SMS remains a global vessel to drive consumer engagement and help marketers expand their databases or potential customers. However, only a handful of businesses are utilising text messaging effectively as a means to target and communicate with their customers.

Many businesses, particularly smaller companies, find the word ‘digital’ daunting, and instantly associate it with smartphones and technologically advanced computers which they aren’t necessarily familiar with. SMS messaging however, is an extremely simple form of digital marking which has been effectively implicated for several decades now.

Below is just a small sample of the growing number of successful SMS campaigns that were both creative and highly effective in reaching their target market in the desired manner.

#1: Starbucks

Renowned globally as one of, if not the most successful coffee shop chain, Starbucks boasts a large and varied target audience. This fact aside, they are very successful in selecting an appropriate marketing strategy every time.

Their mobile strategies include:

  • Requesting customers to sign up to their loyalty program through email marketing and in-store sign ups.
  • Using their Starbucks Rewards Program to efficiently market to their members by texting them incentives (e.g. offers, discounts or even free drinks).
  • Engaging their customers by proving how rewarding being a Starbucks Member can be.

#2: Dunkin’ Donuts

A massive franchise which originated in the United States but is now taking off worldwide. A clear leader in baked goods and all-day coffee, which can in part be attributed to their extensive loyalty programs undertaking a massively successful SMS campaign.

  • In order to entice college students in the Boston area they adjusted their strategies in order to target the market more effectively.
  • Through SMS marketing they increased the use of a 99c hot latte mobile coupon.
  • This SMS offer was sent to thousands of targeted customers who had opted into this loyalty scheme.
  • They trained their staff and educated them in order to aid customers with the redemption of SMS coupons.
  • They achieved a 21% increase of in-store traffic as a result of SMS marketing.

#3: The Hilton Hotel Group

Another success story which can largely be credited to an effective use of the simplicity of SMS marketing as a direct means to contact their customers.

  • As SMS marketing is so instant, the hotel is able to contact previous or potential customers at the most flexible times which were convenient for both them and their recipients.
  • As a result of SMS marketing the Hilton Hotel Group has seen a 10-25% uptake of offers.
  • Text message marketing has proven to be an extremely significant part of their direct marketing and loyalty programs.
  • It has enabled them to increase their number of hotel guests dramatically.
  • The Hilton Hotel Group send out SMS messages with information about special offers and promotions, making loyal customers feel both appreciated and rewarded.

#4: Hooters

A restaurant chain which is spread widely across the entirety of the United States, Hooters has used SMS campaigns numerous times over recent years.

  • They continued to use SMS and progressively increased their mobile database.
  • Hooters used their new SMS campaign to offer customers an opportunity to win a trip to a destination of their choice.
  • The incentive was an extremely successful method in which to drive brand awareness and also to encourage potential new customers to also opt into the scheme.

#5: Jim Beam

A brand of bourbon whiskey produced in Kentucky which has been around for centuries and is established as one of the best selling bourbons in the world. Jim Beam used SMS messaging in order to drive sweepstakes entries and charity donations.

  • The SMS campaign was used to aid the company in building its partnership with nonprofit Operation Homefront.
  • Alongside its Live Music Series across the States, Jim Beam encouraged their customers to enter a competition with the chance to win a VIP trip to the final concert of the summer.
  • Customers could sign up to this by opting into the company’s SMS program by using a unique keyword.
  • Consumers also had the option to donate $5 to Operation Homefront by texting the keyword ‘SALUTE’ to a given short SMS code.
  • The donated amount would automatically be added to the customer’s mobile phone bill so any hassle of having to input card details was eliminated.