Marketing

20 Proven Campaign Ideas to get more SMS Subscribers (+ Examples)

Post by
Mehdi Boufous
20 Proven Campaign Ideas to get more SMS Subscribers (+ Examples)

Today, we’re going to focus on another proven effective marketing strategy – Short Message Service (SMS) subscription campaign. 

SMS marketing has several edges over other forms of marketing. No wonder, it is an ongoing trend as more and more businesses want to ring their customers’ mobile phones. SMS has a higher open rate as compared to emails. SMS also has the unique capability to be an open dialogue between you and your customers. You send a text message and then they open it. In most cases, they can directly and easily respond from there.

If you are planning to start an SMS subscription, we can help you with the list of ideas below. Or, if you’re already on board with SMS marketing, consider them as additional tips to maximize your success.

And by the way, more examples reside here.

  1. Send tips and exclusive content (not just special deals and offers)
  2. FOMO no more!
  3. Use a clickbait on your subject line
  4. Select a good timing 
  5. Provide a short consultation with an expert professional
  6. Use SMS to notify when a product is back in stock
  7. Use a conversational tone
  8. SMS-exclusive drops
  9. Create a contest to win big
  10. Send the magic code via text only
  11.  Enumerate what they could be missing
  12.  Unlock early access via text
  13. No purchase is required, just sign up
  14. Tell them when to expect a text from you
  15. Use a personal approach
  16.  The classic 10% off
  17. Design it simple yet engaging
  18. Emphasize being a VIP
  19. Huge discount awaits
  20. Announce the reward right away

1. Send tips and exclusive content 

When signing up for SMS, most of the perks we see from brands cover special deals and offers. SMS can do more! Harness the power of SMS by sending relevant, relatable, and engaging messages to your subscribers. This is what Empathy Wines does by texting tips and exclusive content to its subscribers. Wine enthusiasts are more likely to opt-in because of the added value the brand offers.

2. FOMO no more!

A lot of people put the “FEAR” in FOMO. This email from Lola takes advantage of FOMO and turns it inside out by encouraging the audience to sign up. It’s like saying “Don’t worry…we’ve got your back”

3. Use a clickbait on your subject line

Your subject line can be the reason why your recipient will, or will not open your email. So use it to your advantage. Create a buzz and inject humor just like this example below from Aurate. They used a relatable matter about texting your ex. That's fun to click. 

To learn more about subject lines, you can check this out → Food Industry Email Subject Lines Inspirations to drive opens

4. Select a good timing 

When launching your SMS campaign, it’s important to know when you can get the most clicks. Usually, it happens during big holidays and marketing events (Black Friday, Halloween, Christmas, New Year, etc.) when people open their emails to hunt for perfect deals. So, it is wise to send your message during these peak seasons. Here’s a good one from Sunwink.

5. Provide a short consultation with an expert professional

To provide more value and guidance to your subscribers, you can try offering a free consultation related to the products you offer. Customers have almost endless questions, sure thing! But their curiosity can be lessened by offering them genuine help. This builds brand loyalty and awareness of your product which can lead to conversion. Take this email from Ren Skincare as an example.

6. Use SMS to notify when a product is back in stock

You can use text alerts to notify customers regarding a certain product that was once out of stock. That’s one of the perks of signing up for SMS where you both can win. This will ensure that a “wishlist” cart will eventually (and certainly) turn into the checkout. Baboon To The Moon knows this tactic quite well, as shown in the email below.

7. Use a conversational tone

Sounding too professional can make you seem less inviting. While a conversational tone has more personality, allowing you to humanize your business and giving your customer a character to relate to. In this email from Homesick, they used a layout that looks like a screenshot of a convo via text including emojis typically used during text messaging. Very straightforward conversation but we can say that it is so engaging with the closing part that reads Let’s do this!

8. SMS-exclusive promo

Here’s another example of how you can use SMS to give bragging rights to your subscribers. In this email from Flow, it states that they’re launching a big thing tomorrow so you better sign up to get their promo deals. That’s for SMS subscribers only, so you know what to do.

9. Create a contest to win big

Spell out the word BIG if you feel generous like what Dossier does as a way to encourage the customers to sign up for their SMS alert. Of course, who wouldn’t want to get a chance to win $500? 

10. Send the magic code via text only

If you’re making an SMS-only offer, you can give away a certain code and make it available through text only. This increases the feeling of exclusivity among the subscribers. It makes the promo seem bigger as well. This is exactly what Surely does during a Dry January campaign to encourage customers to restock.

11. List down what they could be missing

Another way to encourage your customers to sign up for SMS alerts is to present what they could be missing out on. Plus points if you have a long list to show. Just like Cotopaxi, they enumerated at least 5 perks of being a subscriber. As a customer, if you’ll see such a list, you’ll probably think why you’re not yet in.

12. Unlock early access via text

A lot of customers are fond of getting early access to something special like a promo deal, new products or collection launch, and more. You can take advantage of this shopping behavior to boost SMS sign-ups. In the example below, Mented Cosmetics created an early access Black Friday deal where customers were instructed to text a word to get their code.

13. No purchase is required, just sign up

Sometimes you just feel like giving out something really cool, e.g. items from your shop. They don’t need to do anything except sign up. So make it clear what they’re getting without the obligation to buy from you. This way, you’ll have a bigger audience who will be happy to sign up and be able to participate. Here’s a copy from Sunday, this might work for you too.

14. Tell them when to expect a text from you

This email is from Goop. What we love about it is that it is pretty honest and straight to the point in telling that they only send important updates and deals. Even better when they tell when exactly to expect a text from them (i.e. Wednesday). It is easier to remember and to look forward to.

15. Use a personal approach

Crossnet used a personal approach to speak to their audience. They address the customer by his name on the subject line of the email. They used a banner with a big question line. Most importantly, there was this encouraging message that subscribers will feel special when they become part of the text club. Plus, a big CTA to sign up. This type of email content could establish rapport early on.

16. The classic 10% off

Here’s an example of the classic 10% off. Though it is widely used by brands, it is still proven to be effective simply because we’re still talking about discount here. Who wouldn’t want to save some money? In this email, Olipop combined the classic promo with good creatives to attract the audience to sign up.

17. Design it simple yet engaging

Take a look at this email copy from Bombas. They used solid color as background. The conversation looks lively too as they used emoticons. It appears more natural and exciting to sign up by the look and feel of the email layout.

18. Emphasize becoming a VIP

People want to feel special in one way or another. By being an SMS subscriber, you’ll get special treatment. That’s what Atoms ensure its subscribers by using a clear subject line that mentions VIP pass, an email body that says VIP treatment, and a CTA that reads “Join SMS VIP”.

19. Huge discount awaits

Decide to what extent you can give discounts. The bigger the discount, the more chances that people will opt in to your SMS alerts. Vanity Planet used a huge discount offer. Good deals work like magnet.

20. Announce the prize right away

Figures have a special way of getting the viewers’ attention, especially huge figures. Manta Sleep mentioned about the amount of prize early on the subject line. This could gather more attention and clicks as it seems attractive to see a good figure.