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February 13, 2019

Collecting customer phone numbers and consent for your SMS campaign

collect cellphone number database and customer concents for SMS

In previous articles, we’ve covered aspects of user verification such as why it is important to add two factor authentication, how to integrate it, and so on. While 2FA surely improves user experience and adds extra value to your business, it does not promote your product directly.

In order to market your product, you have to address your customers using a more straightforward and engaging approach. One way to do so is with SMS marketing. Having high ROMI and open rates, this channel is a perfect choice for re-engaging your audience.

Before launching a campaign, you should collect a database of phone numbers. The key point here is not only getting the numbers, but also obtaining customer consent. Without clients explicitly opting in to receive your messages you won’t be able to send them SMS.

Here we will offer some tips and ideas on collecting client numbers and consent.

Website visitors

Use your site traffic to enlarge your customer base. Support your sign-up form with an optional checkbox about receiving SMS or add a special website widget for collecting numbers. Note that the fields should not be pre-checked – people have to select this option themselves. The online approach also requires a double opt-in from potential clients: send them an automatic thank you message and ask them to reply with a special word that would automatically signify their consent.

Social media

Facebook or Twitter can be a fantastic place for you to promote an SMS campaign. Create a promo post with a link to your website or landing page where you tell the customers more about the benefits they’ll get from subscribing to you. Alternatively, you can directly ask people to text a special keyword to your short number in order to receive your messages.

Email marketing

If you already have email subscribers, you can tell them about your new campaign. Explain advantages such as exclusivity, discounts, and time-limited offers. Give instructions and keep the message short and clear, so that people can easily opt in to receive your SMS.


If you have a store, you can tell your shop assistants to offer instant discounts or gifts for subscription. Ask people to leave their phone numbers and consent to receive messages when giving out club cards. Specify the benefits that clients will receive such as exclusive offers, promo codes, participation in contests, invitations to product presentations, etc.

Promote your SMS campaign directly in the store: put special banners with opt-in instructions, advertise it through the PA system, or add a couple lines about it to store receipts.

Via phone

If your business model involves talking to people by phone, you can instruct your call center managers to offer SMS subscription to customers. Just ask clients to send a special word to your short number to opt in receiving promo messages.


In most countries, people are required to provide their phone number and verify their device with a one-time code in order to access public Wi-Fi. If you have a place such as a restaurant where people spend a lot of time, it could be a good opportunity to offer SMS subscription to clients. Just show a promo banner or add an optional checkbox when requesting details for Wi-Fi access.

Some more tips

  • Explaining benefits and advantages of subscription is important. “I will give them my phone number just because I love the brand” – said no one ever. SMS is a direct communication channel and sending promo messages to people means penetrating their personal space: strong motivation is crucial for subscription.
  • Make it exclusive. Special offers should be available for your SMS subscribers specifically. It will make the offer more valuable and the customers will be more eager to leverage it. VIP status has never hurt anyone.
  • Be creative. If a client has to send a special word to opt in to your SMS, don’t pick a boring word like “YES” or “ACCEPT”. Find something cool or brand related. It will make the customer experience more engaging and increase subscription rates.
  • Opt-out forms are probably as important as opt-in ones. Give your clients a chance to unsubscribe if they wish. Not only it is essential from the customer’s point of view, it is also a must-have feature in terms of legal compliance in many countries.
  • Never send SMS without consent. Don’t buy a list of phone numbers from a third party, take numbers from social media, or automatically generate them with scripts or Excel. Delivering promo materials to people who didn’t opt in to receive your messages may result in fines of up to $1500 per message.

Use these tips to grow your customer base and collect client consent. Please note that regulations may vary from country to country, so it is critical to study the opt-in and opt-out policies of a specific area before collecting phone numbers and sending out SMS there.

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