Top 10 Strategies for Growing Your SMS Opt-In List

Marketing in 2023 is something quite different from marketing ten years ago. Today, businesses have access to multiple marketing communication channels, such as SMS marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.

But it’s not as easy as pie. In fact, email and SMS marketing can be easy to plan and send. However, getting a solid email and SMS subscriber list can be challenging for businesses. This is due to customers needing to “opt into” a contact list.

What is SMS Opt-In?

SMS opt-in is when a user or customer chooses whether they want to be contacted by a particular company via text message or not. These messages are usually related to promotions, reminders, and alerts. These messages are communicated to a mobile phone via SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Message Service). Businesses use text message marketing to streamline their SMS marketing efforts and automate the process.

SMS Marketing Compliance

Another note to make about business SMS marketing is that there are SMS regulations that you need to adhere to. This is why SMS opt-in is so crucial to the process. Customers must give you consent to send them texts. Otherwise, companies could be fined.

So, as you grow your SMS marketing efforts and your opt-in list, it’s essential that you do it in the most effective and compliant way. Speaking of growing your SMS opt-in list, let’s get into the details of how you can do this successfully.

Top 10 Ways to Get More SMS Marketing Opt-Ins

1: Keep it simple – ask!

The first tip is all about asking the audience. Yes, that’s right – it’s as simple as that – just ask if they’ll be happy to opt into your SMS list!

Think about it – if this person is already doing business with you, there’s a good chance they’ll engage with you on various platforms. This can be anywhere from email to social media and SMS.

The strategy here is to ask kindly and politely and hope they say yes. When customers seem interested, try to show them what they’ll get by doing so. It’s the age-old question, “What’s in it for me?”. If you explain this upfront, chances are high that they will convert.

Another way in which you can ask for an SMS opt-in is while you’re actively engaging with the customer. For example, a customer is speaking to you via your website chat about the status of an order or upgrading their membership. While you have them engaged with you, take a minute to ask them if they would like to opt into your text messaging services. It’s an excellent idea to ask them once you have resolved their query. This is because the person is delighted that their question is fixed and will most likely sign up for more in this euphoric state.

But the main thing to remember from this strategy is to ensure your ask is simple. Try not to include offers, promotions, or pleas here. Just ask for a simple opt-in and keep it to the point. You don’t want to confuse the message and the customer here.

2: Send an email to your subscribers

The following way to grow your opt-in text list is by leveraging your email subscribers. Remember, your email opt-in list is different from your SMS opt-in list. Your email subscribers have already chosen to opt-in to receive promotional and other emails from you. But they haven’t opted into receiving texts; this is an entire other opt-in list.

So, as marketing professionals say – “go where the fish are.” In this case, ask your email subscribers if they would like to opt into your SMS communication. Chances are they’ll opt in because they’re already invested in your business and see it as a place that deserves their time, money, and effort.

But if you use this SMS opt-in list growth tactic, you should do it by showing your email subscribers why text message marketing will be good for them. You want to show them that texts will have different exclusive offers and may have other information shared that isn’t necessarily on email. Otherwise, subscribers will only stick to one channel. It’s all about creating a synergistic communication strategy.

3: Use reviews to your advantage

If you have a running business, you’ll know that customer reviews are quite popular. Some company owners see reviews as a negative part of business, but reviews are actually beneficial. Positive reviews contribute toward your brand looking professional and impressive online. Negative reviews help you understand a customer’s pain points and allow you to adapt your operations accordingly – thereby improving your overall company.

But reviews can also help in other ways. Let’s take this scenario as an example: A customer gives you a five-star review on Google after having a great experience. You can take a minute to send that customer a thank you note. But instead of simply thanking them, why not add a nudge for them to opt into your SMS marketing services?

Here’s an example:

Text Marketing

As you can see, when a customer is feeling optimistic and excited about your brand, it’s a good time to ask them to do things like refer a friend or opt-in to a text message marketing campaign. All this can also be automated using text message marketing software.

4: Consider using key website touchpoints to promote SMS opt-ins

You can use your website as a good foundation for your marketing efforts. Sometimes, certain critical areas in a website can be very effective when prompting users to sign up for texts. These areas can be anything from website banners to pop-ups. The core tactic here is to ensure that your prompts are put into a space where a user can view and convert quickly. Most importantly, SMS opt-in prompts should never distract users from finding what they want. Instead, it should be a friendly reminder on the side to opt into receiving marketing texts. This way, people don’t get annoyed by it and, instead, feel comfortable with the prompt at that given time.

Many small and medium businesses also tend to add prompts after a specific time delay on a page. This means the SMS opt-in prompt is only presented when the user is idle on your web page. The prompt is presented as a pop-up with a short copy encouraging the user to sign up. Here’s an example of what this could look like:

SMS Marketing

Source: Knix

5: Use online sign-up forms and pages

If your business is well into its online marketing rollout phase, you’ll have online pages and forms up and running. You probably also use landing pages for targeted campaigns. This is an excellent way of getting people to your website and letting your brand gain visibility.

You can also use online forms for SMS opt-ins. How? All you need to do is build online forms that ask for a customer’s information. This information includes things like their name, address, and phone number. Once they add a mobile number, have a check box to indicate that their mobile number will be signed up for marketing purposes. Below is an example of what this could look like:

Sign Up Form

6: Add it to your checkout page

Another way to grow your opt-in SMS list is by asking customers to sign up on your checkout page. This is an excellent tactic because you’re prompting customers to sign up when they’re already feeling quite excited about your brand.

If you think back to when you last made a purchase online, you’ll probably remember feeling quite positive about your purchase and that brand. And chances are you’ll want to be more interactive with that brand at the moment in time. This is why asking for a text opt-in at checkout is so effective.

But how do you do it? You can add a prompt to sign up for SMS opt-ins once the thank you page is loaded and presented to the customer. It’s a small side note but a good place to add an opt-in SMS message.

7: Add it to your checkout desk in-store

If you own a business where your customers come to shop in-store, use your store to your advantage! You should always have a flyer or poster at your checkout area asking customers to sign up for text messages from your company.

For example, if you own a gym, adding a little QR code to your welcome desk might be a good idea, encouraging people to sign up. This code will allow members to quickly scan and opt-in without much hassle. The last thing you want to do here is ask them to type URLs into their phones or text a number manually. You want this process to be as quick and smooth as possible.

Text Message

8: Create an exclusive offer

The next strategy for how to grow your business SMS marketing opt-in list is by providing exclusivity to your clients. It makes your opt-in ask much more attractive and makes customers feel appreciated and part of an elite community.

So, how can you create an exclusive offer? Here are a few ways:

  • Create an “early bird” offer: Give customers early access to upcoming product releases or sales via SMS.
  • Offer special text-only deals and discounts: SMS opt-in contacts get special deals via text only. You won’t get access to these deals if you’re not opted in.
  • Offer exclusive content that no one else can see: If you have a robust content calendar, you can create an exclusive deal for opted-in contacts to receive this content via SMS. Again, this content should not be available to anyone else. This builds that feeling of exceptionality.
  • Provide automatic discounts for upcoming products or events: Show customers that if they opt in, they’ll receive automatic coupons and discounts for upcoming product releases or events.

9: Create a contest

When planning your marketing content calendar, it’s a good idea to add giveaways. This is some work upfront, but it helps build audience engagement on your social media and email.

But you can also create an SMS contest. Moreover, you can create a campaign that is designed to get more SMS subscribers. The messaging would be something like this:

“Sign up for our SMS marketing program today and stand a chance to win a $500 voucher to spend at our store!”

This helps people see that they get incentivized to subscribe. This type of marketing campaign can be managed using text message marketing software.

If you don’t have the capacity to create an entire contest, you can always offer a free contest entry to people who opt in. This helps attract new users and makes them enticed by a prize that could be theirs.

10: Promote it everywhere

And finally, our last piece of advice would be to promote your SMS opt-in everywhere you can possibly do so. It sounds like quite the effort, but if you add this step to every marketing effort you output, you’ll start to see the growth in your SMS subscribers quickly and efficiently.

Here are some examples of where you could promote your SMS opt-ins:

  • Multiple pages on your website
  • All your social media profiles
  • The end of your YouTube videos
  • Flyers, posters, and other print ads
  • Your checkout counter
  • In-store wall signage
  • Your web or live chat
  • Radio ads
  • Local newspaper ads
  • The end of your emails
  • Anywhere else you may interact with customers


The great thing about asking people to opt in is that your message doesn’t have to be long and detailed. You’re simply asking for them to tick the box. So, it’s important to keep the messaging simple and ensure that your marketing tactics are sound.

At Gleantap, you can be sure that your SMS marketing efforts are managed and housed in one spot. You can use the platform to send texts and emails and automate your entire marketing process. Gleantap also helps with managing your online reputation and allows you to interact with customers directly from the platform. You also get access to reporting and analytics which help you monitor your SMS growth with ease.

Sound like something your business is ready for? Schedule a demo with our team to get a better understanding of how we can help you grow that SMS opt-in list with ease.


1. What are some effective strategies for promoting SMS opt-ins?

Promote your SMS opt-in campaign across multiple channels. Keep the messaging simple and add an incentive or a sense of exclusivity to entice people to sign up.

2. Why is growing an SMS opt-in list important for businesses?

Your SMS opt-in list can help you build trust with clients and create a sense of community with them. SMS marketing can boost engagement and help you upsell and resell to customers.

3. What are some common mistakes to avoid when growing an SMS opt-in list?

  • Always explain what the user will be opting into.
  • Always state your SMS sending frequency and opt-out instructions upfront.
  • Never overwhelm subscribers with too many texts.
  • Keep your SMS shorter than 160 characters.

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