How to Set Up and Use Two-Way SMS Marketing Campaigns: A Step-by-Step Guide

With the rise of WhatsApp, Viber, and similar messaging apps, enterprise-level SMS messaging services remain a useful marketing tool. They boast a remarkable read rate of over 95% within just 15 minutes. While it may seem traditional, SMS marketing has successfully withstood the test of time, outshining the spam-ridden realms of emails and other messaging apps.

The usage of two-way messages is a favored strategy for companies seeking to enhance customer engagement and retention. This proven method consistently outperforms expectations, underlining its enduring relevance in the ever-changing marketing landscape.

What is Two-way SMS, and How Does It Work?

Two-way messaging is an SMS service that enables you to both receive messages and send replies. In business, this tool is frequently utilized to boost customer engagement or prompt users to complete desired tasks or actions.

While the described may appear as a commonly implemented feature in most businesses, the majority still rely on one-sided communication, i.e. one way SMS. However, 2-way SMS messaging employs APIs and various methods such as shortcodes, long codes, or even a user’s ID to send messages. Typically, users are presented with a set of commands or options and are required to select from them.

How to Set Up Two-Way SMS for Your Business

Setting up a 2 ways SMS system for your business is not a complicated task if you choose a reliable SMS sender service provider. They will handle the technical setup, but you still need to navigate the 2-way SMS messaging to achieve your desired outcomes. Here are the main steps to follow while setting up your 2 way texting campaign.

  • Create an account at a reliable provider’s platform
  • Locate your way to SMS API functionality
  • Verify yourself as a sender by registering your phone number or applying for a sender ID
  • Provide your developer with the Quickstart guide
  • Request an ‘inbound number’ to receive text messages
  • Provide your developer with the API reference for receiving texts from customers
  • Set up the technical side for two-way SMS and determine customer response options
  • Create SMS campaigns from your CRM tool

This is a brief guide to the technical part of the process. However, it is equally important to develop a well-thought-out strategy for your 2 way text messaging to satisfy your customers and drive desired actions. Here are a few tips for maintaining a good two-way SMS strategy:

  • Define your goals. Consider the desired outcomes and put yourself in the shoes of your customers.
  • Plan the next steps. Avoid abrupt conversation endings and think about what you will communicate to the user after obtaining the required information.
  • Create a time schedule. Determine suitable times for your 2 way SMS messaging, taking into account time zones and when your target audience is most likely to be available.
  • Test your SMS strategy. Start small by sending two-way SMS to a small sample of people to assess their response. This approach will save money and ensure the effectiveness of your campaign.

The other peculiarities of the two-way sms service will truly depend on the industry your business operates. 

How to Use Two-Way SMS Marketing Campaigns for Your Business (Tips and Best Practices)

The potential applications for two way text message are vast, spanning industries such as hospitality, restaurants, and mobile service providers. Businesses leverage this tool to streamline customer support processes by implementing 2 way sms messenger. Here are some ways you can use it to benefit your business:

  • Appointment reminders

While appointment reminders are a common practice across industries, most companies only utilize one-way SMS messaging, which doesn’t allow for customer responses. However, with two-way SMS, customers can choose to approve, reschedule, or cancel their appointments, providing them with flexibility and convenience.

  • Invitations

Consider yourself an info business owner organizing a webinar. SMS marketing can be incredibly useful in this scenario. Upon receiving a positive reply, you can easily share the event’s link or a registration form, simplifying the registration process for your audience.

  • Satisfaction surveys

Gathering honest feedback from customers is vital for continuous growth. Conducting multi-option surveys via SMS allows you to assess and improve the quality of user interactions, enhancing overall customer satisfaction.

  • Subscription and renewal offer

If you’re unsure whether a customer wants to renew their subscription or cancel it, sending a renewal offer via SMS can help. To make the offer more enticing, consider incorporating marketing options such as additional discounts or family plans.

These are just some ways leveraging SMS 2 way messaging can ultimately drive growth and customer satisfaction.

Use Cases for Two-Way SMS 

Now, let’s delve into some remarkable examples of businesses that have fully leveraged the benefits of two-way SMS communication:

  • Zales corporation

As a leading jewelry store based in the US, Zales has successfully created a unique user experience through its SMS strategy. By employing a game-style approach, Zales recommends personalized gift ideas to its customers, enhancing their shopping experience and leaving a lasting impression.

  • Dwell company

A furniture store based in the UK, Dwell employs a clever practice by offering customers the option to opt out of receiving marketing text messages. This proactive approach allows Dwell to gauge customers’ interest and ensure that only interested recipients receive their marketing updates, optimizing the effectiveness of their SMS campaigns.

  • Orbit brand

A globally recognized chewing gum brand, Orbit captivated its audience by launching a captivating scavenger-hunter challenge. This innovative approach aimed to establish a strong connection with customers through an engaging and interactive experience, effectively fostering brand loyalty and increasing customer engagement.

These examples only highlight the versatility and effectiveness of two-way SMS communication in creating a personalized experience for customers.


Setting up an SMS marketing campaign may appear challenging. However, with a dependable two-way SMS communication provider, the scope of this technology expands and can prove advantageous to virtually any industry. The diverse applications of two-way SMS marketing span from scheduling appointment reminders (enabling customers to reschedule or cancel with ease), to seamlessly registering webinar invitations, to collecting valuable feedback through satisfaction surveys.

By leveraging two-way SMS, businesses can significantly elevate their customer experiences. Does this sound appealing? Contact BSG today and gain access to premium SMS marketing software from an industry veteran!