Barbara Casey brings an extensive depth of marketing experience in SMS text engagement. Her mission is to help small business owners compete with robust marketing tech once only available to large brands.
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7 Text Marketing Ideas Using SMS Text that small Business Owners can Implement Quickly!
Sure, text marketing continues to grow as a viable option for the big brands. But now, small business owners have affordable and powerful options.
Simple Real Time Communication
Simply put, text marketing is the most cost effective and easiest way to reach your customers on the go. SMS Text for business, delivers a 98% open rate within 5 minutes, which is nearly real-time communication.
And here’s the key aspects where you should focus your attention – Which would you rather choose:
A) Pay the big social networks to access your customers and followers -or-
B) Invest in your own database where you can reach all of your customers and followers directly, how you want and when you want?
Because you’re running a business and you’re smart, (you’re reading the Mobile High 5 blog after all) you are wise to be leaning toward option B.
See, the large social networks are monetizing access to YOUR followers, fans and customers. Then, they effectively “rent” them back to you in the way of paid advertising. Today, the reach of organic posts by businesses is limited and even if businesses increase the frequency of posts, their engagement with their follower base actually drops. In addition, you may not be able to predict with certainty who will see your sponsored posts or when. With SMS business messaging, you can do both.
One significant differentiator – if you pursue a primary focus on social media to reach your customer to get their attention, you are fishing in a very large pond, full of competitors and distractions. With text marketing, you reach your customer directly with a custom-branded message with a clear call to action – no distractions!
What to do next? You should explore how you can take back control of your communication with your customers and your ability to see the results of your efforts, nearly instantly.
As you consider options, you should realize that there is more to text marketing than just a simple alert. You can use this mode of communication in many ways to grow your business, customer service, to get feedback and more. There are many features such as multi-media images that further drive engagement, custom branded loyalty rewards and perfectly-timed mobile coupons that drive customers back to your location.
Here are 7 Text Marketing ideas that are worth Exploring:
1) Text Voting:
Customers can complete a survey that comes through as a link on a text message, allowing them to choose their answer A, B or C. Or they can simply reply to one question you send, for instance a retail store can ask customers which types of items they would like to see more of in your store. A breakfast/lunch restaurant can ask customers whether they should expand their hours to include evenings and dinner. Gauge interest in the best date for an event you are planning. You can then easily review and categorize the results.
2) Text-to-Win / Sweepstakes:
This is a great tool to increase engagement, foot traffic and grow participants in your database. Create a promotion that runs each month for a sweepstakes.
With kiosk-based programs, such as those with Mobile High 5, when customers check in and enter their mobile number, they qualify for one entry into the monthly sweepstakes. We can also run these campaign sweepstakes as a text-to-win, where customers text in a keyword to the designated short code to enter.
We find if you offer an attractive prize, such as a gift card, new item or gift from another local business, customers come in more frequently to make sure they are entered for a chance to win the monthly prize. Have some fun, publicize the contest and people will tell their friends to enter. More traffic = more sales.
At the end of the period, a winner is automatically selected at random and a text is sent to the winner. No management time required by you or your staff; It all happens automatically! You may also choose to send an automated text to the non-winners with a special offer. So really, everyone is a winner!
3) Birthday Clubs:
A birthday club is a perfect way to give back to customers! Customers are in a celebratory mood when you send a special offer near or on their big day and that means they often spend more!
During the opt-in process, you simply invite a customer to join your birthday club, letting them know what they are likely to receive around their birthday. You instruct them to reply with their birthday – just the month and day is sufficient.
When they reply that date gets added to their customer profile. As they near their birthday, you can set up a special birthday offer to be sent automatically.
This process benefits you as the flow of traffic will be spread out over the course of the year giving you a chance to get to know your customers as well. We see Birthday club offers with a high double-digit redemption rate. If you could get each customer back one more time each year, what would that mean to your annual revenue?
4) Appointment Reminders:
Using the built-in calendar tool that is offered through Mobile High 5, businesses can set up the appointments and then automatically send a reminder to the customers at a set time in advance of their appointment. A perfect solution to reduce no-shows and optimize your capacity and scheduling. Customer also appreciate the timely reminders.
5) Text to Screen:
At a large corporate event, social gathering, or wedding consider use of a large screen so that attendees can add pictures and messages to the big screen. We set up a keyword so that images and messages are captured on screen and we can add a monitoring step as well. You can have the MC announce they keyword for everyone to text in their favorite photos during the evening. All you need is a laptop connected to a TV screen. As people text in their photos and good wishes they will show up on the big screen during the event!
6) Fundraising Text to Pledge:
Are you running a nonprofit? Do you support a local non-profit? During your annual event, you can use this same text-to-screen feature but modify it to make it a text-to-pledge.
Again, an emcee announces that you can text in your pledge to your custom keyword. Guests text in their pledge and as they do, the pledges show up anonymously on the big screen and throughout the evening the thermometer on the side of the screen fills up! Once someone texts their pledge in, they get a bounce back text with a button that will take them to a third-party donation fulfillment service to complete the donation. No limit on the size of the donation like you’ll see with text-to-donate programs.
7) Message Segmentation:
As your database grows, you should analyze and use the data to provide different offers to different segments. Perhaps you want to reward your more frequent customers with a juicy offer, or you may want to entice customers who have not recently visited. In addition to the date the customer joined and recent visit, depending on your custom design, you can capture and segment on customer preferences, spend amount, favorite brands, size, etc. It’s all about the data, baby. At Mobile High 5, we understand how to use the data to impact both customer engagement and your bottom line.
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This post merely scratches the surface. There are many more ways to use text marketing, limited only by your imagination.
Interested in learning more about text message marketing for your small business or organization? Reach out for a free 30-minute marketing consultation. Learn all about how to to grow with Mobile High 5!