List Growth Techniques

The Advanced SMS Marketing Guide

List growth is a core component and ongoing goal of SMS marketing. It's obvious that the larger your list, the "wider net you cast", and the better response you'll see from each outbound campaign. As important as it is, list growth is sometimes not taken seriously enough by marketers. It is viewed as tedious, and requires true dedication if you really want to make the most of your campaigns.

There are hundreds of ways that you can grow your SMS marketing list. Get creative and use your business knowledge to find the most optimal ways to reach potential subscribers. We have broken down some of the most effective and powerful methods of list growth, and included them below to help spark your creativity.

Verbal Engagement

This is one of the top ways to grow your SMS marketing list. Engaging customers in a 1 on 1 conversation proves to be extremely effective, and will certainly lead to higher opt in rates. Because you're explaining the program face to face, it immediately brings awareness to your text program, and forces people to make an opt in decision on the spot. Whether it's a server in a restaurant, a clerk in store, or a bartender at a club, verbal engagement is one of the best ways to grow your SMS marketing list.

Table & Counter Tents

Table tents are a pretty effective way to grow your list. Can you remember the last time you sat down in a restaurant? You most likely saw a table tent. They're little triangular cards that stand alone on restaurant tables, retail displays and checkout counters. They provide your customers with a quick glimpse of important information about your business. These cards can get a lot of attention, and therefore are an excellent way to tout your SMS marketing program and boost opt in numbers.

Flyers at Checkout

If you own or manage a retail establishment, showcase informational signup flyers at checkout. Design and print flyers that explain your SMS marketing program, and post them conspicuously near the cash register. Especially if you're offering some sort of discount for joining the list, making customers aware as they're cashing out is a great way to entice the opt in.

Bathroom Stalls

Let's face it, most customers frequent bathroom stalls - especially in restaurants, clubs and bars. It's a prime opportunity to make customers aware of your SMS marketing program. Simply post some flyers in high traffic places, and you'll be in good shape. Some of these places might include the back of stall doors, on the wall above urinals, and next to hand washing stations.

Bag Stuffers

Create small flyers explaining your program, and drop one in every bag. Most common in retail, this method is actually quite effective, especially if you make your flyers smaller and staple them to the front of customer receipts.

Digital Banners

In this day and age, it's likely that your business has some sort of digital indoor signage. Most common in the form of flat screen TVs fixed to the walls, this is a great way to showcase your SMS marketing program, as these screens quickly grab customers' attention. Own a sports bar with multiple flat screens? This method will be even more effective. If done correctly, every customer will become aware of your text program by the time they're ready to leave.

Staff Apparel

Many times, and in several different types of businesses, you'll see employees sporting apparel that pushes new products or services. Especially in industries where there's a heavy amount of employee to customer interaction, this can be an extremely effective way to grow your text list. Often it will spark conversation about your text program, and help employees kick off the verbal engagement.

Email Marketing

Do you send out a monthly newsletter for your business? If so, information about your text program should be included in every email campaign. For the customers who read your emails, this provides them with the awareness and intrigue needed to join your list.

Social Media

There are several different ways you can leverage social media to grow your SMS marketing list. On the surface, you can develop immediate awareness for your program, and drive people to opt in. Include sign up information on your Facebook timeline cover photo. Create a Facebook html page that hosts a sign up / opt in form. Write posts and tweet about your program. You can even post photos of your signup flyers. Different social networks allow you to communicate in different ways, so get creative. Our customers find the most success when pushing SMS marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest.


If you have a website, you should push your text program there as well. Create banners on various pages that reflect the look and message of your signup flyers. If you have an ecommerce website, you can include the option to opt in at registration. Everyone should have a page on their website dedicated solely to their SMS marketing program. From information and the ability to sign up, to fine print and other info, this squeeze page is a great way to capture visitors' attention and push them to sign up.

TV & Radio Ads

If you run TV and / or radio ads, maximize their worth and your investment. Feature the benefits of your SMS marketing program. Make sure to include necessary details, such as what people are signing up for, and how to join. Keep all directions as clear as possible.

Text to Win Contests

A text to win contest is an outstanding way to grow your SMS marketing list. Simply put, these contests allow people to text in for a chance to win something. In doing so, they're added to your text list, if they haven't already subscribed. Note that you must push / market your contest in many of the ways you're currently promoting your text program, but the contest is more of an attention grabber, as it's fun and exciting.

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