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How To Grow Your Mobile Lists

  • 21 January 2017
  • Author: Sean Mcdonald
  • Number of views: 2829
How To Grow Your Mobile Lists

Having people ‘opt-in’ to receive your messages 

Using the mobile ‘keyword’ for opt in

The hardest part is getting people to that first step, getting someone to text that keyword to your short code. 

SMS marketing alone is ineffective. It takes more than a keyword and a short code for SMS marketing to work. SMS works in conjunction with other marketing efforts. The other marketing efforts that are paired with SMS are how you let people know about your promotion and offers and why they should take advantage of it. 

Imagine having a phone number but never giving it out to anyone, you would never get any calls right? It is the same way with SMS marketing, if you never let anyone know what to text to what number, then they never will. 

In order to add people to your mobile list, they first need to 'opt in' and provide your with their permission to converse with them via mobile. There are many ways for people to join your list with permission and compliance. Using a mobile keyword is one of the best ways, as you can see above.! Some of the other ways include;

  • Submitting a form on your website (with permission disclaimer)

  • Providing you with verbal confirmation

  • Scanning a QR code

  • Using a mobile opt in form on your social media posts

If you never tell anyone about your keyword, they will never know about, and it will never be used. People also need to be persuaded to take action. Before someone is willing to text your keyword to the short code (or long code) advertised, they need a reason why. There needs to be a valuable Call-to-Action before someone will make that first step.

This could be something like text a keyword for a free seat to your seminar, text a keyword to get something free, or text a keyword to get valuable content only available via your mobile channel; these are things that will give people a reason to use your keyword. A great way to promote your mobile keyword is to include a QR code on your printed material, print the keyword and short code on the reverse side of your business cards, or include this in your email signature! 

After the person has sent in their text with the keyword (e.g Text JULIET to 72000), this will trigger an action in the software you are using. At the same time, your new contact has also opted in to your list. You can also segment and tag these contacts, adding them into specific groups for your follow-up nurture campaigns.  

This action is commonly referred to as an 'auto-responder'. It is an automated response. For compliance reasons in the USA and Canada, the first auto response that your audience will receive is a permission acceptance text. This asks them to confirm their permission by replying YES to the text they have just received. In countries outside the USA and Canada, this permission step is not required.

After they receive the response and provide opt in permission (YES), the process is completed.  They can now we sent your information, promotion, or offer . Their mobile number is now part of your list and based on the rules you have setup in your MOBIT campaign (if you are using MOBIT), can be routed to any other action, campaign or follow-up sequence. 

Oh, and one other thing, we always recommend that you make it clear to your prospective customer that they can unsubscribe at any time. This way, they are re assured that you are a professional company, value their privacy. Your list contacts are then more inclined to engage with your messages in the future. If they suspect that you will bombard their mobile phone with messages, they will be stopped in their tracks.

Ways to grow your mobile lists 


It doesn’t matter if you are asking people to text in your keyword or use a sign-up widget – the Internet can increase your contact list quickly and easily. 

If you already have an email list then utilize this list to find out who would like to be added to your text message promotions. Offer an incentive to join (such as a voucher, a free gift or discount when they purchase from you) and you can build an opt-in list very quickly, making this system a great way to communicate with both existing and potential customers. If you are using a web form, then this too is an ideal opportunity to provide an incentive to your customers with a deal that will benefit them.  

Remember, the customer will always ask: “What’s in it for me?” so give them a good reason to opt in. 

In-store Promotions 

A bit of ‘face time’ with your customers is also an ideal opportunity to encourage them to opt in to receive discounts and special VIP offers. If you’re working in-store then it also presents your company with a more ‘human face’, and subsequently they are more likely to opt in. 

If you have a website you can also encourage customers to complete the form and point out that by adding a mobile number to their profile, they can receive important messages and deals from your ‘real world’ shop as well as your online store. 


Don’t underestimate the power of radio. If you are advertising on the radio, use it to maximum advantage by adding a ‘call-to-action’ that promotes texting. Give listeners a keyword or short code that they can then text to a number to get more information or a special offer.


MOBIT provides users with a keyword library to use on our special country short-codes that are great for this. Our clients have enjoyed stellar results with radio advertising. 

Outdoor advertising 

If they’re positioned correctly, billboards have the potential to reach a lot of customers and are an effective method of raising brand awareness. Adding a ‘call-to-action’ that includes a simple text messaging element can seriously boost the effectiveness of a billboard advertising campaign. 

Outdoor advertising for mobile marketing

Social Media 

The popularity of Facebook and Twitter is a fantastic chance for businesses to really crank up their SMS campaigns and get more people to opt in. Web widget forms are extremely effective in building subscribers, but why not have your followers be a little more proactive. 

Give them a keyword or code and get them to text it to opt into your contact list. But remember, they’ll need an incentive to do so. Make sure that there’s always ‘something in it for them’. This can be as simple as receiving a special report, video link, webinar replay or eBook that can only be received from a text in to your short code. Make the offer enticing but elusive and exclusive. 


If you are sending out newsletters, you can give people that exclusive keyword that encourages them to text into your opt-in list to get the latest news from your company. Again, offer them something that can only be received when they opt in to your mobile list. 


This is the ultimate in incentivizing your customers. A chance to win something is a great way to build customer loyalty and to generate a buzz about a new project. But remember, they can only enter the contest if they opt in, so as a marketing concept it’s also got long-term ‘legs’ too.

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