A marketing program is only as strong as its subscribers, and it’s more important than ever to grow your email and SMS lists concurrently. Without ongoing acquisition, you simply can’t reach your marketing goals! There are many ways to achieve this while also collecting coveted first-party data, managing your channel volume, and of course remaining compliant. 

Why is a cross-channel contact so valuable?

  1. Customers are no longer engaging through a single channel. 
  2. Customers who are opted-in to receive messages across multiple channels are purchasing more, staying subscribed longer, and have upwards of 30% higher Lifetime Value than contacts subscribed to a single channel. 
  3. Getting your customers and prospects opted into receiving emails, text messages, and even push notifications and social media updates, impacts your bottom line with a stronger force.

How can you collect subscription for both email and SMS?

One of the easiest and most compelling ways of getting both email and SMS opt-in is through a Two-Step popup. Popups in general have proven themselves over time as being the best way of consistently growing a list, and the multi-channel iteration is much more common now and continues that legacy. 

These responsive popups can (and should!) be used on both desktop and mobile, with the latter using Tap-To-Join functionality to make the SMS opt-in step even more efficient. It’s recommended to position email opt-in first and then immediately follow-up with text opt-in to complete the process. Positioning a compelling incentive helps maximize acquisition rates, too. Whether it be a dollar off, percentage off, free gift with purchase, or others, having an incentive to sign up always outperforms a Call To Action without.

Email Step
SMS Step

Where else can you position opt-in?

It’s imperative to supplement your popup acquisition strategies with additional Calls To Action throughout the onsite customer journey. This includes collecting both email address and phone number in your website’s global miniform, during the checkout process, and within your marketing Preference Center.

Thinking across your other owned channels, it’s very easy and efficient to position email and SMS opt-in through messaging in the respective other channel – You can even do this through triggered campaigns to automate the outreach. SMS subscribers can join your email list by texting in their address through a Data Acquisition campaign, and email subscribers can opt into your text program by using a keyword positioned in dynamic creative.

Additionally, your social media following is a strong existing audience to take advantage of by positioning marketing opt-in through Instagram stories, Facebook posts, and more. We always recommend leveraging unique keywords and subscription tagging per source, so you can easily keep track of acquisition traffic trends and optimization opportunities.

Email Message with Text Message Opt-in

Checkout Page with Text Message Opt-in


Instagram Tap-to-Join Opt-In


Should you send a Welcome Series across both channels?

Welcome messages are very important to send across multiple channels for a few reasons. Firstly, they earn higher engagement and revenue than most broadcasts (Read our 2023 Cross-Channel Benchmark Report.) Secondly, they provide a confirmation of opt-in to each channel and an official “welcome” to your program. This is especially important for your SMS program, as an immediate opt-in confirmation is a compliance requirement. Finally, these messages are sought out by your customers for you to deliver your incentive positioned during subscription. Whether you want to deliver one-time dynamic coupons or otherwise, your new subscribers will be looking for them in those first messages.

Contact Card SMS Message


Welcome Coupon Reminder


Once the promised incentive has been delivered, Listrak’s Journey Hub tool makes it easy to orchestrate additional cross-channel Welcome messages. You can target contacts by the channels they’re engaging with the most, sending messages like coupon reminders and your new product features. If a contact isn’t clicking on emails, send them Welcome texts instead, and vice versa. 

What are the compliance considerations?

It’s imperative to always communicate clear expectations as to what type of messaging you will receive by subscribing to email and SMS programs, as a courtesy and compliance requirement. For SMS in particular, there are a few requirements for what needs to be sent at time of opt-in and what your disclaimer should have. Additionally, you should always have direct links back to your current Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies for more information.

If you choose to include a subscriber incentive, ensure your Call To Action is clear and sets proper expectations. And suppose you’re promoting anything like a giveaway or sweepstakes. In that case, there must be an easily accessible link to view the complete rules, plus approval from the mobile carriers (for SMS programs, in particular).

What other data points can you collect?

With subscription Calls To Action like popups and Preference Centers, you might want to collect additional first-party data relevant to your marketing goals. Common data points include birthday, gender, zip code, and shopping preferences, which can all be passed to your email and SMS channels for personalization and segmentation.

You can also leverage your text campaigns to collect this data, much like the example above of collecting email addresses. Subscribers can reply directly with their answers to Data Acquisition campaigns and Info Campaigns to inform your broadcast and automated campaign strategies.

First-party data collected via SMS Info Campaign


Birthday Campaign


You simply cannot achieve your marketing goals without a strong list of subscribers. Prioritizing acquisition across both email and SMS helps accelerate growth in both channels, including increasing your customer Lifetime Value. Be mindful of compliance rules, compelling and strategic, and watch those new subscribers roll in! 

Get Started

For more information or help implementing new acquisition strategies, work with your Account Manager or get started with Listrak’s SMS.

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