Retailers: Five Ways to Grow Your SMS List Faster

4 minute read

Upland Admin

It’s no surprise that SMS is working for retailers.  People respond faster to text messages than any other form of communication. Billions of people around the globe have mobile phones that can receive text messages. In fact, a recent Koupon Media Retail Benchmarking Report, shows that other than Mobile Apps (which can be expected given the brand affinity of those who would typically download and use an app), SMS is the most effective channel for coupon distribution with a 16% offer activation rate.  This can be compared to email at just 1.4% or social media at 1.1%.

For effective SMS marketing, you must first gather customer information. Building a valuable customer contact list takes time and patience, but there are a few ways to entice customers to provide their information to develop your list faster. Check out these five highly effective methods to grow your SMS list.

1. Spread The Word

The simplest way to grow your SMS list is to advertise your keyword and call to action to join on everything and everywhere your target subscriber audience will be, from in-store signage and receipts to social media channels and your website. You’ll want to write something like: Text DEMO to 662266 to see the automated personalization feature of Upland Mobile Messaging in action. Other ideas to promote your opt-in keyword include events, billboards, direct mail, signage, business cards, and swag.

2. Make customers an offer they can’t refuse

Everyone likes a good deal, and we all love instant gratification. Which is why offering your customer a coupon in exchange for their contact information is one of the best incentives to get customer information. It’s an ideal scenario for your customer because they get something of value in exchange for their information. The most important thing to remember when taking this approach is to make the sign-up process as quick and painless as possible. Keep your sign up form short, ask only for the information you need, and provide the discount right away to encourage customers to complete the full registration process.

3. Entice your audience with the promise of winning something cool

It’s exciting to learn that you’ve won something.  Running a text-to-win contest is an effective way to get your target audience to take notice. Offering a prize people want makes it much more likely they’ll share their information for a chance to win. Even better, drive a sense of urgency for people to register by putting a short timeframe to your content.

4. Use your website

Your website is your digital storefront. Be sure to capitalize on your web traffic and capture your site visitors information. Provide opportunities for visitors to subscribe to your list using a pop-up form with a call to action inviting them opt-in. Make sure you offer something enticing in exchange. Whether it’s an instant discount (see point 2 above) or a value statement telling them what they receive by signing up—early access, regular discounts, access to regular updates—let them know you’ll make it worth their while to give you their information. Not a fan of pop-ups? Instead, include a section on your homepage where your visitors can enter their contact information.

5. Campaign for customer information

More than likely you’ve got an email list of customers. Why not use your list to invite your existing customers to take advantage of your SMS campaign? Use your current list and launch an email campaign, giving your customers specific instructions on how to opt-in to your SMS program. You can also include opt-in messages in your digital newsletters too. Don’t forget to tell your subscribers what they can expect to receive in return.

There you have it. Five ideas that are easy to implement and will help you grow your SMS list quickly. With so much opportunity available for you to reach your customers, SMS is a marketing tool you should add to your toolbox. If you’re ready to build your mobile list into a formidable marketing force, contact and you can get access to a knowledgeable Upland Mobile Messaging mobile strategist. We’ll help you craft a campaign to get your message where it needs to be.

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