Growing your Text Message Opt-ins—Without Sacrificing Email

When launching text messaging, many eCommerce brands fear they’ll sacrifice their email revenue and growth. But this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible for retailers to grow their text messaging list in a way that makes sense for their business and ensures revenue isn’t just moving from one channel to the other.

To do this, retailers will want to focus on their website, which will be the best source for expanding both email and text without affecting the incremental revenue driven by either channel. Then, they’ll need to align on two fundamental strategic questions that will inform how they grow their list:

  • What role will text messaging play in your business strategy? Will it be for acquisition only, a customer-focused LTV play, or a mix of both? Most retailers use a blend, but there are reasons to focus your efforts on one end of the funnel.
  • How aggressive do you want to be with texting and how incremental does it need to be? Some retailers want to launch an aggressive text messaging strategy and are comfortable losing some email revenue along the way. Others may be less bullish on the channel and want to ensure incrementality. Decide on this in advance before you discuss a capture strategy.

While brands don’t need a hard and fast answer to either of the points above, it’s important they know what they want to test. From there, there are simple ways to scale opt-ins and send more one-to-one messages to reach these lists while ensuring neither strategy cannibalizes the other. Let’s take a look at a few ways retailers can do that.

Empower Visitors to Choose Their Channel

By allowing users to pick what’s best for them, retailers will scale both capture and channel engagement. This means brands are reaching their customers on the channel they prefer most—side-stepping poor brand experiences and increasing the chance shoppers click through to site.

This strategy is best used when email is performing well. Retailers will want to introduce text messaging while keeping the experience premium with minimal capture encounters.

Wunderkind Protip: Retailers should make it clear that customers have the option between either email or text communications. The audience split between channels will shift for each business, but know that most users will likely still choose email.

Offer Text Entrance Capture, with Email Exit Intent

This approach prioritizes text message opt-ins over email, targeted specifically for mobile traffic. The channel shoppers are signing up for will often align with the device they’re using, and a text message opt-in experience is much smoother for the visitor when they’re already on a mobile device. Additionally, if visitors decline to opt into text, retailers can take advantage of disengagement as an opportunity to opt into email instead.

Brands should consider using this strategy when they already have a healthy email list and they’re focused on growing their text messaging database as quickly as possible.

Wunderkind Protip: If retailers want to ensure their text message capture promotion doesn’t get left behind on the entrance page, they can add a persistent text messaging CTA that appears throughout the site to remind visitors of the deal they’re offering in the return for customer numbers.

Customer Capture Only

When retailers don’t see text messaging working as an acquisition strategy for their business, or they want to keep costs at a minimum, they can focus on capturing customers only.

Businesses can entice customers with exclusive promos or content in return for their number. One way to do this is to utilize triggered emails to drive opt-ins. Additionally, text messaging is, by nature, a high-visibility channel where visitors already familiar with the retailer’s brand (like current customers) will likely be the ones who respond the best. So, retailers can use text messaging to reach out to these consumers and increase their LTV.

Wunderkind Protip: Retailers can add a post-purchase capture, or send dedicated emails to their customers asking them to sign up for texting instead of waiting for them to come back to their site.

Additional Text Messaging List-Growth Strategies

Pop-ups and onsite overlays are the most straightforward ways to drive scale. These tactics are most successful when businesses can identify their traffic and know who is already on their email list. But, there are other ways to grow a text messaging list beyond site entrance and exit if list growth is a major priority.

Some of these strategies include on-site persistent capture, email promotions for text messaging sign-up, Instagram opt-ins, and more. With these tactics in place, retailers will be able to identify more users than ever on their site—allowing them to build a view of a visitor’s onsite actions and create more personalized messages to them in order to bring them back to site should they leave before making a purchase.

Find these strategies helpful? We’ve just barely scratched the surface. If you’re interested in more strategies for growing your text messaging opt-ins, as well as how to maintain compliance and best practices for text campaigns, download our guide for a deeper dive.


Author Profile Image

Wunderkind, formerly BounceX

Wunderkind (formerly BounceX) is a leading performance marketing engine that delivers tailored experiences at scale. Digital businesses use Wunderkind to remember who users are better than ever before, allowing them to deliver high-performing, one-to-one messages on websites, through emails and texts, and in ads at a scale that’s not otherwise possible.