Build your Opt-in list

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Once you’ve opened your iSmart SMS account the first thing you want to do is build your contact list.

You may have great ideas for your SMS marketing campaign and big ambitions for take-up of your latest offer. But no matter how flashy or creative your ideas, they will fall on deaf ears if your opted-in numbers phonebook isn’t up to scratch.

The phrase “everybody starts at zero” is well quoted for good reason. Even massive and very successful companies started somewhere; and that somewhere was basically an empty phonebook. It takes time and dedication to build up such a database.

Shortly you’ll learn the best ways to build up your list. Just as important as building your list, you’ll want to make sure people don’t opt-out – so we’ve collected some common mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Ideas For Increasing Your Opt-In List:

1. Web/Email: Whether you are asking people to text in your keyword or using a signup widget, leverage the power of the Internet to increase your contact lists! Emails are another great way to communicate with your current and potential customers. For example, if you are having an email database that you send emails to, you could give your subscribers the opportunity to opt into your text messaging alerts to receive a discount directly to their phones.

2. Signage: Whether you are hosting a special event, lecture, conference, or trade show, you can gain subscribers by having on-site signage requesting attendees to text in a keyword to receive special offers, basic information, or alerts.

In-store signage examples:  Best for restaurants, retail stores, salons, and gyms. For example, if you are an apparel store and you are looking to create a buzz about new merchandise that is arriving to the store, you would have an in-store sign instructing customers to text in to receive a special discount or offer.

3. Radio: Listeners are likely to react immediately to a radio call to action; otherwise they will have forgotten the number and the moment has passed. But radio is still popular and commercial and local stations make a good medium for local business advertising. Make the call to action short and simple and as easy as possible to maximize responses.

If you are advertising on the radio, leverage that airtime by adding a texting call-to-action, instructing listeners to text your keyword for more information or a special offer. If you operate a radio station, streamline song requests by having them text their requests by using your keyword.

4. Outdoor: Billboards have a huge reach and are a great way to increase brand exposure. Adding a text messaging call-to-action can do even more – instruct people to text in to be entered for a chance to win a contest or simply to receive more information.

5. Social media integration: The popularity of Facebook and Twitter presents a great opportunity for businesses to leverage their SMS efforts. Web widgets are extremely effective in building subscribers. Do you have a lot of Twitter followers or Facebook fans? Encourage them to text your keyword to opt into your contact list. Or better yet, use a Facebook widget to have people opt-in directly from their computer!

6. Newsletters: If you are sending out newsletters you can instruct people to text in your keyword to receive news or other pertinent information from your company or organization.

7. Competitions: Offering people the opportunity to win a reasonably high-value prize in return for handing over their contact details works a treat. This also promises entrants the chance to be part of a group or to be featured above others who have similar interests if you win it. There are endless ways to put this into action, both through digital channels and print.

Other List Building Tips:

Positioning: Thinking about how, when, where and why to communicate with a potential group of customers or group members is very important. We suggest keeping in mind a number of things as you build your list and expand your marketing efforts. One of the most effective tactics is to always offer some sort of incentive for subscribing. Whether this is a one-time coupon, discount on a product or service or just a special offer, you want to give your customers a reason to text in. Another method is to position your SMS program as an exclusive program that gives people access to something they could not receive otherwise. If customers think they are getting something special they will be much more likely to subscribe.

Phrasing: Language and vernacular are equally important when conveying a clear and concise message to a large number of people. Nothing is more important than how you phrase your call-to-action. Too often we’ve seen campaigns with low response rates due to poorly phrased opt-in instructions on a print or television advertisement. Ultimately, you want to keep the call-to-action simple: Text {KEYWORD} to {Short Code} for XYZ.

Integration: We cannot stress the importance of integrating your SMS marketing promotion into all of your marketing campaigns. Soon enough, every company will publicize their mobile keyword. So in the same way you have your company’s phone number and website on all advertisement and marketing pieces, start to include your text messaging call-to-actions on these pieces so customers get used to seeing and responding to them.

In general, remember that building a list is a process and takes time. The higher the level of interactivity is with your clients, the better relationships you form, and the more likely your clients are to take advantage of your offers as they become more comfortable with this mode of communication.

Want to learn more? Call us now +986 24151020 / 21.