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Grow Your SMS List with Text-to-Subscribe

A woman in a plaid shirt is using her cell phone to grow your SMS list with text-to-subscribe.

Text-to-subscribe is a user-friendly way to get your shoppers to opt into SMS communications from your brand. With a well-placed CTA that lets customers know that your business is open for texting, you can make the signup process much easier for them. It’s also a good alternative, or a complementary method, to web modals that collect your website visitors’ information in a form. With Zaius, you have the power to create automated SMS campaigns that are triggered by keywords in text messages your customers send you. You can launch your text-to-subscribe campaign in Zaius in 3 steps:

1. Opt your senders in: Set up your operational campaigns

First, you’ll need to choose a keyword that will trigger your text-to-subscribe promotion. Let’s say that you selected “GO”. You will have to set up a filter for incoming text messages that contain this keyword.

Navigate to your Filters and create a new one:

  • Name your filter “Text to Subscribe (SMS Consent)”
  • Check Account for Visibility
  • Select Events for Feed
  • Set up your filter definition as follows:
    • Event Type = sms
    • Event Action = engage
    • Campaign Event Value ≈ go

      • Make sure to use “matches” as the operator, instead of “equal” to avoid issues with capitalization (i.e., to make it so the keyword is not case sensitive)
  • Save your filter
Filter for incoming text messages containing a keyword

When you allow your customers to opt into your SMS campaigns by texting you a keyword, you must have a transactional campaign running in the background to ensure that your customers’ SMS opt-in statuses are updated accordingly.

Create a new Transactional campaign that is triggered by an event:

  • Under Enrollment, select Customers that trigger an event.
  • Select “Text to Subscribe (SMS Consent)” from the Filter drop-down

Next, add Zaius Channel as your first touchpoint:

  • Under Targeting, choose Phone as the Target Identifier
  • Under Configure, toggle on subscriptions, then select Subscribe under Changes to the identifier’s global consent in the Subscription Updates section
  • Go live with your campaign
Zaius Channel configuration for updating global consent for a phone number

2. Tell them they’re in: Send confirmation and welcome messages

To be compliant with the CTIA’s SMS messaging guidelines, you will have to send a confirmation message to your newly opted-in customers. This message should set expectations as to how often you’ll send your customers text messages, inform them about messaging rates, and provide support and opt-out instructions. Only after sending the confirmation message can you send your first marketing text message. (Learn more about SMS compliance and best practices here.)

Before setting up your campaigns, you’ll need a filter for new SMS opt-ins:

  • Name your filter “SMS Opt-in”
  • Check Account for Visibility
  • Select Events for Feed
  • Set up your filter definition as follows:
    • Event Type = consent
    • Event Action = opt-in
    • Event Phone is not empty
  • Save your filter
Filter for new SMS opt-ins

You can now create a Behavioral campaign that will send confirmation messages in reply to your customers’ opt-in text messages:

  • Under the Enrollment section, select Customers that trigger an event
  • Select your newly created “SMS Opt-in filter in the Filter” drop-down
  • Add SMS as your first touchpoint and compose your confirmation message. Remember, it should include:
    • Validation that your customer has been opted in
    • Your brand’s name, so your recipient knows who’s texting them
    • Messaging frequency
    • Opt-out instructions
    • Support contact information
    • Note about message and data rates
  • Go live with your campaign
SMS Opt-in Confirmation Message

Next, set up a separate Behavioral campaign for your welcome message:

  • Under the Enrollment section, select Customers that trigger an event
  • Select your “SMS Opt-in” filter in the Filter drop-down
  • Compose your welcome message. You can say anything that you haven’t yet said in your confirmation message. If you offered a discount code in exchange for opting in, this is your opportunity to send it to your shopper. As an SMS best practice, your text messages should always contain:
    • Your Brand’s name
    • Value offer to your customer
    • Clear CTA
    • URL link
  • Go live!
Additional Welcome SMS Message

Quickly make sure that you have every part of your text-to-subscribe promotion ready:

  1. Filter for Text to Subscribe (SMS Consent)
  2. Transactional Campaign for updating SMS opt-in status
  3. Filter for SMS Opt-in
  4. Behavioral Campaign for sending Welcome SMS message
  5. Behavioral Campaign for follow-up SMS message (including a discount offer, for instance)
The end-to-end flow for a text-to-subscribe promotion

3. Let your shoppers know they can text you now!

When your SMS reply campaigns are ready, you can let your customers know that you want them to get in touch with you on this channel! For instance, you could set up a Zaius Web Embed on your website to announce your new text-to-subscribe promotion. Many brands incentivize signing up for SMS communications with special offers, like discount codes or early access to products. Get started today!

This article originally appeared in the Zaius blog and has been published here with permission.

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