How to Grow Your SMS Subscriber List & Build a Community in 2023!

How to Grow Your SMS Subscriber List & Build a Community in 2023!

written by Houston Golden
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
January 25th, 2022
Share This

You might use iMessage and Messenger a lot.

But you know what you can’t get rid of?

Regular SMS messages.

Think about it, you barely use it for most of your communications, but it’s always been there for the more important stuff like receiving updates on your bank account, 2FA, family members, and …B2B business updates.

SMS messaging is so powerful that it’s surprising that not a lot of B2B businesses leverage what it has to offer.

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to grow your SMS subscriber list and build your own growing community.

Start Bringing in People With Campaigns on Other Platforms

The reason we love omnichannel marketing so much isn’t just because of the streamlined exposure, but it’s also because you can depend on platforms working together to bring in growth.

We’ve found that one of the quickest ways to grow your SMS mailing list is to start creating individualized marketing campaigns on other platforms that incentivize prospects to join.

You can entice a prospect with the offer of a free giveaway by filling out their details on a landing page that gets them to sign up to your SMS mailing list.

Throw in Your Sales Call Texts

One quick way to grow your SMS community is to add in numbers that you’ve gotten through your sales calls.

Now, we can get into a whole topic regarding this section but think of it as lead nurturing.

Do note that you need to be able to give them personalized content for this to work well, and this is better run with an account handler in your organization.

Invite Your Current Customers

In your rush to build a community of prospects, don’t ever forget about building a community for your current customers as well.

Your current customers can provide a lot of repeat business and you can even increase their LTV by simply remarketing to them.

Current customers will feel that you’re taking care of them by sending them updates on things such as their subscription or any new things that you have going on.

And, that’s always great for customer relations.

Here’s the other thing.

Since SMS is a more personal way to communicate, you can establish a deeper relationship with them.

Add an Opt-In on Your Intake Forms

If you’re collecting numbers on your intake forms on your website, make sure you have an option to opt-in to text messages.

Try to avoid sending regular text messages if they don’t opt-in. This is unless you want to launch a highly personalized one-on-one campaign with high-value clients.

Remember people are trusting you with their phone number, and you don’t want to abuse the trust that they’re giving you.

Also, don’t send people messages right away

Send them a welcome message within the day, but not right upon signing up. It makes you look too eager.

Physical Stores

If you do have a physical store or office, make sure you have a signup sheet for prospects to receive text alerts from you.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

They could sign up on a landing page through a QR code and you can also use this as an opportunity to grab their email addresses.

Create SMS Exclusive Campaigns

B2C companies have been leveraging these campaigns primarily as an incentive for their SMS subscribers to stay on their list.


People might love the links and tips you’re sending out to them through SMS, but there will come a time when they’ll want some more. Adding a few incentives here and there won’t hurt.

You can even create a different incentive system for the various platforms that your brand is on.

You have to employ a method regardless of the number of subscribers you currently have on your SMS mailing list because it keeps people happy and satisfied.

Notify Them About Current Sales

The classic way to use text messages is to inform your subscribers about current offers that you’re having.

You can take this a step further to upsell to current clientele or sell other products that you have in your product catalog.

Update Them About Their Subscription

Once a prospect successfully purchases from you, you can still keep them in your text messaging platform, but you need to move them onto a different list.

The subject matter will be different and the way they interact with you will be different since they are now technically stakeholders in your solutions.

You can use this as an opportunity to “nudge” them into doing things with the solutions that you’ve sold them.

Personalize Your Messages

Nothing screams great marketing than personalization.

You make your prospects feel special, and you make messages even more relatable.

Some marketers make a mistake by treating SMS as a “blasting” platform for generic offers and promotions, but you shouldn’t do that.

Treat it like email.

Once you get a good list of numbers and customer profiles, start segmenting the people on your SMS mailing list.

This allows you to send out text messages customized to their personality and particular needs. It also helps you create messaging that resonates with your prospects and clientele.

Personal Message Exchanges

Although customized messages will go a long way, don’t shy away from sending more personal messages.

This is a highly effective technique for high-value B2B and SaaS prospects.

The way to do it is to assign a “concierge” for each client who basically acts as an account manager for any needs that they may have. If you have a lot of these high-value clients, you can assign around 3-8 for each handler.

A sample message would be:

Hi, *prospect name*, this is *your name* with *company name*, feel free to hit me up if you have any questions about our products or your account with us. Have a great day!

Greet Them on Their Birthday

Aim to build a relationship with your prospects through SMS, but also don’t fail to do research about them so you can greet them on their special occasions.

If you didn’t collect their birth dates with your intake forms, you could figure out these details if you connect with them on LinkedIn.

However, whatever you do, don’t make it creepy.

Only do this if you’ve had some sort of back and forth with them.

If your intake form only had their name, email address, and phone number, and you only had a welcome message as your first message with them, don’t greet them.

It’s weird.

Bundle your birthday message with a special offer that’s tailored to your unique needs.

You could also give them a pass to download one of your resources.

Holidays are a Great Excuse to Engage

On the other hand, holidays are a great way to just greet everyone in one go.

If you want to keep it as general as possible and avoid offending people, you can keep it to national holidays – that’s assuming you’re not running an international SMS campaign.

Safe holidays include:

  • New Year’s
  • Fourth of July (USA)
  • Labor Day

You can even pair it up with your choice of seasonal discounts, offers, or promotions.

Or, if you don’t feel like giving up the bank, you can choose to use the holiday as an excuse to notify your prospects about the latest happenings at your organization.

One way to build a community is to take a step back every now and then and stop talking about the business or the products that you have to offer.

Any community is built around the same interests, but it only becomes a community when you transcend these messages and start catering to the other needs of your members.

Your subscribers won’t want to receive messages about your business on a regular basis. If they don’t mind, you won’t generally guarantee that you’ll put a smile on their faces.

This is the time to get creative with your approach.

How to grow your sms subscriber list, How to Grow Your SMS Subscriber List & Build a Community in 2023!

You can check up on your subscribers, greet them without an offer on a special occasion, tell jokes, give them facts, or just wish them a nice day.

It’s these little things that can get to them and it’s also a way to set yourself apart from the competition.

Notice that in highly competitive industries such as high-value B2B negotiations are more personal?

This is because people don’t just want to talk about the business, they want to have a relationship with the organization that they are dealing with.

Give Them an Option to Reply

Whenever you can, give them an option to directly reply to you.

This can be in the form of a question at the end of your message or even a direct invitation for prospects to reach out to their account handler.

Giving your prospects an option to reply encourages engagement through text messages, and that’s a reasonable driving force to push for better connections.

Note: you can’t deploy this in a larger organization or e-commerce store because it will be a mess to reply to potentially high-value clients without employing a chatbot to help you out.

Give Them an Option to Unsubscribe

Always give them an option to unsubscribe.

While on the topic of unsubscribing, you can opt to provide your prospects with a double opt-in option. This ensures that people really want to be part of your SMS mailing list.

Here’s the deal with having options.

It gives your prospects a sense of control and if you shift the narrative in that regard, it puts you in a good light.

On the plus side, it’s also good manners if you ask us.

Leverage Your SMS Mailing Lists for Feedback

Growth hacking is always fifty percent feedback.

That’s why we have the “you can’t growth hack if you don’t track” motto.

SMS is always a great way to get feedback about the service that you’ve been providing to your customers.

However, don’t always follow the long survey route.

You can always send them just two questions to get them to engage with your company so that you can pull feedback.

Sometimes you can even throw in an incentive just to thank them for their time. Something like a link to a free resource that you’ve already built in the past or a 3-day demo of your new product is great.

Here’s an example:

Hi *name of prospect*, answer this quick question to get an exclusive free resource *alternatively, you can put in the name of the resource*:

From 1-10, how did you find last week’s promotion?

When they reply:

Thanks for your feedback – and here’s the exclusive link *resource link* as promised.

It’s super hush-hush ? so please keep it between us!

Notice that it doesn’t sound like the regular surveys that you get from other businesses?

Yes, keep it that way.

You need to stand out from the crowd and keep everything minimal.

None of your prospects have the time to answer a 12-point survey on something boring.

Keep your messages short and respect their time.

Tie It Together With Your Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the only way to go, and this means that you can’t use text messages alone to power up your lead generation or nurturing efforts.

Everything has to be tied together to create a footprint of a brand that’s easily accessible.

However, this doesn’t give you the license to tweet, Facebook, or send a LinkedIn message to your prospect simultaneously. You have to use everything in balance.

You can use one platform for brand awareness, you can use another one for light lead nurturing by simply posting about things relevant to their industry, and you can just have them follow you on Twitter.

Keep things omni, but make sure you’re coordinated so you won’t come off as overwhelmingly abrasive.

Find out where your text messages tie into your overall campaign.

Lead nurturing is great but in moderation.

Takeaways on How to Grow Your SMS Subscriber List

Building a community using SMS or text messages might require different tools and techniques, but it relies on one underlying principle.

You have to be relational.

All B2B sales are built on good relationships and given that SMS is already more personal than other methods of communication, you’ve already got your best foot forward.

You just need to time everything well.

We’ve seen a lot of marketers build entire communities on SMS that have brought in a lot of leads coming through.

If you follow our guidelines, you should be able to build multiple campaigns on SMS that will help complement your other omnichannel efforts.

About the Author

The name's Houston Golden. I'm the Founder & CEO of BAMF — a company I've grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $5M+ in revenue over a span of 5 years.

How did I do it? Well, it's quite simple, really. I've helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win), I tell all on this blog.

Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.
Connect with MeJoin the Facebook GroupFollow Me On Instagram

Leave a Reply

Leave the first comment