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SMS, or text messaging, is the most widely used mobile technology today and it can be a very effective way of gathering email subscribers away from the web. This tactic is especially useful for companies and non-profits who hold events, run traditional media, or have a significant number of visitors passing through their physical location.
Here are three scenarios where SMS could make capturing an email address easier for both the audience and the organization.
How it’s done now – “Thanks for coming to our event today. If you would like to receive our free white paper and signup for our ongoing email newsletters please take the time to scribble down your contact information. Sorry, we only have one clipboard so we hope you’ll wait until it gets passed back to you. Does anyone have another pen we can borrow?”
The problem – Not only is this method very cumbersome for the audience, it requires someone to key in all those email addresses by hand. How many email addresses will be lost due to bad handwriting?
How it’s done with SMS – “Thanks for coming to our event today. If you’d like to receive our free white paper and signup for our ongoing email newsletters just pull out you phone and text FREE to 12345.” After doing this the user immediately receives a text message back asking for their email address. They reply and the white paper is waiting for them in their inbox when they get back to the office.
The solution – This method is not only much faster and easier for the audience, it nearly eliminates all risk of capturing a bad email address. Also, the information is delivered immediately to the prospect, not a week later when someone has a chance to key in all the data from the clipboard.
How it’s done now – The radio spot says, “If you’re interested in this product be sure to visit our website where you can signup for our email list and receive 20% off your first purchase.”
The problem – The ad expects the listener to remember a website address and visit sometime in the future. This approach not only makes it easy for the audience to forget, it doesn’t help the company attribute new signups to the media.
The solution – “If you’re interested in this product signup for our email list and we’ll send you a 20% off coupon for your first purchase. Text PRODUCT to 12345 now.” The listener texts, responds with their email address, and receives the coupon instantly. The company can quickly see how many new signups resulted from their media buy.
How it’s done now – The sign says, “Thanks for coming out today. We hope you enjoyed our facility. Enter to win a $100 gift card for your next visit when you signup for our email list at the cashier’s desk.”
The problem – Few people are going to go out of their way to ask someone for a signup sheet, and the issue of “lost emails due to bad handwriting” still exists.
The solution – “Thanks for coming out today. We hope you enjoyed our facility. For your chance to win a $100 gift card signup for our email list by texting WIN to 12345.” The visitor texts in, responds with their email address to be entered into the drawing, and is instantly emailed a listing of the next month’s events.
These are just three ways SMS can be used to help grow an email marketing database. Texting is not only an easier call-to-action for the audience it’s a more accurate way for an organization to capture an email address. Depending on your offline opportunities and incentives you can create unlimited ideas for your organization.
Have you used text messaging to grow your email list? What were the results? Drop in a comment below. Thanks!