48% of consumers say they want to hear from businesses through SMS, but opting them into your list can be challenging. Listing keywords on promotional materials with a high-value incentive is a routine method for gaining compliant opt-ins, and it works well when clients and customers are motivated to act. We’ve come up with a list of nine ways to get your opt-in keywords in front of clients and customers when the traditional methods are no longer cutting it.
Before we jump into ways to compliantly opt-in subscribers, let’s take a quick look at the regulations the SMS industry must comply with today. Texting is a permission-based communication channel. The SMS industry is overwhelmingly spam-free thanks to safeguards and regulations set by applicable law (TCPA, Regulation F), the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), and wireless carriers. It can be challenging to keep up with the rules each business and industry must follow to communicate with its clients via text message, but these regulations uphold the channel’s integrity.
The first step in SMS compliance is acquiring the right level of consent for the type of messages you plan on sending. You must obtain contact information personally, not by purchasing a list. Sending text messages that do not follow compliance rules can result in unnecessary lawsuits and legal costs.
If texting is a new solution for your business, check out our guide on adding texting to your business.
9 Compliant Opt-In Methods To Promote Client Engagement
- All-In Opt-In: Integrate SBT’s All-In Opt-In and say goodbye to missed customer opportunities. Connect with a Success Consultant to send over your full customer database. They will identify customer opt-in opportunities and opt-in missing customers into your text list to communicate with your entire customer database all at once. The new opt-in clients will receive an SMS message prompting them to verify consent.
- User Agreement: If you have a user agreement, this can be one of the easiest and most effective methods for opting-in subscribers. Include the text message policy to be signed by the user that outlines the details for this communication channel and states your intent for contacting them via SMS. SBT can offer you tips on how to craft the most effective language for your agreement.
- Order Updates: During the checkout process, give customers the option to opt-in to receive text message order updates. Send a confirmation SMS with your opt-in policy to document consent.
- Online Lead Form: Website lead magnets and forms collect email addresses. Instead, use this valuable resource to compliantly opt-in your website visitors. Mobile phones generated the most online traffic in 2021 and had the highest click-through rates (source). Clients visit your site on their phones, and it makes sense to offer them an instant connecting point through SMS. Don’t forget to include a checkbox that confirms the user wants to receive SMS messages from your business and all required disclosure language.
- Document Delivery: SMS is a valuable tool for delivering receipts, forms, booking confirmations, and other documents your clients might need. One way to encourage clients to opt-in to receive documents through SMS is during an in-person interaction or via your user agreement.
- Social Media Cross-Promotion: Cross-promote your keywords on social media platforms to grow your opt-ins. Create a campaign that rewards your loyal followers with a promotion they can only receive by texting the keyword.
- Email Subscribers: If you have spent time building an email list, use it as another form of cross-promotion. Open rates are traditionally higher and faster for SMS over other communication options, making it an excellent platform for sending the messages you need to get in front of clients more quickly.
- Billing Statements: Provide a keyword on billing statements and account-related materials to allow clients to communicate with you about the document they received in the mail or via email. 90% of customers prefer receiving text messages over direct calls from a business. Some billing and account-related conversations are more accessible for clients over text messages. SMS lets them interact with you more conveniently and improves response rates. Example: To see this in action, text OPTIONS to 77513.
- Customer Support: Customer support through SMS can be a powerful tool for building brand loyalty. Provide a support keyword that opts your customers in and gives them the freedom to move about their day without waiting for a response. Let your subscribers know that your text line is operated by real humans, not bots, ready to assist them.
Inform The Customer
Now that you have ideas on compliant opt-ins to grow your subscriber lists, there are a few essential things to remember. Once you’ve obtained the required level of consent, send an opt-in confirmation to the subscriber that details what they can expect from this communication channel.
- How many messages will be you be sending per week or month?
- Let subscribers know the purpose of the messages coming their way. Will they receive promotions, shipping updates, or other account-related messages?
- Give your customers opt-out instructions in all messages to avoid any messy breaks. The average opt-out rate for SMS is less than 5%, but there are still times when your subscribers might need to take a break from messaging. It isn’t necessarily a goodbye forever, just for now. Keep it positive and make it easy for your subscribers to control their level of communication.
- Be helpful. Not everything can be explained in 160 characters or less, and your subscribers might have follow-up questions. Include a keyword, such as HELP, to let subscribers know how to learn more. If you have Two-Way texting enabled, this is a great time to let them know you are just a response away!
As the SMS industry grows, regulations and rules will change. Solutions by Text has built its business model and software solution around compliance first logic. Our team of experts navigate those changes and provide guidance every step of the way, not just at the beginning of your SMS journey. For more compliance information, check out our resources below or talk to our team!
More Resources On Compliant Opt-ins & Our Compliance Approach:
A Guide To Important Texting Changes
How To Compliantly Add Texting To Your Business Tools