SMS Marketing: How to get the “yes” on opt-in

Using SMS messaging for your marketing campaigns? Here are 5 best practices.
Blue phone with toll-free number and opt-in messaging

Text messaging has become a go-to channel for marketing. It allows businesses to reach customers with messages that they know they’ll see and respond to. But getting your customers to agree to receive your messages is a critical first step.

In fact, industry working group CTIA requires businesses to obtain express written permission (essentially you need to prove that a consumer agreed to receive your texts) before sending even your very first promotional text. 

So how do you get your customers to agree? How do you get the “yes” and have your customers opt-in (which you have to do) to your SMS marketing?

Make the texts valuable

This part should go without saying, but make sure what you’re sending to your customers is valuable.

Providing them with information, deals, specials, or anything else that they’ll find valuable is not only how you get them to sign up to receive messages from you, but to ensure they keep agreeing to receive messages from you.

Send what you say you’re going to send

Be up front with your customers on what information you’ll send to them, and then actually send that information. If you say you’re going to send deals; send deals. If you promise to only send sales alerts; only send sales alerts.

Not only will giving customers a preview of what information you’ll send them increase the likelihood of them opting in, following through on that increases the chance that they’ll stay opted-in.

Tell your customers how often you’ll send them texts (and don’t send them too early or too late)

Be honest with how often you’ll send out marketing materials over text. Whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or only on the vernal equinox, let your customers know how often they can expect to receive texts from you.

Also, and I can’t stress this enough, keep it during regular hours. Texts after dinner time are reserved for family and friends. Texts after 10pm are for emergencies. Nothing will get your customers to opt-out of your messages faster than being woken up at 2am by what they assume is an emergency but is really just a coupon for a sale.

Make it easy to opt in (and out)

If your customers have to sign a form, show three forms of ID, and take a 150 question survey to opt-in to your text messages, they’re probably going to pass. Yes, that’s a silly example, but making it easy to opt in makes it more likely that they will.

Make sure you’re getting the right kind of opt-in (check out our post on the types of opt-in consent), but don’t make your customers jump through unnecessary barriers to get your messages. A quick cheat sheet: checking a box on a form is an easy way to comply with promotional text requirements and is a pretty frictionless way to handle the request. 

On the flip side of that, don’t make it hard to opt-out. As part of the opt-in process, make it clear what customers have to do to stop getting the texts if they decide they don’t want them anymore (and honor that request). If you receive a STOP text, make sure you and/or your texting provider remove them from any future SMS campaign lists. 

Get advice from the experts

You can’t send messages to customers that don’t want them. Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the challenges of getting your messages delivered, providing recommendations on steps to take to make it easier for your customers to opt-in while keeping your business in line with the CTIA’s guidelines.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Our lawyers asked us to remind you that this post, while informative and often entertaining, does not constitute legal advice. When it comes to complying with the TCPA and any other applicable regulations, we encourage our customers to consult with their attorneys.