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How to Grow Your SMS Subscriber List 10X Faster

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Simple hacks and strategies to grow your Shopify store’s SMS subscriber list.

There are so many online stores out there. And consumers shop from multiple sites. They no longer stick to one site, because they have more options and who wouldn’t want to explore them?

Now imagine, so many stores sending text messages, emails, and notifications to shoppers. So, shoppers don’t willingly go about sharing their contact information such as phone number, email, etc – even when they do want to be notified of deals and discounts.

Because they don’t want to be spammed. But as a business, it’s important for you to grow your contact lists. While most brands focus on building email lists and social media following, poor old SMS gets ignored quite often.

But growing your Shopify SMS subscribers list is important. Because a whopping 78% of your customers want to be notified on text messages, and the channel delivers a promising (or more than) 98% open rate as well!

The question here though, is – how do you get SMS subscribers on your Shopify store?

Here are some hacks.

10 ways to grow SMS subscribers list for your Shopify store

1. Allow Shopify store sign-ups through SMS

Most online stores provide their customers the option to sign up for a customer account page. It helps because this page holds all the important information for customers and their purchase history.

Your Shopify store could make use of this opportunity to grow your SMS list. Allow shoppers to register only via their phone number.

For example, to sign up, ask the customer to share their phone number, send them a verification code to be entered to complete their sign up process.

What’s more? Those who do sign up for a customer account page with their phone number, are more likely high-intent buyers.

2. Run back in stock campaigns

One of the most effective ways to grow your SMS subscribers list is through a back in stock campaign. It’s usual for products to stock-out on online stores. At that time, enabling back in stock on your Shopify store can help you – not only to bring potential shoppers back, but also to grow your SMS list.

Here’s how:

  • When an item goes out of stock, activate the ‘Notify Me’ button
  • A good Shopify back in stock app such as Appikon Back in Stock will help you automate this process; the moment a product gets sold out, the app will add the ‘Notify Me’ button
  • Here’s your chance to start collecting phone numbers for your SMS list
  • Allow shoppers to subscribe to back-in-stock alerts only through SMS; or make sure SMS is also an option along with other options such as email, Facebook Messenger, etc
  • This way, every time items get out of stock, you can grow your SMS list with new shoppers subscribing to the notifications

And there’s a win-win for your subscribers too. With SMS notifications, they are sure to also not miss out on the restock alert of their favourite product.

3. Offer incentives to join SMS list

Incentives work well to entice shoppers to subscribe because when we get something in return, it affects our decision-making process. For example, if we are about to receive something free, a gift, a discount, it makes us feel happy and we want to get that benefit.

And so, if you offer incentives to shoppers to join your Shopify SMS list, your chances of growing your list become higher.

Make the incentives exciting enough. Shoppers should not be able to resist the incentives.

For example, the first 10 SMS subscribers get shopping credit added to their account. Or something like: Send the SMS ‘FREE’ to 56350 to avail free shipping on your order – that way you’ll be able to validate the number too!

4. Offer products on pre-order

Another effective way to grow your SMS subscribers list is through pre-order campaigns. Pre-orders, as the term suggests, is when shoppers can buy an item before it is launched or actually available.

For example, do you recall how every time Apple launches a phone, they allow pre-orders? Or even when publishers are about to release books, they start accepting orders before the release date.

Similarly, you can run pre-order campaigns on your Shopify store when items go out of stock or are temporarily not available. You can also accept pre-orders for items that are yet to be launched.

Make sure when you run pre-order campaigns, you have an option to notify via text. You could also ask for phone numbers in order to keep the customer up-to-date on their pre-orders, and communicate the same to make them feel confident about sharing their contact details.

5. Create exclusive offers only for SMS subscribers

Consumers have a tendency to not miss out on offers and deals. Use the loss aversion psychology to your benefit. Behavioural economists define it as a condition where a person places greater emphasis on avoiding losses than gains.

So, when you offer exclusive offers only to your SMS subscribers, non-subscribers might join your SMS list so as to avail the offer. They might do this at the cost of getting spammed.

Let’s say for example, your Shopify Plus store runs this offer: 30% off on all purchases for the weekend for SMS subscribers. You can promote this offer on your website, via email and social media. Make sure you have a phone capture field on these channels for new subscribers. Those who aren’t on your SMS list, will subscribe to avail the offer.

6. Ask loyal customers for referrals through phone numbers

Your subscribers registered on your store or bought from you because they trust and like your brand or products. Create referral programs for your loyal customers. Encourage them to refer other potential shoppers but only through phone numbers.

Some tips:

  • Make sure you have a phone number capture field on your referral page
  • Offer a discount to your loyal customers in return of the referrals
  • Offer an incentive to both the referee and the referrer

Here’s an example:

sms subscriber list popup

7. Try an SMS sign-up field on your website

There are some places on the website that visitors are more inclined to look at – for example the side navigation bar or the top banner or the footer. These key locations can help you increase your SMS subscribers list.

For example, as the shopper scrolls down to your footer to learn more about your brand and products, try to catch their attention with a smart copy that invites them to subscribe through SMS.

Collecting phone numbers through all possible channels is a must if you want to run SMS marketing for your Shopify store – the more, the merrier. And your website is a prime space for it.

8. Have a chatbot on your Shopify Plus store

Try to find ways to engage shoppers on your website. A proven way of engagement and interaction is having a live chat option.

But how does that help grow your SMS marketing list?

You’ll have to subtly nudge shoppers to share their phone numbers. For example, when a visitor is browsing an item, show a live chat pop-up asking if you could help them. Get chatting with the visitor and smartly encourage them to share their phone number.

Say for example, a customer is browsing a pair of shoes and is looking for a color variant, tell them you can get back to them via SMS or a call if they could share their phone number.

Once the customer shares their phone number, make sure you send them a follow up text message. Don’t keep the customer waiting on you.

This brings us to a key aspect of building SMS lists – compliance and transparency.

9. Have transparent SMS terms

A lot of shoppers are vary of sharing their phone numbers with different online stores. On average, a person receives 15 to 20 marketing text messages from brands every day. Shoppers don’t want to be spammed.

And so, have clear and transparent SMS terms and tell your customers about it. For example, let customers know, when they’re signing up via their phone number that your store will be sending them marketing text messages occasionally.

A good practice is to share a ‘STOP’ option in every text message that you send out. That way, your subscribers are free to opt out whenever they wish to.

Make sure you have a TCPA-compliant SMS list. This means, it’s important that each and every person who has signed up with their phone number has given you the permission to send them text messages.

Pro-tip: Avoid buying SMS lists from agencies. It’s best to build your own SMS subscribers list. That way, you’re also sure about the authenticity and don’t have to worry about TCPA regulations.

10. Through campaigns on other channels – email, social media

Let’s understand how to grow your Shopify SMS list via other channels through an example.

A tanning and wellness business – Seattle Sun Tan – had 80,000 email subscribers and 37,000 social media followers. But they didn’t have an SMS database. So they launched a campaign to allow their existing email list and social media followers to opt-in via SMS by sending a text ‘TANS’.

The brand also offered a $20 discount for the next purchase. However, there was a condition. To receive this discount, customers had to sign up within five days.

The result: They had almost 5000 SMS subscribers in the first month and about 57% of the subscribers redeemed the 20% discount.

You could do the same for your Shopify Plus store. Turn your existing email subscribers and social media followers into SMS subscribers by running such campaigns.

More ways to grow your SMS list via other channels:

  • Run contests on social media channels but invite participation through SMS only
  • Offer deals and discounts through email campaigns exclusively through SMS
  • Offer discounts to first-time SMS subscribers
  • Show a pop on your website when customers are heading towards the back button, share an offer in return for their phone numbers

Should you care about growing your Shopify SMS subscriber list?

With an open rate of 98%, it would be surprising if you don’t implement SMS marketing for your Shopify or Shopify Plus store.

No matter at what stage your Shopify store is, make sure you have included SMS in your strategy. And to gain successful results from your SMS strategy, you’ll have to focus on growing your subscriber list.

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