Businesses across America are utilizing the power of text message marketing to increase sales and customer engagement, generate leads, and to build brand loyalty. And the reason is pretty simple: Mobile devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives with recent statistics indicating that the average American checks their mobile phone once every 12 minutes. That translates to approximately 80 times or 4 hours each day. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Text message marketing has arguably the highest open rates than any other marketing channel. In fact, 90% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes of receipt, which is vastly superior to an email open-rate of 22%. Additionally, SMS marketing is five times more effective than online advertising for increasing purchasing intent and creating brand awareness.
The good news is that your business need not be a big corporation to harness this effective marketing channel. Text messaging marketing is superbly versatile and adaptable and can have a massive impact on your business of any size at every step of the way.
Text message marketing has a high approval rating among customers with 64% regarding communicating via SMS in a positive light. Customers will take your message seriously because you are engaging with them directly, conveniently and on a personal level.
How to Start Text Messaging Marketing for Your Business
To start text message marketing for your business, you need a contact list of your customers. Remember, it is much more effective to market a customer who has voluntarily given out their contact details than seeking out new customers. Thus the secret lies in giving all current and potential customers an opportunity to become part of your customer database. Here are some practical ideas to build your customer database.
1. Asking Customers Contact Details at Point of Sale
Some businesses ask for the customer's details at the point of sale. They have a list or an iPad at the counter where they nudge the customer to enter their name, email address, and phone number. However, we have found that this technique has many disadvantages. First, workers are often hesitant to ask customers for their details because they feel they are bothering them. Also, many customers do not cooperate and may feel that they are being irritated. Fortunately, there are less intrusive methods to build your client database.
2. Creating Mobile Keywords to Entice Customers into Subscribing
What is a mobile keyword? It is a specially formulated code that your customers can send on a shortcode number which identifies your business. When they do that, your customers are automatically added to your customer database. You can have printed messages displayed on your premises or on other platforms such as Social media networks inviting customers to text a keyword to a shortcode number. An example is “Text PIZZA to 12345 to get a free pizza on your next visit.” When customers text that keyword to the shortcode, they are automatically added to your customer database and opted in to receive future messages from your business.
This method has a high approval rating among customers because it is unobtrusive and customers are allowed to text at their convenience.
3. Make Use of Widgets on Your Website and Social Media Pages
Your website is an excellent way to build your customer database. With a global reach, your website affords you the opportunity to reach both your current and potential customers. Many people who visit your website may not be ready to make a purchase just yet. You can easily build your contact list with “click-to-join” widgets on your website, and offering to keep them informed of upcoming offers and events. The widget will request them to enter their details such as name, email address and mobile number.
4. Keep Growing Your Customer Database
There are many creative ways to grow your subscriber list. All you need to do is to get creative, much as you can get creative in crafting marketing text messages. One effective method to do so is making use of lead generation Ads on Facebook. These Ads will not only substantially grow your database but will also gather valuable data for you.
5. Increase Engagement with Your Customers by Text Messaging
Perhaps one of the great things about text message marketing is the versatility and freedom that comes with it. You can engage your customers in a wide variety of initiatives. Such would include any of the following methods:
- Coupons: This is an obvious tactic to keep your customers engaged. Coupons make them feel that they are getting value out of the text messages and will surely want to stay connected with you. For instance, inviting your customers to buy one and get one free is a powerful marketing strategy.
- Invite Customers to Share Opinion Polls: Customers like to share their opinions for it gives them an opportunity to feel part of the decision making process. Engaging them in this way not only allows them to be part of the conversation, but it also provides you with valuable insights about your products or services and how you can improve.
- Drip marketing or Auto-responders: Simply put, drip marketing is all about giving your customers the right information at the right time. Text messages are sent to your customers based on how long they have been subscribed to your SMS marketing service. The longer the customer has been subscribed, the better the offer for them. The beauty of drip messages is that texts are sent automatically to subscribers based on triggers and user profiles.
- Run Customer Contests: Who doesn’t like being a winner? SMS contests are a useful promotion tactic that makes for lots of action. It could be anything from a small discount to anyone who opts in, to a grand prize to one random subscriber. Contests are a brilliant way to build customer loyalty
Better Late Than Never!
Much as they were common when mobile phones had just started rolling out and were pretty basic devices, text messaging continues to be an unrivaled mode of communication in this smartphone era. Text message marketing is arguably the most efficient and cost-effective marketing technique your business can deploy to boost your sales, build customer loyalty and increase your brand awareness in a highly competitive business environment.
Since 2006, Straightxt, our text messaging solution, has been providing SMS communication to numerous businesses. With Straightxt, we will equip you to build robust customer profiles for personalized, targeted messaging. Plus you will get real-time analytics to monitor overall program performance and make more informed business decisions. It’s easy, fast and affordable. If you have not, now is the time to join the SMS marketing bandwagon with Pocketstop.