More Blog Posts

How To Run an SMS Competition

Text marketing has proven time and time again to be an effective channel. Here’s how text giveaways can help grow your SMS subscriber list.

Featured image for the article

Our SMS marketing report found that 60% of businesses plan to send more texts this year.

As people receive more messages from businesses, they’ll likely become more selective about who they hand their phone number over to.

All of this means you need to offer something of value to convince them it’s worth signing up in the first place. Using contests to build your SMS list is one way to achieve this goal.

Why Use Competitions to Build Your SMS List

As humans, we’re competitive and motivated by the idea of receiving something for free. That even applies when the monetary value of the prize is relatively small.

There’s a 2012 study that found “a coupon recipient who got a $10 voucher experienced a 38% rise in oxytocin levels and were 11% happier than those who did not receive a coupon.”

Put simply, receiving something for free makes us happy—a psychological element that plays a significant role in why text message sweepstakes can build your subscriber list.

How Do You Run an SMS Competiton?

The way you start your SMS competition or contest plays an integral role in the impact it will have. Here are the things you’ll want to establish.

Determine Your Target Audience

There are very few–if any–contests where it makes sense for your audience to be “the whole world.” 

An ill-defined target audience will do more harm than good. The reason is simple: you’ll build a list of contacts who aren’t interested in your product. This will be obvious from two things:

  • Unengaged contacts
  • High unsubscribe rates

To avoid that, determine who your target audience is beforehand and tailor your SMS competition to appeal to them.

Choose the Prize

We recommend choosing a targeted prize that’s both less expensive and more appealing to the kind of people you want to attract. There’s no need to break the bank either. 

Doing so will attract more of the type of people you want on your list.

How to Run SMS Competitions

We have a detailed guide that walks through how to set up SMS sweepstakes. This two-minute video does an excellent job of showing you how easy it is to do it with SimpleTexting.

You create a keyword that people text to your toll-free number (just don’t forget to have your toll-free number verified) or short code to both enter the sweepstakes and provide consent for future texts. 

They then automatically receive a sweepstakes promo text message that confirms their entry and lets them know when the winner will be announced.

Thanks for entering for a chance to win! We can’t wait to see who wins the grand prize. We’ll announce the winner on 12/08.

Here are a couple of other neat features. You can:

  • Check an age requirement box to set a minimum age for entrants
  • Randomly select the winner
  • Automatically notify the winners by text 
  • Send the entrants follow-up texts

Promoting Your Text Giveaway

You’ve decided the prize and created a keyword so that your audience can enter to win. The next step is to promote your contest. Here are a couple of ideas to help you get started.

Notify Your Email Subscribers

Your email subscribers are some of the most engaged and easy to reach potential entrants around. Send out an email campaign to notify your current subscribers of the contest and ask them to text your keyword to your phone number.

Place the Keyword on Your Website

Your website is an inexpensive way to promote your text message sweepstakes to people who are already interested in your company. You can use our mobile sign-up widget or scrolling header bar to grab visitors’ attention and drive entries.

Promote Your Keyword on Social Media

Be sure to share information about your contest on your social media accounts to encourage entrants and convert those fans and followers into SMS contacts.

The Wrap on SMS Competitions

Not only is it easy to set up, but by aligning your target audience and the prize, you can create an appealing contest that builds your SMS list. 

The best part is that there’s no need to offer up big prizes that’ll cost your business more than it’s worth.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

More Posts from Drew Wilkinson

Send Your First Message in Minutes

Start a text marketing campaign or have a 1-on-1 conversation today. It's risk free. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to see SimpleTexting in action.

Try Us Free

No credit card required