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How to create urgency within your SMS program

How to create urgency within your SMS program

Three minutes. That’s how quickly the average cell phone user checks a text message after receiving it — and it’s the same sense of urgency you want your SMS subscribers to have.

Achieving such a goal has to be approached strategically. Your subscribers have to care about your content and genuinely feel engaged enough to participate in the campaign.

Here are five tips to help you promote urgency in your text message marketing.

1. Start with topics of interest

Cell phones experience a lot of traffic per day: communication from loved ones, social media visits, mobile app usage and more. Your customers care about their daily routine and breaking consumer habits with marketing strategies is going to take some work.

When you want to create urgency with your SMS subscribers, you have to start with personal topics of interest. Consumers are growing increasingly aware that marketers are vying for their attention and with so many options available to them, moving urgently isn’t always second nature. 

SMS subscribers have to view your content as personally relevant if they’re going to look at it. Anything else is simply a text that is bound to be ignored, deleted or the catalyst for them to unsubscribe.

2. Set a time limit

How quickly would you move if you knew you only had so much time?

Limited-time offers have a way of speeding up the consumer journey mainly due to subscribers’ fear of missing out on a product or service that they might not see again. The scarce nature of limited-time offers can also increase the perceived value attached to your CTA; when consumers see an item might be gone soon, it increases their desire to learn more about it and see if it would be beneficial to them.

You can encourage your SMS subscribers to move quickly by letting them know that they don’t have much time to take advantage of your offer.

3. Offer incentives

If you want something from your text message list, you’re going to have to give something.

Incentives are a great starting point. Special rewards hold a special place in the heart of your subscribers; earning a reward can make consumers happy and increase their level of engagement with your brand and your text message marketing promotions.

Human psychology also says incentives are powerful motivators for action. People are far more likely to complete an activity if they know they’ll be rewarded. 

Promoting incentives can help you reach your bottom line and help make sure your subscribers enjoy their experience with you.

4. Give a clear call to action

Moving quickly happens when there is something to move toward.

If you’re going to send SMS subscribers a text asking them to make a purchase or fill out a survey, you want to provide them with all the information necessary to follow through on your request. A call-to-action (CTA) lets consumers know exactly why your message is important to them and what action they should take to pursue a great shopping experience.

Examples of a standard text message marketing CTA include telling subscribers to click a link or buy a product. 

5. Reminders and updates

When your goal is to be as helpful to your text subscribers as possible, text reminders and updates are a nice way to prompt subscribers to take action.

Sending a quick forget-me-not message can remind subscribers about the abandoned cart they left behind or the fun items they have on their wishlist. You can remind your SMS subscribers about discounts you have for them or about the interesting campaigns you have coming up. 

Urgency is practically ingrained into today’s text subscribers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to do some work at facilitating it. Use these five tips as a focal point to establish urgency within your SMS subscribers.


Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.

Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.