From email to text to push, growing any list is a major challenge for many marketers, but a focus on list growth pays off – particularly for mobile messaging. SMS marketing is one of the crown jewels of marketing lists. Text messaging gives you a direct link to your mobile audience on a widely-used channel, so brands are confident that texts will be opened – in fact, 98% of these messages will be opened by your customers.
Text messages can be very effective in enticing your audience to take action. This goes beyond just selling, but can be used for coupon delivery, reminders, rewards, fundraising asks, providing information, and a plethora of other use cases. But getting the list large enough to drive real value, for both broadcast awareness and advanced targeting campaigns, can be a challenge. Below are 6 ways to effectively grow your SMS list:
1. Use your website.
Your website can be a powerful tool for list growth. Showcase your CTAs around your website – headers, side bars, footers, hero images, in blog posts, news updates – brands can get very creative with how and where they feature CTAs around their site. Additionally, brands can include mobile number fields in their onsite forms. By asking for a user’s phone number during form sign up, brands can grow their SMS lists and connect with their audience on the channel of their choice.
2. Utilize your current audience.
Your current email lists and social media following can (and should) be used to attract people to your SMS list. Send out a message to your email list encouraging them to sign up for text alerts. Tell them all the benefits and what you’ll send them – not knowing how often or what brands will use it for will often deter customers. Also, use your social channels to promote keywords to your followers. Post, Tweet, Insta, Reddit, and even Tiktok your way to a larger list through engaging visuals and posts to attract new list members.
3. Promote at your events.
While in-person gatherings are limited right now, you can use both in-person and digital opportunities to build your list at live events. Communicate with your attendees before, during, and after events concerning information they’ll need while they’re there, additional information, and other added benefits to those who opt into your SMS list. Put up physical signs encouraging sign up while you’re there too. During digital events, display your opt-in keywords prominently on the screen when possible.
4. Provide value in return.
One of the most effective, ways to grow your SMS list is offering a benefit in return. Very few customers love organizational messages so much that they’ll opt into texts that don’t benefit them, so make sure you let them know what they’re getting in return! Coupons, promotions, a chance to win a prize, or even just information – all of these are more likely to entice users to sign up. Plus, users who receive regular benefits will stay opted in.
5. Promote on all your digital and physical channels.
It goes beyond just email and social media! A true omnichannel strategy will encourage growth among all channels instead of working against each other. Make every channel a team player by promoting your keyword everywhere! Add keywords to your YouTube videos, on your digital marketing ads, on AM/FM radio ads, streaming and podcasts ads, direct marketing campaigns, fliers, billboards – the possibilities are endless. If you’re advertising or putting out content somewhere, include your opt in keywords!
6. Speak your audience’s language.
An English-only SMS program will only target English-speaking audiences, so if you have a large sector of non-English speakers in your audience, consider allowing them to opt into messaging in their language. Expanding your language offerings will create accessibility to a much wider audience; just make sure you have the resources to ensure your messaging is consistently accurate!