Campaign Optimization

The txtsignal Guide to Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing is a value-based marketing tactic, which means it’s based heavily on return on investment. To get the biggest bang for your buck, follow these best practices for optimizing your SMS strategy. The results can be higher opt-in rates, higher redemption rate, and reduced subscriber churn.


Timing is a huge factor in your redemption rate. Before you hit send on a message or schedule it out for later, take a minute to think about the timing. When are your customers most likely to pay attention to your message and your offer?

If your offer has an expiration attached, make sure you send it when customers have enough time to plan and redeem the offer, but not long enough that they forget it. Don’t expect customers to drop what they’re doing to come in within the next hour, and don’t let them know about an sale that won’t happen for another month.

Take a look at your business and your offer to see what times make sense. It can take just a bit of thought to find a time that gives subscribers enough time to act, while still maintaining a sense of urgency.

Strong Offer Text

One of the best features of SMS marketing is its simplicity. It’s a simple concept, simple to use, and simple for customers to get value out of.

The same goes for any offer in your SMS campaign. Make it clear, straight to the point, and easy to act on.
Easy next steps include “visit our store” or “stop by our website.” These are fine, but you’re an SMS master – you can do better. Let’s make these more powerful, and even more urgent.

  • Show this text at the bar on Friday, Dec. 31
  • Use promo code MQL0802 at online checkout
  • Order in the next 12 hours

A/B Testing

A/B testing is the best, most reliable way to find out what works best in your SMS marketing campaigns. The idea is split your subscriber list into equal, random groups. When you schedule a message, write it one way and send to one group (the control). Then, change the element you want to test (the variable) and send to the other group (the test).

Some ideas of elements you can test:

  • Language – try using more time-sensitive language in one group, and see which performs better.
  • Timing – does your offer perform better when you send it out a day early, or a week early?
  • Offer type – do people want to receive 20% off a purchase of $50, or 50% off a purchase of $20?
  • Anything else you can think of!

There are a few ways to measure the results:

  • Have employees count the number of redemptions with the variation language vs. the control.
  • Use two different redemption codes, such as ABC75 for the control group and ABC76 for the test group.
  • Use two different links if your offer is on a digital platform, and track visits to those links via an analytics platform such as Google Analytics.

A few notes to make sure your A/B testing works best for you:

  • Only test one element at a time. If you’re testing time sensitivity, then send your message at the same time, with the same offer, only changing the text about redemption time.
  • Make sure your groups are truly random, so you know there’s not another factor influencing your results.
  • When checking for results, only consider a test a success if there was a significant difference. A redemption rate of 14.3% vs. 14.5% isn’t enough to say for sure that it was the variation that made a difference. If you’re familiar with statistical modeling, use your favorite statistical significance methodology!
  • Record your results, and use what you find to create even better future campaigns!