By: EZ Texting
Marketing a service business isn't always as cut-and-dried as marketing products. You can't just post a photograph of a product and list its features and benefits. The lead generation and nurturing process can take a little longer—and involve a few extra steps.
However, that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on marketing. Here are six inexpensive ways to market your service business.
1. Publish on LinkedIn
Did you know that you can publish articles directly on LinkedIn? It's called LinkedIn Publishing, and you can start a new article from your LinkedIn account. Simply click on the "Write a Post" button at the top of your feed, and you'll see a screen that looks like the one above.
You'll instantly put your content in front of the people with whom you're connected on LinkedIn. If you write compelling content and publish regularly, you'll attract a following and develop a strong reputation in your industry. This is a great way to set your company apart as a thought leader and innovator, which can ultimately lead to more customers.
2. Start an Educational Blog
If you don't want to publish on LinkedIn (or even if you do), consider publishing content on your own website as well. Use an educational blog to teach your customers important information and to guide them toward purchases. At the end of every post, include a call to action (CTA) that takes the reader to a landing page.
3. Start an SMS Marketing Campaign
An SMS marketing campaign might not be free, but it's far less expensive than PPC ads and other marketing initiatives. It's also more efficient because you get to target interested consumers who have already expressed interest in your service business.
Think about it. What happens when your phone alerts you to an incoming message? You pull your phone out of your pocket to see what it says. That's the power of SMS marketing: Your messages get read instantly. It's one of the most powerful lead-generation tools you can have in your arsenal.
4. Build an Email List
While email open rates aren't quite as high as those of SMS marketing, you can reach a different audience through email. Ask people to sign up for your email list, then incentivize them by offering a free gift. In a service industry, white papers, e-books, and similar content can make excellent lead magnets.
5. Publish Videos on YouTube
Video has quickly become one of the most compelling content forms on the internet. It's highly visual and engaging, and you can use it to educate your prospects about topics that relate to your business. For instance, if you're an electrician, you could create a video that teaches people about the hazards of messing with their homes' wiring themselves.
6. Create Infographics
Infographics are also visual. They tell a story through numbers, images, and text. They're also among the most shareable content forms. They get passed around social media and blogs like wildfire. If you don't want to hire a professional designer, you can use free tools like Canva to make your own using pre-built templates.
There's no reason to spend a fortune when you want to market your service business. Free and inexpensive campaigns like SMS marketing, email marketing, and infographics can all generate leads.
Ready to start your own SMS marketing campaign? We've made it easy. Sign up for free!
By: EZ Texting
If you're having trouble filling seats in your restaurant, maybe your marketing campaign needs a refresh. Changing up your marketing campaign and pursuing new methods of reaching potential customers can drastically improve your results.
Step Outside the Box
Not the take-out box, of course, but the marketing box.
Depending on where you run your restaurant, you might have dozens of nearby competitors. In big cities, you can find a restaurant every few yards.
How do you compete against all that noise? You must develop a marketing strategy that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Let's start with some raw numbers, though. According to a recent National Restaurant Association report, restaurant sales grew by 5 percent in 2016 alone. That's a tremendous gain for restaurateurs who take advantage of marketing opportunities. Total sales for the restaurant reached nearly $800 billion.
So how do you get a piece of that pie?
Reach Your Customers Quickly and Effectively
People don't check their email as much as they used to. Some consumers even ignore social media activity.
However, 77 percent of Americans have smartphones. They're carrying around these devices all day long, just waiting to receive correspondence from you.
Essentially, you're sending targeted messages to people who provide their phone numbers. It's a form of permission marketing that can drive sales quickly and cost-effectively.
SMS marketing works well for two important reasons:
- The customer expects to receive promotions and other correspondence from your brand; and
- You can encourage people to patronize your restaurant right when they're looking for somewhere to eat.
Think about it: When do people look for restaurants?
Some consumers might eat on non-traditional schedules, but most people start looking for food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time.
If you time your text message marketing to correspond with those times, in your time zone, you stand to gain considerable sales.
Add a Few Ingredients to the Mix
How well do SMS marketing campaigns work? It depends. You need a strategy that will appeal to your target demographic and encourage people to reserve tables at your restaurant or pull up to the window at your drive-thru.
- Offer irresistible temptation. Just like your food, you want your text messages to become impossible to ignore. Try coupons and other promotions that bring people in.
- Build brand signals. People get lots of text messages. Help yours stand out by branding them with signature imagery, logos, taglines, and copy.
- Encourage sharing. Anyone can forward a text message to anyone else. Ask your subscriber base to let their friends know about your SMS marketing program.
- Move offline. You can promote your SMS marketing campaign on your website, social media, and other digital assets. But don't forget about your physical assets. Advertise the campaign signage in your restaurant to encourage sign-ups when people stop for a bite.
Refreshing your restaurant marketing campaign doesn't have to involve a social media overhaul or a website redesign. Instead, think about ways to branch out from traditional marketing channels. EZ Texting offers the world's most effective SMS marketing tool — and it's super affordable. Don't believe us? Sign up for free.
By: EZ Texting
Everyone's talking about digital solutions these days: e-books, blogs, social media platforms, email marketing, and more. However, these conversations don't mean that tangible products and marketing campaigns have gone the way of MySpace and Napster.
In fact, direct mail remains a strong contender in the world of marketing, and it can pair particularly well with text marketing. Here's how.
Invite Text Marketing Subscriptions Through Direct Mail
Direct mail and technology don't repel each other — in fact, they can work in harmony.
Direct mail offers several advantages of digital marketing campaigns. For one thing, you have a lot more room. A flyer, handbill, or brochure gives you plenty of room to engage the recipient with images, text, and other components.
When you design your direct mail advertisements, incorporate an invitation to connect via text marketing. Just include the number that allows people to subscribe, and perhaps add an incentive, such as an immediate coupon for the customer's next order.
We strongly believe that marketing campaigns are only as strong as the metrics that you track. Direct mail allows you to determine exactly which messages drive the most text message sign-ups. You can refine your strategy and your future direct mail efforts based on those results.
Get Quick Access to Ongoing Communication
How do you win at marketing? You stay in touch.
Most direct mail missives include coupons and other incentives, but they leave significant marketing potential on the table. A text message marketing campaign allows you to capture customers not for just one sale, but for multiple touch points down the line.
For instance, you might send out a circular that includes an invitation to get 20 percent of the customer's next order. There's just one catch.
The customer has to text a specific number and sign up for the business's text marketing campaign to get the coupon.
If the customer wants that 20-percent-off coupon badly enough, he or she will reach for the nearest smartphone.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Direct mail takes time. That's one of the reasons many marketers have abandoned it in favor of Facebook and Instagram.
But those businesses are ignoring the big picture. Yes, a mailed missive takes some time to reach the recipient, but that's just the short-term view.
If you invite your prospects to connect with you via text marketing, you can easily create long-term relationships. As soon as the customer texts your special number to opt in, the potential for continued communication skyrockets.
Did you know that 90 percent of text messages get read within three minutes? Regardless of the product or service you're marketing, such quick engagement with your subscribers is worth far more than an Instagram ad campaign.
Let's say a piece of direct mail takes three days to reach the consumer. That's one message. Afterward, dozens of messages fly right into your prospect's hands, and those messages get read in three minutes or less.
Our customers have experienced extreme growth in customer engagement, customer loyalty, sales, and lead conversions through text marketing campaigns. We want you to join them. Sign up for free to experience text marketing's power firsthand, and don't be afraid to marry that campaign with your direct mail efforts. Trust us: They're like peanut butter and jelly.
By: EZ Texting
The most effective companies don't stick with one marketing strategy and hope for the best; they diversify.
It's just like building an investment portfolio. No matter how strongly you feel about a company, you don't put all your stock purchases in that one entity. Instead, you spread your money around to hedge against potential losses.
The same should go for your marketing strategy. Just as most B2B businesses invest about 50 percent of their marketing dollars in inbound marketing and the rest in outbound marketing, so should you diversify your campaigns.
Reach People With Varied Interests and Lifestyle Habits
People consume media in different ways. Some are glued to their smartphones, paying attention to push notifications, email alerts, and incoming text messages. Others watch television, peruse billboards on their way to work, or read their favorite blogs from desktop computers.
If you only use a single marketing channel, how can you expect to reach everyone who might express interest in your retail business?
Some experts claim that inbound is the holy grail of marketing efforts, but this isn't always true. In fact, outbound marketing can produce significant results, especially if you approach it strategically. When you don't limit yourself to a single approach, you can surprise yourself with the results you generate from marketing.
Catch Potential Customers While They're Out and About
Text marketing works particularly well because it reaches consumers on the go. When your prospective customers are walking the local mall or riding the subway home from work, you might catch them at the perfect time to give your retail establishment some business.
Study after study has shown the power of impulse purchases. Many consumers don't know they're going to buy a product until the second before they snatch it off a shelf. If your text message marketing campaign hits the right consumers at the right time, you can significantly increase your conversion rate and boost sales.
Build Strategies That Can Scale as You Grow
Every retailer needs a scalable marketing plan. Otherwise, unexpected growth might lead you not to unprecedented sales, but to an involuntary standstill. You need a way to scale up with your business, and a varied marketing approach allows you to do just that.
For instance, text message marketing can grow with your business regardless of the products you sell. As you gain a larger audience, you can segment it based on demographics, shopping habits, and other criteria so your messages become more relevant to your subscribers.
You don't have to pick between inbound and outbound marketing, as some experts would have you believe. In fact, it's a mistake to put all of your marketing eggs in the same proverbial basket. If you want to bring more customers to your business — whether in person or virtually — consider starting a text marketing campaign. It bridges the gap between outbound and inbound marketing perfectly, and best of all, you can sign up for free
By: EZ Texting
Small business owners often feel like jugglers. They're constantly maintaining multiple balls in the air, and if one of them drops, they can suffer dire consequences.
That's why marketing automation has become critical to SMB success. Automation allows you to focus on big-picture ideas and tasks while technology works in the background to improve your marketing, sales, and outreach channels.
Invest in Customer Relationship Management
Are you failing to connect with your customers? Automation might offer the key to future success.
A customer relationship management (CRM) software solution can automate several repetitive tasks while providing clean, actionable data on your customers. SMBs often worry that they can't afford such software, but many products have become extremely affordable over the last few years.
CRM programs help you usher your customers through the sales funnel, from the first contact to repeat purchases. While customer relationships and automation might seem like contrary concepts, the opposite is actually true. Through personalization tokens and other technology, you can actually make communications feel more intimate than you would through manual marketing efforts.
CRM can also integrate other marketing automation software, from email to social media, so you don't have to switch back and forth between different programs. You can try many software programs for a brief free trial, so you don't spend money on a program that doesn't meet your needs.
Send Marketing Communications Automatically
Smartphones have created the ideal tether between SMBs and their customers.
Connecting with your audience can be as simple as firing off an email or sending a text message. However, who has time to write hundreds or thousands of texts or emails every day? We sure don't.
That's why we created EZ Texting. It's a fully automated text message marketing platform that allows you to collect customer contact information, send out text messages to subscribers, and segment your audience based on their specific demographics and habits. The automation ensures that you have plenty of free time to focus on other marketing tasks.
You can use similar programs for email and social media automation. The less time you spend on these tasks, the more time you have for big-picture campaigns.
Consider Retargeting for Your Advertising Efforts
Automation isn't just for inbound marketing. You can also use it to give your advertising efforts more appeal. Retargeting is a common advertising tactic that allows you to expose your brand to consumers who have already interacted with your business in the past.
Let's say that a potential customer visits your Facebook page. He or she leaves a comment or a review and then clicks away. The next time he or she visits Facebook, an ad for your business appears in his or her feed. Recognition strikes, and you're more likely to convert the visitor into a lead and the lead into a customer. Retargeting can work on social media, your own website, paid search, and other campaigns.
Let's face it: You don't have time to handle every marketing task manually. And even if you could hire the staff to do it for you, marketing automation offers a far more budget-conscious solution. Sign up for free to discover the obvious and hidden benefits of text message marketing, which you can automate for superior performance and efficiency.
By: EZ Texting
If you want to create an outbound marketing strategy, you need tools that will help you accomplish your goals faster and more efficiently. Outbound marketing is largely a numbers game — the more people you reach, the more conversions you attain. That's why tools become critical to success. Without them, you face hours of repetitive manual tasks that result in lost productivity.
To supercharge your campaign, check out these indispensable tools for outbound marketing.
Programs like VanillaSoft combined customer relationship management, lead generation, and telemarketing in one neat package. SoftwareAdvice.com gives VanillaSoft 4.5 stars out of a possible 5, stating that the software "utilities a queue-based sorting system that also provides lead generation and nurturing tools, helping to better manage sales in the pipeline and secure new business."
Reviewers call VanillaSoft a "great software" package and boast that's "easy to set up and use." If you're looking for a way to streamline outbound calls and telemarketing, consider using a program like VanillaSoft. It's compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, and you can customize and configure it based on your specific needs.
Many businesses have neglected to start text message marketing campaigns because they assume that email marketing is enough. It's not. People receive an average of 124 emails per day as of 2017, and many of those go ignored or deleted.
Consumers can't ignore text messages quite so easily. A program like EZ Texting allows you to set up and automate your text message marketing campaign with ease, and out of nearly 40 verified buyers, reviewers on FeaturedCustomers.com gave EZ Texting a cumulative score of 4.1 stars out of 5. If you're looking for a solid SMS marketing service, you can count on EZ Texting to deliver your messages quickly and effectively to interested consumers. You can also get a free trial to test it out for yourself.
Press releases are difficult to write and even more difficult to circulate. Prezly, a PR software solution, helps you conquer those obstacles by combining analytics, customer relationship management, publishing tools, social media integration, and more.
Reviewers at Capterra gave Prezly 4.5 stars out of 5, with many stating that the software has transformed their approach to press releases and public relations. You can get a free demo to see whether Prezly will work well for your organization.
When you're looking for an advertising software solution, Sizmek delivers. It's an advanced choice that supports programmatic ads, programmatic creative, and tons of other options, so your advertisements don't just reach more eyeballs, but they also generate more engagement and higher conversion rates.
On Facebook, customers have rated Sizmek 4.7 out of 5 stars, and some of the largest brands in the world use Sizmek to automate their advertising campaigns, from Levi's and LG to Nike and Nissan.
When you're starting an outbound marketing campaign, software can make your life easier and help you reach more prospects. To get started with text message marketing, sign up for free and start delivering notifications directly to your customers' mobile devices.
By: EZ Texting
When you're planning for back-to-school season, don't let marketing opportunities slip through your fingers. Parents, kids, and teachers spend lots of money as the school season looms closer, so put some of these strategies to use in your text marketing campaign.
Target Kids and Parents Separately
When it comes to text marketing, segmentation is key. You must target different audiences with separate messages if you want your words to resonate.
For instance, tweens and teens with their own smartphones might want to receive messages about clothing, locker decor, and other items they might buy for themselves, often without parental oversight. Meanwhile, parents want to save money on more practical supplies, while teachers need to outfit their rooms and their briefcases with the essentials.
Create marketing plans for each of those target audiences. You can also segment them further, especially when it comes to teens. For instance, you might want separate campaigns for girls and boys.
Get Active on Social Media With Image-Heavy Posts
Even if you're already active on social media, your tweets and posts need to ramp up as kids get ready to go back to school. They may be more active on the most popular platforms because they're connecting with their friends, sharing tips, and likely bemoaning the end of summer.
All of these actions can lead them to your brand if you play your cards right.
Target your audiences with messages that apply specifically to them. Use lots of images, especially when you're trying to gain the attention of younger audiences, including millennials who are heading to universities and trade schools.
Host a Back-to-School Event With Steep Discounts
Discounted merchandise can attract consumers faster than just about any other marketing strategy. This is particularly true for big families that might need supplies for several students, from clothing to pens and pencils.
Depending on the type of business you run, attract those consumers by discounting your products as much as possible. You don't have to rely exclusively on percent-off deals, either. For instance, you can encourage multiple purchases with BOGO or BOGO half off.
Pay careful attention to profit margins when discounting merchandise. You want to bring people in the door — whether figuratively (online) or literally (in a brick-and-mortar store) — but if you discount your inventory too steeply, you'll lose revenue.
Target Professionals and Students Simultaneously
Back-to-school season doesn't just apply to students. Teachers, bus drivers, administrators, and other education professionals also go back to work.
Even if your business doesn't target the younger crowd, you can still use your back-to-school marketing campaign to generate more revenue. Just target the people on the other side of the classroom.
The more you promote back-to-school promotions via text marketing, the greater rewards you'll reap. Don't miss this opportunity by failing to start an SMS campaign, regardless of the type of business you run. Sign up for free to learn about all the benefits that EZ Texting has to offer.
By: EZ Texting
Text marketing only benefits the business and the consumer when it's done well. Even when you have access to the best text marketing technology, knowing how to structure your campaign can make a huge difference in its outcome.
Following are some of the best practices for a strong, successful, and enriching campaign.
Start With a Can't-Miss Offer
A text marketing campaign only works when a company builds its subscriber list. Like email marketing, SMS marketing requires a strong audience, so give your prospects a gift in exchange for subscribing to your list.
It could be a welcome coupon, a buy-one-get-one-free promotion, or something else entirely. When you advertise your text message marketing program to customers, tell them right away why they should subscribe.
After your customers subscribe, don't give them a reason to take themselves off the list. Continue adding value to every text you send, whether it's a head's up about a new project or a holiday promotion your customers won't want to miss.
Take Advantage of Automation
One of the most beautiful aspects of a text marketing program lies in its simplicity. You don't have to remember to make phone calls, send emails, or bid on keywords. Your marketing campaign becomes seamless and automated.
If you use a text marketing service, you won't miss chances to connect with your subscribers. Plus, you can schedule messages weeks or months in advance to prepare for upcoming promotions. When used wisely, SMS marketing becomes a powerful customer-retention tool.
Encourage Subscribers to Share
People won't help market your business if you don't ask them to do so. That's why calls to action have become so essential in all aspects of marketing: They give the consumer a next step to take; a path to follow.
If you set up a drip campaign, for instance, you can include a shareable text message as part of your strategy. After you've hooked the consumer on your promotions, coupons, and other offers, invite them to share a benefit with their friends, such as a coupon code.
Think of it as a viral marketing strategy that never appears on YouTube or in social media posts. You're encouraging consumers to interact via SMS for the benefit of your business.
Give Your Campaign a Name
There's a reason that sports teams don't identify themselves just by their school or home town and why military organizations have names and uniforms. Names create a sense of unity and presence that you can't manufacture any other way.
Consider naming your campaign to let subscribers feel like they're part of an exclusive team. You don't have to get too witty or creative with it. A simple combination of your business's name and a unifying word will suffice, such as one of the following:
- [Business Name] VIPs
- Team [Business Name]
- [Business Name] Insiders
- [Business Name] MVPs
- [Business Name] All Stars
You can include any word that celebrates your corporate culture and helps you market your text message program to prospects.
If you follow these best practices and sign up for free at EZ Texting, you'll build a successful text marketing campaign in no time. We can't wait to help your business establish a loyal following through the most convenient medium: SMS.
By: EZ Texting
Nightclubs are hip, exciting, and energetic, which means that your marketing campaign needs to share those same qualities. SMS marketing offers the ideal way to connect with nightclub patrons, especially when they're already out on the town and looking for a place to eat, drink, and be merry.
Following are five no-fail nightclub marketing tips to put more groove in your strategy.
1. Embrace Location Marketing
In 2016, AdWeek's Steven Rosenblatt made several location-marketing predictions for 2017, and they all make one thing perfectly clear: location is everything. Fortunately for you, that adage can apply nicely to your nightclub marketing campaign.
Rosenblatt stated, "The consumer shift to mobile is very real and something that marketers need to optimize around in order to increase sales in a competitive landscape." What does this mean for your nightclub?
You need a mobile-first strategy. SMS marketing can provide the perfect place to start because people carry their mobile devices with them at all times. Your messages can reach them when they're away from their computers and out with friends.
2. Create a Contest
People love to compete against each other. Use SMS marketing and other marketing channels to promote a contest at your nightclub or even through your text subscribers. Perhaps you could create a trivia contest that challenges your subscribers' knowledge of mixed drinks or a naming contest for your new house cocktail.
To get people in the door, let your subscribers know about contests you run in the club itself. Door prizes often draw big crowds of thirsty patrons, and the chance to prove their mettle will keep them in their chairs all night long.
3. Mix Up the Entertainment
Nightclubs often build their reputation on the types of music they play, the DJs they hire, and the musicians who play live on stage. This doesn't mean that you can't shake things up every once in a while.
For instance, you could host an open mic night for local comedians. Make the entertainment separate from your usual activities at the club. This strategy works well to get newcomers through your doors — people who might not have otherwise found or visited your club. Promote it through email and SMS marketing as well as fliers, social media, and other standard channels.
4. Share Mixed Media
Nothing ramps up excitement about a nightclub like photographs and videos. Share this content through SMS marketing, emails, social media, and your website to generate buzz and show off all your happy patrons.
There are several ways to incorporate mixed media into an SMS marketing campaign. You can edit mixed media to suit a special occasion, for example, such as a holiday or special promotion, effectively allowing your photo or other content to double as an advertisement.
5. Get Active on Social Media
Without a social media presence, you might find nightclub marketing difficult. People often search nightlife on social media before they visit a new city, so you can use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to attract tourists as well as locals.
No matter your nightclub's target audience, you can use these marketing strategies to ramp up consumer interest as well as revenue. To get started with EZ Texting's SMS marketing platform, sign up for free. We love to see local businesses succeed as they build their customer base and find new ways to reach potential patrons.
By: EZ Texting
The better you know your customers, the easier it becomes to predict their behavior, to communicate effectively with them, and to anticipate their needs.
It's sort of like friends and family. If you know someone well, you never have to wonder what she would like as a birthday present or whether you should invite him to an event. You just know.
If you want to develop that level of familiarity with your customers, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Harness the Power of Touch
Did you know that human touch fosters trust, community, and loyalty? It's a psychological fact.
When you shake someone's hand, you create an instant connection that you can't manufacture through digital means. This doesn't mean that online marketing is ineffective; it simply means that you can incorporate in-person marketing with your text message marketing campaign.
How do you get close enough to your customers to shake hands?
- Set up meetings with your clients to brainstorm ideas or go over project specifics.
- Attend industry events where you can meet more people and get to know them all better.
- Invite customers to your place of business for lunch & learns and other events.
- Create customer appreciation days so you can meet at a designated spot.
While in-person communication might seem too time-consuming, you might be surprised by the information you glean from simple conversations. After you chat with a customer, slip away somewhere private and jot down a few notes about what you learned, so you don't forget.
2. Monitor Social Media
Social media monitoring has become an essential tool in any marketer's toolbox. While participating in social media can help you reach customers, monitoring your customers' activity will help you learn more about them.
What articles do they share? Who do they communicate with online? Which social media platforms attract them the most? What language do they use?
You can also use this strategy to monitor brand mentions. If you know your customers are talking about your company, you can glean helpful information from their feedback — even when it isn't directed to you.
3. Collect More Data
Your text message marketing efforts can help you collect valuable data about your customers. How often do they respond to your messages? Do they follow through with the calls to action you provide?
Collect data through other means, as well, such as website analytics and email marketing. The more information you collect, the better you get to know your customers.
4. Create a Survey
Well-written surveys can gather copious amounts of data from your customers, but only if you encourage recipients to answer the questions honestly. Try creating a survey with open-ended questions instead of those that require simple yes/no responses.
Keep those surveys short and sweet — three to five questions max. You don't want to take up to much of your customers time, but you want real data that you can parse and apply.
Put these four strategies into motion now, so you don't waste another minute in the dark. Once you've collected more data, use it to create a text message marketing campaign that yields positive results. Sign up for free and let EZ Texting do half the work for you!