All businesses should have an SMS marketing strategy, regardless of the size of your business. This is especially important for local businesses, as it will help you build a personal relationship with customers, something that sets you apart from the crowd and builds loyalty.

To maximize the effectiveness of your campaign, you want to personalize text messages. Customizing the messages is much more straightforward than you may realize, and this guide will help you with every aspect of campaign personalization. 

What is marketing personalization?

Marketing personalization is pretty much what it sounds like. It involves customizing or personalizing your marketing efforts to appeal to each client. Your goal is to make your customer feel like the texts or emails you send them are personalized to their interests and preferences.

The simplest example would have an automatic field that fills in the client’s name. Another typical example comes from targeted display ads that show similar products to recent purchases or recently browsed products. 

Personal vs. personalized text messages

When dealing with customized text messages, you may find yourself wondering the difference between personal and personalized text messages.

The term “personal” typically refers to a text sent one-on-one. So, it would involve someone in your company pulling out the company phone and composing the text or using your texting platform to do so on the computer.

By contrast, “personalized” marketing messages refer to the automated marketing messages that have an element of personalization in them, possibly using SMS marketing templates. These are mass texts with custom fields to deliver personalized recommendations and relevant content.

Maybe they take information from your customer database to input the customer’s name or preferences. Or perhaps you segment consumers into various SMS lists based on their interests. 

Either of these can be part of your personalized marketing strategies, but customized text messages are more efficient than one-to-one marketing or personal messages. 

Set up

The setup process for a personal text is essentially composing a new message.

Setting up a personalized text requires the creation of the text or template in your system and input what parts get changed depending on the customer. It takes longer overall but less time per message. 


The outreach aspect of either type of personalized marketing message is very similar. Either type is an example of reaching out to your client to inform them about deals, ask about their experience, or achieve another goal. 


You will likely type out the follow-up messages in real-time with personal text messages.

Because a personalized text message is automated to an extent, you may have an automated response to the consumers’ responses or may choose to respond individually to responses. The latter is more likely in the case of something you don’t necessarily expect a response to, such as a text advertising a promotion. 

looking at personalized SMS

Examples of personalized marketing that work

The following are some great examples of how you can personalize text messages. While most of them are from big names, remember that personalization isn’t just for large enterprises, local businesses can use it too. 

HelloFresh’s behavior-triggered email

HelloFresh is a popular subscription meal kit service. The onboarding sequence involves personalized emails when people subscribe to their email list but aren’t customers yet. Specifically, they get emails that vary based on what they do on the website, whether by looking at menus or getting to know the brand. 

Birchbox’s hyper-personalization

Birchbox uses hyper-personalization to encourage subscribers to engage with its skincare and cosmetic products. It looks at subscriber data to make specific recommendations. Thus, Birchbox offers a perfect example of personalization via product recommendations. This is simple to do with segmentation and automation. You can also create this type of personalized content based on purchase history. 

BBC’s email gamification

A fun example of personalized marketing comes from the BBC. Instead of a standard email, they send subscribers a gamified one. Hovering over images of animals tells the recipient more about them via dynamic content. This helps build anticipation and excitement while also teaching about the brand. You can also incorporate gamification into opt-ins and email sign-ups. 

Spotify’s user-based marketing campaigns

Spotify has plenty of examples of personalization, such as its “radio playlists.” In 2016, they ran a creative and personalized campaign to turn users’ listening habits into a fun, attention-grabbing sign. Then, when 2019 came to a close, they used customer data to make a decade playlist. This is a unique take on a personalized marketing strategy. It uses customer data to target the audience as a whole instead of personalized messages. 

HubSpot’s account rep personalized triggered emails

HubSpot experimented with sending the response emails to opt-ins from either the company at large or a marketing team representative. Sending the messages from a team member boosted the click-through rate to 0.96% and gained an extra 292 clicks. This is an excellent example of how you don’t need different messages to improve engagement; even changing the sender can work.

Spartan Race’s location-based email

Spartan Race keeps customization simply by personalizing the emails based on where their customers are. This ensures that recipients get relevant information. 

Vidyard’s incredible personalization videos

Vidyard offers an extreme example of personalization that only smaller businesses with fewer customers can hope to achieve realistically. They sent customized welcome videos to new customers, including their names written on a whiteboard and spoken. Use them as an example and consider personalized videos if you have the resources. 

This tech company’s segmentation is based on in-app actions

A small business example is an unnamed tech company that segmented its customers based on their interactions in the app. This began with whether or not they registered and also included other actions. 

checking SMS on mobile phone

Five personalized marketing statistics and trends to watch for with SMS marketing

The following statistics can help show you the importance of personalized messages and creating other personalized marketing campaigns. 

Preferences of customers

One survey found that 31% of customers prefer a more personalized shopping experience. 

Other research shows that almost three-quarters of customers are annoyed or frustrated by impersonal shopping and marketing. More than 70% of shoppers will only respond to advertising efforts customized to fit their interests.  

Another relevant figure is that 90% of consumers feel that personalized marketing content is at least “somewhat” appealing. 

Customers prefer personalized marketing, so you will notice a boost in customer satisfaction and loyalty when using a personalization strategy like SMS targeting and SMS for customer service.

Open rates

If you send a personalized email, customers are 29% more likely to open it. Additionally, customized emails are six times as good at driving transactions.

Other email data looks at personalization in just the subject line versus just the message versus both. The average open rate is 7.4%, 18.8%, and 5.9%, respectively and a click-through rate of 0.4%, 2.1%, and 0.2%, respectively.

Personalizing your texts can also boost the conversion rate by 51% and the click-through rate by 49%.

Growing customer expectations

Customers now expect to receive personalized marketing messages. One study found that 31% of customers expect to see personalized online ads after introducing themselves to a business. 32% expect a relevant discount, 27% expect personalized product recommendations via the app or website, and 25% expect a personalized newsletter.

52% of customers say they will shop elsewhere if an email does not have personalization. 

Transaction rates

As mentioned, personalized emails are six times as likely to drive transactions than non-personalized ones. 

Purchasing behaviors

An Evergage study found that 96% of marketers felt personalization helped advance the customer relationship, with 88% seeing a noticeable boost to business due to personalization. 

Common personalize text messages mistakes to avoid

As you work on your campaign personalization, be sure to avoid the following common mistakes. 

Letting customer data records disappear

For effective text messaging personalization, you need to have accurate customer data. As such, one of the most common mistakes is failing to update your data. This can lead to sending messages to an old number or sending promotions that are no longer relevant to their interests.

The good news is that every time you update the information or confirm it is still accurate, you get a chance to re-engage with your customers. Keeping customers engaged will help keep your brand in mind. 

As a reminder, some of the customer information and data you should have on hand include: 

  • Birthdate
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address

Thus, the more data you have, the more value you can add to customers by showing them relevant products and relevant offers. 

Over-personalizing messages

While you want to make the messages personalized, you don’t want to do so to an extreme extent. Having too many custom fields comes off as too much or even creepy. If you make the message too personalized, customers may worry about the amount of personal information you collect on them. Or it may simply seem too robotic. 

Skipping the double check

You are likely to send customized text messages via a program. It will have the information on your customers and know where to input it. For example, it will replace [name] with the customer’s name. 

Even if you completely trust your platform and have used it for years, it’s always wise to double-check that the fields populate correctly. While a personalized message is excellent for the customer experience, one addressed to “Name” shows a lack of attention to detail on your end. And it only takes a second or two to confirm everything is working correctly. 

Conclusion: Starting to send personalized text messages to customers

With all the above examples and tips, you are ready to send personalized texts to your customers. Podium is an excellent platform to get you started for free, as it has all the tools you need. You will be able to create personalized campaigns with ease. 

With personalized experiences, you will notice increased brand loyalty, drive conversions of potential customers, and improve customer satisfaction based on a personal touch. 

Isaiah Rendorio
Isaiah Rendorio Product Marketing Manager, Campaigns

Isaiah Rendorio is the Product Marketing Manager for Podium Campaigns—helping local businesses tap into the power of SMS marketing to strengthen customer relationships, increase customer lifetime value, and drive more revenue.

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.