Shopify: 5 Creative Ways to Grow Your List of SMS Subscribers

Considering that smartphone users spend around four hours a day checking their phones and open 82% of all messages, SMS marketing provides a great opportunity for brands to connect with their customers. 

In the words of marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck: “Go where the eyeballs are.”

The question is: How do you get customers on your SMS opt-in list so you can kick off that text-based conversation?

We’re going to look at some creative ways you can do just that.

Benefits of SMS list growth for Shopify sellers

Before we get into the how, let’s first look at the why around SMS list growth.

Maybe you’re wondering: “Why do I need to focus on growing a list of subscribers on yet another marketing channel?”

Well, for one thing: It’s a powerful medium with mass user adoption.

  • Customers are on board: 76% of consumers already receive messages from businesses via SMS.
  • SMS has a significantly higher success rate than other marketing mediums: It boasts almost a 100% open rate and has a significantly higher CTR than email.
  • There’s room for growth: 54% of consumers say they’d like to receive SMS promotions, but only 11% of businesses send deals and engage customers through this medium.
  • It’s engaging: More than 50% of customers respond to texts in under three minutes, while 78% respond in under 10 minutes.

The data doesn’t lie. SMS is ripe with marketing opportunities.

So how do you convince your customers to share their precious digits? Let’s look at some ideas that can jump start your SMS list growth.

1. Promote exclusive drops

Promoting exclusive product drops to SMS subscribers is a great way to create hype, to build excitement, and tap into the powerful motivator known as FOMO. With the help of SMS app marketing, your business can become a part of the booming “drop culture” that’s helping limited release items fly off digital shelves.

Take a look at the Beardbrand example below to see how they executed on this tactic.

Those who sign up get a chance to be one of the lucky 1% of customers who get the first chance to own the brand’s special, limited-edition products. This makes customers on the brand’s SMS opt-in list feel like they’re a part of an unique club with VIP access that’s only for insiders—and it helps the brand sell out of a special product in minutes.

2. Use podcasts to encourage opt-ins 

Apart from being an excellent source of entertainment, podcasts are a great way to channel customers into your SMS funnel. The key to leveraging a podcast that will drive relevant opt-ins is to find a show that aligns with your brand, your products, and your target demographic.

If you need help identifying the ideal podcast for your product, consider using a company like Midroll. They do all the hard of finding a relevant podcast and crafting the perfect ad. 

Once you’ve secured an advertising partnership with a podcast, make sure your ad communicates the value of opting-in to your SMS funnel and includes an actionable (and easily memorable) shortcode

It’s also smart to include a custom small discount code that’s exclusive for podcast listeners so you can track conversions from these specific efforts and see if certain podcasts provide better ROI than others.

3. Put your packaging to work

When a customer receives your product, the first thing they’ll see is your product packaging. This is a piece of visual real estate where you can promote your SMS opt-in details. Why not make it part of the unboxing experience?

Taika is a DTC coffee brand famous for putting their SMS number right on the packaging (and the product itself.) By making it the focal point of their branding, it’s hard for customers to miss. This all-in approach to promoting text-based communication through packaging is a creative example of how brands can drive SMS opt-ins right on the visual real estate their products are delivered in.

4. Incentivize with an offer

Providing an incentive is one way to get customers interested in opting into your SMS-based marketing efforts. Whether it’s a discount, early access to new products, or free shipping, incentives are a powerful motivator when it comes to giving people a reason to hop on board. 

Beverage brand Olipop, for example, incentivized its SMS opt-in through its website with a 10% off coupon for subscribers that was also paired with access to news and deals. They also leverage this list to share new flavors with their subscribers before announcing new releases to the public.

As part of their online opt-in form, they also were sure to include the important details about their terms of service and details on what subscribers were opting into (to eliminate any ambiguity and comply with SMS marketing opt-in requirements.)

By giving visitors a compelling reason to subscribe, they upped their conversion rate significantly. A simple “TEXT JOIN TO XXXX” isn’t going to cut it in 2021.

5. Eliminate uncertainty

Buying something as pricey online can be a tough sell. That’s why diamond company Noémie leveraged a helpful freebie (a ring sizer mailed to those who opt in via SMS) to eliminate uncertainty around buying this high-ticket item. 

Anyone looking to spend $750+ on a diamond ring wants to be sure it’s the right size, so not only was this a very low-cost item for Noémie to send out, but it’s one that helped eliminate a tricky obstacle in the buying process: sizing.

Get creative with SMS opt-ins

A lot of eCommerce brands selling DTC on Shopify utilize these various SMS tactics to increase their opt-ins for SMS marketing purposes. From abandoned checkout recovery to top-of-funnel text messages for increasing sales, the possibilities with SMS marketing are far and wide.

Just remember: you have to appeal to your audience members in a way that adds value and give them a valid, compelling reason to share something as valuable as their phone number. 

Looking for a partner to help you master SMS marketing from opt-ins to recovering abandoned carts?  LiveRecover is here to help with SMS marketing for Shopify stores. Get started today.

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