5 Ways to Extend Your Brand Voice Through SMS
Less is always more when it comes to SMS. Because you only have such limited space to get your message across, that also means you have to get straight to the point.
As a result, your brand voice can easily get lost in the noise. After all, how do you promote your marketing campaigns in a way that’s unique to your business in as few words as possible?
You don’t have to sound stiff over text. You can still let your human-side shine through, even if you’re trying to stay under a certain number of characters in your text message copy.
Here are five direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that are staying true to their brand voice in their SMS marketing and tips on how you can do the same.
1 | The Sill’s educational approach
The Sill is an indoor and potted plant delivery brand that’s popular among seasoned plant parents and serial foliage killers alike.
Because their audience includes so many beginner botanists, The Sill often takes an educational approach to their marketing. On their website, you can find a myriad of resources for plant care guidance including online workshops, virtual consultations, and articles from their team of experts.
The Sill’s educational approach clearly comes through their owned marketing channels, including SMS, as well.
The brand uses text as an opportunity to teach subscribers about different kinds of plants, like in the example below, which includes a picture of the Marble Queen Pothos and some high-level information about how to care for them—and how easy it is. The call to action (CTA) takes you right to the plant’s product page, which features more information on plant care for this particular species.
This is a great example of a brand that maintains its voice in its SMS communications—while they keep the copy short and sweet by focusing on one type of plant, their text still offers a similar sentiment to what you would find on their website, in their emails, and throughout social media.
2 | Equal Parts’ chef consultations
Equal Parts is all about combining “cookware and guidance to help you enjoy home cooking.” And while they offer some great advice and recipes throughout various marketing channels, the most prominent display of their expertise is their Text-A-Chef program.
Text-A-Chef is exactly what it sounds like—Equal Chef provides texting access to culinary experts you reach out to for advice in the kitchen. And as opposed to the typical SMS automation, you’ll be matched with a real person for the program.
Text-A-Chef is free to all, without needing to purchase from or subscribe to the brand, and Equal Parts provides everything from meal prep tips and grocery list suggestions to new recipes and advice on improving your meals.
According to Pattern Brands’ (the family of brands that oversees Equal Parts) blog, “That’s what 21st-century brands should offer—a return to small-town personalization, care, and familiarity, no matter where you live, or what your level of skill is.”
The voice will vary a bit because you’re texting a real person, but Text-A-Chef is well-aligned with Equal Parts’ unique value proposition of providing culinary guidance.
Plus, they do it without mentioning or selling the products, but they still manage to attract their target audience of home cooks who want to become more seasoned in the kitchen in a play for brand awareness.
3 | Judy’s judicious SMS strategy
Judy provides emergency preparedness kits that include up to 72 hours of survival supplies.
The brand is all about helping families prepare for emergencies, both through their products and through their content, such as Judy TV, an exclusive video library for customers that explains how to prepare for different natural disasters and how to use the items included in each kit.
Additionally, all emergency kits come with text alerts in the event of a natural disaster or another emergency in your area. Judy also sends on-going updates and videos on how to prepare your family for any kind of emergency, according to the website.
Even if you aren’t a Judy customer, you can still text Judy to receive an emergency plan based on your location, which adds an appropriate touch of personalization.
Similar to Equal Parts’ Text-A-Chef, Judy’s SMS program is all about being a helpful resource and creating value for their customers, rather than pushing their product or asking their subscribers to do something. This is especially important for the brand considering the seriousness of the situations they’re communicating.
Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands, which works with DTC brands including Judy, maintains in response to the below tweet that they “have extremely strict rules around SMS and how it’s used, especially during this time” in reference to the current coronavirus crisis.
And that’s clear when you read their texts. This tone of empathy is consistent across every channel customers interact with, making SMS a natural extension of their brand.
Okay, sure … it’s a perfect fit for the times. But this level of SMS marketing savvy is still standout — and not a “given” by any means.
No links. No CTAs. Not “deals.” Just relevant, helpful messaging!
— Aaron Orendorff (@AaronOrendorff) April 7, 2020
4 | Girlfriend Collective’s sustainable SMS strategy
Women’s athletic apparel brand Girlfriend Collective is all about creating sustainable, ethically made activewear by turning plastic bottles and other waste into leggings, sports bras, and tops.
This message comes through in all of their owned marketing—namely, their website details statistics on their impact on the planet, their recycling program, and social proof from the press and customers speaking to their sustainability practices.
Similarly, Girlfriend Collective reinforces their dedication to sustainability through their SMS program. The back-in-stock messaging in the text below re-emphasizes the fact that their clothing allows customers to look stylish while reducing plastic waste landfills.
You can see exactly how Girlfriend Collective channels their brand voice in their messaging—this messaging is so on-brand that you could probably guess what company it’s from, even if you didn’t see their name in the text.
5 | The DB Method gets cheeky with texting
The DB Method’s hero product is a home workout machine that targets your backend—and they stay just as cheeky in their SMS marketing.
The brand welcomes new subscribers, which they cleverly refer to as VIBs (you can probably guess what that stands for) in a text that encourages the reader to “start squatting” today.
Not only does this introduce an opportunity for The DB Method to speak to text subscribers as they would a VIP segment off-the-bat (or would that be off-the-butt?), the brand also doubles down on double entendres, keeping new customers intrigued, engaged, and interested by conveying a strong brand voice in few words.
Additionally, since The DB Method machine is a big-ticket item, the brand consistently highlights the option to “squat now, pay over time” with flexible payment technology company Affirm in their owned marketing channels.
They reinforce this program through SMS where they communicate that “payment can wait, your dream butt shouldn’t have to” and include an MMS showing the machine in use.
Let your brand shine through your SMS marketing messages
None of the brands in these examples are being over-the-top in their SMS marketing—there aren’t emoji hieroglyphics, confusing text message acronyms, or irrelevant gifs.
Instead, they channel their brand by taking elements of their overall marketing strategy—educational content, a mission-driven focus, and fun copy, for example—and adding those details to their messaging.
Once you determine your brand voice, you can use it to inform the way you communicate with your audience to create a cohesive customer experience at every touchpoint. And by focusing on these details and incorporating your brand’s area of expertise in your SMS marketing, you can build a stronger brand through text.
Interested in learning more about SMS marketing? Find out how to create unique experiences through text.Back to Blog Home