6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Increase your SMS subscriptions with these 6 proven opt-in text message tips. Learn how to grow your messaging list and engage your audience.


Getting SMS opt-ins for campaigns can seem daunting. Luckily, with a dash of strategy, one can get a long list of numbers to sign up to text.

Opting in to receive text messages from a company is a sign of trust, so it’s vital to get those opt-ins respectfully and honestly. It’s also essential for maintaining a positive relationship with consumers and can turn them into loyal returning customers. Paired with the need to build a long and reliable list of SMS subscribers, creatively gathering opt-ins is a part of any cohesive SMS marketing strategy.

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A Short Guide to SMS Opt-Ins

Before discussing ways to get opt-ins, let’s talk about what they are and why you need them. Knowing what they are crucial for any text message marketing campaign.

Why are SMS Opt-Ins Important?

Opt-ins are essential for SMS campaigns. Cell phone carriers require them for any texting conducted by businesses, whether SMS is used for customer outreach or internal communication. In addition to getting opt-ins, the sender must also provide written-down proof. It’s essential to get the application correct and compliant. Detail-oriented humans look over 10DLC applications, not robots.

While getting them can be challenging, there are many benefits to opt-ins. For starters, it builds trust between companies and customers. Emails and constant calls are often considered a form of spam. Meanwhile, texts are always welcome – and data support this. Over 60% of consumers feel that companies that text value their time.

Moreover, 71% view SMS as efficient. Around half of mobile users want to get messages from businesses. As such, don’t feel worried about getting opt-ins; they’ll come so long as a cohesive and effective strategy is implemented.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Types of Text Message Opt-Ins

In this guide, we’re primarily focusing on the simple SMS opt-in. This is the most straightforward type of op-in, requiring only one agreement to start receiving texts in their inbox. There are a few other varieties that are worth discussing.

Double SMS opt-ins need the receiver to opt-in twice. After a successful first opt-in, they’ll have to agree a second time, usually via SMS. This is often done to further refine an SMS list to keep only the most lucrative leads.

Lastly, HIPAA SMS opt-ins are only used by doctors, therapists, and other healthcare institutions bound by doctor-patient confidentiality. They simply assure the receiver that the text message conversation is bound by HIPAA.

Opt-Ins vs. Opt-Outs

Opt-outs are just as important as opt-ins, at least regarding compliance with The Campaign Registry and other organizations. For any subscriber to truly consent to receive texts, they must also be able to stop getting them at any time. Most often, this is the addition of the “STOP” or “NO” keywords, such as the ubiquitous “Reply with STOP to stop receiving text messages.”

Remember that written consent is key to maintaining a great customer relationship and a positive brand image. Emphasize the voluntary nature of SMS marketing to keep them interested in getting text messages promoting your products and services.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

How to Get SMS Opt-Ins

There are many ways to get high-quality, authentic opt-ins. With some planning, your lead list will be long and prosperous.

Just Ask for Opt-Ins

Sometimes an upfront ask is the best and easiest way to get opt-ins. Doing so imparts sincerity to a brand’s voice. As the data shows, many like businesses to send texts to their inboxes. This makes the most straightforward strategy – asking – surprisingly effective. Note that the language used in writing opt-ins must be clear and concise. It should say, “I agree to receive SMS messages for X, Y, and Z,” paired with a name and phone number request.

Some companies like to use a pop-up that attracts visitors’ attention. For brick-and-mortar establishments, it could be a face-to-face conversation with a signature. Explain the benefits of SMS and note that they can opt out anytime.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Promotions, Giveaways, and Sales

People like incentives; giveaways, promo codes, and sales are easily integrated into SMS. For example, one can give away discount coupons exclusively through text messaging. Once signed up, keep them subscribed with more discounts that reward them for being loyal customers.

One pro of promos for getting opt-ins is that they can serve as a valuable metric, illustrating conversions and leads at a more tangible level. Make sure to experiment with incentives for your audience.

Make sure to implement double opt-ins, as some people use fake numbers or just want the discount. Double opt-ins will make the SMS campaign significantly more cost-effective, as they lead to fewer wasted texts overall.

SMS integrations with HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, and other data analysis tools can help bolster the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Checkout at the SMS Opt-In

E-commerce businesses have an exceptional opportunity for opt-ins. When a customer buys a product, they’ll want a shipping confirmation. This is the perfect time to get them signed up for text messages. Ask them if they opt-in to receive updates by phone.

They’ll likely agree, as SMS is more convenient and accessible than other communication methods. Follow up with another SMS opt-in message asking if they want to hear about the latest sales with an appropriate keyword response.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Cue the Content

It’s always a good idea to tie SMS opt-ins to content, be it a blog, YouTube video, or newsletter. Since they already want to engage with content, they’re likely interested in updates, too. It’s important to ensure that this content provides value to the subscriber.

You can also provide exclusive content to opt-in customers, such as eBooks, articles, interviews, and videos. Some prefer to put some of their higher effort pieces behind an SMS opt-in gate.

This SMS gate can be a form asking for a name and phone number. Once filled out, they can proceed onward with consuming content. Alternatively, advertising keywords or routes to obtain opt-ins through content could be beneficial. Try them all out and see what works best.

SMS Opt-Ins with SMS

One of the most common ways to get SMS opt-ins is by having an interested person text a keyword to a phone number. This keyword can be whatever you want, and many choose to have a memorable, interesting keyword like “FruitsVegetables” or “SignMeUpPlease.”

While this may sound recursive, a second opt-in is essential for businesses aiming to turn a long list of SMS recipients into a smaller list of enthusiastic subscribers. After someone opts in using other methods, send an additional opt-in text. This will weed out any subscribers who used fake numbers, someone else’s phone, or simply aren’t truly invested in receiving more texts.

Since every text costs time and money, double opt-ins make every SMS campaign more cost-effective. Double opt-ins also build trust in one’s customer base, which is always beneficial.

Note that it’s illegal to text a customer asking for the initial opt-in.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Social Media Mastery

Social media is always an exceptional place to start when looking for opt-ins. Doing so works well in conjunction with gated content, as you can offer snippets and excerpts where they are more likely to be seen by potential opt-ins.

Signing social media followers up for SMS gives brands a better ability to monetize their audience and increase views on new content. For example, content creators can update subscribers on the advent of fresh posts.

When leveraging social media for opt-ins, use appropriate platforms to get readers to sign up to text. B2B companies and professionals may find LinkedIn more effective, whereas artists and creators might make better use of Instagram’s visual approach.

Many businesses mention their SMS system on their social media profiles. For example, putting “Text YES to [phone number] to learn more about sales and deals!” on a Facebook profile is straightforward but spreads awareness. Companies leveraging TikTok and Instagram may find value in posting images or videos advertising SMS by leading them to a form online or texting a keyword.

6 Opt-In Text Message Ideas to Boost SMS Subscriptions

Optimize SMS Opt-Ins with Sakari

Opt-ins can seem challenging to obtain, but it’s not too tricky with a clear and effective strategy. Use these methods together to create a strong, solid, and long list of SMS recipients ready and willing to read your carefully crafted texts. There’s a reason why texting is so effective.

Get the best results with Sakari. Our A2P SMS platform has proven results and is well-suited for delivering effective texts for all your SMS campaigns. With our wide array of integrations and state-of-the-art features available at a reasonable cost, we can provide the ultimate bulk texting solution. Sign up for a free trial today to see for yourself.

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