Grow Text Message Sign Ups & Subscribers with Text to Join
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Aug 03, 2022

What is a Text Message Subscriber? How to Get Text Sign Ups and Grow Your Subscriber Lists

How do you get the word out and keep people engaged?

Most businesses and organizations start with email and a newsletter.

But email is a crowded messaging channel and everyone’s inboxes are overflowing. It’s a fight to get your message delivered, opened, clicked, and engaged with.

So most people just send and pray for some engagement. 🙏

This is why more businesses and organizations now use email AND “text to join” to grow their subscriber lists, get more newsletter signups, send promotions, and more.

In this article I’ll cover:

  1. What email and text message subscribers are
  2. What text to join and text lists are
  3. How SMS subscriber management systems work
  4. 5 ways to get contacts to subscribe and sign up for text messages
  5. 4 email templates you can use to get more SMS subscribers

By the end of this article, you’ll have new texting tools and strategies for building awareness and nurturing contacts, customers, and clients.

Read on for more.

Grow your SMS subscriber list. Try MessageDesk for free.
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What is a Text Message Subscriber?

A text message subscriber is anyone with a phone number who subscribes or opts in to receive SMS text messages from your business or organization. Text message subscribers frequently sign up for texts and join text lists to receive promotional, informational, or transactional messages. Text message subscribers are just like email subscribers. Organizations frequently ask people if they want to opt-in to both email and text messaging.

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What is Text to Join?

Text to join or text to subscribe allows people to opt-in to promotional and informational texting or email lists with a single SMS text message. People join an SMS mailing list by texting a unique keyword like SUBSCRIBE or JOIN. Their text to join message then gets routed to a phone number connected to an SMS subscriber management system. The system then marks them as officially opt-ed into your SMS subscriber list.

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What is an SMS Subscriber List?

An SMS subscriber list or text list is a list of active, engaged subscribers. These are people who opt-in to receiving periodic SMS text messages on their phones from your organization. SMS subscriber lists are essential for text message marketing, sending promotions, and remaining compliant with messaging laws. They keep an active record of which phone numbers are and aren’t opted in to receive text messages.

How SMS Subscriber Management Systems Work

An SMS subscriber management system helps businesses and organizations manage text sign-ups. It also helps you manage your entire subscriber list and track which phone numbers have and haven’t opted in to receive text messages.

Using an SMS subscriber management system also makes it easy and practical to create contact lists for use in SMS marketing campaigns.

Many business texting services that offer text message broadcasts (like MessageDesk) double as SMS subscriber management systems.

Below are the top six features of a good SMS subscriber management system.

1. Contact import and export

An SMS subscriber management system makes it easy to add, save, update and remove contacts.

Some business texting services like MessageDesk also make it easy to sync contact information and phone numbers between email marketing platforms like Constant Contact or Mailchimp too.

This makes it possible to get your email campaigns and text to join workflows in sync.

MessageDesk also makes it easy to import a .csv file with a list of contacts.

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2. Custom fields for special data and info

An SMS subscriber management system allows you to save personalized contact information as custom fields.

Custom fields give you the freedom and flexibility to save anything and use it for more personalized messaging and list segmentation.

The more segmented and personalized your message is, the better response you’ll get.

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3. Group and list management features

Once you’ve added contacts or a contact subscribes, an SMS subscriber management system makes it easy to create groups and lists.

Some business texting platforms like MessageDesk will even automatically move contacts between groups and assign them to specific owners.

They do this with a team SMS inbox that listens for keywords, assigns conversation owners, sorts contacts into groups, and sends a text message autoresponder.

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4. Bulk text and mass text message delivery

Mass texting changed in 2021. Since then, carriers have made it harder to get good text message delivery. This is especially true for bulk SMS text messages.

So the secret to sending mass texts to a text list is getting a business texting service that offers carrier-verified delivery (A2P 10DLC). High-volume messaging used to only be possible with short codes.

But services like MessageDesk make it possible to get several kinds of text numbers for your business or organization. You can send high volumes of text messages with both 10-digit local phone numbers and toll-free numbers.

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5. Message personalization and customization

Another important feature of SMS subscriber management and business texting systems is personalized messaging.

Platforms like MessageDesk make it easy to personalize text messages and save them as templates. You can even insert links, photos, media, images, and QR codes into text messages.

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6. Automatic opt-in and opt-out controls

This last feature is one of the most important. Do you plan on sending promotional messages to your text subscribers?

If yes, then you need to make sure your texting service has automatic opt-in and opt-out controls for TCPA compliance.

You need to provide clear instructions to message recipients on how to unsubscribe from texts. Text subscribers should be able to text a keyword like STOP as an unsubscribe text message.

Once they do this, your business texting service will flag that phone number and prevent them from receiving further messages. This keeps you in compliance.

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5 Text to Join Examples for Getting More Contacts to Subscribe to Text Messages and Growing Your Text List

Getting more text message subscribers to join your text mailing list increases brand awareness and can generate more leads and sales from your website.

Here are five ways to help you grow text list sign ups and get more people to become text message subscribers.

1. Physically advertise your text to join number in-store, on vehicles, or with physical signage

The first way to increase text subscribers is to physically advertise your text to join services.

This can take the form of:

  • Pamphlets
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Vehicle wraps
  • Store signage
  • Billboards
  • Indoor digital signage

2. Add a text to join prompt on your website

Another great way to drive text list subscribers is by adding a click-to-text button or website chatbot to your website.

This button or bot gives your website visitors an easy way to start text conversations with you. All they have to do is click a button, enter a real phone number, and send a text.

But if you’re prompting website visitors to sign up for text subscriptions, be clear about your messaging policies.

You’ll need to spell out exactly what website visitors are opting into. This should include how many messages they can expect and that message and data rates may apply.

You’ll also want to consider creating a “thank you for subscribing” text message that explains how texting STOP will opt recipients out of future messaging.

Here’s an example disclaimer:

By checking this box, you agree to receive promotional emails and text messages. You also agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. You can opt-out of future messaging at any time. Message and data rates may apply.

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3. Add SMS subscribe calls to action (CTAs) in web forms, landing pages, in an online checkout, and in pop-ups

Another way to encourage web visitors to become text subscribers is to add a text to join email list prompts using a website form builder.

For eCommerce businesses and those who offer services online, you can also do this at checkout or with pop-ups on your website.

Again, just remember to be clear what happens when someone enters their phone number or email address. They need to know they’re choosing to opt into SMS messages and/or email.

Some website form builders like MessageDesk even allow you to send a “thanks for subscribing” text message directly after form submissions.

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4. Create a "refer a friend" program

Referrals and word of mouth are some of the best ways to grow a customer base and build awareness.

You can ask your existing contacts, customers, or clients to refer people or spread the word with a refer a friend program and a text to join incentive.

Consider offering a 10% off coupon for everyone who texts a keyword like SPRINGDEAL to your business phone line.

5. Leverage your existing email subscriber list

Already have an email subscriber list? Consider leveraging that list to get people to sign up for text subscriptions too.

You can run various campaigns or include added incentives in your emails to encourage SMS sign-ups.

Here are some offers to consider for encouraging text sign ups:

  • Exclusive promotions unavailable to email subscribers
  • Early news, updates, or access to new products or services
  • Discount coupons and deals
  • Faster shipping updates

4 Email Templates You Can Use to Get More SMS Subscribers

One of the best ways to grow your text list is to double down on your existing email subscribers.

Check out the following “subscribe to our mailing list” templates that you can use to get people to sign up for text subscriptions.

Welcome email

What grows your SMS subscribers the most? Welcome emails typically have the highest open rates and click-through rates.

This is one of the best times to get people opted into or aware of your various marketing channels.

Subject line: You made it! Here’s what’s next

Message body:

Welcome {{ FirstName }},

Thanks for verifying your email address. We’re so happy to have you! As a general FYI, we’ll be keeping up with you via email, but you can also choose to opt-in and become a text message subscriber. All you have to do is text SUBSCRIBE to {{ OrganizationPhone }} and we’ll send you the latest deals, steals, and more directly to your phone.

Looking forward to the future!

General promotional announcement

You can add to your text list with a general promotional announcement.

Consider offering 10% off or some sort of other relevant deal for those who choose to subscribe to your text list.

Subject line: Join our text list and get 10% off immediately

Message body:

Hi {{ FirstName }},

We’d like to offer you 10% off your next order. All you have to do is join our text list by texting DEALS to {{ OrganizationPhone }} and you’re good to go!

Happy sailing!

Join our community

Incentivising community or exclusivity is another angle for getting more text sign ups.

Consider advertising “text to join” as a way to get the latest news or updates from your organization or brand.

Subject line: Be the first to know

Message body:

Dear {{ FirstName }},

Rank has its privileges. And if you’re looking to go up a rank or two then be sure to join our text list and become a part of our community. You’ll get special offers and access to deals before anyone else. We promise! All you have to do is fill out this form {{ FormLink }} with a valid phone number.

Let’s go!

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

The “rear of missing out” (FOMO) can be an effective motivator.

A limited-time offer nudges people to decide and possibly subscribe to your SMS subscriber list. It creates a sense of urgency.

Subject line: 1 day only

Message body:

Hey {{ FirstName }},

Quick FYI, if you join our text list right now by texting JOIN to {{ OrganizationPhone }} then we’ll send you a link to a one-time code that’s good for 20% off. How’s that sound?

Best,

{{ OrganizaitonName }}

Grow your SMS subscriber list. Try MessageDesk for free.

Ready to build your text subscriber list?

Ready to start getting more text list sign ups? MessageDesk is your business texting tool for making it happen.

Feel free to schedule a demo with one of our messaging experts or sign up for a free MessageDesk trial to start texting right away.