SMS Marketing for Business

Effective Strategies for Encouraging Repeat Business

Just how valuable is repeat business? A recent infographic from Invesp shows that it's 400 percent more costly to acquire a new customer than to convince a repeat customer to buy more of your products or services. 

So how do you encourage repeat business at your company? Here are some strategies.

Make Yourself Available

Availability can mean the difference between a repeat customer and a new customer for your competitors. You don't want to take that risk.

Make sure that your existing customers can reach you in several ways, such as the following:

  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Live chat
  • Internal forums
  • Fax

You can also use a text service to keep in contact with your customers. Invite them to sign up for SMS marketing, then use that contact information to push discount codes, coupons, and other benefits that your existing customers might appreciate.

Give Customers a Reason to Stay

People are motivated by rewards. They won't buy your products and services just because you exist. They need an incentive to click the "buy" button or visit your store.

Consider creating a loyalty program to bring more customers on board. A text service can help you set up an SMS marketing campaign that allows you to stay in contact and to provide incentives, such as percentage-off coupons.

Admit Your Mistakes

Consumers don't like it when they think that businesses are trying to cover up their mistakes. They want businesses to own their errors and make things right.

For instance, what happens if you put the wrong address on a shipping order? You'll want to go the extra mile to make it up to the customer and to retain their future business.

The same thing goes if you accidentally share something you shouldn't on social media or if you send your customers the wrong text. A sheepish apology and a new offer can go a long way towards easing customer frustration.

Continue to Re-Engage

Businesses sometimes drop the ball when it comes to certain types of customers. For example, if a customer goes inactive and stops responding to your text messages or emails, you can re-engage them with an SMS message series that's designed to lure them back.

Offer a particularly attractive discount or gift. You want them to remember your brand and associate it with generosity and value.

This tip doesn't just apply to inactive customers. You can also re-engage customers with new text series or other triggered events. Automated marketing should reduce the legwork while still keeping you connected to the people who matter most: your customers.

You want to continue attracting and nurturing new leads, but don't leave your existing customers in the proverbial dust. Instead, continue to engage them with solid marketing tactics and a transparent culture.

It's easy to accomplish these goals if you have the right texting service on your side. Want to learn why? Sign up for free.

6 Reasons to Start a Customer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are abundant these days. Nearly all of the major brands have them, but that doesn't mean that small businesses can't benefit from this phenomenon.

A loyalty program is a system by which you reward your customers for each purchase they make. You can offer a coupon when they've spent a certain amount of money with your business, a free gift or another special reward. 

But why should you start a customer loyalty program? In short, it's because you're engaging your customers on a deeper level. Let's dig into some of the benefits you might reap.

1. Get Regular Feedback From Your Subscribers

What do your customers think about your business? What would they change? What do they love? You need this data if you want to continue growing and evolving.

When you start a loyalty program, you get customers' contact information. In addition to abiding by your loyalty program, you can also add them to your text message marketing program — as long as you get written consent — and send them polls or surveys.

2. Encourage Repeat Visits

People like to earn rewards. If they know that they can get one for spending money on your products or services, they'll keep coming back. Create a loyalty program with text message marketing and automate the entire process. You'll earn significant ROI with minimal effort.

3. Create a Tangible Reward

According to Psychology Today, there's evidence that human beings are hardwired for rewards. We set a goal and set out to complete it. Whether it's losing 10 pounds after the winter holidays or earning $20 toward a purchase, we can't help but chase those rewards.

4. Nurture Your Customer Relationships

Loyalty programs let you keep in touch with your customer base, whether you use email, a stamp card, or text message marketing. Think of your customers as seedlings. You want them to grow roots and sprout shoots, but to do that, they need a little nurturing.

Lead nurturing involves giving your customers what they want. In other words, you're rewarding them for buying your products and services and by keeping in touch.

5. Grow Your Brand Organically

Text message marketing creates loyalty because you're a regular presence in your customers' lives. This type of communication breeds organic growth because satisfied customers reach out to their networks — friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances — to share their good experiences.

Your brand can grow when people talk about your loyalty program and get their contemporaries to sign up, as well. 

6. Stay on the Top of Your Customers' Minds

We've watched many of our clients achieve outstanding results from text message marketing because they created successful loyalty programs. Text messages get opened and read more frequently than emails. Consequently, you're likely to remain a constant fixture in your customers' lives.

Each time you send out a new SMS, your eager customers will want to know what discount or other benefits you're providing to them.

Tired of low engagement rates? Sick of shelling out loads of cash for ads that never create ROI? Try text message marketing. Sign up for free and start raking in the dough.

Is Email Marketing On Its Way Out?

Every other week, someone claims that a form of marketing is "dead." You hear it about blogging, Facebook, and even email marketing.

But is the latter on its way out? Not necessarily. Let's explore your marketing options so you can decide whether email marketing will work for your business.

By the Numbers

Here at EZ Texting, we're a big fan of numbers. Businesses should make decisions based on hard facts — not wild hunches. So what do the numbers say about email marketing?

According to Adobe, average email marketing open rates range from 20 to 30 percent. That might sound like an impressive number. It means that, if you send emails to 10,000 people, between 2,000 and 3,000 people will open them. Not too shabby.

However, Adobe also reveals that open rates for SMS marketing hover at about 98 percent. That's a pretty significant difference.

If you send 10,000 SMS messages, you'll reach 9,800 people.

We like that number a lot better.

Think about how you use your smartphone. It's likely in your pocket, purse, or hand all day long. You reach for it the moment you hear a notification alerting you to an incoming message.

Maybe the message is from a friend, a colleague, or your favorite neighborhood business. Who knows?

People know that SMS marketing doesn't result in long-winded paragraphs or potentially dodgy attachments. They like hearing from the businesses they patronize.

Myth Versus Fact

The internet is constantly abuzz with the grinding sound of the rumor mill. You can't always believe what you read.

Our customers send out thousands of SMS marketing messages every day. We're familiar with open rates, conversion rates, and other data that can inform a business's marketing efforts.

So let's dispel a few myths about email and SMS marketing.

Myth: My customers won't sign up for SMS because they don't have smartphones.

Fact: We hear this a lot. The truth is that smartphone usage continues to grow among all generations, so even if your target customers are members of the Greatest Generation, you're still likely to reach them via SMS. In fact, according to Pew Research, 92 percent of smartphone users over age 50 use their phones for text messages.

Myth: My customers need smartphones to receive SMS messages.

Fact: Nearly all mobile phones can receive SMS messages. Even if your customers still rock a flip phone or the once-regaled Razr, you can target them with SMS marketing.

Myth: Open rates are vanity metrics.

Fact: Don't discount open rates as a simple vanity metric. When customers read your emails or SMS messages, they're actively engaged with your brand. That means something. At the very least, they're brand-aware, which means that they're moving down the sales funnel.

Myth: You have to choose one or the other.

Fact: Are you getting great ROI from your email marketing? Wonderful! That doesn't mean you shouldn't start an SMS marketing campaign, too. Integrating your email and SMS marketing campaigns can boost your ROI even further and bring on new customers.

Is email marketing on its way out? Probably not. Since people still have email addresses, we can assume that marketers will continue to target this medium. However, we also know that SMS marketing offers better open rates and more user engagement.

In fact, you can find out for yourself — no risk involved. Sign up for free to discover the power behind EZ Texting.

Post-Purchase Marketing Tips that Will Supercharge Your Sales

Retaining an existing customer costs about five times less than acquiring a new one. Nevertheless, only 18 percent of companies focus their marketing efforts on customer retention. Let those numbers sink in for a moment before you dismiss the value of post-purchase marketing. 

If you want to supercharge your sales, you must find a way to connect with consumers who have already bought from your company. Here's how.

Create a Texting Sequence

A text messaging service can help you retain existing customers by targeting them with promotions, discounts, coupons, and other incentives right after they make a purchase. It's a triggered event that helps keep consumers engaged with your brand and loyal to your company.

Think about your own shopping patterns. What if, after buying a product, you received a text message that rewarded your purchase with a free gift or a discount on a future purchase. Would you feel valued, appreciated, and wanted? Absolutely?

That's the value that a text messaging service brings to the table. You can set up triggered events, such as discount codes sent after a purchase, that help improve sales and customer retention.

Establish a Loyalty Program

Reward the customers who buy from you with bonuses, freebies, and coupons.

Everyone loves to earn points, badges, and other rewards for specific behaviors, such as purchasing a product. Nearly every major brand has a loyalty program these days, which is why you should create one, too. It works.

Loyalty programs reward customers for making purchases by dangling a free gift or discount at specific intervals. For instance, you could send $10 coupons to customers each time they reach $100 in purchases. Of course, that's not the only reward you can offer in a loyalty program, so get creative.

Consider using a text messaging service to track loyalty points and to bring customers back to your business. Advertise the program online and in your store, if you have one, so more people can sign up and reap the benefits.

Follow Up With Customers

Many brands, such as Amazon, have created sneaky post-purchase marketing strategies that work wonders. When someone makes a purchase online, they have to wait for you to deliver the product. You can use this to your advantage.

After someone buys something from your online store, you can trigger a series of text messages or emails that continue marketing to that customer. Opportunities to send emails include:

  • Confirming the order
  • Letting the customer know that the product has shipped
  • Notifying the customer that the order has arrived
  • Thanking the customer for his or her purchase
  • Asking the customer to rate the quality of his or her experience on your website

Each of these messages should provide the content they promise, such as delivery confirmation, but you can add post-purchase marketing messages to the document. For instance, you could provide a list of products that the customer might enjoy based on his or her order. That's what Amazon does, and it works wonders for repeat purchases.

No matter your strategy, post-purchase marketing might matter even more than pre-purchase marketing. After all, these consumers have already demonstrated that they're willing to buy from you.

A text messaging service can help you keep in touch with these customers. Sign up for free to learn why companies prefer EZ Texting over other text messaging services.

Proactive Marketing Tips for Effective Holiday Promotions

In December 2016, Deloitte released a shocking report that projected the total value of holiday ad-spend for that year at $1 trillion. That's a tremendous amount of money—and a good reason to start planning your holiday promotions now.

Sure, the winter holidays are still a few months away, but you want your piece of that trillion-dollar pie. In fact, spending might increase in 2017, so use these proactive marketing tips for effective holiday promotions to get ready for the holiday season.

Pay Attention to Consumer Trends

Now's the time to start digging into data. What types of products are your target consumers buying right now? What do they want more than anything? How are they spending their money?

When you know what products your customers want, you know which ones to push during your holiday promotions. You can push those items through your text marketing, email marketing, and social media campaigns to entice potential buyers and boost sales exponentially.

Develop Fresh Content

From text marketing to social media to blog posts, start planning your content now. You should fill out your editorial calendar for the weeks and months leading up to the holidays, so you know exactly what you'll post and when.

Before you start writing and preparing that content, though, take a look in the rearview mirror. What worked best for you during the last holiday season? What worked for your competitors? You can even research non-competing brands to "steal" promotional strategies that seemed to increase engagement and conversions.

Double Your Ad Spend

You have to spend money to make money, right? This is especially true during the holiday season. Entrepreneur magazine guest writer Eric Samson recommends doubling your ad spend when you figure out which creatives drive the most conversions.

You've already prepared your editorial calendar, so you know what you'll post. Run tests on every ad, text marketing strategy, and email you send to figure out what graphics, images, and copy work best. Using that data, ramp up your ad spend to reflect the results so you can drive more sales.

Create Your Own Hashtag

A holiday hashtag can make your holiday promotions more festive and less sales-oriented. For instance, one year, ASOS used the hashtag #instaadvent, which resulted in more than 2,000 photos from followers and fans. Those photos exposed ASOS to new audiences and likely drove sales.

Create your own holiday hashtag, but don't limit its use to social media. You can add it to your text marketing messages, your emails, and your blog. Create a community around that hashtag and make sure your audience knows what it means.

In other words, create a purpose behind the hashtag to which your specific audience can relate. For instance, if you sell pet products, you could use a hashtag like #christmaspups (and throw your brand name in there) to celebrate dog lovers.

The holidays will get here faster than you think. It's time to prepare now with a solid strategy.

If you're not using text marketing yet, you're falling behind the curve. Get ahead of the holidays and sign up for free now.

6 Effective Tips for Engaging Baby Boomer Consumers

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. As of 2017, that means that they're between 53 and 71. That's a big age gap, which means that you have to take a diverse approach for engaging baby boomer consumers through any medium.

1. Consider Old-School Tactics

The baby boomer generation grew up with postal mail—not email. This means that you can still reach them through so-called old-school tactics like direct mail. Sending postcards, brochures, and other literature with special offers or coupons can bring boomers into your store or to your website.

2. Don't Assume that Boomers Lack the Latest Technology

While baby boomers grew up with a different set of life circumstances, they're adjusting quickly. Boomers have smartphones and computers. This means that you can still market to them through more modern means, from email and text message marketing to lead magnets and social media.

3. Target Multiple Life Events

You might argue that baby boomers are a market segment all on their own. But you need to go deeper. Baby boomers are a big generation. This generation includes people in many stages of life, so you must target them with separate messaging.

For instance, you can segment based on age, health, income, and more. You can target adult children who might be taking care of their aging parents. At the same time, you could target another segment of baby boomers that are taking care of their adult children. It goes both ways with this generation.

4. Focus on Frugality

The baby boomers are either thinking about retirement or already retired. They're setting up their nest eggs, and they might have big expenses, such as caring for family members or paying huge medical bills.

Using discount and BOGO offers can work particularly well on this generation. They appreciate a discount, no matter the form, and they're predisposed to buy in bulk when it suits their budgets.

5. Discuss Health Concerns

When you're researching buyer personas, you might discover that baby boomers are highly health-conscious consumers. They're worried about what chemicals are in their food, whether they're taking the right medications, and how they can stay in shape.

If your business or industry caters to it, use health angles to reach baby boomers. For instance, in your content marketing strategy, you might write articles or social media posts about using your product or service to improve the consumer's overall health.

6. Make It Easy

Haven't you heard? Sixty is the new forty. Baby boomers lead adventurous, active lives, and they have busy schedules that don't leave them time to jump through hoops for a brand's sake.

For instance, if you're targeting baby boomers with a text message marketing campaign, make opting in as simple as possible. Outline the steps necessary to give written consent, and don't force them to provide any extra details to sign up.

You're creating as few barriers to entry as possible. Baby boomers appreciate your respect for their time.

With so many brands focusing on millennials these days, it's understandable why you might want to jump on the baby boomer bandwagon. EZ Texting can help. Sign up for free and start your first text message marketing campaign today.

Expert Interview Series: Josh Patrick of Ash Josh Patrick About Creating Economically Sustainable Businesses

Josh Patrick is a serial entrepreneur who has been helping private business owners create personally and economically sustainable businesses for 40 years. We recently sat down with Josh to pick his brain about the traits of a sustainable business and how business owners can take steps to achieve this goal.

Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you decide to form your own financial planning firm?

I was working with a large life insurance company and realized that to service privately-held business owners properly, I had to have a full suite of financial services and products that this population would use. Working for a life insurance company didn't fulfill that need, so I opened my own firm.

In what areas are many 20+-year-old businesses the slowest to change or adapt to current best practices?

The typical twenty-year-old business is run by a business owner who is a technician. He or she has never understood or had the time to be strategic in how their business runs. Without focusing on strategy, these businesses will be stuck at small sizes and will never have a chance to scale.

When we look at businesses who have become economically sustainable, the following five areas are always present:

  1. The business has a strong focus on values and a mission that supports their values.
  2. The owner has become operationally irrelevant in the business, meaning they are not involved in the day-to-day operations at all.
  3. The firm has been systematized so everyone knows what they need to do for excellence in their work. The company, once it becomes systematized, has a predictable service delivery model that customers can come to depend on.
  4. The company has a recurring revenue stream and/or a sales system that predictably creates new customers in a predictable manner.
  5. The company has an adequate level of profit in four areas: The owner's lifestyle, enough cash to have an adequate emergency fund, adequate cash to fund the growth of the business, and adequate cash to fund a retirement plan that will provide 30% to 50% of the owner's retirement needs.

What are some of the signs which might indicate that a company's "system" is no longer adequate?

First, they have to have systems. Second, there would be breakdowns in the service, operations, and sales cycles in the business.

What types of people tend to be successful at passive business ownership?

Those who can delegate, tolerate mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and have a system for monitoring activities in the company (i.e., having a great dashboard for knowing the predictive metrics for the company).

At what point should a business owner start to think about succession planning?

The real question should be, "When should an owner think about creating a sustainable business?" The answer to that is when they first start the business. Once a business is truly sustainable, then it will also be sale ready. This doesn't mean the business will be sold, but it does mean that it could be sold. When this is done, the owner never really needs to think about succession planning because the business is always ready to be sold.

What trends will we see in the U.S. in the future regarding small businesses and what they will have to do in order to succeed?

There is more competition, and the competition is coming from all over the world. Blue-collar businesses like distribution and construction companies will remain local. Most will have no more than ten employees. Businesses that grow past this level will have taken many of the major steps to create a sustainable business.

There are 28 million businesses in the U.S., but only 6 million have any employees and only 150,000 do more than $10,000,000 in sales. This means the vast majority of the businesses in the country are not sustainable and will die when the owner stops working. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean there are strategies that smaller companies need to take.

Want to see how text messaging can help your business? Sign up for free today.

The EZ Guide to Better Small Business Lead Generation

Lead generation refers to any action your business takes to get the contact information of—or to make a connection with—potential customers. A lead is someone who might become a customer based on previous interactions with your brand, but who has not yet bought anything from your business.

Believe it or not, leads are extremely valuable—especially when they're qualified through the lead-generation process. For instance, you can collect thousands of emails, but if the people on the other side of those addresses aren't interested in your products or services, you won't benefit from them. Better small business lead generation means attracting qualified leads and nurturing them through the sales funnel.

Why Lead Generation Matters

Lead generation matters because it's one of the most effective ways to bring in new customers. While you can't turn every lead into a paying customer, you'll have more luck if you create an effective lead generation strategy.

This is true in the B2C as well as the B2B space. Nearly 40 percent of respondents to a 2016 eMarketer survey revealed, after using technology for lead-generation purposes, the biggest benefit they experienced was an increase in warm leads. Other benefits included the opportunity to segment leads and greater responses to lead magnets and other offers.

Think about the leads you've already attracted to your business. Have they resulted in sales? Can you quantify their value for your business?

Probably. That's because leads are what drive the sales funnel. Without leads, you can't pursue the conversion process to turn prospects into customers.

You have to realize that consumers have become savvier. They can spot a sales pitch from 20 paces, and they're tone deaf when it comes to standard brand messaging and advertisements. This means that leads are harder to generate than ever before.

Over the last few years, the lead-generation process has undergone a tectonic shift. Where businesses used to focus on quantity—more email subscribers, more sales calls, more website traffic—they now focus on quality. They don't want to attract more leads, necessarily. Instead, they want to attract leads who have the highest probability of becoming customers.

And that's why developing better lead generation is essential for today's business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers.

Do you want to attract more qualified leads for your business? Enter your email below for instant access to our list of can't-miss tips for boosting your lead generation strategy.

Lead Generation Tips

It's true that lead generation takes work. However, there are plenty of lead-generation automation options available to take some of the repetitive manual work away from your employees. Plus, if you're not actively generating leads for your business, you're giving up customers to the competition.

So how do you effectively generate leads? Let's look at some of the best practices for this task.

Create a Lead Magnet

Think of a lead magnet as the carrot on the end of a stick. You're dangling it in front of the consumer, hoping he or she will bite.

There are lots of different types of lead magnets, each of which can convince a prospective customer to give up his or her email address and other contact information. You're generally providing access to lead magnets like the following:

  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Videos
  • Expandable content
  • Tools or calculators

You let the consumer know what he or she will get, then provide an opt-in form that requests the consumer's personal information. Generally, the fewer details you request, the higher your conversion rates become for lead magnets. People might want your magnet, but they don't want to spend ten minutes filling in detailed forms.

Try collecting just names and email addresses to start. Later, you can learn more about those customers by their post-opt-in behavior.

Advertise Your Text Marketing Campaign

Emails are great for generating leads, but in some ways, text marketing is even better. Most people look at their smartphones dozens of times each day, often when they hear that familiar sound that notifies them of an incoming text.

It doesn't matter who's texting—a friend, a family member, or a brand. Consumers want to know who's trying to get in touch.

Furthermore, text marketing hasn't become nearly as saturated as email marketing. Think about the last 24 hours of your day. How many emails have you deleted without even opening them? Probably several.

The most successful small business owners have started text marketing campaigns because they see the value. They understand that a direct line to the consumer can boost conversion rates exponentially.

Host a Contest on Social Media

While social media is a relatively new lead generation strategy, it's wildly effective, especially if you hold a contest. Give away your product or service to the winner, for example, to encourage participation.

Instagram contests, for example, can require participants to post a photograph of themselves with your product. You then choose a winner at random. It's a great way to expand brand visibility, acquire new followers, and usher new leads through the sales funnel. Since mobile marketing has become increasingly relevant, social media offers an attractive option for lead generation.

Send Direct Mail

Lead generation doesn't always have to revolve around online strategies. In fact, some of the oldest tricks still work the best, such as direct mail.

Send a postcard or other piece of literature to prospects. Ask them to opt into your text marketing campaign, for example, and give them a unique code so you can track your direct mail strategy's effectiveness.

Qualifying Leads for Better Results

Now that you're familiar with lead generation, how do you qualify those leads? We mentioned before that warm and hot leads are far more valuable than cold or indifferent leads, but how do you know the difference?

Start With Buyer Personas

What does your target consumer do for fun? For work? How does he or she spend money? What factors influence his or her buying decisions?

Buyer personas help you separate qualified leads from cold leads. They show you what you're looking for in a lead so that you don't waste time nurturing leads who won't end up handing over their cash.

Recognize Intent

Some people will part with their email addresses just to get your lead magnet, discount code, freebie, or another incentive. They're not really interested in your product or service.

To qualify leads, you need to focus on intent instead of mere expressions of interest. 

A qualified lead will visit multiple pages on your website, fill out contact forms, browse your sales pages, and follow you on social media. These are the leads on which you should spend the most time.

Ask the Right Questions

Depending on your industry, your sales team might contact leads directly. They can learn to separate qualified leads from their unqualified counterparts by asking the right questions.

A few examples include:

  • What order quantity are you considering?
  • What exactly are you looking for in [product or service]?
  • Who is the ultimate decision-maker?

By asking these types of questions, you can gauge genuine interest and make contact with the right person. Use these questions when your sales team follows up with leads from a direct-mail campaign or other strategies.

Set Internal Parameters

Sometimes, qualifying leads has nothing to do with the customer, but more to do with your business. For instance, you know what types of customers you want to work with. You might disqualify leads based on certain criteria, such as:

  • Geography
  • Income
  • Demographics
  • Past behavior

You can set these internal parameters to make sure your sales team doesn't waste time on customers who don't fit with your buyer personas.

Follow Online Behaviors

Certain metrics—such as bounce rates, click-through rates, time on page, and pages visited—can help you qualify leads. Customers who are ready to buy typically spend more time on your site as well as on individual pages. They don't bounce away the moment they hit a landing page, and they click through when they receive emails from your brand.

Conclusion

It's true that lead generation has become slightly more complicated as technology advances and consumers become warier. That's why you need more sophisticated solutions.

From email and text message marketing to lead magnets and direct mail campaigns, there are plenty of ways to bring in more leads. Then, once you've captured contact information, you can qualify the top leads and begin nurturing them toward the sale.

Always remember that a lead or prospect is not a customer. You need revenue to keep your business alive, so take every precaution possible to ensure that you're driving leads toward conversions and that you don't waste time on dead ends.

Ready to give your lead-generation strategy some rocket fuel? Sign up for free and give EZ Texting's text marketing technology a spin. You won't be sorry.

Does Your Small Business Need Buyer Personas?

Let's say that you sell running shoes. Some of your customers might want shoes for marathons, triathlons, and other major athletic events. Many of your customers might want them for casual jogs around the block. Others could need running shoes for long endurance jaunts over rough terrains. That's why you need buyer personas.

A buyer persona defines a specific target customer. It's a fictional biography of the person to whom you want to sell, and since your business targets different types of customers, you need buyer personas if you want your marketing efforts to work.

Income Levels

Whether you sell products or services, you likely have different pricing levels. You can create buyer personas with different income levels so you know how to target them with offers they can afford.

For instance, maybe you sell website design services. Your pricing tiers and related services could target start-ups, small businesses, and enterprise-level businesses. Each target persona will have a different budgetary range.

Similarly, if you sell jewelry, you might keep inventories of everything from costume pieces to six-figure settings. If you don't have buyer personas, you can't direct your marketing messages to the right consumers.

Needs and Desires

Motivation is a major part of marketing. Whether you're pursuing email marketing, text marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, or something else entirely, your message needs to revolve around the benefits your target customer can derive from your product or service.

Maybe you run a home security company. Some of your customers live in high-crime areas and want to protect their homes and businesses from potential burglars or vandals. Others have small children they want to protect. Some might worry about protecting valuables inside their homes.

All of these motivations should be built into your buyer personas. Otherwise, you won't know what wording to use in your persuasive text marketing and other efforts.

Lifestyle

Buyer personas are also necessary for establishing important lifestyle choices that your target customers make. For example, if you run a fitness e-commerce store, you'll need to target personas based on their lifestyle habits and goals, such as losing weight, gaining energy, improving strength, or increasing flexibility.

Knowing these details can help you craft text marketing messages that resonate with your target audience.

Challenges

What challenges do your target customers face? These will vary based on their situations.

You might notice that service-oriented businesses often offer different tiers of services based on what the target customer needs or wants. For instance, Dropbox addresses many different challenges on its homepage. Its customers might want to increase data security, store their photos and videos, work collaboratively with people on a shared project, and more.

Each of these challenges can be roped into your buyer personas. That way, when you send marketing messages, you hit on pain points that your prospects understand.

Buyer personas aren't just a luxury or a buzzword. They're essential if you want to take your text marketing strategy to the next level, and they can influence all of your other content marketing campaigns. If you want to test text marketing on your buyer personas, sign up for free . See how easy it is to communicate effectively with your target market.

How Your Municipality Can Increase Engagement with Its Citizens

When you're in charge of keeping citizens engaged in your municipality, you have several options—some of which are more effective than others. Most people lead busy lives, so you don't want to be viewed as disruptive or annoying. At the same time, you want to keep people informed, healthy, and active in their community. Here's how.

Advertise Public Meetings

If people in your municipality often congregate in a specific area, such as a park or green space, use that opportunity to engage with them about upcoming meetings and events. Stress that they can lend their voices to important issues that impact them and their neighbors.

Posting signs and even putting together a street team to talk to people can make a big difference. Show your citizens that you care about their opinions and that you want them to participate in community affairs.

You should also create space on your municipality's website that advertises upcoming meetings and events. The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan demonstrates this effortlessly by posting news to its homepage.

Create an SMS List

Many people don't like to get intrusive phone calls, and many delete any email that doesn't immediately grab their attention. However, text message open rates are much higher than email open rates, and you can send a text message that reaches hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people in an instant.

SMS marketing makes engaging with your constituents as simple as possible. You just send a text message when you need to inform citizens about a water shortage, an upcoming event, a missing child or elder, or any other issue of immediate importance.

Best of all, you won't irritate the citizens of your municipality. Most people are used to checking their phones within seconds of receiving text messages, so this practice plays into their daily routines.

Get On Social Media

Social media is a great way to increase engagement among a municipality's citizens. Most people have at least one social media account, and a city's or town's social account can help connect people who live in the same area.

Use text and images to let people know what's going on around them and to encourage them to participate in local events. You can instantly see how Austin, Texas, uses Instagram to capture its culture and celebrate its citizens.

As a bonus, social media can also help drive tourism. Encourage people to visit your city, patronize local businesses, and interact with citizens. It's not only beneficial for the local government, but also for local entrepreneurs. 

Whether you post on social media, send a text message, or visit people in local public areas, engaging your citizens can create a happier, healthier community. To start an SMS marketing campaign and reach people with a simple text, sign up for free at EZ Texting.

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