Generating Revenue Through SMS

Texting is a space reserved for people your audience trusts and allows you to have meaningful engagement with your biggest fans and drive long-term loyalty. It also gives you an opportunity to drive incremental revenue by monetizing your channel. Subtext has a variety of proven methods for generating revenue through SMS.

Paid Subscription

What is it and how does it work?

A paid subscription on Subtext means a fan or follower is paying a monthly fee to gain exclusive access to a brand or creator via text. This monetization strategy works best for someone who has a highly engaged following and wants to offer exclusive, text-based content that their fans couldn’t get elsewhere. Let’s dive into some successful examples.

Buckeye Talk writer Doug Lesmerises and Ohio State writers Stephen Means and Nathan Baird wanted to create an exclusive community for their “Buckeye Talk” podcast listeners and find new ways to financially support their podcast. They launched their Subtext campaign for $3.99/month with a 14-day free trial. The campaign delivered direct access to the hosts, exclusive content, and the ability to submit questions to be read in the next episode. 
Buckeye Talk saw that 67% of subscribers converted to paid customers after their trial period and they are now generating over $50k in revenue a year while creating genuine connections with their audience.Buckeye Talk

The MMA Shark

After spending years giving his picks away for free, Paul turned to Subtext to see how he could turn his handicapping hobby into a successful business. Paul charges a hefty premium for his services($109.99/mo), but subscribers who use his service make that money back through betting on his picks and see the value in getting his texts in real-time. By leveraging his Facebook followers and heavily promoting The MMA Shark on the top MMA sites, Paul was able to build up his subscriber base and now is generating over $22,000 per month in revenue. Additionally, his audience loves his SMS service, which boasts a churn rate of under 2%. He also leveraged his following to collect donations to Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, a cause close to his heart, which accumulated to a $20,000 donation.MMA Shark-Sep-25-2023-04-17-29-7295-PM

Affiliate Links

What is it and how does it work?

Affiliate marketing has been a monetization strategy for media organizations and creators for a long time. By recommending a product, they can earn a commission on any sales made through their personal link. We’ve seen this be successful for Subtext clients who run shopping and deal text campaigns in particular. These campaigns send texts alerting subscribers on sales and deals for items they recommend or subscribers have asked for. Subtext clients see an average click-through rate of over 20% so this has proven to be a great channel to add to an overall affiliate strategy. Let’s take a look at an example.

Tech Journalism

A client in the tech journalism space wanted to engage its Subtext community, and subsequently, drive affiliate revenue by promoting exclusive Prime Day deals via text. The campaign was a huge hit. Five of the top 25 overall most purchased Prime Day items were promoted through their texting channel, including a deal that was shared exclusively with their SMS audience. Their followers loved the deals so much, they brought them back, sending a hot find almost daily.Prime Day Deals 


What is it and how does it work?

Advertisers can sponsor your text channel or even power individual text messages. SMS gives a sponsor direct access to an audience that has a consistent 98%+ open rate and an average click-through rate of 20%. Sponsorship allows you to set guidelines, ensuring your audience is receptive and the sponsorship feels natural.

Florida Politics

Since 2021, Subtext host Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics has been running a campaign bringing his followers the latest on politics in Florida. He managed to grow that following to over 2,000 subscribers. A great audience plus solid engagement meant there was an opportunity for him to monetize his following. Peter chose to have sponsors power individual texts. He carefully selected advertisers that wouldn’t feel too intrusive, including some suggestions that came from his followers.Florida Politics-1

“We basically reserve the last 50 characters of a text for something like "This update is powered by lobbying firm X" and we sell 8 slots where people can sponsor the text messages. They do not know what text they're sponsoring and we rotate them around. So every 8 texts you get your sponsor message, but you don't know what the info will be that you're sponsoring."

Top of Funnel

What is it and how does it work?

Top of funnel means using your SMS channel as a marketing channel for paid opportunities elsewhere. Your text channel can be used to aggregate your most engaged fans that you can then market opportunities to such as ticketed events, merchandise, and exclusive paid communities.


Ross knew that his most engaged fans would sign up for his text community, allowing it to be a perfect marketing channel for his premium subscription service. Along with sharing his latest YouTube videos, Ross also shares links to his website to encourage his followers to sign up for his paid community which includes exclusive content. By mixing in the premium-access content, he continues to see his followers engage with his YouTube channel, which is monetized, without losing followers that are unable to pay for premium content. It’s the best of both worlds.RossCreations


Whether you’re looking to create a subscription, promote affiliate links, engage sponsors, or generate traffic to an already-monetized channel, texting helps you generate revenue. Subtext is your partner in determining the best methods and implementation for your texting channel. If you want to learn more about how to drive revenue with Subtext, schedule a time to talk to our platform experts.

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