The EZ Guide to Growing Your Text Marketing List

What if you could steadily increase your text subscribers into the thousands and tens of thousands and beyond? How would that affect your business and its future growth and profit potential?

You may have heard the old internet adage, “the money is in the list.” This phrase refers to an email marketing list, but since texts are opened by 99% of recipients, compared to about 17-25% on average for emails, there is definitely a new premier "list" in town. And there's more than one way to use it to generate customer engagement and sales.   

The Benefits of a Large Subscriber List

A robust SMS marketing list is a valuable asset for your small business; it can provide a veritable influx of leads and steady profits if you know how to leverage it correctly. 

Text marketing offers so many benefits to growing businesses.  Here are a few of the top benefits you can expect:

Direct communication

Have you ever left your house without your phone? It’s not common to be without our phones in our current fast-paced, immediate-gratification world. In fact, many people keep their mobile phones by them 24-7. 

Outside of verbal conversations, text messaging is as direct as businesses can get with their customer communication. The messaging is immediate and since recipients carry their phones with them, they will receive the messages more readily than other forms of communication.  

Your customers are receiving your messages

Though email is still a powerful way to market to prospects, SMS marketing messages have a much higher open rate at 99 percent. The reason is that most people text daily for personal reasons so you are targeting them where they spend a lot of their time, writing and waiting to receive text messages. 

Increased awareness

Since 99% of people open text messages, why not use your text marketing campaigns to increase awareness for your brand? Whether you are running a promotion, a special event, or a discount sale, use text messaging to get your messages across to a larger pool of potential buyers.

Photography agency, A&A Video/NICO Photo, uses SMS text messaging to alert its leads as to when they will be attending wedding shows. This further connects the brand with its leads and also keeps it top of mind with potential customers. The brand has received a good response and their business has grown as a result of using SMS marketing. 

How to Grow Your List

To receive the many benefits of your text marketing program, you need a sizable list. 

The good news is that it’s not that difficult to grow your list if you use the right strategies and take advantage of every opportunity to get your program in front of potential subscribers. And one of the easiest ways to grow your list is to cross-promote and piggyback off your current marketing strategies.

The list below details some ways you can cross-promote your text marketing program. 

Social mentions

Integrate your SMS marketing campaign with all of your social marketing profiles. Create calls to action to join your list and post them on each social network. A call to action is simply a message that urges people to take some kind of action.

A call to action for someone to join your text marketing program may look something like this:
Text GETDISCOUNT to 12345 to get $15 off your next purchase!

Images get the most engagement on social media platforms so add your call to action message to an image background and include all pertinent information a subscriber needs to join your text list. Use image-creating programs such as Canva, Pablo, and Picmonkey to easily create professional images. No graphic design experience required.

If you have a landing page (single website page designed for a specific purpose) that promotes your text marketing list, link to your landing page from your social profiles. If you want to create a landing page to promote your text marketing campaign, you can do so easily with a program such as LeadPages

Email newsletter or emails 

If you have an email list and you send regular emails, add a call to action to the bottom of your emails for people to join your text marketing program.

You can also send single emails periodically that only promote your text marketing program. Spread out these promotional text emails so you don’t overwhelm your list with promotions. Sending them once a month is a good place to start as long as you don’t have a lot of other company promotions going on at the same time. Avoid overwhelming your list with multiple promotions.

Provide an incentive or a special deal to subscribers to encourage signups. One strategy is to piggyback these text subscriber incentives with company-wide promotions. Offer text subscribers a better deal than what you are offering everyone else if they join your text marketing program. People love exclusive discounts and these promotions will urge them to take action. Consider running sweepstakes and contests as well since people love the chance to win free gifts.

And wherever you offer an incentive to join your text marketing program, include the benefits subscribers will receive. This will increase conversions.

Website

Add a call to action to your website via a sign-up form. Prompt users to enter their phone number to opt-in. On your sign up form, provide the benefits subscribers can expect when joining your SMS marketing campaign. 

Print advertisements

Add a call to action on all printed media advertisements, preferably at the top and the bottom for maximum visibility.  

TIP: If your advertisement promotes an exclusive offer, it may not be a good strategy to add a call to action for your text marketing campaign so you do not dilute your core advertising message. Otherwise, use every opportunity to increase text subscribers.

Event announcements 

If you hold public events, mention your campaign in person. Add calls to action to event flyers and paraphernalia.

Flyers and internal media

Use every square inch of your store to promote your text marketing program. Add calls to action to your checkout process by printing them on paper receipts, on internal flyers or on in-store or external window signage. 

Have a clothing store? Add signs to dressing room walls. Run an eatery? Add calls to action to menus and tabletop pamphlets. Promote special in-store discount codes as an incentive for people to become subscribers. Use every opportunity to promote your campaign.

Audio / video media

Run a podcast? Shoot YouTube videos? Add calls to action to your visual and audio media. 

If you run radio advertising or podcasts, toward the end of your advertisement, give listeners an incentive and an easy way to subscribe. Use a clever keyword they can remember (ex: RADIODEAL) since they won’t have the message in front of them.

Promote your text marketing campaigns during and at the end of your videos. Use YouTube end screens and cards to add text and clickable spots in your videos. 

If you want a more detailed checklist of these categories and where you can add a call to action to grow your text list, download our free text marketing strategies checklist here.

Wait! Before You Begin…

Make every text message work as hard as it can as you grow your list! To do this effectively, before you start promoting your SMS marketing program, read and apply these few tips below: 

Messaging 101

Practice promotional message consistency. For example, if you are running a 20% off promo for Black Friday and blasting it to your email list, use similar messaging in your texts so users will recognize the promotion wherever you are marketing it. However, avoid using recycled messages for subsequent promotions. Your goal is to make your valued subscribers feel special. So, once Valentine’s Day rolls around, don’t re-hash the same promotional message from Black Friday. Change up your messaging so that it is unique from your last promotion but remains consistent with your business-wide messaging for that specific promotion.

Incentives

As mentioned before, offering incentives is key to increasing sign ups to your SMS marketing list. Subscribers need to know they will benefit from you sending them periodic text messages. Otherwise, they will not want to be bothered. 

Also, create an incentive that provides maximum value. Some companies' incentives include simply getting company updates, but this isn’t always effective unless your updates regularly include incentives. 

One other tip is to make your incentive exclusive by offering a special discount or promotion for only your subscribers who sign up. This will increase sign ups because people will feel “special.” 

Call-to-action wording

Keep your text message calls to action simple, clear, and to the point. You only have 160 characters to make an impact so make every word count!

Here is an example of a poor call-to-action message along with an improved version. 

Example #1: Text DISCOUNT to 12345 to get a 20% off discount in our store
Example #2: Text MYDEAL to 12345 to get 20% off your entire next purchase!

The first example is mediocre as it doesn’t generate excitement and it is rather bland. In the second example, we made the keyword more compelling and personal by using “my” (MYDEAL) and used the word “entire” so recipients know that the discount code can be applied to more than one item (specificity). We also added an exclamation point for emphasis.

Your audience may prefer one text style over another so try different messages and see how each one fares. But, remember to keep the message as specific and clear as possible and include a little excitement if the message calls for it.

Conclusion

With a little strategy and a clear call to action, you can grow your text marketing list and ultimately your business profits. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, take advantage of the marketing strategies you are already using and cross-promote to get more text subscribers. When creating your messaging, remember to provide a simple and specific clear call to action backed by an incentive to increase the chance of signups.

If you want to get started with text marketing or you are looking for a provider that is dedicated to helping you succeed, you can sign up for free here with no long-term commitment required. You will receive 250 free texts a month, one free Ez keyword and unlimited contacts. Take us for a test spin today and get the most out of your text marketing campaign.