5 Best Practices When Building Your SMS Subscriber List

One of the key factors determining the success of your text messaging campaigns is ensuring you build a healthy subscriber list.  We get a lot of questions asking the best ways to build your list and have compiled our top five best practices.

1.  Keywords are Key

Keyword choices are important and can make or break a campaign. The best keywords are short, one word, and easy to remember. Use a keyword that is logically related to your brand. Avoid using numbers or multiple words as keywords to prevent entry errors or confusion. Stick to conventional spelling so that autocorrect helps you rather than hurts you. For example, use the word “EASY” instead of “EZ” as a keyword. Adding alternative spellings and common misspellings as keywords is also another really good step to maximize the number of customers who successfully opt-in.

 2.  Make the Opt-In Easy

Make it easy for people to join your campaign.  We find people are deterred from signing up for SMS messaging services when they are required to go through too many steps. Simplify the steps to opt-in as well as the flow of your online opt-in forms. A web opt-in page should include the ability to select which form of communication the customer prefers (SMS, email, or both) and be able to define this based on the type of alert.  For example, a customer may want general reminders, such as “your invoice is due,” to go to their email address but prefer that low-balance threshold alerts be sent to their phone by SMS, as that requires more immediate attention. 

3.  Be Very Clear

Customers should know exactly what they’re signing up for when they are opting into your campaign, so be as clear as possible. Being upfront and setting your customers expectations will give them comfort in knowing that you will not be spamming their phones. Be clear about the purpose of your text messaging campaign, how often you’ll be sending messages, and the types of messages they should expecting from you.  Include this information in your campaign promotion and in the and in the automated response subscribers receive when they first opt-in.

 4.  Offer Incentives

The best, and easiest way to drive opt-ins to a text-based marketing campaign is to offer incentives. If customers are offered an immediate discount, they are much more likely to “opt-in”. Make sure the value exchange is clear to the end-user. If immediate discounts are not an option, the promise of ongoing promotions is the next-best thing.

5.  Promote, Promote, Promote

Promote aggressively, promote cross-channel, and promote regularly. Draw attention with the SIZE of the keyword and short code because you want these to stand out more from the rest of the copy. To differentiate the call to action from other text on the screen/page, bolding the KEYWORD and SHORT CODE, and using a different color, are great ways to ensure the information stands out. Try using multiple keywords, unique to your awareness channel, so you can track the effectiveness of each channel and optimize how and where to promote.

Where to Promote:

  • Website
  • Mobile App
  • Email Blasts
  • Radio Spots
  • Television Spots
  • Print Ads
  • Bills

Putting a bit of thought into your campaigns upfront and following best practices will ensure your campaigns are set up for success.  Looking for more guidance on text messaging solutions?  Our experts can help. Contact us for more information sales@mgage.com.