25 Powerful Opening Lines for SMS Marketing
Hook your reader with a snappy SMS marketing opening line
How many emails do you get in a day? It’s safe to assume – a lot. With messages from friends, work and brands across multiple accounts – no wonder we only read emails that grab our attention.
The best way to do this is with a banging subject line that hooks your reader and encourages more engagement.
The same principle applies to SMS marketing and online SMS services. While there isn’t a specific subject field in text messages, preview text displays in both the notification bar and within message apps.
While the length of these previews vary, the idea remains – these first few words matter. If you nail your opening line, more recipients will open and read your entire message.
Remember – don’t leave your audience hanging: a cut-off subject line is like a joke without a punchline; it’ll fall flat, fast.
The right characters for bulk SMS marketing
Text messages are displayed differently on iPhones and Androids, affecting how your SMS marketing campaign appears.
In the latest version of iOS, the message preview is limited to about 70 characters. For the latest Android, it’s 87 characters. For the best chance of your opening line displaying as you intend, keep it to 70 characters or under, and use the first few words to get to the point.
Top tips for compelling opening lines
Writing an outstanding opening line for your SMS marketing campaign is an art form. Together with practice and A/B testing, these tips will help you leverage this valuable tool to create a compelling bulk SMS campaign.
Use power words
These are a marketer’s secret weapon for hook-worthy subject lines. Power words are emotional – they resonate with readers and drive them to action. Here’s a list of 100 power words to include in your subject lines.
Personalisation changes character count
Adding your customer’s name packs a real punch – in one survey, 91% of participants said they were more likely to do business with a brand that recognises, remembers, and provides relevant offers and recommendations. Bear in mind, adding custom fields like [First Name] can change the character count and alter how your message appears.
Include a CTA
A compelling call to action at the start of your message tells your customer what to do next. Read more, click through, subscribe, buy now – you have 8 seconds to let your reader know what you want from them.
Make them feel good
Text messages make people feel recognised, understood, and heard. This is why they’re a high-converting marketing tool. It’s on you to give your customers a feel-good experience so they continue to have a positive association with your brand. If your SMS marketing invokes an excellent emotional response – they’ll go for it and keep coming back.
25 opening lines to use in your next SMS marketing campaign
All examples are 70 characters or less to fit into the preview.
Hi [First Name], exclusive Afterpay event! 40% off this weekend only.
Why it works: Power words and a valuable offer drive people to take action before the deal runs out.
Thought you might love the New [Product Name]! Free shipping for 24hrs.
Why it works: New, now, free, and a deadline are part of the magic formula connecting and spurring action.
Hi [First Name], looking to save time paying your bills? Let us know!
Why it works: Asking a question piques interest and compels readers to click through for the answer.
[First Name], want to know how to make your tax return easier?
Why it works: Research shows 8% of Google search queries are questions; this headline promises your reader an answer.
Hey sports fan! Here are 4 games you won’t want to miss this weekend.
Why it works: Numbers let your reader know what to expect – a quick read, a set number of tips, a list of facts.
Had a long day [First Name]? Here are 6 dinners to make in a flash.
Why it works: Numbers in subject lines can entertain, inform, and show your reader you’ve done the hard work for them.
[First Name], we need a friendly word about your finances.
Why it works: This sparks curiosity, making your recipient more likely to keep reading.
[First Name], check out THE product our members can’t live without.
Why it works: Teasing creates interest and curiosity, driving them to read more.
Hi [First Name], ask the experts how to increase your online sales.
Why it works: ‘How to’ subject lines help hook your audience.
Can’t get to the gym [First Name]? Here’s how to workout at home.
Why it works: The ‘how to’ promises to guide your reader through something specific with proven advice.
Pizza VS burgers? At 20% off, get both [First Name], and rate your fav.
Why it works: A versus subject line lets your reader know you’re comparing products, feature or brands.
Hi [First Name], how’s your new [Product] working out?
Why it works: A message to touch base after a purchase shows you care and are available to troubleshoot any issues.
COVID-safe travel: [First Name], we’re making your bookings safer.
Why it works: Grabs attention with the latest news and updates specific to your industry, reader or product.
Hi [First Name], how are we doing? Take this 1 min survey.
Why it works: Seeking feedback shows you care about your customer’s experience.
[First Name], want to have more fun this summer?
Why it works: Positive subject lines entice people to read more by promising information or a happy-making offer.
[First Name], get in Mum’s good books this Mother’s Day.
Why it works: Making people feel good is good business.
Hi [First Name], are your finances at risk?
Why it works: When you appeal to customer doubt, they’re more likely to keep reading to ease their concerns.
Hi [First Name], thinking of selling? Don’t make these mistakes.
Why it works: A negative subject line allows you to solve a problem or provide a solution, helping your audience prevent the negative.
Hi [First Name], heads up: your order is on its way!
Why it works: It’s simple, informative, and shares good news, creating a positive association with your brand.
[First Name], we’d love for you to join our VIP, members-only club.
Why it works: An exclusive invite makes your customer feel appreciated.
[First Name], our doors open at 5pm this Friday: you’re INVITED!
Why it works: Creates excitement and builds a sense of community around an event.
Quick [First Name], reply YES now for a FREE gift with purchase!
Why it works: Your customer won’t want to miss out on a valuable offer with a pressing time limit.
Hi [First Name], we’ve got NEW OPENING HOURS, so it’s easier to shop.
Why it works: Informative, direct-to-the-point messages make life easier for your customer.
[First Name], don’t let rain ruin your day. Treat yourself to the spa.
Why it works: A personalised offer to match the time of year helps make a connection with your customer.
Boo [First Name!], shop spooky specials at our Flash Halloween Sale!
Why it works: Leverage holidays and special occasions with marketing campaigns offering unbeatable value.
Create compelling SMS marketing content
Your opening line is the first thing your audience reads, so you need to make it count.
Entice, appeal to curiosity, or use a strong call to action. This is a tall order for just 70 characters, but these tried and tested formulas will help you craft compelling content that will get your SMS read.