How to build a basic SMS Marketing Strategy Part 1

How does a basic SMS Marketing Strategy look? You have to focus on your four main areas: acquiring customers’ contact details, refinement, engagement and retention.

Acquiring contact info

You need a customer’s permission first in order to send them marketing material via mobile.

This is a big undertaking.

You need to have a unique and creative plan to do this. A few strategies that have proven useful to obtain mobile numbers, are: hosting competitions, giving away freebies or promising the subscriber exclusivity or something else of value.

You have to give very careful thought the content of your messages and there should be no confusion as to the what, how and why of your offering.

Once you have decided how you are going to lure your customers, the next step is to determine how to tell them about it. How are they going to receive your “invitation”? This is where your digital and more traditional forms of marketing comes to play.

You can alert your customers to subscribe to your contact list by posting it on Facebook and Twitter, sending an email, or placing an advert on a billboard, pamphlets, business cards, corporate stationary etc.


  • Keep the budget constraints in mind when choosing the channels for your SMS marketing strategy.
  • Give yourself enough time to gather the info – if you rush it, you might get less numbers than you wished for.

Refining your list

Depending on your SMS Marketing goals, you most likely have more than one type of offering for your subscribers.

The golden rule is to always give your customers options, because people’s needs differ. One client might be interested in hearing about promotions only, while another is interested in your newsletters or blog posts. Some might prefer Push notifications, while others want to receive a text that they can store.

In this phase, your focus is to sort your list and to determine who wants what.

Depending on the size of your contact list, this shouldn’t be problematic. If you let your customers make use of SMS Shortcodes or even a simple “reply 1 for…” you will have it sorted out in no time.

Look out for Part 2 where will discuss customer engagement and retention.

Herman Cremer
A seasoned professional with 20 years of experience in digital & mobile solutions and advertising.


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