. You won’t want to miss our surprise guest!

For even more text message examples, download our FREE SMS marketing templates: SaaS Sales, Sports Sales, Retail, Recruiting, and Real Estate.

You might still have a few questions

You may be thinking that SMS will be a great addition to your marketing strategy, but have a few questions on how exactly to get started. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about SMS marketing.

How do I collect numbers?
Contacts you are reaching out to should be expecting a message. If you are contacting them about a product or service, then you will require an opt-in to do so. The most common ways of obtaining an opt-in is through a lead capture form on a website or a past purchase with your company.

Can I use my personal cell phone number?
There are downsides to using your personal cell phone number for business purposes. Do you want strangers to have your personal number—especially if you are reaching out to them for marketing purposes, you may have no relationship with them. It’s more secure to utilize a business texting platform. You can also track your analytics of sends in more detail with an SMS platform. The best part? You can separate your work and personal text messages!

Where can I use business texting?
SMS platforms offer different features. The TextUs platform includes a web app, mobile app, and Chrome Extension.

Does this work in real-time?
SMS platforms may vary in features and integrations. The TextUs platform allows a number of people to monitor and respond to the text conversations at the same time. The inbound and outbound messages show on any screen that is logged in. TextUs also integrates with many CRMs including Salesforce to make it easy or sync your contacts, conversations, and success.

Will this cause an extra charge for customers?
There is no fee for customers to use TextUs; however, standard SMS rates from their mobile provider may apply depending on their plan/carrier.

How much does it cost to implement SMS marketing?
Plans and packages vary for each SMS platform. TextUs offers different subscription plans to meet your business needs.

How to get started with business texting?
You can contact us today to learn more about the features of TextUs and how to implement your SMS marketing plan. We can also share our plans for 2023 that include increased campaign capabilities!