[How To] Grow Your SMS Marketing List

This article discusses different methods to grow your SMS list and how to measure your success.

Mathew Gorka

By Mathew Gorka

April 17, 2023

8 min read

[How To] Grow Your SMS Marketing List

SMS marketing is designed to help you breakthrough in an overcrowded marketing world. It’s the kryptonite to your competitors and the vibranium in your arsenal (we love superheroes). By now you’ve seen the power of SMS marketing and what it means for the growth of your business. You’ve studied some of our best tips and you understand compliance. Now you’re looking to expand on your success, which means expanding your SMS subscriber list.

We’ve also spoken about the power of conversational commerce and how it is revolutionizing digital marketing and ecommerce. With customer expectations shifting, SMS marketing is the best way to stand out by being interactive with your base. SMS provides a channel where you can communicate on a personal level with each subscriber. SMS is also proven to be a key engagement driver, as most people check their phone roughly 100 times a day. That yields higher open rates, click through rates, reply rates, and conversion rates. With browser and social media marketing becoming more restrictive, SMS is your best chance interact with your prospects and drive meaningful interaction. So let’s see how we can get those numbers up.

Start with a Benchmark

It’s great to start with a benchmark. In our remarketing article we touched on KPIs that drive your business. One of them is new subscriber growth, which is a function of acquisition. Whether or not your conversion rate is ideal, you need people on your list. A bigger list increases your reach and your sample size for optimization. Further, people who subscribe to messaging are often prior purchasers or interested parties, which means you’re adding to a great section of your marketing funnel / purchase funnel.

Double Dip: Utilizing Your Email List to Promote SMS

Whether you have an existing SMS list or are starting from scratch, chances are your email list is larger. Utilize this resource (email list) to expand your SMS marketing list. Many of the most successful companies in the world are constantly cross-promoting their different channels. There are never too many ways to speak to your audience. The key is to make sure that each channel is communicated with differently. Recycled or repeat content will push unsubscribes on both channels. Consider longer messages and more impersonal messages on email, while being prompt and engaging on text.

Urgency and Exclusivity: Target Campaigns During High Demand Seasons

High demand seasons will depend on what you’re selling. Obviously seasonal products come to mind. Our classic example is the Ski shop. They’re seeing sales spikes during early Winter, the Christmas holiday, and overall they’re looking to do the majority of their sales during this season. Similarly, the surf shop is waiting until the early Spring for a kickoff to their sales season. The florist is looking forward to Valentine’s day and so on. Aside from seasonal businesses, there are holidays that affect nearly all businesses like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There are also cyclical businesses, like a shoe store, which advertise deals each time the seasons change from boots, to sneakers, to sandals, etc.

During these peak sales windows, customers are constantly on the lookout for a good sale. Often a well-timed sale will bring a customer into your business. That customer is appreciative of the deal and you have won their loyalty. If you make the experience particularly memorable, say with SMS updates and messaging, you can even turn that customer into an ambassador. We all have that friend or family member who tells you how good of a deal they got on something without being asked. It may be annoying at the holiday table, but as the business that is being spoken about you’ll gladly take the free brand awareness.

If our first example was a double dip then this is a layup. Offering SMS only deals and advertising them as your best offer will get people to sign up for your list. All you have to do is follow through. Make the deal exclusive, make it enticing, make sure it stands out, and make sure your customer knows they’re getting it because they’re on your SMS list. And although it should go without saying, make sure you send the deal via SMS.

Mention SMS in Marketing Campaigns on Other Channels

Earlier we mentioned utilizing your email marketing list to add to your SMS marketing list. Certainly the easiest way to grow your SMS list is to probe your existing customers. To do this, promote your new or revamped SMS marketing on social media. Whether you're using Facebook/Instagram advertising, LinkedIn advertising, Tiktok, Youtube, Reddit…any and all of these channels should take the opportunity to promote your SMS marketing program.

Don’t forget about your onsite customers. They’re already interacting with your business and deciding on whether or not to engage. A banner, pop-up, page, and/or a permanent home in your footer are all great ways to elicit a response. Your chatbot can also recommend signing up for SMS. All of these options involve taking an engaged prospect or customer and repositioning them to grow your SMS list.

‍Encourage Active Converters: Introduce SMS at the Conclusion of a Purchase

So you just got a conversion. The customer purchased your product and the order has hit your POS system. Job done, right? Wrong! While we share in your excitement for completing the sale we cannot let that blind us from other opportunities. Marketing is all about a series of small-asks. You ask someone to follow your page; they say yes. Then you ask them to leave a review or feedback; they say yes. Then you ask them to share their experience and so on. Most marketers and salespeople are so afraid of hearing ‘no’ that they rest on their laurels. Not you.

As an expert marketing practice, you want to immediately engage post-sale. This often provides value to the customer as well, making it a natural and mutually beneficial progression. Maybe your customer has a question about the product purchase. They may want a shipping alert or delivery alert. They may want a copy of their receipt texted to them. Right on the order confirmation page, order page, or receipt are all great places to position your signup form for SMS marketing.

Tying it all Together: A Quick Review Before You Start

First and foremost, make sure you’re aware of TCPA compliance when you start or grow your SMS marketing program. Next, be sure to utilize all of your existing channels to promote your program. Then imbed signup options onsite via banners, footers, pop ups, etc. Try to engage each new customer that comes in through a different channel. You want to create awareness during every phase of the customer journey. Lastly and most important, make sure that your SMS marketing program is worth it. That means exclusivity, great sales, new product drops, feature announcements, etc.

As your list grows be sure to check our article on how to lower your unsubscribe rate so you can keep your list steady, engaged, and converting. Good luck and remember, there’s no better place to execute your SMS marketing than Helios.

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