9 Tips For Increasing Text Message Subscribers

Image courtesy of Slate. Image courtesy of Slate.

Great, quick tips for nonprofits about text messaging messaging campaigns that can be used to spread their message and acquire donations. This list was compiled thanks to suggestions from Nonprofit Tech for Good, and backed by statistics from the mGive Text Donation Study 2013.

  1. Share an opt-in link on your nonprofit’s website, blog, emails, newsletters, and social feeds to gain more text subscribers.

    Text donations are one of the top 3 preferred methods of contributors to donate. So let potential supporters know you offer mobile updates, and make sign-ups easy by adding links to your web channels. Include some details about what you will text the subscriber, and provide the option to opt-out. Optionally, allow the supporter to select what types of text topics he or she would like to receive.

  2. Create a text-to-subscribe keyword and promote.

    Choose a keyword that is short (4-6 characters), related to your nonprofit’s mission or cause, and assign it to a short code (a number assigned to organizations by a mobile service provider), to allow users to instantly subscribe on the go by texting the keyword to the short code.

  3. Send a max of 2-3 texts per month.

    Do not spam your donors, supporters, and potential contributors with a text every week. Use this method of contact sparingly and plan each text strategically. Some users have text limits or restrictions, and others may not want to know every milestone your nonprofit reaches.

  4. Diversify texts.

    Add a call-to-action, such as “donate $5 today and make a difference,” or a powerful statistic that speaks volumes to your cause. Bugging a subscriber for donations with every text can become more of an annoyance to the recipient, rather than a worthy cause.

  5. Link to your mobile website.

    Include a link to your organization’s mobile website or tell the recipient about your new volunteer app. This increases awareness and makes more information accessible to the supporter.

  6. Be relevant.

    Not all of your nonprofit’s supporters will be located in one place. So if you are hosting an event, only text subscribers in the area and email all other subscribers, or post an event notification on your website, social feed, or blog. In fact, 32.8% of respondents to the mGive survey said they wanted information about volunteering sent via text.

  7. Track click-through rates with bit.ly or another campaign tool.

    Campaign tools exist to help you track link clicks, message opens, unsubscribes, and message deletes. Bit.ly URLs are a common way to track click-through data for links—even on mobile devices!

  8. Tell users what social networks you are using.

    Do your subscribers know you just joined Tumblr? Trying to grow your Facebook following? Link to your social networks once in a while via text to allow subscribers to easily follow you from their mobile device. 28% of donors learn about nonprofit text donation campaigns via social media.

  9. Text-to-donate campaigns.

    85% of donors are willing to donate $25-50 via text donations, so why not let them? During your next campaign, examine your primary audience and determine what they are willing to donate, then ask them to! Use a simple call-to-action, such as “Donate $20 feed a child for a month in Africa by texting ‘FEED’ to 12345.” Supporters are more likely to support if it takes fewer than 3 words or 3 clicks to accomplish.

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