SMS Text Marketing Blog

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:42 — Jessica Terashima

At EZ Texting, we talk a lot about how text marketing can help you grow your list and increase sales. But many organizations strive for something else. They try to engage with subscribers and help them succeed. Can texting boost engagement and spread positivity? The answer is yes!

can texting boost engagement

Uplift and Engage

One of EZ Texting’s nonprofit clients, A Beautiful Me, is on a mission to “foster self-worth in all women of all ages.” On their website, A Beautiful Me invites visitors to sign up to self-esteem boosting text messages. Founder and executive director Karen Palka explains, “Instead of eliminating the phone in the hands of youth, we supplement and provide a positive text 2x per month.” In addition to making a positive impact on subscribers, the organization has found that the text program has helped convert supporters into donors.

Encourage and Remind

Another client explains how they use EZ Texting to keep fitness clients engaged: "We use EZ Texting to administer a portion of our nutrition coaching. So, they may receive reminder texts, a message with a link to check in on, or links to lessons for a daily reading. We have found that sending it to them directly, eliminating the login or ‘check your email’ step, has improved our read rate and adherence by at least 60%.”

How Can Texting Help You?

Using bulk texting software makes it easy to set up and send out thousands of notifications at once. This can be affirmations, reminders, alerts, or any other message that encourages engagement with your audience. Your contacts, like everyone else, probably receive tons of marketing messages every day. Think how much they’ll appreciate a text that puts a smile on their face or helps them reach a personal goal. Text messages have the added benefit of a 98% open rate – something no other communication channel can match.

Take the First Step

If you’d like use texting to boost engagement or just spread good thoughts, we can help! Learn more about how EZ Texting by calling our Client Success Managers (866) 676-2180 or give it a try today!

 

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:35 — Daniel Jacobs

EZ Chat enables you to have one on one text message conversation with contacts. This gives you a key advantage when you consider the following numbers:

  1. Texts are used by 97% of Americans and it is the most-used app
  2. 52% of customers would prefer texting customer service over their current method
  3. Texting can reduce the cost of customer service calls from $20 to just pennies

The writing on the wall is clear: your customers want to text, they want to do so with you, and texting has tangible benefits on the bottom line. So what can business and organizational leaders do to better engage with customers?

They can leverage EZ Chat, which is a tool that allows customers and contacts to have personalized, private, one-on-one conversations using text messages. EZ Chat uses a standard 10-digit phone number.

See how EZ Chat can strengthen your customer service and lead to measurable growth:

Getting EZ Chat

EZ Chat can be enabled on any existing 10 digit landline, as well as any phone number you purchase from EZ Texting. If you want to buy a new line, EZ Texting’s platform allows you to choose a number based on area code, city, or zip code.

When customers text your landline, their texts are sent to your computer’s interface.

How EZ Chat Works

EZ Chat can be used via any device with Internet access. Whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, communicating with customers is just a few mouse clicks away.

Once you log in to EZ Texting, click on “Chat” in the left navigation menu. The column on the left is your inbox, and it’s where you have your entire list of of chat conversations. It’s also where you’ll start new conversations with customers. Select any conversation and it will show up on the right side; under that is where you type in your message to customers.

Check out this screenshot of EZ Chat in action:

Why EZ Chat Leads to Happier Customers

“Please stay on the line, your call will be answered in thirty...seven...minutes.” When customers call tech support lines, they fear long waits like these. And customer service is no picnic for companies, either. After that 37 minutes, a service agent has to deal with a tired, angry customer, and reconcile that with company goals on the number of calls they manage per hour. Throw that in a blender and you get a situation where customers receive a quick solution, even if it’s not always the best one. EZ Chat enables customers to text in their issues, rather than wait on hold, and it gives your reps the ability to take time to research what the best solution is. In short, EZ Chat gives customers a happier experience and a greater sense of purpose for your staff.

EZ Chat’s simple interface and more personal approach to customer service. It ensures your staff spend more time solving problems than listening to them. EZ Chat also makes your team more mobile; they aren’t tied to desks and phones to handle calls, and instead of being happy with finding a ‘good’ solution, they can feel more accomplished by having the time to find a “great” one.

Get started with EZ Chat! If you have any questions, call our Client Success Managers today at (866) 676-2180!
 

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:53 — Daniel Jacobs

National Donut Day? Go Skateboarding Day? Ask a Stupid Question Day? Believe it or not, these are all one of many unofficial holidays, and while they don’t have the same cache of Christmas or Thanksgiving, they’re nonetheless celebrated.

And they also give businesses the chance to capitalize on them to boost sales. The trick is matching the right holiday to your company’s goals, and choosing the right tool to promote it. You’ll have to get creative and find the right holiday, but check out how some of EZ Texting’s solutions can help you drive growth:

Keywords and Short Codes

EZ Texting’s clients are on a shared short code (such as 313131); to ensure that contacts’ text messages end up in the correct mailbox, clients advertise special keywords. If you’re a retail store wanting to celebrate National “Wear Red” Day on the first Friday in February, you may want to advertise the following on social media or wherever your customers might see it: “Text WEARRED to 313131 to get a special discount at Carrie’s Clothing on National “Wear Red” Day!” The six-digit short code is 313131 and customers will text it with the keyword WEARRED to ensure that texts go to Carrie, and no one else. While multiple companies can be on a short code, keywords can only be used by one company.

Widgets

These are tools you can place on social media or on a website, and they’re customizable sign-up forms that contacts can fill out to send you their information. To motivate them to spend the time, offer some sort of promotion. If you’re a bar or restaurant, consider building a widget around Oct. 21, International Day of the Nacho, to offer customers a special discount for filling out the widget. As an added bonus, EZ Texting automatically sorts contacts into different groups based on widgets.

EZ Chat

EZ Chat enables companies to offer personalized, one-on-one, real-time text conversations with customers; this is primarily used for customer service-related issues. This is a perfect lead-in to World Smile Day, celebrated on the first Friday of October. Traditional customer service means long hold times on the phone and service agents who sometimes have to balance company call volume goals with client satisfaction. This often leads to a lose-lose for both parties. Instead of dreading this process, adopt a “service with a smile” approach. Inform customers they can text in their questions and that your company will text back a great solution, rather than come up with simply a good one in order to move on to the next call.

These solutions are just the tip of the iceberg for how EZ Texting can help you turn unofficial holidays into official profits!

Got a question on how these or other products work? Call our Client Success Managers today at (866) 676-2180 to learn more! 

Want to get started? Click here to sign up today!

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 15:21 — Daniel Jacobs

For most retail locations, increasing the number of repeat customers is the pot of gold at the end of the marketing rainbow. Developing solid relationships with your customers so they choose you over your competitors might seem like a pipe dream, but building this level of brand loyalty is easier than you think.

Check out three ways that EZ Texting can help you develop and manage customer loyalty programs:

Leverage Sign-up Tools to Grow Customer Lists

Keywords

Keywords are 2-12 character phrases (a character is a letter, number, or punctuation mark) that businesses advertise and customers use to text in. EZ Texting clients use a shared short code; eywords ensure that texts sent to a short code end up in the correct inbox. Consider advertising a message on social media or on flyers, such as: “Text NEWDEALS to 313131 to get the latest promos and discounts at Brenda’s Boutique.” EZ Texting will auto-sort contacts who’ve used this keyword into a separate group. Also, since this particular group has agreed to receive future promotions, you've likely turned them into repeat business.

Simple Sign-up Tools (Widgets)

These are customizable lead forms that you can place on websites or social media. Customers submit their contact info - first name, last name, and mobile number - and are more likely to do it if there is an enticing offer for their efforts. A sample sign-up tool might say: “Fill out your info below to get 50% off your next coffee at Cool Beans and be the first to hear about future promotions.” This is effective because the customers have a clear call to action and a coffee offer to motivate them to take the extra time to fill out the form. Similar to keywords, EZ Texting auto-sorts responses into groups based on the sign-up tool the new contact used.

Save Resources While Strategically Engaging Customers

With contacts sorted into groups, you’ll be able to market to them based on their stated interests and preferences. For example, if your COOKINGCLASS keyword netted 200 new contacts, you can reach out to them for future cooking classes and other related messaging. But setting up repeat messages for different groups at regular intervals can strain your resources, so how can you re-market to them while also saving time and money?

Reminder Campaigns enable you to create SMS or MMS messages (standard texts or texts with an image attached) at customizable, pre-scheduled intervals. Whether you want to send a message each Wednesday, monthly, or every 3rd Tuesday, simply write your text message, choose the time and date of your delivery, then choose the frequency. It’s that simple. Texts are opened four times more than emails, so this should be a key component of generating loyalty.

The Power of Being There for Your Customers

If your customers are going to be loyal to you at the register, then you have to be loyal to them when they have questions. EZ Chat is a customer service tool that enables you to have personalized text message conversations with your customers. You can enable EZ Chat on new landlines or on your existing ones. When customers text an EZ Chat-enabled line, you will receive their messages in a special dashboard. Managing your customer conversations is simple; your entire list of chats are on the left panel, while the conversation you’re currently having is on the top right panel. Below that is where you type your message back to customers.

Textable customer support might be the way most industries are headed. Two studies uncovered some customer trends:

Customers prefer texting customer service questions, and it also saves money. Enable this platform to better serve your customers and strengthen your relationships with them.

EZ Texting has all the right features to help develop customer loyalty. The features above are just the start. Call EZ Texting at (866) 676-2180 to learn more about how EZ Texting can better connect you with your contacts.

Ready to create your account? Get started today!


 

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:42 — Alixandria Baugh

February is moving fast and Lent is right around the corner. Fish Fries are popular events at church during Lent, but how can you let congregants know the details of your seasonal fish fry? SMS is a great way to invite customers to the Friday evening fish fry and remind them to show up! Check out how you can boost attendance to your fish fry with EZ Texting.

Create Your List of Contacts

You want high attendance at your Friday night fish fry during lent this year. Creating a quality contact list is an important first step for inviting your congregation. Your list of contacts will need to only include members of your congregation that want to be contacted. This means you’ll need their consent to contact them.

Opt-In Contacts

You must stay compliant when reaching out to your contacts, which means you must have consent to message them. Consent is very important to protect both you and your contacts. Don’t let this overwhelm you though. EZ Texting Keywords allow your contacts to give you this consent with one simple text. Share your keyword on your bulletin, for example a poster can say “Text CHURCHEVENTS to 313131 to receive alerts about upcoming events!” Your congregants can text to that keyword to automatically be added to your contact list.

Setup Your Messages

Now that you’ve built your contact list, its times to send a text to your congregants to raise their interest for your Friday night fish fry. Your message should grab your parishioners attention and include helpful information for your event. For example, your message could say “Friday Fish Fry coming up this Friday at 6pm in the church parking lot. See you there!”

Share your excitement about the upcoming fish fry and tell your congregants all of the information they need to know: date, time, location, and price. This personal and informative text message to your fish fry will grab your contacts attention and increase attendance. Once your message is created and is ready to raise interest in your contacts, the next step is to hit send.

Setup Reminders

Your congregants received your first message that let them know about the fish fry, but we could all use a reminder when we are busy. You want your fish fry to be successful and have a great turn out. Sending a reminder to your contacts is a great way to keep your event on their radar and increase attendance. Your reminder message can be simple, “Don’t forget - our Friday Fish Fry is tomorrow at 6pm in the church parking lot! See you there!”

EZ Texting’s reminder campaigns will make sending these reminders effortless. Schedule personal, timely reminders to your contacts ahead of time to really boost attendance and increase engagement without taking up all of your time. Your reminder message should grab their attention and keep their interest until the fish fry!

Time to Get Started

EZ Texting is here to help you boost your attendance and have a successful fish fry at your church. When you’re ready to reach your congregants wherever they are, our customer service team is standing by to help you through each step with helpful tips and best practices. Call (866) 676-2180 or give it a try today!

 

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 10:29 — Jessica Terashima

As an agency, your job is to help companies put their best foot forward when it comes to gaining subscribers, boosting sales, building loyalty, and driving retention. So how can text marketing help you help your clients? And why is EZ Texting the best option?

How Text Marketing Benefits Your Clients

If you want to help your clients make an impact, texting is a great place to start. Nearly everybody opens and reads the text messages they receive. Research shows that texting can reduce customer acquisition costs from as much as $20 to just pennies. Plus, adding texting to your marketing mix can lead to a 40% higher conversation rate.

Employees Working on Text Marketing Strategy

A Great Marketing Mix

When you’re talking about the perfect marketing mix for you clients, texting nearly always makes sense. Keyword campaigns can help businesses grow their subscriber list. Text promotions can drive traffic both online and to stores. Text-based chats can help customer service solve problems. These are all features that you can add on to email, print and digital marketing packages with very little cost and effort incurred.

A Ready and Willing Audience

Compliance rules say that businesses can only text to explicitly opted-in subscribers. This gives clients a ready and willing audience, and a communication tool almost guaranteed to connect. This makes texting a slam-dunk option for clients hoping to drive traffic with special promotions, coupons or sales.

The EZ Texting Mass Texting Service

If your sold on getting texting in the mix, why go with EZ Texting? EZ Texting offers customers a simple online interface to upload and send thousands of text message with the click of a button. EZ Texting primarily offers shared short code SMS services, but also helps marketing agencies secure dedicated short codes as needed so that each of their clients can have their own trackable code.

EZ Texting Can Help

EZ Texting offers its service through an online portal that you can access from any device, anywhere there’s internet. You don’t need an IT department or any special equipment to get started. However, if you are interested in a more customized solution, EZ Texting does offer API service to marketing agencies that. This can be especially useful for agencies with many clients to juggle.

What’s Next?

If you’re a marketing agency looking to get texting into the mix for your clients, we’d love to help. Learn more about how EZ Texting can help by calling our Client Success Managers (866) 676-2180 or can give it a try today!

 

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 22:44 — Daniel Jacobs

No matter how comprehensive your marketing strategy is, it won't make much of a difference if you don't have a quality list of customers.

Check out how EZ Texting can help you reach new customers and strengthen the power of your marketing:

Growing Your List

Don’t have enough contacts in your list? Keywords and short codes can get you more customers! A keyword is a 2-12 character word (letters, numbers, and punctuation marks) that is unique to each EZ Texting client. Keywords are customizable and EZ Texting helps you search for what's available. To grow your list, advertise a keyword on social media, posts, TV/radio, etc. You’ll want to give potential customers a reason to text you, so consider advertising a message such as: “Text FREENACHOS to 797979 to get free nachos at McCallahan’s and receive future promos via text!” FREENACHOS is the keyword customers will text in with, 797979 is the short code, and your ad clearly states that you’ll be adding them to their marketing list in exchange for free nachos.

Creating Groups of Contacts

One best practice is to use keywords to create different groups of customers. The new contacts you received from the FREENACHOS keyword could be one group. New contacts who texted using your COOKINGCLASS keyword would be another group. EZ Texting’s application can help you auto-sort new contacts based on which keywords they used. You can then more easily text groups in the future based on their interests.

Simple Sign Up Tools (Widgets)

EZ Texting offers customizable lead forms (sometimes called contact forms) you can embed in your website that enable customers to enter their contact information, usually in exchange for a discount. You can create fields for customers’ first name, last name, and mobile phone number. Widgets help you auto-sort customer data into fields; such as one group created from your FREENACHOS widget, another for your STPADDYSDAY widget, etc.

The Importance of Opt-Ins

Before you text customers, you need their expressed written consent. Failing to do so might open you up to legal liability. While you might have collected customer data from POS tools, or even a “leave your business card in the bowl to win a chance for a free lunch,” none of these count as consent. The message you advertise to grow your contacts list must explicitly say that you’ll be texting them in the future. McCallahan’s in the example above successfully hits all the marks of an advertisement:

  1. Offers an incentive to get people to text in (free nachos)
  2. Clearly states they’ll be receiving future promos via text
  3. Uses a keyword in conjunction with a shared short code

As a note, a prior existing business relationship or purchase history does not equal customer consent.

Create an Auto-Reply Text

Since prospects are texting you, you need to text them back. However, replying to them individually will take up too much time, so you’ll have to set up an auto-reply. Some content in the auto-reply should be included as a courtesy, some is legally required (check out page 15 of the CTIA’s best practices guide):

  1. Remind contacts what they’ve opted in to
  2. Provide clear opt out instructions
  3. Tell them how often you’ll text

Definitely look at the guide above. Keep in mind that specific industries may also have best practices and requirements.

Setting up text campaigns for businesses has a few extra steps than texting friends about movie times, but with the right approach, the increase in customers (and profits!) is more than worth the effort.

Got more questions about how to grow your contacts lists? Or how to make texting drive growth? Call our Client Success Managers today at (866) 676-2180!

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:26 — Jessica Terashima

In February, retail stores blossom with red hearts and romantic treats. We’re constantly being asked to show our loved ones we care. But how do show your customers that same love? How do you make them feel warm, fuzzy, and most of all, loyal to you? Find out how to text market your retail business with love.

Couple shopping and texting

Market with Love

Instead of viewing your customers as line items on a spreadsheet, think of them as the people they are. People with their own hopes, dreams, and wishes. Think about how your product or service can make their lives better? How can you help them win? Hint: helping your customers win will benefit you as well!

Texting is a technology that 97% of Americans use on a daily basis. It’s how they love to communicate. Think about the impact you could make if you give them an offer they want on the channel they prefer most. Texting and marketing – it’s a match made in heaven.

Design Offers That Benefit Customers

Getting a discount or coupon feels great – except when it’s for something you don’t want. When creating an offer, think about what your audience wants and how you can personalize it for them. It’s even better if you can segment your customer list by their preferences. Text marketing makes this easy, but you need some information about your audience to do it right.

Use Keywords to Segment Your List

One option is to use different keywords to attract different audiences. If you’re running a special promotion on T-shirts, for example, you could create sign for your store that says “Text COOLSHIRT to 313131 for a 5% off coupon.” From now on, you’ll know those subscribers who texted you have an interest in t-shirts. Later, you could use a new keyword to capture a different audience; “Text BOARDSHORTS to 313131 to get a 5% coupon” would create a list of boardshort enthusiasts. From now on, you will have a list of t-shirt fans and boardshort fans to whom you can send personalized offers.

Use Sales/Usage Data to Create Your Own Lists

Keywords are a fabulous way to build segmented contact lists, but they’re not the only way. Most businesses have a wealth of potential information about their customers that they can use to serve up better offers. Think about your customers’ history with you, and ask yourself: What was their last purchase – maybe they need another? When was their last visit – maybe it’s time to come back? What type of purchase did they make – maybe they would like something similar?

Use Texting to Build Loyalty

Doesn’t it feel great when a business recognizes your loyalty? This can happen with a special offer, such as an early notification of an upcoming sale. Wouldn’t you like to get a text message telling you “Anniversary Sale opens early for loyal customers – come Thursday 2/10 for a preview!”

Beyond sales and offers, texting can be a friendly way to check in with customers. Think about setting up automated texts that say, “Hope you’re enjoying your recent purchase!” This shows you care, and that your relationship with them doesn’t end at the cash register. You can also send holiday greetings or birthday wishes via text. For added emphasis, consider sending a picture image via MMS. EZ Texting offers free templates for holiday greetings to send to your customers “just because.”

In all of these cases, it’s important to be sure you have explicit permission to text customers before you press send. It doesn’t build goodwill if customers feel like they’re being spammed. You may also find yourself facing a legal liability.

Show You Customers Love with Great Service

Texting can also help you service your customer, even after they’ve made a purchase. Consider using text notifications to let people know when their package will be delivered. You can also use texting to have one-on-one customer service conversations. Making sure every step of your interaction runs smoothly - from the initial contact to post-delivery - build lots of good feelings because it shows you care.

How can you use texting to show love to your customers? Call our Client Success Managers at (866) 676-2180 to learn more or sign up for EZ Texting and give it a try!

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:24 — Daniel Jacobs

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that means your customers will be doing something special for their special someone. But the fact of the matter is that businesses can also do something for their special someones, aka their contacts and customers. See how EZ Texting Valentine's Day templates work and how they can drive engagement for your company.

Download a Template

EZ Texting has created a variety of Valentine’s Day image templates for you to download and use as part of your marketing strategy. Of course, sending one to your customers means you’re sending an MMS, not an SMS. SMS are text-only, while MMS enable you to attach a file (such as a happy Valentine's Day picture) along with a message. Sending one of these special images may engage your contacts far more effectively than a simple “Happy Valentine’s Day” text will.

Pick an Image You Can Tie Into Business Goals

While pretty greetings may not be direct money-makers, seasonal promotions are an opportunity to boost engagement with your contacts. If you’re a healthcare center, you may find that our eye chart image will resonate with patients. Animal shelters may find our cat-related wishes to be the purr-fect thing to thank their two-legged clients. Retail stores and restaurants can also benefit from sending fun visuals. Special menus and clothing promotions advertised along with these Valentine’s Day images can lead to big increases in foot traffic. No matter what industry you’re in, texting with pictures can help keep your customers’ eyeballs focused on you.

Grow Your Contacts List

Need more customers? Use keywords to increase the number of people you engage with. To entice prospects to join your recipients list, consider a special promotion. Maybe advertise a message such as: “Text VALENTINE to 313131 to get 20% off sales through Feb. 14 and get future promotions from Catherine’s Cookies!” You have a nice V-day related keyword in VALENTINE, a clear win-now discount, and even a promise of receiving future promotions and discounts. You’re on your way to getting more customers!

Want to learn more about how to best leverage texting and seasonal promotions? Call our Client Success Managers today at (866) 676-2180!

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 15:39 — Jessica Terashima

At EZ Texting, we care deeply about our community and each other. As part of our ongoing commitment to giving back, employees at the Santa Monica office of EZ Texting volunteer on a monthly basis at The Midnight Mission.

For over 100 years, The Midnight Mission has served community members suffering from homelessness with services and a path back into mainstream society. With support from executive leadership, EZ Texting employees have committed to volunteering there every month.

 

In December, EZ Texting helped prepare, serve, and clean up lunch for over 200 people. In January, we helped to feed over 500. One of our first volunteers, Jenna Byczek, said “It was an amazing experience. It’s really special to work side-by-side with your co-workers to help people out. I can’t wait to do it again.”

 

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 10:09 — Daniel Jacobs

All fitness professionals sadly know about the “February Cliff.” January is packed with clients whose New Year’s Resolutions are to finally get in shape, but often those goals regress back to the temptations of candy, snacking, and carb-loading.

Discover how EZ Texting help gyms and other related companies keep client engagement high and treadmills full:

Standard SMS Text Engagement

Before you can text anyone, you have to have their written or electronic consent. But once you have it, the EZ Texting application offers a wide variety of texting solutions to keep engagement up and gym participation high. The most commonly used feature is just the standard text message. You have 160 characters (a character is a letter, number, space, or punctuation note) to tell your contacts about promotions, specials, fitness tips, new equipment, healthy food ideas, and more.

You can even send an MMS, which is a text that has a picture, sound file, or short video attached. A picture is worth a thousand words, so MMS can go beyond a basic text message to really get clients excited.

Recurring Texts

From billing notifications to personal training reminders, there are many reasons to set up scheduled texts. However, this can be a time drain that takes employees away from more important duties. Recurring texts solve this problem. You can set these texts to go out at scheduled intervals, such as daily or weekly, and even select the time. This will help cut down on appointment no-shows and keep your clients engaged with their fitness goals. Recurring texts are a perfect tool for sending nutrition tips and training best practices, all without requiring a log in or relying on email. One EZ client went this route and improved their open rates by 60%!

Keywords and Short Codes

Perhaps you’ve looked around and thought “Is the gym too big, or do we just have too few clients?” It’s easier to fix the latter, and using keywords and short codes can help you acquire new customers. EZ Texting clients utilize a shared short code, such as 797979. Keywords are customizable words that are 2-12 characters in length and are unique to each company; they also ensure that texts sent to a shared short code end up in the correct mailbox.

You’ll want to advertise keywords on social media, flyers, and more, and a sample ad might be:

“Start hitting your fitness goals! Text HEALTHYME to 797979 and get your first month free at Jim’s Gym!”

In this ad, 797979 is the shared short code, and HEALTHYME is the unique keyword owned by Jim’s Gym that ensures texts meant for Jim don’t end up in a different inbox.

EZ Texting’s application features all these solutions, and much more, all designed to help you get new customers, keep them engaged with your business, and boosting your profits.

Got questions about how they can work for you? Or maybe you want to get started? Contact our Client Success Managers today at (866) 676-2180!

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 14:32 — Daniel Jacobs

The third Sunday in January means two things:

  1. New Year’s resolutions are starting to taper off, and
  2. We know which two teams will be in the Super Bowl!

Restaurants, bars, lounges, cafes, and grocery stores are obvious choices for creating Super Bowl-based promotions, but really any industry can get creative and use the big game to help boost sales, strengthen their brand, and drive engagement. The game drew around 190 million viewers in 2017, with the average viewer spending about $75, so there is a tremendous opportunity to connect with your contacts.

Watching the Super Bowl at a bar

Check out how some of EZ Texting’s products can help your company score big on the bottom line:

The Keywords Playbook

EZ Texting clients use a shared short code, such as 313131. To ensure texts end up in the right mailboxes, clients advertise keywords for their customers to use in their text messages. Keywords, unlike short codes, are not shared, so texts sent to Mickey’s Music Madhouse won’t reach the inbox of Freddie’s Falafel Factory, even though they both use the same short code.

Consider advertising the following:

“Text TOUCHDOWN to 313131 to receive free nachos on Super Bowl Sunday at McCallahan’s Bar & Grill!”

TOUCHDOWN is the keyword (EZ Texting makes it easy to search for available, customizable keywords) and the free nachos are what will entice customers to text you.

You can post this message on:

  1. Social media
  2. Billboards
  3. Flyers
  4. In-store signage
  5. Posters
  6. Radio/TV ads

Run the Ball with Recurring Texts

Recurring Texts allow you to create text messages and select how often you’d like that message to be sent. Simply select the groups you’d like to send your message to, write the message, then select how often you’d like it to go out. It’s really that easy! As a best practice, consider something like:

“Join us on Super Bowl Sunday for food and drink specials!”

Do you want to send it every two days? Weekly? Much like how quarterbacks select running or throwing plays, the choice is yours!

Mix Up Your Offense with MMS

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, and it’s a fancy word for “text message that includes a picture, sound file, or short video.” This is the perfect way to show off your Super Bowl decorations, advertise a special dish, or send videos of your team hard at work prepping for the big day. A picture is worth a thousand words, so MMS is a more efficient way to whet your customers’ appetites and get them excited about what your business has planned for them!

These EZ Texting tools are just the tip of the iceberg of how they can drive sales and increase customer engagement. Got questions about how you can make them work for you, or how to capture their ROI throughout the year? Call our Client Success Managers at (866) 676-2180 to learn more!

Want to try us out? We have pricing plans designed for every budget!

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 05:20 — EZ Texting

Are you jumping up and down about your fitness center's marketing plan? If you love fitness more than you love marketing, it can be hard to find the time or inclination to build a strong marketing plan for your business. However, marketing is part of every business, and in order to draw in your keen fitness customers, you need to have a plan. How can you build your marketing strategy this year? 

1. Know Your Audience 

When you're creating a marketing plan, the first thing you need to do is get to know your audience. If you don't know who you're talking to, you can't market to them effectively.

  • What are their demographics? 
  • How do they like to learn about new offers and products? For example, millennials like to text while baby boomers might prefer to receive a flyer in the mail. However, many of these people are on platforms like Facebook. 
  • What motivates them to join your fitness center? You can ask existing clients or take a poll on your social media accounts or website. 
  • What kind of price range and products appeal to them? What fulfills their needs and their budget at the same time? 

Know that you probably have many different audiences. Consider this as you move forward: don't forget about a key group of clients. Gather as much data as possible about your fitness center clients so that you're ready to take the next step: creating products, offers, and information just for them. 

2. Know What You Offer 

You also need to understand what you currently offer your clients and what you're thinking of offering them in the future. According to BizFluent, your marketing mix "includes the four P's of marketing: product, price, place and promotion." How do you currently market your products? What are your pricing structures? How will you promote future products?

Text blast

3. Where Do You Plan to Speak to Your Audience?

Now it's time to consider how you're going to talk with your audience. In this part of your marketing plan, you can consider how you currently promote your products and examine your current audiences to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled. For instance, according to All Business, "Millennials’ preference for texting versus talking extends to the way they want to communicate with your business." If you have a large number of millennials who visit your fitness center or you want to attract more, consider adding a new platform to your marketing campaign. Deliver a text blast with an enticing offer rather than sending an email or creating a flyer. From flyers and newspaper articles to Facebook posts, email, and text marketing, there's a world of possibilities for communication, and you need to decide which ones are right for your audiences.

4. How Do You Plan to Speak to Your Audience? 

You also need to consider how you plan to talk with your audience, not just where. Different groups of people and different platforms require a different tone. For instance, if you're marketing to those millennials you've been texting, you want to have an authentic, honest voice. Millennials don't trust traditional advertising, so you'll lose that audience if you choose a traditional advertising venue or a traditional sales pitch.  

Consider this as you create your marketing plan.

5. Gather Data and Make Adjustments 

When you create a plan, you need to consider how you'll know that it is working. What metrics will you use to gauge your success? Will it be measured in the number of website visits, the number of people who redeem your free offer of a week at the gym, or the number of people who convert into monthly clients? What will you do if you don't meet the desired metrics? Whether it's an email marketing program or a text blast to clients who've let their memberships lapse, make sure that each of the marketing strategies you use has a built-in way to collect metrics for success. When you develop a marketing plan, go into it with a plan to gather data and make adjustments over time.

At EZ Texting, we're committed to helping you grow your business. As you consider the marketing needs of your fitness center, consider how text marketing can fit into that mix. We can help you develop text marketing campaigns and track your success as well. Ready to try it out? Sign up for free today.

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:54 — EZ Texting

When your guests arrive, you're focused on their stay. You want to make it the best visit ever. Perhaps they'll tell their friends, or maybe they'll consider coming back again. How can you turn a single stay into an ongoing connection with a guest? Text marketing can help. 

1. Make Sure Your Guests Have a Smooth Experience 

From booking to checkout, you want your guests to have a smooth experience navigating the logistics around their hotel booking. After all, their goal is to relax, not deal with vacation hassles. Send them a booking reminder with an automated text message. Create an information sheet about the area's amenities and events and add this to your website. Make sure that guests understand the house rules and what is and is not provided to them so that they have the easiest possible stay. If a problem does arise, go above and beyond to make sure that your guests have the best experience. 

2. Add Bonuses That Keep Guests Coming Back 

According to the New York Times, for hotels looking at booking in the low season, "the target customers are business travelers who are on the road up to 50 percent of the time." These customers don't have a lot of flexibility around dates. They have to travel, but they don't have to choose your hotel.

Your job is to add bonuses that keep your guests coming back for more. This could involve noting a guest's favorite tea and stocking up on it when she returns, adding the type of pillow she likes for the bed, or offering free bonuses such as a free dessert in the hotel restaurant. Adding value that's specific to your guests helps keep them returning to your specific hotel.

Text marketing

3. Be Unique 

How can your hotel appeal to guests in a new and different way from the hotel next door? If you are exactly the same, offering the same amenities at similar prices, then there is no reason for guests to visit you versus the next hotel.

According to World Hotels, one way you can differentiate yourself is by listening to customer feedback. "If a guest cuts their stay short, ask why and listen. Do not see this as a problem, but treat it as a potential challenge." 

Would your hotel do better if you offered live entertainment at dinner? What about enhanced exercise facilities or the option of a morning exercise class? Look at the gaps that you and your neighboring hotels have and the needs of your guests, and combine these to help your hotel stand out from the crowd. 

4. Make Them an Offer in the Right Medium

If your guests enjoyed their experience with your business, they'll want to come and visit again. Make them an offer, and they may decide to visit earlier than planned. Just ensure that this offer is appropriate to the guest and that it's done in a medium that works for them. Create customer personas and check to see which ones are booking in the low season, then target them with your marketing campaign. For example, if seniors enjoy booking your hotel in the low season, create a seniors' discount for weekday bookings.  

It's not that email doesn't work, but with an average open rate of around 22 percent, email is not the place to go when you want results from your guests. Mobile coupon redemption rates are ten times higher than those placed in newspapers or into the mail. Try creating different text marketing lists and see how this works for your business. 

Running a hotel isn't easy, and you want to ensure that your guests feel like you care for them. At EZ Texting, we want to make sure that you feel connected to your customers. We offer texting tools that allow you to create offers specific to your guests so that they come back and refer their friends. Contact us and sign up for free today.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:45 — EZ Texting

Do you want to attract more customers to your coffee shop or more guests to your high-end restaurant this year? If you're managing a restaurant business, you know that there can be a lot of stress in this business. According to The Balance, "when it's busy you worry about the staff’s service, when it’s slow you worry about money. When it’s snowing, you worry about getting customers in." You can't control the weather, but you can control your marketing. How can you use text marketing to draw customers to your restaurant? 

Do Something Different 

Not all restaurants use text marketing. Some choose to place ads in newspapers, others have offers on their website, and still others have an email list for discounts. However, text marketing is a fast and highly effective way to cut through all of those other communications and get to the point. Your food is exceptional, and you want to let your customers know. With a 99 percent open rate, you know that your customers are going to receive your message. 

Text Marketing is About Timing 

With text marketing, you not only connect with your customers, but you also ensure that they open your message at the right time. People use their phones to make decisions about where they're going to eat and what they're going to eat. They also share this information with friends on their social networks. If you can send out a message with perfect timing on a Friday morning, focusing on those who want to book a restaurant for a group of friends or family on Friday night, then you know that most of your customers will open that MMS message within a short time, making it easier for you to target your offers based on timing.

Text marketing

Customize Your Offers 

MMS marketing lets you customize your offers to different groups of customers. This allows you to send out image-rich options for different groups of people. For example, families may be interested in your midday lunch discounts for the coming weekend or they may want to take advantage of your 5 pm dinner discount. Restaurant Success says that you can use text marketing "to keep a database of contacts and customers, to share your menu and new dishes (and) to attract sales with exclusive deals." That feeling of exclusivity can be a selling point for your customers. Make them feel like they're getting a special deal tailored just for them when you send them a targeted text message.

MMS Marketing Helps You Show Off 

If you're selling coaching services, sending out a photo of a happy client may not be the key factor that gains you a new client. However, when you're running a restaurant, your guests want to see what they could eat. Eating is very sensory, and while you can't send the delightful smells and tastes of your restaurant to your customers, you can send them photos. Entice your guests back into your business with professional-quality photos of your food, especially at times when they're hungry or thinking about booking a special meal.

At EZ Texting, we're focused on making your business a success. If you're curious about how MMS and SMS marketing can help your restaurant business, talk with us about your text marketing options, and sign up for free today.

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 09:35 — Daniel Jacobs

From drivers and warehouse employees to third parties and vendors, shipping and transportation logistics have a lot of moving parts that need to be addressed so packages can arrive on time. But emails, once the gold standard in communication, are often deleted or blocked by spam filters, making them not 100% reliable. So what options do companies have to coordinate deliveries?

Texting! Yes, the texts we already send out daily to friends and family not only can play a role in logistics, but they can actually become a key part of your operations strategy. See how texts can:

Simplify Communications

“Driver needed for two hour delivery - first to reply gets the job.”
“Your package will arrive in 25 minutes. Thank you!”
“Traffic on Main Street, use 1st Ave. instead.”

These texts are quite basic but can make a tremendous impact in how your business operates. These texts can also be automated and even sent out to thousands of people at once. You can also schedule texts to go out at future dates and even create auto-replies. For businesses of all sizes and budgets, this can save time and money. They’re also just a sample of how a simple text can go a long way. 

Strengthen Employee Services

EZ Chat is a product from EZ Texting that enables you to have personalized, one-on-one texting conversations. Perhaps a driver is on-site but has a question about parking? Maybe a warehouse manager wants to know more about which items need to be prepped? They can text in their questions and receive a response in real-time!

For many logistics companies, maintaining a roster of certified, trustworthy drivers is time-consuming. Accepting and processing applications, as well as keeping them in the loop during the interviews/hiring process, further strains resources. EZ Chat and other EZ Texting products enable you to manage driver applications, text confirmations, and coordinate isteps in the hiring process.

Deliver Timely Instructions

Like with personal use, companies can also send MMS (multimedia messaging service) texts, which are messages that have a picture, video, or sound file attached. You can send drivers a picture of their destination’s loading dock, or record specific instructions that are tough to squeeze in a text or email.
These options can help your company run more smoothly and ensure your customers are happy. These options are also just the start of how texting can drive growth.

Learn more about how texting can strengthen your bottom line by calling our Client Success Managers (800) 753-5732 to see how you can get started today!

Thu, 01/18/2018 - 10:56 — Daniel Jacobs

From finding renters and buyers to coordinating property visits and loan information, the real estate industry is fast, furious, and not for the faint of heart! Also, trying to hit your numbers while juggling so many plates might seem like a Herculean task, so what’s the solution for real estate professionals who want to reach their goals but not drown in administrative tasks?

How about texting! Yes, the same tool we all use for sending baby pictures to friends and family is also a secret weapon in real estate. Read on to learn more about how texting, also known as SMS marketing, can help you drive growth, coordinate with agents, and even manage HR tasks!

Keywords and Short Codes

Text marketing is often based around short codes, which are 5 and 6 digit numbers that are shared by multiple businesses. Keywords are used to ensure that text messages sent to a shared short code end up in the right mailbox. Confused? Let’s see it in action then break it down:

“Text NEWHOMES to 313131 to see all the new property listings in the Vista del Playa neighborhood!”

In this advertisement - which could be on social media, in print, or on a billboard - 313131 is the shared short code used by multiple companies, while the keyword NEWHOMES is used by the Vista del Playa management company to ensure texts from interested buyers go to them, not anyone else using that short code. As a best practice, you can set up auto-replies that provide customers with their requested information (in this case, home listings). You can also use keywords as a way to divide customers into groups.

Segmenting Contacts Into Groups

You might have a red hot list of contacts who’ve opted in to your texting channel, but not all of them want the same thing. One group may be looking at oceanfront duplexes, while others are looking for student apartments. By dividing them into groups, you can ensure that your marketing budget is being used effectively and cost-efficiently.

Without groups, you’d send every marketing message to everyone on your list. That wastes resources because no matter what you send out, a large portion of clients have no interest in the message.

Recurring Texts

This function of SMS marketing helps you save time by cutting down on repetitive administrative tasks. For example, if you’re holding an open house every Monday until the property sells, then recurring texts allow you to “set it and forget it”; simply create the content of the text, select the groups you’re sending it to, and create the schedule of how often you’d like it sent. Once you set it up, you never have to do it again. Think of how much time this saves when you have multiple open houses for multiple properties!

These are just the most common ways texts can facilitate real estate success.

Get started today! Call our Client Success Managers today at (800) 753-5732 to learn more!

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:16 — Jessica Terashima

You might have noticed we mention the CTIA a lot, especially as it relates to compliance. So, what is the CTIA? What do they do? And why does it matter?

What is the CTIA

The CTIA is a trade organization focused on the U.S. wireless communication industry. The group includes carriers, industry members, and other professionals in the wireless business. The CTIA is a neutral party that helps its members self-regulate and have been around since 1984. 

Here's more about the CTIA from their website,

“CTIA vigorously advocates at all levels of government for policies that foster continued wireless innovation and investment. CTIA also coordinates the industry's voluntary efforts to provide consumers with a variety of choices and information regarding their wireless products and services.”

How the CTIA Can Help You

Because of their focus, the CTIA is perfectly positioned to provide expert guidance. Here are some great resources from the CTIA and how they can help you:

U.S. Consumer Best Practices for Messaging

This guide provides advice on how to build a compliant text marketing program. Page 15 gives particularly useful examples of how to talk about about text frequency, and opting out.

Consumer Tips

The CTIA has lots of helpful, consumer-focused information that can help just about anyone with a mobile device.

Industry Data

If you’re interested in wireless trends, the CTIA provides a wealth of facts and infographics about the industry.

Compliance is Key, The CTIA Can Help

Even if you’re not interested in the details of the wireless industry, getting a good grip on compliance is still worth the effort. The guidelines outlined by the CTIA help keep your consumers happy and protect your business. At EZ Texting we don’ t give legal advice. But we do recommend checking out the CTIA and their best practices guide. You can also read the Marketing Compliance Guide we created for the financial industry.

 

 

 

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 08:20 — EZ Texting

Cheers! How can you attract more customers to your coffee shop this year? That bewitching brew of yours has something to do with your popularity, and so does your location, but your success also has a lot to do with the way that you reach out to your customers. How can you improve your marketing for your coffee shop? 

1. Say Hello The Old-Fashioned Way 

How can you make your coffee shop more appealing to customers? Take a look at the outside. When you're marketing a business, appearances matter. Make your coffee shop look warm and appealing. Create a storefront and put a sign board out in the front. Get creative and consider what makes your coffee shop unique, and play on this in your design. According to Hand Ground, "shops don’t need to completely renovate their storefront to stand out. A coat of new paint or an A-frame sign on the sidewalk can work just as well." However, if you have a particular theme for your shop, this can work in your favor. For instance, a coffee shop near a children's park could offer a child-friendly area inside the store where parents can stop and talk before heading to the park. 

Text message service

2. Build Community 

Consider your different audience segments when you're trying to appeal to new customers. If you're aiming to get business traffic, offer a business special or brag about your free Wi-Fi. If you're in an area frequented by students, offer students a discount at off-peak hours that are convenient for them. Create events for these different audiences as well. From knit nights to business networking events, you can build community the old-fashioned way: by making your coffee shop an appealing place to connect with others.

3. Ask for Referrals 

Your best promotional tool is your customers. Ask your customers to recommend you and offer them a bonus if they do—or use social media to spread the word. Do you have a specialty coffee? If so, get your customers to take a photo of themselves enjoying it. Have a photo contest on your social media account to encourage customers to take photos of local places.

4. Turn to Text 

A text marketing campaign isn't always the first thought you turn to when you think of marketing to your customers. However, according to Pew Internet, "97 percent of Americans use texting at least once a day on their cell phones." Texting doesn't require a smartphone or internet access. It's simple, but it's effective. You can work to connect with different audiences through diverse text marketing campaigns that appeal to a specific demographic. Use a text message service to create different lists so that you can contact university students, business clients, or coffee connoisseurs with targeted offers.

At EZ Texting, we're here to help you build your business. We want you to succeed in your marketing plans, which is why we've created an exceptional text message service to allow you to grow your customer base. Are you interested in trying out text marketing for your business? Sign up for free today.

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:18 — Daniel Jacobs

Got a hot stock tip for your clients? Need to teach them about new tax laws? Or perhaps you have a message regarding their planning goals? Whatever your message is, texting it is perhaps the most effective way of doing it. Consider the following:

The numbers don’t lie - texting is an incredibly effective marketing tool, but there are some rules you have to follow in order to stay compliant:

Get Permission Before You Start Texting

You need clients to opt in before you can text them. Failing to do this will risk you being labeled a spammer, and with it, potential legal trouble. To attract new clients, consider advertising a message such as: “Text MONEYHELP to 313131 to get all the latest financial news delivered by text!” Texting that keyword to that short code is the same as giving permission. For existing clients, you can advertise that message on the channels you currently use.

Set Expectations About Frequency

As part of getting opt-ins, you’ll want to set up an auto-reply response that approximates how often you’ll send texts. Also, you’ll want to provide instructions in your auto-reply, such as REPLY STOP to opt out and REPLY HELP to learn more. Auto-replies save you time; imagine having to reply to each text that comes in!

Only Text Relevant Info

It might be tempting to text vacation or new car photos to clients, but that can get you labeled a spammer. As a legal best practice, keep text messages strictly limited to relevant financial information. This holds true whether you’re texting individual clients, groups, or even your entire roster. These best practices will put you on solid footing for responsibly engaging with clients. Check out the CTIA link above to learn more about how you can text responsibly and build stronger business relationships.

Also, check out “A Guide to Text Message Marketing Compliance.” You can learn more about how to boost opt-in rates, discover additional best practices to implement , and learn how to drive a stronger ROI.

Dedicated Short Codes

EZ Texting customers are on a shared short code to keep costs down. But if it’s in your budget, you can get a dedicated code. The value in a dedicated short code is two-fold: 1) Only your company uses them, and 2) You can customize your code to make it easier for customers to remember or link it to a marketing/business strategy.

So how do you know if a dedicated short code is right for you? If your messaging falls into one of these categories, you might be a great fit:

  • Loan origination and/or matching
    • Payday loans
    • Short-term loans
    • Auto loans
    • Mortgage loans
    • Student loans
  • Debt consolidation and reduction
  • Investment opportunities
  • Credit repair programs
  • Tax relief programs
  • Work from home programs

Got more questions about how EZ Texting can help you strengthen your outreach strategy and protect your clients' financial future? Call us today at (800) 753-5732!

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