7 Ideas to Start and Grow Your SMS Subscriber List

09/23/2020 09:00 AM By Angela

7 Ideas to Start and Grow Your SMS Subscriber List
Many people think that SMS as a marketing tool is outdated and old-fashioned. It's underutilized and often forgotten, with more focus placed on online advertising, email lists, and other tactics.

But a channel that has an open rate anywhere from 82% to 98% can't be ignored. Especially here in the Philippines: with 159% mobile connections compared to the local population and 14% don't even have data connectivity, the reach SMS can bring you is well worth a shot.

It's never too late to start your own SMS subscriber list for your business. We've got seven great ideas that you can use if you're starting your list, or if you need help growing it.

Promise and Deliver VIP Treatment

People love feeling like a VIP. Getting exclusive rewards and promotions, breaking news, early access to products and services--all of these are great hooks to get your customers to opt into your SMS list. The promise of having exclusive deals can be very attractive to your customers.

But make sure you deliver. Don't promise something and end up spamming your subscribers with unrelated messages or promotions.

Reward Subscribers On Signup

It's important to start off with a bang. An instant promotion or reward when your new subscribers sign up gets you off on the right foot.

You can also look into rewarding your subscribers the longer they stay signed up with you. Try scheduling sending rewards to your subscribers on the anniversary of their signing up with you. They'll be delighted and possibly tell friends of the surprise you had in store for them.

While we're talking about telling friends...

Start a Referral Program

A great way to grow your list is having a referral program in place. Your subscribers can be some of the best promoters of your brand and products: if you can offer them incentives to share your list with their friends, you might get a steady stream of new signups.

You can do something super simple such as a one-time reward for signups, or an ongoing points system. Make sure it matches the product and brand you're promoting.

Use Existing Checkout or Signup Forms

If you've got an online shop, try to maximize the use of your current forms for signing up and checking out. They're already on your website and giving you information -- why not use that to get more subscribers?

A simple checkbox at the end of the form that customers can check if they want to be signed up to your SMS subscriber list is all it takes.

Get Opt-Ins from Previously Collected Phone Numbers

Don't forget that you probably already have a number of previously collected phone numbers from past orders and customers. While you cannot immediately sign them up to your new SMS subscriber list, you can send them a one-time message inviting them to opt in.

Make sure you explain why you're contacting them now, and how they can continue to hear from you if they wish. You can use keyword opt-ins for this as well. For example:

You gave us your number for an order before.
We started sending exclusives to SMS
subscribers recently, do you want to hear
about them? Reply Y or N

Promote on Packaging and Receipts

Don't underestimate how effective printing your SMS subscriber list call to action on your product packaging and receipts.

It's something you have great control over, so why not maximize that space that your customers can see? Check out Papa John's invitation for reviews via mobile:

Combine Facebook Ads and a Chatbot with Automatic SMS Opt-In

Everyone's on Facebook, and Facebook Ads can be a great way to extend reach. Facebook Click-to-Messenger Ads can send your ad's viewers directly to Messenger to chat with you, which is an added touch of intimacy with your potential customer.

You can then use a Messenger chatbot to have an interactive conversation with your customer, and sign them up to your SMS subscriber list during their conversation.

Get Started Now

SMS may be a little more traditional than your usual marketing channels, but handled correctly, your subscribers may become one of your most loyal and active customers. But your subscriber list won't grow without some work.

Take your pick, or use all of them:

  1. Promise and deliver VIP treatment.
  2. Reward subscribers upon signup.
  3. Start a referral program.
  4. Use existing checkout or signup forms.
  5. Get opt-ins from previously collected phone numbers.
  6. Promote on packaging and receipts.
  7. Combine Facebook Ads and a chatbot with automatic SMS opt-in.

You can get started with your SMS subscriber list anytime. But the longer you wait, the longer before you can harvest the great returns a great marketing strategy can give you.