SMS opt-in is a website option that allows brands to run ethical SMS marketing campaigns. Companies offer site visitors to leave their phone numbers to receive exclusive offers and notifications. That is another chance to improve brand awareness and boost sales.

Customers expect marketers to play fair, so SMS opt-in is a must. Each text message should be preceded by a subscription form where you explicitly state why users should leave their phone numbers. If you're going to send unique offers, remind subscribers about upcoming sales and other promotions — tell your subscribers. They will be happy to enjoy the benefits of being a part of your brand.

Why is SMS opt-in important?

According to Statista research, 49,73% of webpages worldwide were accessed from mobile devices in 2017. It's no wonder that this number is growing year by year. Marketers invest heavily in providing site visitors with the best user experience. They optimize websites for mobile users, develop mobile apps, promote their products, and reach customers via text messaging.

SMS is another powerful marketing channel to use. It's equal email marketing if not even more profitable. That is proved by the fact that the SMS open rate reaches 98%, while the same metric for email makes up 20%. Indeed, there are many reasons to explain this, but to find out the most significant one, answer the simple question, “When you receive an email and an SMS, what message would you prefer to open the first?”

SMS, right? People find it to be a more personal way of communication while considering that email inboxes can filter promotions and spam. Take that seriously and don’t fall into the ranks of marketers who neglect privacy laws. To reach your clients via SMS, make sure that you have explicit permission. There are more chances that your messages will be relevant to the audience if users express the desire to hear from you.

How to Use SMS Opt-in

  1. Create an SMS opt-in form
  2. Provide the link to the Terms and Conditions
  3. Set expectations
  4. Give an incentive

Create an SMS opt-in form

Choose a marketing service that allows you to create custom forms and offers pre-made ones that you can edit. With SendPulse, you can add a “Phone number” field to any form. Make sure that the form fits your brand's style. This way, you will increase brand awareness.

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Provide the link to the Terms and Conditions

This is a must for every SMS opt-in. A user should tick “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” to receive messages from you. Make sure that you provide a link to the corresponding documentation. Of course, you can’t be sure that your customers have read it, but at least it is a sure way to avoid any ambiguities.

Set expectations

People don’t share their phone numbers with strangers when they don’t know what to expect. Tell users why you need their phone number at the very beginning. If you clearly state what messages you’re going to send and the frequency, users will be fully aware of what they will get from their subscription. Hence, they are genuinely interested in your business, and your SMS marketing will work out.

Give an incentive

Very often, the above mentioned is not enough for users to leave their phone number, and here a lead magnet comes into play. This is an attractive incentive that makes users share their contact information in exchange for something valuable. It can be a useful checklist, an ebook, a discount on the first purchase, etc. Freebies speed up the process of moving a customer down the sales funnel and ensure a positive user experience.

How to Create an SMS Opt-in Form with SendPulse

With SendPulse, you can create a unique opt-in form that fits your brand style or choose a ready-made one and edit it. The whole process takes less than ten minutes and requires no coding skills.

Go to “Subscription forms” to edit a pre-designed form or craft your own. Be creative when designing a form: edit fonts, colors, upload images, set the display options. To be on the safe side, make the form GDPR compliant. Don’t forget to add the domain(s) where the form will be published and provide a corporate sender’s email address.

Note, that all the subscription forms in SendPulse include an “Email” field by default so that you will collect both email addresses and phone numbers.

SendPulse opt-in

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to create a subscription form.

SMS Opt-in Examples

Look how fast food restaurant Subway motivates users to leave their phone number. They offer an exclusive coupon to buy sandwiches for only $2.99. Below the form, they explain that subscribers will receive less than ten text messages per month, and the most important — they tell how to opt-out.

SMS opt-in

Check out the way a company producing beauty products encourages site visitors to sign up. They explain that users will receive advertising text messages and ask them to get familiar with the terms and conditions before subscribing.

SMS opt-in

Versace requires users to enter a phone number to create an account. The brand explains what they’re going to send and ask users to consent to customer relationship management (CRM) so that every subscriber can receive relevant messages.

SMS opt-in

SMS Opt-in Best Practices

  1. Provide users with clear instructions and a reason to subscribe
  2. Include the “Phone number” field into your registration form
  3. Give an option to subscribe from an email newsletter.
  4. Let users opt-out
  5. Integrate SMS opt-in with other marketing channels

For your SMS opt-in to work best, follow these tried and tested tips:

  • Provide users with clear instructions and a reason to subscribe. Simplify your SMS opt-in form as much as possible to make the subscription process easy. Give users an incentive and state clearly what they should do next.
  • Include the “Phone number” field into your registration form. Don’t make it an obligatory filed; otherwise, users may abandon the registration. Be ready to tell what subscribers will receive by email, and via text messages — don’t send the same offers.
  • Give an option to subscribe from an email newsletter. You can add a shortcode into the email footer and allow subscribers to send it to your phone number to receive exclusive deals.
  • Let users opt-out. It’s a must to keep your contact list healthy. Sooner or later subscribers may lose interest in your business, let them go. You can tell users how to opt-out directly in the form or in each text message you send. Usually, brands give a shortcode to cancel the subscription.
  • Integrate SMS opt-in with other marketing channels. Find out which channel is preferred by your target audience and place an attractive SMS opt-in on this channel. Social media is an excellent place to start due to its broad outreach.


Indeed. Register with SendPulse, and create a free double opt-in subscription form with an additional “phone number” field. In the second stage of the double opt-in process, the user receives a subscription confirmation email and gives their consent to receive marketing SMS. We highly recommend sending the first SMS as a reminder of how users got on your SMS list and explain how to unsubscribe if they want to stop communication.

The U.S. Federal Communication Commission regulations only allow sending marketing SMS to users who intentionally opt-in to receive messages from your brand. Besides, you must provide a simple opt-out method, for instance, by texting a “STOP” message in reply. At the same time, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires you to check your phone number list against the National Do Not Call Registry.

Getting things for free is an effective motivator for people to opt-in, be it email, SMS, or social media marketing. Create a giveaway with several gifts, design a free subscription form with SendPulse, and ask users to leave their phone number in exchange for a chance to win a freebie. This strategy will dramatically increase the number of opt-in leads on your marketing list and boost sales.

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