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Text Club Marketing 101: Everything You Need to Know

As SMS marketing grows in popularity, there are more and more options to connect with customers. At the forefront of these effective strategies are text clubs, an innovative approach that enables you to organize your contacts into groups and send customized and relevant content. Let’s dig into the definition of text club marketing, how they work, and how your brand can leverage them most effectively.

What Is a Text Club?

What Is a Text Club?

Text clubs are simply a group of contacts that signs up to receive specific promotions through SMS. For example, gyms could create a text club specifically to alert users to membership or merchandise discounts or even new programs.

You create a text club by reserving a keyword that people text your phone number to subscribe to the service, e.g., texting “Discounts” to 12345 for product discounts alerts.  Alternatively, they can submit their phone details to be added to a specific text club database, e.g., a text club for appointment reminders.  It is an easy way to connect with large groups of people sending en masse text updates to multiple recipients whenever needed, e.g. a text club for appointment reminders.

This, like all SMS marketing, is done only after users consent to receive text messages.  

How Do Text Clubs Work?

How Do Text Clubs Work?

Text club marketing starts with a subscriber signing up to join an SMS club. Naturally, a confirmation text notifying the recipient of a successful registration follows. From here onwards, the business follows through with the pre-planned content depending on the text purpose of the text club.   

The ability to send a text message to a curated list of recipients is one things that sets SMS clubs apart from other communication methods like emails or social media marketing. Mobile marketing can encompass so many different types of communication, like discount codes for car dealerships or updates and event promotions.

What Are Text Clubs For?

What Are Text Clubs For?

There are many different ways businesses in every industry can utilize text clubs. Below, we share a few that might help you understand how it could work for you.

Client Transaction Updates

An SMS club simplifies client transaction updates via SMS.  Transactional SMS provide customers with information on personal use of the company’s services.  This can be useful for a hotel or restaurant confirming reservations via SMS, or even a business sending billing information via text.  In addition, SMS has a 98% open rate, which makes it much more likely to reach customers than any other channel. Hence, it is a more effective strategy. 


SMS text clubs are ideal for promotions like new products to existing customers, e.g. a new package at the local gym. It’s also a great way to send customers discounts and special sales they are eligible for. 

70% of consumers admit to checking their phones within five minutes of receiving a notification. This maximizes the potential conversion rates of sending promotional deals to a targeted group of customers or clients.

Information Updates

Informative text messages are another excellent application for an SMS club. For instance, you can create an SMS subscriber list to welcome returning customers or send updates on new information. For example, real estate investors can send or receive updates on properties available in their area through text clubs. Overall, your customer base will appreciate this communication.

How To Get Consumers To Sign Up for Text Marketing

How To Get Consumers To Sign Up for Text Marketing

In order to grow your contact list, you need a strong opt-in that motivates users and keeps them engaged. Your website landing page, mailers, banner ads and the likes are ideal for sharing your opt-in method as they have ample traffic. 

Your opt-in shouldn’t be complicated or confusing, so offering an incentive is ideal. Try experimenting with different ways to lure people to join your text club, like using short code numbers and QR codes.

Short Code Numbers

With short codes, subscribers can opt-in by texting a keyword like “Join” to a short number, e.g., 12345.  This is a common way to prompt users to sign up for a giveaway, and only takes a few seconds of their time.  

Learn more about the difference between short code vs. long code text messages.

QR Codes

With QR codes, subscribers don’t have to remember a keyword or a short-code number.  Instead, they can simply use their phone to scan a code and be automatically directed to a website or opt-in page.

A typical QR code is in the shape of a square with dotted designs that can be scanned to open a webpage.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Opt-In Page

Your opt-in strategy is only effective if your customers or clients actually see it. Make sure to spread the word and cast a wide net for text club members and increase sales. Here are two ways to drive traffic:

1.  Gain Subscribers from Your Website

Everyone who lands on your pages should be invited to take an action and join your list.  These people are typically already using your products or services, and are most likely to join your text club. Provide a call to action (CTA) for your text club on your website and social media accounts to gain exposure.  

Give your your text club a name like “VIP membership” program to suggest exclusive text marketing.  For new customers or potential leads, the lure of a text club is being able to stay on top of lucrative deals and updates.  This also helps build loyalty and trust.

2.  Implement Paid Media Campaigns

Paid campaigns allow you to increase your audience and reach new people who may not be aware of your brand. In fact, text clubs with promotional deals and discounts can make great online advertisments because they naturally offer an incentive.

Examples Of Successful Text Clubs

Examples Of Successful Text Clubs
  • Vodafone: In 2001 Vodafone made a splash with its text message marketing campaign aimed at teenagers and young adults.
  • Starbucks: Starbucks frequently has text club marketing campaigns, including one whereby customers sign up by texting “hi” to a short code number.  Once a part of the SMS subscriber list, the customers can claim a free Starbucks drink.
  • Simba: The snack company Simba has run several text marketing campaigns where it offers customer loyalty points to redeem for airtime.  After signing up, participants will receive messages with rewards.
  • IKEA: The furniture company’s text club named IKEA Family is an exclusive membership text club that sends customers messages with special offers, inspiration, and free workshops.  They use the promise of winning cool prizes to encourage people to sign up and receive messages.

Benefits Of Text Clubs For Businesses

Quick Communication

Customers like businesses that make it easy for them to stay informed. Text message marketing gives your company a simple and affordable way to communicate with large groups of customers. Do you want to inform customers in a specific city about the local store’s holidays hours? A text club is a powerful way to communicate and effectively manage updates to your entire subscriber list in a few clicks.

Nurture Existing Customers

Keep the lines of communication open between your business and your customers encourages customer loyalty. Customers will think of your business more frequently, and you’ll generate a more consistent customer base. In addition, your chances of converting sales are higher, since text club members have already shown interest in your business.

Attract New Customers

The SMS club attracts new customers provided it is well advertised.  Potential customers are likely to respond to an invitation to join your text club as a way to participate in a promotion, benefit from a special offer or participate in engaging polls and surveys.  You can also target new customers by promising to tell them about new products or discounts first, as a service exclusively available to customers who opt into the business´s text club.  Existing customers are bound to share the text club with others if they find it helpful. 

Plus, it’s easy for new customers to sign up for an SMS club. Sharing a cool and straightforward opt-in method allows potential customers to peek at your brand. As a result, they can lead to sales. You know what SMS club members are interested in; hence you ensure messages address their needs directly.

Regulations For Creating A Text Club

Regulations For Creating A Text Club

The rules for creating a text club are the same rules that apply to all elements of SMS marketing. These include:

  • Opt-in Options: It is mandatory for businesses to only add mobile numbers to their text clubs following explicit consent.  Thus, the subscriber must use an opt-in option to become a part of the SMS club.
  • Opt-out Options: Subscribers must always have the ability to opt-out of a text club through email or SMS.

What Kinds Of Businesses Benefit Most From Text Clubs?

Businesses across a vast number of industries can benefit from text message marketing, this includes:


Over to You

Over to You

Text club marketing encourages customer loyalty and helps you promote and sell more products by reaching your customers with more efficiency. If you were still on the fence, now is the time to explore SMS marketing and text clubs.

Smarter Contact makes it easy to start a text club for your business.  Start your free trial today!

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