6 Direct Marketing Examples for Text Message Campaigns

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When it comes to direct marketing, some of the most creative campaigns you’ll find include postcards, coupons, and flyers stuffed into consumer mailboxes. These direct marketing examples include valuable content delivered in compelling packages, but these channels are crowded. It’s getting harder to hold customers’ attention.

Another way to communicate directly with customers is with mobile messaging. Texts are opened within seconds of being received and can’t be tossed away like physical mail can. Messages delivered via SMS or as rich media messages (RMM) have the power to leave a memorable impression while helping move customers along their customer journey — from awareness and interest to purchase and retention.

With the benefits of mobile messaging combined with the effectiveness of direct marketing solutions, the potential for increased sales is incredibly high — as long as customers get the right message at the right time.

Here are six direct marketing examples of the types of text message campaigns you can send, along with advice on how to best use them to increase your sales.

1. Welcome Message

After a customer buys a product or a new user signs up for a service, your welcome message is the first opportunity for them to experience the value you offer. A positive first impression increases the likelihood of retaining customers, while a negative first impression can derail your growth plan.

Use your welcome message to:

  • Thank new customers and users for their business.
  • Tell customers and users what to expect from you.
  • Tell customers and users what they have to do next.

Since text messages have an open rate of 98%, use your welcome message to entertain and delight your audience. The following message from Scratch-it is a simple SMS, but it does a few things well.

scratch-it direct marketing example

  • It acknowledges that the user signed up for the service: People forget that they’ve signed up for text message alerts, and you don’t want to make people wonder if you’re just spamming them — so it’s always good to start by reminding customers why they’re getting a message from you.
  • It restates the expectation: Make people aware of how often they can expect to hear from you. When they receive your messages, it isn’t a surprise because you made it clear at the beginning.
  • It includes an opt-out option: People change their minds after they sign up to receive text notifications. Even if they choose to opt-out, create a positive customer experience with the opt-out process.
  • It delivers immediate value: People don’t want to wait to experience the promised value. Instead of having people wait, give them immediate access to their first special offer.

Although this message isn’t visually stunning, it delivers on the promise it offers users. To make your messages more visually appealing, use rich media messaging to share the same information but in the form of an image, GIF, or video. When users click on the image, redirect them to a dedicated landing page where they can access what you promised.

2. Product Promotion

Compared to a few short years ago, mobile shopping is the go-to option for most customers. In fact, by 2023, it’s estimated that mobile spending will increase by 88.3%. The increased reliance on ecommerce creates a massive opportunity for direct marketing. Use it to proactively share your products with your audience.

But before you start blasting your contact list with generic product messages, segment the list first. You’ll be able to send messages based on customer preferences, which increases the click-through rate. For example, using your sales data, segment your customers based on product categories. When you have a promotion for specific products, you can notify customers who’ve bought similar products in the past.

One thing the following message from Hudson + Ivy — an online fashion retailer — does well is it includes an image of the product for sale. It’s one thing to tell customers a product’s on sale, and it’s another to show them what you’re offering. We live in an age where shoppers use sites like Pinterest and Instagram to shop for looks. Include an image using rich media messaging to get your customers’ attention.

retail messaging example


When running product promotions, only send messages to groups most likely to buy something — that is:

  • Customers who’ve purchased the product in the past
  • Customers who’ve indicated an interest in the product

Just like the Hudson + Ivy example, include a link to the product page to simplify the ecommerce experience and increase conversion rates.

Learn more about how to use mobile messaging during peak shopping seasons: 7 Black Friday SMS Marketing Tips for Retailers

3. Direct Marketing – Limited Time Offers

Limited time offers rely heavily on the concept of FOMO — the fear of missing out. In ecommerce, FOMO happens when people don’t want to miss out on a time-sensitive offer. Because the offer is urgent and some products are scarce, people are motivated to act quickly vs. waiting.

In this direct mobile marketing example, use FOMO by creating messages that include:

  • A short purchase window
  • A special offer

The following image from Avenue — an online retailer — hits on both of these points:

  • A short purchase window. Customers have a five-hour window — on one day — to take advantage of the sale.
  • A special offer. Customers receive 20% off their purchase.

discount SMS message


In some cases, it makes sense to include testimonials from other customers. Customers who receive these messages can hear directly from those customers who’ve participated in the sale. For this type of message, insert a short video clip in your rich media message.

Send a rich media message with an image of your offer and corresponding details. For example, specify when the offer is effective and what customers have to do. Include a link to the product page online to make it easy for customers to follow through.

4. Product Launches

When you have a new product or service available, improve your sales potential by running a launch campaign. The primary goals of your campaign are to:

  • Get the product or service in front of as many people in your audience as possible.
  • Get these audience members to buy.

Successful launches include four phases:

  1. Customer research. Take the time to understand customer needs to make sure your new product or service is something they’ll buy. Make adjustments to your product or service based on the insights you gather.
  2. Campaign development. Figure out what information you want to share and how you’ll position it.
  3. Launch strategy. Plan how your campaign will be delivered, how many messages will be sent, and what content will be included.
  4. Post-launch strategy. After the product launches, consider what additional tactics are needed to keep customers excited. For example, incorporate social media to send product updates.

Your launch strategy — step 3 — is one of the most important steps in the overall launch process. Once you’ve segmented your customer list, use automation to send multiple messages over the course of a few weeks. You won’t notice much of an increase in sales if you send one message introducing the product or service and ask customers to buy. Instead, introduce the new product gradually to pique customer interest and to prep them to buy.

The message below from Ford is a direct marketing example of an automated launch message. The first few campaign messages might introduce basic product details, while detailed messages are sent at the end of the campaign. For example, the following message highlights specific product features and invites people to learn more.
F150 direct marketing example

Direct marketing doesn’t always have to be about selling something. Use the first few messages in your product launch campaign to educate buyers and answer their common questions.

Discover more about SMS and Rich Media Marketing: 16 Essential SMS and Rich Media Marketing Tips [with Examples]

5. Direct Marketing – Call to Action

You can have the most captivating campaigns — stunning visuals and memorable messaging — but if you don’t tell your audience what to do, it’s impossible to hit your goals. Customers need direction to know what’s expected of them, so experiment with different kinds of calls to action (CTA). With VoiceSage’s campaign builder you’re able to personalize your CTAs by testing colors, words, and more. There’s no need to involve developers since VoiceSage makes campaign creation so easy.

Your CTA is the bridge between customers reading your message and following through afterward. Your CTAs have to be directive in order to get people to move forward in their customer journey.

Examples of CTAs to use in your direct text marketing campaigns include:

  • Get started today
  • Find out more
  • Read more
  • Get your free trial
  • Sign up
  • Complete checkout
  • Buy now
  • Subscribe
  • Join now
  • Give it a try

In the following example from Volvo, the CTA goes further; it’s very specific to the message. Instead of prompting people to connect with sales or book a test drive appointment, the message invites them to find their nearest dealer. The message also includes a video to show people the car in action. With RMM, you can incorporate video messages to get people interested and excited to click the CTA.

Ford direct marketing example


Test different CTAs based on the customer segments you message and the required follow-through action. For example, if you’re a retailer, test whether a CTA like ‘Buy Now’ is more effective for promotional messages or product launches. The insights from your tests will indicate which CTAs lead to the highest click-throughs.

6. Abandoned Cart

In the UK, shoppers abandon roughly £30 in sales a month. £30 doesn’t seem significant on a case-by-case basis, but taken together, retailers lose about £18 billion a year from abandoned carts. Retailers are losing a tremendous amount of money that can be minimized by simply following up with customers. On average, 21% of shoppers come back to purchase from the same retailer.

Use VoiceSage’s campaign builder to set up an automated campaign that’s triggered whenever customers leave their cart before checking out. Include a series of messages that remind customers about:

  • Their products
  • The value the products offer
  • Reviews from past customers
  • More retail information

If customers don’t act on these messages, send a final message that includes a special offer.

abandoned cart sms

Use rich media messaging throughout your campaign to show images of the products in the cart and a GIF of the discount offer. The messages become more engaging because the graphics entertain as well as inform customers — compared to text only messages.

Also, share a link to the cart in your rich media messages to simplify the checkout process. The easier the checkout process is, the better — especially considering 26% of abandoned carts are due to long or complicated checkouts.

Learn more about re-engaging lapsed customers: How to Win-back Lapsed Customers with an Improved Digital Customer Experience

Create Your own Direct Marketing Examples

Every time you send a campaign, track the content to judge how well each one performs. Over time, you’ll have a better understanding of what types of direct marketing campaigns your customers respond to. For example, you might find that, in some cases, SMS messages are more effective at getting click-throughs than RMM.

As you learn more about audience messaging preferences, the more targeted your messaging will become. The chances of you meeting your campaign goals also increase.

To learn more about building your own campaigns, contact us today.

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Published on: 2nd December 2019

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