Getting a better ROI from your next text message promotion

Topic: Marketing, Retail, SME

From discount codes to message wording, there are plenty of ways to fine-tune your SMS-based promotions to get better results. We’re exploring tried-and-trusted favourites in this article.

What we'll cover

As House of Fraser’s “brutal” store closure illustrates, retailers are placing an increasing amount of emphasis on their online presence. It’s become essential that retailers optimise their customer communications to be as engaging as possible –  especially when we remove a traditional interaction point, like a bricks and mortar store, from the equation.
As 95% of UK households have mobile phones (source), and 43% of smartphone owners use their device to shop online on a regular basis (source), mobile seems like the obvious place to start.
Here are our top tips to help you extract a better ROI from your next text message promotion:

discount code smsDiscount codes

US research revealed that the use of one-off coupons when delivered through email was 2.7%, but for SMS, it was 30-50%. Clearly, including an incentive like a discount code, which can be redeemed online or in store, is a massive driver for customers to reach into their pockets.

Don’t over communicate

Finding the right balance for communication frequency is key for retailers. Sending too many messages will make your audience tune out, and not sending enough will mean your sales get hurt. Our infographic has further advice on the best message cadence.

The timing has to be right

Would you expect to get a message from your favourite pizza place on a Monday morning? Probably not. Let’s look at the example of a car mechanic letting her audience know about a special price for MOTs. If she were to send her customers a message once a month to let them know about the price, they’d probably delete it. But if she sent it once a year when she knew her customers’ MOTs were due, she’d have much better results. This article from has some additional advice that’s worth a read.

Wording is key!

Retailers should pay close attention to how they word their messages. Some customers respond well to humour and subtlety; others to bold “BUY NOW” messages. Be true to your brand voice but also try splitting your database and trialling different messages to find out what works best. It’s also a good idea to put your most important details at the start of the message so that they can be seen within the preview text on your customer’s phone.


Personalised marketing in retail is nothing new, but its effectiveness can’t be denied. Remember when a certain cola brand started printing people’s names on bottles a few years ago. It caught your interest, right? Personalised marketing is proven to work – in fact, a study showed that 86% of customers say that personalisation plays a role in their purchase decisions (source). The same principle can be applied to SMS promotions. Platforms like Esendex make it easy to import data which make each message sent unique to the recipient. This leads to more engagement and ultimately more sales.

Like to know more?

If you’re interested to know more about how SMS can be used within the retail sector and how Esendex can make it work more effectively for you, please get in contact with our team today on 0345 356 5758 or email us at [email protected].

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