SMS Marketing: How To Collect Opt-In Phone Numbers

A guest blog post on SMS Marketing by Ryan Gould of Elevation Marketing.

A lot of our wonderful customers here at ClickSend often ask us the best ways to build their SMS marketing list. We provide insights but we thought we’d ask a B2B marketing expert to provide some, enjoy.

SMS Marketing

Collecting phone numbers from prospects, accurately, legitimately, with permission is the first step to doing SMS marketing with flair. It’s also probably the most important step because only great SMS campaign results are only possible with reliable data.

sending an sms

(Image Source)

That’s why sending SMSs only to those prospects who have opted in to receive them from you is a no brainer. If you send out SMSs to prospects who’ve never heard of you, you’ll quickly lose trust in the marketplace, putting your brand name at stake.

Having a well thought out process to collect phone numbers is important. There must be a bunch of different ways to generate legitimate phone number lists for your campaigns, and in this article, we’ll discuss exactly that! You’ll learn a few strategies to collect phone numbers from your potential customers for creating and implementing great SMS campaigns.

Let’s get started!

#1: Events

If you organize events, whether online or offline, for people to attend, it’s the perfect opportunity for collecting phone numbers from prospects. The reason is that people would only turn up to the event if they’re interested in what you’re offering!

Now, there are 2 potential ways of collecting these phone numbers. One is to have an open physical box or bowl where people can freely drop their business cards when walking into an event. You can add an interesting message on this box, like “Drop Your Card To Keep In Touch” so people remember to do it.

Another way is for someone to sit at the reception to speak with each person when they enter the event venue, and then record their personal details, along with their phone number in an iPad, which is linked with your CRM software. That’s a great way to collect phone numbers, just like you’d collect their email address, while simultaneously linking it with your CRM tool.

#2: Opt-In Form Online

When people visit your website or read your blog, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask for their phone number via an opt-in form. Just like you have opt-in forms for collecting email addresses, you can include a field to collect their phone number and their name.

There are heaps of tools you can use to create pop up boxes or opt-in forms on your website to collect phone numbers. Hello Bar and Sumo Me are some of the good ones! When people voluntarily leave their phone number via your opt-in form, it’s a great way to know that people are interested in hearing from you.

#3: Put Up A Notice In Your Shop Or A Banner On Your Website

Having a static message on a board in a retail store, or on a banner on a website is an excellent way to influence prospects to leave their phone number with you. The reason why these tactic works are because the banner or board you put up is constantly viewable by prospects, and if you put a catchy message on it, you’re bound to get some success.

For instance, you could put up a banner or notice on your retail store that reads “All we need is your phone number to tell you about our latest offers!” along with a text field for people to fill in their number with. It’s as simple as that! Then the message you publish does all the work for you, so you can sit back, relax and watch the phone numbers rolling in.

#4: Use Contests To Incentivize People To Give You Their Phone Number

A great way to make the process of collecting phone numbers fun and exciting is to use contests to incentivize your prospects. You can use a combination of online social media contests and offline event contests, the choice is yours.

The whole idea is that you give people a fun activity to do, in a competitive setting. It could be a quiz or a fun game they play, online or offline, to win a prize. You can make their participation dependent on providing their personal details, including their phone number of course.

This way people actually want to reveal their numbers to you, to participate in a contest that sounds like fun. They’ll look forward to hearing more from you about future contests you organise for them and enjoy receiving your messages.

As an example, the Fresh Foods supermarket company organized a contest giving 3 lucky winning people a $20 gift voucher, and invited people to join their text messaging group with their phone numbers to participate in the contest.

iga sms marketing alerts example

(Image Source)

They were transparent in their approach by letting people know about the number of text messages they could receive by entering the contest if they gave their phone number. Have a look at the fine print on the contest landing page, below:

iga sms marketing sign up form example

(Image Source)

It’s quite clear that collecting phone numbers can be a lot of fun this way, and the more transparent you are in your approach, the more trust you’ll gain from your audience.

#5: Chatbot Conversations

Most businesses these days use chatbots on Facebook messenger to automate a large volume of customer interactions. The bot asks a series of questions and directs customers to the right direction based on the answers provided by them.

So a creative way to ask for your customers’ phone number is to include the question as part of the chatbot conversation! Just have a question within the conversation that asks “What’s your phone number?” or “What’s the best number to reach you at?” and then seek the customers’ permission about whether it would be fine to send them messages, and you’re all set!

#6: Remind People Via Your Newsletter

If you send your customers a newsletter daily, weekly or monthly, you can use it as a medium to tell them about your SMS campaigns and how they can receive your texts. Include clear instructions for them to join your text messaging campaigns so they know how to.

The great thing about newsletters is that they’re usually read by people who like your brand and want to keep in touch with you, so they’re more likely to give you their phone number if you send them text messages that are meaningful to them.

Wrapping it up

We strongly advise you against buying phone numbers from third party vendors. Sending SMS’s on these phone numbers can be marked as spam and lead to a violation of consumer privacy. Use the tips mentioned in this article to collect phone numbers by making customers give you their phone numbers, willingly by ‘opting in’. Reassure your prospects that you won’t spam them, and will respect their privacy to win their trust, so collecting phone numbers becomes a transparent, fun, and systematic process that you can do with ease.

Thanks for the insights Ryan. We look forward to hearing from you again.

Cheers, the ClickSend team

Ryan Gould VP Strategy and Marketing Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.


Sharing is caring!