SMS Best Practices: Ongoing Mobile Promotions

ongoing mobile promotionsOngoing Mobile Promotions to Keep Consumers Engaged

Written by: Dan Slavin

Once a retailer has started to sign-up consumers to their SMS marketing list, it’s important to keep those consumers engaged with meaningful content. Content may include important announcements, invitations to events, or promotions and offers, to name a few. Following are some ongoing mobile promotion best practices CodeBroker retailer customers use to connect with consumers to drive engagement and incremental revenue.


SMS messages are a great way to create a sense of urgency among a retailer’s most engaged customers. For example, CodeBroker retailer customers see 20-50% of their customers click on a link in an SMS message to view a mobile coupon. In fact, many retailers experience click-thru rates as high as 72%. Two activities that are proven to create a sense of urgency include:

  • Reminder messages. For longer promotions (10 days to 3 weeks) send reminder messages to consumers who have not yet redeemed their mobile coupon. The ongoing mobile promotions SMS message informs the consumer that they only have a few days left to take advantage of the offer. CodeBroker has observed that the best time to deliver the reminder message is two to three days before the promotion ends.
  • Brief promotions. Create ongoing mobile promotions with a short redemption period (2 or 3 days only). Creating a small window of opportunity to redeem an offer inspires consumers to use their mobile offers quickly driving high redemption rates.


It’s important to deliver fresh content using SMS. In other words, do not use SMS to rehash information that is delivered in other marketing channels (e.g. email). Our retailer customers have found that with a well thought out mobile promotion, SMS on its own will drive consumer engagement.

  • Content plan. CodeBroker has observed that retailers who create a communications plan experience improved engagement which translates into increased revenue. Successful retailers know what they’re going to say, when they’re going to say it, and to whom they will deliver the message. On the contrary, retailers that engage in ad hoc communication typically find that consumer engagement will wane over time.
  • Fresh content. Deliver content and offers to SMS marketing list subscribers that is not available in other channels. For example, a retailer may want to communicate with their customers about timely issues such as new store/restaurant openings or upcoming events/concerts in the area. Using ongoing mobile promotions to deliver timely messages is one way to keep customers checking back frequently.
  • Exclusive content. SMS is the perfect vehicle to create a sense of exclusivity. Two examples CodeBroker retailer customers employ include early notification of sales or events and delivering content that is only available to the SMS marketing list subscribers. One retailer customer routinely delivers mobile offers to their SMS subscribers two days before the offer is generally available to email subscribers. This practice has resulted in increased redemptions from SMS subscribers as well as driving list sign-ups as more consumers want early access to promotions.
  • Good copywriting. A good copywriter is worth their weight in gold. The following two examples speak for themselves. Written by a copywriter: “We’re thankful for Mobile Coupons! Happy turkey day! Click (URL to click to view the coupon)” versus “$30 off a purchase of $100 or more. Save mobile coupon here: (URL to click to view the coupon)”. Both mobile promotions where delivered the same day. Guess which one was read?


Use SMS to deliver mobile offers and coupons. CodeBroker retailer customers routinely realize millions of dollars in monthly incremental revenue from consumers who subscribe to the retailer’s SMS marketing list.

  • Ongoing mobile promotions. Retailers will experience recurring lift when mobile promotions are scheduled to run on a regular basis. Whether promotions occur monthly for 2 days or 2 two weeks, a retailer should deliver content consistently. For example, a CodeBroker retailer customer with a modest mobile list size of approximately 200,000 delivers mobile coupons to consumers weekly and routinely realizes between $2 and $3 million in monthly incremental revenue.
  • Optimal customer experience. Delivering an exceptional customer experience keeps existing customers engaged with the brand. The ability to personalize an SMS message with a name or letting a consumer know when a previously purchased item is on sale (e.g. milk or a brand of shoes) will build loyalty and inspire conversions. According to a recent Deloitte study “Customers respond to personal experiences, suggestions, and testimonials. Even unsolicited suggestions based on value and personal experience can drive significant improvements in conversion” (Retail Growth Challenge Framework).


The use of one-time-use mobile coupons lets retailers capture data pertaining to the entire purchase funnel. An accurate account of when a mobile offer was delivered, when it was viewed as well as when it was redeemed enables retailers to improve future campaign performance.

  • Attribution. The ability to attribute redemption data to the appropriate mobile channel provides a comprehensive view of campaign performance. By understanding when consumers view and redeem mobile offers, a retailer is able to fine-tune future ongoing mobile promotions minimizing costs and maximizing ROI. In addition, one-time-use mobile coupons significantly reduce fraud.

These are just some of the SMS best practices retailers can use to successfully keep consumers engaged with their brand. Employing these techniques, CodeBroker retail customers have realized significant consumer engagement and redemption rates. Please contact us for more ideas or to help you reinvigorate your SMS program.