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Best Examples of SMS Campaigns: Tips and Tools From Some of the World’s Biggest Brands

We can learn a lot about how to produce a good SMS marketing campaign through reviewing campaigns executed by brands. Below, we have highlighted a list of successful campaigns, and what made them so successful.  Notepads out then, as there are plenty of tips to take for your next SMS campaign.

Aer Lingus


Aer Lingus was faced with a problem; relying on emails to let its passengers know of delays or cancellations. Using call centre agents would be highly expensive and incredibly time-consuming when trying to contact thousands of contacts at once. SMS came to the company’s rescue, and the successful implementation of an SMS Gateway into its communications led to some fantastic results.

Within three to four weeks of going live with SMS implementation, Aer Lingus encountered a problem with a flight from Malaga, and as a result needed to notify passengers that they were required to be at the airport 90 minutes earlier than scheduled. The result; 75% turned up on time, an increase on the usual figure of around 10%. As well as achieving a substantial increase in attendance, Aer Lingus also avoided a huge cost from accommodating passengers in a Spanish hotel.

SMS was equally, if not more important during the event of Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud in 2010. With many passengers stranded across Europe, Aer Lingus sent over half-a-million messages with critical updates.

Orange (Wednesdays)


The ‘Orange Wednesdays’ campaign is one of the longest running SMS campaigns and has had huge success not only for Orange, but also for the cinemas. The campaign allows all Orange customers the opportunity to receive a ‘two-for-one’ cinema voucher, which is valid on Wednesdays only. Why did Orange choose Wednesday? Well, it used to have the lowest attendance of any day outside of the weekend; now it’s the most popular weekday for cinema attendances.

Up until 2010, 23.5m free tickets had been issued and some customers had used a voucher more than 70 times. Orange also claims that three million extra cinema trips are generated by its promotion every year. While the exact details of their deals with the cinemas is a closely-guarded secret, the fact that the campaign has been running for almost ten years showcases Orange Wednesday’s on-going success.

Paddy Power


The Irish betting giant has seen huge success over the past ten years, seeing year-on-year growth of 30% and one of the key reasons has been the evolution of mobile. In 2010, the decision was made to increase engagement and revenues across every part of the business. Free bets were offered via SMS, and campaigns achieved response rates of up to 15%.

Paddy Power was also able to compare the campaigns against other special offers, allowing it to improve its communications and response rates. In total the company has seen 300% growth in mobile bets with 31% of all online customers now placing bets through the mobile channel.



BMW ran an MMS campaign (using MMS to send messages with images, audio, video and links) to remind its customers of the importance of snow tyres during the winter in Germany. Mark Mielau (Head of Digital Media at BWM Germany at the time) and his team helped collate the database of customers to target. BMW identified that all customers who had bought a car in Munich between March and September 2006 were likely to need snow tyres during the winter. As a result of this targeting the luxury German carmaker developed a target database of 1,200 customers, the perfect start to a great campaign.

Next up was creating the message. Pictures of the tyre and links to call the customer’s local dealership were sent to the database, while the conversion path was kept as simple as possible. What followed was a stroke of luck that helped their campaign turn from great to amazing. Mielau looked outside one day and saw the first snowflakes falling down in Munich. At that point, he gave the thumbs-up to send the first series of 400 messages. The success of the first series led to the team sending the remaining 800 messages just a few days later.

Over 30% of customers who received the MMS went to purchase snow tyres, and it’s estimated that the campaign increased BMW’s revenue by over £110,000. The campaign’s success is all the more impressive when considering smartphones were not commonplace in 2006 and browsing the web on a mobile was pretty slow and expensive. This was a fantastic campaign from start to finish, showcasing the sheer power of mobile messaging and how it can be used within marketing.

So there you have it, a snapshot of some of the best examples of SMS campaigns, with plenty of tips to be noted. If you’re currently planning your next SMS campaign, have a read our seven routes to successful SMS marketing to ensure that it is remembered for all the right reasons.

Following on from this, we’ll also be covering some of the worst SMS campaigns, what mistakes were made and lessons you can take from them. Look out for it on our blog soon…

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