SMS or Text Message Marketing – Good or Bad?

Text message marketing or SMS (Short Message Service) has become a popular way of reaching an audience.

But, is this working or do customers and prospects feel

I receive text messages often from friends in this industry that share their offers or invite me to their next home party. I never gave them permission or opted-in to a text list agreeing to use my service as a marketing tool for their business.

However, I personally don’t mind getting information this way.  I have unlimited text, and I actually enjoy being a part of the whole marketing process.

But what about your customers, friends, or prospects?  Many of them might find it inappropriate to use their cellular phone for marketing when you didn’t give them permission.

They might get charged for those texts from their service provider, or just not like it and possibly never buy from you again, or, avoid you all together.

Permission based marketing should be used when using text messages to get the word out.   Be very careful not to abuse the use of someone else’s phone privacy.

Whether it’s a small customer base you are getting permission from verbally and using your cellular phone provider, or you are using a SMS service that allows your audience to choose, always provide a way for them to say “yes”, or, “no” to future updates.

Do a Google search for SMS (Short Message Service) and find one that fits your needs and budget.   Read the FAQ page or seek a forum of those who have used the company before.   Some even have a free trial period and no contract.

I have seen ranges from $10 for 400 messages a month, to $150 for 6000 messages a month.   Some services even let you pay as you go.

Check the fine print.   See if your credits roll over or how much it cost per message if you go over your purchased credits.

Some services will charge you for your keyword every month.   For example, your customers can send a message containing the keyword “Coupon” to 129887.   The service you choose will then respond to them for you, with your customized message, confirming they have joined or opted-in to your group list.

Text messaging can be a great way to connect if done the right way, and on the audience’s terms.   People are still reading texts, unlike some traditional methods that can be ignored.

Do you do direct sales home parties?   When you call your guests ask them if they would like to receive a text to remind them of the party.   Attached a coupon that says, “Free gift coupon, redeemable tonight!” or “Bring a friend and and receive 10% off”.

Small and big business alike are taking marketing to a new level with SMS.

Many fast food restaurants are sending their lists coupons through SMS right before the lunch hour.   Retail stores are offering discounts.   Direct Sales and the Network marketing sector are using SMS to deal with their growing members and distributors.

If you are ready to jump on the SMS bandwagon, do a little homework and use this low cost and time saving method to reach your audience – with their permission, of course.


To Your Success!


Paula McKinney

Share and Comment Below! Email me your thoughts, I would love to connect today!

7 thoughts

    1. I think it’s a great way, too. The first time I experienced it from a local restaurant right before lunch, I thought, great idea!

      Love your list of “5 Important Things You Should Know…”

      I especially like #4 – “Outgoing text messages should not be the same as your Twitter or Facebook updates.” I think this would definitely get you in trouble!

      Thanks Justin!


  1. Great article. We carried out a survey a few months ago related to SMS marketing and how consumers feel about brands using SMS as a means of communication. Although it was carried out in the UK, I’m sure the results would not be too dissimilar in the US.
    Check out the info-graphic we made to show our findings:

    Esendex Info-graphic

  2. Hi Paula. Wonderful article. I am glad that others are beginning to see the value in SMS marketing. Businesses do need to allow their customers to opt-in in order to stay compliant. Also they must allow them to opt-out as well with every message they send out. My colleague actually wrote a pretty cool article on sms tips for the summer time days. I think your audience will find it helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *