With SMS text message marketing continuing to grow in popularity, every business should work it into its digital marketing strategy.
But with strict opt-in procedures required, you can’t leap into your first text message campaign before you have a confirmed subscriber list (regardless of how many contact phone numbers you might already have simply through conducting business).
The good news is that about 91 percent of consumers would opt-in for text messages from brands.
Assuming you’re already prepared to use text message marketing best practices for your first text message marketing campaign or program, the following are four tips to help grow your text subscribers the right way.
Advertise your SMS marketing program on all channels
This likely sounds obvious, but it cannot be overstated. How can your customers and potential customers opt into your texting if they don’t know it exists or the value it offers?
It could be as simple as including a line everywhere you can about texting a keyword to a phone number to receive exclusive deals. It also can be a full-fledged promotional campaign.
Channels should include
You’ll want to think about how you can raise awareness about your text program on your:
- Website, where you can include an online sign-up form or a popup offer with a discount code.
- Social media accounts, where you can use compelling visuals and direct users to your online sign-up form.
- Emails, where you can dive into all the benefits of signing up and include a link to do so (a great way to convert your email subscribers into text subscribers).
- Analog paper (such as fliers, posters, even your receipts), where you can either use a QR code to make signing up online easy or offer paper sign-up forms.
Use a memorable, but simple, keyword
We mentioned that potential text subscribers could text a keyword to a phone number to opt in.
The more memorable you can make that keyword, the better. Don’t overthink it. Just put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Keep it simple
Remember your recipient is likely entering the keyword from their mobile phone. So make it easy to type.
Some example keywords include:
Often SMS keywords are show in upper case. Ideally your SMS marketing platform should handle keywords in any case.
What would make sense for your brand, reflect the point of the texting program, and be easy to remember if a customer doesn’t act immediately?
Offer an incentive to text subscribers
To help grow your text subscribers, consider offering an incentive for signing up. After all, you’re asking for direct access to their most-used device. Opportunities include:
- Offering a discount on a first purchase.
- Giving away a free swag item (or some other product that makes sense to give away).
- Hosting a contest or giveaway (just keep it legal).
Be upfront about your texting frequency
To avoid the risk of looking like spam, it’s best to be clear about how often you plan on texting subscribers.
You can include the expected frequency in your advertising. Of course, we recommend including it in your confirmation message when text subscribers do sign up as well.
Include in your terms of service
Be sure and update your terms of service with your texting frequency and opt-out information.
We’ve provided an example SMS terms of service you can start with.
It’s best to be as upfront as possible in any texting program.
Any successful SMS text messaging campaign or program should include a component to help grow your text subscribers.