The Insider secret to unleashing AI-powered SMS marketing magic

Katie Morley

Sep 21, 2023

The Insider secret to unleashing AI-powered SMS marketing magic Featured Image
Katie Morley

Sep 21, 2023

Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt the 2020s will be defined by constant connectivity. Yet, despite the emergence of new tools and channels, one stands out above all others for its effectiveness, directness, and immediacy: SMS. 

With a 98% open rate and an average response time of just 90 seconds, SMS is unrivaled for engaging with customers. As a marketer, if you’re not leveraging the power of SMS, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to connect with your audience on their favorite device, no matter where they are or what they’re doing—because who isn’t slightly addicted to their phone?

However, the days of sending generic, one-size-fits-all SMS blasts are long gone. We all know consumers are bombarded with information from every angle, and so personalization has become the cornerstone of successful marketing strategies. 

Did you know 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations? Marketers need to tailor their communication channels to each individual. And no matter how impactful SMS is, if you want to drive ROI, build customer loyalty, and hit business goals, you need to personalize your text messages, too.

Insider is an industry-leading platform for individualized cross-channel customer experiences. Not only are we recognized as G2’s best mobile marketing software, but brands including Samsung, Allianz, and Adidas trust us to personalize their customer experiences at scale. So, we do happen to know a thing or two about building highly effective personalized SMS campaigns. 

This article will dive into the significance of SMS marketing, exploring its impact and sharing strategies for maximizing its potential. We’ll also show you how, with Insider’s AI-driven personalization, you can elevate your SMS game to drive unprecedented engagement and tangible results.

Let’s get into it.

Table of Contents
  1. Why SMS?

  2. The power of personalization

  3. AI-powered SMS personalization with Insider

  4. 5 examples of turning generic texts into conversion-driving, personalized SMS campaigns

  5. How Slazenger gained 49X ROI in 8 weeks with personalized messaging

  6. Ready to leverage AI, personalize your SMS campaigns, and drive results?


Insider’s SMS and mobile app messaging capabilities have allowed us to reach customers on-the-go and in real-time. We have created personalized and targeted campaigns that have increased customer engagement and loyalty and the messaging capabilities have been especially effective in driving immediate actions, such as purchases or sign-ups. Additionally, the data analytics and reporting features have helped us optimize our campaigns and improve ROI.”

– Merve K., Head of Marketing,

Read more G2 reviews from happy customers

Why SMS? 

Effective SMS marketing isn’t just about grabbing attention, it’s about bringing true value to the user experience. Take a second to think about the countless notifications, emails, and ads that compete for users’ attention. SMS cuts through the noise and delivers messages directly into users’ hands—literally. In fact, 95% of text messages are read within the first three minutes. As a channel users opt into, SMS engagement is more than a message—it’s an ongoing conversation. 

What sets SMS apart?

  • Real-time interactions to instantly engage customers
    SMS messaging defines engagement. It offers a rapid, responsive way for businesses to connect with customers, bridging gaps with immediacy.
  • Enhanced convenience to meet customer needs
    Today, people want speed and simplicity. SMS delivers by providing quick solutions to queries and issues, amplifying satisfaction, and fostering loyalty.
  • Reach customers where they already are
    Customer preferences drive strategies. With SMS, businesses can engage customers who are already active to build strong connections.

Should’ve been a text: 7 ways to use SMS as a marketer

Still unsure if you need to introduce SMS to your marketing arsenal? The answer is you do. 

Here are seven campaign examples you can build to hit key business goals and re-engage your customers:

  1. Instant sales boost: Generate urgency with time-limited flash sale alerts and discount codes via SMS.
  2. Transparency and loyalty: Keep customers informed with order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery schedules sent via SMS.
  3. Engaging exclusivity: Build an exclusive rapport by sharing VIP event invites, sneak peeks, and content.
  4. Personalized recommendations: Harness data insights for tailored product recommendations delivered straight to their hand.
  5. Abandoned cart reminders: Revive abandoned carts and browsers with SMS reminders that nudge customers to complete their purchases.
  6. Feedback and surveys: Request valuable feedback by sending SMS surveys post-purchase. Gauge customer satisfaction, gather insights, and fine-tune your offerings based on real-time input.
  7. Event reminders: Ensure attendance at your events by sending timely SMS reminders with event details, schedules, and location information. Maximize turnout and engagement.
Reach your customers with relevant, timely SMS messages—wherever they are

The power of personalization

When choice fatigue is prevalent among buyers, the ability to stand out and truly connect with customers is paramount. The key to this connection? Personalization. 

According to an Epsilon report,  80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. This isn’t just a coincidence; it’s a testament to the emotional response that personalized interactions create. 

But why does personalization bring on such a strong response? Ultimately, it’s the sense of being understood, of having one’s preferences and needs acknowledged. This fosters a connection beyond a transactional relationship, transforming customers into loyal advocates. 

However, true personalization isn’t merely addressing recipients by their first names. You need to craft content that aligns with their preferences, behaviors, and aspirations.

Luckily, Insider can help.


Insider’s advanced Personalization capabilities increased our conversion rates by 20%. By leveraging data-driven insights, Insider has provided us with a deeper understanding of the preferences and behaviors of our users, allowing us to curate genuinely personalized experiences.”

Read more happy reviews from G2 customers

AI-powered SMS personalization with Insider

At the center of Insider’s personalization suite, is AI. Don’t worry; our industry-leading AI tech makes it more than just a LinkedIn buzzword. Insider’s personalization suite uses AI and machine learning to interpret customer intent, predict preferences using data insights, and craft messages that trigger action. 

It’s all found in Insider’s industry-leading Customer Data Platform (CDP), which unifies data from your SMS, website, app, email, CRM, POS, contact centers, and more to build a 360-degree view of every single customer. 

By analyzing attributes such as past behavior and purchase history, you can create deep audience segments or use our AI to make accurate predictions, enabling brands to design experiences that match each customer’s preferences and change customer journeys in real time.

6 game-changing Insider features to drive ROI for SMS campaigns

  1. The intuitive SMS campaign builder with customizable templates, so you can change and edit your SMS campaigns in the quickest time to value—without getting IT involved.
  2. Our deep customer segmentation empowers you to identify, define, and target your audience with 120+ attributes, including traits, behaviors, preferences, and more.
  3. Insider’s industry-leading AI-based insights instantly identify what’s important to each customer, so you can make quicker, smarter marketing decisions.
  4. Our catalog of 100+ pre-built templates to help you launch and customize one-to-one experiences—fast.
  1. AI-powered campaign automation and segmentation for sending relevant, timely messages and personalized product recommendations based on individuals.

Seamless integration allows you to unify event data from SMS with other channels to build a consistent, holistic view of every single customer. Imagine receiving a text about your favorite product just hours after you receive a 20% off push notification—we’d take it as a sign.

Unified customer data to increase conversions and SMS campaign effectiveness.

5 examples of turning generic texts into conversion-driving, personalized SMS campaigns

Getting permission to text your customer is often the easy part. It’s maintaining their permission that’s hard. To prevent opt-outs, you need to make sure your campaigns are:

  1. Timely: By using an SMS marketing platform that uses AI power to send the right message at the right time, every time. 
  2. Relevant: With personalized, high-value messages that resonate with your customer’s behavior and preferences.

Insider’s unified customer data powers SMS campaigns to make sure your messages hit the mark every time. 

Here are five examples of  SMS messages that maintain consent and drive action:

1. Increase AOV with real-time event triggers

Use real-time event triggers to send timely, relevant, and contextual messages to your customers depending on their journey stage and preferences.

For example: A customer of a retail brand has a high discount affinity. Past purchasing behavior shows they’re most likely to shop during a sale or with a discount code. The brand is launching a sale and wants to increase AOV.

Instead of sending out a general sale alert to hundreds of customers. Insider enables the brand to send targeted, personalized alerts about specific products each customer loves. 

In this example, Insider uses:

  • Discount affinity predictive segment: Data shows that the customer loves to shop during a sale.
  • Purchase history: To identify what products the customer has previously bought.
  • Real-time event trigger: To alert when relevant products have a price drop.
Send a text message to increase AOV with real-time event triggers

2. Increase conversions and decrease profit margins with restock notifications

Create hyper-personalized messages based on customer data, including first name and purchase history to encourage customers to restock their favorite repeat products.

For example: A beauty customer has bought the same moisturizer multiple times from their favorite beauty store. Instead of waiting for it to run out, the brand uses Insider to anticipate the customers’ upcoming need for a new moisturizer.

In this example, Insider uses:

  • First name data: For an added personalized touch and to boost customer loyalty.
  • Purchase history: To predict which products resonate most with the customer, and anticipate when they will next purchase.
  • Discount affinity predictive segment: Take the extra step of encouraging a purchase while protecting your profit margins by offering free shipping instead of a discount.
Send a text message to increase conversions and decrease profit margins with restock notifications

3. Reduce browse abandonment with real-time reminder nudges

Bring back those who left their cart unattended with in-the-moment and relevant reminder nudges to reduce browse abandonment and recover lost revenue.

 For example: A global bank wants to increase its credit card applications. The bank knows this is a high-involvement process, with customers going from brand to brand to find the best fit. To encourage applications, the bank sends out personalized cart reminder nudges to emulate the customized care future customers will experience across the bank’s services.

In this example, Insider uses:

  • First name data: To resonate with the customer from the get-go.
  • Cross-channel browsing history: To add relevant details based on website and product page visits.
  • Urgency and final push: Remind the customer why they want to go with you and encourage them to apply right away.
Use Insider to send text messages to reduce browse abandonment with real-time reminder nudges

4. Improve ROI with follow-up services and products

You know customers who have recently purchased are actively interested in your brand. Sending a follow-up text with a relevant service or product to complement their purchase is a quick way to improve ROI and save profit margins on already-engaged users.

For example: An automotive brand wants to improve ROI and reduce profit margins by upselling car services. The brand recognized that customers who had just purchased a car would be the most likely to treat themself to a service, so they built a follow-up cross-sell campaign around servicing the new car.

In this example, Insider uses:

  • First name data: To add a personalized element immediately and catch your customer’s eye.
  • Purchase history: To refer to the product previously purchased, and create a relevant follow-up message.
  • Likelihood to purchase segmentation: As a recent buyer, your customer can be segmented based on their likelihood of purchasing. With a high likelihood of purchase, you don’t need to use discounts or offers, simply make sure the text message is hyper-personalized, contextual, and relevant. 
Insider’s Architect to improve ROI with follow-up services and products

5. Re-engage users likely to churn with personalized offers

There are hundreds of reasons a customer might disengage from your brand—it’s up to you to make sure they don’t. With relevant, personalized offers, increasing your CLTV and re-engaging customers is worth the discount code. 

For example: A travel brand wants to re-engage its customers over the most popular time to book a vacation. The brand builds a re-engagement campaign based on customers’ favorite locations.

In this example, Insider uses:

  • First name data: To build familiarity with a customer who may not have visited a channel for a while.
  • Likelihood to churn segmentation: To reference a previous purchase and remind the customer of their brand.
  • Purchase history: By specifying previous destinations the customer have visited.
  • Discount affinity segmentation: To send a relevant discount code and encourage a purchase.
Insider’s Architect to re-engage users likely to churn with personalized offers

How Slazenger gained 49X ROI in 8 weeks with personalized messaging

Slazenger was looking to improve its cart abandonment rate to boost conversions. The world-leading sports brand created powerful, personalized, and contextual messages to engage its customers across SMS, Web Push, and Email. By unifying its data and combining AI and personalization across multiple channels, Insider helped Slazenger re-engage cart abandoners and nudge them to complete their purchases.

Slazenger used Insider’s Architect to gain 49X ROI in 8 weeks

Ready to leverage AI, personalize your SMS campaigns, and drive results?

Supercharge your SMS strategy with Insider’s intuitive SMS builder. With over 120+ attributes and AI-powered segmentation, your messages will hit home every time. Plus, enjoy higher deliverability rates and cost-friendly pricing.

Insider fully integrates with your existing tech stack so there’s no need to migrate your ESP, just seamlessly weave SMS into your cross-channel journeys. From list building to campaign launch and insightful reporting, start building SMS campaigns that boost revenue and increase customer loyalty with Insider. Book a demo today.

About Insider

Insider—a single platform for building individualized, cross-channel experiences—enables enterprise marketers to connect customer data across channels and systems, predict their future behavior with an AI intent engine, and build individualized customer experiences. Marketers use Insider’s platform to deliver consistent and engaging experiences across Web, App, Web Push, Email, SMS, WhatsApp Commerce, and more.

Katie is an award-winning content marketer with over eight years of experience in content strategy, development, and copywriting. As Global Content Director at Insider, she currently oversees content strategy across 26 regions. Fun fact: Katie read 64 books last year (for which she owes a long commute and two week-long holidays where she spent approximately six hours a day with her nose in a book).