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  • Writer's pictureolena severyn

10 ways to grow your SMS subscriber list

SMS is a great channel that helps you cut through the noise and helps keep your business at the top of your customers' minds. It is the most relevant and direct path to your consumer and the engagement data proves it. We see an 8X higher click rate for SMS than for email, with about 90% of texts being read within the first 3 minutes after receiving. Moreover, with over 72% of all E-comm sales happening from mobile, we can imagine how it is a highly converting channel as well.

The holiday season approaching is a great opportunity to start growing your list so that your message gets to the front of customers' attention in this highly competitive environment. In this article, I will be sharing 5 strategies on how to grow your SMS subscriber list, so that you rock this Q4.

1. Target existing email subscribers via an email campaign.

This is the first thing you should do when growing your SMS list. You want to send an email to request SMS consent from the existing email subscribers. Follow these 3 simple steps:

  • Create an embedded SMS signup form;

To create a form, head to Klaviyo signup form creator and choose "Embed". Customize copy and design to match your brand voice, change targeting & behaviors, click publish and done! (More details on how to create the embed are in this article from Klaviyo)

Klaviyo embedded form for SMS sign-up

Image: Creating an embedded form in Klaviyo is easy. Include 3 things:1) Clear CTA; 2) Field for the phone number; 3) Include compliant opt-in language

  • Embed your signup form on a landing page on your website;

You need to create a new landing page on your website and add a code snippet to your new page's code. The new landing page URL would be the link in your CTA button that we will be using in your email campaign.

  • Create a segment of email subscribers not consented to receive SMS

Very straightforward - this is a segment of people who are not and have never consented to receive SMS from you. The definition is as follows:

- if someone is in or is not in a list: a person is in the Main Newsletter list - add all active email lists here if you have multiple

- AND the person is not suppressed for email

- AND if someone is NOT consented to receive an SMS

- AND what someone has done: consented to receive SMS zero times over all time

NOTE: if your SMS is only available in the US, make sure to exclude all foreign contacts from receiving this campaign and make a note of that in your campaign - that the offer is valid for US subscribers only, for example.

  • Send a campaign encouraging email subscribers to sign up for SMS;

Create your email template and paste the new URL into the CTA and send this email to your newly created segment.

SMS sign-up campaign example with incentive other than a discount.

Image: SMS sign-up campaign example with incentive other than a discount.

2. Include SMS signup CTA in your flows

This can be either a dedicated email in your flow or simply a block or a banner in your existing emails. Make sure to state the clear value of signing up for the SMS - how is it better than emails for your customers? Treat your SMS customers like your VIPs. Read more on how to create relevant content for SMS in this article.

SMS sign-up email campaign example

Image: Example of how one of the emails in your Welcome flow can look like.

3. Add a click-to-text banner to a campaign

A click-to-text banner in an email generates a text message with an opt-in keyword when a recipient clicks it. To use this functionality, you’ll create 2 versions of your call-to-action: one for desktop users and another for mobile users.

A note: Note that this approach is designed to automatically open a text message, but it will not work with Gmail or Microsoft Outlook; however, everyone can see the banner and manually text your number to subscribe, regardless of their inbox provider. See step-by-step instructions in this Klaviyo article.

An example of click-to-text in a footer

Image: An example of click-to-text in a footer to include in your campaigns or flows.

4. Create an opt-in form targeting the SMS-not-consented segment

Klaviyo's sign-up forms can target various segments of visitors to your site. This can be beneficial when you want to show a pop-up specifically to return customers, loyalty program members, or customers who are not subscribed to SMS. In Targeting & Behavior, simply pick a segment to which you want to show your form.

5. Add multistep to your email sign-up form

Most likely you already have an email sign-up form, si now it's time to take it one step further by offering your subscribers to sign up for SMS when they first get to know your brand.

pre-built sms sign up form in Klaviyo

Image: the multistep form template available in Klaviyo. A good thing is that even if the customer fills out the first part of the form only and closes the SMS sign-up window, the email will still be captured and added to your list.

example of SMS sign-up form

Image: In this case, the customer will only get a discount if they sign up for both email and SMS. However, expect a higher SMS unsubscribe rate with this strategy, unless you provide tremendous value through your SMS channel.

6. Promote SMS signup via social channels

Why not, right? You are already using social networks to draw engagement and be on the top of mind for your customers, so share with them how awesome it is to become a VIP by subscribing to SMS.

 Instagram story example encouraging followers to sign up for SMS.

Image: Instagram story example encouraging followers to sign up for SMS.

7. Include an SMS signup form link in a blog

Or anywhere else you can get in front of your customer. It is a good way to attract people who are browsing your site for educational purposes, but this is a great opportunity to give them the most relevant offer via SMS based on what they are reading about.

8. QR code on postcards that go with orders

QR codes help you gain subscribers outside your website. Use a free third-party app generator to create a QR code linked to your embedded form, making it easy for customers to sign up. Just think about it - unboxing items have a 100% open rate, so your QR code is guaranteed to be seen. As always, create an extra compelling offer, maybe something intriguing - such as a surprise discount.

Example of QR code for SMS sign up that goes with orders

Image: An example of a QR code postcard going with the order. Note: it also must include legal opt-in language.

9. QR codes at check out in physical stores.

Similar to the example above, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can display a QR code at the checkout. Have a compelling offer and link the QR code to your embedded form.

QR code for sms sign-up

10. Collect consent at the online store checkout.

You can collect SMS consent directly on the checkout page of your online store. This makes it super easy for your customers to sign up for texts and allows you to reach a wider audience and grow your list quickly. This option is available only for some integrations - BigCommerce, Magento 2, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

image of sms consent collection at store check out


SMS channel can drive lots of value (and revenue) for your store. And it starts with compliantly collecting phone numbers and consistently growing your list.

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