Don't Do It Yourself
Opt In Text Message Guide

Opt In Text Message Definition, Examples & Templates

Whether you’re running an email service or a text message marketing program, getting consent from your customers takes center stage.

This is why opt-in text messages have become so important in recent years.

In this article, we’ll be exploring what opt-in text messages are and why they’re important for only running effective SMS marketing strategies, but also for complying with federal and international regulations.

What are Opt-In Text Messages?

What Are Opt In Text Messages?

Opt-in text messages are essentially texts that are sent from a business to a customer, with the latter agreeing to subscribe to a texting service. In other words, they’re consenting to receive your text messages.

This consent is key since text message marketing laws require you to have express written consent to sign customers into a service.

The inverse is opt-out messages, in which a customer unsubscribes from a text messaging service.

Businesses use opt-in text messaging for various things, primarily for transactional and promotional purposes, which we’ll get into later. First, let’s look at why businesses use opt-in messaging and how it benefits them.

Benefits of Opt-In Text Messages

Benefits of Opt-in Text Messages

One of the biggest reasons why marketing teams use opt-in text messaging lies in how often people look at their phones.

SMS marketing statistics showcase the power of using text messages in marketing communications. 72% of millennials text 10 or more times a day. This opens up a whole host of opportunities for businesses to reach consumers about the latest deals or to offer a few discounts.

Unlike marketing emails that often get ignored or sales calls that most consumers find annoying, text message marketing and opt-in messages are received rather well. In fact, 77% of consumers have a positive perception of companies that use this tactic.

When it comes to coupons, ones that are given to consumers over text are converted nearly 10 times the amount of traditional coupons.

This is all to say that opt-in text messages, while cut from a similar cloth as email marketing, is becoming an extremely popular, safe, and effective marketing method to reinvigorate existing customers or prospects.

The Difference Between Transactional and Promotional Opt-In Texts

There are two types of opt-in text messages – transaction and promotional. It’s important to make a distinction between these two types, as they have vastly different uses.

Transactional Opt-in Text Messages

Transactional opt-in messages are texts used by businesses to give necessary information to a customer.

They send out order confirmations, tracking numbers, two-factor authentication numbers, and password resets. They serve virtually no marketing purposes, only to help out the customer during or after a transaction.

While you don’t strictly opt into these messages, they often let you opt-out of them. Businesses let customers know beforehand that their numbers are being used in this way when they make a purchase.

Promotional

Promotional opt-in messages are ones sent out purely for marketing or sales purposes. This includes messages about promotions, offers, discounts, and coupons.

For these text messages, businesses need express written consent. Customers can opt into these messages by typing in a keyword or filling out a form.

When opted in, customers should get a text message letting them know that this service is active and that they can type in another keyword to stop the messages if they so choose.

Opt-In Text Message Examples

Opt In Text Message Examples

What do these opt-in strategies actually look like? What are some examples of opt-in text messages?

Keywords

In order to get the written consent needed to use SMS strategies legally, businesses need to leverage dual opt-in measures to sign people onto their text messaging service.

With keywords, however, you can get that written consent right away. An SMS keyword is something that coincides with your marketing campaign that can be texted to a shortcode or phone number to opt in to an SMS program.

For example, a pet store might sign customers onto their text messaging service by typing a word like “PETS” to a short digit number. A music store might also have you text “MUSIC” to 1-800-MUSIC for special discounts on scores and instruments.

Forms

Another popular way of opting customers into a messaging service is through online forms. Many businesses embed these numbers into their sites, allowing customers to put in their phone numbers to sign up for their SMS service.

These forms can also be made shareable to allow customers to promote your services to others.

These forms might be placed at the bottom of an article or web page, enticing customers to fill out specific information to opt-into a text messaging service.

Forms don’t have to be digital either. If you’ve got frequent in-store customers, they can fill out physical forms to opt into a text message marketing service as well.

Pop-Ups

While the term “pop-up” doesn’t elicit the most positive responses, they’re extremely useful for advertising things like text message programs.

When site visitors are navigating through your site, they can occasionally receive a pop-up that lets them sign onto a text messaging marketing service. They’re quick and to the point, and can generate conversions.

Some pop-ups can be programmed to show up when visitors click away to another tab with a message like “Before You Go!” and allow them to opt into a text messaging service.

Opt-In Text Message Templates

Opt In Text Message Templates

Your opt-in text message service is going to need a few default templates for a variety of situations. Here are some templates you can use to optimize your time.

Confirmations

When someone signs up for text messaging services, it’s important to confirm that they actually meant to do so. Here’s a good confirmation template you can use:

Hi {{first name}}, thanks for opting in for SMS updates from {{company name}}! Please reply with Y to confirm. You can text STOP at any time to unsubscribe.

Reminders

If you offer appointments and scheduled services, reminders are key to reducing no-shows. Here’s a good reminder template you can use for your opt-in text messaging service:

Hello {{first name}}, [Insert Business Name] here. You scheduled an appointment with us for {{appointment date}} at {{appointment time}}. It’s at our {{appointment location}} office. Please reply to confirm or reschedule. Reply with STOP at any time to unsubscribe from SMS notifications. Thanks!

Order Confirmation

Making sure a customer knows their order went through is extremely important. Here is a solid order confirmation template for your text messaging service:

Hi {{first name}}. Your order #{{enter number}} has been confirmed. We will text you when it ships. Reply with STOP at any time to unsubscribe from SMS notifications.

Follow-Ups

If a customer used a chat function to talk with one of your representatives, it’s a good idea to follow up with them to make sure they got what they needed. Here’s a good follow-up template:

Hi, {{first name}}! This is {{agent name}} from {{company name}}. Did you have any more questions for us, or did you get the answer you needed?

What to Include in Opt-In Text Messages

As you create and promote your opt-in text messaging services, there are a few essential things you need to keep in mind and include.

For starters, clearly communicate the details of your opt-in program from the beginning. No matter where or how you promote your services, ensure that you disclose the campaign’s purpose, your business name, message and data rates, how often you’ll be sending messages, links to your terms and conditions page, and an easily identifiable opt-out keyword.

This goes without saying, but make sure you give offers and discounts that are actually worthwhile for your customers. Give them a reason to use your opt-in services, otherwise you’ll find your subscriber list to be a little thin.

As we mentioned before, you should always send a follow-up text to let new subscribers know that they’ve opted in. Automating this feature will be especially useful, since this is an action required by law.

Laws, Requirements, and Regulations

It’s important to understand that text message marketing, and by extension, opt-in text messages is bound by telecommunication laws no matter where you’re running your business from.

Just as spam emails and phone calls are regulated and frowned upon by federal government agencies, marketing texts follow similar guidelines. When it comes to SMS texting and opt-in services, here are a few laws you need to keep in mind:

Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The TCPA is arguably the most prominent federal law concerning SMS marketing in the U.S.

It requires you to get express written consent from your customers before sending out marketing texts. Keyword texting or written/digital forms are required by TCPA administrators when opting consumers into a service.

CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act works in tandem with the TCPA in protecting consumers from unwanted commercial messages. They require that your opt-in promotional messages have to be easily identifiable as advertisements or promotional offers.

The CAN-SPAM Act does not apply to transactional messages.

General Data Protection Regulation

If you operate out nations in the EU, or most of your customers are from that region, following the GDPR is key. The law contains 7 principles of compliance that businesses must meet, and applies to both text message marketing and data protections in general.

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations

Working in conjunction with the GDPR, the PECR concerns itself with the data privacy of text message marketing consumers. It governs that information must be used fairly, securely, and responsibly.

Opt-In Text Message Services

Many of the top SMS marketing software providers offer a way to easily send opt-in text messages.

While there are dozens of options on the market, we’ve whittled our recommendations down to 5 options:

Opt-in text messages can be extremely effective if used in the right context and done responsibly. Consider using one of the above SMS marketing services to get opt-in from your subscribers. Then, start sending promotional messages to generate more leads and sales.