5 Effective SMS Campaign Ideas From Finance Companies

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Fulfilling the promise of a customer-centric experience for banks and personal finance apps is an enormous effort at scale. Using SMS campaign ideas is one of the most effective ways to scale your messaging without losing its personal touch.

From special promotions to service reminders, text-message marketing campaigns help financial services connect with clients and keep them engaged and informed. Open rates for SMS messages are much higher than email. A survey by Flowroute found that 82% of respondents read new text messages within five minutes of delivery, whereas they only open one in four emails sent by businesses.

But SMS can be a valuable asset for finance companies only if customers have a positive experience. Delivering a great customer experience and driving better outcomes for your business mean striking a careful balance of relevant, timely, and personal messaging.

The best way to learn how to incorporate mobile messaging into your financial services business is through examples. So we’ve put together five of the best SMS campaigns ideas from other finance companies to help you get started. From global banks to personal finance apps, we’ll dive into what makes each SMS campaign ideas a success and look at how you can replicate that success within your own business using VoiceSage.

HSBC Uses SMS to Keep Customers Informed at Scale

The banking giant HSBC serves 38 million customers worldwide and relies heavily on smart SMS messaging to keep customers informed.

After customers enter their UK-based phone number, HSBC automatically delivers notifications and alerts via SMS. When customers exceed their account limits and delve into their overdraft, they receive an automatic overdraft notification, ensuring that they are always on top of their account balance. Likewise, routine maintenance might be unavoidable, but to avoid causing any inconvenience, HSBC keeps customers in the loop by sending SMS notifications of planned maintenance.

SMS campaign idea


It’s easy to set up similar automated notifications and alerts for your own business. VoiceSage users can set up SMS and rich media messaging (RMM) marketing campaigns—even drip SMS campaigns—that notify customers when there’s an issue and when it’s been resolved. Rich media messaging can include all relevant and time-sensitive information a customer might need, such as contact details for the support team or a link to the customer’s account, in case they want to see for themselves that the issue has been resolved.

While automated notifications might be handy for customers, they also provide a path for fraudulent activity. HSBC customers are frequently targeted by fraudsters purporting to be from the bank and asking users for their account details. These fake texts can look genuine, with scammers even spoofing phone numbers to increase the chances of their attack being successful. HSBC combats fraud by listing examples of genuine account messages on the company’s website, alongside a list of genuine phone numbers used by their bankers.

Key takeaway: Prevent inconvenience and keep customers informed with timely SMS campaigns.

Read more about how to embrace digital transformation with rich media messaging: 3 Trends Leading the Way to Digital Transformation in Financial Services in 2019

Vanquis Uses SMS to Collect Overdue Balances

Vanquis Bank serves over 800,000 customers across the UK and helps their customers repair bad credit by extending credit opportunities to those who otherwise might not qualify for such services.

It’s a tough business. Driving sustainable business growth means Vanquis must tightly manage delinquent balances while still giving customers maximum flexibility. Using dialers and live agents to chase customer payments was labor-intensive and expensive.

To improve collections, Vanquis turned to VoiceSage to manage an automated SMS outreach campaign and improve collections performance. By sending the right messages to the right customers at the right time, Vanquis was able to dramatically improve their collection rates and, at the same time, reduce the involvement from their customer service teams by 60%.

Customer engagement is near “jaw-dropping“ as they are impressed and surprised at our speed of response. Sometimes technology can hinder what you’re trying to do, but VoiceSage is a real enabler.
— Jim Appleby, Head of Credit Operations, Vanquis Bank

Following up with customers at scale without compromising trusted business relationships isn’t easy, but VoiceSage can help. Interactive SMS marketing campaigns give customers the flexibility they need to respond while freeing up your support agents’ time for additional tasks.

automated SMS campaign idea business-chat


Using the interactive SMS workflow creator, you can set up text-messaging conversations via a series of questions and predefined response options.

Key takeaway: Interactive SMS campaigns can drive better business outcomes without sacrificing the quality of the customer experience.

Bank of Ireland Warns Customers About Fraud via SMS

Like HSBC, Bank of Ireland uses SMS to keep customers in control of their money and prevent overdraft fees.

Bank of Ireland uses a system called 3D Secure to protect customers from unauthorized use of their cards. Online purchases require a one-time code sent to customers via SMS; the passcode is valid for only a single purchase, and without this code, the transaction will be declined.

Bank of Ireland also leverages a few other useful tactics to prevent fraud. SMS messages never contain enough information to compromise customer accounts, only ever including the last four digits of account numbers. They recommend that customers never reply to text notifications from the bank or call phone numbers included in text messages, but instead call the bank directly. They also proactively use SMS messaging to alert customers when scam text messages are being passed around.

SMS campaign idea security alert


These tactics can easily be integrated into your own business. VoiceSage users can create custom templates for their SMS campaign ideas so that messages always include relevant information. Users decide what is most important to share, and they can create as many templates as they need, based on different scenarios. For example, account updates might include a customer’s account balance as well as a truncated list of recent account activity.

Key takeaway: Use templates to combat fraud and ensure that SMS messages only include information that is relevant to customers.

Learn more about how to use SMS templates to keep customers engaged and informed: 11 Financial Service SMS Templates For You to Steal

Royal Bank of Scotland Enhances Customer Service with Interactive Messaging

Back in 2017, Royal Bank of Scotland noticed for the first time that more users were accessing banking services on their mobile devices than on their desktops.

To maintain the level of customer service they had become known for, the company introduced an AI messaging bot named Cora, built using technology from LivePerson. Accessible via SMS, Cora speaks to over 40,000 customers each day, helping answer questions in a way that eliminates the need for customers to search through the bank’s FAQ or wait on hold for a customer service representative.

royal bank of scotland


This automated messaging approach has helped RBS improve their net promoter scores, redirect customer support resources to more valuable work, and improve efficiency roughly 80%.

To successfully serve your customers well, you have to be there when they want you, in a channel that the customer wants to use.
— Alice Fryatt, RBS Head of Digital Customer Support Delivery

This interactive communication channel delivers more than a stronger customer experience—it also opens opportunities for tracking customers’ satisfaction and happiness. Interactive messages make it easy for customers to reply to satisfaction surveys and other questions, leading to higher response rates and more feedback that you can leverage to further improve your SMS communications.

VoiceSage lets users send interactive customer satisfaction surveys through RMM. Since interactive messages have such high open and response rates, you’ll quickly engage customers in a channel in which they’re already spending time—even without an intelligent messaging solution like Cora.

Key takeaway: Open a two-way communications channel with customers to measure happiness and delight customers.

Paym Keeps Their Messaging as Simple as Their Payments

Online payment service Paym lets users make payments to their friends using just their mobile number. With more than 4 million users, the free service has become widely adopted across the UK, but scale brings an increased risk of fraud.

To prevent fraud, in this example, Paym keeps their messaging as simple as possible. They’ve stressed on their website that they will never request information or include a link in their messages. According to their FAQ page, this is the only message users will ever get from Paym:

SMS campaign ideas


While the message used by Paym is short and simple, it’s effective in preventing churn. Customers immediately know what to expect from the service and what steps to take to complete the incoming transfer. By relying on a single SMS template, Paym ensures customers know the message is trustworthy.

Key takeaway: Avoid overcomplicating your SMS marketing. These successful SMS campaign ideas deliver only the most relevant information.

Get Customers to Take Action with These SMS Campaign Ideas

The best financial services are built on trust. Brands and customers alike benefit from long-term relationships, personal interactions, and timely updates.

With VoiceSage as your mobile messaging partner, building relationships through SMS marketing is quick and easy. Get started today — book a demo to find out how VoiceSage can help you set up templates and build messaging campaigns.

Published on: 13th January 2020

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