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“Reply PROMO by tomorrow to get 50% off your next order!”

When an offer like this lands in the palm of your hand from your favorite taco shop as you head into your lunch hour, it’s pretty tough to resist. Text-based marketing, also known as SMS marketing, has blown-up in popularity as a channel for businesses to engage and excite their customers.

SMS marketing involves sending sales, discounts, updates, reminders, and so much more, to customers via text message. It has become an essential tool for brands who want to interact directly and share their products, services and promotions with customers.

In recent years, SMS marketing has achieved 98% open rates and emerged as an invaluable avenue for communications and outreach across sectors and industries. With most people keeping their phones on them at all times, SMS marketing is an easy win. Businesses can easily target specific customers, leads and clients with personalized messages, promotions and more.

In addition to high open rates, text messages are frequently read within minutes of delivery. Besides sales, alerts and confirmations, SMS marketing can be used for a wealth of other activities such as a dispatch tool or providing interactive customer support.

Check out how these specific industries use text-based marketing to boost sales and improve their customer and staff communications.


As an early adopter of SMS marketing, the retail industry has successfully integrated SMS marketing into virtually every corner of the industry. Retailers use SMS marketing to promote their sales and discounts to their customers, and keep their brands and products memorable to their customers.

Companies like Bath & Body Works (and countless others) create captivating and compelling text-based sales and BOGO campaigns that keep their customers coming back for more. SMS can be used for alerting and reminding retail customers about an upcoming sale or event.

Retailers may also use SMS marketing as a channel for customer support. A customer might text a question about a product or service, and a representative can reply with an answer, enabling customers to quickly and easily access the information they need.


Text-based marketing has opened new horizons for the hospitality industry to better interact with guests and clients. Hotels and resorts use SMS marketing to not only send confirmations and reminders to their guests, but as an interactive concierge tool, helping guide guests to the best local experiences for their visit.

A hotel can send a text message confirming a guest’s reservation and providing additional information about the hotel’s amenities. As a concierge mechanism, a hotel or resort could easily create an automated, trigger-based booking system allowing guests to text their preferences for tours, times, etc. Hotels can also use SMS marketing to send exclusive deals to their guests, such as discounts for spa services and more.

And let’s not forget about restaurants! The food and beverage industry has also maximized SMS marketing by using it in a variety of capacities. Besides sending enticing new culinary specials and hot discounts to get customers in the door, restaurants also use text-based marketing to keep a smooth flow of traffic and ensure a flawless guest experience.

Text-based marketing platforms integrate with restaurant reservation systems to notify guests when their table or order is ready. Restaurants can then use a guest phone number to invite them to receive future text notifications about events, loyalty rewards and more.


Businesses in the healthcare industry have also capitalized on text-based marketing to deliver vital information and reminders to patients, on-call staff, and more.

If you’re a healthcare provider, you can use SMS marketing to send automatic appointment reminders to your patients. You or your office can also send a personalized text message with detailed instructions for patient appointment preparation, along with reminders and confirmations. Quickly text on-call staff to help ensure urgent response to patients’ medical issues.

Healthcare providers can also use SMS marketing to provide health education and support to their patients. As an example, a patient can opt-in to receive personalized health tips based on goals you create together. Using triggered automated messaging and keyword replies, you can send this patient weekly text messages with information about healthy eating or exercise and then follow up on their progress on their next visit.

Real Estate 

Realtors and brokers benefit from SMS marketing and its ability to assist in rapidly sharing information in an ever-changing marketplace.

Real estate agents use SMS marketing to send updates on new property listings, invitations for open houses and to stay in touch with their clients. SMS marketing can also leverage leads and help lure prospective buyers with more personalized, property-specific information.

Realtors and agents may send photos or links to property virtual tours, share tips on local real estate trends and forecasts, or let prospects know when a desirable new property enters the market. Real estate firm administrators depend on SMS marketing platforms to send immediate updates, addresses, etc. directly from their desktop to clients, showing agents, real estate assistants and more.

Instead of sending texts manually from a cell phone, the capacity to send important texts directly from a desktop or laptop helps avoid disruptions to workflow and keeps time-sensitive information moving exactly where it needs to go.


From daycares to universities, the education industry relies on SMS marketing to communicate critical information to students, parents and staff.

SMS marketing has changed the face of daycare and preschool by aiding staff to quickly reach parents with questions about a child’s dietary or medical issues, or inform a parent if there is an urgent situation involving their child.

Schools and universities can use SMS marketing to send reminders about upcoming events, schedule changes, important dates and deadlines, and to send alerts about emergencies and school closures. Some schools, teachers and staff even use SMS marketing software for educational enrichment, (with their permission) sending students study tips and helpful resources for a better classroom experience.

Religious and Non-Profit

Need six volunteers for an emergency food drive on Saturday? Send a bulk message call-out as individual, personalized messages to your Volunteer contacts. SMS marketing has become a fundamental resource for non-profits to easily communicate with staff, clients, donors and volunteers.

Contact segmenting tools offered by various SMS marketing platforms, like String, allow managers, admins and staff to organize contacts into specific groups to effortlessly send targeted information. Connect clients, staff and volunteers. Keep your donors and supporters active, invested and involved with SMS updates, invitations and success stories with SMS marketing.

Churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious establishments use SMS marketing to cultivate and strengthen their interaction within their religious community throughout the week. Send invitations to small groups or community gatherings, worship services and more. Inspire visitors, attendees and congregants with faith-based messages and encouraging thoughts. Nurture community cohesion with prayer requests, short devotionals, and more.

Wellness and Fitness

Motivate clients to meet their physical goals with personalized fitness tips, interactive challenges and more. Gyms, personal trainers, yoga and fitness centers use SMS marketing to build their client-base and help guests to never miss an appointment or session. Wellness professionals stay ahead of the game with flexible features like built-in templates and keyword campaigns to send automated schedule openings, virtual content, participant polls and more.

Contact list management options offered by SMS marketing platforms help you to not get lost in your inbox. Tags and notes empower health and wellness solopreneurs and brands to easily organize client lists. Immediately find leads, vendors and staff with search and filter features. Many text platforms, like String, offer voicemail transcriptions, also known as visual voicemail, for faster follow-up and content organization. 

Expand your referral base with “Bring a Friend” and “New Member” promotions. Send links to ebooks, recipes, blogs and health improvement tips to create a loyal and excited client community.

SMS Marketing for Everyone

As you can see, we’ve barely scratched the surface on how industries across sectors use SMS marketing to maximize their communications and engagement as well as drive audiences to their brand.

A few tiny but crucial details if you choose to integrate SMS marketing into your communications tool belt. The most critical, don’t forget to always obtain consent from your audience for marketing texts. Without consent, your brand or business risks potential legal repercussions that are easily avoided by including a simple opt-in or opt-out sentence in your messaging. Also, aim for brevity and keep messages short, sweet and to the point. Message content should be relevant and valuable to clients and customers.

For intuitive, robust and flexible features like built-in text templates, keyword responders, personalization fields and contact segmenting, check out String. Versatile options, competitive pricing and scalability make String a perfect fit to tap into new superpowers for your phone number.

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