Blog/Advanced Tips, List Growth

Use Text to Join to Collect Phone Numbers and Emails

Text to Join using a keyword and phone number is an easy and effective way to collect phone numbers and emails. Learn how it works and how to set it up.

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Growing a text message sign-up list is the foundation of text marketing success. Why? It’s simple: more subscribers + more texts = more effective text message marketing campaigns.

In a busy world, you can simplify how people sign up to receive your text messages with Text to Join. On top of SMS subscriber list growth, Text to Join is also an excellent way to grow your database of email subscribers. 

We cover how Text to Join works, how to use it to collect email addresses, and the features of SimpleTexting’s Text to Join service. You’ll walk away knowing how to grow your email and SMS subscriber list in a way that drives massive results, fast.

What is Text to Join?

Text to Join–sometimes referred to as text-to-subscribe or text to sign up–is an easy way to allow your audience to opt-in to your SMS messages or emails. Beyond capturing email addresses and phone numbers, users who text to join your email lists can yield valuable customer information such as first name, last name, zip code, or even specific product preferences. In a few simple steps, you’ll effectively increase your mass texting and email marketing lists.

Here’s an example:

Today 10:25 AM
You are now signed up for text updates about the 5th Annual Easton Marathon. Reply with your email to get updates there, too.

👉 Want to see how Text to Join in action? Grab your phone and text JOIN to 900900.

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We’re confident you’ll love how easy it is to run a Text to Join campaign with SimpleTexting. That’s why we let you try it free for two weeks. No credit card required.
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How Does Text to Join Work?

One of the reasons that Text to Join is so useful is its simplicity–you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is create a keyword, set up a confirmation text, and then promote your keyword to your audience. 

To explain how easy the process is for both you–and your customers–we’re going to use a fictional T-shirt company, Cool Shirts Inc. Here’s how someone would join its text marketing program by text:

1. Your customer texts your keyword to your number

A keyword is a word or phrase that customers text to your phone number to sign up for your SMS messages. In this instance, Cool Shirts Inc. asks its customers to text the keyword “ILOVESHIRTS” to 900900. (Keywords shouldn’t have spaces and can’t contain special characters.)

💡 SimpleTexting Tip: Interested in setting your business up with a short, memorable number like 900900? Our team can help you provision a dedicated short code two weeks faster than the industry standard. Our highly competitive short code pricing starts at $500/month and you can easily select between a random or a vanity short code depending on your needs.

2. They receive an auto reply confirmation

After a customer texts to join with the keyword “ILOVESHIRTS,” they will receive an automated response. We recently wrote about best practices for welcome text messages for new customers. While it’s worth reading in its entirety, the key takeaways are:

  1. Create content that you would want to open. One of the best ways is to offer a promotion code or some other thank you for joining.
  2. The confirmation text is an excellent opportunity to let your customers know what type of content you plan on sharing and how often you’ll be messaging them.

Today 10:25 AM
Thanks for signing up! You’ll be the first to hear about new products and sales. Use code SMS10 for 10% off your order.

You can even set up a series of auto replies to create an onboarding drip SMS campaign.

3. You’ll need to promote your Text to Join program

You’ll want to encourage customers and leads to join your messaging service by texting your keyword to your phone number, and watch your text message sign-up list grow before your eyes!

This article on ten places to advertise your keyword should give you some ideas.

A popular way to promote a keyword is with our free mobile sign up widget. Here is how it works.

All someone has to do is click on the button at the corner of your site–or wherever you decide to place it. A pop-up will open up with your number. If they click it, their messaging app will open with your Text to Join keyword and number pre-filled.

4. Now send your first SMS marketing campaign

You’re now ready to send your first SMS marketing campaign. People are always reading and responding to texts, so you’ll be able to build loyal and profitable relationships.

If you want to use Text to Join to grow your email list, there’s a couple of additional steps that are also easy to set up. We’ll cover them next.

Capture Emails with Text to Join

Text to Join isn’t just for SMS marketing. It can also be used to capture email addresses by text. Our Zapier integration allows you to add new text message subscribers to your preferred email marketing platform. Here’s how a customer signs up for emails using Text to Join:

  1. Your customer texts your keyword to your number
  2. They receive notifications requesting their email address
  3. Zapier automatically adds their address to your email marketing platform

Which Email Platforms Work with Text To Join?

Our integration with Zapier allows you to plug SimpleTexting into a variety of email platforms and CRMs. Below are a few of the most popular email marketing service integrations:

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Emma
  • GetResponse

How to Set Up Text to Join for Email

In this video, we’ll walk you through how to set up Text to Join to collect email addresses. We’ve also outlined the main steps below.

On top of creating a keyword and confirmation text, you’ll also need to take the following steps.

1. Add Data Collection to Your Keyword

With your keyword set up, you can now enable the data collection feature, which will ask your subscribers for their emails.

screenshot of email collection field

2. Connect to Zapier

We’ve created an easy step-by-step guide to integrating with Zapier here. Once you’ve connected your Zapier and SimpleTexting account, it’s time to build a Zap.

3. Build a Zap with an Email Filter

A Zap is an automated process that connects two apps: in this case, SimpleTexting and your email marketing service. For Text to Join to work, your Zap needs to detect any incoming text messages that are email addresses, then add them to your subscriber list. Do this by adding the following parameter as a filter in your Zap:

screenshot of parameter add fields

Why Choose SimpleTexting For Your Text to Join Service?

With over a decades experience helping businesses get started with Text to Join, you are in safe hands. Not only do we have the features that you need to be successful, but our customers also rave about our…

1. Quick Set Up

Unlike some Text to Join services that need expensive development resources, you can get up and running in the same amount of time it takes you to microwave your lunch. We make running a Text to Join program as easy as possible.

2. Mobile App

Whether you want to manage your Text to Join campaign from your phone or iPad, SimpleTexting’s mobile app allows you to access all the features you love when you’re on the go.

3. Unrivaled Customer Support

While we like to think we make Text to Join as easy as possible, there are times when you’ll need a little guidance. Our support and onboarding team are quick to respond, empathetic, and you can contact them via live chat, email, SMS chat, or by phone.

4. Easy to Use Interface

Our platform is quick and straightforward to grasp, which means that even if you aren’t the person people come running to for tech advice, you’ll have no problem navigating it.

Features of Our Text to Join Service That Customers Love

Here are a few of the features of our Text to Join service that customers love. For a full rundown of our capabilities, check out our features page. 

  • Autoresponders: When someone Texts to Join, you can schedule a series of follow-up texts a la drip email marketing. These texts can go out over several days, weeks, or months. For example, if someone texts the keyword “RUN” to sign up for weekly running tips, you can create the weekly text messages all at once.
  • Custom Fields: We mentioned data collection for collecting email addresses. You can combine data collection and custom fields to send personalized text campaigns.
  • Segments: The key to sending smarter and more relevant marketing messages. Segments make it easy to add audience targeting to your text marketing strategy.
  • Link Tracking: If you plan on including links in your text messages, you can see how often customers click on them. You can then send follow-up campaigns for those who did or didn’t click on a link.
  • MMS: You can also send MMS, a different type of text that gives you a longer character limit, as well as the ability to send photos, gifs, audio, or video files.
  • Text-to-Win Contest: Do you think your audience would respond well to a contest? We make it easy to run one and even select a winner for you.

Get Started With Text to Join Today for Free

Not ready to commit to a Text to Join service just yet? We get it. That’s why we offer a risk-free trial of SimpleTexting.

It’s completely free. No credit card, no contract, just free. You’ll get 50 messages, plus you can create a custom Text to Join keyword.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid account, just change your billing plan from the dashboard. Simple!

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