Best Practices for SMS Opt-ins

Erin McCabe
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Posted on:
Tue, Mar 7, 2017
Reading Time:
4 minutes
Categories:
Blog, Marketing Automation, SMS
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So, you’ve decided to embark on an SMS marketing strategy. Great! SMS is a marketing tool that is becoming increasingly popular among businesses and organizations who wish to reach out to as many demographics as possible.

The opt-in process

The most important thing you must remember during the creation and implementation of your SMS strategy is to remain aware of and compliant with CAN-SPAM and CASL legislations, which require you to ensure that all of your SMS recipients have opted in to receive communications from you.

“But how can I gain opt-ins if I’m not allowed to send them messages to ask them to subscribe?” you may ask.

Well, for example, if you have a shortcode associated with your business, you can promote that to potential subscribers through various means such as email newsletters or social media, as well as offline methods such as voice or TV broadcasts and even posters or billboards. Have them text a keyword, like SUBSCRIBE, to this shortcode and this will opt them in to receiving future messages from your company.

Your business’s online signup form is also a great way to obtain new SMS subscribers. Simply include an optional mobile phone number field to the form and should the subscribers provide you with this information, you will be allowed to add them to your SMS sending list as they have opted in.

What’s the benefit of signing up via SMS?

SMS marketing provides added value to both your business as well as the subscriber. Your business benefits by the inevitable ROI received from text messages having a 98 percent open rate, which heightens the chance for conversions and helps with building brand loyalty.

Your business is able to provide extra value for those who sign up by offering exclusive deals to these subscribers that they can’t get anywhere else. Offer a discount when they first sign up, and then periodically send out new deals to help with customer retention. SMS messages are also a great way to announce flash sales or short-term discounts – events like this will encourage those who aren’t signed up to receive text messages to subscribe. People enjoy feeling part of an exclusive club and receiving things they are not able to get via any other communication medium.

The importance of easy opt-outs

With CAN-SPAM and CASL regulations in place, it is illegal to not allow your SMS subscribers to unsubscribe from receiving messages from you. For each SMS keyword that you use with your shortcodes, you must include a help and a stop option so that your subscribers can receive instant information about the service and are able to stop receiving messages at any time, effectively unsubscribing. Transparency is key.

In order to reduce the number of unsubscribers to your SMS marketing campaign, it is important to be upfront about the purpose of the campaign as well as the number of text messages they can expect to receive per month. No one wants to be spammed by more texts than necessary so if you do not provide a way for subscribers to control the frequency of received texts, try and keep your sending to one or two messages a month to be safe.

Automation can help!

Once you have subscribers opted-in, and your help and stop messages in place, you can use an automation platform such as SimplyCast 360 to do most of the work for you when it comes to deploying your SMS campaign. By creating an automated campaign that will commence as soon as the signup form is submitted or as soon as someone texts the appropriate keyword to your shortcode to subscribe, you will not need to manually reply to every text that comes in, or remember to send the next stage of your campaign.

With automation, you are also able to control how many texts get sent per month with little to no management and not having to worry about when the last time you sent out a mass text message to your subscribers.

SimplyCast 360 can help your business stay compliant with CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation and automate your SMS campaigns, keeping both you and your subscribers happy. Sign up for a 14-day free trial of the platform and learn more about what the SimplyCast SMS app can do for you.


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