Let’s face it: Today’s consumers are getting burned out from an overwhelming amount of email and call marketing. Spam folders, call flagging, and call blocking are all making it harder for performance marketers to get their message to the right people. A whopping eight out of ten Americans no longer pick up calls from unknown numbers, and privacy regulations are growing stronger by the day. 

However, amidst this burnout is a new opportunity for marketers: SMS messaging. 

After all, the average person spends a whopping four hours per day on their mobile device, and checks their phone over 150 times per day. The variety of use cases for SMS are abundant. Texts can be used for a wide range of marketing purposes, from new user acquisition and remarketing or reengagement promotions, to creating a two-way dialogue between the brand and customers that builds stronger relationships.

At the 2021 Contact.IO conference, we attended a session hosted by Monica Woller, VP of Program Management at Drips, and Bryce Marshall, VP of Key Accounts at Drips, to find out how marketers can use psychological tactics to create SMS texts that convert.

The Psychology of Messaging 

There are nine psychological messaging tactics that can be used to get your prospects or customers to convert. Let’s take a look at each and how they work:

  1. Scarcity
    As we all know, people always seem to want what they can’t have! An easy way to convince people to make a purchase decision is to make them feel like your product or service is limited. This tactic makes them more likely to buy now since they feel it might not be an option for them later.Some examples of this tactic include messaging like:

    • This is a 20% limited time offer.
    • Only five seats left…
    • Invite-only!
  2. Concession
    When people perceive a business conceding to them with a discount or promotion, they’re more likely to purchase it, even if they don’t need it. This is due to the perceived value of the product! An example message could say “[X] Was $500 – now, get it for 20% off!” or “This discount is for existing customers only!”.
  3. Liking
    This may seem obvious, but it’s overlooked more than you might think: We’re more likely to buy from a brand or person if we like that brand or person. This is the same psychology behind brands using pet mascots or celebrity spokespersons to increase their fan engagement. Sending personalized messages that make your prospect or customer feel they’re in a two-way relationship with you goes a long way
  4. Social Proof
    What better example of social proof than the classic line from the movie “When Harry Met Sally,” wherein a fellow diner at the restaurant proudly said, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Simply put: People trust other people, and will follow suit when they hear that someone they trust is happy with a service or product.
  5. Recency/Explanatory
    This tactic refers to timeliness and context behind the interaction: Why are you contacting this person? Pre-empt the “Who is this?!” question by reminding them that they have a previous connection with you. This timeliness in the right context makes people want to convert more quickly in today’s fast-moving landscape.
  6. Reciprocity
    A great way to get a consumer to trust you right off the bat is by providing something of value to them upfront – before asking the consumer for their consideration. This “value” can be found in anything from a free webinar to a complimentary eBook. 
  7. Consistency and commitment
    Another strategy to try is getting your foot in the door before asking for any kind of commitment. It’s certainly easier to get someone to agree to something simple and small than to immediately ask for a huge commitment like a contract signing. Once a person agrees to a small commitment, you can make a second step or larger commitment. This works because no one wants to go back on their word! An example of this tactic is simply asking them to opt in to hear about future offers from your brand or to be alerted when similar products are available in the future. 
  8. Priming
    Get the initial “yes” before the big “yes”! Create interactions that ultimately lead to the outcome you want. Essentially, you should provide appropriate stimuli based on the consumer’s behavioral history and encourage positive responses before you ask for the sale. 
  9. Authority
    Consumers inherently respect authority figures, so job titles matter within your messaging! Write SROs or use testimonials from people with leading titles like President, VP, CEO, etc. to gain more trust and credibility from your audience.

Last, but not least…

Now that you’re a pro at crafting texts that convert, don’t forget to ensure that all of your SMS outreach is fully compliant with federal and state privacy regulations! Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per text. For example, if a business sent 10 text messages to one consumer, there is a potential statutory fine of $5,000 to a single consumer if they can prove a willful TCPA violation. 

Luckily, you can send SMS messages with peace of mind when you document consumer consent with TrustedForm! 

TrustedForm is considered the highest standard for documenting proof of TCPA consent for both text messages and outbound calls. With its video replay, marketers can easily pull the URL with video playback to dismiss a potential lawsuit before it ever becomes a problem.


SMS outreach – conducted with the proper TCPA precautions in place – shows incredible promise as a marketing channel for all industries. At ActiveProspect, our platform works to help marketers like you take advantage of all outreach channels in a safe, cost-efficient, and scalable way.