Congrats to our EIS Awards Finalists Dr. Scholl’s and Sazerac!
woman reading SMS text

Crafting Concise and Effective SMS Copy for Clients

When done right, SMS can be an excellent way to cut through the clutter of everyday marketing messages. We focus on 5 key SMS copy tips when we’re writing for our clients.

“When will you be home?”

It’s got all the hallmarks of a perfect text; It’s short, sweet, and lets the reader know exactly what is needed of them. Sending marketing messaging via text works in a very similar way.

SMS, or Short Message Service, is a text-based messaging platform that brands utilize to reach customers right where they spend a lot of time—their smartphones. These marketing messages should be concise (often to a 160-character limit) and written in a more informal style to help them feel native to this unique channel.

If SMS runs too long or feels too formal, you’ll risk losing the reader’s attention. That’s why tailoring these messages to this channel is so incredibly important. When done right, SMS can be an excellent way to cut through the clutter of everyday marketing messages.

We share 5 key SMS copy tips when we’re writing for our clients: 

1. Focus.

We’re pretty rigorous about having a goal or objective and using that focus to stay concise. When we pair SMS with other channels, we often have multiple messages to choose from – and we will absolutely pick one. 

Staying focused also makes it easier to create a hook or a more personal approach. For example, in this message from Oradina, we tempted customers by talking about a choker as a work of art. 

Similarly, in this example from EZ Contacts, we aligned a holiday with a potentially unrealized need to drive interest that is outside of everyday eyewear needs: 

2. Action. 

Marketers always focus on action, and it’s especially important in SMS messaging. We’re always looking for opportunities to go beyond “Shop Now.” That’s a great standby, but when we have a chance to be creative, we take it, as in this example for tennis bracelets from Adina Eden: 

Sometimes, we can simply provide direction throughout the message, as in this example from Dr. Scholl’s: 

We also work with clients to make sure we can convey a sense of urgency. SMS messaging is an “act now” medium. We try to point to expiration dates, as in this example from Baby Brezza: 

3. Personalization

When we can, we do our best to call out the recipient by name or reference something they know you know in order to increase the perception of relevance. Abandon cart SMS messages are a great place for this, as shown here by Laura Geller: 

4. Testing. 

We do a significant amount of testing for clients in their SMS campaigns. One of the more fun tests is using emojis. While these do take up considerable character space, they can help create fun messaging that gets attention. This example from Mattress Warehouse uses humor to help drive interest in bedding: 

5. Legal. 

We also ensure that we keep critical legal issues in mind as we develop SMS strategy and then schedule messages. We make sure we are always sending messages during appropriate hours, avoiding late-night or early-morning interruptions. No one wants to be woken by a text message, and there are legal regulations in every state that make sure this doesn’t happen.

We also make sure our clients always have appropriate opt-in requirements and unsubscribe options as a bare minimum and are aware of any industry-specific state requirements they may need to respect.

If your team could use some support in your multi-channel marketing, call us. We are happy to share a free analysis to show you where your program has opportunities to drive action and revenue for your brand.