What you know about SMS subscriptions is about to change.

Did you know that you can productize an SMS campaign? We’re talkin’ making money off the content you send via SMS.

Traditionally speaking, SMS marketing has been used for businesses for commonly for the following interactions: transactional and promotional. But today, we want to share how you can use SMS campaigns as a paid (or free) subscription / (slash) product model.

By the end of this article, you’ll know how to use SMS products to diversify your revenue stream with free and paid SMS products.

What are SMS subscriptions?

An SMS (text) subscription provides interested leads, clients, or customers with information pertaining to your business and offers.

When you think about receiving a message from a business or brand, you’ve most likely received a promotional or transactional message.

You’ve probably signed up for subscriptions for various industries like

  • Retail
  • Medical Practices
  • Food & Dining
  • Educational Institutions
  • Entertainment

Promotional SMS

These are messages that are sent on behalf of a business to promote an event, product, offer, or sale.

Its purpose is to inform and encourage the user to take action. In retail, cash registers (and employees) often use a lead magnet to encourage a user to sign up.

Like the example below:

Using this strategy is cost-efficient and allows you to reach a much larger audience quickly. Whether you’re a large or small business, incorporating promotional campaigns would be worth the effort to increase brand awareness.

SMS marketing is known to have higher open rates than email resulting in more customers reading what’s new in your business.

There is a common negative sentiment that customers express about promotional SMS marketing. Most consumers actually believe that promotional texts are annoying. So, it’s important to take this into account when creating promotional campaigns.

There has to be a respectable cadence for the number of promotional messages you send a customer.

The last thing you want is for your promotional efforts to damage your reputation.

Your messaging strategy is key so that you know how to approach your SMS list. Some users, will want to know all the specials or all the updates when it comes to your business or brand. While others, may not be so keen on receiving irrelevant sales texts.

Before you can begin sending any customer a promotional text, they’ll need to provide Express Written Consent.

Then there are transactional messages.

Transactional SMS

These are messages sent to users that are informational. They can be automated and triggered by a specific action.

Although, these types of messages aren’t always automated.

In healthcare, many medical practices use SMS to remind patients they have upcoming appointments. If they need to reschedule, the patient can reply back and office personnel can respond.

Some other examples include

  • Order confirmation
  • Account registration
  • Delivery updates
  • Order status
  • Account details
  • Account management

These messages are strictly informational, and have no promotional content nor include any type of CTA that results in a sale or lead acquisition.

And because there is no element of marketing or selling, you don’t need Express Written Consent. What you will need is Express Consent.

Express consent can be given verbally, over text, on a webpage, or by filling out a form provided to you by the business.

Transactional messages can be thought of as an extension of your business/brand’s customer support. Many times, customers opt to use SMS communication over a phone call.

Using SMS to relay important information can benefit your customer’s experience as updates are communicated in real-time and users are more prone to respond.

Both transactional and promotional SMS subscriptions allow you to increase your reach and improve your engagement rate since SMS messages have a 98% open rate. Meaning, more people are likely to read your message and know about your offer or when their next appointment is.

What are SMS Products?

SMS products are relatively similar to subscriptions since they both are created to benefit or offer your customer something of value.

The difference lies in the outcome and how communication is executed.

Here at SUBFLOW, we encourage service providers, online educators, and creative entrepreneurs to leverage SMS marketing to deliver their content and diversify their revenue stream.

Let’s say you’re a Social Media Strategist and use Thinkific to house your main course.

You can use SMS products by offering your course fundamentals in a new format. Where your traditional course has over 2 hours of lectures, an extensive library of worksheets, and a higher ticket price, you can reduce the SMS course into bite-sized lectures with the corresponding worksheet sent via a link to the PDF, webpage, or image.

A great alternative to diversify your income and offer your community an accessible format to enjoy your offer if they aren’t ready to commit to the larger investment.

Here at Subflow, we use the term “product” but you can also think of them as campaigns. They serve a similar purpose to align interested leads to that specific SMS segment.

How can I use SMS products for my business?

With SMS products you control whether the product is paid or free. Having a content strategy in place will guide you to make an informed decision on how to set it up.

If you’re starting out and want to grow your SMS list, consider having a free product or a free challenge that would allow users to get to know you and your business. You’ll have the opportunity to warm up your audience so when you have a paid product to promote they’ll be more interested since they’ll know what to expect from you.

With SUBFLOW, you can create an unlimited number of paid and free products.

You can run your free product for lead acquisitions and simultaneously run your paid product as well.

If you offer services that would thrive with a more direct communication channel like SMS, you can do so within any product, paid or free.

You have creative freedom when it comes to interacting with your customers on this platform.  This includes having complete reign over the level of personalization you’d like to create for individuals or segments.


SMS marketing has evolved beyond traditional promotional and transactional messages. Creative entrepreneurs can now productize their SMS campaigns and use them as paid or free subscriptions/products to support their businesses. By offering valuable information, courses, challenges, or services through SMS, entrepreneurs can diversify their revenue streams and increase engagement rates.

You can have complete control over the type of content you offer, whether it's a paid or free SMS product. It's an effective way to reach a larger audience and improve the customer experience. If you’d like to create your first SMS product with SUBFLOW for free click here.