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SMS Fatigue: Signs Your Customers Are Tired of Your Texts (And How to Re-Engage Them)


Symbols representing "SMS fatigue" or "over-messaging" in ecommerce

In the world of ecommerce, SMS marketing is an efficient tool for driving engagement and sales. Its immediacy and high open rates make it a valuable channel for brands to reach customers directly. However, like any marketing channel, SMS comes with its own set of challenges - one of the most significant is SMS fatigue.

SMS fatigue, simply put, is when your customers start to tune out your text messages. It happens when subscribers feel overwhelmed by the frequency or irrelevance of your communication. The consequences can be harmful for ecommerce brands: decreased open rates, lower click-through rates and a spike in unsubscribe rates.

Worse yet, bombarding customers with unwanted messages can damage your brand reputation and customer lifetime value (LTV).

The good news however is that SMS fatigue is not inevitable. By recognizing the early warning signs and implementing proactive strategies, you can re-engage your subscribers and revitalize your SMS marketing efforts.

The following article article covers the ins and outs of identifying the symptoms of SMS fatigue, understanding its root causes, and offering actionable solutions to win back your audience's attention and drive meaningful results.

Recognizing the Red Flags: Signs Your Customers Are Experiencing SMS Fatigue

SMS fatigue is a silent threat to your SMS marketing and overarching brand success - it slowly erodes engagement and if left unchecked, can damage your brand reputation and customer lifetime value (LTV).

But how do you know if your subscribers are experiencing fatigue? Here are some key red flags to watch out for:

  • Decreased Open Rates: If your open rates are steadily declining, it's a clear sign that your messages are not grabbing your subscribers' attention. They might be deleting your texts without even reading them. This shouldn't be the north star metric though because almost every text sent to a customer is read (due to the nature of mobile phone notifications). There should be a great emphasis on what happens after it's read.
  • Lower Click Through Rates (CTR): A drop in CTR indicates that even when subscribers open your messages, they're not finding them compelling enough to click on any links. This could mean your offers are not enticing or your messages are not relevant to their interests.
  • Increased Unsubscribes: This is the most obvious sign of SMS fatigue. If subscribers are opting out, it means they're no longer finding value in your messages and are actively seeking to avoid them.
  • Negative Feedback: Keep an eye on social media mentions, comments and even direct replies to your texts. Negative feedback or complaints about the frequency or content of your messages can be a clear indication that you're pushing the limits of subscriber patience.
  • Decreased Response Rates: If you're using SMS for two-way communication (eg. customer service or polls), a decline in response rates might signal that customers are tired of hearing from you.
  • Inactivity: If subscribers who used to be engaged have suddenly gone silent, this could be a sign that they're no longer interested in your messages.

By monitoring these key indicators, you can proactively identify signs of SMS fatigue and take steps to re-engage your subscribers before it's a bit too late. 

Understanding the Causes of SMS Fatigue

SMS fatigue is a multi-faceted problem, often stemming from a combination of factors. By understanding the root causes, you can tailor your approach to re-engagement and prevention.

Here's what typically triggers SMS fatigue:

Frequency Overload: Even your most loyal customers have a limit to how many texts they want to receive. Bombarding subscribers with daily messages, especially if they're primarily promotional, is a solid way to exhaust their patience. Remember to use SMS as a personal channel and respect customer's space.

Irrelevant Content: A generic message blast is the enemy of engagement. When your texts lack relevance to a customer's interests, past purchases or current needs, they're quickly dismissed as spam. Each message should feel like it was crafted specifically for them.

Lack of Personalization: Customers want to feel like more than just a number on your list. Sending impersonal messages devoid of their name, purchase history or any reference to their individual preferences can quickly alienate them. helps achieve this personalization at scale across your SMS list. 

Poor Timing: There's a time and a place for everything. Sending SMS messages at odd hours, during holidays or when they're likely to be busy can be intrusive and annoying. Consider time zones, local events and your customer's daily routines when scheduling campaigns.

Lack of Value: If your messages consistently lack substance or fail to offer something beyond a generic discount, subscribers will eventually tune out. Focus on providing value through exclusive offers, helpful tips, sneak peeks or engaging content that enhances their experience with your brand.'s hyper-personalized marketing talking to an ecommerce brand's customer and getting feedback

By understanding and addressing these root causes, you can implement SMS campaigns that resonate with your audience, drive engagement and ultimately boost customer lifetime value (LTV).

Strategies to Re-Engage and Combat SMS Fatigue

SMS fatigue is evidently a serious and surprisingly common challenge, however it's one that can be overcome with the right strategies.

Here's how to rethink your SMS marketing approach and re-engage your audience:

Refresh Your SMS List

A clean and engaged SMS list is the foundation of a successful campaign.

  • Double Opt-in: Require subscribers to confirm their opt-in. This ensures they genuinely want to receive your messages and reduces the risk of early unsubscribes.
  • Regular Cleaning: Don't be afraid to remove inactive subscribers. A smaller, engaged list is far more valuable than a larger, uninterested one.
  • Preference Center: Give subscribers control over their experience. Allow them to choose the types of messages they receive (eg. promotions, product updates, news) and how often. This empowers them to choose their own engagement level and reduces the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed.

Segmentation and Personalization

Just like with email, segmentation and personalization are key to SMS success.'s platform identifying high value ecommerce customers
  • Segment Strategically: Divide your subscribers into groups based on demographics, purchase history, preferences, purchase probability and engagement levels. This allows you to tailor your messages to resonate with each group's unique interests.
    • helps brand's go deeper with segmentation by using AI to learn from each customer's individual journey and segment them with similar customers based off location, purchase probability, purchase date & last purchased product etc to create detailed segments of as many as 5-10 customers. 
  • Get Personal: Go beyond just using names. Reference past purchases, offer location specific deals and send recommendations based on individual browsing behavior. This creates a 1:1 conversation that customers will appreciate.

Offer Real Value, Not Just Sales Pitches

If every text is a push to buy, your subscribers will quickly tune out. Vary your content to include:

  • Exclusive Deals: Offer discounts, promotions or early access to sales that are only available to SMS subscribers.
  • Helpful Content: Share styling tips, product care guides or behind-the-scenes glimpses to keep them engaged and provide value beyond the transaction.
  • Interactive Content: Ask questions, conduct polls or create quizzes to foster two-way communication and gather valuable feedback.

Optimize Timing and Frequency

Nobody wants to be woken up by a promotional text at 3 AM. Be mindful of your subscribers' time and preferences:

  • Analyze Engagement: Use data to determine when your audience is most likely to open and engage with your messages.
  • Be Respectful: Avoid sending messages during holidays or late at night.
  • Less Can Be More: Don't over communicate. Test different frequencies to find the sweet spot that keeps your brand top-of-mind without becoming intrusive.

Listen to Feedback

Pay attention to responses, unsubscribes and social media mentions. This feedback is invaluable for understanding what's working and what's not. Use it to refine your strategy and ensure your SMS campaigns deliver value and drive results.

Quick Tip: Consider using an SMS marketing platform that allows for easy segmentation, personalization and automation. This will save you time and streamline your efforts.

Using AI to Re-Engage Lapsed SMS Subscribers

While implementing proactive strategies to combat SMS fatigue is crucial, what if you already have a segment of subscribers who have disengaged? Or what if you want to proactively understand each of your customer's needs on a 1-1 level and stop them from ever getting fatigued?

An hyper-personalized email example

This is where AI powered personalization and life-cycle marketing comes into play.

Re-engagement Reimagined: The Approach is an AI-driven platform that takes SMS personalization to the next level. It goes beyond basic segmentation and offers a hyper-personalized approach to re-engage lapsed subscribers. Here's how it works:

  1. Identifying At-Risk Customers: analyzes your customer data to identify those who are showing signs of churn or inactivity. This includes factors like declining purchase frequency, decreased engagement with messages and negative feedback.

  2. Tailoring Messaging to Individual Needs:'s AI engine crafts hyper-personalized messages that address each customer's unique situation. These messages can include tailored product recommendations, references to past purchases or feedback and even location-specific offers.

  3. Automating Win-Back Campaigns: automates the process of sending out these personalized messages, ensuring that your efforts are consistent and scalable. This frees up your team to focus on other aspects of your business while still delivering a high-touch experience to lapsed subscribers. using hyper-personalization to re-engage a lapsed customer

Why Works

  • Deep Data Analysis:'s AI digs deep into your customer data to uncover hidden patterns and insights that inform its personalization strategies.
  • Human-Like Conversations: Our platform generates messages that feel like they were written by a real person, not a machine, creating a more engaging and authentic experience. This goes a step further when holds entire conversations with customers over email & sms and later leverages their feedback for future outreach.
  • Proven Results: has a track record of leading ecommerce brands re-engage lapsed subscribers and increase owned channel sales and customer lifetime value (LTV).

Key Takeaways

SMS marketing holds immense potential for ecommerce brands, but SMS fatigue is a real threat that can undermine your efforts. By understanding the warning signs, addressing the root causes and implementing proactive strategies, you can re-engage lapsed subscribers and foster a healthier, more loyal customer base.

Remember, the key to SMS success lies in delivering value, building relationships and treating each customer as an individual. Prioritize quality over quantity, personalize your messaging and be mindful of timing. By embracing these strategies, you'll transform your SMS channel into an efficient tool for driving engagement, increasing customer lifetime value and profitably growing your business.