To maintain a relationship with your customers, regularly keeping in touch with them is one of the best things you can do. And since pretty much everyone nowadays has a mobile phone, SMS marketing has proven itself to be the most effective and direct method of customer communication for short messages.

When it comes to the different types of SMS marketing, there are typically two different types – promotional and transactional. Both types are important and have proven to be incredibly successful at increasing engagement, sales and retention. Did you know that the open rates for SMS marketing is between 95-99%, with 90% being opened in just 3 minutes? This shows just how powerful this type of marketing can be for any business.

While transactional SMS marketing involves sending automated messages to customers to relay important transactional information related to their purchases or business account, promotional SMS focuses more on marketing offers and promotions, with the aim of promoting a product or service, generating interest and sales and increasing overall brand awareness.

So, How Does Promotional SMS Actually Work?

Promotional SMS works by gathering a database of phone numbers from customers or potential clients who have opted to receive promotional messages, for example from sign-up forms, purchases or online registrations.

Marketers then compose promotional messages tailored to their target audience and campaign objectives, and will always include a clear call-to-action. These messages are then sent out to the collected database using SMS marketing platforms or services provided by telecom operators.

how does promotional sms work?

Businesses can send promotional SMS messages as one-off or as part of entire promotional SMS campaigns. But in both cases, they’re only sent to individuals who have specifically opted in to receive them.

Businesses can send promotional SMS messages as one-off or as part of entire promotional SMS campaigns. But in both cases, they’re only sent to individuals who have specifically opted in to receive them.

To comply with regulations and respect recipients’ preferences, promotional SMS messages should include an opt-out feature, whereby recipients who no longer wish to receive promotional messages can unsubscribe by replying with a designated keyword or by following instructions provided in the message.

5 Common Promotional SMS Examples

Promotional SMS marketing messages are typically used by businesses to promote new product launches, services, offers, coupons, or company events, just to name a few.

Here are 5 common promotional SMS examples:

1. Flash sales

2. New arrival notifications

3. Limited time offers

4. Discount codes

5. Loyalty program rewards

1. Flash Sales

SMS messages are short when compared to that of emails, for example. This shortness and the immediacy of SMS makes it the perfect solution and communication platform for announcing and promoting flash sales.

The great thing about SMS marketing, as touched on above, is that 90% of messages get opened within 3 short minutes. This means that you can notify your audience about new sales just days or even hours away from the launch via SMS, with peace of mind that they will open and see it in time to make a decision.

An example of a flash sale might look like: “Flash sale alert! Don’t miss out – Up to 70% off on selected items. Shop now before it’s too late!”

2. New Arrival Notifications

Another strong use of promotional SMS is to shine light on new arrivals or product/service launches. By showcasing these new additions to your brand, you’re generating excitement and interest amongst an already interested target audience, which in turn, typically results in higher engagement and sales.

You could even use promotional SMS to promote a singular product. For example, you could highlight its key benefits, different ways to use it, show a positive review, or something else that makes it seem irresistible and drives them to purchase the product or service.

how does promotional sms work?

You can use promotional SMS to generate excitement around a new product or service.

3. Limited Time Offers

Similarly to the immediacy of ‘flash sales’ – limited time offers with urgency are perfect for SMS marketing.

Your limited time urgency may not even be related to time – it could also be related to quantity i.e. ‘Hurry – only 20 left in stock!’ or ‘Be quick – time is running out to save big’.

This limitation, whether it be time or quantity, will psychologically make recipients desire the product or service more as it’s in scarce quantities, and requires a quick decision.

4. Discount Codes

In the same breath as ‘limited time’ offers, using promotional SMS to deliver a coupon code is super effective because of its concise and urgent nature.

The SMS character limit means that the message can be a direct, engaging way to announce a sale and immediately provide customers with a discount code they can insert at the checkout in order to receive the savings.

In many cases, discount codes are time sensitive and only work for a limited amount of time (e.g. ‘This discount is redeemable until 31st Jan’), increasing the urgency and desirability of the discount.

how does promotional sms work?

This approach, along with ‘limited time’ and ‘flash sale’ alerts can be especially powerful for periods like black Friday or cyber Monday, where people are actively seeking the best deals around, making it an ideal time to leverage the urgency of promotional SMS to drive awareness and sales.

5. Loyalty Program Rewards

Lastly, many businesses which offer loyalty programs or similar can use promotional SMS marketing to reward loyal customers who repeatedly purchase from the company.

For example, SMS can be used to send rewards, perks, special deals, invitations, and other benefits to your VIP members.

What’s also great about promotional SMS marketing is that it can be tailored and personalised, making your customers feel more valued, and can also create a sense of exclusivity.

The purpose is to make the recipients feel as if this is an exclusive offer, specifically for them as a reward for their loyalty with the brand.

To learn more about promotional SMS and its benefits, check out this guide.

A2P SMS Dataset & Report 2017-2027

If you’re looking to invest in your SMS strategy, the Mobilesquared A2P SMS dataset and report provide you with essential intelligence.

Updated in July 2023, this 108-page market report includes detailed global and regional analysis, outlining the impact of all major developments affecting the marketplace and what it means for the short, medium, and long-term future of A2P SMS messaging.

Spanning 2017-2027 (including actual data for 2017-2022 and forecasts 2023-2027, you’re also able to access our online SMS dataset containing over 12 million individual data points across 200 markets and 640+ mobile operators.

To purchase the Mobilesquared A2P SMS dataset and report, please visit our website or get in touch with a member of our team today.

Hopefully this article has given you a wider awareness of how promotional SMS works and some common examples.

We are Mobilesquared: mobile engagement specialists delivering the very best independent mobile market intelligence to our clients. We are the established #1 global authority on business messaging and CPaaS, with our data shaping business plans, strategy, and customer engagement modelling, for some of the world’s leading brands, mobile operators, and messaging providers.

To learn more about our services, including the Messageverse, be sure to get in touch via telephone (01182149 777) or email ( to learn more about what we do and discover how we can help your business.

Written by Kate, for Mobilesquared.