Opt-In Text Messaging

How to Grow Your Opt-In Text Messaging List

Have you ever launched an expensive marketing campaign with absolutely zero results?

Many retail businesses, nonprofit organizations, real estate companies, and many others experience this exact problem. So how do you keep this bad dream from becoming a reality? How do you make sure you’re sending the right message to the right people at the right time? How do you generate massive marketing success for your business?

Many of the most successful businesses and organizations leverage the power of text message marketing to generate meaningful interactions with prospects, customers, members, and many others. From retail and fitness to real estate and hospitality, text messaging provides immediate enhancements to any digital marketing and communications strategy.

When you get people to opt-in to your text marketing program, you will have a direct line of communication with people who are ready to engage right now. And the great thing about building an opt-in text messaging list is that once you kick it off, it’s virtually on autopilot. There’s no knocking doors, cold calling, or frantic networking involved.

It almost sounds too easy, right?

In this post, we’ll show you what opt-in text messaging is, how it can help, and why it saves you time and money, and how to launch a results-driven opt-in text campaign.

What Does Opt-In Text Messaging Mean?

The fact is, opt-in text messaging is one of the most cost-effective ways to market goods and services to large groups of people. However, because there are rules to follow, you cannot simply buy a list of numbers and start texting. You have to build an opt-in list.

In fact, bulk text messaging is a permission-based activity. This means that potential customers and members have to give their permission for you to send text messages.

How Does Opt-In Text Messaging Saves Business Owners Time and Money?

When people voluntarily join your marketing list, they're expecting to hear from you. They're giving you specific permission to contact them.

That means that you don't have to feel anxious when you hit the send button on your marketing text messages. You know you'll be strengthening your brand rather than worrying if you're hurting it.

You won't get spam complaints because contacts made a conscious decision to join. And, because people keep mobile numbers much longer than email addresses, and because they only have one mobile number, you won't have a bunch of unresponsive contacts that you constantly have to weed out.

More: 5 Mobile SMS Marketing Strategies to Maximize Customer Engagement

How to Launch a Successful Opt-In Text Message Campaign

By far the best way to grow your opt-in list is with what we call the automated growth equation. Offer an incentive and have customers text a Keyword to a short code to join.

Don't skimp on the incentive to join. Text marketing is so powerful that you may even want to consider your incentive to be a loss leader. In other words, you could lose a little money on this first offer, but make it up with a lot more in the long run. Consider offering big discounts or free items to get people started.

You'll combine your incentive with a Keyword and short code combination to get people to opt-in. The Keyword is a single word up to 12 characters.  As a best practice, pick a Keyword that is a single word so that it won't be "corrected" by autocorrect. Find a Keyword that matches your brand and relates to the incentive.

Keywords are provided by your texting platform. If you’re using a shared short code, you may not be able to secure some of the more common words, but the platform should make it easy for you to look up which words are available. There are requirements about how you write your auto-response to opt-ins. EZ Texting makes it easy to do these responses.

What is a short code? A short code is a five or six-digit number usually provided by your text marketing service platform. You may also consider renting your own dedicated short code.

Guidelines to Follow When Building an SMS Opt-In List

It was mentioned at the beginning of this article that there are rules to follow about how you conduct your opt-in text messaging, and that opt-in SMS marketing is a permission-based activity. We’ve covered several tips from the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook here.

There are four important elements to include in any promotion:

  • You must include instructions on how customers can opt-out of your service and unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to your short code.
  • You should also let your customers know that they can receive help by texting HELP to your short code.
  • Carriers require that you notify consumers of the cost of the service. Calls-to-action and opt-in confirmation messages should include the phrase “message and data rates may apply.”
  • Finally, tell your customers the maximum number of messages they will receive from your business - either by period of time or by transaction.

More: How to Send a Text Message Blast: A 5-Minute Guide to Texting Like a Boss

Opt-In Text Messaging Starts Here

If you're ready to build your text marketing list into a valuable business asset, the best next step is learning how to get started.

At EZ Texting, we've helped over 160,000 customers grow through text message marketing over the last decade. During that time, we've seen what it takes to get off to a great start. There are a few simple steps that you should take to make sure that you hit the ground running.


In our 9-step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing, we show you the nine steps all successful text marketers take when they're just getting started. Following these nine steps doesn't guarantee success, but they will give you a head start if you follow each one of them to the end.

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing


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We'll show you the nine steps all successful text marketers take when they are just getting started.


We use EZ Texting to administer a portion of our nutrition coaching…We have found that sending it right to them, eliminating the login or check your email step, has improved our read rate and adherence by at least 60%. In health and fitness, that’s the name of the game!

Jaclyn Weber
Marketing Director
Faithfully Fit

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The 9-Step Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing is your getting started guide to bulk SMS. In this guide, we show you the nine steps all successful text marketers take when they are just getting started

Emails: 20% Open Rate, Slow Response Times

Social Media: Costly, Low Engagement

Texts: 90% Opened in 1st 3 Mins, Inexpensive


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