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5 Effective Ways to Build Your SMS Marketing List

In an age where every beep, buzz, and ping could spell a potential sale, SMS marketing emerges as the unsung hero of digital outreach. Crisp, concise, and with open rates as high as 98%, text messages cut through the static of overfilled email inboxes and forgotten social feeds. But the power of text message marketing also comes with substantial responsibility and an ethical call to respect customers' privacy. 

Today, we’re discussing how to build your SMS marketing lists while navigating customer consent and legal compliance.

Table of Contents

What to Consider Before Sending Your First Marketing Text


5 Ways to Grow Your SMS Marketing List

What to Consider Before Collecting Contact Data

SMS marketing is built on trust and permission. Unlike other forms of marketing, where the audience might passively encounter your advertisements, SMS is a personal medium, meaning there are some important compliance rules you must adhere to. 

Namely, you’ll need to be transparent about what your audience can expect from your communications, and you must use compliant methods for collecting phone numbers for your SMS list.

1. Be Transparent About Your Messaging Practices

Before asking for your first opt-in, ensure that the sign-up process is crystal clear about what subscribers will receive. Will it be weekly deals? Event notifications? Tips related to your product or service? Whatever the content, clarity is non-negotiable. This goes beyond the type of messages — you must also be upfront about how frequently you'll be in touch. No one appreciates being bombarded with texts they weren't expecting.

2. Follow TCPA Compliance Guidelines

In the United States, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) mandates that businesses get express written consent before sending automated promotional messages. Violation of the TCPA is a serious matter, with fines between $500-$1,500 per violation (text or call).

3. Adhere to Text Marketing Best Practices

Once you’re ready to send out your first message, there are ways to help maintain the trust of your subscribers and nurture a positive brand image. Here's a rundown of the best practices in text marketing:

Provide Easy Opt-Out Options: Include simple instructions for unsubscribing in every message to respect subscriber autonomy and adhere to legal requirements.

Deliver Value with Each Message: Ensure that your SMS campaign offers genuine value to your subscribers, whether through exclusive deals, important updates, or valuable content, to keep them engaged and interested.

Personalize Communications: Tailor messages to the recipient whenever possible to create a more personalized experience and increase the relevance of your content.

Time Your Messages Appropriately: Consider your audience's time zone and routine to send texts at times when they’re likely to be well-received -- not too early and not too late.

Maintain Message Clarity and Brevity: With limited space and increasingly shorter attention spans, it's essential to communicate your offer or message succinctly and clearly to ensure understanding and engagement.

Respect Privacy: Protect your SMS list's data vigilantly and never share subscribers' information without their explicit consent.

Monitor and Adjust Based on Feedback: Pay attention to your SMS campaigns' responses and engagement levels and be willing to adjust your strategy accordingly.

Following these best practices and a text marketing checklist will help ensure that your campaigns are effective, welcomed by recipients, and reflective of your brand's commitment to respectful, customer-centric communication.

5 Great Ways to Grow Your SMS Marketing List

With a sound approach in your arsenal, it’s time to start collecting phone numbers. Here are some strategic and compliant ideas to help you build a solid contact list. 

1. Offer Incentives

Incentives can be a powerful way to encourage customers to join your SMS list. 

  • Offer exclusive discounts, promotions, or content to incentivize users to subscribe to your text messages. You can use a mobile keyword to quickly achieve this by saying something like: Text SAVE to 56813 today and get 15% off your entire order.

  • Make sure your customers are fully aware that they're signing up for marketing texts and not just receiving a one-time offer.

2. Run Contests and Giveaways

Contests are a fun way to get customers excited about joining your contact list. The chance to win something can be a strong motivator for customers to opt in. Some ideas include:

  • Host a contest that requires participants to subscribe to your text messages as a condition of entry. For example, Text CONTEST to 89642 and be entered to win a $25 gift card to our store. 

  • Ensure that the prizes appeal to your target audience and create urgency with a set timeline for entry. 

3. Collect Referrals

Referral programs are a great way to extend your reach and let your current subscribers help you automatically build your list.

  • Encourage your existing subscribers to refer friends and family by offering additional incentives for successful referrals.

  • Promote message forwarding. For example, 🎉 Exclusive Offer Alert! 🎉 Get 20% off your next order with us. Want to share the love? Forward this message to your friends and family. They can join by texting JOIN to 12345 and get their 20% off, too! Spread the joy and save together! 💕.

  • Ensure that both the referrer and the new subscriber receive benefits to grow your list rapidly. 

4. Leverage Social Media

Your social media followers are already interested in your brand but may not always be seeing your posts. This is where texting plays a pivotal role in getting your messages in front of subscribers. 

Consider creating posts highlighting the benefits of subscribing and include a call-to-action for users to text a keyword to subscribe.

5. Utilize Point of Sale Opportunities

During a transaction, it is an excellent time to ask customers if they would like to receive texts from your company. A simple "Would you like to get special offers and news via text?" can work wonders. 

Manage Your SMS Contacts With Mozeo

As you expand your SMS marketing list, let ethical practices and a solid strategy lead the way. Customers are more likely to engage with brands they trust, and that trust begins with their first text. By focusing on transparent, value-driven, and compliant SMS marketing strategies, you can create a robust SMS list that enhances your outreach and drives your business forward.

Remember, a strong SMS list isn't just about numbers; it's about building a community around your brand. Specifically, a community that's opted in, engaged, and eager to hear what you have to say. To start or enhance your SMS marketing efforts with Mozeo, request a demo today, and a team member will be happy to help!