Why We’re Betting Big on Mobile SMS Marketing (and a Sneak Peek at Our Newest Product)

Two hours and 46 minutes per day.

That’s the average amount of time Americans spend on mobile devices, according to mobile analytics platform Flurry. (And the rest of the world isn’t too far behind.)

We’re seemingly inseparable from those little rectangles we hold in our pockets — yet many businesses are still ignoring the huge opportunity this inseparability creates: mobile marketing.

Most likely, you’re already aware that it’s important to create a smooth mobile experience for your prospects. This means having things like a mobile-responsive website that’s easy to navigate, and mobile-responsive landing pages (something we’ve always created at LeadPages™).

But the opportunity you may be missing involves a different aspect of mobile — SMS text message marketing.

SMS text message marketing is a powerful way to get potential customers to do things like opt-in to your email list or register for a webinar all by sending a simple text message, rather than opting in on a web form.

This opens up an entire new channel for potential customers to interact with your business. And what’s more powerful than allowing potential customers to engage with your business on the device they’re already connected to more than any other throughout the day?

That’s why LeadPages™ is only a few days away from releasing a new mobile SMS marketing tool that will allow you to tap into this much-discussed but often overlooked marketing channel.

But before we show you what that tool is (don’t worry, we’ll get to that), let’s take a minute to set the record straight on what exactly mobile SMS marketing is, and how you can harness it to generate leads in a completely new way.

What Is Mobile SMS Marketing?

SMS stands for Short Message Service, but for practical purposes we’ll just say it’s a fancy word for something you send and receive every day — a text message.

Naturally, SMS marketing involves engaging with your customers (or giving them the ability to engage with you) via text messages.

You’ve likely already seen numerous examples of businesses capitalizing on SMS marketing in ways like the following example:

A realtor could place a sign like this at their property to attract leads.

You will also find people utilizing SMS marketing in instances like:

  • Speaking Engagements: The speaker tells audience members they can send a text and receive a copy of the presentation slides, join an email list, etc. (“Text SLIDES to 55555 and I’ll send you a copy of this presentation and add you to my email list so we can stay in touch.”)
  • Podcasting: The podcaster lets listeners send a text to receive things like a PDF of the show notes, or to get emails about new episodes. (“Text LISTEN to 55555 and I’ll send you an email every time a new episode is live so you won’t miss it.”)
  • Brick-and-Mortar Businesses: Business owners can advertise coupons or discounts for customers who subscribe via text. (“Text DEALS to 55555 to get email updates about our latest offers, deals, and discounts.”)

After this potential customer sends the text, they receive a response which asks for their email address. When they reply with their email address, they receive a thank you message and are instantly added to the sender’s email list.

This type of SMS marketing allows you to tap into how connected people are to their mobile devices and how comfortable they are with text messaging. In many instances it’s much easier to text a short word to a short number than to open an Internet browser, type in a URL, and then fill out a form.

It makes collecting leads and building your email list much easier in many “offline” formats.

Which brings us to the all-new tool we’ve built that will allow you to do all of the things described in this post in your own business.

The Tool We’ve Created So You Can Dive into SMS Text Message Marketing

Right now, a small number of LeadPages™ users already have access to this new feature. However, in just a few days we’ll be starting a special launch that will allow you to get access to it as soon as it’s released.

It’s called LeadDigits™, and to show you how it works we’ve put together a 60-second video that gives you a chance to experience LeadDigits™ for yourself right now. You’ll also see how to make sure you’re the first to know when we start our limited-time launch of this feature a few days from now.

Check out the video now:

NOTE: LeadDigit™ short codes like 33444 are currently only available to U.S. mobile carriers. Message and data rates may apply. Stay tuned for more information about international numbers and usage.

After you watch the video, leave a comment and let us know — how would you utilize SMS text message marketing in your business?

  • Andrew Hamilton

    Trying to send you a text and it will not deliver …

    • Hey Andrew, I just tested it myself again and received a text back. Make sure you’re only texting the word DEMO and nothing else to 33444.

      • Gary Elley

        And for international users?

        • Hey Gary, short codes like 33444 will currently only work with U.S. mobile carriers.

  • Great new technology. How about international availability? In which countries will it be available?

    • Hi, thanks Steven! LeadDigits will currently work on any mobile devices capable of sending text messages to U.S. numbers, but international data rates may apply depending on your mobile carrier and plan functions. The short codes (like 33444) currently will only work with U.S. mobile carriers, but the longer ones are not limited just to U.S. mobile carriers.

      • Thanks Will. How long is a longer code, how many digits more or less? And can I test LeadDigits from Belgium as well, by sending to a longer code than 33444?

        • The longer code is 11 digits. If you have a device that can send texts to U.S. numbers, then it should work. If you’d like to try, I just set up an 11-digit one for you to test. You can text TEST123 to 14804181470 to try it. (Again international data rates may apply depending on your mobile carrier and plan functions.)

          • Tamar

            I tried this from Australia but it wasn’t delivered.

          • If it are very easy to remember 11 Digits, that would be really cool.

  • aj

    Hi – I sent a text to 33444 and got an service access denied message.

    • Hi AJ, my apologies for the confusion. Short codes like 33444 will currently only work with U.S. mobile carriers. So if you’re outside the U.S., you may receive a message like that. Next week we’ll have more details on international usage.

      • aj

        Hi @WillHoekenga:disqus I’m in Atlanta, GA, and my carrier is T-Mobile. 🙂

        • Hi AJ, I had some of our folks in support and engineering look into this and it looks like it’s an occasional issue unique to T-Mobile. T-Mobile has a feature called “3rd Party Services Block” that can prevent their customers from being able to send texts to short codes (not just LeadDigits short codes, but all short codes). If you reach out to their support, they should be able to help you disable that feature.

          • aj

            It’s working now!!

            -Sent from my phone.

          • Glad to hear it, AJ. 🙂

  • cschampagne

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m excited about this new idea and will be using it to encourage people to sign up for my interior design webinars right from their phone. I’m not sure how to begin, but will be looking forward to the tutorial on the protocol for encouraging leads to text me. So far I haven’t done any videos (I lack equipment and technology for that in this early stage of my online marketing effort.) so it will be helpful to learn how to reach the leads to get them to text… Facebook? Email? Blog? All of the above? I love LeadPages!

    • Jeff Wenberg

      Hey there! We’ll be launching this next week and will definitely have more tips and tutorials as LeadDigits continues to grow and expand. I would definitely say all of the above for finding your audience. Are you using our webinar registration pages to register people for your webinars or what’s your current method?

  • Tom Winand

    I have used a water down version of this as a Realtor and it really works. With the integration of being added to your email marketing platform is very powerful. Can’t wait to see how this baby works!

    • Stay tuned, Tom. More details coming soon!

      • Tom Winand

        I’m signed up for the Thursday
        webinar is that the launch or is there a better way to know when you launch it
        next week. Launches and next week are sometimes an open ended term LOL.
        Like Free Beer tomorrow! I’m excited because it’s a less intrusive way to
        get their re-contact info then putting a QR code and asking them to give you an
        email address and then opt in to get what they want; lots of room for mischief there. With this they text you, you then have the
        mobile device and permission to send them info on that topic. How
        about no opt in, no filling out a capture page while driving. No mistakes
        or use of the marketing email account that they don’t read. Yes most
        people have one! If it’s not too many Washington’s or in this case Andrew
        Jacksons I’m in. Things this works flawlessly for any retail or service
        item that may go on sale, run a special or do a price drop, from time to time
        it’s a must. The real estate thing is perfect for price drops open house
        notification new listing, daily foreclosure deals, or just best weekly home on
        the market for a city. Also how about Mortgage companies on rate and loan
        lock alerts for their potential customers? A billboard that says what to
        know when rates get to 2.9% text 2.9 to xxxxx. Of course rates are at 2.9% on a
        15 year loan so they get a great news response back imminently. They would kill
        it on that billboard. PS your welcome please just don’t do it in Salt Lake City
        I have a client for that one. Or how about Restaurants that have a couple of
        very slow nights let’s say Tuesday. They want to increase their business they run
        1/2 price special to bring in customers that dine out on those nights. I don’t
        know about your area but here Tuesday night are $4 movies at Cinemark so a text
        of “Tuesday is the new Friday! How about dinner and a movie date night?
        $4 tickets at Cinemark 2 for 1 entree at “Dine and Wine” Show this and we’ll
        get you fed and to the show on time!” Now there’s perishable seller that
        wants to run a special on over stock expiring food. Like a fish market, “Sea Bass! well I
        do! So it’s $5.00 a pound until it’s gone tonight stop by Joe’s fish market on
        your way home” Restaurants, “Oysters are only $1 apiece tonight come to
        Joes Oyster house for a beer and plate and get your Mojo on” or produce
        grower to notify customers that produce is fresh and now available. Who isn’t
        going to “text in” to get info when their favorite business is giving them a deal?
        Really, you have to think about this! Really? I think, but don’t troll me on
        this one as seen in (FaceBook also makes it possible to target
        users by phone numbers through Custom Audiences.)
        When you have their cell phone # you can
        target ad stock them on FaceBook (love it) why because Facebook knows! Or
        how about just run an ad on Facebook, to them, that says please like our New
        Tuesday’s the new Friday Date night 1/2 entrée and Cinemark’s $4 Movie special” To build the likes. What if you wanted it viral in your community,
        give away a free dinner for 2 with $8 for tickets, and to those people that
        like you’re “Tuesday is the new Friday!” Post. You need the contact mobile # from this product
        to have a list to drive the likes to start that. The like this post and win viral contest is some
        other companies product and its bad form to sell here but you can do that on
        FaceBook likes, for a business post. Out of time so I’m done for now, Enjoy this
        post unless you’re in Salt Lake City and if you are, I’ll see you around campus

        • Jeff Wenberg

          Thanks for all the great ideas Tom. Just stay tuned on the blog here. We’ll be announcing the launch right here!

  • Di

    Looking forward to hearing details on international usage when it becomes available.

  • Damian Qualter

    when will uk numbers be available?? looks a great feature

    • Hi Damian, LeadDigits will eventually be available via a number of international phone numbers, but right now we can’t comment on exactly which countries will and will not be on the list.

  • Anant

    Will/Jeff: great feature: couple of questions:
    1. WIll this feature be only part of enterprise plan or include pro plan?
    2. CRM intergration: only the email marketing providers on your feature list? what about agile CRM?
    3. text barrier: I’m a t-mobile customer and when I sent the text to get the PDF it warned me that I may incurr addditional charges. This may be a barrier to consumers any workaround? Since I’m in the US is the text part of unlimited plan? if the consumer has to pay extra for a text then my whole marketing strategy for SMS is moot. thanks

    • Hi Anant, thanks! Regarding your questions:

      1. Stay tuned for details on this coming a few days from now. 🙂

      2. The only integrations LeadPages currently integrates with that LeadDigits will not immediately integrate with are AWeber and HubSpot. However, we are working on making those integrations available as well. Regarding the CRM you mentioned, it’s not currently listed as an integration, but our support team can often find ways to help you make the integration happen.

      3. Opt-in costs for opting into lists with LeadDigits will be determined by local carriers. We don’t set those prices.

  • Sounds really cool …. especially if international available with national numbers so customers don’t get international SMS costs on their phone bills.
    May be whatsapp or Telegram is a good international option.

    • Jeff Wenberg

      Robert, international will definitely be available. We just can’t comment yet on which countries will be added and at what point they’ll be added.

  • Carmen Brablec

    Hi Jeff,

    that product was the many reason to become customer with you. But, when will it be available for the german customers?


    • Jeff Wenberg

      Hey Carmen, LeadDigits will eventually be available via a number of international phone numbers, but right now we can’t comment on exactly which countries will and will not be on the list.

  • Nidal

    Hi Jeff and Will,

    For new customer who want to signup today, can you get the Lead Digits and Template importer with the Pro annual membership?

    I don’t see that offer on your site.

    Are you exhibiting at InfusionCon this month and are you running any promotions during the show


    • Jeff Wenberg

      Hi Nidal, to get the template importer you would need to be an Enterprise customer. LeadDigits will be available REEEEEALLY soon, so I’d check back for that. We do have a booth at ICON so we will see you there. As far as any promotions during the show, please stop by our booth and see what they have to say. Thanks!

      • Nidal

        I look forward to it

  • Nidal


    I would love to know how you do your Perfect videos and what equipment you use. It looks like you are speeding up the video and keeping it sounding great. Also when you switch from live video to the presentation video the sound stays consistent. Do you have a trick 🙂


    • Jeff Wenberg

      Hello again Nidal, we use a Rode shotgun mic for the live footage. For the video we use a mix of After Effects, Premiere, and Screenflow. The only trick is to just record all the audio first and then add video over the top of it. The audio becomes the foundation to build the rest of the video on. Hope that helps!

      • Nidal

        Thank for the info. The finished product is great and your videos are consistent.

        You should give a how to class 🙂
        Your youtube channel has great videos.

        • Jeff Wenberg

          Thanks Nidal, I appreciate that a lot! I’ll pass those comments on to Jack as well. (He makes the videos with me)