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One of the first questions we always hear from our clients is, how do we get people to opt in? Over the past 6 years of watching what works and what doesn’t, we’re happy to share our insights on how to effectively grow your recipient list:

Incentives: You must offer your customers an incentive, or prize, for giving you their cell phone number. People are weary to give away their number, so offering them a discount, or something for free, motivates them to join.

  • Choose the right incentive -the difference between 5% and 50% off is huge. It’s up to you how much you’re willing to give away to get someone to opt-in. Just ask yourself, “How much is someone’s cell phone number worth to me?” Remember, if the offer isn’t enticing, people won’t sign up. We’ve found that the better the incentive, the faster your list size will grow.
  • For Customers with Established Lists -use our reporting tool to check the time of day that you have the greatest amount of opt- in’s. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner and the majority of your members opt in at 1 PM, offer a special on a lunch item. This may seem obvious, but we’ have seen too many examples of a company pushing a certain item and not listening to what their customers really wanted. Using our analytics allows you to zero in on what your customers are looking for, getting you the biggest return on your investment.

Contests: In conjunction with offering a guaranteed incentive, create a contest that your subscribers will automatically be enrolled in if they sign up. Adding this incentive gives customers more reason to opt-in. Make the contest weekly or monthly to keep it top of mind with your members.

Illusion of Exclusivity: Make sure your customers know that they will only receive the best deals available at your location via text message. The language you use in your signage for people to opt-in should portray this exclusivity.

Be Clear: Tell people how many messages you plan on sending them. If you include a short line at the bottom of signage that says, “we will only send you 4-6 messages a month”, people will feel more in control of what they are signing up for.

BOLD and Capitalize your KEYWORD and SHORT CODE: Not everyone understands keywords and short codes just yet, so giving clear instructions on how to join your list is very important. For example, if your keyword is “coupon”, the main line of your signage would read: “Text COUPON to 46786” This will effectively grab the attention of your customers.

No Surprises: Let people know that message and data rates may apply.

Get Your Employees on Board: Make sure your personnel are not just aware but actually educated and excited about your text message marketing campaign. Your employees are the face of your company and the primary contact for your customers. Employees need to be able to help people sign-up from their phones, as well as to promote the list. Turn it into a contest for them and watch your list grow twice as fast.

Change is good: Change your incentive and the way you present your text campaign to your customers periodically so that you can capture a more diverse group of people to join your list. Your offer for X% off may get some of your clients interested, but if next month you are giving away a free ____, you might get an entirely different crowd to opt-in.

Get creative: Don’t just rely on a sign for people to join. Make t-shirts for your staff with a call-to-action to sign up, create a monthly contest for your staff encouraging them to get most members to sign up, etc.

An example layout of a sign that incorporates all of these ideas is as follows:

“Text SAMPLE to 46786 to join our exclusive mobile group”

“You will automatically receive a FREE _____!”

“Also, you will automatically be put in a drawing to win a FREE ____!”

Msg & Data Rates May Apply. To Opt Out Reply STOP

We will only send you 4-6 exclusive messages a month.

All of these ideas can and should be incorporated into all of your mediums for marketing the list. Try out these simple ideas and keep us posted as your campaign really takes off!

Tags: text message marketing

Posted in: How To..., Info