Wondering if using SMS for sales outreach is worth the investment?

The short answer: absolutely.

Millennials add up to 56 million in the US workforce, making them the largest group in the work sector. Their preferred communication channel? SMS.

In fact, 58% of consumers agree texting is the fastest way to reach them.

What’s more, an Insider Intelligence report reveals that businesses can typically reap a ten- to twenty fold ROI from SMS. Case in point: Ashley Bailey, a business development expert, and consultant with Hinge, achieved a 55% 8-week sell-through percentage with an SMS campaign.

All this makes it clear: you need to incorporate SMS in your sales outreach.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to implement SMS in your outreach strategy and best practices for texting your target audience. We’ve also included free-to-steal sales SMS templates to help you get started on the right footing.

Read on.

SMS in sales, Sales reps, Sales rep texting SMS in sales, Sales reps, Sales rep texting

Why should you use SMS for sales?

SMS is a quick and convenient way to reach prospects that doesn’t require internet connectivity.

In fact, consumers across different segments are open to receiving personalized SMSes.

For an example, let’s take millennials again. About 60% of them agree SMS is an unobtrusive communication channel that allows them to read messages in their own time.

Sales SMS at the center of a mobile-driven outreach strategy is less intrusive as compared to phone calls. Similarly, it’s a step ahead of email marketing – showing several perks over it.

Here's a showdown:




Reach target customers without internet connectivity

Depends on the internet connection

Open rate as high as 98%

Average open rate of 29.55%

Text messages are more likely to be read as they come with a sense of urgency. The fact that why 89% of customers read them within 30 minutes after receiving them confirms

Emails aren’t urgent so receivers have come to ignore email now — often letting emails sit in their inbox for days on end

SMS show good deliverability as customers get SMS notifications on their phones

Emails show poor deliverability with 1 in 6 emails ending up in the spam folder or getting blocked by subscribers’ inboxes

The space isn’t very crowded yet — only 39% of businesses use text messaging to communicate with their customers. What’s more, since subscribers’ inboxes aren’t very crowded with business SMSes, they’re likely going to read your messages. So now’s the time to tap into SMS outreach

87% of marketers use email to communicate with their audience – making it a competitive, overly crowded channel. This also means subscribers get lots of emails, making it easy for them to lose them in the inbox

SMS limits word count, encouraging you to share your message succinctly and quickly. This makes your message easy to read for prospects — again, increasing their odds of reading your texts

There’s no word limit to emails. As a result, marketers send long messages that aren’t easy to read, making it unlikely for subscribers to read emails

It’s no wonder that text messages sent by enterprises and brands grew from 3.2 trillion to 3.5 trillion – 9.4% year on year in 2020.

So instead of asking yourself whether you should be using SMS as part of your sales, ask yourself how you can maximize results by including SMS in your sales outreach strategy.

7 ways to include SMS in your sales outreach sequence

Convinced you need SMS as part of your sales outreach? Here are seven ways to use text messaging:

SMS in sales, 7 tips, 7 sms sales tips SMS in sales, 7 tips, 7 sms sales tips

1. Send a classic, outreach text message

This approach is best for introducing a salesperson as a prospect’s point of contact or setting up demo meetings. It also works for answering inquiries.

2. Leverage text as an auto-responder

Use an auto-responder message to confirm your response to a web form that prospects complete on your site.

3. Send a text to inform prospects of immediate changes made

Have a limited-time offer or new discounts? SMS helps you grab prospects’ attention and create a sense of urgency to encourage them to act.

SMS in sales, sales text SMS in sales, sales text

4. Use it for check-ins

SMS for sales offers personalization that makes it ideal for quick check-ins with customers. It also keeps you top of your customers’ mind – offering you opportunities for upselling.

A Louis Vuitton salesperson, for example, asked for their customer’s phone number after purchase. They followed up with a text bearing a webpage link that had curated goods the customer might be interested in.

5. Use SMS to gather information

As you move leads down the sales funnel, you’ll require information from them. So use text messages here to have conversations with prospects and get instant responses. 

6. Notify prospects with SMS

Use it to update prospects of important information you’ve sent them or when you’ve processed their request. WorldRemit, a payment processing platform, for instance, uses SMS to notify payment transactions.

SMS in sales, sales text, worldremit sms SMS in sales, sales text, worldremit sms

7. Text to offer support and feedback

Did you help a prospect solve an issue? Or gave them a demo? Learn about the quality of your interaction by using SMS to source feedback.

6 SMS outreach best practices

Now that you know when to use SMS as part of your outreach strategy, let’s walk you through proven tactics you need to be mindful of:

1. Always be direct and concise

Short, to the point SMSes are best for holding your audience’s attention.

What’s more, when it comes to the message’s copy, use easy and familiar words as the co-founder of Mobitrix, Jonathan Tian, suggests.

“To get good results through SMS marketing, you have to use the language according to your targeted audience.” Moreover, use regional language. “If you’re targeting an audience from Japan, prefer Japanese in your text,” Tian adds.

2. Be mindful of the texting frequency

It’s best to stick with 2-4 text messages a month. This helps make sure you don’t annoy your audience with too many texts, which is among the leading reasons why people unsubscribe.

SMS in sales, US adults unsubscribing, unsubscribed messages SMS in sales, US adults unsubscribing, unsubscribed messages

3. Integrate SMS into your sales sequences to offer a rich experience

This ensures all your text messages are highly-relevant and properly timed.

For instance, share product feature-specific informative links with leads who have viewed that feature’s webpage. Similarly, only send subscription discounts to leads using your app’s freemium version.

To this end, make sure you integrate the SMS app into your CRM software.

With Freshsales SMS integration, in particular, you get an overview of each prospects’ background information, interaction with your business, and where they’re in the sales cycle. Having these insights lets you send only relevant information to them.  

Plus, the integration does most of the legwork for you. It allows you to send both individual and bulk SMSs, and create automated workflows for messaging prospects. For example, you can set an automated SMS for prospects whose free trial is ending. 

Not to mention, Freshsales also records all interactions so you can get a quick summary of your conversation with each prospect. That said, with Freshsales, you can also include SMS in your sales sequence. For instance, add SMS to your follow-up sequence by automating sending a text message to prospects who don’t take your follow-up call).

SMS in sales, freshsales sms, crm sms SMS in sales, freshsales sms, crm sms

4. Always include a relevant CTA

This encourages readers to take action.

For your CTA copy too, use common language packed with power words. For sharing a URL as your call-to-action, use a link shortener. It shortens links, making it easy for you to save character limit.

5. Ask for phone numbers in web forms

This is a surefire way to get messaging permission from prospects. Include phone number as a requirement in your web forms and give folks an opt in option for receiving SMS from you.

SMS in sales, web forms, web form contact number SMS in sales, web forms, web form contact number

6. Don’t use your personal number for texting leads

Instead, use your official sales phone number to contact prospects. Also, use region-specific numbers and alpha-numeric IDs so prospects can recognize you.

5 ways to align SMS messaging with customer journey

One another important aspect of sales SMS: making sure your texts’ goal and messaging are aligned with the customer journey.

So how can you bring all three in alignment? Here’s a framework you can grab to make sure all your SMS strategy is mapped according to the lead stages.


Sales cycle stage







Meets ICP, submits contacts

Receptive to your communication, evaluating your business

Attends demo, meets rep

Share BOFU content and sales collaterals

Signs the dotted deal

SMS goals


Request to meet/ schedule demo

Follow up with questions, push for a proposal

Notify when resources are sent, move them to sign the deal

Set up onboarding, feedback and elevate CX

Let’s elaborate on it below:

1. Sales cycle stage: Qualification

At this starting point, before you message, ensure the lead matches your ICP and shares their contact detail voluntarily.

Your SMS’s aim at this point? Introducing yourself and your business.

2. Sales cycle stage: Engagement

When leads reply to your messages, you can gauge how receptive they are to your communication via the SMS channel.

At this stage, it’s safe to assume they’re evaluating your business. So you can send messages offering a product demo.

3. Sales cycle stage: Post demo/trial

After a lead meets you and takes the demo or has subscribed to your free trial, send SMSes with follow-up questions. For instance, ask them how they’re liking your product or if there’s something you can help them with.

If you find a prospect answering your follow-up questions, send them a custom proposal

4. Sales cycle stage: Proposal

At this point, focus on sharing bottom of funnel content such as case studies of businesses similar to the lead.

This lets you share social proof with prospects on how other customers like them are achieving great results. In short, aim to move them to closer to signing the deal.

5. Sales cycle stage: Deal closed

Don’t lose touch after a prospect converts. Instead, keep messaging – ask for feedback on how they found your service, inquire if you can help with onboarding, and so on.

SMS in sales, Sales reps, Sales rep texting SMS in sales, Sales reps, Sales rep texting

7 Sales SMS templates to get you started

Undoubtedly, adding SMS to your outreach strategy is an effective way to engage prospects and move them down the sales funnel.

Ready to start using SMS in your sales outreach? Grab these ready-to-use SMS templates for sales and make the most of the SMS strategy today:


1. Recommended reading template to engage prospects with pain point solving resources

  Hi [prospect name],

  Do you know how much ROI you can drive using video marketing? We analyzed XXX contributors and learned you can yield a whopping [ statistic/information].

  Here’s the full report: [link]

2. Re-engage with cold leads by asking them a question

  Hi [prospect name],

  [Your name] here from [company name]. I’m messaging to ask if you’d be interested

  learning about [pain point-related topic]. If so, we’ve created an in-depth guide here:


  Let me know what you think have after reading it.


Or, if the prospect went cold after sharing they weren’t ready to invest at that time, use this template  

  Hi [prospect name],

  [Your name] here from [company name]. I’m checking in to ask if you’d be interested in picking up our conversation on [topic].

  If so, please book a meeting slot here: [booking link]

3. Share success stories of an exclusive offer to pique interest

  Hi [prospect name],

  We recently learned that our customer [add name], increased their [share result].

  We’re beyond thrilled to share this good news with you. Dive into their incredible success story here: [link]

4. Ask a question and build your conversation

  Hi [prospect name],

  How often do you spend on excel sheets to track leads. Is it several hours a day or a few hours weekly – we’ve a resource on Excel sheet shortcuts that can help you save time.


  [Your name] from [company name]

5. Encourage them to visit local events, trade shows, webinars that you’re on

  Hi [prospect name],

  [Business name] is hosting a 3-day summit on remote work where industry-leading experts like [add name] and [add name] will share their challenges and insights. We’ll be among the speakers too, talking about [topic].

  Would love to see you there! Here’s your invite: [link]

6. Tie it to important days such as birthdays and anniversaries

  Hi [prospect name],

  Many happy returns of the day. Here’s your birthday gift from our end [link to discount code or free company swag].


  [Your name] & [company]

7. Two-way SMS for gauging leads’ interest in exclusive offers and connecting interested leads to a sales rep

  Hi [prospect name],

  We at, [company name] are offering a limited-time [event – say New year] flat X% discount on our [tool/product name].

  Hit reply and tell us you’re interested with a “yes” and a member of our team will get in touch with you.

  Happy shopping,

  [Your name]

Ready to use SMS as part of sales outreach? 

As you can see, SMS outreach gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. 

Not many brands realize its potential and customers’ openness to engaging with them using text messages. 

But the onus is on you to effectively encourage site visitors and customers to share their phone numbers and to engage them by integrating SMS into your sales sequence. 

So what are you waiting for? Offer your target audience a rich experience using SMS as part of your sales sequence today.