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How to Use SMS to Grow Your Email List

How to Use SMS to Grow Your Email List

On their own, SMS and email are powerful tools that allow you to grow your business. Together, they’re even better. 

If you’re a business owner or marketing manager thinking about how to use SMS to grow, email list subscribers may not be the first metric that comes to mind. After all, email and text marketing are two distinct strategies.

Indeed, there’s long been a debate about email vs. text marketing. And there are some excellent points on both sides of the argument. While SMS boasts a 98% open rate, email can offer more flexibility around the content you can send.

The truth is that both methods of communication provide value. When leveraged correctly, email and SMS can complement each other. 

With that in mind, we’re exploring four ways to use SMS—the preferred method of communication for 85% of consumers—to acquire more email addresses.

1. Text Out a Link to Your Email Newsletter

In many cases, the best way to get what you want is to ask for it. This marketing scenario may be one of those cases. Gathering email addresses from your SMS subscribers could be as easy as sending a text like:

“Hey, [name]. If you want to stay up to date on what we’re up to, subscribe to our email list. We’ll only send you the good stuff—we promise! [newsletter signup page URL]”

However, most consumers won’t sign up for your emails without feeling connected to your brand. As such, you may not want to lead with a request for their email address. Instead, you can use SMS to nurture your relationship with a customer, then send them an email sign-up link.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t send just anyone a text asking for their email. Anytime you plan to send a business SMS, make sure that:

2. Offer an Incentive

Another way to capture email addresses via SMS is to provide customers with an incentive. Many consumers already receive dozens of promotional emails throughout the day, so you need to give them a reason to sign up for one more. To do that, you might send them a text like:

“Hi [name]! Did you know our email subscribers enjoy exclusive benefits? Sign up for our email list and reap the rewards. [URL]”

In terms of what those rewards are, you could offer new email subscribers:

  • A discount – Your message could include a promo code for 10% off or a “buy one get one free” deal.
  • A contest entry – Whether the prize is one free product or a lifetime supply, everyone loves a contest. Giving all entrants a consolation prize—such as a coupon code—is another way to build goodwill and keep customers from unsubscribing post-contest.
  • Free shipping – The option for free shipping influences 75% of shoppers to make a purchase, so offering it in exchange for an email address can deliver results.

Depending on your business, you may be able to offer other unique perks. Regardless of the incentive you choose, it’s always worth giving your customers a reason to sign up for your emails that goes beyond “pretty please.”

3. Encourage Account Creation

If your business allows shoppers to create accounts, you can grow your email list by encouraging more sign-ups. Most accounts require an email address, so this tactic lets you collect customer emails without explicitly asking for them. A sample text message could look like this:

“If you like saving time at checkout and receiving exclusive perks, you’ll want to create an account with us. Click here to get started: [URL].”

When customers head to the account sign-up page, you can include a checkbox that allows them to opt-in to your email marketing program. Account setup forms also let you ask for other information that will help you segment your audience, such as gender, location and interests.

If accounts don’t make sense for your business, you could collect email addresses through a loyalty program instead. Asking for a phone number and email address during membership sign-up could help add subscribers to your email list and your SMS marketing audience.

4. Tease the Contents of Your Marketing Emails

Why tell your customers how awesome your email newsletter is when you can show them? With the right SMS marketing platform, you can leverage MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messages. MMS lets you send eye-catching photos and videos to everyone on your SMS marketing list.

Specifically, you can send your customers a picture or screen recording of your well-designed, feature-rich email. Make your newsletter enticing enough, and your photos will likely convince some subscribers to join. You might pair your screenshot with copy like this:

“Not subscribed to our emails yet? Here’s what you’re missing. Sign up today for more exclusive content. [URL]”

This tactic can also work the other way. Consider adding a section about your SMS marketing program in your promotional emails to collect phone numbers from interested customers. If you differentiate your SMS promotions from your email promos, you give customers a reason to sign up for both.

Broaden Your Reach with Texting Base

On their own, SMS and email are powerful tools that allow you to grow your business. Together, they’re even better. 

By using SMS to grow your email list, you can give customers the best of both worlds: Quick, conversational marketing texts and varied long-form emails.

But before you can start funneling your SMS subscribers to your email newsletter, you need an effortless way to reach them. For that, there’s Texting Base.

As an all-in-one SMS marketing platform, Texting Base gives you all the tools and features you need to expand your email list and your business. With drip campaigns, two-way texting and auto-response functionality, our platform makes finding new email subscribers a breeze.

Start your Texting Base free trial today to start exploring the possibilities of combining SMS and email.



Gartner. The Future of Sales Follow-Ups: Text Messages.

PC Mag. Businesses, Take Note: Your Customers Prefer Texts.

Shopify. Future of Shipping and Logistics.