So you have finally made the decision to get into SMS marketing but now you face the looming question of how you are going to collect phone numbers to kickstart your campaign. Although it is an overwhelming and tedious task, ultimately the end result will be worth it. Do not worry a bit because we are here to guide you through the whole process of collecting phone numbers.
Before you start to collect phone numbers, there are a couple of things you should know. First and foremost, no matter how tempting purchasing a ready-made list of phone numbers might be, that is the one thing you should avoid doing at all costs. The purchase itself is not illegal by any means.
However, sending text messages to potential customers who have not opted in to your campaign is illegal in most countries and is subject to heavy monetary fines. It is best to learn the laws regarding SMS marketing in your jurisdiction to avoid committing anything illegal (learn more in our anti-spam policy).
Secondly, monetary fines aside, sending unsolicited text messages to people can and will stain the reputation of your company. Any further communication from that point on—regardless of whether or not you have people’s consent—will be viewed as spam. That is pretty hard to recover from and will render all your future SMS marketing efforts useless.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, around 96% of Americans own a cell phone device of some kind. What is the one marketing channel that has the ability to reach them all at once? You guessed it right, text messaging. SMS marketing is downright the most efficient communication channel available right now and no other technology even comes close.
But reaching people on their cell phone devices is half the work. The other half is acquiring the cell phone numbers of said people. The tricky part is that contrary to most other marketing channels (e.g. email), you need people’s written consent in order to send them promotional text messages.
With that said, let’s discuss how you can collect a list of cell phone numbers for your text marketing campaign. Growing your subscribers’ list is important. It ensures that promotional messages put out by your company reach more customers, thus increasing potential business.
One of the ways customers can opt in is by sending a designated keyword to your company’s short code (more on that here). Keywords have to be easy-to-remember as well as relevant to your company. People are exposed to all kinds of information on daily basis, so even the most interested customers might forget the keyword to subscribe to your campaign right away. Creating a memorable keyword is one way to make sure that it will stick to people’s minds.
It is a no brainer that if you want people to subscribe to your campaign, you have got to get the word out about it. That means advertising your keyword everywhere possible to get as much exposure for it as you can. Irrespective of where you intend to advertise your keyword—could be company’s website, social media accounts or even email newsletters—the important thing is to prominently display your keyword alongside a call-to-action to attract new subscribers.
While texting a keyword to subscribe to a text marketing campaign is the most popular way of growing your subscribers base, a good alternative is having people opt in through a sign-up form directly from your website. It makes the process easy in addition to giving customers more options.
Do you want people to opt in to your campaign willingly? Provide them with incentives to do so. People realize their phone numbers are valuable information, so you have to create a reason for them to willingly share their numbers. Whether you do it through exclusive perks or discounts, it is important people know that there is something in it for them when they are subscribed.
By far the easiest way to collect a cell phone numbers list for marketing is hosting text contests. Create a contest with a desirable prize and ask people for their phone numbers to enter the contest and earn sweepstakes. It is as easy as that. Not only does your list of subscribers increase but also brand awareness and customer engagement. It is an all-in-one combo.
Text marketing facilitates business developments, increases sales and helps build brand loyalty. Not to mention no other channel provides customer engagement at the level SMS marketing does. Start collecting phone numbers today to reap the benefits of text marketing and grow your business.