10 SMS Marketing Campaign Ideas for 2021

Getting your audience’s attention is like talking to a kid in a candy store. It requires patience, is guaranteed to stress you out, and results in a lot of wasted energy without the right approach. As an ecommerce marketer, you have to cut through the noise and engage the right channels, at the right time, with the right offer to make a sale. 

SMS marketing is a great way to grab your audience’s attention. The average response time for a marketing text is 90 seconds. Customers prefer it as well. SMS marketing is 6-8 times more engaging than email marketing. Here are 10 attention-grabbing SMS marketing campaign ideas for 2021. 



Welcome Campaigns 

Start off on a positive note by sending a welcome SMS. If you already send welcome emails, complement your email strategy with a welcome text. Email is great for more in-depth content. Texts are immediate, short, and easy to consume—they don't require the time commitment that email does. 

Experience CBD entices people to sign up for texts on their website by promising exclusive offers. They follow up with a welcome text that makes people feel special and like they’re getting a great deal. 

Pro tip: lead with the offer in your texts. It’s best practice and helps you keep your message short and to the point. 

Experience CBD's welcome text.



Member/ VIP Campaigns

Use SMS to promote your member or VIP program. Customers want to feel seen and special. A text inviting them to join your exclusive VIP program is the perfect way to show that you care, and garner more brand loyalists. It’s a win-win. We love The Sill’s use of personalization in this MMS. They highlight why you should join by giving examples of member perks, and provide a clear call to action (CTA).    

Pro tip: provide a clear CTA. This is a best practice with any marketing campaign but is especially important for SMS because of the cost per message segment. Every text needs to be worth your and especially your customers’ while. Make sure that the call to action is crystal clear. Use language that’s urgent and straightforward. 

The Sill's member club SMS.


Cross/ Up-sell Products

Invite customers to buy complementary or higher ticket items based on previous purchases. Cross-selling is a great way to increase repeat purchases and introduce customers to other products in your catalog. Upselling can be a bit trickier, but when done well, increases average order value (AOV) and customer satisfaction by helping buyers visualize the value they will get from ordering a higher-priced item. 

NaturAll Club cleverly uses past purchase data (hello, perfectly laid edges) to promote another product for curl definition. This MMS ticks all the boxes: 

  • Uses information they know about the customer to add more value “Now that your edges are laid… complete your look with beautiful curl definition!”

  • Includes an “after” image to help you visualize the value you’ll get from their product.

  • Ends with a clear call to action “Shop The Flaxseed Styling Bundle now.”

NaturAll Club: cross sell campaign.


Seasonal Campaigns 

Use seasonal holidays to offer exclusive deals to your SMS list. It’s one of the easiest, most effective ways to get people to make a purchase (just don’t overdo it). 

Aisling Organics: mother's day SMS promotion.


Product Launch Campaigns

Drive urgency for a big product launch with SMS. Use attention-grabbing language to encourage people to act quickly. Whimsy + Wellness adds additional interest by offering this group early access to their new collection. 

Pro tip: offering a select group of customers early access to a new product is a great way to build loyalty and gauge reaction to the new item(s).  

Whimsey + Wellness: product launch campaign.


Time Sensitive Offer Campaigns

Give people a reason to stay subscribed with compelling time-sensitive offers. Surprising customers with a sweet deal is a great way to keep your SMS list engaged. Bones Coffee Company may have had leftover stock, and instead of throwing it out they used the opportunity to increase sales and satisfaction with this “everybody wins!” SMS campaign. 

Bones Coffee Company: time sensitive offer.


Conversational Campaigns

The primary purpose of an SMS doesn’t always need to be a sale… in fact, there are many ways to switch it up with conversational messages. Maev does a great job of using SMS marketing to connect with their customers for interviews. Other ideas for non-promotional messages are:

  • Customer reviews

  • Surveys

  • Website/ blog content 

Maev: conversational text message.


Post Purchase Campaigns

Follow up with a personal thank you message after a customer makes a purchase. A simple thank you note is super easy to do on your end and goes a long way with your customers. Rainier Watch gives their customers some feel-good vibes with this thank you text. If your brand partners with another organization to support a good cause, we totally recommend doing the same. 

Rainer Watch: thank you SMS.


Abandoned Cart Campaigns 

Give your customers a timely nudge a few days after they abandon their shopping cart. We love this abandoned cart reminder from SuperCoffee because it’s on brand and gets right to the point. 

Super Coffee: abandoned cart reminder.


Subscription Program Campaigns 

If you run a subscription program, remind customers of the value during or right before checkout. Hydrant uses an abandoned cart text to reinforce the benefit of a subscription: it’s cheaper than a one time purchase. It’s both simple and effective.  

Hydrant: subscription program.

Ready to engage your audience with SMS? Log in and set up SMS or sign up for your free trial of Drip to get started.