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How to Build Your SMS (Text) Marketing List (5 EASY Ways)

Ready to add more subscribers on your text marketing list but aren’t sure where to start?

Fortunately, your existing website is a great way to grow your SMS marketing.

There are more mobile users than ever. This makes it easier  to convert website visitors into SMS subscribers. After all, everyone’s already browsing your site from their phones!

In this article, you’ll learn 5 easy ways to get more subscribers on your text marketing list.

Why You Need to Build Your Text Marketing List

Before we discuss strategy, let’s take a quick look at why text marketing is so important.

One simple reason is because there are so many people on their phones at any given time. A study found that over 70% of participants check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up. Nearly as many users check their phones less than 5 minutes after they receive a notification.

With everyone looking at their phones so often, the odds are pretty good that your text marketing messages will actually be seen!

Many users prefer texting to talking on the phone. Text messages are popular because they feel less disruptive than a phone call. A ringing phone demands to be answered right away. Even if the caller leaves voicemail, there’s a sense of urgency that comes from listening to a human voice. For cold or prospective customers especially, that may feel invasive rather than inviting.

On the other hand, a text message is much more casual. The customer can read and respond whenever they’re ready. There’s no pressure to do anything right away. Many users also think it’s easier to glance at a text than to dial into a voicemail app or wade through an inbox full of emails.

Software for Growing Your Text Marketing List

You’ll need two tools to start with SMS marketing:

  1. a way to add new subscribers to your text marketing list
  2. a way to send your marketing messages to those subscribers

We love using OptinMonster, the premier list-building plugin for WordPress, to add new subscribers for SMS or email.

OptinMonster can create all kinds of creative campaigns to grow your text marketing list. You can also specifically target mobile users who are already using their phones to browse your site. These users are ready to opt into text messages.

There are even mobile optimized campaigns, templates, and Playbooks ready for you to use on OptinMonster. You’ll see a few examples in the next section.

Start Growing Your Text Marketing List With OptinMonster Today!

The other tool you need is a SMS marketing platform. Sendinblue is one of our favorites because you can use it for email marketing, SMS marketing, chat, and as a CRM platform. This is great for coordinating all your marketing and sales channels.

Sendinblue has some special features for text marketing that you’ll love:

  • bulk messaging
  • automated SMS campaigns
  • message personalization

5 Strategies for Growing Your Text Marketing List

Now that you have the tools you need, let’s look at 5 easy ways to start growing your SMS subscriber list today with OptinMonster.

1. Gamification

One of the easiest strategies is to create one of OptinMonster’s gamified campaigns.

A popup appears with a wheel that visitors can spin to get a discount code, free shipping, or some other incentive. It may look like some spins win nothing, but you can actually set up your gamified campaign so that every spin wins an incentive. The element of chance and FOMO (fear of missing out) adds to the excitement and drives conversions.

Like all OptinMonster campaigns, you can add a phone number optin field to your gamified campaigns. You can even connect OptinMonster to Sendinblue or your favorite SMS marketing platform.

When you do that, customers can receive a text with their code after they spin. This extra touch increases the odds that they’ll redeem their prize sooner rather than later.

2. Mobile-Only Exit Popups

The next strategy is to create text marketing optin popups that are only shown to mobile users.

Why do we only want mobile users to see these? We could show these popups to everyone, but mobile users are already engaging with your brand on their phones. It’s easy for them to opt in and then read the first SMS marketing message right from their phone. A computer user would have to go get their phone to confirm their optin or find the promotion that you send them. This means they’re less likely to opt into a mobile-focused popup.

OptinMonster’s device-based targeting rules make it super easy to create a mobile-only exit popup,

OptinMonster lets you combine device-based targeting with its signature Exit-Intent® Technology to create a mobile exit intent popup. Users will only see these popups when they’re about to leave your site. This way you don’t clutter their browsing experience with popups, which is especially important on smaller mobile screens.

OptinMonster has a wide variety of targeting and trigger rules, from geotargeting to InactivitySensor™. You can layer these rules to show the right message to the right customers at the right time.

3. Local Deals and Updates

One important advantage of SMS marketing is that you can reach people while they’re out and about. You can use this to offer promotions for their nearest location through SMS marketing messages.

By combining OptinMonster’s geo-location and device targeting rules, you can display campaigns to people who are already on their phones nearby. Those visitors are already close to where they can redeem the offer. So they’re more likely to be interested in an update about availability or a free gift for coming in the store.

4. Instant Access

Text messages are a great way to deliver quick wins. The notifications show up immediately and like we saw in the study above, most people respond very quickly to text notifications. So they’re more likely to see and respond to a resource sent by text than email.

When you send something helpful quickly, you position your business as knowledgeable and reliable. This can make prospects more inclined to buy later when they’re ready.

Some things to offer to grow your text marketing list could include:

  • Short training videos on YouTube or some other mobile-friendly video platform
  • Checklists, cheat sheets, and other quick downloads from your blog
  • Short, actionable tips taken from a larger online course

5. Zeigarnik Effect

What’s the Zeigarnik effect? It’s a simple but powerful psychological principle for marketing. It just means that people tend to want to finish a task once they’ve started. This means that if you can convince someone to do one thing, they’re more likely to do the next thing you ask.

A choice screen on your popup encourages visitors to take the first, simple step of deciding what they want to do. That decision requires only the click of a button. But once they do click a button, they’re already primed to complete the step after that.

In the example above, visitors are invited to think about how they’d like to help. Pretty easy, and appealing to people’s desire to do good.

The Sign Up For Updates button brings up the phone optin field. The visitor already clicked on one button, so they are more likely to fill in their contact information.

Not everyone will decide to join your text marketing list, which is true for any campaign. But the odds are at least slightly higher than if you just asked them to sign up.

SMS Marketing Best Practices

Whatever strategies you use to grow your text marketing list, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

1. Get Permission Every Time

You must get explicit consent from customers to send text marketing messages. You can’t just collect your past customers’ phone numbers and then start texting them randomly.

Customers must join your list of their own free will. You also need to make sure you understand what you’ll be sending, how often you’ll be messaging, and how to stop receiving SMS marketing from you.

The simplest way to do this is to use an optin form like the ones we saw earlier. Another option is to include a checkbox at checkout or booking that customers can use to join your text marketing list. You can’t pre-check this box for them.

2. Use SMS Marketing Tools

Likewise, you can’t just group text customers from your personal phone. Many people find group texts extremely annoying, especially ones they were added to without permission. It’s likely you’ll get a lot of angry customers if you do this. You also won’t be able to collect any data about how many people opened or clicked on your texts.

Instead, use a SMS marketing tool like Sendinblue or ActiveCampaign. You’ll be able to automate and schedule messages in bulk to individual numbers. Plus, you’ll be able to track your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.

3. Text For A Reason

Your goal for your text message marketing campaigns is probably to gain more subscribers, more sales, and more revenue.

But your goal is not the same as your customer’s goal. They’re not signing up just to help you or make you happy. They want to benefit from your messages. So always deliver some kind of value in your text marketing messages.

That value can be discount codes and deals, of course. But you can also offer value in your texts in other ways, such as:

  • Show off the quality and sensory appeal of your product or service through photos and videos
  • Reduce the effort or risk associated with buying by answering common questions
  • Provide a sense of belonging or exclusivity by giving early access to subscribers

4. Personalize

Even though texts are a more convenient channel for many people, you’re still competing to stand out in a crowded market. This is where personalization comes in.

People are more likely to pay attention when they feel like a message was written just to them. Of course most people don’t realistically expect that CEO of a company to text them personally, but that doesn’t mean personalization doesn’t matter.

Some effective examples of Commerce personalization include sending offers and information based on their location, mentioning recent activity with your company like recent purchases, customized product reminders, and even excluding customers from messages about products they’ve already bought.

5. Keep It Short

Don’t write an entire book in each message. Many texting apps still limit messages to 160 characters, so a long message is likely to be broken up into multiple texts that might get out of order.

Texting is meant to be a short, conversational format, so write your marketing messages to fit the format.

Start with something to grab their attention, explain the benefits, and give them a simple way to act on your message. This can be a link to purchase, a code they can text to get more information, and other next steps. Remember the Zeigarnik effect: if you can convince customers to take one simple action, they’re more likely to follow up on the next step.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading about these 5 unique and simple ways to grow your text marketing list.

If you’re curious, check out this full list of SMS marketing plugins here .

What are you waiting for? Start growing your text marketing list with OptinMonster today!

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Author Photo
Published by Jennifer Duann Fultz
Jennifer Duann Fultz is a content writer and course creator. She has a passion for helping small businesses grow sustainably and ethically. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys writing fiction, cooking, and exercising.

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