What is an SMS Campaign?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2019
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A short message service (SMS) campaign is an advertising or marketing campaign that is conducted by routing text ads to cellular or mobile phones. Also known as a text message campaign, the goal of this type of advertising is to connect with potential clients using a means that is likely to provide customers with the ability to review the messages when and as they like. While still a relatively new means of marketing to consumers, an effective SMS campaign can make a significant difference in the number of sales generated, without requiring a great deal of expense in terms of launching and maintaining the campaign.

In most cases, an SMS campaign relies on the willingness of consumers to grant permission for text messages to be sent by the advertiser. Some companies require written permission before including a client as a recipient of this type of advertising, while others will allow customers to opt in by forwarding a text message granting their permission to a specific phone number set aside by the advertiser to receive those permissions.


Many different types of businesses can benefit from implementing an SMS campaign. Retailers can use the strategy as a means to alert interested customers to upcoming sales. Financial lenders who specialize in short-term loans can use the medium to alert consumers to the ability to apply for and be approved for a loan using text messaging. Even local businesses such as restaurants can utilize this approach to advise regular customers of menu items that are offered at special prices for a limited time only.

It is not unusual for an SMS campaign to include instructions on how to respond to the ad. Typically, this involves sending a return text message placing an order or requesting more information. Where practical, the text advertising may include telephone numbers that the recipient can use to speak with a representative to place the order or to obtain more information.

Just as consumers must opt into the program to receive text messages as part of an SMS campaign, many nations require that consumers have the ability to opt out of a campaign if they desire. This may involve something as simple as replying to an ad with a short text indicating the customer’s desire to not receive future messages, or providing a telephone number the consumer can call to opt out of the program. Doing so allows consumers to control the number and type of advertising messages they receive, which in turn helps to limit the opportunities for junk or spam messages to inundate any given consumer.



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