SMS Marketing Best Practices · Video Lessons

How to Grow Your SMS List 520% Faster

In SMS marketing, list size is everything. That’s why it’s so important to implement best practices for your own SMS marketing campaign to optimize your list growth. Want to know the quickest way to grow your SMS list? This article will teach you how to grow your SMS list 520% faster.


What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing involves businesses sending promotions via SMS to increase sales. It’s important to note that in the United States, SMS marketing requires that a consumer opt-in before receiving any messages. Top brands like Auto Zone, Chili’s, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Kohl’s all use SMS marketing to reach their customers.

An example of an SMS marketing message from Kohl’s is below.

SMS Marketing Message from Kohls


Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Before you start thinking about building or growing an SMS list, it’s important that you understand the rules for growing that SMS list set by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). When a consumer provides their phone number to your business, they have to opt-in by agreeing to receive “auto-dialed marketing messages“, and be made aware that by providing their phone number when making a purchase, there’s no agreement to receive those messages. Both of these things have to be clearly disclosed to the consumer during the opt-in process.

To learn more about the TCPA, and how it affects SMS list growth strategies, check out these TCPA videos.


SMS Marketing Opt-In Rates

What’s an average SMS opt-in rate? It depends. Below are the average SMS opt-in rates for when a business uses different advertising channels to promote their SMS marketing campaign. For more information on average opt-in rates by advertising channel, click here.

  • Social Media: .7% – 2.9%
  • Website: .7% – 1.4%
  • Television: 1.0 – 2.4%
  • Email: 1.6% – 10.5%
  • In-Store: 2.3 – 3.2%


SMS Marketing Opt-In Incentives

How to Grow Your SMS List - SMS Marketing Step 1
By far the #1 strategy to grow your SMS list is to offer an extra incentive for customers to opt-in. In a recent study, it was found that by offering customers some kind of extra incentive to opt-in, businesses were able to grow their SMS marketing lists 520% faster.

What do we mean by an “extra incentive to opt-in”? Most SMS marketing campaigns will encourage customers to opt-in to receive future SMS coupons and promotions. While that’s great, to grow your SMS list faster, you’ll need to give customers an immediate reward for them giving you their mobile phone numbers. For example, a business could say “Receive 20% off when you join our SMS list”, or “Get a free cookie when you join our SMS list”.

Just this little opt-in incentive will significantly boost your SMS list growth, and as the study found, can have a significant impact on your SMS marketing campaign.


Clear SMS Opt-In Incentives

We recommend all businesses offer some sort of opt-in incentive, especially if they want to grow their SMS list fast. That being said, it’s super important to not mislead the customer when advertising your opt-in incentive.

The exact wording of an opt-in promotion is of great importance. A retailer cannot just say something like “Get 20% off your next purchase by texting us”. This is a misleading advertisement because consumers will not be aware of the fact that, in order to get the 20% off their next purchase, they need to opt-in to receive SMS marketing messages from that business. Not only will this frustrate and anger consumers, but it’s also a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The proper way to grow your SMS list is by offering the incentive to the consumer, but also telling them that to receive the incentive, they must opt-in. For example, “Buy one, get one free when you join our SMS list.”


Returning SMS Subscribers

How to Grow Your SMS List - SMS Marketing Step 2
When you offer an incentive for consumers to opt-in, you’re going to get some people that will opt-in multiple times to continue to receive the opt-in incentive.

This is why you need an SMS marketing software platform like Tatango, that can tell the difference between first-time opt-ins, and those that are attempting to opt-in multiple times. When someone attempts to opt-in for a second time, it’s important that instead of sending the new opt-in reward, you send an SMS message that tells them they’ve already subscribed in the past, and that they’re not eligible for the opt-in reward.


SMS Opt-In Incentive Best Practices

In the video below, we walk you through some of the best practices for creating and sending SMS opt-in incentives.


Alternative SMS Marketing Growth Strategy

Want to grow your SMS list even faster? Check out the video below for an SMS marketing strategy that is also proven to grow your SMS list.


Try It Yourself

So that is the fastest way to build an SMS marketing list. We highly recommend that you try it out for your brand’s text message marketing campaign. As you know by now, your SMS subscriber list could grow by 520% if you apply the described strategies and tips.

If you still have any questions after reading the article, then feel free to contact us via this contact form.

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