Resources & Blog

Increasing your SMS marketing opt-in rates

Resources & Blog

Increasing your SMS marketing opt-in rates


SMS marketing has quickly become one of the most effective channels that marketers can use. With extremely high visibility and conversion rates, texting provides businesses with a communication channel that is both direct and personal. It's also unique in that it can be used for many different reasons. For example, you can text customers with administrative updates such as appointment reminders or order confirmations. Additionally, it is very effective when used for promotional purposes such as sending discounts or running competitions. A recent study found that sending three or more texts can increase conversion rates by 328% with a prospect after initial contact has been made.

One of the biggest factors that will determine the success of your SMS marketing campaigns is the size of your contact list. The more numbers you have, the more success you will achieve. There are several approaches that you can take to increase your list but ultimately it takes time and effort and should be done legally. Be sure to avoid purchasing data lists from third parties as it is expensive, often illegal and usually leaves you with a list of contacts that have no purchasing intent. Here's more information on creating a compliant campaign. Now that we've covered the legalities, we'll get started with the different ways that you can increase your opt-in rates and ultimately increase conversions.

1 - Use multiple channels

Taking a multi-channel approach is very important when you are trying to encourage customers to opt-in to your text message list. Your customers may not be using every channel, so you'd be excluding large segments if you only pushed opt-ins using one channel. For example, some of your customers may not be using social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram but may feel encouraged to opt-in if they received a direct mail invite. There are many different ways that you can encourage customers to opt-in, and we'll take a look at some of the most popular ones below.

You'll also need to make sure that your opt-in instructions are as clear as possible, as the process will differ on each channel that you use. Do your customers need to follow a link? Do they need to scan a QR code? Do they need to text you with a specific keyword? In the modern age of technology, there are many ways that people can make purchases, search for discounts and follow business activities. It is therefore down to you to tell your customers why they should subscribe to your future campaign and how they can do so.

Social media

Social media provides you with a great opportunity to increase your opt-in list. You can use your business page on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and more to promote the benefits of signing up to your SMS list. This also provides you with some great content to regularly fill your feed and keep your followers engaged. One way to increase opt-ins is to focus on the specific benefits such as a birthday discount, competitions and freebies that you often give away via texting. Your followers will be much more likely to sign up if your offers related to them directly as opposed to just sending random offers whenever you feel like it.


If you currently run email campaigns, then this is a fantastic place to start building your SMS list. This group of people are already happy to receive marketing information from you, so they will likely be happy for you to use SMS to communicate with them as well. All you'd need to do is include a section in the footer of your next email campaign that asks recipients to follow a link and opt-in to your future text campaigns. Your customers will be less likely to miss out on any future offers if they are subscribed to both channels and you can make that clear when promoting the benefits.

Your website

The easiest way to increase opt-ins is when customers are browsing your website. You can capture data in numerous ways, such as using banner ads, pop-ups or via a dedicated page. Additionally, you can collect data when customers are completing a purchase and filling out personal details. Since your website generates inbound leads, you don't have to do any work. You can sit back and watch your number of subscribers increase regularly.


If you are a customer-facing business, then you can promote your SMS marketing services in-store. For instance, you can ask customers that are at the checkout tills if they'd like to receive personalised offers via text. Another option would be to include posters and billboards in your shop front or include flyers on your displays. Be sure to inform your floor staff of your plans and you could also think about running an in-house competition to try and collect the most numbers.

QR codes

One of the quickest and easiest ways to do anything this day and age would be to scan a QR code on a smartphone. Remember the flyers and posters we discussed in the previous point? Including a QR code would allow customers to opt-in much quicker and easier, adding convenience to the opt-in process. Another benefit of QR codes is that they don't take up a lot of space allowing you to put them anywhere you see fit.

Radio and audio

The beauty of radio advertisement is that it's easy to get a large reach, with 90% of the UK population tuning in at least once a week. This importantly allows you to tap into a unique audience that would otherwise be untouchable if you were to solely place your ad on social media or in-store. Furthermore, although you might only be pushing your SMS benefits, listeners will build a strong affinity with your brand and the radio station, putting you at the forefront of their minds at the start and maybe the end of their day too! You can also look at modern alternatives to radio such as podcast advertising or using streaming services.


Similar to radio, promotion your SMS service during your television adverts provides you with an opportunity to engage with your customers. You can get them to opt-in by either including a QR code on the screen or by asking them to text a specific keyword to a five-digit shortcode. If you offer a big incentive as part of your advertisement then the likelihood of customers opting-in will increase significantly. This approach can also be used in the subscription video-on-demand industry.

Word of mouth

Finally, using word-of-mouth is an excellent way for businesses to promote their SMS services. You should mention the benefits of opting-in to your family, friends, customers and any other acquaintances that you think may benefit. All it takes is for each one of them to then make a recommendation to another person and you'll have doubled your list in size very quickly. Repeat this process numerous times and you're on to a winner.

2 - Create compelling ads

After determining the channels that you want to promote your SMS services on, think about the different types of ads that you'll need to create. Each platform that you use will have unique things to consider. Your images will need different sizing, you may need audio or video and you'll have a different budget for each. The ads also need to reflect your brand. Are they professional? Do they match your brand image? What impression will they make on brand new customers? Is it clear that you are asking people to subscribe? These are just a few of the many questions that you should be asking yourself before the ads go live.

Furthermore, it's important to consider placement. The position of your text, audio or video will have an impact on the number of opt-ins that you receive. If you aren't having much luck, then think about trialling new ideas and changing the position of your content. For example, you may want to move your SMS advertisements from the bottom of your email signature to the top. Or, you may want to remove a pop-up from your site if it is hurting both opt-ins and website bounce rates. While these may seem like minor changes, they have a big impact on your opt-in numbers.

3 - Keep subscribers engaged

The final step to increase your opt-in rates is to provide high-quality content to your customers. People will not let you send text messages to them simply because they're kind-hearted, they want real value. Just one poor campaign could lead to a number of your subscribers opting-out and undoing all of your hard work. Some examples of how to incentivise your text marketing would be to offer exclusive mobile-only discounts or to send birthday discounts to your customers. Free shipping always goes down a treat too! If you're still stuck for ideas, you can find some more here. Additionally, you can always test your offers by sending them to a small number of your contact list and monitoring the results.

Cutomer Account manager
Cutomer Account manager
by Jeremy Josselin | Head of Business Development

Hi, I'm Jeremy, Head of Business Development at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international business and I love seeing how brands communicate with consumers on an international level.


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