Sending the right SMS marketing text comes with a lot of pressure — and that pressure starts with the opening line.  

Not only must it catch a subscriber’s attention and keep them engaged, it must do so in an incredibly tiny amount of space in a world where people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. Seriously. Take a look at your phone’s message inbox. There’s not much space there for, well, anything. 

Moreover, there might not be a more sacred ground than a person’s text message inbox. Your marketing copy is arriving in the same place that a person messages with their significant other, receives happy birthday messages from aunts and uncles, and gets lost in late night conversations with good friends.  

In other words, you don’t want to mess up SMS marketing. 

The most successful businesses utilize every tool possible to effectively reach and engage their target audience. The emfluence Marketing Platform helps organizations bring multiple communication streams together in a cohesive way. SMS marketing is one of the newest (and most powerful!) emfluence tools that brands can take advantage of — but only if you do it right! 

Today, we’re going to discuss the best ways to capture and hold your subscribers’ attention with SMS.  

What makes a good opening SMS line?

A good opening SMS line gets a user to open the message.  

A great opening SMS line engages a user meaningfully, whether through a click, reply, sign-up, or another call-to-action. 

Anyone can be overly dramatic to get people to click. That approach is short-sighted, doesn’t generate trust in your product or service, and might actually cause the opposite effect. 

Effective marketing — no matter what kind — actually connects with the audience. Is your marketing doing that? 

Your marketing strategies shouldn’t cheapen what you have to offer. A transparent and clear SMS marketing campaign generates both organic growth and long-term success.  

That all starts with the best opening SMS line possible. 

How to create opening SMS lines that generate interest

You’ve got mere moments for someone to decide whether or not your text message is worth engaging with.  

You’ve got to be quick. You’ve got to be witty. You’ve got to be engaging. But you can’t be too vague, mysterious, or loud. You don’t want to offer a false promise. And you don’t want to offer too much.  

Receiving a message from your brand should be a pleasant experience and, in some cases, even remind someone why they like your business or product in the first place.  

Here are a few common but intelligent strategies to keep in mind for creating engaging opening SMS lines. 

  • Curiosity: The curiosity gap is a tried and true concept in the marketing world. It’s not a new idea, but remains as effective as ever. Creating a sense of mystery and wonder intrigues your audience and encourages them to learn more. But be mindful of striking the right balance here. Too much curiosity might cause people to pause — they’re more weary than ever of “click bait.” You can thank unscrupulous marketers for the increased skepticism of consumers today.  
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out): Another classic, yet powerful, motivator. People always want what they can’t have. If you tease a passing opportunity — such as a temporary sale or deal — you might tap someone’s need to be in the mix. 
  • Pain Points: These are feelings, topics, and issues relevant and important to your audience. Without being too aggressive or extra, pain points are effective touchpoints for an opening line. You can use them as opening lines for an effective grab — ”Too tired to cook?” “Low balance?” “Too distracted to study?” “Low energy?” “Sick of unexpected bank fees?” “Hungry?” 
  • Emojis: Who doesn’t ❤️ an emoji? Picking an emoji for an opening SMS line that aligns with your brand is a quick way to nod to a subscriber. It adds some fun and allows you to signal the emotion of your message in one character. (Hint: Don’t overdo it, though! 😉) Financial and educational institutions should be particularly careful as emojis can seem unprofessional or come across as “trying too hard.”  
  • Wordplay: In the proper context, a pun or other forms of wordplay can effectively break through saturation. The messaging shouldn’t be too cute or corny — find the correct phrase that matches the tone of your business or brand. It can also help leave a memorable impression. (Ba dah dah dah dah… I’m lovin’ it…

Your opening SMS line is all about understanding your audience

The number one factor to consider in every marketing strategy is your target audience.  

Understanding and knowing who you’re speaking to and who is engaging with your brand — their pain points, their interests, their habits, their favorite foods — will help you craft your vision and create marketing messages that resonate.  

Refer back to your branding guidelines and editorial standards. Ask questions like:  

  • What does your audience typically respond to?  
  • What type of people are organically engaged with your brand? 
  •  What kinds of opening SMS lines worked in the past?  
  • Is your brand playful or funny? Or is it more serious and focused?  
  • Are you trying to sell products or services?  

For example, some brands might target an audience looking for deals or discounts. Others might be focused on luxury or quality versus cost. Whatever it is, knowing your goal with your product and how people respond to it are two vital considerations for crafting the best opening SMS line possible.  

Top tips for creating opening SMS lines

There’s no secret formula to crafting the perfect SMS opening line, but there are some best practices: 

Nail the first few words

You’ve got one shot to get someone’s attention. This happens with the first few words of the SMS message. Don’t ruin it by getting in your own way. 

Keep the voice active. Offer immediacy. Get to the point.  

  • Good: Miss us? Here’s 25% off your next purchase.  
  • Bad: Why hello there, how are you doing? Hoping to find a new deal? Well you’re in luck, because we decided we should give you 25% off your next purchase.  

See what we mean? Don’t beat around the bush. Capture your audience and keep it moving.  

Pay close attention to message length

On top of people’s short attention spans, SMS messages have character limits. You don’t want someone to open a message to find a big text block. That’s horrible. And not only is it annoying, but it’s an immediate sign of spam. At best, the person is slightly confused, exits the message, and continues to live their life. At worst, they’re frustrated and block the number. 

Limiting your texts to short, punchy statements will help you efficiently get your point across while connecting with your audience. And if you can’t get the message down to this length, you might need to rethink the overall content. 

It’s essential to keep your subject lines short and sweet. Aim for 30 characters or less to ensure your entire message appears on the recipient’s screen. 

Utilize SMS automation

In SMS marketing, segmentation and automation are your best friends. They help you craft personalized messages to individuals or specific groups of customers. 

Tailored messages are, of course, much more effective forms of SMS marketing.  

The emfluence SMS marketing automation tool will elevate your overall marketing program. It blends with the other elements of the platform to add an additional channel to your touchpoint options. And you can continue to easily manage all direct communications from a single place. Simply add SMS to the same workflow as your email campaigns.  

As we’ve stressed, marketing is simply about connecting with your audience. Employing SMS automation takes everything you already know about marketing and gives you another opportunity to connect one-on-one. 

Plus, managing all of your automations in a single place gives you a holistic view of how you’re communicating with your audience so you can identify weaknesses or new opportunities.  

Focus on tone and voice

Your voice should match your brand’s personality while connecting with your target audience. Depending on the message’s intent, you might choose to use a tone of humor, compassion, or urgency. What you choose depends on the goal of your message.  

The opening SMS line should feel like you — not a generic marketing script.  

Always test your opening SMS lines

Like all good marketing strategies, testing is everything. It helps you determine the most effective opening SMS line before blasting your entire marketing list, ensuring you get the best results possible.  

Even if you’re super confident in an opening SMS line, testing is vital.  

Moreover, testing results are building blocks for future marketing decisions. You might not hit the opening SMS line out of the park this time, but the information you gather now might lead to a home run later. 

One less stressor: Simplify your SMS marketing automation

Finding all of this a bit overwhelming? Don’t stress. Creating a compelling opening SMS line doesn’t just happen. It requires patience, research, and an understanding of your brand.  

Thankfully, with the emfluence Marketing Platform, you can work more efficiently so you’ll have more time for the fun stuff, like creating opening lines. Plus, with a clearer picture of your entire marketing system, meeting your KPIs is closer to your grasp than ever before.  

Learn more about SMS in the emfluence Marketing Platform by requesting a demo today.


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