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Geo-Targeted Text Message Campaigns



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geo-targeted text message campaigns

Geo-fencing in SMS marketing is the key to reach your target audience and engage many new leads.

Have you ever thought that you can send bulk text messages to the clients when they pass near your restaurant, beauty salon, exhibition, sport club, cinema, any specialized event, etc.? The geo-targeting feature allows to identify the engaged recipient with a high accuracy and send him your promo SMS at the right time and place.

What is Geo-targeted text message?

This is a kind of SMS message sent to customers based on their location in a radius of 100 meters to 5 kilometers.

geo-targeted text message

This gives an opportunity to tailor SMS campaign to a client’s real-time location.

What kind of Geo-targeting you can use?

If we are speaking about sending text messages to mobile subscribers within a certain location, it is of importance to note that geo-targeting can be divided into offline and online. Let’s dwell on it in a detail way.

  1. Online geo-targetingThe main purpose is to reach those subscribers who are nearby your business objects.You choose the state or certain timezone or a zip code and send text message offers to only subscribers in a certain state, timezone or zip code. You can set the instant SMS delivery after client gets into the geo-fence or schedule the campaign on the specific time.We advise you to add as more targeting criteria as you can (age, gender) when creating the promotional campaign – this can make it more effective and you’ll benefit a lot.
  2. Offline geo-targetingMain purpose is to reach those who regularly visit the area you have selected.In addition to the geo-fence this mode allows tracking dates and frequency of visits. For example, “send SMS to subscribers who pass near Sport Club X-MEN at least 4 times a week”. This is a right way to focus on potential leads and customers who are confined to a particular spot where they work or live or spend time.
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How to use Geo-targeting SMS campaigns in mobile marketing

  1. First of all, be sure you have permission from your clients to send them any kind of text messages as well as promo messages. Never send SMS without customers consent!
  2. After you are allowed to send messages – you need to know their location. The clients also must give their permission for a mobile operator to share their location. Not every person will do it, they do not want “all-know” marketers to know where they go and what they are looking for :)

Depending on the needs of your business try to combine location with interest in creating a target mobile promo campaign.

Geo-targeting works well with location-based businesses. Typical examples are restaurants, large brand shops, service sector.

Let’s have a look at the Case Study: Domino’s Pizza Geo-targeted SMS campaign.

Domino’s Pizza 12,000 stores in 80 countries make it possible and necessary to send geo-targeted text messages. As previously noted, the first step is user consent. They placed the sign up form on their website. As you see, a user should fill in information about his state, city and address – necessary location data for future campaigns.

 Domino’s Pizza Geo-targeted SMS campaign

After filling the form customers receive a confirmation text message from Domino’s asking that they respond “yes” to confirm their signup.

Based on the collected information, Domino’s had a range of different geo-targeting options available to them.

  • Zip Code Targeting: text messages are sent to only subscribers in certain zip codes.
  • State Targeting: text messages are sent to only subscribers in certain states.
  • Timezone Targeting: text messages are sent to only subscribers in certain timezones.
  • Store Location Targeting: text messages are sent only to subscribers who live in the certain area (according to their city, state and address).
  • Radius Targeting: text messages are sent to only subscribers that are within a certain radius to their store.
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The result of such a geo-located campaign is the large amount of new customers.

Case Study: KFC example

Geo-targeted campaigns were also used by KFC. They sent a message with the nearest restaurant location to potential visitors when they were passing nearby. That SMS contained a special offer for a discount coupon.

The result is that in just 4 weeks, 11 million people found out the KFC restaurants location in their city; moreover 110 thousand of customers used discount coupons.
KFC example of geo-targeted campaigns

Case Study: UK Pizza Hut Geo-targeted SMS campaign example

During 15 months Pizza Hut sent geo-targeted SMS to the customers who subscribed and allowed text messaging. They used geo-fencing feature and selected geo-fence locations according to the zip-code. A text message was sent to a mobile subscriber when he got within a half-mile radius of any chosen location.

UK Pizza Hut Geo-targeted SMS campaign example

Pizza Hut mobile campaign succeeded 142% more than promo offers at other channels (TV and online ads).

Case Study: Kiehl’s geo-located promo campaign

American cosmetics brand Kiehl’s proposed customers to fill in the sign up form and subscribe to mobile promotional alerts.

Kiehl’s geo-located promo campaign

After the subscription, a new client was asked to share his location to continue participating in SMS program. Kiehl’s selected and set up the geo-fence so when a customer appeared near one of their stores, he received SMS with a special event or great offer.

As a result, after 6 months 73% of subscribers bought Kiehl’s products.


It goes without saying, no one promotional channel work successfully without proper customization to the particular business needs and potential leads. However, new ad generation, recent geo-targeted and geo-fence improvements, open up space for new opportunities for reaching and engaging the target audience, allowing you to create truly relevant bulk SMS campaigns.

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Written by: Daria Ivanishina