Opt outs. Nobody likes to see them. On average, brands can expect 2.5% - 7% of customers per campaign to opt out of SMS messaging. It’s not personal, it’s business, but it still stings.

Luckily, you’re not powerless in the face of this phenomenon. After working with countless brands over the years, we’ve amassed multiple strategies for how to counter it. Let’s take a look at four ways you can minimize your opt outs and build a list of highly engaged subscribers:

1. Be relevant and regular with broadcasts

You might think that more broadcasts means more opt outs, but it’s actually the opposite. Broadcasting relevant content on a regular basis helps keep your brand in the customer’s mind, and keeps subscribers interested. High interest = low opt outs. 

So what does “regular” mean? We recommend broadcasting to your entire list at least twice a month, but broadcasting to high intent subscribers at least weekly. Emotive lets you easily create segments for this kind of targeted broadcast. To create a segment of high intent subscribers, select customers who have clicked a link in the past 30 days, or who have opted in in the past 14 days. Learn more about how to create segments here.

For more information about what “relevant” content looks like, check out strategy #4 below.

2. Create two-way conversations with Experiences

Ready for the next level after broadcasting? Try two-way conversations by creating Experiences in Emotive. Two-way conversations personalize your communications and increase subscriber engagement. In fact, they can drive conversion at least 10 times as high as one-way broadcasts (and often up to 30 times as high). And here’s the key: they also lead to fewer opt outs.

As SMS marketing becomes a more saturated channel, it’s important to stand out to your customers. Creating a more personalized and conversational experience does just that. Here are some examples of two-way personalized Experiences you can create today:

  • Product recommendation flow. Ask new subscribers a couple questions about their preferences, then offer them a product that matches their needs. 

  • Post-purchase cross-sell. Follow-up with customers after they purchase a specific SKU and recommend a product that pairs with it. 

  • Pre-purchase conversation. Check in with new subscribers and remind them to use their intro discount code. Make sure to ask if they have any questions!

Check out a simple example of a two-way product recommendation flow.

And don’t forget - our Shopping Experts are here to review each customer response and ensure they get a humanized response back. Shopping Experts typically handle 90%+ of responses (saving you time!), and the rest will be forwarded to your team to handle in our conversations portal. Learn more about Experiences here.

3. Find optimized days and times to send Broadcasts and Experiences

After analyzing millions of messages brands have sent via Emotive, we’ve found that the best days and times to hit send on SMS marketing are generally the following:

  • Best days: Thursday/Friday 

  • Best time: 9am PST/12pm EST

We also recommend you check out your Google Analytics stats to find out what days and times your website sees the highest traffic. Then, time your broadcasts to coincide with your highest website traffic days/times. This attention to timing engages your customers when they’re most receptive to hearing from you, minimizing opt outs.

4. Invest in quality content. And don’t forget the basics.

Getting the cadence, targeting, and timing right is incredibly important, but none of that matters if the content falls flat. Is your message a value add to your customers? Are you reaching your customers with content that matches your brand’s identity? Think carefully about each message you send, and whether it’s going to speak to your audience in a meaningful way. Additionally, we recommend a healthy mix of both promotional and relationship building content to maximize revenue and minimize opt outs.

And one last thing! You’d be surprised how many brands leave out the basics in their messaging, which is a surefire way to see opt outs. Make sure all of your SMS copy includes the following content:

  • Mention your brand name

  • Include a link

  • Include an image - 600 KB or less and can be a jpeg, png, or gif

  • Include "Reply STOP to opt out"

Check out some great (and not so great) examples below:

Here’s why we think the example on the left works:

  • The brand made their subscribers feel special, and showed the value of being a text subscriber (notice the mention of “early access”).

  • The message clearly stated the brand name.

  • The message clearly stated the discount code and the percentage or dollar amount.

  • The message provided a link to the shop.

Here’s why we also love the example in the middle:

  •  They offer something of value for subscribers without a discount/promo. This is a great example of relationship building content, which you’ll want to offer your subscribers in addition to promotional content to minimize opt outs!

Here’s why the example on the right falls flat:

  • They did not include the brand name. Subscribers will wonder “who is this text from?”

  • They did not provide a call to action for their subscribers.

  • There are no specifics and no image to capture the attention of subscribers.

  • There’s no link to the shop. 

We recommend aligning your SMS content with your overall marketing calendar, but you can also check out more content ideas in our monthly guides. There you’ll find ready-to-go examples of effective messages you can send throughout the month.

So there you have it - with these four steps you can minimize opt outs and build a list of highly engaged subscribers. What are you waiting for? Implement even one of these tips today and watch your opt outs drop! Still have questions? As always, you can reach out to your dedicated CSM rep who will be happy to help.