It's an age-old question for marketers everywhere: How do I drive engagement with my core prospects?

Over the years, SMS has been a particularly attractive venue for marketing outreach. It's instantaneous, believed to have high open rates and nearly ubiquitous.

As messaging traffic grows, however – the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association noted that messaging traffic grew 15.8% just between 2017 and 2018 – how do you get people to opt in? More people will want to sift through messages to prioritize what they really want to see.

Leverage Existing Outreach Channels

The first thing you need to do to get customers to opt in to SMS communications is to understand that mobile outreach isn't an outlier or an island in your overall marketing strategy. It should be another touch point used alongside other popular channels like social, email, web, conventional advertising and direct mail.

If you can get users to reach out to you over SMS, you know they have a stronger intent to continue interacting with your brand through this platform than somebody you have to message first.

Best Practices To Drive SMS Opt-In

Add Value for Prospects

Marketing pros know that they won't attract new prospects or customers if they don't provide a meaningful incentive for users to engage with the company.

You have to put yourself in their shoes and ask the important question: If I message this company, what's in it for me?

Along those lines, you may be thinking about things like data security, whether or not you're opening yourself up to an intrusive level of outreach from the brand and what you stand to gain by reaching out.

If potential customers know that you aren't careful with user data, or that you're liable to message them too frequently and at particularly bothersome times, they won't opt in.
Cultivate a brand image that's responsible and provide a clear incentive for users to opt in. Will they be entered into a sweepstakes? Will they receive useful original research? Will they be given access to a valuable deal?

They should have a clear understanding of what you're offering, and you have to deliver.

Be Timely and Transparent

It should go without saying that you need to follow all of the appropriate regulations concerning opt-in and opt-out options, as well as data privacy. The most successful companies go a step further by not merely meeting rules, but by providing better service than is mandated in terms of transparency around communications, customer data usage and methods for opting in and out.

And the best way to get users to reach out to you is by providing a timely incentive for them to do so. Will the sweepstakes window close soon? Is the flash sale going to be over by this afternoon? If there's no time-sensitive dimension to the campaign, potential contacts are liable to put off responding until they forget about it, regardless of how much they wanted to take advantage of your current offering.

Swift SMS Gateway can help you integrate text marketing efforts. Find out how by requesting a free demo today.