A guide to effective SMS and best practices with Rule

Today, effective marketing strategies are essential for brands to reach their customers. While email and social media have been the go-to channels, SMS remains an untapped resource for many. Surprisingly, only 20% of consumer brands use SMS, mainly due to the perceived complexity and uncertainty of what to send. In this guide, we will go through the challenges around SMS and provide step-by-step guidance on how to build an outstanding SMS.

Why SMS?

SMS offers a unique set of benefits – unparalleled reach, potential to build loyalty and measurable results. 75% of consumers, according to surveys, have said they want to receive targeted offers via SMS. By implementing an SMS, companies can create engaging and effective SMS that increase customer loyalty and boost sales. Below we will go through some important guidelines and examples of how you can maximize your SMS. Did you also know that:

  • 90% of all SMS are opened after 3 minutes
  • 65% of consumers say they want to receive SMS from businesses more often
  • 75% want to receive SMS with targeted offers

What should you consider before you start?

When you send an SMS, you are invading your customers’ private space, so it is important that you have a clear idea of what you want to convey before you start texting and that you do not overwhelm your customers with unwanted communication. It can be treacherous for your brand and result in your customers opting out of receiving communications from you. So before you start texting, you should ask yourself these questions.

What do you want to convey?
Should it be Intimate/personal, direct or informative? Customize your SMS for meaningful interaction, create urgency, provide valuable information and promote personal engagement. A good guideline is always ‘don’t spray and pray’.


What types of campaigns?

Distinguish between transactional and promotional campaigns. Transactional messages cover order confirmations, shipping updates and password resets. Marketing messages include offers, product launches and newsletters. Consider the tone of voice you want to use, depending on the type of campaign you are sending and set clear expectations for recipients about the type of messages they will receive.

What do you need to prepare beforehand?

1. Consent and customer validation:

Before you start sending SMS, it is important to ensure that you have the consent of your customers. Build a subscription list by offering incentives and making sure customers know what to expect. Also, validate your customers’ contact information regularly to avoid sending messages to wrong numbers or to people who do not want to receive SMS. The best way to find out if your customers want to receive SMS from you is to ask them at the time of registration.

PS. don’t forget to make it easy for your customers to unsubscribe from your mailings.


2. segmentation and targeting:

Customize your messages by segmenting your customer base. For example, you can send different campaigns to new customers, loyal customers or those who haven’t shopped for a while. Use purchase history and behavioral data to create relevant messages. With Rule’s segmentation tool, you can segment as granularly as you want, thus tailoring your communication to deliver accurate messages.

3. timing and frequency:

Send your messages at appropriate times to maximize the opening rate. Avoid sending too many messages in too short a time, to avoid annoying your customers. Use data analysis to determine the optimal times and frequencies for your target audience, as this can vary depending on the type of customers you have.


  • Welcome campaign: A welcome SMS after a customer has signed up, with a discount code or special offer for the first purchase.
  • Birthday promotion: A personalized SMS with an exclusive birthday discount or offer to celebrate the customer’s special day.
  • Abandoned cart reminder: A message that reminds customers that they have products in their cart and offers incentives to complete the purchase.
  • Loyalty program: Regular updates and VIP offers to loyal customers to reward their commitment. Read more about customer loyalty in Rule.
sms i rule

4. short and concise communication

SMS has a limited number of characters, so keep your messages short, relevant and clear. Use clear and actionable text to guide the customer to the desired action.


  • Offer: “Hello [kundens namn]!” Exclusive offer: Get 20% off your next purchase with code XXXXX. Valid for [datum].”
  • Shopping cart reminder: “Don’t forget your shopping cart!” You have started a purchase with us. Click here to complete your order.

5. measurement and optimization:

Use tracking links and campaign codes to measure the effectiveness of your SMS. Analyze data and evaluate results regularly to optimize future campaigns and adapt the strategy to customer behavior.

Best practices in Rule:

SMS allow for personalization of messages, enabling a more personalized interaction with customers. This can help build stronger customer relationships. In Rule, we offer features for automation, which makes it possible to schedule and automate SMS. This saves your company time and resources, while providing more accurate communication. A tip from us is to post your SMS in the Journey Builderfeeds, then your SMS will automatically be sent out when the customer matches a value or rule that you previously set.


Example of a good set in Journey Builder

Important considerations when including SMS in the Journey Builder are relevance, timing and added value for the recipient. And combining email and SMS in their communication. Below is an example of an efficient flow to illustrate these principles:

Scenario: A customer who has not made a purchase for x number of days

Step 1: 180 days after last purchase

  • Email: An email that encourages the customer to make another purchase from you. Here you can include something personal, such as a discount or perhaps a personal product recommendation.

Step 2: 20 days after first email went out

  • SMS: Now you can send an SMS to the customer that also encourages them to buy. Important here is to think about doing a segmentation, i.e. determining the who who should receive the SMS. For example, you can segment the customers who did not click on the link in your last email and only send the SMS to them. Because you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with communication that is not relevant to them, in this case – – customers who actually took action on the first email.

Use your own short links

In Rule you can use your own short links to shorten your SMS. We usually shorten all links longer than 25 characters because they take up too much space. However, they can be perceived as “unsafe” for some people, as you don’t really know where the link leads. In Rule, it is therefore possible for you to set up your own short links associated with your company, to instill more trust and get more people to dare to click on the link. Good, is not it? Read more about our SMS function here!

Get started with Rule's SMS and see how conversions increase!

With these best practices and targeted examples, you can now create an effective SMS that will increase engagement, strengthen your brand and generate positive results for your business. Remember to be sensitive to your target audience’s needs and needs and preferences to create meaningful and successful SMS!

Are you a Rule customer, but haven’t started using SMS? Contact our supportand we will help you! Not a Rule customer yet? Getting started with Rules SMS today!

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