How to Get More SMS Subscribers? 9 Strategies to Skyrocket Your SMS List

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Nine out of ten consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via text messages.

That statistic alone shows why you should consider integrating a text marketing program into your marketing strategy.

SMS marketing is a highly convenient way to connect with your target audience, and it reaches 98% of smartphone users.

In this article, we’ll show you the benefits of SMS marketing and give you nine tips to grow your SMS subscriber list.

Let’s get down to it!

What is SMS marketing?

SMS (Short Message Service) marketing is an effective digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional messages, updates, and alerts to customers via text messages.

With the widespread use of mobile phones, SMS marketing has emerged as a highly effective method for businesses to get messages in front of their audience, drive sales, and build brand loyalty.

What are the benefits of SMS marketing?

Benefits of SMS marketing

We all know the feeling: that familiar “ding” of an SMS message popping up on our phone, prompting us to check immediately so we don’t miss out on anything important. 

And this is exactly why SMS boasts exceptionally high open rates—98% to be precise—with most messages being read within minutes of receipt.

SMS marketing is an incredibly effective way to ensure that your messages are seen by your subscribers.

SMS marketing is also relatively inexpensive, so even small businesses can jump on board.

Sending the right text message at the right time can build a personal connection with your audience. This can make them stick around longer and feel more connected to your brand.

9 strategies to grow your SMS subscriber list

Now that we’ve clarified why SMS marketing messages are important, it’s time to start growing your list!

Here are nine strategies to get more SMS subscribers and start sending SMS marketing campaigns immediately.

1. Collect phone numbers from existing email subscribers

Our first strategy relies on tapping into your existing subscriber base. 

Craft Sportswear NA kicked off its new SMS program with a popup campaign targeting their email subscribers. They asked their biggest fans to share their phone numbers, knowing that these customers are already into Craft Sportswear and are likely open to signing up for the SMS list, too. 

To sweeten the deal, they threw in a valuable incentive offer: $35 off the next order in exchange for an SMS subscription. 

Craft Sportswear had a valuable incentive as an exchange for the sms opt ins

Craft Sportswear NA achieved a 40.44% conversion rate with this popup and collected 4,088 new SMS subscribers. Impressive, right? Read more about their SMS strategy here.

2. Build your email and SMS list at the same time

Do you already use an email popup to collect email addresses from your website visitors? Cool. You can easily boost this popup to grow your SMS subscriber list at the same time.

The beauty of this approach is that it won’t negatively impact your conversion rates.

This method, known as the Trojan Horse, was pioneered by Jason K Williamson of e2 Agency.

Basically, you start by asking for an email first, then offer an extra incentive—“double your discount” or “get an extra 5% off”—in exchange for a phone number.

Depending on how juicy the offer is, you can expect 30-80% of your email subscribers to become SMS subscribers, too!

If you want sms subscriber growth the Trojan Horse method can ensure the smooth customer journey.

3. Offer strong incentives for signing up

Creating a give-and-take approach is key to gaining more SMS subscribers.

Earth Harbor’s success with offering a free gift demonstrates the power of providing tangible rewards. 

The secret to this strategy is to give away valuable things like discounts, freebies, or exclusive access. Find what your audience loves and give it to them.

Experimenting with different incentives will help refine your strategy and drive even more conversions.

Earth Harbor's tactic for opt in sms subscribers is offering a free gift for sms subscribers

You can also try mystery discounts to spark curiosity in the customer. Based on our experience, they have higher conversion rates than simple 10% off discounts.

4. Simplify the opt-in process

Complicated or lengthy procedures can scare away new subscribers.

Here’s how to keep the opt-in process nice and easy:

  • Use a clear call-to-action (CTA): Ensure that your call-to-action for opting into SMS alerts is prominent and easy to understand. Use concise language that conveys the value of subscribing.
  • Make it a single-step opt-in: Minimize the number of steps required for subscription. Ideally, subscribers should be able to opt in with just one action, such as sending a text message or clicking a single button.
  • Provide clear instructions: Clearly outline how users can opt in, whether it’s by texting a keyword to a specific number or filling out a form online. Make sure instructions are easy to follow and readily accessible.

Check out the popup from Blendjet below. It’s a great example of using simplicity to create a seamless user experience that minimizes frustration and maximizes sign-up rates:

BlendJet is generating sms subscribers with their simplified opt in form

5. Provide valuable content

The content you deliver to your SMS subscribers should be tailored to their interests and preferences. Every time they open one of your SMS messages, they should feel like it adds value to their life in some way. 

By offering exclusive, relevant content, you can establish yourself as a valuable source of information, updates, and special deals, fostering stronger connections with your audience.

Personalization adds an extra level of engagement and keeps subscribers interested. This not only makes them happy but also keeps them sticking around longer.

6. Promote your SMS marketing list across different channels

If you want to build your subscriber list, you have to get the word out about your SMS program everywhere you can. This means using all the marketing channels you have.

Utilizing platforms like social media, email, and website banners allows you to attract potential subscribers from different places.

Use stories, tweets, and Instagram posts (like in the example below) to tell your followers why they should join your SMS club. You can also add a big banner in your email newsletter that says, “Hey, don’t miss out on exclusive texts!”

Whatever you do, ensure that you emphasize the advantages of subscribing to your SMS list to generate interest.

Encourage customers, and social media users for sms subscriptions an all marketing channels like Craftovator did.

7. Run SMS-exclusive campaigns

We all love to be treated with a bit of exclusivity. So creating campaigns just for SMS subscribers makes them feel special and valued.

Consider offering exclusive deals, discounts, or early access to new products.

And don’t forget to promote this on your website—check out how True Scoops did it below. They highlighted the benefits of becoming an SMS subscriber and encouraged customers to join their subscriber list.

Run exclusive sms campaigns and higlight why receiving sms messages from your business benefits the user.

Offering special deals or early access to products rewards loyal customers and attracts new subscribers seeking special treatment.

8. Let people subscribe with SMS keywords

Offering the option to subscribe via SMS keywords simplifies the process for customers who prefer this method.

By promoting specific keywords for different campaigns or promotions, you can make it easier for customers to opt in and stay engaged.

Automating responses further streamlines the process, ensuring a seamless experience for subscribers from start to finish.

SKIMS encourages visitors to opt in by sending a keyword with this promotion in the footer of their website:

Keyword opt in can encourage users to subscribe via text messaging.

9. Run a giveaway

Hosting a giveaway can be a powerful tactic to spark excitement and encourage people to sign up for your SMS list. How? Just make signing up for your SMS list a requirement for entering the giveaway!

The success of your giveaway will hinge on selecting a prize that truly captivates your target audience.

It’s essential to choose something that resonates with their interests and desires, offering real value to the lucky winner.

Whether it’s a sought-after product, a valuable gift card, or an exclusive experience, the prize should be something that your audience genuinely wants.

Offering multiple prizes can increase the appeal of your giveaway and provide more opportunities for people to win.


What is an SMS subscriber?

An SMS subscriber is someone who has opted in to receive text messages from a business or organization. They have provided their consent to receive promotional messages, updates, or alerts via SMS.

How do I get more SMS subscribers?

To get more SMS subscribers, you can employ various strategies such as promoting your SMS list on popups, offering enticing incentives like exclusive deals or discounts, utilizing SMS keywords, and running SMS-exclusive campaigns.

Are there any legal considerations when collecting SMS subscribers?

Yes, it’s essential to comply with regulations such as obtaining explicit consent from SMS subscribers before sending them marketing messages. Ensure you provide clear opt-in and opt-out options and follow data protection laws.

How often should I send text messages to my SMS subscribers?

It’s crucial to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind and not overwhelming your SMS subscribers. Aim for a frequency that provides value without being intrusive, such as weekly updates or alerts for special promotions.

Wrapping up

Whether you want to convert your current email subscribers into SMS enthusiasts or entice brand new subscribers, text message marketing is a strategy well worth considering.

The direct, personal nature of SMS messaging presents a unique opportunity to engage with your audience on a more immediate and intimate level.

So why wait? Get on board with SMS marketing today—the first step is to build your SMS subscriber list. Create your free account with OptiMonk to start getting more SMS subscribers from day one!

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