For any company that wants to get involved in SMS marketing, there are a few different questions that quickly come to mind. For example, “Where do I start?” “Who should I be texting?” “What should I be sending?” Each of these questions needs to be taken on in order to get your SMS campaign off the ground. However, the most important question you should be asking is actually “How do I increase opt-ins?”
Since getting users to opt in to an SMS campaign is often the most difficult part of the process, we have put together a guide on how to promote and increase opt-ins. While we have looked at text opt-in best practices before, in this article we will focus less on the messages themselves, and more on how to promote your campaign outside of your current customer base. With that said, let’s get started.
Create an opt-in web form
The first step for any campaign is to create an online form of some kind that users can submit in order to join your text marketing list. Since text messages are heavily regulated and consent must be received before any messaging can be sent, web forms are one of the easiest ways to increase opt-ins right off the bat. You can even use Odoo’s approach in the below example and simply have your customers fill out this short form to begin their campaign.
That being said, even if users are the first to sign up online, you should still confirm that they are consenting to opt-in. This is what is known as the double-opt-in approach and it ensures that you are getting off on the right foot and avoiding breaking any rules covered under the TCPA.
Begin with email contact list
Once you have created a web form, one of the fastest ways to increase opt-ins next is to let your email contact list know about your SMS campaign. This list is typically your largest reach for existing customers and by letting them know about your new SMS channel, you can establish a solid foundation for your SMS campaign.
However, not all of your email contacts will want to join your SMS campaign. This is why sometimes you will need to include an incentive to help make taking that next step even easier. Above, we see that Home Depot entices their current customers to join the SMS list with a $5 coupon, helping them to increase their text marketing audience while offering their members value straight from the start.
Include full legal terms on all advertising
Now that you have reached out to your current customer base, now comes the time to start promoting your SMS campaign across other channels. While you are doing this, we recommend that you include the full legal terms of your campaign right within the advertising. Look at the bottom of this ad to see what we mean.
By including not only the standard “Msg & data rates may apply,” but how often you should expect to receive text messages, you are able to set the proper expectations for your customers. If they know that they will only be getting less than 4 messages per month, you are eliminating questions that might hold them back. This will also save both of you time as you won’t need to send the entire terms of service every single time someone signs up, just the standard opt-in message.
Integrate SMS across all channels
So far, we have mainly talked about how to increase opt-ins through better calls to action and targeted campaigns. However, another best practice for increasing opt-ins is to integrate SMS across all channels. By making SMS a focal point of your mobile marketing campaign, you will make it harder for customers to go without SMS messages.
For instance, you can start sending thank you messages via text blast along with email. Once customers start to use the much more efficient texting system compared to email, they will see the value in your campaign and be far more interested in remaining subscribed.
Run banner ads
In the same way that your email contact list can be a good starting point for increasing opt-ins, running banner ads on your social profiles with a clear call-to-action is another way to capitalize on your current marketing efforts. Since most social users are on their mobile devices in the first place, this can be a breakthrough when trying to increase opt-ins.
You can even look at user engagement metrics to find the best way of targeting users from other channels like social. This can give you a better idea of how your customers operate and how you might better reach them with future messaging.
Place SMS info on product packaging
The final way to increase opt-ins through outside advertising that we will look at is by including a call-to-action right on your product’s packaging. So far, not many businesses have been doing this, so not only is it a good way to reach customers right after purchase, but it will make your campaign stand out from others. Simple tricks like this can make your SMS campaign that much more
Make your texts valuable
Now, as we mentioned at the beginning, most of this blog post has been about increasing opt-ins through traditional advertising means. This is important especially at the beginning, however, there will come a time where you will need to focus less on the SMS opt-in and more on retaining subscribers. The best way to do this is to make your texts valuable to your consumers.
Whether you are running support, sending out offers and coupons, or simply using SMS to guide your customers through their journey, each message you send needs to provide value to your audience. In fact, the best way to increase opt-ins after your initial launch is by making your texts so valuable that customers will wonder what they are missing. If you can consistently deliver the value that they are already looking for, you will have customers for life.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera