Perfecting Your Mobile Welcome Series

7 minute read


When someone from your audience opts in to one of your mobile messaging lists, it’s like you are beginning a new relationship with them. Because of that, Welcome Messages and Welcome Series are imperative to starting that relationship off on the right foot. As you begin to curate your Mobile Welcome Series, you’ll want to keep these three key steps in mind:

  • Follow Opt-In Best Practices: Get an explicit opt-in and follow protocol
  • Make a Good First Impression: Begin your relationship with a Welcome Message
  • Map Out the Series: Craft a series of messages specific to your subscriber

Opt-In Best Practices

There are two main ways to collect mobile opt-ins – Webforms and Keywords. Webforms can include an opt-in box for the subscriber to check to be opted into the list. Make sure to include the required legal language like a link to your privacy policy/TOS, the shortcode/longcode the messages will come from, message and data rates indicator, frequency of the messages, and opt-out text. Here is an example:

By checking this box, I agree to receive automated promotional messages. This agreement is not a condition of purchase. periodicmsgs Reply STOP to opt out or HELP for help. Message & data rates apply. Terms and privacy policy found at (insert URL)

A Keyword is a word that your audience can text to your shortcode/longcode, typically to receive an offer or some pertinent information. You can promote Keywords on-air, in print, in social media posts, etc. You can also use QR codes to help make the process simpler for your audience.

Here are a few other quick tips about mobile opt-ins:

  • Gather explicit opt-ins (do not pre-check your opt-ins)
  • Provide multiple ways to opt-in – use both webforms and keywords! And promote each in all of your core media.
  • Use clear messaging – be concise and include all necessary information about what your audience is opting into

Make A Good First Impression

A Welcome Message allows you to introduce your brand to your new subscriber, encourage engagement, and strengthen your relationship with your subscriber. It also now offers you the opportunity to begin gathering data about that subscriber for segmentation and personalization.

Reiterate the Terms of the Relationship

First thing’s first – when creating your Welcome Message, you’ll need to make sure you are following compliance guidelines. Within your message, remember to include:

  • Message frequency
  • Message and data rates may apply
  • Clear opt-out
  • Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
  • How to get help
Make Sure Somebody’s Home

The quickest way to validate and legitimize a phone number is to enact a double opt-in, and welcome messages/series can act as an informal opt-in!

When using a keyword opt-in, you will definitely want to add a double opt-in because, typically, when someone from your audience texts in a keyword, they are not added to a list. So, after an audience member texts a keyword, include a double-opt-in asking a subscriber to respond Y (or something similar) to be added to one of your associated lists. Now they aren’t a lost contact, and you’ll be able to communicate with them going forward! Also be sure to include compliance language in your double opt-in.

Stand Out

Your audience receives a flurry of texts daily, and you want to make sure you aren’t lost in the noise. So when creating your welcome messaging, ensure that your first welcome message is set to send as soon as the user subscribes. Within your first message, thank the user for subscribing, craft the messaging so it utilizes the tone and attitude of your brand, keep it short and sweet, and, most of all, deliver value.

Deliver Value

Your welcome messaging should deliver some kind of value to your subscriber to engage them from the start. Include a call to action that aligns with your goals. Here are some examples of calls to action to get you started:

  • Discounts
  • Reward programs
  • Link to a contest
  • Ask to bookmark/save your contact card for better brand recognition
  • Event locator
  • Link to petition
  • Link to donation site
  • Link to a survey

You could also take a different approach and provide important information about your organization to evoke emotion to make the subscriber more invested. Another great tactic is to ask for more information about your subscriber to drive personalization. And have fun with it! Include images or emojis if that coincides with your brand.

Map Out the Series

Take your Welcome Message to the next level by creating a Welcome Series. You’ve started your relationship with your subscriber, so now is the time to solidify the value your organization can provide!

Think Big Picture

Ensure you are consistently delivering quality and engaging content by sending your subscribers on a journey that is valuable to them. Also, remember that this series is an opportunity to get to know your subscriber better. Always attempt to gather more subscriber data to further drive segmentation and personalization.

The Welcome Schedule

Include 2-4 messages within your Welcome Series. Start off with an action request or offer to hook your subscriber. Then use the rest of the series to introduce the subscriber to your organization, explain the kind of messaging they will receive, and ask more about their interests.

If you find that the subscriber converts or provides additional information, use this opportunity to send them down a more personalized path. For example, if they provide you with their zip code, their next message could include upcoming events that are within their zip code radius.

Example #1

Example #2

Best Practices

Here are a few more tips to help you make your Welcome Series the best it can be.

Stay Consistent

Your messaging should always align with what the subscriber signed up for, and it should maintain the promised frequency.

Always Collect More Data

Encourage a closer relationship with your subscribers by asking more about them. This will make your subscribers feel valued and also allow you set up more precisely targeted campaigns in the future – driving even more value!

Use Personalization

Use the data you currently have to make your Welcome Series more customized. Did you ask for your subscriber’s name on your opt-in form? Use that to personalize even your first messages!

Content Must-Haves

  • Appropriate tone of voice (i.e. friendly for ‘Welcome to our list’ or excited/urgent for ‘Sign up for our event’)
  • Clear unsubscribe
  • Content/Product personalization (i.e. recommended events or products based on previous actions)
  • First name personalization
  • Utilize images, gifs, memes, etc
  • Strong and clear CTA’s with links
  • Elements affecting the subscribers’ emotions (i.e. evoke a connection to your cause or excitement about your brand/offer)

Review And Analyze

Review the results of your messaging on a regular basis and monitor your deliverability metrics to maintain a healthy sending reputation.

Stats To Watch

  • Click-Through Rate
  • Delivery Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Response Rate
  • List Growth Rate

Test, Test, Test

You can test these areas of your messaging to see what resonates with your audience. Try A/B testing to compare two options of one test point to determine which works better!

  • Tone
  • Incentives
  • Message cadence
  • Personalization
  • Images

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