3 Ways to Collect Phone Numbers to Start Texting for Business

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We hear it all the time: you know text messaging is the way to get ahold of hard-to-reach contacts and start the conversations that close deals. 

But, your database has been built on email outreach, and you don’t have the mobile numbers you need to connect over text.

Moving to a real-time communication strategy takes a little change in thinking around communication. It means revamping the info you collect when people visit your website, meet you at a conference, live-chat with you, and even email with you.

Here’s how to capture the mobile phone numbers to start conversations with your contacts over text.

#1. On your web forms and event forms

You’re likely already collecting email addresses and other information from folks who visit your website and who strike up a conversation with you at an event. Adding a mobile number form will help you strike quickly while the iron is hot: you can send a quick text follow-up to a website visit or to an in-person meeting, within minutes of first contact. 

There is one drawback to asking for a phone number on a web form: it can sometimes impact your conversion rate, meaning the number of people who fill out your form may drop. You may want to experiment with what works best for your audience:

  • Test forms with and without mobile phone fields to see which get the best responses
  • Analyze the quality of leads coming through — including a phone number field may yield fewer responses, but higher quality leads
  • Consider where you ask for a phone number — a homepage form might be too early to ask but an eBook download form might be perfect

#2. On live-chat 

Live-chat conversations are a great way to find out more about your contacts — not just why they are visiting you and what challenges they’re facing, but contact information as well.

A really straightforward way to do this on live-chat is to simply ask contacts how they would like you to reach out to them. Since 89% of consumers say they want to text a business, chances are, many of these chatters will indicate they want to text with you. It’s a natural way to collect mobile numbers and permission to reach out by text, all at once.

Here’s an example from our site on some simple language you can use:

#3. The “Text Us” Call-to-Action

Look at your Contact Us page. You likely have a few calls-to-action:  Email Us, Call Us, and Visit Us. But, in the on-demand era we live in, people are less and less likely to reach out to you over these channels. Even email is becoming crowded, as trust has been broken again and again by too much spam. 

That’s why the “Text Us” call-to-action is an essential addition to your contact us page, your website footer, and even your email signatures. Letting your contacts know that you are ready and able to receive texts will boost engagement and position your company as ready and eager to meet their needs.

When your contacts reach out to you by text, they’ve chosen text over other forms of communication — they’ve invited you into their text inbox. And you’ve set the expectation that you’ll reach out over text. It’s win-win.

With all of these examples, it’s important to note that text isn’t meant to go it alone! Use a multichannel, conversational approach to your reach out to contacts who give you their mobile number. You can quickly follow up to touches over text, email that eBook along to them, text again to schedule a demo, and have a demo over video chat. 

Looking for more on adopting a multi-channel, conversational approach to your outreach? Check out our article on using text and email together to boost your response rates.

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