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Digital Marketing

SMS Marketing: Why Texting Customers Works and How to Get Started

April 15, 2021
Camille Trent

SMS marketing is on the rise in 2021, and for good reason. Learn what SMS marketing is and how to launch 251X ROAS campaigns with text message marketing.

Table of Contents

SMS marketing has grown rapidly in the last couple years. In a survey by SimpleTexting, 61% of marketers said they planned to use SMS marketing more — increasing SMS marketing budgets in 2020 after 41% saw increased opt-in rates the year before. 

This is not just overeager marketers hyping a new channel. Tech comparison site G2 estimated 48.7 million consumers would opt into SMS marketing by the end of 2020. 

The unprecedented engagement rates in unprecedented times caught our attention, too, and earned SMS marketing a spot in our top marketing trends for 2021.

The favorable forecasts come from consumer data showing increased interest in SMS. People are opening, clicking, and responding faster and more frequently to marketing texts than they are to marketing emails.

SMS marketing budgets 2020
Source: SimpleTexting

The average response rate to SMS messages is 90 seconds, whereas it’s two days for email.” reported Voyage SMS.

The average click through rate (CTR) for SMS campaigns is 80% according to Voyage SMS. In contrast, email receives a 2.62% average CTR for all industries, according to MailChimp.

SMS is still a newer marketing channel — Voyage SMS was early to the text marketing party, and they came onto the scene in 2017 — but for marketers, it’s worth trying out now rather than waiting for SMS to mature. 

Early SMS marketing adopters like Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s already had incredible success with social media and podcasting, are blown away by the open rates they’re getting through SMS marketing. 

“This is the most powerful sh*t I’ve seen since early email,” he remarks on Community’s website. “From somebody who has hundreds of thousands of people on text, I’m getting 98% open and 90% engagement.”

“This is the most powerful sh*t I’ve seen since early email.”

Why? Innovators and early adopters — just 16% of the total market — typically see the biggest benefits from marketing channels. 

Once a channel gets saturated with ads, consumers move on to a newer one.

SMS marketing early adopters
Source: OnDigitalMarketing.com

If you want to see an early adopter bump from SMS marketing, this article will cover what you need to know to get started. Let’s dive in.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing, or short message service marketing, is when businesses send promotional or transactional communications to customers who have given their permission via text message. 

So no, those spam texts you get about hot singles, past-due auto registration, or phony tax rebates are not SMS marketing. You never asked for those, and they’re not from legitimate businesses. 

On the other hand, appointment reminders from your dentist and surveys from a political group you support — those fall into SMS marketing territory. Essentially, any text message sent by a brand you gave permission to text you is SMS marketing.

Examples of SMS Marketing

  • Discount codes and promotions texted to your phone
  • SMS alerts about new or newly-restocked products 
  • Text reminders to purchase products still sitting in your cart
  • Event or appointment reminders, sent via text
  • Text-based requests to leave a review or take a survey

“SMS marketing” might not be the best term for the technology, though, according to Voyage SMS founder and CIO Corey Epstein. 

“We've kind of moved towards a broader understanding of what this space is, which we call messaging commerce,’” he told MarketerHire. “Because, at the end of the day, everything about this is driving revenue for business in ways that one isn't done comparatively.”

“We've kind of moved towards a broader understanding of what this space is, which we call messaging commerce.”

What’s the difference between SMS and MMS?

MMS, or “multimedia message service,” adds a multimedia element to SMS messages, allowing people to share more complex files via text — videos, photos, GIFs, audio messages and phone contacts. 

Because JPEG image files are supported by most devices and render fastest, Voyage SMS recommends them to marketers sending static images. Animations should use standard GIF format.

MMS specs for text message marketing
Source: VoyageSMS

In this article, we will use SMS as an umbrella term that includes MMS.

What does SMS marketing cost?

While fees vary by provider, Voyage SMS charges clients on month-to-month plans $0.01 per text-only SMS message, with additional discounts for one- or two-year contracts. MMS messages cost more than SMS with any provider; Voyage SMS charges $0.03 per MMS sent. 

Because cost is directly tied to list size, even small businesses and startups can justify the spend on SMS marketing.

“A good [annual] revenue range for companies interested in adding SMS marketing is $1 million or more,” said Epstein. But it depends on LTV (life-time value of a customer), says Epstein, if your LTV is close to $5 or less, SMS may not be the right fit. 

“A good [annual] revenue range for companies interested in adding SMS marketing is $1 million or more.”

For $500 to $1,000 per month, marketers can also invest in a five- to six-digit short code. This high-volume phone number, often associated with a short word, is easier for users to remember and text manually than a traditional phone number.

What stands out about SMS marketing?

It’s simple enough for dumb phones and smartphones alike, and users don’t need to download a special app to receive SMS messages. SMS marketing is also intimate — you’re reaching people in the same inbox they use to chat with their friends. Think of it as mobile-native email marketing.

9 reasons why SMS marketing works

1. Phone usage is only going to grow.

Humans have gone (nearly) full mobile. More than 95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind, according to Pew Research, and more than 80% of Americans own smartphones.

We’re spending an increasing amount of time on our phones, too — averaging more than three hours a day. At this point, mobile devices are where we get our news, do our shopping, browse the web, and communicate during global pandemics.

Smartphone usage 2021
Source: eMarketer

Marketing is about grabbing consumer attention, so it only makes sense to target SMS marketing messages to a device that monopolizes our attention — so much of it that not even TV shows can tear us away from our “small screens.”

Smartphones are an all-ages trend, too. From 2015 to 2019, smartphone ownership grew steadily across every age bracket.

Smartphone ownership by age
Source: Statista

That’s great news for SMS marketers, because different age brackets can boost different KPIs.

“From an ROI perspective, middle age is the best audience for SMS,” said Epstein. “But from a subscriber growth perspective, the younger the person, the higher opt-in rate of SMS over email.”

“From an ROI perspective, middle age is the best audience for SMS ... but from a subscriber growth perspective, the younger the person, the higher opt-in rate of SMS.”

2. The U.S. could follow in China’s footsteps on mobile commerce. 

People don’t just use their phones to communicate; they use them to shop. Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is growing at impressive rates in China. If the U.S. follows a similar trajectory, SMS marketing could become a major revenue driver.

“China's e-commerce sphere offers a glimpse of what commerce will look like in the future,” writes Helen H. Wang in Forbes.

“China's e-commerce sphere offers a glimpse of what commerce will look like in the future.”

In China, smartphone ownership reached 96% in 2018 — tied with the U.S. and 6% ahead of global adoption, according to Deloitte

However, how people use their mobile phones varies significantly between China and the United States. In China, mobile payment dominates; the most popular payment methods are WeChat Pay and AliPay. In the U.S., conventional payment methods like credit and cash still reign.

Mobile payment methods US v. China
Source: CNBC

Some mobile payment options have cornered some market share in the U.S., though — most notably PayPal — and if Chinese commerce is any indicator about the future of American commerce, mobile payment solutions will only grow more popular.

Mobile commerce already has traction in the U.S. In the 18 to 29 age range, which includes both later Gen Z and younger millennial populations, 3 out of 4 of people use their mobile devices to shop online.

At the same time, Americans have continued to spend less time on traditional media channels and digital devices since 2012 — including desktop internet — as the mobile internet continues to hold our attention, according to Zenith data reported in Vox.

You can see why Epstein sees SMS as the future of commerce, rather than a marketing-only channel — and why SMS marketing can pay off. Why not reach people on the same device they increasingly shop on?

3. Texting is surging in popularity. 

The ubiquity of mobile phones and the rise of m-commerce might be case enough for employing SMS marketing but let’s also consider the numbers around text message usage, specifically. 

From 2012 through 2017, the popularity of texting dipped, likely due to the rise of new social and messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, plus native DMs in social media channels like Twitter and Instagram.

Texting has recently gained back market share in the last two years though, according to Statista. In 2019, Americans sent more than 2 billion texts. 

Text messaging in U.S.
Source: Statista

4. People open texts faster and more often than emails. 

When you consider just how often we’re on our mobile phones, it makes sense that text messages get prompt, reliable engagement.

According to a SimpleTexting survey, nearly half of smartphone users check their text notifications within five minutes.

Text messages see better open rates than emails, too, which means SMS marketers are sliding into a higher-value inbox.

Source: Gartner, SimpleTexting

Plus, SMS requires no digging through the promotions tab or switching between email addresses. 

“Almost nobody has one email address anymore,” said Epstein. “Very few people have more than one phone number and almost zero people have one email.” 

“Very few people have more than one phone number and almost zero people have one email.”

That reality combined with the fact that subscribers are required to opt into SMS marketing via a text from that number makes a phone number a more valuable contact for marketers than email, says Epstein. 

There are a host of different reasons SMS marketing sees better engagement. For one, SMS subscribers often skew enthusiastic.  

“There's much more reality to your [SMS] list size,” Epstein told MarketerHire, comparing marketing email lists to SMS lists. “Those are people that actually want to hear from you and they're making a decision every campaign if that's still true.”

“There's much more reality to your [SMS] list size.”

That’s because unwanted SMS marketing is more direct — and unusual — than unwanted marketing emails.

It’s such an intimate form of communication, Epstein says of SMS marketing. “I can think of three or four brands personally that I would want to hear from.”

5. SMS marketing gets great response rates. 

Consider this: Would you be more likely to respond to a branded text message, a branded email or a call from a telemarketer?

The truth is, text message is the medium many folks feel most comfortable communicating in — and data supports that.

SMS response rates are 7.5 times higher than email response rates, according to Gartner. Click-through-rates on SMS marketing campaigns are more than 30 times higher on SMS than on email, too, according to Voyage SMS.

SMS verses email statistics 2021
Source: Gartner

More than any other communication channel, SMS marketing opens the lines of communication between brand and customer (more on that next), and it provides a quick, responsive forum for exchanging information.

6. Text messages are great for collecting feedback. 

Marketers and Amazon shoppers alike know how much credibility reviews create. According to BigCommerce, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. 

But even the most loyal customers don’t always think to leave reviews without a reminder.

SMS marketing can be wildly helpful here, especially when you consider the footprint, open rates and response rates. Sending recent buyers a thank you message with a “leave us a review” CTA and a link makes collecting social proof a cinch.

Brands can then take insights from reviews and implement changes throughout their funnel — or in their product itself.

7. SMS marketing is cost-effective.

Marketing via text doesn’t just pay off in high open rates — it can pay off in savings.

Pricing may vary depending on your needs and subscriber list, but if you send one SMS campaign a week to your list of 10,000, you could expect to spend around $400 each month with a pay-per usage platform. 

That’s pretty reasonable — and the costs associated with  creating and deploying campaigns are reasonable, too. Communication channels like email and blogs rely on long-form copywriters, designers, editors, consultants, and photographers. 

Text message campaigns take less manpower — no designer necessary! — and less time. This is particularly helpful for marketers promoting flash sales, or just looking to see results quickly.

8. SMS marketing complements other types of marketing.

Brands don’t need to build SMS marketing strategies from scratch. Rather, this channel can be used to deliver existing marketing messaging or to drive traffic to existing assets, like a blog or a paid landing page.

Particularly if your digital marketing strategy is based on a stackable content method, SMS can be used to deliver larger pieces of content in real-time as soon as they’re published.

SMS marketing can also work in tandem with email. SMS is more effective than email at driving opt-ins and converting leads into mobile customers. Once m-commerce customers check out, though, they often opt into emails, too.

“Most customers see faster list growth with SMS than email,” Epsteign told MarketerHire. “Some customers are worried it will take away from email, but many sign up for both if you give them the choice.”

“Most customers see faster list growth with SMS than email.”

Here’s an example of Disney giving visitors the option to subscribe to email, SMS or both:

SMS marketing example with short code
Source: Voyage SMS

Over the last four years, mobile phone ownership has grown consistently in every age group. 

9. Customers can easily opt-in and out of SMS.

Opting out of branded emails can be a multi-step hassle. Many people ignore it altogether, and leave their brand emails unopened — hence email marketing’s lower open rates.

With SMS marketing, opting out is easier; recipients can typically just reply “STOP” to unsubscribe.

This makes opting into SMS updates more appealing to consumers up front. 

What does this mean for SMS marketers? An average opt-out rate just shy of 3%, according to BurstSMS. That may sound high compared to the 0.1% unsubscribe rate for email, but as we already mentioned, it keeps lists clean. You know most — if not all — of your list wants to hear from you. 

The effort it takes to legally build a subscriber base, and the ease of unsubscribing,  gives SMS marketing the highest engagement rates of any marketing channel, said Epstein. 

Top 9 SMS marketing tactics to boost conversions and loyalty

Now that you know why SMS marketing is effective, let’s dive into some real-world examples of successful, engaging SMS campaigns. Think of them like email drip campaigns — you can segment your audience and send out regularly scheduled content based on their habits.

There are a few general SMS marketing best practices to keep in mind when launching your first campaign, according to Voyage SMS data:

  • Send no more than two one-time campaigns per week.
  • Choose SMS for your most important marketing messages — texts are more likely to get seen than emails. 
  • Send campaigns between 9 AM and 4 PM PST.
  • Craft messages under 160 characters. 
  • Identify your brand in every send. (Not even your most loyal subscribers will save you to their contacts list.)

And here are nine popular uses for SMS marketing that brands have already leveraged to kickstart major growth.

1. Send welcome text messages or offers to new subscribers.

A welcome email is a huge first impression-maker for your brand, and a welcome text is no different. Effective welcome texts usually have these elements in common:

  • An actual greeting: Obvious, but true. 
  • A CTA: What do you want your new subscriber to do — purchase something? Visit a landing page? Ask them to do it in concise language, and make it clear what’s in it for them.
  • Opt-in and opt-out instructions: Let them know they can leave and rejoin your brand’s SMS contact list at any time. Not only is this legally required, it’s just polite.
  • A unique promo code for new users: You make sales, your customer has a good initial experience. Win-win.
  • A UTM-coded link to gauge CTR: Are people actually clicking the link you want them to go to? Was your CTA persuasive enough? These are a few of the metrics you can track with a UTM.
  • GIFs, images and video links (MMS): Have fun! Show off your brand’s personality.
SMS marketing text message welcome
Source: Voyage SMS

Example welcome text: "Thanks for signing up for SMS offers. Click here for 10% off your order today! brand.com/discount/[CODE]"

2. Remind customers to restock.

Sending out a purchase reminder will ensure your product is top of mind when it comes time for your customer to restock.

Taking the guesswork away from your customer makes them feel taken care of, and that builds a trusting relationship between brand and consumer.

Even better, marketers can make a repeat purchase as easy as texting “Can I get another box?” — a strategy used by energy bar company Verb Energy. 

“It’s just like texting a buddy,” ShipBob CMO Casey Armstrong told MarketerHire, praising Verb Energy’s SMS payment option.

“It’s just like texting a buddy.”
SMS marketing example - reminder text
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS purchase reminder example: "Don't forget to use your welcome offer! Click now to get 20% off your first order! brand.com/discount/[CODE]"

3. Share urgent deals and promotions.

We know how effective time-sensitive marketing messaging is, especially around the holidays and other high-volume shopping seasons. Because texts are usually read within a few minutes, SMS marketing is the most logical channel for sharing last-minute promotions.


SMS marketing example - promo
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for a Unique Deal and Promotion: "Shh...this offers for our SMS list only. Get 20% off today only...click here to apply the coupon automatically brand.com/discount/[CODE]"

4. Send out new product announcements.

Announcing a shiny new product? Cross-channel promotion is important here, but SMS should definitely be in the mix. Product launch announcements sent via email often get buried in our inboxes. SMS is the most effective way to ensure your most loyal customers know about (and buy) your new products promptly.

You could even try giving SMS subscribers early access to new offerings, to boost brand loyalty and generate initial buzz.

SMS marketing example - new product
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for New Product Announcement: "Drum roll please...new pants have arrived and you're the first to know. Shop now before they sell out! brand.com/new-pants"

5. Give the gift of birthday rewards.

Is there a better way to keep subscriber counts up than with the promise of a birthday treat year after year?

It’s become a brand pillar for Starbucks. Known for its loyalty rewards program and more than $100 billion valuation, the company offers every rewards participant a free birthday drink, in addition to year-round freebies earned with purchases.

Any company can follow in the coffee conglomerate’s footsteps, and use birthdays as an occasion to surprise and delight its customers. SMS marketing tools make it easy to capture your subscribers’ birthdays (and astrological signs!) and send out timely birthday offers at scale.

SMS marketing example - birthday
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS marketing example

SMS Example for Birthday Rewards: "Happy birthday {first name}! Here's a $50 gift card just for you! [brand.com/gift/code/{](http://brand.com/gift/code/{gift)unique gift code}"

6. Send Black Friday and Cyber Monday reminders.

Urgency, urgency, urgency: That’s the name of the game on the year’s biggest shopping weekend. In most cases, brands don’t release their discounts or deals until the eleventh hour, and this last-minute messaging is ripe for SMS marketing automation.

It can seriously pay off. In 2019, online sales from smartphones grew 37% YoY compared to 8% for desktop, according to Voyage SMS. Smartphones accounted for 84% of e-commerce growth that holiday season.

It adds to the financial incentive that during the holidays, CPMs on paid digital ads tend to skyrocket. That’s why Sam Lewkowict, co-founder of men’s skincare brand Black Wolf, told MarketerHire that he leans on owned channels like SMS during the BFCM rush.

SMS marketing example - black friday
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for Black Friday, Cyber Monday Reminder: "Don't forget to use your 30% off discount for black friday! 24 hours left! brand.com/discount/CODE"

7. Run giveaways.

If you want to grow your SMS subscriber list fast, create a giveaway and use your other marketing channels to promote it. It’s a tale as old as time, but it works. 

Even better, offer those who don’t win a small discount or a free add-on for playing along.

In one co-branded text-to-win sweepstakes, Playstation and Taco Bell offered customers a chance to win a PS4 before it was released to the public. It was a major success: The brands came away with a multi-million dollar SMS subscriber list.

SMS marketing example - giveaway
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for Giveaways: "Tag @brand on Instagram wearing your new pants for a chance to win $1000! learn more brand.com/giveaway"

8. Cross-sell and upsell.

If a customer signed up to receive SMS messages from your brand, they’re already somewhat invested in what you’re selling. There’s an established relationship and trust.  That makes the upselling or cross-selling process a little less daunting.

It still requires targeted messaging, though. Consider segmenting your audience by purchasing behaviors or by product affinity. When you can understand what your customers are buying, you can make more logical recommendations for new, additional products to purchase.

SMS marketing example - upselling
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for Cross-Selling / Upselling: "Need a belt with those pants? We've got the perfect one: brand.com/belts"

9. Remind shoppers about abandoned carts.

Abandoned carts are the bane of any e-commerce brand’s existence. They cause all sorts of problems and revenue loss (around $18B a year!). Using SMS outreach to follow-up with folks can help alleviate the problem, though.

A few tips for making your abandoned cart text conversion-worthy:

  • Don’t always offer discounts: Discounts can cheapen your brand and encourage future cart abandonment. Promos should be offered sparingly, if at all. 
  • Simplify the checkout process: Make paying easy. For example, have a guest checkout function for those who don’t want to create an account — or enable SMS payments for repeat shoppers.
  • Use product images: Show your customer what they’re missing! Send along photos of the specific products they were looking at.
SMS marketing example - abandoned cart
Source: Voyage SMS

SMS Example for Abandoned Cart Reminders: "Distracted by a squirrel? You left something in your cart. Check out now! brand.com/cart/{ID}"

5 things to do before launching your first SMS campaign

If you want to launch an SMS strategy of your own, we have some practical thoughts on where to begin. Before you start slinging GIFs and sending out birthday rewards, take these five steps — they’ll lay a strong foundation for SMS marketing at any e-commerce or DTC brand.

1. Define your SMS marketing goals and KPIs. 

You have to define success — and decide how to measure it — before you launch your first SMS campaign. 

The key SMS marketing KPIs will sound familiar to long-time marketers, but knowing how to measure them within the channel is important. Here are some of the most popular ones.

‍Response rate

How many subscribers have replied to your text message? That’s what this metric captures. You’ll be able to see, too, the types of content or format that most customers respond to and take note of any patterns.‍

Return on advertising spend (or ROAS)

ROAS is the rate of return on your marketing spend. Is SMS marketing bringing more money than it costs? Most businesses need to achieve at least break-even ROAS for a channel to make sense. 

Luckily, SMS is currently a high-ROAS channel. Epstein reports that his customers see an average of 45X ROAS across campaigns, and closer to 60X ROAS when using basic drip campaigns. And those are just benchmarks. Voyage SMS customers experienced a 251x ROAS across all drip campaigns running in January 2021.

List size

How many phone numbers opted into your SMS list? That’s what this number tells you. Ideally, this metric will consistently grow month over month.‍ Don't confuse it with reach, though — there will naturally be unusable numbers in your database.

List growth rate

How fast is your list growing? You can calculate this by the week, month, or year; ideally, it shows that you’re steadily acquiring new SMS subscribers and retaining them. If list growth rate drops — and especially if it drops below zero — look into why. Hopefully, you can lean on other marketing channels to lift it back up. 

List attrition

It’s natural for some subscribers to drop off — whether they’re no longer interested in your product or service or because your SMS content isn’t working for them. You can determine the nature of attrition by asking for feedback, then tweaking the nature of your content or the frequency of sends.‍

Acquisition cost

What’s the cost of acquiring a new mobile subscriber? Compare this cost to a subscriber’s average lifetime value (LTV) and cost per acquisition (CAC) to determine how much you can incentivize customers to sign up for your list.

2. Find an SMS messaging service.

You want to make sure your SMS program complies with all the relevant data regulations, and it’s easiest to do that by working with an SMS marketing service provider. They can take care of all the legal hurdles for you.

These are five of the best SMS marketing software:

Using a service can also allow you to store phone numbers, segment your audience as well as your creative, create templates, send polls or reminders, manage workflows and view data easily.

3. Start getting phone numbers and growing subscribers.

In order to start collecting phone numbers and growing that subscriber list, your other channels have to work for you, too. It all starts with creating a simple keyword and an easy string of numbers that people can text to opt in.

SMS keyword marketing examples
Source: Voyage SMS

Then, promote the heck out of it.You could run social ads spotlighting it, share it with your email subscribers, or even add an SMS sign-up field to your website. 

Remember those new subscriber promos we talked about? That will entice people to get on board.

4. Segment SMS subscribers and send messages.

Jumping into drips and complex automation and segmentation before growing a list is one of the most common SMS mistakes Epstein sees marketers make. 

“Until you have a list, all other complexities are distractions,” said Epstein. 

“Until you have a list, all other complexities are distractions.”

Once you have a sizable list, though, you’re not going to mass text every member of it. This is where letting users opt into certain types of messages by texting you certain key phrases helps you avoid talking to everyone and no one with bulk SMS text blasts. It can be especially powerful on social media.

For example: In May, one of Voyage SMS’s customers — an e-commerce bracelet brand — launched Star Wars-themed bracelets. While Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker performed admirably, the Baby Yoda bracelet was the runaway popularity winner and sold out within two hours of launch. 

The brand posted on Instagram, calling its loyal followers to text “Star Wars” to a short code to be the first to know about the re-launch. 

When the limited amounts of Baby Yoda bracelets were re-launched, the brand messaged only those who had opted in via the Star Wars keyword — and generated a whopping 92% CTR, Voyage SMS reported. Not only that, the brand generated 10X more revenue per SMS message than it did per email!

SMS keyword marketing
Source: Voyage SMS

5. Test and iterate.

SMS marketing is unique — but not that unique. Testing, iterating and optimizing work for SMS campaigns just like they do for paid social ones. 

First, start with the simplest, least expensive messages — text-only SMS. Once you have a repeatable, profitable system set up, consider adding images or GIFs. (Remember, MMS messages can be 3x more expensive.) Experiment regularly with new creative, too.

Regularly testing different SMS approaches is the only way to determine what resonates with your customers.

Conclusion: SMS marketing is here to stay — and it’s only getting better

The world is more mobile than ever, and the coronavirus pandemic only fast-tracked this trend. One June report showed that in 2020, American adults were on track to average 23 additional minutes per day on their smartphones. 

There was just nothing else to do. 

The increased mobile time meant continued strong ROAS on SMS marketing campaigns — and as vaccinations accelerate and something like normal life returns, this channel isn’t going anywhere. 

“There will be brands that launch 100% through SMS and there'll be others that drive 30% of their revenue through SMS,” Epstein predicted. 

“There will be brands that launch 100% through SMS.”

It’s already happened. DTC beverage company  Dirty Lemon was an early adopter of m-commerce growth, originally selling its beverages exclusively through text message

More brands — e-commerce, DTC, and beyond — will drive purchases through text messaging as Apple adopts RCS (Rich Communication Services). RCS is a new protocol propelled by providers like Google and Samsung to eventually replace SMS.  

When can we expect RCS to go mainstream? That depends on Apple, says Epstein. Once Apple integrates it, though, text-based marketing will look even more like a tiny e-commerce store in your phone. 

“Currently, you can only include one image. In the future, you could do a scalable gallery of every product the customer added to their cart,” explained Epstein.

Needless to say, the future of commerce looks promising for mobile marketing providers and progressive brands.

Especially if they catch the trend early.

As always, if you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got expert SMS and email marketers who can help you build your list and launch high ROAS campaigns. Get matched to your ideal marketer within 48 hours.

Originally written by Courtney Grace. Re-written and re-published by Camille Trent.

Camille Trent
about the author

Camille Trent is the managing editor at MarketerHire. A copywriter and marketing nerd, she's passionate about helping freelancers and creatives recognize their value and get the knowledge they need to win long term. When she's not writing, she's hanging out with her pup and two favorite redheads. Or she's trying to coach the Portland Trail Blazers to victory from her couch.

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