So you know you want to use SMS marketing for your business.
You know the power and potential of texting. You know it has a high open rate (up to 99%!).
You know that people pay attention to their texts and that it’s an excellent way to boost up sales for your business and stop wasting time and money on your marketing.
You want to use it to help ease your marketing frustrations and help you be more satisfied with your marketing efforts!
But here’s the rub: How can you actually get people to subscribe to your texts? How can you build your text message sign up list?
SMS marketing platforms have many tools to help, and one of those tools is a “text to join” (or “join by text”) option.
A “text to join” feature is just what it sounds like - a way for people to join by text. All they need to do is send a text to a specific number and they’ll be automatically added to your text message sign up list.
You can even designate a particular word for them to text in, which can trigger specific responses to be sent back to the subscriber automatically.
We refer to the “particular word” as a “keyword.” The “keyword” can be essentially any word you’d like, so you can make it generic or specific to your business, according to your preference.
The phone number people need to text into could be either a short code (5-digit number), or a dedicated 10-digit number that belongs to your account.
As soon as people text into your number, they will be added to your text message sign up list.
Their phone number will appear in your database so that you can send them text promotions.
Allowing your customers to join by text in order to be added to your text message sign up list gives them (and you!) an easy and convenient way to subscribe.
You want to make the sign-up process as easy and painless as possible, both for your sake and your customer's sake!
This can save both you and them time and effort - Making the subscription process more convenient helps remove barriers for your customers, thus bringing in more subscribers.
Freeing up your time from tedious processes (and bringing in more subscribers for your marketing texts) allows you to focus on things that are more important, such as growing your business or having a better work-home balance.
And the more subscribers who are receiving your marketing texts, the more likely they are to take advantage of your services, bringing in greater revenue for you!
(Not to mention that since your customers are opting themselves in - rather than you adding them without their permission, which is strictly taboo - they are much more likely to pay attention and engage with your text promotions.)
So how do you go about all of this?
One thing you’ll need to decide when it comes to your “text to join” feature is whether you want to use a short code or dedicated toll-free numbers.
Your account on your SMS marketing platform will come with free access to a dedicated toll-free (10-digit) number that is unique to you. This is the number your mass text messages will be sent through.
You can use this 10-digit number as the opt-in number for your customers to join by text and get added to your text message sign up list.
One huge upside of using your dedicated number is that you don't need specific "keywords." Your customers can send in a text with any content and they'll be automatically subscribed.
It will also create a consistent experience for your customers, since they’ll be subscribing to the same number that they’ll be receiving messages from.
The downside of a dedicated number is that since it’s a long 10-digit number, it can be a bit clunky for people to type in the number and send the message.
Your account will also come with access to get keywords set up on a shared short code (a shorter number, in this case 5 digits).
The benefit of short codes is that they are shorter and much easier for people to type into their phones so that they can subscribe.
There are a few downsides to this, however:
A third and less common option would be a dedicated short code.
A dedicated short code allows you to send your messages through a dedicated 5-digit number that is unique to your account. Unlike the shared short codes, a dedicated short code wouldn't be in imminent danger of shutdown by phone carriers.
Since you would not be sharing this short code with other businesses, it has the same benefits as the dedicated toll-free number: consistency and the ability to use any keyword you'd like. And it has the added benefit of being short and easy to type in.
The reason why dedicated short codes are not commonly used is because they are fairly pricey to lease and utilize, and they also can take several weeks to get set up. But feel free to contact us if you have any interest in using a dedicated short code for your business!
Another “text to join” option worth mentioning is QR codes.
QR codes are becoming more and more popular - Some sources say that since the pandemic began, the use of QR codes has increased by as much as 10% in America.
So why not use them as a part of your SMS marketing strategy to get people to subscribe to your text message sign up list?
Here’s how it works.
Your QR code allowing people to join by text will be automatically set up in your SMS marketing platform, so you can customize and download it from there.
Once your QR code is on your device, you can share it on social media and email campaigns, or print it out for your physical mailings or on-site locations.
When your customers scan your QR code, their phone will automatically compose a new text message to your account’s dedicated toll-free text number. (It will pre-fill some content for the text.)
All your customers need to do is hit “Send” on their phones, sending the text with the pre-filled content. Their phone number will then be automatically added to your text message sign up list.
After deciding which method you’d like to use to allow your customers to join by text, all that’s left to do is to get it implemented!
If you want to designate a particular word for people to text in, you can start by setting up the “keyword” you’d like to use.
Here are some tips on how to select a keyword:
To get people to sign up for your texts, you’ll obviously need to share your opt-in instructions (whether that’s telling people to text into your dedicated number or short code, or scan your QR code).
Use any means at your disposal:
The best way to get someone to join your text message sign up list is by offering some clear and tangible incentives for subscribing.
This could be anything from a free item to a discount to an entry into a free giveaway.
Here are some specific examples of ways the “text to join” feature can be utilized to boost your sales and business by adding more subscribers to your text message sign up list:
Text WINNER to 877-xxx-xxxx to be added to our coupon text alerts and be entered into our drawing for a $250 gift card!
Text DOZEN to 877-xxx-xxxx to receive exclusive discounts via text and get a FREE dozen donuts on your next visit!
Who doesn’t love fried cheese curds?? Text BOWLING to 74121 to sign up for VIP text discounts and get a free order of curds on your next visit to the alley!
Want 25% off TODAY? Text AWESOME to 74121 right now to sign up for our text alerts and get your first deal RIGHT AWAY!
Don’t miss out on any updates! Sign up for our texts by sending the word ALERTS to our number xxxxx.
Get a free month’s subscription! Just text FREE to our number xxxxx to join our text club.
50% off? Yes, please! Scan the code below to see how.
Buy one pair of jeans or leggings, get the second FREE if you sign up for our texts TODAY! Just scan the code here.
So now you know the power and process of a text to join feature for your text alerts.
It’s time to get out there and get texting!
Try out text alerts for your own business and let your customers text to join - Free up your time, energy, and frustration by using "text to join" to yield greater subscription rates and greater satisfaction in your marketing efforts.
Watch your subscription rates rise and your marketing efforts thrive!
Start sending mass text alerts to your entire list today!GET FREE TRIAL