The Ultimate SMS Guide

Everything you need to know about using SMS to get more visits, more often.

We are living in a mobile-first world.

Websites, emails and even applications traditionally reserved for desktop are being optimised for mobile. It’s time to optimise your marketing for mobile with SMS. 

Did you know that the average person checks their phone approximately 86 times a day?

Using SMS marketing to promote your business offers a huge opportunity to get direct and instant contact with your customers.   

Customers don’t apply the same level of filtering to SMS as they do to other forms of marketing, for that reason it has significantly higher levels of engagement compared to social media.

According to Global SMS giant Sinch, 90 % of SMS are read within 90 seconds of being received. And 95% of SMS messages are read globally within 2 minutes

Read how one NSW hotel recovered 600 lost customers with an SMS campaign.

Self-owned channels such as email and SMS are statistically more effective at driving valuable engagement to your business. Increased privacy from IOS updates along with the death of the third party cookie, means self-owned channels will be critical to marketing success, especially on a limited budget. 

While email marketing is a great way to keep your customers informed with longer-form content, SMS works to drive immediate and actionable results, landing your message right in the palm of your customer’s hand.

So, why SMS?

Reach your customers on their most-used device

Adults are spending almost four hours a day on their phones which means your SMS will be hard to miss.

Send the right message at the right time

The instant and direct nature of SMS means you can communicate with your customers exactly when you want to. Get the attention of your customers with a well-timed SMS marketing just when they might be thinking about lunch or dinner.

Text messages are personal

It’s a direct connection between your business and the customer, and your SMS arrives in a customer’s inbox next to messages from family and friends.

Including an offer with your SMS can be a great way to get ROI. Glaswegian eatery Amore brought in an additional 100 orders on the same day they sent an SMS campaign with TalkBox. The SMS included a special discount with a link to the menu and instructions on how to order.

Download the Ultimate SMS Guide.

Use case

While SMS involves a minimal cost, a well-crafted SMS campaign can bring in significant ROI.

The short and direct nature of SMS marketing makes it the perfect way to get the attention of distracted customers with busy lives. 

Here are just a few ways our TalkBox clients are using SMS to get more visits, more often. 

1. Cut through and stay top of mind

Staying top of mind is the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep customers coming back. The instant and direct nature of SMS makes it nearly impossible to miss.

The Chesterford Group generated £4,939 of additional revenue simply reminding customers about their ‘award-winning fish and chips.’

This campaign worked to target customers in a direct and timely way reaching customers who might have missed other marketing efforts. See the results:

  • 5119 Customers who had not ordered in over 5 weeks were sent an SMS
  • 208 reordered 7 days following the SMS
  • £4,939.66 worth of revenue generated

Example of the SMS

2. Fill your dining room

The Yarraville club uses SMS to attract last-minute bookings to fill their dining room. The SMS campaigns focus on the nightly meal promotion and encourage an immediate call to action by including the Club’s number to make a booking.  

‘We regularly send batches of SMS to promote the bistro and when we do, that night the bistro is completely filled.’ — Club manager Scott

A few examples of SMS that Yarraville Clubs sends 

3. Promote an offer

See an example below

TIP: You can link to additional information such as a menu or weekly special by selecting the ‘add promotion’ in the SMS editor.  

4. Get a second visit

SMS is a great way to reach customers who haven’t responded to other forms of marketing. A popular regional NSW hotel used SMS to recover over 600 customers who had only visited once. To encourage customers to return quickly, they sent an SMS  with a voucher that expired in 30 days. The campaign immediately proved to be a success, with 131 customers returning within just seven days. 

See an example below

TIP: Maximise voucher redemptions using the ‘Voucher reminder’ tools in TalkBox. A few days before the voucher expires customers automatically receive a reminder via SMS. 

The possibilities are endless, you can also use SMS to promote:

  • A Lunch special. Send an SMS when stomachs start to rumble
  • Broadcasting the big game on the weekend?  Let every customer know you will have it on the big screen
  • Introduce your new menu – Add it as a link in your SMS to entice customers back
  • Plus so much more!
Download the Ultimate SMS Guide.

Make SMS work for you!

Start incorporating SMS into your marketing strategy and get a wider and more direct reach.

TalkBox has a range of handy features that ensure your customers never miss a message, such as:

Multichannel communications 

When creating a new communication, select both email and SMS. This way you can send the same beautifully designed email campaign to those contacts who have only provided a mobile number. 


Emojis quickly capture attention by adding colour and personality to your message. Break down communication barriers and quickly get your message across in just a few symbols. 


Send your customers a dynamic series of well-timed emails and SMS based on their behaviour and engagement. Retarget your audience with SMS, automatically.  And if a contact doesn’t open an email, resend it directly to their phone with SMS. 

SMS voucher reminders

Remind customers about their expiring vouchers with SMS. You can set up an automated communication to send a few days before their voucher expires, this way it won’t get lost in their inbox. 

Ready to get started? Here are a few tips

Sender name – Make sure your sender’s name represents your business. This helps to build trust and increase security and makes them know it is not spam. 

Make it personal – In TalkBox you can insert merge fields such as ‘first name’ to take away the stranger danger. 

Send an offer – Vouchers sent via SMS let your customers access them easily on the go. 

Download the Ultimate SMS Guide.
Kate Brook
Author: Kate Brook