Subtext is an easy way to engage and connect with your fans and followers. Figuring out how to monetize that audience is the next step. Subtext helps brands and creators monetize their SMS communities in a variety of ways; some have monetized by offering their campaigns for a monthly fee, while others have used Subtext as a way to generate revenue from affiliate links. One of the other ways our partners have been monetizing their channel is through sponsorship.
Sponsored texts are simple. As SMS gives you direct access to an audience, at a 95%+ open rate, it also provides the perfect opportunity to pitch to advertisers. Advertisers can pay you to be promoted within your text channel. There are two methods of sponsorship. One is to have an advertiser sponsor the overall text channel and another is to have advertisers sponsor individual messages.
With an advertiser sponsoring an entire text channel, they are able to make sure their brand and messaging is consistently in front of their target audience. The campaign can be "presented by" the advertiser and promoted throughout the signup processes as well as throughout the campaign. You, as the brand, are able to build your own guidelines for the sponsorship to ensure your audience is receptive. Semafor and Verizon are putting that to the test in their "10 Minute Texts" series and the Verizon-exclusive series "A Conversation with Verizon.
With individual messages, a sponsor can "power" individual texts being sent. Subtext super host andFlorida Politicspublisher Peter Schorsch runs the campaign “Florida Politics news alerts and analysis” by bringing his subscribers the latest news and analysis on Florida’s State Legislative Session and beyond. Since launching in 2021, Peter has managed to grow authentic connections with a Subtext community of over 2k subs. A solid audience size coupled with high engagement metrics allowed him and the Florida Politics team to pitch sponsorship opportunities to advertisers.
How Did They Do It?
We spoke with Peter about how he facilitates his sponsorships. "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."
It seems as if receiving an ad from a trusted individual directly to a consumer’s phone, doesn’t feel so much like an ad. Also of note is how Florida Politics has gotten some of their sponsors; by inquiring about the audience they’ve already built!
Peter explained how sponsorships allowed him to expand his business. "By the time we're done paying the reporter and overhead costs, we make about 10-15 thousand a year for the business as well. I've had two reporters develop for this role and they've had to learn to write for text, but we make the money back. You do that 20 times and you’ve got a newsroom."
Sponsored texts open up numerous opportunities for brands and creators to grow their businesses. If you are looking to text with your audience and acquire additional streams of revenue, schedule a demo with the Subtext team.