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SMS is one of the most effective digital marketing channels for connecting with customers and promoting your services and products. The reason is that SMS messages boast the highest open rate, a whopping 98%. On top of that, text messaging enjoys a higher click-through and conversion rate compared to other marketing channels, such as email marketing. Studies have also shown that text messages get a 45% response rate.
Text message marketing is more helpful when you get written consent from your recipients. That is to say, you need to get your readers' permission before sending them any marketing text. In this post, we've underlined all you need to know about opt-in SMS and examples of SMS opt-in messages.
What is an Opt-In SMS?
Opt-in SMS are confirmation messages you send to recipients requesting their consent to receive messages from your brand. A good example of an opt-in SMS you can use as a business entity is below:
- We would like to exchange marketing SMS with you. Reply to this message with a YES if you are interested.
Opt-in SMS often takes two forms: single and double opt-in. In single opt-in, all you need is for users to provide you with their phone numbers, usually via an opt-in form. But what if the number they provided is fake? This is where double opt-in SMS comes in. First, users provide their phone number, and second, you ask them to verify the ownership of the number by clicking the link you sent to it.
Why is Sending an Opt-In SMS Important?
Sending opt-in SMS to your readers has several benefits. It ensures you stay legally compliant. In some countries, sending text messages to readers without their consent attract heavy fines. In fact, you could lose your entire business by sending unsolicited text messages.
For example, in the United States, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act compels businesses to seek consent from users before sending marketing text messages. Failure to do so can have dire consequences for businesses.
Secondly, sending opt-in SMS helps to build credibility for businesses. Customers don't like to be bombarded with commercial text messages, especially from companies they never consented to. But they tend to trust businesses more if they expressly give their consent.
Another benefit of sending an opt-in SMS text to users is that it can help improve your conversion rate considerably. This is because users who willingly signed up for your marketing campaign will most likely receive your messages compared to those who didn't. This means more conversion and more returns on your investment.
TCPA is Clear Guidelines About Opt-In Messages
TCPA, or Telephone Consumer Protection Act, are laws and guidelines businesses looking to engage prospects via SMS text must adhere to. Although these laws are most prevalent in the United States, other countries follow them too, to varying degrees. The essence of these laws is to protect consumers and their privacy. Knowing these laws will minimize your chances of erring on the wrong side of the law.
The latest TCPA Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order stipulates that you must obtain written consent from your recipients before sending conversational or promotional text messages to potential customers. Also, as a business entity, you must avoid purchasing phone numbers, using artificial voices, or texting prospects before 8 am and after 9 pm.
Other TCPA guidelines are as follows:
- Present your contacts the option of opting out of your messaging whenever they want.
- Keep your message frequency as low as possible.
- Avoid graphic and hateful text while trying to gain subscribers.
- Include your business name in your messages.
- Also, it's advised to use text message services for your SMS campaign and not your personal phone line.
Are There Any Advantages in Using Opt-In Text Messages?
Opt-in SMS is an effective and convenient way for companies to build transparency with their customers and increase conversion rates. Here are some of the advantages of sending opt-in messages to your customers.
Sending unsolicited text messages to your contacts will only result in them flagging your messages as spam. Some can even go as far as reporting you to authorities. Asking for their consent before sending any message will help minimize this problem immensely.
Better Conversion Rates
Your contacts will most likely be interested in the products or services your business offers if they have agreed to receive your text messages. This means your SMS marketing will be much more effective, and your conversion rate will improve tremendously. Plus, you will save more money and be able to optimize your marketing budget.
Better Open Rates
Nothing annoys people more than receiving unsolicited text messages from companies they don't know. Your messages will barely get opened if you engage in such bad practices. However, having your contacts' consent via an online form before sending text messages will make them want to open your text. This is because they are genuinely interested in whatever you offer and will be more willing to open your messages.
Saves You From Costly Fines
Sending sale alerts and promotional text messages to customers without their consent can land you into big trouble, so much so that you might have to pay hefty fines to wriggle yourself out of it. To avoid such issues, you just have to request their consent before sending any text. And you have to be intentional about it, as half-measures won't cut it.
Examples of SMS Opt-In Messages
Looking for inspiration to craft a compelling opt-in SMS that drives conversion for your business? Here are some examples you can take a cue from.
- [COMPANY-NAME] would like to send you weekly discount codes and sales alerts. Are you interested? Reply to this text with a YES if you are.
- Hello [CONTACT-NAME], we noticed you recently bought a [PRODUCT] from our store. We send out weekly sales alerts where we announce our hot deals. Kindly reply YES if you'd be interested in receiving marketing text messages from us.
- [COMPANY-NAME] would like to exchange text messages with you. In complying with TCPA regulations, we ask for your consent. Respond YES to consent to receive text messages from us.
SMS Opt-In Best Practices
There are certain SMS best practices you must adhere to when sending SMS opt-in messages to achieve maximum results. Here are some of them.
Entice Your Contacts with Incentives
One of the easiest ways to win your contacts' attention and loyalty is by offering them irresistible incentives. For example, you can entice them by promising a 30% discount on their next purchase if they subscribe to your text messaging. Offering recipients incentives will also ensure they regularly keep an eye out for your messages, resulting in better open and conversion rates.
Keep Your Messaging Short and Simple
Writing lengthy texts to convey your message to your audience can be tempting. Many consumers don't like to read lengthy texts.
For example, instead of sending this:
- We are delighted to let you know we are offering unbeatable sales offers this Christmas. You stand a chance to win a 30% discount by letting us send you SMS sales alerts from time to time.
You could say this:
- Win a 30% discount this Christmas by subscribing to our SMS messaging list!
Keep it simple; keep it sweet. That's how you ensure an active and ever-growing subscriber base.
Do you plan to send SMS messages every other day to your contacts but tell them you would be sending them once a week? You are setting yourself up for a lot of trouble. It's best to be upfront with your contacts right off the gate. Tell them if it will cost them money to reply with their consent. You should always inform your customers about the terms and conditions they need to be aware of. If possible, add a link to your text messages instead of pasting the entire terms.
Have Opt-Out Options
Many local laws stipulate you must give subscribers the option of opting out of your SMS campaign whenever they want. And you need to make the process as easy and seamless as possible. One easy way to do this is by asking them to text "NO" or a code to unsubscribe from your list. For example, you could say, "Text 'NO' to 345677 to opt out of our SMS list." Always make sure that your opt-out option is easy to follow.
It's never enough to send opt-in SMS to your contacts; you should also make your customers take action. For example, when you want your customers to text back with a code or a text, you need to let them know. If you need them to click a link in your text, it's also essential to specify it clearly. In all, be concise and clear about your call to action. Most importantly, try to place your call-to-action statements in all your messaging.
Use Double Opt-In
If you collect phone numbers using online forms, it's important to use double opt-in messages. For example, you can send your contacts a message with a link and ask them to click on the link to verify their subscription. Using double opt-ins will also help you weed out users with fake numbers and only have actual customers with sale potential.
How to Create an Opt-In Form Through Text Messages
Adding opt-in forms through text messages might look scary at first. However, it's a very straightforward process; once you start using SMS messaging services. Textback takes things a step forward with easily customizable opt-in forms so that your messages reflect your brand perfectly. The best part is that you don't need to write any code or hire a developer to create one - you just have to click and drag. Book a demo with our professionals and explore all the ways you can create an opt-in form with Textback.
DO's and DONT's of Opt-In Text Messaging
Here are the essential practices to keep in mind for most opt-in text messaging to ensure successful SMS marketing campaigns.
- DO make your opt-in messages very simple to follow. Overcomplicating things won't help.
- DO get your timing right. It's important to send SMS messages when your contacts most likely respond to them.
- DO keep your messaging frequency reasonable. Constantly bombarding readers with messages won't yield any results.
- DON'T send irrelevant SMS to people. Doing so will only force them to opt-out of your messaging.
- DON'T forget to offer incentives - that's the fastest way to amass subscribers and expand your list.
Do I need opt-in SMS for my business?
Although it can be tempting to ignore, SMS opt-in message is crucial and has several benefits. If nothing else, it can help guard against legal problems that may arise from sending unsolicited text messages.
Can I text people who haven't opted in?
Although you can actually text people who haven't opted in, it's generally a bad idea. Sending campaign texts without your customers' permission is illegal, can lead to people flagging your message as spam, and has dire legal consequences.
Is SMS marketing illegal?
Text message marketing is not illegal. It will only become illegal if you go against TCPA or similar regulations. For example, sending marketing messages to people without prior consent and after 9 pm is illegal.
What is the SMS opt-in rate?
If you require your contacts to text back with a code or text to affirm their consent, they might incur costs. This is known as the SMS opt-in rate, which varies across carriers.