How to Grow Your SMS Marketing List

If you’re an e-commerce marketer looking to get started with SMS, this post is for you.

You’ve probably seen text campaigns from other brands.  Maybe you opted in to SMS as a consumer or as a marketer.

We often get asked “How do I get started with text message marketing?"

The short answer is: “Build a large and high-quality list of subscribers.  Then deploy thoughtful, timely, personalized offers to meaningful segments of that list.”

Easier said than done.

We focus on finding ways to grow SMS into a profitable channel for our customers, not just maximizing revenue.

This blog post is about practical tactics marketing managers can take for SMS list-building.  With minimal effort and cost, you can experiment with these right away in your business and learn how they work for you and your customers.

Nine ways to grow your subscriber list

Try these tactics to build a profitable texting channel with your customers.

Collect phone numbers from site visitors with a pop up

Our favorite site promotion tool is JustUno.  You can install it quickly on your Shopify store and use pre-made templates to gather information from your site visitors.  Create a form or promotion to collect phone numbers, either in conjunction with or alternative to collecting email.  A/B test the impact of offering a welcome discount on completion and revenue.

Concierge is an SMS partner of Justuno.

Convert your email list to SMS subscribers

Your email subscribers are a great source of text message marketing subscribers.  We find that brands can typically convert about 10-20% of their email recipients into SMS recipients also.  If your email list has 100k subscribers, you can expect to build an SMS list of 20k over time.

The main question to ask yourself before promoting SMS to your email list is: “Why would our customers want to receive texts from us?”  A good reason is typically early access to new merchandise or sales.

Concierge customers use its no-code landing page to collect SMS opt ins from email subscriber lists.

Convert your social followers to SMS subscribers

If you’re active on social media, your followers will be looking for news and exciting posts from you about what’s coming.  Some customers may want to get proactively notified via text message.

Concierge customers use its no-code landing page to collect SMS opt-ins from social media followers.

Run a (monthly) drawing for a free product 

A raffle or drawing is a very effective list-building technique, with the important caveat that people signing up for free stuff are not typically going to be your best customers.  Use a pop-up to ask for phone numbers in exchange for being entered to win.  Make sure you have your terms and conditions well-stated.  We’ve employed this tactic with multiple customers with great success.

Collect opt-ins at checkout

Customers add their contact information during checkout anyway, so asking for permission to text is an easy add-on.  There’s an immediate benefit of being able to send abandoned cart reminders and a longer term benefit of growing your SMS list.

Concierge offers an easy plug in for Shopify Plus checkout templates to manage the SMS opt-in process for you, and also sends abandoned cart notifications.

Invite subscribers from your site footer

While it’s typical to list a phone number on your site, it’s less typical (and more interesting!) to ask customers to text.  If you’re a service-oriented brand and you’re not texting with customers for sales or service use cases, this one’s for you.  In fact, it’s very likely that your customers are already texting your voice-only phone numbers without getting a response.  It’s now possible to message-enable any phone number, even toll-free or landline numbers. We make it easy for your CX team to have two-way texting conversations using their existing customer service platform (e.g. ZenDesk, Kustomer, Gorgias, Intercom).

Concierge manages the process of text-enabling your existing voice phone numbers.

Create a personal shopping landing page

If you offer high-value products or a broad range of SKUs, your customers may need help deciding which one is right for them.  Rather than asking your customers to fill out a lengthy form in order to get in touch with a personal shopper, invite them to sign up for texts and assign them to a sales or service representative.

Concierge manages two-way text conversations between associates and their assigned customers.

Build a waitlist for upcoming product releases

Any new product or collection release is a great opportunity to gather interest from your customers that can be converted quickly into revenue with a text campaign.  If customers want early access to your merchandise, announce a waitlist and collect subscribers from email or social in the days or weeks leading up to the product drop.  

Concierge’s developer tools make it easy to embed waitlist forms anywhere on your site.

Back In Stock

When you’re out of stock of a customer’s specific size and color, they’ll likely want to sign up for a back in stock notification via text and/or email.  In addition, those who do sign up for text notifications may want recurring marketing notifications as well.

Concierge manages signups when products are out of stock and provides high-converting SMS notifications for back in stock alerts.

About Us

Concierge helps e-commerce marketers grow and succeed with our platform and strategy services.  If you’d like to hear more about our playbook for list-building, book a time to connect with us! 

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