Generating (and Converting) Text Leads: Strategies for 2024

March 24, 2024 (Updated) | By Sam Pelton
Generating (and Converting) Text Leads: Strategies for 2024

We live in a digital world.

Attention spans are shrinking. Competition for customers' attention is fierce.

That’s why you want to get in front of leads in a way that they’ll actually notice and pay attention to.

Enter the power of text leads.

Texting is a simple and effective, yet strangely neglected, method of marketing that helps you reach leads where they’re actually looking: their phones.

In this article, we’ll explore the untapped potential of text leads and provide you with valuable insights on how to harness this powerful tool to fuel your business growth. From strategies to generate text leads to nurturing and converting them into loyal customers, we'll cover all the essentials to help you unlock the full potential of SMS marketing.

So let's dive in and discover how text leads can propel your business to new heights.

What Are Text Leads?

Text leads are sales leads you’ve captured using practices related to SMS marketing.

This form of marketing involves sending targeted text messages to individuals who have provided you with their phone numbers. With the widespread use of mobile devices and the growing preference for text-based communication, text leads are a crucial segment in the digital marketing arsenal.

By using the power of SMS marketing, businesses can establish direct and personalized communication channels with their potential customers, leading to increased engagement, higher conversion rates, and ultimately, business growth.

Why Text Leads?

One legitimate question is… why text leads? We have so many other effective marketing channels and maybe you just don’t have the bandwidth to look into implementing another one.

But texting leads is beneficial for a number of reasons…

High Read Rates

SMS has reported read rates of up to 98%.

This makes sense when you think about it—how often do you let any text message ever go unread? Most likely, never.

Well, everyone else is like you too.

For businesses, this means that when you send a text message, you can be confident that people will open your message (which is certainly not true for most other marketing methods).

This alone makes texting a powerful option for reaching leads with valuable content to help drive conversions with a greater likelihood of success.

Cutting Through the Noise

Many people have their phones on hand almost 24/7. By some reports, Americans check their phones an average of 46 times per day.

With how glued people are to their phones, the ability to text leads gives you access to really reach them with the messaging that you want them to see, in a way that they’re less likely to ignore than if you relied solely on emails, social media, or other marketing avenues.

Whether it's driving sales, promoting special offers, or increasing event attendance, you can rely on text leads to deliver compelling and persuasive messages that lead to a higher rate of conversions, ultimately boosting your bottom line.

Personal Approach

Texting has a more personal and direct nature than many other forms of communication. Even with email, which is also direct, people are so used to getting inundated with marketing emails that they've trained themselves to ignore most messages.

Remember how we asked before how many texts you typically allow to go unread? (And we determined, probably none.) Now think about how many emails you let sit there in your inbox, remaining unread for all of history.

Texting, on the other hand, reaches your leads in the same place that they’re communicating with their friends and loved ones—which is not so much the case anymore with email.

The potential effectiveness of this form of personal communication is obviously significant.

Wide Reach

With texting, you can reach almost anyone, anywhere.

Case in point: Pew Research Center reports that 97% of Americans own a cell phone.

This makes text messaging a particularly ideal channel for businesses looking to expand their reach and target leads in different geographical areas.

With texting, you don’t need to rely on people seeing a billboard or hearing a local radio ad. Your texts can reach people no matter where they are.


While many marketing methods, such as online ads or print media, can add up costs quickly, texting doesn’t have to break the bank.

Part of the reason for that is you only pay for the messages you need to send.

Furthermore, since texting has a greater effectiveness in reaching and engaging leads, you don’t need to send as many messages as, say, email, in order to see a positive ROI. So since you don’t necessarily need to send a lot of messages, you don’t necessarily need to pay for a lot of messages.

Strategies for Generating Text Leads Initially

So you understand that text leads are valuable and that texting is a powerful solution for converting people into customers.

But how do you generate those leads—particularly in the initial stages of the lead gen process? How do you even get them interested in giving you their phone number?

Here are a few strategies.


In order to make people interested in signing up for your texts, you typically need to offer some kind of incentive.

The incentive must be appealing enough that it entices people to give away their precious phone number. (Because people are more protective of their phone number than they are of their email address.)

Sometimes, more immediate incentives can be better—for example: “Get a free appetizer if you join our exclusive text club!” But you can also incentivize with things that don’t really impact your bottom line much—such as “raffle entries” for a giveaway item.

This concept of incentivizing applies to any tactic you use for collecting text leads.

Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation

Through your website, you can generate text leads in many of the same ways that you generate other kinds of leads. This can include:

Landing Pages

Make sure you’re creating compelling landing pages that really speak to your prospects and make them actually interested in providing their phone number so you can send them texts.

Include copy that really speaks to their pains and their wants, and use CTA’s that are clear and persuasive.

Side note: when it comes to CTAs, Copyhackers suggests that it’s best to avoid friction words like “buy,” “submit,” and “sign up.” Even words like “join,” “start” or “learn” can have an element of friction that may subtly give visitors pause. Instead, it’s better to use words like “get” or “discover.”

Whatever verbiage you use, make sure the CTA’s clearly communicate the benefit of signing up for text updates or exclusive offers.

Pop-ups & Web Banners

Pop-up forms and web banners strategically placed on your website can help you capture new text leads.

These attention-grabbing elements can be triggered based on specific user behaviors or time spent on your site. What is sometimes useful are “exit intent” pop-ups which are triggered when your visitor is about to leave the site.

(Just try not to be annoying when implementing these!)

Use Social Media

Social media isn’t the most reliable way to communicate things to your audience (hence why you want to use SMS). But it still might be able to help you collect a few text leads.

You can create posts including your incentive to join your text list, with a link to a page where people can provide their phone number. Or you can include instructions for people to text-to-join—a feature available with SMS platforms that allows people to text in a particular word in order to be automatically added to your text list.

Publish this post across all of your social media channels at strategic times and see if it helps you grow your list of text leads.

Use Email

You already have a list of email leads. (Even though I don’t actually know you or your business, I still think this is safe to assume.)

Although the people on your email list are already technically leads, you can generate them into text leads as well, giving you more potential to reach and convert them into customers.

Just like with social media, you can send out email blasts offering your incentive for people to sign up. You can share a link to your sign-up page or your “text-to-join” instructions.

Simple blasts like this could do a lot to help you grow your text list.

Strategies for Nurturing and Converting Text Leads

Once you have leads added to your text list, you can start sending them text campaigns to help nurture and convert them into customers.

Here are a few ways you can do that.

Offer Discounts and Promotions

The most common way sales-based businesses use texting is to offer discounts and promotions.

Sending a promotion via text gets the discount right in front of your prospective customers—which makes them much more likely to follow through with a purchase.

However, you’ll want to be careful not to send too many discounts, or else you’ll not only annoy people but you’ll also make them hesitant to purchase from you at full price.

Provide Valuable Content

Aside from promotions, you can offer other types of valuable content that will be helpful to your prospects.

For example, here at Mobile Text Alerts we use SMS to offer prospects a personalized 1-on-1 demo as well as links to educational content so they can get more info.

If you provide content that’s actually useful, your leads will be more likely to stay subscribed—and eventually convert.

Engage in Automated Drip Campaigns

You can incorporate texting into your drip campaign flows for leads, sending out different series of messages automatically with the intention of engaging and converting.

We’ll touch more on this a bit later, but you can change your journey messaging according to different factors such as:

  • Stage of awareness
  • What actions users have taken
  • Demographics (age, gender, location, or other demographic factors)

Experimenting with different kinds of copy, messaging cadences, and interplay between SMS and email will help you determine what types of flows work best for your messages.

Send Reminders and Follow-Ups

When leads express interest or take action with regards to your site or products, you can use texting to respond promptly with personalized interactions.

Send personal reminders and follow-ups as appropriate to help nurture that lead into conversion.

An SMS platform like Mobile Text Alerts allows you to have easy back-and-forth communication with leads via texting in a dedicated online inbox.

Optimize Based on Data

After some of your nurturing efforts have been going on for a while, you’ll be able to start analyzing data on your campaign results.

You can then optimize your campaigns based on that data to help you have the most successful campaigns possible.

For example…

  • Are certain times of day getting you better results than others? Keep sending at those times.
  • Is including images in your messages getting you better results than text-only? Keep sending texts with images.
  • Are shorter messages getting you better results than longer messages? Keep sending shorter messages.

By closely monitoring and analyzing your text leads' performance, you can make data-driven decisions to enhance conversion rates and overall campaign effectiveness.

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Tips and Best Practices for Text Lead Generation

We all love a good tip!

Here are a few general tips for sending texts to leads.

Get Permission

It’s best practice to make sure you have people’s permission before sending them texts.

This used to be a hard-and-fast legal requirement for SMS marketing under the regulations of the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). A Supreme Court ruling has since lessened the legal restrictions—but the “best practice” tip remains.

People will be more receptive to your texts if they willingly agree to receive them. And making sure you have permission will also help prevent your messages from getting filtered out as spam by the mobile phone carriers.

Give Value, Value, Value!

We mentioned this already but it bears repeating—make sure you provide value.

Value is what keeps people interested and engaged and convinces them to convert.

Value can come in a lot of forms:

  • Discounts
  • Education
  • Updates
  • Actual goods or services
  • Expert advice

The list goes on! Think about what your leads want, and give it to them.

Find Your Cadence

In terms of cadence, you don’t want to treat texting leads the same way as emailing leads.

Texting typically can’t be done as frequently as some other marketing methods, due to its very nature—people are used to primarily receiving texts from people they know and love. They don’t want their texting inboxes bombarded with marketing message after marketing message.

Be considerate of this and don’t send too many texts. It may take a while to find what cadence works best for your audience, but after some testing, you can find your groove.

Our recommendation is to start with just 2–4 texts per month. You may be able to ramp up (or may even have to pull back) once you see what kinds of results you get.

Be Compliant

You’ll have the best experience in texting leads if you maintain compliance with the mobile carrier regulations.

The mobile carriers have several recommendations/requirements including items such as:

  • Registering your traffic so that the mobile carriers can pre-approve it
  • Not including publicly shortened links in your texts
  • Not including “SHAFT” content that promotes sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco/drugs

Mobile Text Alerts will help walk you through all of these rules, and will even submit your registration forms on your behalf. (So don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!)

Consider Using MMS

“MMS” refers to text messages that contain media, such as images.

You should consider including images as you’re texting leads, since many people are more likely to engage with visual elements.

However, keep in mind that MMS messages cost more to send than regular text messages, so you’ll need to take that into account when considering whether you should include media in your messages.

Tips and best practices for text lead generation

How to Text Leads

All this talk about texting leads is all well and good, but how do you actually do it?

Here’s how.

Step 1: Find an SMS Platform

Unless you’re a part of a very small business and are able to handle all the texting from a regular phone, you’ll need to get set up on an SMS platform.

SMS platforms like Mobile Text Alerts allow you to manage a database of text subscribers and text leads at scale.

Select an SMS platform that gives you:

  • Easy ways to collect your text leads’ phone numbers
  • Contact management capabilities, so that you can group your subscribers into different segments
  • An easy-to-use interface
  • Reporting that allows you to analyze results

(And, of course, make sure the pricing fits with your budget.)

Step 2: Start Generating Text Leads

After you have an SMS platform set up and good to go, you’re ready to start generating leads.

You can use one of the many strategies listed above to help with this. Your SMS platform will provide tools to help you collect subscriber phone numbers. Some of these include:

Take advantage of one or more of the solutions listed above, and remember to offer an incentive to help convince people to provide their phone number.

Step 3 (Optional): Segment Your Lists

As with any level of marketing, if you want to be the most effective as you’re texting leads, it’s best to segment different groups within your lists.

Segmenting helps you be more targeted in your approach as you plan out your marketing messages.

How you segment your audience will depend upon your specific business and goals, but some examples could include:

  • You could have different segments according to different levels of awareness—that way, you can target messages to speak to exactly where your prospect is at the current stage of their journey within your sales funnel
  • You could have different segments according to particular demographics—that way, you can target messages that are most likely to resonate with the particular age group or gender or geographical region (or whatever other demographic) that you’re trying to reach
  • You could have different segments according to the industries your leads belong to—that way, you can target messages according to what type of use case your prospects may have for their particular industry

Step 4: Set Up Your Messages

Once you have your text leads all ready to go, you’re ready to start sending messages. Or you can start setting up your messaging campaigns ahead of time.

Either way, you’ll need to set up your messages within your SMS platform by typing out the content and selecting the audience.

You’ll just input the content you want to send, select whether or not you’d like to include any other content (such as an image, a trackable link, or your recipients’ first names)—then you click “Save” or “Send.”

Step 5: Monitor Response

Although you can set up automated replies if you don’t have the bandwidth to monitor the responses to your campaigns, it’s best if you can have someone personally monitor and reply back to any responses.

That kind of one-on-one engagement can help you be more likely to convert your text lead, and texting is an ideal communication method for back-and-forth interactions like that.

Step 6: Analyze Results

As mentioned previously, make sure to analyze your results so that you can make data-informed decisions about how to optimize your campaigns.

It may take a little while to get the hang of things, but if you’re paying attention, you can start to see what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t.

Get Started with Texting Leads Today

The wonderful world of texting is brimming with possibilities. All you have to do is get started.

You can test out a free trial account of our SMS platform Mobile Text Alerts today. Give it a try here so you can get a feel for how it works.

Get a Free 14-Day Trial Account

Start sending mass text messages to your entire list today!