3 tips to building recipient lists for SMS campaigns

As SMS boasts a 95% open rate, it makes sense to ensure you can utilise this channel with your entire target audience. Read our tips on building SMS recipient lists.

16 December 2020

As our latest research shows, 43.8% of UK firms have increased their business messaging during the pandemic. Communication has been even more essential recently, as it has enabled companies to implement business continuity plans, drive revenue and keep customers and staff engaged. With this in mind and given that face-to-face interactions are likely to be reduced for the foreseeable future, we predict that this increase will continue into 2021. However, for any brand to truly make the most of their business communications, it is vital that their recipient lists are up to date.

So, in addition to our tips for scheduling SMS messages over the Christmas break, this year, we’re gifting our 3 top tips to building recipient lists for SMS campaigns. Afterall, a communication channel which boasts the following stats…

  • 95% average open rate 
  • 90% of all text messages read within 3 minutes
  • Average user response time just 90 seconds
  • x35 more likely to be seen than a brand’s email
  • SMS vouchers 10 times more likely to be redeemed than print
  • SMS campaigns opted out of less than 5% of time
  • 1 SMS produces 285 times less carbon, than 1 email 
  • 74% of consumers report improved impression of brands that communicate via SMS

… is certainly one you want to ensure you can utilise with your entire target audience for the holiday season, and beyond.

1. Promote across all existing channels

We would always recommend that businesses adopt a multichannel approach for both internal and external communications and this is no different, when it comes to building your SMS database. There are multiple touch points for your customers, to name just a few – your brand’s website, email, and social media. So when building your SMS campaign list, it makes sense to promote the marketing opt in across all of these. 

  • Website – A simple call to action box where a mobile number can be entered is a great way of collecting data from an engaged audience, who are familiar with your business. 
  • Email – Although the rather poor open rate of email, is why many companies implement SMS into their communication strategy, it is an easy way to promote the SMS marketing list to your existing audience. An email outlining opt in instructions to recipients is a really simple way to achieve this.  
  • Social media – A quick post outlining opt in instructions, could prove really valuable. Even if your brand doesn’t have the largest following, particularly in cases where businesses have a relatively engaged audience this can achieve great results. And by sharing offers such as ‘opt in for 10% off’ and including specific hashtags within your post, your brand can target individuals who may not currently be familiar with your business, but will be interested in your offers.

2. Include an incentive

This point may seem obvious, but it always bears repeating. For any brand to perform well, they need to be able to successfully demonstrate the value of their product or service and ultimately, your business needs to give consumers a reason to opt in to receive SMS marketing. 

  • Introduce an SMS loyalty program – 90% of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program felt they gained value from it and not only could it prove the perfect opt in incentive, but it would also enable your business to promote customer loyalty long term. 
  • Run a prize draw – We’ve seen customers use this to great success on email and social media campaigns. Simply enter all new recipients into a prize draw for something like an Amazon voucher or free product or service. 
  • Make it about more than marketing – When creating an SMS recipient list, it’s important to remember that this can be used for so much more than just SMS marketing. This channel can be used to notify recipients of new products available, more general business updates such as changes to opening times or even booking and appointment reminders. By informing customers that if they chose to opt in they will receive communications which aren’t just marketing orientated, again showcases that additional value to them. 

3. Make use of a shortcode and keyword

By using a short code keyword, you can make opting in as easy as possible for customers and negate any internal administration. For example, you could ask individuals to text “OPTIN” + their name to “81025” to receive important news and exclusive offers via SMS. And once this is set up, it can be included on your website, social media pages and even the footers of emails to ensure your business is always building that all important recipient list. What’s more, adding the ability for the recipients to supply additional information after the keyword will add value, and assist with building your marketing communications records. 

So, whether your business is new to the world of business SMS or simply wanting to expand your use cases, hopefully our tips above will help you maximise this activity. If you do have any further queries, our experienced team is always on hand to help, simply email [email protected]

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