International SMS Marketing: Definition, Process, Benefits & More!

by Mahmud Kabir - April 29, 2024 No Comments 12:22 pm

International SMS marketing is a powerful and effective way for businesses to connect with customers across the globe. As mobile phone usage continues to grow worldwide, SMS has emerged as a direct and reliable method of communication, allowing businesses to engage with audiences in different countries and regions. This form of marketing leverages text messaging to deliver promotions, updates, and important information directly to customers’ mobile devices.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various aspects of international SMS marketing, including its definition, process, best practices, benefits, and more.

What Is International SMS Marketing?

What Is International SMS Marketing

International SMS marketing is a form of mobile marketing where businesses send promotional or informational text messages to customers in different countries. It is easy to communicate directly with customers on their mobile phones. Companies can use this method to share product updates, special offers, or other news.

This type of marketing allows businesses to reach a global audience quickly and efficiently. However, knowing different countries’ regulations and privacy laws is vital when using international SMS marketing. Additionally, companies should respect customers’ preferences and offer them the option to unsubscribe from messages. By doing this, businesses can effectively use international SMS marketing to connect with customers worldwide.

How Do I Set Up International SMS?

How Do I Set Up International SMS

Setting up international SMS can be a straightforward process when you follow the right steps. Here’s how you can do it:

Format the Recipient’s Phone Number

When sending an international SMS, you need to format the recipient’s phone number correctly. Start with the international prefix, which is either “00” or “+.” Then, add the country code followed by the recipient’s phone number.

For example:

Using “00” as the international prefix: 001613512343478

Using “+” as the international prefix: +11613512343478

Verify the Country Code

Make sure you are using the correct country code for the recipient’s country. Country codes are usually one to three digits long and can be found online.

Check for Special Regulations

Some countries have specific regulations about international SMS, such as opt-in requirements or content restrictions. Make sure you are aware of any rules for the country to which you are sending messages.

Choose an International SMS Service Provider

Work with a provider that offers international SMS services. These companies often have experience with global messaging and can ensure your messages are delivered accurately and efficiently.

Test Your Message

Before launching a large international SMS campaign, test your message by sending it to a few international numbers. This will help you confirm that the message is formatted correctly and reaches the recipients.

Schedule Messages Appropriately

When scheduling your SMS messages, consider different time zones. Aim to send messages at a time that is convenient for your recipients.

Monitor Delivery and Engagement

Track the delivery and engagement rates of your international SMS messages. This information can help you refine your strategy and improve future campaigns.

Follow Up on Unsent Messages

In some cases, messages may not be delivered due to network issues or incorrect numbers. Monitor your campaign’s delivery status and follow up as necessary.

Benefits Of International SMS Marketing 

Benefits Of International SMS Marketing 

International SMS marketing is an effective and powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with customers on a global scale. Here are the key benefits of international SMS marketing:

1. Saves Money

International SMS marketing is a budget-friendly option for businesses. Compared to traditional advertising methods like print, TV, or even some online advertising, SMS marketing is much cheaper. Sending text messages costs very little per message, and the price can be even lower when you target a large group of people at once. This means you can reach many potential customers without spending much Money. 

SMS is also a direct and immediate way to communicate, so your message gets to the audience quickly. For businesses, this cost-effective approach makes SMS marketing an excellent choice for campaigns, especially when trying to connect with an international audience. It’s a simple and affordable method for expanding your reach and promoting your products or services.

2. Communication Directly

International SMS marketing enables businesses to engage directly with clients across different countries, fostering a personal and immediate connection. Text messages are more likely to capture customers’ attention because they feel more personal and direct compared to other forms of communication like emails. 

This one-on-one interaction helps businesses understand their customers’ preferences and needs better, leading to increased loyalty and retention. Through SMS marketing, businesses can provide timely updates, promotions, and offers, making customers feel valued and appreciated.

Additionally, as text messages can be sent instantly, businesses can respond quickly to customer inquiries and feedback, providing an efficient and effective communication channel. This direct engagement can build stronger relationships with customers, making them more likely to remain loyal and choose the business’s products or services over competitors.

3. Impressive Open Rates: 

International SMS marketing offers a significant advantage in open rates, with figures sometimes surpassing 90%. This is much higher than email marketing’s typical open rates of 20-30%. The high open rate means that more people in your audience are likely to see and read your messages. 

This can lead to a stronger impact on your marketing campaign, as a larger portion of your potential customers will be engaged with your content. Since SMS messages are concise and often read quickly, they grab attention effectively. This makes SMS marketing a powerful tool for reaching international audiences and ensuring your message is heard.

4. Rapid Delivery: 

SMS marketing’s quick delivery is a key advantage, particularly on an international scale. Text messages are sent instantly and reach your audience in just a few minutes. This speed is perfect for delivering time-sensitive promotions, important updates, or urgent notifications worldwide.

Since most people keep their phones closed, they tend to read text messages soon after receiving them. This makes SMS an effective way to engage with customers at the right moment. For instance, you can promptly notify them of a flash sale, appointment reminder, or flight change.

Being able to deliver messages swiftly across different time zones can help you maintain consistent communication with your international customers. Quick delivery ensures your message reaches your audience without any delays, allowing you to keep them informed and engaged effectively. 

 5. Observable Results: 

International SMS marketing offers the benefit of observable results, making it easy to track the performance of campaigns. Key metrics such as delivery, open, response, and conversion rates provide insights into the effectiveness of the marketing effort. Marketers can monitor these data points to assess real-time performance and make informed decisions to adjust their strategies.

By analyzing these metrics, businesses can identify what’s working well and what needs improvement. This precise measurement of return on investment (ROI) helps refine future campaigns for better engagement and higher conversion rates. The ability to see how campaigns are performing allows marketers to improve their strategies and continuously achieve better results over time. 

6. Extensive Reach: 

International SMS marketing offers extensive reach, making it an effective way to connect with a large audience worldwide. Since mobile phones are widely used, SMS can deliver messages directly to people’s devices. Unlike email or app-based marketing, this method works even in areas with limited or no internet access. 

As a result, you can engage with target customers in various regions around the world. By utilizing SMS, businesses can communicate with potential clients across different countries, creating more opportunities for engagement and growth. This broad reach makes international SMS marketing a versatile and valuable tool for businesses aiming to connect with customers globally.

Related Post: 9 Key Benefits Of SMS Marketing You Need To Know

Some Best Practices For International SMS Marketing

Some Best Practices For International SMS Marketing

To effectively implement an this SMS marketing campaign, it’s important to adhere to best practices that account for cultural differences, legal requirements, and customer preferences. Here are some best practices to consider:

Understand Customers’ Attitudes Toward Text Messaging

Before implementing an SMS campaign in a particular country, it is essential to understand how people in that region feel about receiving text messages from businesses. In some countries, SMS marketing may be well-received, while in others, customers may perceive it as intrusive. Conducting market research and considering regional preferences can help tailor your strategy and avoid alienating customers.

Seek Customer Consent

Customers value transparency and control over the messages they receive. Always ask for explicit permission before sending SMS messages to international customers. This not only builds trust but also helps you comply with various legal regulations. Provide clear opt-in and opt-out options to allow customers to manage their subscriptions to your messages.

Localize Message Content

Localization goes beyond language translation; it involves adapting the content and tone of your message to fit the cultural norms and preferences of each target audience. This includes using appropriate greetings, references, and images. Localizing your content can improve customer engagement and demonstrate respect for the audience’s culture.

Stay Compliant with SMS Regulations

Each country has its regulations governing SMS marketing, including laws related to consent, opt-out mechanisms, and message frequency. Stay informed about the legal requirements in each region you are targeting and ensure your campaigns adhere to these regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines, legal action, and reputational damage.

Coordinate Send Times Across Different Time Zones

When sending SMS messages internationally, take time zones into account. Sending messages at inconvenient times can irritate customers and lead to higher opt-out rates. Schedule your messages to be delivered at times that are convenient for the local audience.

Partner with an International SMS Service

Collaborating with an international SMS service provider can streamline your campaign and help you navigate the complexities of sending messages across borders. These services often have established relationships with local carriers and can provide insights into best practices for each region.

Develop Campaigns Around Community Happenings

Building campaigns around local events and community happenings can enhance customer engagement. Stay informed about significant dates, holidays, and cultural events in the regions you’re targeting. Crafting messages that resonate with these occasions can make your campaigns more relevant and appealing to your audience.

Segment Customers to Create Personalized Experiences

Segmenting your audience based on factors such as location, preferences, and behavior allows you to tailor messages to specific groups. Personalized messages are more effective in capturing attention and encouraging action. By delivering targeted content, you can improve customer satisfaction and campaign performance.

Keep Messages Clear and Concise

SMS messages have limited character space, so keep your content straightforward and focused on a single call to action. Avoid using jargon or complex language that may be misunderstood. Simplicity and clarity are key to effective SMS marketing.

Monitor and Analyze Campaign Performance

Track the performance of your international SMS campaigns to assess their effectiveness. Metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates can provide insights into what is working and what needs improvement. Use this data to refine your strategies and optimize future campaigns.

Establish a Consistent Brand Voice

Maintain a consistent brand voice across all SMS messages, ensuring your campaigns align with your overall brand identity. A consistent voice helps build trust and recognition with customers, regardless of their location.

Offer Value to Customers

Customers are more likely to engage with SMS campaigns that offer them something of value. Consider providing exclusive promotions, discounts, or early access to products and services. Offering value can increase customer loyalty and encourage continued engagement.

Consider the Impact of Language and Tone

Pay attention to the language and tone of your messages, as different cultures may have varying interpretations of specific phrases or styles. Use inclusive and respectful language to avoid alienating or offending any group.

Plan for Potential Challenges

Be prepared for potential challenges such as message delivery issues or varying network capabilities in different regions. Work with your SMS service provider to troubleshoot and address these challenges to ensure your campaigns run smoothly.

Build Strong Relationships

Foster strong relationships with your international customers by maintaining open communication and providing excellent customer service. Respond to customer inquiries and feedback promptly to build trust and loyalty.


How can I comply with international SMS regulations?

Compliance with international SMS regulations involves obtaining explicit consent from recipients before sending messages and providing clear opt-in and opt-out options. Additionally, stay informed about the specific laws and regulations in each country you are targeting.

What type of content works best for international SMS marketing?

The best content for international SMS marketing is clear, concise, and focused on providing value to the customer. Offers, promotions, and important updates work well. It’s also important to localize content to the audience’s language and cultural preferences.

How can I measure the success of my international SMS marketing campaigns?

Success can be measured using metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Tracking these metrics can help you assess the effectiveness of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement.

How do I handle language barriers in international SMS marketing?

To handle language barriers, you should localize your messages by translating them into the local language and using culturally appropriate references and phrases. This helps ensure your messages are well-received by the target audience.

How can I segment my international SMS audience?

You can segment your international SMS audience based on factors such as location, language, preferences, and behavior. This allows you to send targeted messages to specific groups, improving engagement and campaign performance.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in international SMS marketing?

Common mistakes to avoid include sending messages at inconvenient times for the recipient’s time zone, not personalizing messages, and failing to follow local regulations. Additionally, avoid sending too many messages, as this can lead to opt-outs and disengagement.

Are you New to SMS Marketing? Let Us Help You!

Are you new to SMS marketing and looking for guidance? Let us help you get started! At Oyolloo, we specialize in easy-to-understand and implement SMS marketing solutions. Our team will guide you through setting up your campaigns, reaching your target audience, and crafting effective messages.

We offer personalized support to help you achieve your goals and connect with your customers. Whether you’re aiming to promote a new product, share important updates, or engage your audience, we have the expertise to make your SMS marketing successful. Contact us today to get started on your SMS marketing journey!

About The Author

Dedicated creator and storyteller with a passion for crafting compelling narratives. A perpetual learner, finding inspiration in every experience. Enthusiast of technology, art, and the great outdoors. Striving to make a positive impact through creativity. Believer in kindness, the power of words, and the magic of a good book.

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