SMS opt-in is the website option which allows brands to run fair SMS marketing. Companies offer site visitors to leave their phone numbers to receive exclusive offers and notifications. That is another chance to improve brand awareness and boost sales.

Customers expect marketers to play fair so SMS opt-in is a must have. Each text message should be preceded by a subscription form where you explicitly state why the users should leave their phone numbers. The reasons should be significant. If you're going to send unique offers, remind about the upcoming sales and other promotions — tell subscribers. They would be happy to enjoy the benefits of being a part of your brand.

Why is SMS opt-in important

According to Statista research, 49,73% of webpages worldwide were accessed from mobile devices in 2017. And it's no wonder that this number is growing year by year. Marketers take that seriously and invest heavily in providing site visitors with the best user experience. They optimize websites for mobile, develop mobile apps, promote their products and reach customers via text messaging.

SMS is another powerful marketing channel to use. It's equal email marketing if not even more profitable. That is proved by the fact that SMS open rate reaches 98% while the same metric for email makes up 20%. Certainly, there are many reasons to explain this but to find out the most significant one, answer the simple question “When you receive an email and an SMS, what message would you prefer to open the first?”

SMS, right? People find it to be a more personal way of communication while considering email inbox to be created for promotions and spam. Take that seriously and don’t fall into the ranks of those marketers who neglect any privacy laws. To reach your clients via SMS, make sure that you have explicit permission. There are more chances that your messages would be relevant to the audience if users express the desire to hear from you.

How to use SMS opt-in

Create an SMS opt-in form

Choose a marketing service which allows creating custom forms and offers pre-made ones available for editing. In SendPulse, you can add the “Phone number” field to any form. Make sure it fits your brand style. This way, you will increase brand awareness.

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Provide the link to the Terms and Conditions

This is a must for every SMS opt-in. A user should tick “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” to receive messages from you. Make sure that you provide a link to the corresponding documentation. Of course, you can’t be sure that your customers have read it but at least that is a sure way to avoid any ambiguities.

Set expectations

People don’t share their phone numbers with strangers who they don’t know what to expect from. Tell users why you need it from the very beginning. If you clearly state what messages you’re going to send and their frequency, users will be fully aware of what they subscribe to. Hence, they are genuinely interested in your business and your SMS marketing will work out.

Give an incentive

Very often the above mentioned is not enough for users to leave their phone number, and here a lead magnet comes into play. This is an attractive incentive which makes users share their contact information in exchange for something valuable. It can be a useful checklist, an ebook, a discount on the first purchase, etc. Such freebie speeds up the process of moving down the sales funnel and ensures positive user experience.

How to create SMS opt-in form in SendPulse

With SendPulse you can create a unique opt-in form that fits your brand style or choose a ready-made one and edit it. The whole process takes up to ten minutes and no coding skills are required.

Go to “Subscription forms” to edit a pre-designed form or to craft your own one. Feel free while designing a form: edit fonts, colours, upload images, set the display options. To be on the safe side, make the form GDPR compliant. Don’t forget to add the domain(s) where it will be published and provide the corporate-based sender’s email address.

Note, that all the subscription forms in SendPulse include “Email” field by default, so you will collect both email addresses and phone numbers.

SendPulse opt-in

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to create a subscription form.

SMS opt-in examples

Look how fast food restaurant Subway motivates users to leave their phone number. They offer an exclusive coupon to buy sandwiches for only $2.99. Below the form, they explain that subscriber will receive up to 10 text messages per month, and the most important — they tell how to opt out.

SMS opt-in

Check out the way a company producing beauty products offers site visitors to sign up. They tell that users will receive advertising text messages and ask them to get familiar with the Terms and Conditions before subscribing.

SMS opt-in

Versace requires to leave a phone number to create an account. The brand explains what they’re going to send and ask users to consent to Customer Relationship Management so that every subscriber could receive relevant messages.

SMS opt-in

SMS opt-in best practices

For your SMS opt-in to work better, follow these tried and tested tips:

  • Provide users with clear instructions and a reason to subscribe. Simplify your SMS opt-in form as much as possible to make the subscription process easy. Give users an incentive and state clearly what they should do next.
  • Include the “Phone number” field into your registration form. Don’t make it an obligatory filed, otherwise, users may abandon the registration. Be ready to tell what subscribers will receive by email, and via text messages — don’t send the same offers.
  • Give an option to subscribe from email newsletter. You can add a shortcode into the email footer and offer subscribers to send it to your phone number to receive exclusive deals.
  • Let users opt-out. It’s a must to keep your contact list healthy. Sooner or later subscribers may lose interest in your business, so let them go. You can tell users how to opt out directly in the form or in each text message you send. Usually, brands give a shortcode which cancels subscription.
  • Integrate SMS opt-in with other marketing channels. Find out which channel is preferred by your target audience and place here an attractive SMS opt-in. Social media is a nice place to start due to broad outreach. You can add a form to your profile. Follow this guide to add your SMS opt-in form to Facebook.

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