Boost Your Subscriber Count with Opt-In Incentives

For any SMS marketer, it’s essential to grow a subscriber base. Doing so grants more opportunities to engage customers and turn them into loyal returns. Providing opt-in incentives lures uncertain subscribers with the promise of value and savings.

This guide will discuss how brands can leverage marketing opt-in incentives to bolster their SMS campaigns. There are innumerable methods for introducing incentives to SMS. With some courage and creativity, any company can utilize incentives to strengthen texting campaigns.

Cell phone surrounded by various imagery reminiscent of SMS marketing only made possible through opt-in incentives.

SMS Marketing Incentives Overview

While incentives are a marketing mainstay, SMS is a brand-new way to leverage them. 

Why Use Incentives?

Subscribing to receive text messages is voluntary, so businesses must provide value to convince customers to opt in. Many people hesitate to receive texts from companies, so they may require something in return for their subscription. 

Enter the opt-in incentive. Incentives provide value, giving potential subscribers more reason to say yes. This could be monetary via coupons and sales announcements or informational via updates and exclusive content.

Two people, thrilled with having followed best practices, shaking hands in triumph.

Best Practices

Follow these best practices to make the most use of this effective marketing strategy.

  • Use a double opt-in. When using incentives, it’s crucial to consider subscriber intent. Do they really want to enroll in your SMS program, or do they just want the discount? The first message sent should always be a confirmation that the recipient meant to subscribe.
  • Don’t go overboard. While incentives are effective, they use funds and effort by nature. Do some testing to calculate the most efficient incentives.
  • Be active. Conducting an incentive-driven SMS campaign may require attention. While there are many ways to streamline the process, keeping an eye on the campaign is essential to ensure its success.
  • Follow compliance rules. Always follow the rules. Ensure you’re writing clear opt-ins, obtaining explicit consent, and maintaining positive relationships with all your subscribers. They should always know what they’re getting in their inbox, whether a product release update or a discount.

SMS Market with Sakari

Sakari is the best way to conduct effective campaigns using SMS. Our platform offers a wide array of features and functions, each well-suited to elevate sales, success, and support. Sakari is even available as an integration for your favorite software, including HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Slack.

Book a demo with us today for a hands-on showcase of everything our A2P SMS platform can do.

Illustration of a guy standing next to a giant cell phone. A tag saying "sale" is attached to the phone, depicting an opt-in incentive.

Using A2P SMS Features for Incentives

Top-tier A2P SMS platforms like Sakari allow senders to leverage many texting tools. They are perfect for incorporating into any SMS marketing campaign, so consider how they can work into your strategy.


Multimedia messaging service (MMS) allows senders to use images. This is great for marketing; research shows visual content has exceptionally high engagement compared to purely textual content. MMS can be used creatively as incentives to create some very effective campaigns.

For example, why not send a picture instead of a text with a coupon code? Include exciting art, popping colors, and bold fonts to attract the reader’s attention. For sales announcements, attach product pictures to intrigue potential customers. Some senders even use QR codes.

Screenshot of an SMS conversation showing what two-way texting looks like.

Two Way Texting

Marketing needs personality and relatability to be effective. Two-way texting lets senders respond to replies, allowing for plenty of opportunities to upsell, answer questions, and provide support. Subscribers could respond to a mass text with a question about the product, receive an answer, and head right to the store.

Automation through Autoresponders

To save time and effort, many senders leverage autoresponders. Some integrations allow senders to automate replies, greatly boosting support and marketing capabilities. They work by searching for keywords and using those keywords to send pre-written replies. If you’re interested in setting up an SMS autoresponder with HubSpot, read our guide.

An illustration of people celebrating incentives, sales, and loyalty programs.

What Kind of Incentives Can I Use?

There are many ways senders can incentivize customers to subscribe. You can easily convert leads into return customers by introducing them using effective marketing and state-of-the-art SMS software.

Exclusive Discounts

Make subscribers see the value in SMS using exclusive discounts. Attach coupon codes (ideally using MMS) that can’t be found elsewhere. Even if the discount isn’t exceptionally high, exclusivity is enticing. Bolster the enticement by giving these discount codes expiration dates. There’s nothing better for keeping customers engaged than the coveted FOMO.

Ticket to a sweepstakes entry.


Sweepstakes promotions are beautifully suited for building an initial subscriber base. Announce to customers that opting into SMS gives a slight chance at winning a prize (as always, clearly describe what texts they’ll get when they opt in). Remember that double opt-ins are essential here – especially if it’s an online-online sweepstakes – as nefarious bots often get involved.

Instant Updates

SMS updates provide a unique opportunity for companies reliant on return customers, loyal fans, and followers. Grab the audience’s attention with exclusive news on the latest updates, product releases, sales announcements, etc. Doing so will increase the length of your SMS list and the reception of new releases.

What makes SMS suitable for updates? The stats show that people prefer to receive text messages versus email. Moreover, SMS has a peerlessly high read rate of around 98%, and recipients will likely view them within minutes.

Gated Content

Content-savvy companies can provide exclusive content like videos, ebooks, and articles online to SMS subscribers. Doing so helps increase a text group and get an accurate list of leads. Should you plan on following up with this lead list, you must inform them of such.

Phone surrounded by various social media icons.

How to Promote Opt-In Incentives

Now that you’ve picked an incentive, how do you spread the word? There are many avenues to do so in today’s communication age.

Social Media

Whatever platform you choose to use, social media is perfect for letting people know about your SMS marketing campaign. Since followers are likely fans, they’ll be the first to be interested in 

To elevate your ROI, announce your opt-in incentives on your targeted audience’s favorite platform. B2B companies may find more success on LinkedIn due to the website’s focus on professionalism and networking. Meanwhile, bakeries and foodstuff sellers may get the best results from the visual mediums of TikTok and Instagram.


Businesses with an email marketing strategy should push SMS if possible. While SMS marketing has many benefits, it pairs well with the en masse approach email marketing can provide.


Website-reliant companies should always announce incentive campaigns on their website. Just add a banner, post, or announcement on the home page. Since this is more-or-less free and uses pre-existing assets, it’s best to combine it with your other outreach outlets.

Network of people, displaying the majesty of texting.

Master A2P SMS and Opt-In Incentives with Sakari

Messaging is the most effective way to reach new and old customers, and there’s no better business texting platform than Sakari. Our software grants senders all sorts of A2P SMS tools, elevating marketing campaigns, support capabilities, and more with cost-effective efficacy.

Want to experience Sakair for yourself? Sign up for a free 14-day trial and leverage our marvelous SMS software.

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