Text to Win – Good For Growing SMS Subscribers?

We’ve all seen the following type of advertisement, telling us to text to win. The majority of these text to win SMS campaigns have a hidden agenda though, which is to collect your mobile phone number to be able to send you future SMS promotions. The question is, does this SMS marketing tactic work?

Text to Win Skinny Water SMS Marketing Campaign

After you text to win, like in the above advertisement, the majority of the time you will be prompted to opt-in to receive future SMS promotions from that business. Collecting your mobile phone number is extremely valuable for any business, and is usually the reason for the text to win SMS campaign in the first place. Below is an example.

Text Message Campaign for Skinny Water

There is nothing wrong with this tactic, but there are two different tactics to evaluate when encouraging customers to opt-in to your SMS campaign. The two tactics include using a “double opt-in” or a “single opt-in”, both are defined below.


  • Double Opt-In: You get the customer to interact with your SMS campaign by offering some sort of promotion, giveaway or discount, then ask they via text message to opt-in to receive future SMS promotions from your business. (Example above)
  • Single Opt-In: You tell the customer right from the beginning that they are opting in to receive future SMS promotions from your business. (Example below)


Cupcake Store SMS Marketing

The question is, which one is better when it comes to growing your SMS subscribers? While there is no one answer that fits every SMS campaign, we can look at previous SMS campaigns and evaluate their results, which in-turn can help your business decide which tactic is right for you.

Below are seven case studies where businesses have used a text to win SMS campaign, with a double opt-in for customers to subscribe to future SMS promotions or offers. Each of these SMS campaigns reported the following double opt-in rates.


  • Carmike Cinemas SMS Campaign – 30% Double Opt-In
  • Great American Country TV SMS Campaign – 8.8% Double Opt-In
  • M&M Products Co. SMS Campaign – 46% Double Opt-In
  • Viquest Wellness Center SMS Campaign – 44% Double Opt-In
  • Belterra Casino Resort SMS Campaign – 60% Double Opt-In
  • Ford Canada SMS Campaign – 18% Double Opt-In
  • Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurant SMS Campaign – 57% Double Opt-In

The average double opt-in rate for the above SMS campaigns was 38%.  Word of caution regarding the above opt-in rates, these text to win campaigns are the best of the best, as it’s not common practice for an SMS provider to publish case studies on their worst campaigns.

So what can we determine from these seven case studies about the effectiveness of growing your SMS subscribers with a text to win/double opt-in, when compared to a single opt-in campaign? To answer this question, we created the following graph based on a hypothetical SMS campaign with an average 37% double opt-in rate, after the customer participates in the text to win campaign. We then graphed our X axis based off a text to win growth factor over single opt-in participation of 1,000 SMS subscribers.

Double Opt In VS Single Opt In SMS Growth Rates

Now lets compare the number of double opt-in subscribers that came from the hypothetical text to win campaign, with the single opt-in subscribers. Below is a graph with the same X axis representing the text to win growth rate over single opt-in participation. As you can see, this text to win SMS campaign would have to receive three times the participation rate as the single opt-in SMS campaign for it have more SMS subscribers.

Double Opt In VS Single Opt In SMS Growth Rates 2

Another thing that should be taken into consideration when evaluating these two options is cost. Not only will the messaging costs be larger for a text to win campaign as you will be sending more messages, but there will be a cost associated with the promotional item or discount you are offering.

Like we said before, there is no definitive answer to which tactic is better for growing your SMS subscribers, but at least now you know how to evaluate the two different options for your own SMS campaign.

Thinking about running either type of campaign, give the SMS marketing experts at Tatango a call (888) 517-6345 and let us help you figure out what type of campaign will best work for your business.


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