TURN YOUR BUSINESS AROUND IN JUST 160 CHARACTERS OR LESS!
THE SECRET TO GETTING NEW CUSTOMERS, LOYAL BUYERS AND MORE SALES WITH SIMPLE TEXT MESSAGE MARKETING …
YOUR BUSINESS IN YOUR CUSTOMERS HANDS.
STRONGER THAN EVER: 6 REASONS WHY TEXT MESSAGE MARKETING (SMS) WORKS BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE
In a world of increasing distractions, junk email and information overload, advertising your business can be hard work, especially if you’re on a budget.
But surprisingly, there’s one piece of “old” technology that can deliver what almost every other advertising method cannot; 100% delivery rates.
That technology is SMS (text messaging) and it’s now being used by small business owners to reach their perfect customers without landing in the junk email folder, without being thrown in the bin, and without being ignored on TV or radio.
Around 3.5 billion text messages are sent and received every day, which is more than the number of cellphone calls being made. That’s a threefold jump from 2007.
Today, we see inboxes full of never-opened email messages from marketers, yet at the same time, 97% of all SMS marketing messages are opened (83% within one hour) according to the latest research.
Here are 6 reasons that show why SMS marketing is essential for small businesses today:
70% of the world’s population has a mobile cellphone or device to receive SMS messages. 80% of cellphone subscribers use SMS regularly. Research also shows most mobile users keep their phones turned on over 80% of the time.
2) Bullet proof
Despite all the other ways we can communicate today, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, apps, Skype, text messaging remains the most popular. Not only is it more widely available and often more affordable than other technologies, but it’s easy to use.
3) Proven advertising channel
For many years, SMS has been widely accepted as a valid marketing channel by consumers, with many companies using SMS to keep in touch with offers, updates and special deals for their customers. However, with the distraction of the internet, many businesses continue to overlook the sheer untapped nature of SMS marketing. You can use this to your advantage.
SMS remains largely clutter free, in comparison to the average person’s inbox. Your marketing messages have much more visibility and a much greater chance of being read.
Besides sending basic 160 character text messages, SMS marketing can also include digital content such as animations, ringtones, pictures, logos, wallpapers and money-off coupons or vouchers.
6) Cheaper than other advertising
Once you have a database of customer’s cellphone numbers, you can continue to send out messages on a regular basis. The cost of sending these messages can be far more affordable and produce a greater ROI than running a newspaper, radio or T V advert. Remember that even though it’s not as cheap as email marketing, you’ll enjoy greater visibility, perfect audience targeting and guaranteed delivery; qualities you can’t expect from other platforms such as print or web advertising.
SMS IN A WORLD OF SMART PHONES? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT…
You might be tempted to think that smart phones – with all their fancy apps and internet communication tools – are going to kill off SMS text messages.
But that’s simply not the case. A recent a study showed that people get mobile text alerts seven times more than they used to with feature phones.
The beauty of SMS (and generally any type of mobile marketing) is that your customer’s mobiles are always on, always available, anytime, anywhere access between you and your customers.
9 SHOCKING FACTS THAT WILL OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE POWER OF SMS MARKETING
- There are 6.8 billion people on Earth. 4 Billion of them use a cellphone.
- 91% of adults have their mobile within arm’s reach, 24/7.
- 95% of brands use SMS to reach customers.
- 90% of SMS text messages are read within 3 minutes of being delivered.
- Mobile ads perform 4-5 times better than online ads.
- Mobile coupons receive 10 times higher redemption rates that print coupons.
- 33% of US mobile customers prefer offers via text message vs mobile web
- 50% of people surveyed made a purchase from retailers after receiving a text message.
- 43% of marketers use mobile technology, with 25% more planning to do so within the next 12 months, and a further 16% after that.
THE SECRET SAUCE TO A SUCCESSFUL SMS CAMPAIGN
The golden rules to consider when building, maintaining and operating a mobile marketing campaign for your business.
There are a lot of ways to approach SMS marketing, but like any other type of marketing, the key is to offer your audience real value in exchange for their details, and at the same time, offering total privacy with their sensitive data.
The beauty of SMS marketing is that you don’t need to worry how your message will look, or if it’s compatible with every possible mobile device out there. It’s easy and quick to set things up, but there’s a few things you should consider before you dive in.
Building the list
The first step is actually collecting cellphone numbers of your existing or potential new customers, with their permission of course.
Not only should messages be consensual and targeted, it should be simple for recipients to opt-out. If customers cannot reply to the message with “STOP”, they will be suspicious of your motives.
In order to actually collect their details, you’ll need to offer them something in exchange. This could be a special discount on certain products or services, for example.
Once you’ve decided on a juicy incentive, you’ll need a way to reach these people cost effectively. Existing customers are easier to reach as you can present them with flyers, emails or other forms of communication to ask for their cellphone number. You can also collect their cellphone number when they make a purchase, but again, make sure you’re open about it and you get their permission.
Non-customers can be reached through traditional advertising such as radio, newspaper, TV or online ads, or through your website.
Whether you’re reaching out to existing customers or potential new customers, you’ll need to make sure you have strong call to action; something that grabs the customer’s attention and encourages them to respond.
Competitions are a great way to draw large audience in, along with discounts or valuable information. You’ll notice that many daytime TV shows do this frequently. There’s a reason why.
In order to actually gain the person’s cellphone number, you can have short codes created so that the customer texts a keyword to a special number to opt-in to your list and receive instructions on how to receive their freebie.
Getting the best results
Once you begin to build a list of targeted cellphone users and potential customers, you’ll need to send out effective SMS text messages to encourage a purchase.
This means relevant messages with valuable offers. Just like any other type of marketing, your text messages must be compelling, or your audience will not respond. If the messages aren’t compelling the consumer will not respond. Equally, text messages that are not compelling and/or too frequent will result in people opting out of your service.
Crafting effective SMS messages requires skill, as there are only 160 characters to play with. Along with a compelling message, it helps to target different types of customers using SMS technology, so you can send customized offers to different groups of customers.
Another thing to consider is the timing of the message. You can tie SMS messages into popular events, times of the day, special dates and more, for a much higher response.
SMS CASE STUDIES: SEE HOW OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS ARE USING SMS TO IGNITE THEIR INCOME
CASE STUDY #1
Name of business: Ran Pass Liquors
Ran Pass was looking for a way to present their current and potential customers with weekly discounts, specials, events and other news, particularly during slower days. They wanted to offer a “TXT-2-Order” option for customers on the go.
How they used SMS text messaging
Ran Pass launched their text messaging program in two stages. The first stage was to encourage signups and send mass discounts to their subscribers.
Here are some of the things they did to achieve that:
- Offering 10% time-sensitive discounts on purchases, along with free t-shirts
- Using MySpace bulletins to promote the program
- Ordered over 1000 custom water bottles to distribute during a Mardi Gras festival with a call-to-action directly on the label
- Hired female staff members to hand out cards at bars/clubs with text incentives
Phase two involved a brand new online ordering system for deliveries. Registered customers who ordered via SMS simply text “LIQUOR + their order” to 25827. They immediately receive a confirmation message and their order is delivered in under 30 minutes.
Ran Pass is now collecting a valuable database of cellphone numbers which they can continue to promote offers and become the market leader in their local town.
CASE STUDY #2
Name of business: Super Stop USA
Super Stop USA is a full-service gas station, car wash and detail center. Owner Tony Donatell knows far in advance when gas prices are due to rise. He also knows that by alerting customers of these price rises in advance, they will fill up before it’s too late. To do this, Tony needed to be able to broadcast a message quickly, without any real technical barriers or delivery delays. Tony turned to SMS text messaging to get in touch with customers and get them to refill at his station ahead of each new price rise.
How they used SMS text messaging
To effectively market their Gas Alert program, Super Stop USA uses a two-step approach.
First, choosing the keyword “GAS” for text-in signups, they created a number of Point of Purchase (POP) displays, ranging from in-store signs at the cash registers to promotional posters outside at the pumps. These displays instruct customers to text “GAS” to 25827 to subscribe for the alerts.
Tony also implemented a webpage which explained the program, answering any questions also generate sign ups from their website too.
Tony’s call to action was simple but effective: “Sign up to receive a text message on your cell phone from the Super Stop before gas prices rise! It’s quick, free, and easy, and gives you time to gas up before prices go up!”
To encourage even more sign ups, Tony also offers “Bonus Savings” coupons for Gas Alert participants, who receive 5 – 10 cents off per gallon if the price has already gone up by the time they arrive.
One of the SMS text messages simply read, “SUPER STOP GAS ALERT! Prices are rising to $2.99, We will follow soon. If we have already gone up, show us this message and save 10 cents/gal until 1pm tomorrow!”
The campaign was an immediate success. In less than two weeks, Super Stop USA gained over 70 SMS subscribers, with a response rate of at least 20% from each text message they send out. They even get new signups through word of mouth advertising too.
CASE STUDY #3
Route 66 Harley-Davidson, Tulsa
Route 66 Harley-Davidson wanted to maintain its visibility with current customers and add new customers and revenue through a holiday promotion.
How they used SMS text messaging
Membership in Route 66’s mobile club was promoted through social media websites, in-store marketing and previous customers of the dealership. Consumers were asked to text the keyword RT66 to 55678 in order to receive daily alerts offering a 20% discount on different merchandise each day.
During typically slower times of the year, Route 66 dealership managed to increase awareness and sales of a wider range of merchandise, particularly sale items. Some items such as T-Shirts saw a 250% sales increase, along with higher ticket items such as helmets, where they did an entire week’s worth of sales in just one day.
“The 12 Days of Christmas campaign provided Route 66 Harley-Davidson increased sales, increased dealership traffic, and an increase in its mobile club membership” said Nick Edwards, marketing manager for Route.
3 PROVEN SMS MARKETING STRATEGIES YOU CAN TRY TODAY FOR MORE SALES AND REPEAT CUSTOMERS
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it is people’s inner desire to be heard and to be valued. The idea of voting for something fulfils that desire and makes them feel valued as customers. It also shows that you care what your audience thinks and what they’re interested in, along with giving you valuable feedback about your products or services. People text their choice by selecting the corresponding number. They can then receive the results via text message and opt-in for future marketing messages too.
People love to win something, or at least, try. Competitions are wildly popular forms of SMS marketing campaigns and you’ve probably seen many TV shows using them. People can win a free service or product, or even a prize that has been donating by a third party (for some free exposure for them.) All they have to do is answer a simple question and text it to a dedicated number.
- EXCLUSIVE DEALS
People love being part of an exclusive club. Being able to receive “non-public” offers and discounts are a great way to harness this, whilst giving your buyers great value at the same time. The other benefit is that people are less likely to opt-out of your SMS messages if they’re getting great deals on a regular basis.