Best Practices

The Best Use Cases for SMS Marketing

Discover how SMS can elevate your business with a comprehensive guide on the best marketing use cases. Make the most of this versatile tool.

Mathew Gorka

By Mathew Gorka

March 21, 2023

11 min read

The Best Use Cases for SMS Marketing

The market trend is clear; SMS is the best way to get ahead of the competition. As social media marketing gets more difficult, obscure, and expensive, it is losing its efficacy. Meanwhile, email marketing has faded into the distance. SMS, on the other hand, is a proven value driver. With open rates in the 90%-99% range, instant delivery, and endless customization – companies that utilize SMS are destroying the competition. The more utility you can get out of this amazing tool, the better. That led us to explore all the ways SMS can benefit your business. Here is a full list of all the best use cases for SMS marketing:

Promotional Offers

Promotional offers are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about SMS marketing. Promoting your products is critical to the success of your business. Branded SMS text messages are the vehicle that gets you there. Promote your free shipping or the best pricing on one of your most popular items. Also, utilize SMS to share limited time offers like BOGOs. The best way to increase engagement is to offer premium value to subscribers.

Flash Sales

The key to flash sales is timing. You want to generate FOMO or fear of missing out. To do that, you need to reach a bunch of people quickly. The best way to get a message in front of a bunch of people is via SMS. With open rates that are lightyears ahead of other modalities like email (reports vary from 90-99%), you know that your message will be seen. Phones also ping, ring, vibrate, light up, and deliver reminders via push notification. There is no better way to reach your customer, wherever they may be at the time. When it comes to speed and reach, nothing can match the efficiency of SMS marketing.

New Product/Service Launch

The best tool for your GTM strategy is powerful SMS marketing. Whether you’re launching a new product or a new brand, you need to cast a wide net of prospective shoppers in your target audience. SMS works in several ways to ensure the best possible launch of your products. Coupled with the power tools of Helios, an SMS marketed launch can improve your reach, engagement, and ultimately conversions.

Aside from reaching as many people as possible, you want immediate feedback and responses. Nothing offers you faster feedback on your outreach than SMS. If you want to reach a ton of people at one time, rely on SMS. If you want to reach segments and engage in conversational commerce, rely on SMS.

Many marketers are often wondering - how do I grow my SMS list?The fact is the more people you can get your product in front of, for the least amount of money, the better. The best way to grow your SMS list is to offer immediate value, in this case, breaking news on a product drop. This method fosters a sense of exclusivity, rewards your existing list, and gives customers a reason to sign up for future notifications.


Giveaways provide more value to your business than their name implies. Promoting a giveaway through SMS is the best way to get your message out. It is also a preferred method for growing your SMS list and preventing attrition. By rewarding your opt-ins with free swag, the ability to win a prize, or participate in an event, you will see list adoption skyrocket. Giveaways are another example of providing immediate value to your subscribers and, when fiscally responsible, are an SMS marketing best practice.

Abandoned Shopping Cart Recovery

Cart abandoners are the bane of all businesses. There is so much material written about recovering abandoned carts. And for good reason. The fact is, converting just a small percentage of your cart abandoners will significantly boost revenue for nearly all businesses. SMS is the perfect way to give a cart abandoner that friendly nudge. Rely on the speed and open rate success of SMS to make sure the customer receives and sees the notification in a timely manner.

Content Sharing

Have something cool to share with your audience? Maybe an article was written about your product, company, or one of your colleagues. Sharing this content is a great way to bring your company to the front of your customers minds. When it comes to virality, the mobile phone is the left lane on the expressway. Social media is a great way to get your content in front of new eyes, but if you want that content seen ASAP, then nothing beats a well timed SMS directly to your audience’s inbox.

Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are a proven asset to the modern marketer. A drip campaign combines powerful marketing tools like segmentation and automation throughout the buyer journey and into the land of exceptional customer experience. Drip campaigns work by responding to trigger words or actions, which are then processed by a logic engine that provides the appropriate automated response(s). This process can go on and on creating a full conversation, until you decide it’s best for a human to intervene for a more personal touch or to answer a question that requires a unique reply.

This frees your marketing and sales teams to work on other facets of their job, adding to their efficiency. If or when a human gets involved, they often have a great idea of the buyer intent or customer issue, setting them up for success with an already pleased prospect. There is really no limit to what you can do with drip campaigns and we suggest giving them a try with Helios.

Two Way Messaging

As we alluded to when talking about drip campaigns, there is always a time and a place for automation. There is also an entirely separate use case for conversational commerce between two people. Businesses that want to engage with their customers must be prepared to answer questions or reply with individualized responses. Questions are one of the best ways to engage your audience via SMS. If you want to delight that customer, interact with them on their terms. Use SMS to meet them with an immediate reply and create a memorable customer experience in real-time.


Cancellations and no-shows destroy your schedule and erode profit margins. The fees associated with no-shows also provide a poor customer experience, despite their justification. SMS has emerged as the leader for appointment reminders. Although most commonly used by doctors and dentists, SMS reminders also serve a variety of other businesses in wellness such as masseuses and yoga studios, and other industries like restaurants, retail stores, and many more.

As we spoke about earlier, the best way to engage with your customers involves speed. And if you want instant feedback you should rely on the unparalleled speed of SMS. The rationale is simple: you want to ask the consumer while the product purchase or experience is fresh in their mind. After collecting responses be sure to thank your respondents. These communications drive engagement, inform key decisions, and make your customers feel like they are part of your brand's journey.

Delivery Tracking

What makes a great marketer? Seeing beyond conventional wisdom. Being creative, adapting to shifting consumer expectations, and staying constantly consumer-focused. Delivery tracking is an example of a marketer thinking beyond the coupon code. Customers want to know where their purchase is, no matter the circumstance, but especially if they’re last minute shoppers going to an event. Pairing shipping updates with your company branding is a great way to foster a relationship of trust. These are considered transactional SMS. We suggest reading more on transactional sms vs promotional sms to understand the differences.

Personalized Messaging

Hyper-personalization is the latest trend in digital marketing and it’s shaking up the way marketing campaigns are executed. SMS marketing is a great way to activate quality hyper-personalization. Let’s take a specific use case like a customer’s birthday. When you text a customer a happy birthday greeting you are immediately bypassing other companies. Think of what happens on your birthday - friends and family call and text you. When was the last time a parent or sibling emailed you a happy birthday wish. Right from the start you are coupled with other messages that the recipient values.

Pro tip: don’t just send a happy birthday message. Pair that message with an awesome offer. The combination of personal recognition with a unique deal or discount dramatically increases the probability of a sale or conversion. It’s your company’s way of gifting that customer for their special occasion. Even if they do not redeem that offer, your personalized SMS will boost loyalty and morale around your company while giving that customer a reason to stay subscribed.

Internal communication

A lot of the conversation around SMS marketing is centered on sales, therefore it is external facing. We would be remiss not to mention the power of SMS for internal communication. Your employees/colleagues are humans too, and just like everyone else, they prefer SMS to email and other communications. There are hundreds of examples but we’ll narrow our focus for the sake of time.

Take the franchise owner who has lots of Millennial and Gen Z employees. We already know that these generations prefer SMS to all other forms of communication. The manager of this franchise may have several locations. Managing employees, especially when it comes to scheduling, schedule changes, and important updates, can be daunting. The best way to communicate with these employees is through SMS. It delivers the message fast and ensures that they will see it, while providing an opportunity for real-time response. Best of all, there is a written record of the entire interaction. As Millennials and Gen Z continue to age into their working years and take labor market-share, it’s critical that businesses adapt and boost their efficiency.

Helios is an SMS marketing platform designed to be user friendly, scalable, and a provider of deep value to your business. If you want to learn more be sure to check out all of our great features that enable these use cases. Happy texting and good luck!

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