Each day, people send about 23 billion text messages worldwide. This equates to 270,00 texts being sent every second.


Texting has transformed the way people communicate with each other, as well as their favorite brands. Big-name businesses, including Airbnb and Michaels, use short message services, or SMS, to engage consumers with instantaneous, personalized messages.


With 98% open rates and 91% of customers interested in signing up for brand texts, small business owners should take notice. SMS could be an excellent way for you to attract more customers and drive revenue.


If you’ve never used SMS before, don’t worry. This handy guide tells you everything you need to know about SMS marketing for small businesses. Keep reading to learn how to reach more customers with SMS messages.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing, also called text message marketing, is the practice of engaging consumers via text messages. Customers who have opted-in, or consented to receive texts from your small business, can receive personalized, promotional notifications from your brand. These include discounts, information about new product drops, and surveys.


Many small business owners may assume that text messages and SMS differ wildly. Surprisingly, they’re the same. They’re both used to send business or personal messages to and from mobile devices.


With consumer demands rising, more businesses have invested in SMS strategies. As of 2022, 55% of business owners use SMS to engage customers.


That’s because SMS is a simple, cost-effective way to better connect with consumers. An effective SMS marketing campaign gets you the most bang for your buck. What savvy small business owner wouldn’t want that?

Why SMS marketing is essential for small businesses

We live in a mobile-first world. Gone are customers trying to reach businesses by phone or in person. Modern shoppers expect brands to be available 24/7 through mobile applications or social media platforms.


SMS makes your small business continuously available. But that doesn’t mean you must stay glued to your smartphone answering every customer’s text. Automated replies and chatbots can address every customer inquiry long after you’ve clocked out.


Furthermore, small businesses that use SMS as part of their overall marketing strategy will reap the most rewards. Just look at the following statistics:





  • SMS marketing is super cost-effective compared to other marketing strategies.


The only caveat to SMS is that a customer must opt in before you can start texting them. Simply put, you can only send messages to customers who have consented to receive them. 

SMS best practices 

Before texting customers, you must familiarize yourself with SMS marketing best practices. These include:


  • Only send texts to opted-in customers


  • Always include instructions to opt-out


  • Immediately identify yourself by including your business name at the start of every message.



  • Send personalized messages with offers or information that is relevant to the recipient.


  • Keep your SMS messages below 160 characters


Now that you know the dos and don’ts of SMS marketing, here’s how you can easily set up your first SMS campaign.

Setting up your first SMS marketing campaign 

Here are five actionable steps every small business owner can use to set up their first SMS marketing campaign.

1. Gather phone numbers

To send SMS campaigns, you must have a list of opted-in phone numbers to send them to. Whether your SMS subscription list has five or 5,000 numbers, all subscribers must consent to receive your texts.


Spread your new SMS subscription list via email or your business social channels. Entice customers to opt in with deep discounts or offers.

2. Set realistic campaign goals

Have realistic expectations for your first SMS marketing campaign. You’ll be sorely disappointed if you think you’ll boost your revenue by 50% overnight.


Also, set clear goals for what you want to achieve. Do you want to promote brand awareness? Drive sales? Win back, old customers? A clear campaign plan will make your efforts a lot easier.

3. Craft your message

As we said before, keep your text message under 160 characters. Focus on one topic per text, and make sure your copy is short and sweet. Use simple language that flows naturally. Encourage recipients to take the next step with a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the SMS message.

4. Make it personal

After you’ve created your message, you’ll need to decide which subscribers you’ll be sending it to. Remember, always send personalized texts to relevant recipients. You can segment your subscribers by age, location, or demographics.


Mitto Campaigns makes it simple to segment your subscribers, so you’re sending the right messages to the right people.

5. Track your results

As with any new endeavor, you’ll learn how to execute more effective SMS service campaigns as you go. After campaign completion, look at your metrics to see what worked and fell flat.


Mitto Campaigns allows you to track your SMS marketing campaigns in real-time to identify opportunities for optimization. 

Start using SMS marketing today.

Create your first small business SMS marketing campaign with Mitto Campaigns. Our easy-to-use dashboard gives you everything you need to craft your message, select your audience, and track results.


To get started, contact us today.