Ever wondered how to use SMS marketing to increase sales?
If you’ve considered it then you are on the right path. But then there’s one hurdle you have to hop over before you can begin: collecting phone numbers from new and existing customers.
What to know before collecting customer phone numbers?
Before you begin, there are some things you should know. No matter how tempting it is to buy a ready-made list of phone numbers, avoid doing it by all means.
It’s not like the purchase itself is illegal, it’s just that sending text messages to people who have not opted into your campaign is illegal in most countries and subject to heavy fines.
In 2020, an Italian telecoms operator, TIM was fined $31 million for breaching GDPR laws that included sending customers unsolicited messages. You need to be familiar with the laws regarding SMS marketing in your jurisdiction to avoid getting into trouble. Make sure you know and understand the anti-spam policies in place.
Furthermore, using unsolicited SMS to reach people can put a dent in the reputation of your brand and any attempts to further communicate will be viewed as spam. This can render all your future SMS marketing efforts futile.
Whereas you can reach people without consent on other marketing channels like email, you need people’s explicit consent to include them in your promotional bulk SMS marketing.
By opting to receive messages from you, your customers are putting their trust in you. With this knowledge, you must:
- Include the option to opt-out
- Guarantee customer data privacy
- Ensure you offer value
7 Actionable Tips for Collecting Phone Numbers for Future SMS Campaigns
- Free trials
When a fitness company needed to attract new customers to its new gym, it offered a free session to encourage new customers if they signed up with their phone numbers.
This is always good, particularly if you’re primarily a brick-and-mortar business. When customers sign up with their phone number (and email address), you can include the opt-in option as a part of the free trial package.
- Provide Incentives to Subscribers
Whether you do it through exclusive perks or discounts, people should know that they get something out of subscribing to your campaign.
If you want to get customers to sign up for your messages, provide them with incentives to do so.
Privacy is a big thing to a lot of customers and they know their numbers are valuable information.
When Rihanna expanded her lingerie brand Fenty, customers who signed up got 50% off all purchases for a limited time and Fenty saw a 150% growth in 2019 by using SMS.
- Customer support
If your brand takes support calls, your agents could ask for phone numbers when new customers call in for inquiries.
On these calls, your team could encourage customers to give their consent to 2-Way SMS alerts that give them more room to speak to your business.
- Provide clarity and exclusive perks
Customers need to know what they’re signing up for and the best way to get them to commit is to be upfront with them. Provide clarity on how much text they’d get from your brand and what perks come with texts.
Popular sandwich brand, Subway once used SMS marketing to get people to opt into getting free coupons once a week when they register their numbers.
- Run a text contest
You can create a contest with an eye-catching prize and get people to input phone numbers to enter a draw.
This is a win-win situation for you as your subscriber list expands, and you get some brand awareness and increased customer engagement. Shoprite, the South African retailer used this strategy to penetrate into the Nigerian market when it added two more stores to the country’s commercial capital, Lagos.
- Website forms
If you already have an online store and you have a good amount of traffic, you can always get customers to sign up for exclusive offers, discounts, and coupons right before they checkout.
You can capture customers’ preferences in the popup by adding a list of the products or services they’re interested in. That way, you’ll tailor your SMS marketing campaign based on their needs.
- Create a catchy keyword and set up a short code
Encourage customers to send your catchy keyword to a short code you create for marketing purposes. The keyword could be something that gets them a chance to win something.
For example, you could get them to send the keyword “SHOP22” to 2442 to get discount coupons for an end of year sales coming up. This all depends on your creativity and what your brand does.
Start your SMS marketing with BSG
One last thing, in order to make all the points above work smoothly, you need an omnichannel communications platform that provides you with the data and insights you need to run your campaign, and BSG is the one you can rely on. Let’s get started today!