Text message marketing is powerful stuff.
As paid channels become less effective—and first-party data becomes even more precious—a growing number of brands have embraced text message marketing as a highly personalized way to connect with customers and boost revenue.
But the road to text-led revenue isn’t as simple as some text message vendors might let on.
To effectively persuade customers to sign up for owned channels—and extract the maximum value from those relationships—you can’t hedge your bets on SMS solutions that keep texts in a silo.
Future-focused brands need a solution that treats text messaging as a mobile-first revenue channel.
What is Text-to-Join?
With Text-to-Join, organizations can encourage customers to opt into their SMS programs via text.
This is especially relevant for B2C retailers and eCommerce businesses. When you need multiple ways to incentivize customers to opt into your marketing channels, whether in-store or online, text messaging is an ideal solution when it’s deployed the right way.
By making it easy for customers to opt-in through a convenient medium, organizations that leverage Text-to-Join are positioned to grow their subscriber lists and meaningfully integrate their SMS marketing plays with other channels and campaigns.
Our latest product release enables them to do just that.
How to Get Started with Text-to-Join
Similar to website opt-ins, it’s important to create a seamless and compliant experience for your customers, so they easily understand how to sign up and what your text messaging program encompasses. Here are two ways to get started with Text-to-Join:
- Define your Text-to-Join keywords. Short and simple keywords with “active” CTAs (like TEXT or JOIN) work better than longer phrases (GETMYOFFER) or those with special characters. Include common misspellings and variations (i.e., JION, JOINN) to ensure customers who text a typo still have the chance to opt-in.
- Maintain opt-in and messaging compliance. Built with compliance in mind, Text-to-Join requires users to confirm their opt-in after sending the keyword. This ensures new subscribers have seen all of the necessary terms before subscribing. For your marketing collateral, ensure that your CTAs mention signing up for texts, that your disclaimer is “clear and conspicuous,” and that your Privacy and T&C link URLs are clickable in a digital format or written out in physical formats like a shipping insert. In addition, your brand must send instructions on how to opt out.
3 Text-to-Join Strategies That Perform
Once you have set your keyword and ensured your opt-in experiences are compliant, you can begin devising the right Text-to-Join strategies for your brand. When done right, Text-to-Join can help your brand turn single channel customers into omnichannel customers while driving more revenue in the process.
- Promote in-store opt-ins and conversions. The easiest way to entice users to convert on their in-store purchase is by providing a discount or offer upon opting into text. Place your offer collateral in prominent places with the highest intent, like dressing rooms and checkout kiosks. Consider empowering your in-store associates with additional codes for customers who aren’t eligible for the standard promotion.
- Highlight your text program in product packaging and direct mailers. For eCommerce organizations, using shipping inserts to offer a discount or promo (and promote your text messaging program) is a great way to drive opt-ins and encourage repeat purchases. And if you’re investing in direct mail, don’t miss an opportunity to highlight your text program and encourage opt-ins on these highly visible assets.
- Encourage text opt-ins in your digital channels. You can also encourage opt-ins in your emails, website footers, and anywhere else customers might look.
4 Challenges Text-to-Join Can Solve
1. Sustained list growth requires owned channels
With traditional marketing channels becoming more expensive and delivering less ROI, taking full ownership and advantage of first-party data is paramount.
Not convinced? Consider these facts:
- Facebook reported a 43% increase in CPCs in 2021.
- Apple reported that 92% of iOS customers select “Do Not Track” on their iPhones.
- Popular browsers like Safari and Firefox already block third-party cookies, with Chrome set to follow in 2024.
Given increased costs and dwindling returns, shifting revenue goals to owned channels is critical to driving sustained growth, even if third-party conditions improve.
When marketers fully own and control growth and communication channels, they can reduce costs while delivering targeted, behavior-based messaging to the customers most likely to act.
2. The best list growth strategies include multiple channels
Most text message marketing vendors lack sufficient tools for list growth, focusing primarily on SMS as a channel.
While this typically involves funneling customers into SMS flows, this approach isn’t enough to turn your text message marketing into a top revenue channel.
To achieve that, you need to:
- Consistently grow your list while accounting for customers who unsubscribe
- Create list growth strategies that account for other marketing channels
With Text-to-Join, an organization can grow its text list in its owned assets like stores and product packaging, turning single channel customers into omnichannel customers. Research from Google shows that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who only shop through one channel, further underscoring the importance of this strategy.
By scaling revenue across both channels, you’ll avoid channel cannibalization and increased costs while focusing on the right audience for each.
3. Segmentation matters—and it’s possible at scale
Lack of segmentation is another common limitation among text vendors.
Without adequate segmentation tools, retailers must rely on “batch and blast” tactics, sending the same message to everyone in their text message program regardless of demographics, behavior, or intent.
Naturally, this is less effective than triggering messages based on behavior or other characteristics. On an inherently personal channel like SMS, it’s safe to assume that the messages that speak to a customer’s individual behavior will perform best.
With persistent identification powered by Wunderkind, Text-to-Join’s automated messaging can help your team preserve resources while enabling marketers to deliver hyper-relevant, behavior-based messages at scale.
4. Channel coordination makes all the difference
Because most text message vendors focus solely on text, many retailers find it difficult to coordinate the customer experience across channels—particularly text, email, and their website.
This lack of coordination doesn’t just create friction internally, it also creates considerable friction for customers who may receive multiple (sometimes conflicting) marketing messages across various channels.
Whether a business over-messages customers across channels or spams them with irrelevant promos (it’s usually a mix of both), disjointed experiences can only accomplish two things: creating a negative impression of your brand and accelerating churn.
Beyond harming your subscriber list, it also increases the odds of paying for conversions you were already poised to earn, often at the risk of cannibalizing revenue from one channel to another.
As a new and relatively expensive channel, it doesn’t make sense to use text message marketing in a silo or apply tried-and-true playbooks for other channels.
Transforming text message marketing from an isolated channel to a revenue-generating one means choosing a solution that:
- Remembers customers who subscribed to your list and suppresses the opt-in experience for previously identified customers
- Works with and incorporates data from your website and email in addition to SMS
- Supports robust, behavior-based segmentation and automated, triggered messages
Thanks to our Identity Network, Wunderkind doesn’t rely on cookies. Our platform persistently remembers opt-ins and can track their behavior across channels—a differentiator that makes it possible to strengthen the relevance and personalization of your brand’s outreach.
Get started with Wunderkind’s Text-to-Join Services
In the great war for attention, text message marketing has the potential to make businesses stand out—and generate more revenue—in all the right ways, but only when they get texts right.
Wunderkind scales one-to-one emails and texts to become a top revenue channel for over 700 of the leading eCommerce and retail brands. With the power of one partner across channels, Wunderkind can help you build a cross-channel strategy that drives up to 25% of total digital revenue. How’s that for channel coordination?
Get more revenue from your owned channels with expert advice from the Wunderkind blog.