As an SMS marketer, you may have great creative ideas for your new SMS marketing campaign and big aspirations for the take-up of your latest offers to customers. However, no matter how appealing your offers may be, they will fall on deaf ears if your opt-in number ‘phonebook’ is not up to scratch.

No matter how advanced SMS marketers may be, everyone has started at zero at some point. Even massive and very successful companies started somewhere – in this case, that somewhere was essentially an empty phonebook. It takes time and dedication to build up such a database.

Running a proper SMS campaign takes a lot of work; sometimes it can take longer than setting up an email campaign. This is simply due to the detail required in creating SMS opt-in lists. This includes the collection of the right demographic information about people in the list and then further segmenting these people based on that information.

Arguably the biggest exercise in SMS marketing is that of building your own opt-in list. What makes this exercise more rigorous is the fact that you have to keep learning about your customer preferences. Most importantly, you should not forget that opt-ins are only for a limited period!

Below are a few tips on how you can increase opt-in numbers not just yearly, but also during the Christmas season. Be sure to have your marketing campaign ready to go. If you don’t have a strong opt-in list in place before embarking on your campaign, you simply won’t attract anyone to part with his or her details.

 1. Signage

Whether you are hosting a special event, conference, or trade show, you can gain subscribers by having on-site signage requesting attendees to text in a keyword to receive special offers, basic information or alerts. Even real estate agencies are using signage to quickly disperse information about property listings to house hunters.

2. Outdoor

Billboards have a huge reach and are a great way to increase brand exposure all over New Zealand. Adding a text messaging call-to-action can do even more – instruct people to text in to be entered for a chance to win a contest or simply receive more info.

3. Social media integration

The popularity of Facebook and Twitter presents a great opportunity for businesses to leverage their SMS efforts. Web widgets are extremely effective in building subscribers. Do you have a lot of Twitter followers of Facebook fans? Encourage them to text your keyword to opt into your contact list.

4. Web/Email

Whether you are asking people to text in your keyword or using a signup widget, leverage the power of the Internet to increase your contact lists. Emails are another great way to communicate with your current as well as potential customers. By using multi-media channels, you are broadcasting your message to various audiences allowing for a potential increasing in sign ups.