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Here’s How to Start Sending a Text Message Newsletter Today

Sending a text message newsletter might seem unorthodox, but it can help you stand out from the crowd. Here’s how easy it is to do.

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Did you know that 29% of the space in an inbox is taken up by email newsletters? That’s more than any other type of email.

Yes, more than social alerts, more than e-cards from your grandparents, and even more than receipts and other transactional emails.

The explosion of email newsletters is a challenge for even the most talented team of marketing copywriters and designers.

But it’s not like the only barrier to your newsletter’s success is competition. Changes to email inboxes–like Gmail’s Promotions tab–make it less likely that your audience even sees your newsletter. 

All of this points to a need for a new approach to distribution. 

That’s where text message newsletters come into play.

The Benefit of Text Message Newsletters

There are two ways you can use text messaging to improve engagement with your newsletter:

  1. You can send a link to a web version of your newsletter
  2. You can notify your reader by text that you just emailed your newsletter to them

If you’re still not convinced that either approach will work for you, consider the following two text marketing statistics:

  • The engagement rates of SMS are six to eight times higher than those of email 
  • SMS marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns

We know what you’re thinking, “people don’t want to receive texts from my company.” That’s not what we see in the data. In a study from Twilio, 85% of consumers surveyed want to be able to get messages from brands.

Not only is it one of the most effective marketing tools, but it’s also underutilized. Only 7% of businesses currently use SMS to communicate with customers. 

Here’s how you can pivot away from unread email newsletters to 98% open rates and click-through rates of 36%.

Grow Your Text Message Newsletter Subscribers List

The backbone of a successful text message newsletter is no different from that of a successful email one–you need an engaged subscriber list.

If you’ve been collecting phone numbers from your email subscribers and have not obtained express written consent to text these folks, we have some bad news: you can’t send these people an SMS with your newsletter out of the blue. 

The good news is that it’s easy to build a list of engaged SMS subscribers. You can steal the following playbook and grow your text message newsletter subscriber list in no time.

1. Create a Keyword

Let’s say we want to promote a newsletter focused on a roundup of all news related to startup funding rounds.

We could create a keyword called “DEALROOM” and–where it makes sense–include a call to action that goes something like, “Text DEALROOM to (833) 222-3059 if you want to receive a weekly roundup of all startup and VC funding news.”

When someone texts it into your number, they’ve subscribed to receive future updates.

Thanks for signing up for our text newsletter. You’ll get a digestible and informative overview of all the most important startup and VC funding news.
dealroom: Reply STOP to unsubscribe or HELP for help. 4 msgs per month, Msg&Data rates may apply.

This is the approach that The New York Times offers. Its readers can text the word “DAILY” to 63937 for a report that provides context, analysis, and thoughts on some of the biggest news stories. They promote it on their website and social media channels.

2. Use a Sign-Up Form

One of the tools marketers use to drive growth in their email newsletter subscribers is a simple sign-up form.

You can apply a similar approach to growing the number of people signed up to receive your text message newsletter. All you need to do is create a SimpleTexting web form.

This two-minute video explains how easy it is.

3. Advertise Your SMS Newsletter to Email Subscribers

It’s well worth giving your email subscribers the option to receive your newsletter by text too. You could include a graphic or line of copy that says something like:

“Hey, do you love our newsletter, but find it gets lost in your crowded inbox? You can sign up for the SMS version of our newsletter here:

In the above example, we direct someone to a web form, but you could also give your subscribers the option to text in your keyword.

Decide on How You’re Going to Distribute Your Newsletter

The easiest way to promote your text message newsletter is to take the link to your email newsletter and include it in a text message.

This week we cover why text-to-buy is the next big trend in DTC marketing and how to send SMS shipping updates. Read it here:

If you’re entirely scrapping your email newsletter, you could create a web page that you update before sending your messages.

If you want your texts to promote your email newsletter, you could integrate your email marketing platform and SimpleTexting.

For example, where you currently collect email addresses, you could add a field asking for a phone number and a checkbox asking for consent to send notifications when a newsletter goes out. Then you can send out a blast letting your subscribers know they should check their inbox.

This week, we cover why text-to-buy is the next big trend in DTC marketing and how to send SMS shipping updates. It should be sitting in your email inbox right now, so check it out while it’s still fresh.

Combine Your Email Newsletter with a Text Newsletter

To drive the most ROI, your brand should offer your audience the option to sign up for your newsletter via email and SMS. As you can see, it’s easy to tailor the message to fit the channel.

By leveraging both the broad reach of your email lists and the high engagement of SMS, you can use both channels to turn your newsletter into a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

Still Have Questions About How to Send SMS Newsletters?

Our team of SMS marketing experts would love to help. We’re available 7 days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, request a demo or sign up for a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.

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.

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