Billings Livestock Commission’s Jann Parker on How the Historic Horse Market Uses Text to Lasso New Sales
Horse Sale Manager, Billings Livestock Commission
Jann Parker, Horse Sale Manager of Billings Livestock Commission, spoke with EZ Texting's Customer Marketing Manager, Vibeke Arentz, about how the horse market uses the convenience and engagement of text alerts to move more ponies.
EZ Texting: Thanks for joining us, Jann. First, what is Billings Livestock Commission?
Jann Parker: Billings Livestock Commission is the oldest horse market in Montana, having started in 1934. We’re a consignment auction, hosting monthly catalog horse sales. So if you'd like to sell your daughter's pony, you can sign the pony to us, and then we market it for you. We are like the largest monthly catalog horse sale in America.
EZ Texting: Why do you think EZ Texting is effective and how have you used the channel to expand your reach?
Jann Parker: I feel that an actual text on your phone is more effective than a voice message. People can open texts anywhere. You can open them in the doctor's office. You can open them at the red light with your mother in the car. I think texting’s more effective. Plus, I can include links for customers to sign up, buy, see what's coming, and include images as well.
I promote the subscriber list everywhere. It’s my big push. I use it to talk about what's coming (like that our horses are updated), and I pick a picture that gets their attention. I write a real snappy intro and link back to our website and track it. And when the sale’s over, I run a picture of our top-selling horse, talk about the sale averages, and when our next horse sale is.
EZ Texting: How have you built up your subscriber list?
Jann Parker: I've put it at the tag line on my Facebook posts. I announce it at our events. I have it on our Facebook page and on our website. And then we also publish a paper for what's coming. I'll use that as filler to join our text alert notifications and also in the sale ring. I'll announce it during the horse sale — if you want to keep up with the latest livestock you can do it by joining text alerts. And I just watch my email kind of blow up.
When you send a text, it doesn't take very long till your phone's ringing and you're getting hits on your website. People are going to respond to what you sent.
EZ Texting: How do you use other communication channels with EZ Texting to create a multichannel marketing campaign?
Jann Parker: I use Constant Contact. And I use Facebook… sometimes I direct people from my EZ Texting subscriber list to Facebook, but I also go from Facebook to EZ Texting. Newspaper advertising is still very effective for me as well. People want to touch it. You'd think it would just be straight digital, but no.
But the tool that works the best for me is EZ Texting.
EZ Texting: What have been some of the changes that you’ve seen in your business since using EZ Texting?
Jann Parker: It really professionalizes us. It steps us up. It personalizes relationships with customers, buyers, and sellers to make it all run smoother. That's what I think we're all looking for in business — better ways to make things run smoother, be more professional, and be effective.
I now get quicker responses. I can tell when people received the text, I see the hits on the website, the horses that come in. Time is of the essence and it allows me to utilize my time effectively. I love EZ Texting for that.
EZ Texting is my right-hand man. I love it. It allows me to do it all.
EZ Texting: How is EZ Texting different from other platforms or other channels you’ve worked with?
Jann Parker: EZ Texting is different because it's immediate. When you send a text, it doesn't take very long till your phone's ringing and you're getting hits on your website. People are going to respond to what you sent them with minimal delay. Plus, I get to stack it how I want with links and pictures and the timing I choose.
EZ Texting: Would you recommend EZ Texting to other businesses? And if so, why?
Jann Parker: I would absolutely recommend EZ Texting to other businesses. It is my number one tool to reach my customers quickly, effectively, professionally, and efficiently.
In fact, I just recommended EZ Texting within the last 24 hours.