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How to grow your retail store’s SMS contact list

Set your retail store up for prolonged success by following these steps to ensure continual growth of contacts over time.

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When it comes to retail and e-commerce text marketing, your network is your net worth. The larger, more involved, and more diverse your contact list, the more ROI you’ll see.

Of course, it’s easier said than done to grow your list. And when it comes to retail, your main focus will always be to drive sales. But that’s the best part of texting. It has the potential to be a great tool for increasing sales. All you need to do is tackle that initial challenge of building your contact list.

We want to make this task as simple as possible for you, so we’ve created a three-part strategy for helping your retail company grow its contacts. We’ve broken it down by tasks you should do now, ones to do later, and ones to do continuously.

Do now: Growing your retail contact list

When it comes to getting more contacts, the more effort you put forth at the start the better off you’ll be down the line. We encourage every new SimpleTexting customer to market their number and keyword more than they think they should if they want to start seeing results faster.

Here are three things you should prioritize right away.

1. Add a web sign-up form

Anyone who visits your website should be met with a quick pop-up form inviting them to share their phone number. We make it easy to input a custom form onto your website, just copy and paste this code we pre-made for you!

Once your sign-up form is up it’ll work for you 24/7 capturing new leads at every chance.

"Example of a text message subscription web form."

2. Add a table tent at your checkout counter

A web strategy is great, but as a retailer, you have to pay equal attention to the foot traffic you generate. The best physical version of the web form is a table tent on your checkout counter. A basic flyer with your number, keyword, and description of your text marketing service should catch customers’ eyes as they make their purchases.

Be sure each table tent has a clear CTA so people can take action and subscribe on the spot.

"Example of how to promote your retail SMS subscriber list."

3. Add your keyword to receipts

As an extra measure, in case a customer doesn’t subscribe at checkout, you want to send your information home with them. An easy way to make sure you’re continually reaching your audience with your number and keyword is by adding it to the bottom of your receipts.

This change can be made directly from most stores’ POS systems and should be added to the bottom near any branding or contact information already present.

Do later: Growing your retail contact list

Once you start noticing your contact list increase, there will be more and more opportunities to engage your current audience while still expanding your list. Here are a few things you can take on once you’ve covered the basics.

1. Host a sweepstakes

There’s a reason scratch tickets are a billion-dollar industry. People love the idea that they could win something! When the buy-in is relatively low, like sharing a phone number with a trusted brand, you have a very good chance of capturing attention.

With our text-to-win feature, it’s as easy as creating a keyword and advertising the giveaway! When a person enters the contest, they consent to receive future messages. After the winner is announced, you can follow up with exciting deals and offers. This offers value and encourages them to stay subscribed.

You may not have won the grand prize, but we still think you’re a winner! Show this text at checkout to receive 25% off your entire purchase🎉!

2. Conduct a poll

Growth is important, and so is retention. It’s important to keep existing contacts happy to prevent drop-offs. Most people unsubscribe from messages because they feel the content is no longer applicable to them.

Polls can also be used as a way to encourage new and existing contacts to have their votes heard.

For example, imagine you’re a furniture store. In preparation for Memorial Day Weekend, you want to host a sale. You can advertise to customers that for one long weekend, you’ll offer either 50% off living room furniture or 50% off kitchen furniture. It’s up to them to decide which one, they simply need to text in their vote.

With our Text to Vote Surveys, capturing feedback is easy and automatic!

3. Run SMS flash sales

Due to how often and how quickly texts are read, they’re the perfect tool for flash sales. Now that customers know about your text marketing capabilities, you can take it a step further and invite everyone to subscribe in order to catch limited-time offers extended via text message only. This exclusivity demonstrates serious value to people who were on the fence about subscribing.

AL Babes! Flash sale alert. From now until noon BOGO dresses. Run, don’t walk, our favs are going fast 😘

Do always: Growing your retail contact list

Finally, we’ll close out with some general best practices you should always maintain in order to keep growing your list, even after an initial marketing blitz.

1. Remind employees to plug the program

The more a customer hears about your program, the more likely they are to join. The tenth time a customer hears about joining your text marketing list, it’ll be a reminder of just how frequently they visit your location. And since your texts offer deals and discounts for loyalty, it’s only natural they subscribe!

It’s important to train all your customer-facing employees to pitch your number and short code whenever possible. If it becomes a part of their routine, it will only work to sustain the long-term growth of your platform.

2. Keep your texts exclusive & consistent

Your text messages should contain information specific to that channel. If a contact is getting a text with the same information they read in an email and on Instagram, they’re going to feel less enthusiastic about your messages.

People want to subscribe because of the promise of exclusive offers or information. So it’s important to check yourself regularly to make sure you’re delivering content of value.

Additionally, your messages should be on a regular or semi-regular basis. The businesses that see the most success with SMS are the ones that communicate consistently with their audience.

3. Never stop advertising

This tip shouldn’t come as a surprise. The truth is, the “promotional” period for text marketing is never really over. If you treat your number and keyword(s) like they’re brand new all the time, you will continue to see new contacts trickle in. A good rule of thumb is to include that information with all branded material moving forward!

So, in summary, just remember these three important takeaways:

  1. Never stop advertising your number and keyword
  2. Train all your employees to mention your SMS program whenever possible
  3. Always deliver relevant and exclusive content

Follow those guidelines and we bet you’ll be in our SimpleTexting hall of fame before you can say “Have you heard about our text club?”

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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