Businesses often forget that the most valuable tool today is building a comprehensive contact list of their customers. This tool is often overlooked by businesses for the goal of speed. When you have people opt-in to text marketing, you gain a direct line of contact to them through text messages. Customers that do business with you have already taken the first step by working with you. The next best step you should take is to ask for their permission to keep in contact with them and provide relevant notifications and incentives.
The customers that complete the opt-in process have given you permission to keep up with them and incentivize them to do more business with you. This is one of the main reasons text marketing has a higher ROI out of any other source of marketing. Customers have made the choice to let you market to them, so they do not consider you as spamming them.
This is why building a text opted-in and compliant marketing list is so important. Once you start the process you will be able to put the opt-in process on autopilot. The following information will provide you a few ways to get this process moving and start building your text opt-in groups.
What is Opt-In Text Messaging?
Opt-in text messaging is the process by which a company or organization obtains permission from their recipients to receive their text communications. Text marketing is the most cost-effective way to reach your customers on your products and services. To be legally compliant with your text communications, the opt-in process is very important. It is your responsibility as a business or organization to provide your customers the option to opt-in and opt-out at any time. Regardless of if a customer recently purchased or serviced with you, the law clearly states you must receive permission. SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Message Service) are both permission-based activities. This means a potential customer must provide you with their permission before you send any type of message through text to them.
How Opt-In Marketing Can Help Build Marketing Groups
There are many ways to start building marketing groups. This process begins when people subscribe to your marketing. The people that join your marketing group have given consent to be communicated with and expect to hear from you. Here are some ways to help build your groups:
- Implement capturing mobile numbers in your current opt-in process.
- Add SMS signup options within your business.
- Promote SMS communication on your website.
- Post about how to sign up on your social media sites.
- Offer irresistible incentives for people to join your SMS marketing.
- Ask your customers what they want.
- Ask your customers for referrals.
Those are just a few ways to build your customer base, feel free to get as creative as you want! The key is to get the message out and provide your customers a way to join your marketing.
How to Launch a Successful Opt-In Campaign
Now that you have an understanding about text marketing and the required opt-in process, it is time to grow your groups by executing campaigns.
The fastest way to start building your opt-in group is by using incentives. When choosing the incentive, keep in mind you want people to join now so you can continue to market to them later. The incentive should be something they can use instantly and would entice them to want to opt-in now. Here are some examples of instant offers:
- $5 off on any purchase when you opt-in and present at check out.
- Free cell phone charging cable when you opt-in today.
- Free dessert when you present your coupon from opting in today!
You can deliver your incentive to customers through Keyword marketing. This is when you provide your customers a short word or phrase that they text to either a long or short number. Once the customer texts in your keyword to your long or short code, they will be opted in for text marketing. As a best practice, you want to keep your keywords as short as possible. The goal would be to stay under 12 characters. Pick a keyword that has meaning to your business to make it easy for you to use in your process and in other marketing.
Your keywords will be associated with a long-code (known as a phone number) or you can purchase a short-code (known as a short number, commonly 5 or 6 digits). One example of a keyword using a short code would be if you text “chat” to “41260”. You will be provided a long code when you signup for the ChatterText service as part of your subscription, but short codes are available for an additional cost.
In addition to keyword marketing, many businesses also use QR codes to assist with the opt-in process. QR codes can be used to direct your customers to signup forms. These forms can capture more information than keywords about your customer such as name, address, email, birthday, and more. Using a form process to opt-in provides you the same options as keywords but requires more actions from your customers. Unlike keywords where a customer opts in by sending a text to you, a short form opt-in requires the customer to provide you information first. Once the customer completes the form, they will receive a text asking them to complete the opt-in process by replying “Y” to subscribe. Once the customer replies “Y” they are then fully opted into your marketing.
Once you have your opt-in form created, you can also link this to other marketing sources. You can add this form to your website, social media pages, business listings, and more to drive customers to join your marketing and receive an incentive. You can advertise your keywords, QR codes, and opt-in forms in the following ways:
- In-Store Signage - Using in-store signage can attract both customers and prospects to join your text marketing. When a customer is already in-store, they are interested in your goods or services. Post in-store signage with a special offer or a discount on their purchase if they opt-in today. This will help drive interaction to get them opted in today to receive a discount.
- On-Site Signage - On-Site Signage is signage used at trade shows, events, or any other offsite location where you are promoting your business. One way our clients have used this is by adding a QR code on flyers when selling a home. Customers can scan the QR code and opt-in and you send them more information on the house they are looking at.
- Email - Email is a good driver to provide the option to join your marketing. You can add the opt-in to your email signature block or even a QR code image within the email to drive interactions.
- Radio - Radio is a great way to use specialized keywords to get interaction from your marketing. You can setup specialized incentives around Radio and look at when the opt-in is done to see if your marketing is working.
- TV - TV marketing can take your opt-in to the next level. You can use a Keyword or QR code opt-in to drive interaction. You can offer specialized, time-sensitive, offers or even just information and then track how your ad performs.
- Billboards - If you are currently using billboards, you can create a short keyword to add to your sign. This can provide passersby the ability to get more information and opt-in to your company’s marketing.
- Websites - Your customers visit your website for so many different things. Take the extra time to link opt-in forms and keyword marketing through your site to enhance your customer interaction. You can provide text discount codes that can apply to their order when they opt-in or even a special offer for future use.
- Social Media - You can now link your opted in customers and social media. In addition, you can promote your company using keywords in posts and images to drive more interactions.