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5 ways to increase SMS opt-in rates

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

5 ways to increase SMS opt-in rates

Mass text messaging is one of the best marketing tools to interact with your customers. You need an extensive SMS marketing list to use this excellent tool effectively. Whether you’re just getting started with text marketing or looking to expand your ongoing SMS subscriber list, the following tips will help you to increase your SMS opt-in rates. Let’s dive in.

1. Promote your SMS opt-in list everywhere

The first step in increasing your SMS opt-in rate is to let your customers know as much as possible about your SMS marketing opportunities. So, you can invite them to your SMS opt-in lists via these channels:

  1. In-store

  2. Website

  3. Social Media

  4. Google My Business

  5. Email marketing

In-store & website

You can use posters in-store and web widgets on your website to promote your SMS opt-in list. However, one enticing way to convince your customers to get into your SMS opt-in list is payment. During payment, ask them if they want to pay less by subscribing to your SMS marketing list. Who can say no to discounts? 😏

Social Media

Meanwhile, publish your SMS opt-in list opportunities on all your social media channels like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, or whatever you have. You can write your SMS marketing number to your bio or post it on your feed regularly.

Google My Business

If you run a local business, you probably know the importance of promoting your business on Google My Business. However, let us explain it to the ones who are not familiar with it.

Google My Business (GMB) is a platform where small & local businesses build their online presence. When prospects search for your business name on Google, they first see your GMB profile. Local companies can share their location, website, phone, and email addresses in their GMB profile to engage with their customers easier.

So, if you're running SMS marketing campaigns, you can share your short code or toll-free number via your GMB profile and invite prospects to opt-in to your SMS marketing subscriber list.

Email marketing

Email vs. SMS marketing… This has always been a hot topic in the marketing world. However, today we suggest you use them as complimentary marketing tools to promote your small business. Invite your email subscribers to opt into your SMS marketing lists so they can stay abreast of your time-sensitive offers. And think of email marketing as a broad marketing tool to help feed your more strategic marketing efforts.

NOTE: If you are a beginner in SMS marketing and want to figure out where to start collecting SMS opt-ins before diving into the SMS opt-in rate issues, you can follow these 3 ways to collect SMS opt-ins.

2. Make tempting offers

If you’re inviting people to opt into your SMS marketing list, you must offer them something irresistible. Something so hard to resist that it’ll make prospects think, “it’llyes, this is worth subscribing to their SMS marketing list”.

So, make sure to consider strategies like free shipping, BOGO, big discounts, or anything that can make an improvement in your customer’s buying journey. You can try various offers, but you should focus on the most attractive one to increase your SMS opt-in rate. If you don’t know which offer is more effective in getting customers to opt in, you can do two things:

● Ask customers about their favorite offer

● Run an A/B test

Ask customers about their favorite offer

The ultimate guide to understanding your prospects is through your existing customers. So, text your subscribers and ask them why they opted into your SMS marketing lists and which campaigns they want to see more of. For example, you can use this ready-to-message template:

Hey {first name}, got a minute? Your insights are so valuable for our brand. 🤍 Please click the link below and tell us your favorite campaign to us. This will help us to create the kind of campaigns you like: {survey link} - {business name} - Reply STOP to opt out

Run an A/B test

This way is a little bit more technical but more efficient in the long term. If you can’t decide which offer attracts more subscribers to your SMS marketing list, you can compare them by running A/B tests. Here are the steps:

  1. Choose 2 of your offers, for example, BOGO (group A) and free shipping (group B)

  2. For 1 week, test group A:

    1. Offer BOGO when inviting prospects to your SMS marketing lists

    2. Save your new opt-ins in an excel sheet

  3. During another 1-week, test group B:

    1. Offer free shipping when inviting prospects to your SMS marketing lists

    2. Save your new opt-ins in a different excel sheet

  4. In the end, compare the number of SMS opt-ins you collected each week

  5. And focus on the one with better results

NOTE: If you think that 1 week is not enough to see healthy results, you can extend the time for each group.

NOTE: Pay attention to testing each group in similar conditions. For example, don’t test one group during the regular season and the other during the holiday season. Test both groups during the regular season or holiday season.

3. Keep your messages relevant

To keep your SMS opt-in rate high, you need to send the right message to the right person. For instance, if you want to promote your baby products, you should send these marketing messages to parents instead of teenagers. Or, if you want to promote your small business for Hanukkah, consider a message that is focused on your customers who observe the faith.

To keep your messages relevant consistently, you can segmentize your customers based on your knowledge of their interests.

4. Run a whispering campaign

Research showed that buyers frequently rely on word of mouth for their purchases. If you satisfy your customers with good products and services, they will recommend you to their families, friends, neighbors, etc. But how can you benefit from their recommendations to increase your SMS opt-in rate? 👇

Create a whisper marketing campaign to get your existing SMS subscribers to recommend your SMS opt-in lists. Reward your promoter for each new subscriber they bring. And watch your SMS subscriber list start to grow. 🎉

As an example, you can use this message template for your whispering campaigns:

Hey {first name}, would you like to earn a 20% discount coupon by just recommending our marketing messages to your friends? Just forward the link below to your friends and ask them to opt-in to our SMS lists by clicking the link. You’ll get 1 coupon for each opt-in you bring. 😎 - {website link} - {business name} - Reply STOP to opt out”

Or, if you don’t have a website, you can use this message sample:

Hi {first name}, would you like to earn a 20% discount coupon by just recommending our marketing messages to your friends? Forward this message to your friends and gain a 20% discount if they opt into our SMS list. You’ll get 1 coupon for each subscriber you bring. 😎 —- Hey, our customers’ friend! 🙋‍♀️You can text START to #12345 to subscribe and get exclusive offers from {business name} via SMS”

5. Ask why

As we said before, your existing customers are your ultimate guide to understanding and enticing prospects. So, if anyone chooses to opt out of your SMS marketing list, kindly ask why they leave. Then improve that issue within your next SMS marketing campaigns. For example, if they opt out because you text too much, you can update your messaging frequency.

To illustrate, you can use this opt-out message sample:

We are sorry to lose you. :( Can you do one last favor and tell us why you opted out? We want to understand you and improve our messages based on your answer. - {business name} - Text START if you miss us and want to rejoin 🤍

By sending this type of final message to your unsubscribed customers, you are sending the message that they and their opinions are valuable to you. Thus, even if they have opted out, they can still feel an emotional connection with your brand and may consider rejoining in the future.

This article explains 5 effective ways to increase SMS opt-in rates for small and local businesses. Let us know the results in the comments below if you try them. 🤍

Also, you can read the rules and regulations about SMS opt-ins at: SMS opt-in requirements

Remember, if you’re in need of a business texting service, Pony Express HQ is here to help. 💬 We have quite competitive bulk SMS pricing and an easy platform. You can sign up for free and benefit from our 100 bonus text message credits.

Happy Texting

The Pony Express HQ Team

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