Make the most out of your SMS marketing efforts by growing your subscriber list and using the right tools.
SMS marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers, and wIth the right strategy, you can quickly increase both engagement and conversion.
But first, you need to build your subscriber list.
Without a list of contacts, you have no one to send your news out to, and you’d be wasting your time and money on SMS marketing. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to quickly and easily grow your subscriber list and set yourself up for successful SMS marketing campaigns.
So if you’re just starting out in the world of SMS marketing or only have a few hundred subscribers, don’t be discouraged. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to put a plan in place and knock your SMS marketing campaigns out of the park.
Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover in this article:
- Five tips for growing your mobile marketing subscriber list
- A few additional considerations you’ll want to know
- 10 SMS marketing platforms to help you achieve your goals
Growing your subscriber list is an essential step in your SMS marketing strategy. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for new ways to increase your existing subscriber list, it’s important to consistently reach new audiences.
In this section, we’ll take a look at five things you can do to reach new audiences and increase your subscriber list. These tips will help you to continue growing your list and set you up for successful marketing campaigns.
1. Provide an Incentive
Let’s start with an easy one: offering special incentives and coupons to new subscribers.
Building your SMS marketing list can be challenging because consumers are usually much more likely to offer up their email addresses than a phone number. This means you need to provide your customers with something valuable enough to encourage them to hand over their number and opt-in to your program.
Providing offers and incentives is one of the most effective ways to grow your subscriber list. In fact, it’s been shown that incentives and coupons rank among the top reasons to subscribe.
There are many reasons why people subscribe to receive SMS messages from companies, but incentives and coupons come in first. This is no surprise when you consider the value and direct benefit the customer gains from receiving an incentive, especially when they’re already browsing your site. Image courtesy of Listrak.
Think about it in your own life experience. If you’re browsing a website and an offer for 20% off pops up for joining an SMS subscriber list, you’re going to be intrigued. Depending on what the total of your cart is, you may choose to opt-in to a company’s SMS messages to take advantage of that discount.
But what happens after that? If you don’t continue to receive offers and incentives that interest you, you’ll likely unsubscribe over time — this is true for your customers, too.
So it’s not as simple as offering up one great incentive and then never sharing coupons again. You need to continue to reward your SMS subscribers for their loyalty and make it worth their while to stay opted-in
2. Launch a Campaign
Launching an SMS marketing campaign is another excellent way to build excitement and grow your subscriber list. While some types of campaigns are targeted towards the customers you already have, you have an opportunity to reach new audiences through contests and giveaways.
There are plenty of different types of campaigns you can run to engage potential and current subscribers, such as:
- Create SMS exclusive contests and games to attract new subscribers
- Welcome campaigns for new subscribers
- Nurturing campaigns to keep audiences engaged and move them through the sales funnel
- Retention campaigns to win back customers who may soon become inactive
This is a great example of how you can engage your SMS subscribers with an exciting and engaging marketing campaign. Develop a game or contest to get people interested and provide an incentive to sweeten the deal. Image courtesy of Tatango.
Nurturing and retention campaigns may not necessarily bring new subscribers to your list, but they will help improve your active SMS marketing list quality. There will inevitably be subscribers who become inactive and churn, but by keeping them engaged and excited about your content, you can reduce these numbers.
So the question on your mind at this point is probably — how do I get started?
Here are a few tips to help you get started and launching successful SMS campaigns:
- Make sure your customer opt-in and know how to opt-out
- Understand the industry rules and regulations
- Don’t go overboard on how many messages you’re sending
- Know when to send messages for higher open rates
- Keep users engaged by making it fun and exciting
However you choose to create your SMS marketing campaigns, you’ll be making strides towards growing your subscriber list and keeping your current audiences engaged.
3. Make it Exclusive
Exclusivity plays an important role in SMS marketing. From motivating people to sign up to providing you with more chances to share cross-promotions — exclusive content is a must when it comes to SMS.
This example from Jack in the Box shows how you can easily add exclusivity to your SMS messages. Let people know once they have opted-in that they’re now part of a VIP group that has access to extra discounts and early notifications on new products.
If your customers can get the same value and benefits from your email marketing as they can from your SMS messages, why would they choose to opt-in to both programs?
While you might be able to trick people for a little while, it won’t take long for them to realize that you’re sending them the same content in two different places. Once they realize this, chances are good they will choose to opt-out of your SMS campaigns first.
Here are a few examples of how you can provide exclusive SMS content to your subscribers:
- Share a coupon code that is only sent to your SMS network
- Provide special upgrade options when your subscribers use a special code
- Exclusive and surprise sales that are only for your mobile marketing subscribers
- Early access to new products and company events
Providing exclusive content to your SMS marketing list will help you attract new audiences and continue to engage and nurture your current subscriber list — remember, it’s all about providing value to your audiences. Exclusive content, when done right, can be a highly intriguing piece of content.
4. Use In-Store Promotions and Print Materials
If you’re a business with an eCommerce and in-store retail experience, this is another excellent option for growing your subscriber list.
This can be done by creating flyers and print materials that include a shortcode or keyword for customers to text to join.
Of course, adding a little incentive to these promotions will always help bring in more subscribers — but your loyal customers may be inclined to join simply because they love your product.
In-store promotions can be a great way to reach new subscribers. Creating special offers that encourage shoppers to text to join will make your in-store campaigns even more successful. Overall the more people who know about it, the more likely you are to convert new subscribers.
Here are a few examples of how you can promote your SMS program through in-store and print materials:
- Create posters and flyers that are displayed around your store
- Add SMS keywords to business cards
- Have a display promoting your SMS program visible at checkout
- Include a postcard in each customer’s bag that encourages them to subscribe
When it comes to in-store promotions, the possibilities are endless. You could even create special events or sales that are only available to your subscriber list — providing users with a bit of exclusivity.
5. Promote on Social Media
Tapping into the network you’ve already built is smart and efficient to grow your subscriber list quickly. One way to do this is to promote your keyword and SMS program on your social media channels.
Whether you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all of the above — you can get your SMS campaigns in front of them
Social media and SMS messaging work so well together because both channels reach customers on their most-used device — their smartphones.
Not sure how to integrate these two channels? Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Promote SMS campaigns on your social media channels to increase opt-ins
- Run text to win contests that provide incentives like free products, event tickets, and other giveaways
- Create automated replies that continue to engage new subscribers overtime
- Launch targeted SMS campaigns with the help of your social media analytics
Once you’ve mastered the art of growing your subscriber list via social media, you can start to create omnichannel marketing campaigns. By reaching your audiences through multiple channels, you’re increasing the chances of your message being seen and acted upon.
Each marketing channel provides businesses with different benefits, but you can make the most out of your efforts by bringing them together. SMS messages can increase engagement and get your message heard, but using social media as a secondary message can increase your awareness even more. Image courtesy of Text Marketer.
If you’re looking for ways to leverage the channels you’re already active on to grow your subscriber list, then social media should be at the top of your list. Building awareness and tapping into your current network will allow you to quickly see an increase in the number of SMS subscribers you have.
If you’re new to the SMS marketing world, there are a few more things you’ll want to know to launch a successful program. There are plenty of obstacles you can run into when first starting out, but by understanding what those are ahead of time — you can be prepared.
While this might not be a complete list of everything you need to know, we’ll dive into three main topic areas that will help set you up for success.
Get to Know the Rules and Regulations
Text marketing is a regulated industry, and if you don’t take the time to learn about the rules, you’ll quickly come to regret that. If it’s found that you’re not meeting the set laws, you may find yourself receiving a hefty fine.
That’s why it’s so important to do your homework before you send your first message — because even just that one message could get you in trouble.
While we won’t go into depth on each of these, here is a list of the main regulations you’ll want to know:
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- CAN-SPAM Act
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
- Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
Depending on where your business is located and who you’re trying to target, some or all of these regulations would apply to your SMS marketing efforts. That’s why it’s best to take the time to understand what is required from each to ensure you’re staying compliant
There are several things you need to include in your SMS messages to keep them compliant. This example shows you how a message should look when someone first opts-in to your program. They are told that messaging and data rates may apply, how many messages to expect, and provide an easy way to opt-out.
Not sure where to get started? These are just a few of the steps you’ll want to take to ensure you’re SMS messages are staying compliant:
- Send confirmation texts to all new contacts
- Be upfront with your subscribers about what to expect from your program
- Let them know the shortcode or phone number you will be sending messages from
- Include the phrase “Msg & Data rates apply”
- Tell your subscribers how many messages you will send them
- Include instruction on how to opt-out of your program
- Make your contact and support information visible
When it comes to SMS compliance, there are tons of resources available to help you understand each regulation. Take the time now before you start launching campaigns to develop a process to stay compliant.
Have Process for Subscribers to Easily Opt-In and Out
This rolls up to what we just discussed around adhering to the industry rules and regulations. Still, it’s one of the most important things to consider when developing your SMS marketing campaigns.
Developing a formal opt-in and out process will help keep your messages compliant and your subscriber list clean. These two examples provide you with an idea of what the process looks like from both aspects and how you should be engaging with your subscribers during this vital step.
First, let’s talk about the opt-in process. This comes into play when a new subscriber enrolls in your SMS marketing program. It essentially means that the user has provided you with consent to contact them by sending a text with a specific shortcode or keyword to join your subscriber list.
It’s crucial that when someone opts-in, they are given all the necessary information about your program. This information is covered in the bullets in the section above this — but includes things like the number of messages you will send them and an easy way to opt-out.
That leads us to the opt-out process. This one is pretty straightforward but also an important part of managing your SMS subscriber base. If a customer identifies that they want to opt-out of your messages, you need to respect this and remove their information from your list.
It’s illegal for you not to give users a way to opt-out of your SMS messages. This means you should include instructions on how to opt-out of your SMS messages on every single message sent.
Having an explicit opt-in and out process will help you stay compliant and keep your subscriber list up-to-date with active and engaged audiences. As people who have become uninterested start to opt-out, you won’t have to waste your budget on inactive subscribers.
Find an SMS Marketing Platform to Manage Your Campaigns
Another way to set your campaigns up for success is to invest in an SMS marketing platform. These tools can help you manage all of your SMS marketing needs, from template creation to keeping your messages compliant — and everything in between.
Here are just a few of the things you’ll gain by choosing to use an SMS marketing platform:
- Templates and simple message creation
- List growth and management capabilities
- Automation capabilities, including triggered and transactional messages
- Scheduling assistance to save time and plan ahead
- Advanced technology that can learn and predict the needs of your customers
- Tracking and reporting to identify areas of continuous improvement
All of this can be done from one central platform with a team of experts supporting your business needs. By choosing to invest in an SMS marketing platform, you’ll be taking a massive step towards ensuring success.
If you’ve decided that you’re interested in looking into an SMS marketing platform to help manage your campaigns, this is the section for you.
We’ll look at ten different platforms designed to improve your SMS marketing efforts, from growing and managing your subscriber list to implementing nurturing and omnichannel campaigns.
Each of the platforms discussed in this section will provide you with everything you need to set yourself up to run successful SMS marketing campaigns every time.
Listrak offers marketers a tool that can help create, send, manage, and track all of their SMS marketing needs. From subscriber list building to creating cross-channel marketing campaigns, the Listrak platform has something for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Whether you’re looking to send company updates, promote sales, or use it to increase two-way conversations, SMS messages are a great way to reach your customers. Integrating this channel into your marketing mix will increase user engagement and interactions. Image courtesy of Listrak.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Text-to-join acquisition and SMS keyword campaigns designed to reach more audiences and grow your subscriber list
- Send and schedule broadcast and triggered SMS messages to keep your subscribers engaged and up-to-date on company news, promotions, and more
- Manage cross-channel interactions that include transnational messages send to customers based on their real-time behaviors
- Track campaign success and ensure you’re staying compliant with all text marketing rules and regulations
Medallia Zingle is a messaging platform that provides a wide array of services to its customers across various industries. With this tool, you can manage your subscriber opt-in process and elevate your business with additional services like creating a seamless curbside pickup experience.
Easily create, manage, and automate your SMS marketing messages from the Medallia Zingle platform. The right tool will help you do more with your time and engage audiences through personalized touches. Image courtesy of Medallia Zingle.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Opt-in management that allows you to customize how your customers opt-in and out of your campaigns based on your business function
- Create personalized SMS messages with the help of field, and customized profiles drive by your customer data
- AI-driven messaging automation to help optimize your process to make sending and managing your SMS campaigns simple
- Engage in real-time conversations with your customers on the channels they prefer to improve customer satisfaction
Flowroute is a marketing platform with several different tools that can benefit marketers — from SMS marketing to voice SIP. In the SMS marketing arena, you’ll gain access to toll-free and long code messaging, appointment reminder messages, and much more.
Get to know your customers better and gain valuable feedback through your SMS marketing efforts. Better understand if your campaigns are resonating with your audiences and find out if your process is working within minutes.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Toll-free and long code messaging capabilities that allow you to engage with customers from a dedicated and identifiable phone number
- Send appointment reminders to let your customers know about upcoming appointments and decrease no-shows
- Gather feedback through surveys to better understand customer satisfaction and make impactful improvements
- Give your customers the security they’re looking for with two-factor authentication messages
Contact Cloud is an SMS text message platform that can help you grow your subscriber list and reach your customers. You can create acquisition campaigns, automated workflows and track monthly metrics all in one place.
Make every interaction with your customers count. From sending coupon codes to reminding them about an upcoming event — it’s all-important. Luckily with the right tool, it can all be easily managed in one central location.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Acquire more subscribers through keywords, form auto-replies, and then enroll new customers into drip campaigns to keep them engaged
- Quickly and easily get your message out to all of your customers with bulk message campaigns
- Automate messages with specific criteria and timeframes to ensure you’re sending strategic and relevant content
- Track and report on all of your campaigns, both inbound and outbound, to develop even more effective messages
Postscript is an SMS marketing platform designed for companies that utilize Shopify stores to sell their products. With this tool, you can create personalized campaigns that leverage customer insights, including previous purchasing habits and so much more.
Whether you’re looking for a tool to help you grow your subscriber list or keep your customers informed with the latest and greatest, PostScript can help you achieve your goals. With an easy-to-use platform, you can make creating SMS campaigns more manageable than ever before.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Grow your subscriber list through landing pages, checkout subscriptions, mobile pop-ups, QR codes, and more
- Automate your SMS messages to optimize your time and create a seamless customer experience
- Create SMS campaigns to promote new product launches, share coupons, and special offers, and announce company news
- Integrate with your Shopify account to leverage valuable data such as previous purchases, how much they spend, where they came from, and more
Vcita is a business management and client engagement app that helps small businesses reach their customers and grow their footprint. With the ability to easily create, schedule, and send SMS messages from one central platform — you’ll have everything you need at the touch of a finger.
Victa makes it easy for companies to manage SMS messages to increase communication and boost their engagement. As a tool designed with small businesses in mind, it’s the perfect solution if you’re looking to expand your business. Image courtesy of Vcita.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Utilize pre-built templates to make designing your SMS campaigns quick and easy
- Simultaneously create SMS and email campaigns to build multi-channel experiences that work together to accomplish your goals
- Automate message sending and set reminders, so you’re customers never miss an appointment or important date
- Easily add personalization such as first and last name to make your messages stand out to your customers
With a tool like DialMyCalls, you can easily automate a number of your mobile marketing tactics, including phone calls, text messages, and email. This platform’s SMS capabilities will allow you to grow your subscriber list with designated keywords, engage with your audiences through 2-way messages, and much more.
DialMyCalls provides you with an easy-to-use dashboard where you can create, manage, and track all of your SMS marketing needs. With everything you need right in front of you, you can create engaging campaigns that build your subscriber list and convert customers.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Register keywords to build your mobile marketing subscriber list and encourage new audiences to opt-in
- Quickly engage in 2-way SMS messages with your customers to create relevant and meaningful conversations
- Quickly and effectively get your message out by sending bulk messages to large segments or all of your audiences
- Get time back in your day by creating and saving templates to make SMS creation simple
Routee is an intelligent omnichannel communication platform that can help you optimize all of your marketing campaigns, including your SMS messages. Whether you’re looking to increase sales through personalization or provide your customers with a safe and secure platform — Routee can help you achieve your goals.
Creating a high-performing SMS marketing campaign doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right platform, you can easily create personalized campaigns that engage and convert your SMS subscribers.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Increase sales by sending SMS messages that are personalized to each of your customers
- Develop transactional messages that help to build trust and loyalty among your subscribers and provide them with the right content at the right time
- Keep company and customer data safe with world-class security services such as two-factor authentication
- Get to know your customers on a deeper level by sending surveys to your audiences via SMS messaging
TextBetter provides businesses with a texting solution that makes it easy to communicate with your customers via SMS messaging. This platform will allow you to send personalized messages, sync with your CRM, track campaign success, and so much more.
TextBetter provides you with everything you need to communicate with your customers via text message. You can easily create messages as emails that convert to SMS messages sent directly to your subscriber’s phone.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Send personalized mass text messages such as appointment reminders and special announcements
- Automate replies based on keywords or other triggers such as date and time
- Store texts to have historical documentation to respond better based on each customer’s needs
- Easily track your campaigns and pull reporting to identify what campaigns worked and what ones didn’t
Mobile Text Alerts is a mobile marketing platform that can help you communicate with your customers via SMS messages and make the most out of your campaigns. With the ability to segment your growing subscriber list to increase personalization to automating messages to save your team’s time, Mobile Text Alerts can help you nail your SMS strategy.
No matter what message you need to send, Mobile Text Alerts can help you reach your audiences with the right message at the right time. Whether that means sharing a special offer, sending a reminder, or even an inclement weather notification — you can do it all.
SMS Marketing Capabilities:
- Segment your subscribers to create more personalized experiences, even when sending bulk messages
- Save time by automating your SMS messages to send on set dates and times
- Add link tracking to your SMS campaigns to identify which customers are engaging with your advertising and quickly determine your return on investment
- Create two-way conversations to answer customer questions, confirm purchases, and more
Start Growing Your Mobile Subscriber List and Launch Your SMS Marketing Campaign!
So there you have it! If you’ve made it this far, you should have everything you need to start growing your subscriber list and launch your first successful SMS marketing campaign.
There are plenty of different ways to reach new audiences and continue to grow your subscriber lists actively, you just need to have a plan in place and goals to achieve. As you start to understand who your customers are and improve the content, you’re sending them. You’ll only continue to grow your SMS following.
If you keep pushing forward and take time to reflect and improve upon your efforts, your SMS strategy will be unstoppable.