I’ve been pretty wowed by the innovative uses people have found for Leaddigits, our text-to-opt-in tool, in its year-or-so of existence.
It’s especially impressive because … you can’t really just lift what works on your website and turn it into a successful Leaddigits campaign.
I mean, you can. These campaigns are really easy to set up. But they perform best when you give careful thought to:
- The offer: With a Leaddigit, you don’t have the luxury of a website, landing page, or blog post to provide context around your opt-in offer. So you need to find something that connects instantly and intuitively.
- How you promote it: Where will you publicize your Leaddigit? What’s the physical or digital medium for your message? What can you do to be sure people understand what to do (often in a very condensed space) and are inspired to do it?
Here are 10 interesting Leaddigits campaigns that get the message and the medium right. For even more ideas for using text messaging to generate leads, download our free “50 Ways to Use Leaddigits to Grow Your Email List” guide below:
1. Get Contest Entries on the Radio, Online, and Everywhere
Chicago radio station Q101 gets fans on its email list by using a Leaddigit to offer a chance to win tickets to see comic Adam Carrolla—a simple tactic the station can use on social media, on the air, or anywhere else.
What I really love about their use of this Leaddigit in a Facebook post is that they’ve taken the opportunity to reinforce the message by coordinating their header photo. Visitors will be primed to understand and opt in for the offer from the moment they land on the page.
2. Promote Your Videos on Non-Video-Based Platforms
— Dog Lover (@_dogluver_) July 12, 2016
Among social media platforms, the bite-size format of Twitter isn’t necessarily ideal for getting your in-depth video content in front of viewers. So instead, trainer “Doggy Dan” hooks Twitter users with impossibly adorable photos of puppies.
Then, once he has their attention, he invites them to use their phones (which they’re quite likely to already be on) to opt in for his video training series. It’s a simple pitch—free dog training videos—that any pup’s person can take advantage of, and it’s likely to have almost as broad an audience as the Twitter account itself.
3. Share Your Slides (and Build Your List) from Any Presentation
Leadpages cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer Tracy Simmons wasn’t the only speaker at our first annual Converted conference (and you’re sure to see more examples if you attend this year). But I find this Leaddigit slide especially striking. The high contrast and the lion’s gaze directing us to the text make it easy to focus on the message no matter what else might be happening on stage.
If you have Leaddigits and you’re giving any kind of slide presentation, there’s really no excuse not to use this technique and add audience members to your mailing list. You already have the lead magnet available, and you have dozens or hundreds of highly interested connections hanging on your words.
Tracy doesn’t leave it there, however: she also throws in a bonus giveaway, a PDF poster of the company’s core values. So even if a few people in the audience trust their photographic memory to take away all the presentation’s takeaways, they still have reason to opt in.
4. Give Away Discount Codes
— Philip Morgan (@Philip_Morgan) April 12, 2015
Even though Twitter isn’t necessarily the number-one use case for Leaddigits, promoting your Leaddigit on Twitter can help you run better campaigns.
Why? The character limit.
A successful Leaddigits offer is usually simple, and if you can’t figure out how to fit it into a tweet, it probably won’t perform. Web dev consultant Philip Morgan’s discount code is an ideally simple offer, and although it seems to be designed to be used at a conference, he took the opportunity to show it off to Leadpages with a tweet.
5. Get Leads from Pay-Per-Click Ads … Without Clicks
The ads were designed to drive webinar signups, and they naturally contained a link to his webinar page. But he also knew that not everyone really needed to read over a webinar page in order to be convinced to attend—the ad would be pitch enough.
So he added a Leaddigit. In the copy of his paid post, he’d write something like:
“Skip the line—just text the word HCWEBINAR to 44222.”
By any measure, this was wildly successful: “About a third of my traffic came from those text opt-ins, which I got for free because they didn’t click the link—which lowered my overall cost per lead,” said Ryan.
In a more recent update, he also noted the psychology that makes Leaddigits convert so ridiculously well:
“In the last 90 days I’ve taken 6,000 leads in from Leaddigits. Here’s why I like Leaddigits:
People know what an opt-in form looks like. They don’t realize a text shortcode is the same thing … I love it.”
6. Enable Easier App Downloads
HVAC distributors Baker Distributing have a punchy social media presence, and in this post, they add Leaddigits into the mix. Rather than making followers hunt around in one app store or another to find their app, they offer it via Leaddigit—which is easy for the customer and list-enhancing for the company.
Baker also takes advantage of a format that works well on Twitter: the animated gif. It’s pleasant to look at, and the scrolling text allows them to include more information about the app and why contractors should opt into the Leaddigit than they could if they had to rely on a single image or line of text.
7. Collect Newsletter Signups in Person
“If that person had a newsletter, I’d subscribe to it.”
Maybe it’s just because I work in marketing, but sometimes I really do have that thought when I meet someone new and interesting. At an event last year, Scott Stratten of UnMarketing took advantage of that phenomenon by simply asking people to join his list via Leaddigits from the stage.
Even better: he customized his response message to create a fun little interactive moment while he was on stage. (If you try this, don’t get unnerved by random chuckles you hear in the audience.)
If you’re appearing at any kind of event—or even making the rounds at an informal gathering of folks in your field—set up a Leaddigit to let everyone who’s interested in following what you do. Sure, it helps if you’re a charismatic speaker or conversationalist, but anyone with something useful or interesting to say can benefit from the tactic Scott uses here.
8. Get Podcast Listeners on Your Email List
We profiled attorney, podcaster, and Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan last year on the blog, but it’s worth drawing a little extra attention to one tactic she mentioned.
At the time, Shemia had just recently started the Working Parents’ Podcast, where she uses her legal training to shed light on common issues facing parents in the workplace (and give prospective clients a sample of her expertise). She recalled:
“I found myself, just like most podcast listeners, listening while I’m out walking or driving where I can’t go to a website from my phone, or I can but I’m not going to … I am a very big podcast consumer, I listen to hours and hours of podcasts a week, and I noticed that I am the target market for Leaddigits.”
So, she began adding a call to opt into her Leaddigit and download a PDF guide on the topic of the episode. She also remembers to include the Leaddigit in her show notes on her site, just in case someone comes looking for it:
Again, this is a great example of matching the scope of your giveaway to the channel: a podcast has time to dive pretty deep into a topic, so listeners will be ready for a more substantial information resource.
9. Get Parade Watchers on Your Team (or into Your Business)
I admit, this isn’t something you’re going to be able to do every day (unless you’re a mascot at a theme park). But if the opportunity presents itself, why not take it?
When the Leadpages team had the opportunity to participate in this year’s Twin Cities Pride Parade, we decided to use Leaddigits in two ways.
First, we had a band of roving photographers snapping photos of parade-goers and displaying the sign above. When people opted into the Leaddigit, they were sent a link to view a photo gallery and download their own pics. While not primarily a lead-gen tactic, this did have the opportunity to spark interest in the company (and the neat tool making that email possible), so we included a few key links for recipients to check out.
Our People & Culture team also saw the parade as an opportunity to do some local recruiting:
If anyone watching wanted the chance to see what our team was all about—and maybe apply for a job—all they had to do was text a second Leaddigit to get a welcome message and a nudge toward our open positions.
10. Use Tweets + Leaddigits as Content Teasers
Turn up the JayZ and dance like no one's watching! Then do it again. Learn the rest of my energy tricks : Text ENERGYNOW to 33444
— Nicole Keating (@EpicWell) September 13, 2016
Minus the Leaddigit, podcaster Nicole Keating’s tweet above would be … well, a perfectly ordinary tweet, the kind of playful message anyone might send to their friends and followers.
And that’s its charm. Because this tweet doesn’t scream “I’M AN AD,” viewers are more likely to absorb its message and opt in for more of Nicole’s wit and wellness tips.
For dozens of other ideas for using Leaddigits, be sure to grab our PDF guide, “50 Ways to Use Leaddigits to Grow Your Email List,” right here:
Have you used Leaddigits somewhere interesting? Is it weird that I didn’t use Leaddigits to give away the bonus download in this post? Let me know in the comments.