How to Master Opt-In Language

How to Master Opt-In Language

Opt-in language refers to the wording used in opt-ins. This verbiage is important for the success of any SMS campaign: effective opt-in language ensures compliance, benefits brand trust, and collects more written consent. All these positives result in a successful SMS campaign working as an exceptional lead magnet.

But how does one write the ultimate opt-in language? It takes a little finesse and understanding of how they work, but anyone can make the opt-in process easy and efficient. In this guide, we’ll explore how companies should write opt-ins forms, requests, double opt-ins, and messages to bolster conversion rates and obtain more subscribers.

What Are Opt-Ins?

Opt-ins are statements of consent from a subscriber to receive text messages from a business. They’re a requirement for any SMS campaign, whether it’s for appointment reminders or promotional texts.

There are many rules surrounding opt-ins written by organizations like the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA). These various guidelines are essential to keeping SMS spam-free and are largely responsible for the clean inboxes we have today. Compare the average SMS inbox to an email account – the difference is clear.

The benefits of opt-ins are good for businesses, too. They uphold the trust between companies and customers. While opt-ins may be frustrating to gather at first, they’re great for everyone.

Code Compliance

Opt-ins must meet a few requirements to be accepted, be it by The Campaign Registry, Zipwhip, or the Common Short Code Administration. These requirements are checked by human eyes, so if there are mistakes or shortcuts, they’ll be noticed. When writing opt-ins, consider these three guidelines.

  • Subscribers should be aware of what kind of texts they’re getting.
  • Subscribers should be able to stop getting texts whenever they want.
  • Verification organizations must be able to audit opt-ins.

These vague guidelines have some implications and are strictly enforced. Read our 10DLC opt-in compliance guide for more information on the subject.

Hand flicking envelopes out of a phone.

Best Practices

Not all opt-ins are equal, nor are they compliant. Following best practices ensures your opt-ins are verifiable and effective. The express purpose of an opt-in is to obtain a subscriber’s explicit consent to ensure that new subscribers want to participate in text messaging with a company. When planning a campaign, make sure to follow along in the spirit of an opt-in.

Clear and Concise

When writing opt-ins, always be precise with your language. Inform potential subscribers of what they can expect in their inbox. For example, if you plan on sending updates on the latest sales, let them know. If you only want to introduce SMS appointment reminders, say so. In case you’re interested in both, have separate subscriptions. People who want appointment reminders don’t always want promotions.

Someone reading beautiful opt-in language while ruminating on opting out.


Every SMS campaign should provide plenty of opportunities to opt-out. The standard way for doing so is by adding a sentence at the end of every text message, such as “Reply with STOP to opt out of future text messages.” It’s easy for the subscriber and the sender, allowing for quick-to-parse data for autoresponders.

Note that senders should still honor all unsubscribe requests, even if it’s texting back the wrong keyword or emailing.

Catchy Keywords

Some opt-ins rely upon asking new subscribers to text a keyword to a given phone number. It’s best to use keywords that are easy to remember. For example, a gym might use “GetFit” or “Lift” to engage with subscribers and get them excited to opt in.

A bunch of opt-in language about healthcare displayed on a cellphone.

Opt-In Language Examples

There are many ways to collect opt-ins, as shown in our SMS Opt-ins and 6 Great Ways to Get Them article. Writing them is another matter. While we’ll cite many example texts below, we strongly advise creating your own.

Keyword Text Requests

The ask-to-text-a-keyword method is a classic way of getting an opt-in. It reduces the technical load on small businesses while allowing subscribers to engage with a company in a more direct manner. The first message the new subscriber will receive should confirm they subscribed, detail future texts, and give them an opt-out just in case.

You just subscribed to get texts about discounts on delicious soggy sandwiches. Hooray! Respond with STOP to no longer get texts about discounts on delicious, unforgettable sandwiches.

This response tells the reader that they have successfully opted in and that they are bound to receive future SMS messages with a positive touch, not to mention contains the essential STOP keyword.

Pop-up ad banner declaring the existence of a Christmas sale.

Pop-ups with an Opt-In Form

An efficient and cost-effective route to get an opt-in is through opt-in pop-ups. It’s best to use pop-ups sparingly, deploying them at opportune times to pique a new subscriber’s interest without annoying them.

If a visitor spends a while on the website, give them a pop-up. Make sure it details the benefits of receiving text messages. If it’s for marketing material, emphasize the savings of sales and discounts. If applicable, mention that they’ll receive news on the latest products (building FOMO is always a good decision). Always assure the reader that they can opt-out at any moment. This not only makes the opt-in compliant, but it also implies trustworthiness.

Hi! Interested in our soggy sandwiches? Save money and time by opting in to get discounts and coupon codes at all of our locations. Just put in your info below to start receiving texts (opt-out at any time).

Note that the pop-up should only ask for necessary contact info: a name and phone number, nothing more. If you’re also trying to implement email marketing, consider incorporating an email marketing opt-in later in the visitor’s journey.

Checkout of an online storefront.

Checkout Checkbox

Like pop-ups, checkout checkboxes need to shortly and concisely inform potential customers what type of texts they’ll get and what valuable content they’ll receive from subscribing. Since many customers stuff like shipping confirmations but not necessarily text marketing SMS, it’s best to divvy the checkboxes based on intent. That means having two different checkboxes and, in Sakari, creating two different lists.

Yes, I want to receive texts about deals and sales of soggy sandwiches!

Yes, I want to receive shipping confirmations and tracking numbers by text!

When writing checkbox opt-in language, make sure to explain exactly what the customer opts in to receive. Use short but clear language.

Double Opt-Ins

Most businesses should try implementing a double opt-in in their SMS strategy. A double opt-in is when the first text one receives upon subscribing is a confirmation text, ensuring that a new subscriber meant to subscribe. It’s beneficial for distilling a large nebulous list into a smaller list of fans.

The wording should emphasize the value of opting in using short and succinct language, per the size limitations of texting. Since they’ve already opted in, it’s best to just ask fast so as to not waste the subscriber’s time.

Reply with YES for more updates on the latest discounts on soggy sandwiches. Opt out with STOP at any time.

This is a good example of a double opt-in, informing the reader about what they can expect and how they can opt out.

Positive reviews gained by subscribers who received well-written opt-ins from your company.

Create Lead Magnets and Market More with SMS at Sakari

Over half of marketers don’t have a plan for mobile marketing, so there’s no time like the present to take advantage of SMS with Sakari. Our expansive platform allows businesses to send SMS to clients and customers, creating a community of engaged subscribers. Features like two-way texting and MMS ensure every organization can utilize the power of marketing messages.

Want to know more about Sakari? Book a demo with an SMS master today.

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