You wouldn't show up at a stranger's house uninvited and declare that you're hungry. Similarly, you shouldn't text customers who didn't opt in to receive your messages. Texting without consent is against the law.
Thankfully there are several ways that you can easily invite people to opt in.
What Does It Mean to Opt-In?
Opt-in is the process of a customer giving their express written consent to organizations to receive promotional messages sent via an autodialer, with no purchase required, which, in turn, makes them subscribers of your text marketing platform.
How Do You Opt-In New Subscribers?
There are various ways that you can invite people to receive your text marketing campaigns. Let's take a look at three of the most popular methods: Keywords, web forms, and paper forms.
1. Use Keywords
Keywords are words or phrases that customers can text to a short code or text-enabled phone number to express their interest in receiving your messages as long as the advertisement for the keyword contains the required opt-in terms. For example, a company that sells running shoes online could invite you to text "RUN" to 900900.
Before customers can text in your keyword, they need to know about it first. That is why we recommend you promote your keywords and phone number in as many places as possible.
Promote Your Keywords
There are many places where you can include information about your texting program. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Website and social media
We also provide you with some free tools that make it incredibly easy for you to promote your keywords.
Use the Mobile Sign-up Widget
Our mobile sign-up widget makes it effortless for visitors to your website to text in your keyword.
When visitors click on a trigger button, it opens a pop-up with more information on your text marketing program. When they click the button within the pop-up, their native text app is open with the keyword and number prefilled. All they have to do is hit send.
Take a look at how it works.
It’s completely free to make a widget for your site with our tool. You’ll want to customize it to match your brand. Adjust the font, colors, images, copy, alignment, and everything else until you’re happy. You can learn more about it here.
Create a Compliant Ad With the Graphic Generator
Engagement-grabbing images are a great way to attract attention to your text marketing efforts. And to make it even easier to design these images for your SMS marketing campaigns, we’ve created a new, free tool dubbed the Graphic Generator.
You can create your TCPA compliant opt-in terms and CTIA compliance links, adding the necessary terms and disclaimers and we can even host your terms and conditions pages for you. It’s compliance, without the stress.
With this tool, you can create a stunning graphic to promote your keyword in minutes. You can learn more about it here.
2. Place a Sign-Up Form on Your Website
With SimpleTexting, you can use our web sign-up form to let website visitors subscribe to your text marketing campaigns by entering their information and clicking Subscribe Now. Again, as we mentioned above, your opt-in is compliant as long as it is clear and conspicuous that your future customers are agreeing to receive messages that are (a) marketing/promotional, (b) sent via an autodialer and (c) the agreement to receive the autodialed promotional text message isn’t a condition of any purchase.
Here is an example of a web sign-up form.
3. Paper Forms
You can go old-school and collect phone numbers using a paper form as long as it has the required TCPA compliant disclosures clearly and conspicuously displayed. Just like with a web form, your paper form should have a checkbox that people need to tick off to sign up for messages; however, a written signature or even space to initial would be preferred. Consent is your burden to prove if someone ever files a claim, so the clearer the signature, the clearer the consent.