9 SMS templates for your Back-to-School marketing campaign


It is that time of the year again – summer is almost over and students are already prepping up for the next school year… Except nothing is like it used to be. The global pandemic still brings more questions than answers and lots of uncertainties. Will students attend schools and universities in the following months or should they prepare for at-home learning for an uncertain period of time? Noone knows what the right answer is.

One thing is for sure – families will still need to provide the necessary school supplies for their children, and university students will still need to prepare for the start of the new year. Spending is going to increase immensely since families might need to equip their homes to fit the new virtual reality. Parents will buy more laptops, computer accessories and other equipment in order to create a designated learning space at home.

According to a survey by the NRF, parents with children in elementary, middle or high school plan to spend an average of $789.49 compared to $696.70 last year. The expenses for a college student are expected to reach $1,059.20 per family, again – breaking the record of $976.78 from 2019. Overall, in 2020 Back-to-School spending is expected to reach $101.6 billion – an all time record

And even if B&M stores have started slowly reopening, 55% of shoppers will make their purchases for the next school year online. Among top products customers plan to buy because of e-learning are laptops, speakers & headphones, other electronic accessories and desks or chairs, as shown below:

Other traditionally popular product categories around this time of the year are school supplies, clothing, accessories and shoes.

Now let’s review some tips backed up with corresponding SMS templates that will help you score an A+ on your Back-to-School campaigns. 

Schedule smartly 

Start NOW – most families will use the second half of August to start looking for valuable offers. Extend your sales until the first weekend after the start of the school year, to make sure you benefit from procrastinating parents and their last minute-purchases. For best results send your first SMS now with a follow-up text message including a small incentive in the beginning of September.

Template 1: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, it’s Back-to-School time! Prep your family for excellence with the help of our wide selection of school supplies! {SiteUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 2: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, make sure you check every item off your Back-to-School list before the first bell! All products now at 10% off! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Sell smartly

Make your offer appealing – especially now people are focused on saving money and are actively searching for discounts. Offer special promotions such as BOGO, free shipping and extended return. Complementary items or exclusive Back-to School bundles at marked prices will also help attract new customers and boost the AOV of your store. 

Template 1: Hey {FirstName}, is your family all set up for home-schooling? Enjoy an exclusive 30% discount at {SiteName} on all ergonomic equipment: {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 2: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, time to suit up and get an A+ in style with our Buy One Get One promo – now available for shirts and jackets {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 3: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, enjoy a 25% discount and stock up on all the necessities for the upcoming school year! Valid until September 10.{DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 4: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, They say that 1+1=2. Well, not with us! Check out our Back-to-School bundles – now available at: {SiteUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Text smartly

Use the good ol’ F.O.M.O. Remind them the first school day is right around the (physical or virtual) corner, explicitly mention that your offers are time-sensitive and quantities are limited. Get personal in the copy of your text message, make your subscribers feel closer to your brand and products. Use some student lingo and try to add a pinch of humor, whenever possible.

Template 1: Hey {FirstName}, we at {SiteName} did Your homework and prepared some great school offers for the family! Enjoy A-grade discounts in the next 48 hours. {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 2: Hey {FirstName}, can you really get “Too Cool For School”? Let’s try it out with our new fall collection at {SiteName}. Free & contactless shipping! {DiscountCodeUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Template 3: {SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, School is Coming, and the kids might need new cool & ergonomic backpacks. Limited quantities left! {SiteUrl} Text STOP to opt out.

Class dismissed!

Today’s text marketing class might be over but the real school year hasn’t even started yet. Time to pack up your summer bags and head back to your store for your Back-to-school sale. Use our SMS templates for inspiration and start prepping your next text marketing campaign. 

One last tip to earn you some extra credit: don’t forget to be considerate of the situation and show empathy. Provide your subscribers with additional information about health and safety practices at your stores & storages, emphasize contactless shopping and delivery experience. All these small details will make people feel more connected with your brand and will boost their loyalty in the long run. 

This article originally appeared in the SMSbump blog and has been published here with permission.

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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

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To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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