How To Build SMS Subscribers (Up To Your First 1,000)

A welcome message for SMS subscribers

Adopting a business text messaging platform is an exciting process. Set-up takes minutes, and team training can be done in less than an hour. Adding nifty SMS integrations with your CRM and internal messaging platforms is complete in a few steps. Automations take moments. But after all of these key tools are in place and ready to go, you might realize that you aren’t getting many incoming customer queries. In other words, you need to build SMS subscribers before you can use any of these cutting-edge tools.  

It takes time and effort to build SMS subscriber lists. In order to get the word out and convince customers that your SMS service is worth signing up for, you need to treat it like a marketing campaign. 

Read on to learn how to build SMS subscribers up to your first 1,000. 

Create An SMS Shared Inbox 

Before you start to build SMS subscribers, you need to have a way to organize their contact information and receive their messages. An SMS shared inbox helps teams send, receive, and organize customer messages. 

You SMS provider will give you a new SMS number that customers can easily text into. Alternatively, your provider can easily text-enable your landline, toll-free, or VoIP number. Customers can text this number with a keyword or fill out a web form to opt in. Then, your platform can automatically add them to a new customer list

With an SMS shared inbox, you’ll find it easy to accept and connect with your new SMS subscribers.

Announce Your New Channel

To build SMS subscribers, you need to let customers know that your SMS service exists in the first place. You can publicize your new SMS services landing page on:

  • Your website, preferably on multiple pages and on a banner (embed a customizable SMS widget to streamline the opt-in process)
  • Your social media pages, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 
  • Review websites, like Yelp and Google Reviews

On all of the content, be sure to include:

  • A clear description of your SMS services, including what content you intend to send and how often
  • Opt-in instructions, including relevant keywords or links to web forms or a web widget

When customers head to your website to check out your products or services, they’ll immediately see that you have a fast and convenient SMS contact option. 

Get A Double Opt In

Once you start receiving opt ins, you may feel tempted to text these subscribers immediately with your content. First, you should secure a double opt in. 

A double opt in is just another layer of confirmation that your subscribers want to text you. It further protects your business, ensuring that your texting service complies with any local or federal regulations. It also ensures that customers are definitely interested in your products or services. 

After customers initially opt in with a keyword or web form, send an initial message asking them to reply to confirm opt-in. After that, send a welcome message with instructions on how to opt out at any time. This is a great way to secure that double opt in and build trust with your SMS subscribers.

Capitalize On Your Established Communication Channels

You probably already use emails to connect with customers, and phone calls to answer customer service questions. These are excellent channels to help you spread the word about business text messaging and build SMS subscribers. 

To build SMS subscriber lists, your team members can add SMS opt-in information to the end of marketing or customer service emails. You can also mention SMS customer service options after successfully resolving customer queries over the phone.

For example, you may want to add a simple sentence like this to the bottom of an email:

Text SUBSCRIBE to 415-555-1212 to learn more about our upcoming products.

By letting customers know about a faster communication channel after you resolve their queries, your team members will encourage them to opt in and save time in the future. 

Add Opt-In Opportunities To Key Website Pages

Customers find themselves needing help from your team during key moments throughout the customer journey. For example, customers might get to checkout and realize that they’re not sure how to get a certain discount they were looking for. 

To encourage customers to sign up for Person using key website pages to build sms subscribersyour SMS service and ask their questions there, add your SMS number to:

  • Checkout pages
  • Your “Contact Us” page
  • Your main page
  • Website banners

With your number clearly displayed right when they need help, customers will be more likely to sign up for your SMS service. Offering a convenient service in times of need is one of the best ways to build SMS subscribers. 

Include SMS In Pre-Existing Marketing Campaigns 

To build SMS subscribers and build SMS marketing lists, you need to maximize all the resources you have on hand. Your marketing team probably runs advertising campaigns regularly. These campaigns are an opportunity to build SMS marketing lists without spending additional budget. 

You marketing team can:

  • Add an SMS opt-in option to a Facebook Lead Ad
  • Include a texting option with Google Ads
  • Add your SMS number, including an opt-in keyword, to display ads 

Adding an SMS option to these ads both boosts awareness of your SMS service and offers customers a fast channel for connecting with your team if they have any questions about your campaign. 

Use Customer Referrals 

Finally, you can ask your current SMS subscribers to let their friends know about your SMS service. While this process may not be useful for your first 500 or so customers, it can help you push up to 1,000. 

To make it easy (and appealing) for customers to share your service, offer a:

  • Special, customer-specific opt-in keyword
  • VIP SMS list membership for customers who participate

Once a customer signs up through a referral, it’s more likely that they’ll capitalize on all your SMS service has to offer.


Once you’ve managed to build SMS subscribers, you’ll need to keep increasing your list size. Read this blog post to learn how.

Share via
Copy link