You hear it all the time now, “Text ‘Join' to 12345 to join our email list and get your free bonus!”

Sure, it sounds cool … a listener is driving along, listening to a podcast, when they hear the “text to join” spiel. All they have to do is grab their phone, create a new text to someone that's not a contact already, remember the word to text, remember the number to text, text it, get a reply asking for the email address, then text their email address.

Super, duper cool.

I think it's stupid.

Here are a few other reasons why I think this way:

1. It's 2 to 3 steps

As previously stated – the new subscriber has to send at least 2 texts to subscribe to the list. The first text is the keyword and the second one is their email address.

A 3rd step can enter the scene if the list is double opt-in.

That's a lot of steps you're asking of someone while they're listening to a podcast.

2. It's 2 different mediums

Texting is one form of communication while email is another. When you want someone to join your email list … why in the world would they also have to text you?

When you ask people to switch between mediums – some people aren't going to make the jump.

3. It costs more money

You're already spending money on an autoresponder service, now you have to spend money on a “text to join” plan … roughly $20/mo average.

Sure, it makes sense if it pays for itself; however … what if it doesn't?

4. You're stuck with the keyword you pick

Let's say you have the keyword ‘Join'. That's the word people text to the number of your “text to join” service. What happens if you decide you don't like that word. Or, maybe you want another word for a different email list.

Too bad. It's going to cost you extra – or, you won't be able to do it.

A Better Way

Yup, there is a better way! And it …

  • Is one step
  • Is all the same medium
  • Is free
  • Allows you to connect as many keywords to as many lists as you want

I'm about to show you one way to do it – if this way does not match your setup – still read through it to understand the concept … because no matter what your setup is, you'll be able to implement this if you understand the concept.

What You'll Need

  • A domain registar (I'll be using NameCheap, but all registrars have something similar)
  • An autoresponder service (I'll be using Aweber, but all autoresponder services have something similar)

Step 1: Get List's Email Address

The first thing you'll need to find is the email list you want people to subscribe to's private email address.

Aweber uses the “Unique List ID” and it looks like this:

Aweber Email Address

Find it, copy it, open your domain registar.

Step 2: Setup Email Forward

I'm using NameCheap; however, all registrars allow you to forward emails – you just need to figure out where those features are.

All you need to do is setup your email forward with whatever keyword you want (ie. join) and add the Aweber List Email Address as the Destination Email.


Save Changes and test it out.

Step 3: Test

Send a blank email to the email forwarding address you just setup (ie.

Make sure you get your Welcome Email:

Welcome Message

It works!

That's literally all you have to do.

Advertise It!

Now, instead of saying, “Text ‘Join' to 12345 to join our email list and get your free bonus!” all you'll have to say is “Send a blank email to for your free bonus”.

Much easier for subscribers to remember, less steps, same medium, and it's free … do you now see why I say, “Texting to join an email list is stupid”?