Creative ways to engage customers through text

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There are many ways to engage customers through text messaging campaigns. 

Your campaigns can be for any stage in the funnel, whether it’s to encourage your audience to opt into your text messages or to follow up on a product after it’s been purchased. When it comes to marketing via text messages, the key word is engagement. It’s very easy to unsubscribe from your brand’s texts. All the customer has to do is type STOP. Creative marketing campaigns not only keep them from doing that, but they also achieve other measurable goals. (Think upsells, subscription upgrades, repeat purchases, happy customers and rave reviews, to name a few.)

For companies that are utilizing texting as a marketing tool, there is great news. Text messaging is already designed as a near-perfect customer engagement tool. In fact, it’s one of the most engaging ways to reach customers. That’s because 98 percent of texts are opened and 45 percent of those receive a response. By contrast, only 20 percent of emails are opened, and a mere 6 percent see a response.

If your goal is to reach your audience in the most engaging way possible without spamming them, text marketing is one of the best avenues to achieve that. Here are some creative ways to keep your text engagement up and even drive leads further down the funnel:

Text polls

Looking for a creative way to engage customers through text? Try sending polls that ask for their opinion. These polls can either ask questions that you need feedback on to help you make important decisions. After all, this is a quick and easy way to receive feedback from an audience whose opinion is highly valued. Here are some examples of opinions polls you might text your customers:

  • Which is your favorite product feature? (choose A, B or C)
  • Where would you like to see us open our next location? (choose A, B or C)

Though pulling double duty can be handy, your poll texts don’t have to play such a crucial role in your decisions. They can simply be for customer engagement — a valuable strategy all on its own. Text polls of this variety can be a lighthearted way to allow your audience to have some fun with your brand. Here are some examples of text polls designed just for engagement:

  • What is your favorite dinosaur?
  • Where are you planning to go on your next vacation?
  • What is the all-time best 90s TV show?

Text games

Competitions and giveaways are a great way to keep customers engaged via text. They’re fun and not often considered spammy unless, of course, the giveaway is not relevant to your audience. That’s because they offer your audience something with almost nothing in return. Typically, with this strategy, all they have to do is enter to win or play a game in order to win. Playing games with your customers over text work best when there are incentives to drive engagement. Ask a trivia question and entice them with a gift card or a freebie — and watch your engagement numbers climb. 

Text exclusive promos

Show your audience they mean something to you by offering frequent discounts that apply only to those customers who have opted into your text marketing. This is a great way to encourage this particular audience to purchase and show them that their business is special at the same time. Here are some basic examples of how to entice customers with exclusive text promos: 

  • Show this text to get 25% off in-store
  • Check-out with code TEXTME to get $10 off your next purchase

Another surefire way to give your texters special attention is to let them know about sales ahead of time. Give them a sneak peek look before a sale goes live — make them feel exclusive in order to keep them engaged.

Text relevant content 

This Twitter post highlights an example of SMS marketing done with customer engagement in mind: 

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In the example above, Ghia texted a specially curated playlist — content that wasn’t overly branded (or branded very obviously at all) but focuses solely on delighting the customer. 

The key when texting content to your customers is relevance. Be sure that anything you send adds value to their lives. Otherwise, you may end up getting more opt-outs and be considered a spammer. Send a link to your recent blog posts — only the relevant ones — so your customers can see the tips and tricks you have to offer. Link to videos or landing pages that you’ve created with your SMS audience in mind. These strategies are just an offshoot of traditional inbound marketing, except that you’re reaching out to tell them you have something great you want to share with them. As long as that content is helpful or delightful to your audience, you’ll be able to achieve more engagement.


Overall, text marketing is relatively new and should be approached with creativity. Don’t be afraid to be too out-there. If you have a great idea that you think will add something of value to your customers, and you want to send it via text, you should try it out. While giveaways and discounts are great, creativity with your particular audience in mind is often the best path to long-lasting customer engagement.


Learn more about how to create amazing SMS campaigns.