SMS Marketing for Business

EZ Texting Guide to Using SMS Marketing for Local Advertisement

How much of your business is from local consumers? Whether it is a small percentage or a large one, it is important to spend time on creating a dynamite local advertising strategy that stands alone or complements your larger marketing efforts. One essential component of any strong local advertising arsenal is SMS marketing.

Text message marketing has many promises and advantages. It is cost-effective, and typically costs just a few cents per message. Additionally, it is versatile and can complement almost any other marketing channel. It has a high open rate and a high conversion rate. Therefore, it is great for businesses small and large with a local or a global reach. To wit, check out our EZ Texting Guide for local advertising with SMS.

Call to Action


Make it easy for people to take action on your local ads.

One of the first places to start when utilizing SMS marketing in your local advertising efforts is using it as a call to action on any of your current advertisements. There is a wide range of options for local advertising:
  • Posters
  • Car wraps
  • Flyers
  • Print ads
  • Online ads
  • Billboards
  • TV/radio spots
  • Direct mail
In each of these areas, include a short code and keyword for people to text. Texting CTAs are more effective than many other options. This is because you are making it easy for people to find out more information about your company when they see your ads. Many people are already out and about when they search for restaurants, stores, and other businesses. If they see your ad somewhere, they need to be able to take action without having to remember anything. They need something they can do right away before they forget -- and you lose a potential customer.

The reason that texting works? Potential customers most likely will have their phones on them, so they can simply take them out and text the keyword to get more information about your company, including receiving deals and discounts.

Think Like a Local

Whether you are a local business or have multiple locations, it is important to think like a local when you develop your local advertisements. The same goes for SMS marketing targeted at particular locations. People want to shop locally and help their community. Whether you are a large business or a small one, you want to demonstrate to people why they should choose you over other options. Use your SMS marketing campaign as a way to provide service to your customers that go above and beyond the competition.

An important piece of this? Engage with customers -- and with the community -- through your texting program. To do this, do not simply think of your SMS marketing program as a way to promote your business. Instead, find ways that provide service to your customers and community. You might also find ways to use your texting campaign to foster a community around your place of business. Perhaps you host events or help out local non-profit organizations. This helps you to build a reputation around the community not just as a place of businesses but as a company that really cares about the community.

Group Your Customers

If you have multiple locations, then you have an opportunity to send targeted messages to the demographics within each region of your business. You can customize the texts to each region for a more local effect. To do this, it is important to first group your subscribers by their location. There are a few ways to acquire the information in order to do this:
  • Request during opt-in
  • Use different opt-in keywords per region
  • Integrate information across channels
  • Send out a survey
You might choose to implement more than one strategy to ensure that you have the accurate information about your customers so that they receive the messages that apply to them.

In addition to grouping your customers by region, it is also beneficial to group them by other demographics and behavior patterns. The more information you have about your customers, the better you can target messages tailored to their interests for a more effective campaign.

Timing and Frequency


Check your list for any duplicate entries to avoid over-texting customers.

Grouping your subscribers by locations and other data is highly beneficial, but you do run into one potential issue: having customers in more than one group. This might lead to sending them more messages than they wish to receive. Therefore, you want to ensure that you keep track of the amount of message you send customers so that you do not duplicate your messages to one customer.

Similarly, you want to be aware of what time you send customers in your different regions. Always keep in mind the time zone and avoid sending texts too early, too late or during inconvenient times, such as rush hour. If you only have one location, it is still important to choose an appropriate time to send your messages. SMS marketing can be disruptive, so you want to respect your subscribers. This keeps them happy so that they remain on your list.

There are many ways to utilize SMS marketing as a stand-alone advertising channel or as part of a comprehensive local and/or global advertising effort. To get the most out of your local advertising efforts, use texting as a strong CTA and create a personalized message tailored to the needs and wants of your audience so that it provides value.

Sign up for free and get started with your local texting campaign.

EZ Guide to Texting Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, people want -- and expect -- businesses to make it easy for them to reach out. About 82 percent of responders of a survey believe that there needs to be an easy way for customers to communicate with businesses. For many, that way is text message marketing.


With texts, people can handle customer service issues from anywhere.

In fact, over half of consumers prefer using text messaging for customer service than other channels. Therefore, it is essential that you include a component of service into your SMS marketing campaign. There are many ways to do so, and a few factors you must include.

Alerts and Reminders

Some of the easiest forms of customer service messages are alerts and reminders. Businesses in the healthcare or service industry can send out appointment reminders. This not only benefits customers, as they do not forget, but it also helps your bottom line by reducing no-show appointments. Businesses with events, including sales, also benefit from sending out reminders to customers.

The beauty of text message marketing is that it is perfect for last-minute reminders. Most people open texts within just a few minutes of receipt. Plus, a whopping 98 percent of texts are actually opened. Therefore, you can almost guarantee that people will see your message, and you can send them closer to the event or appointment to reduce the chance that customers will still forget.

Two-Way Communication

Text message marketing is not just about sending messages out to customers; it is also a way for customers to send messages to you. This is great for customer service inquiries. People can send a message to a dedicated number with their problem or inquiry. You can have live customer service agents who will discuss the matter via text, responding back and forth until it is resolved. Alternatively, they can send a particular keyword, such as SERVICE, to your number and get an automated response with ways to handle a problem.

Customer like the ability to text customers with customer service issues. This is because it can be handled from anywhere. As soon as they realize they need help, they can communicate with you. Customers do not need to be somewhere with internet service. Plus, they typically will have their phone with them. Even if they are busy, they can often send out a text.

Chatbots and Automated Messages


Chatbots make it even easier to handle multiple customer service inquiries.

Many text message marketing platforms integrate automated messages, and some are adding chatbots. This makes it easy to expand your customer service via text. You can set up keywords that match some of the most common inquiries or troubleshooting issues about which customers will contact you. Then, you create an automated response with tips on how to solve it or a link to a website that answers the question.

Chatbots can take this a step further. They integrate AI technology so that they can respond to the customer similar to a real person. They can handle customer service through text message without you having to hire customer service agents.

Transactional Messages

You can also use your text marketing campaign to handle your transactional messages. Rather than sending out an email or have an app with alerts, you simply send out an automated message when someone places an order, something is shipped, or when there is a delivery. One key area of customer service is that you offer choices to customers. Therefore, adding texting for transactional messages gives customers one more preference.

Best Practices


Bear in mind some key factors when implementing your program.

When you integrate your text message marketing campaign into your customer service department, there are a few key best practices to follow:
  • Offer choices
  • Service first
  • Think like a customer
  • Make it easy
  • Remain professional
  • Do not go over 160 characters
  • Provide value
  • Integrate across channels
Ultimately, you want to create something that goes above and beyond to provide service and value to customers. It needs to meet and even exceed the expectations that customers have for optimal customer service.

Just because you are using a tool that only involves 160 characters does not mean that you are not able to continue to provide excellent customer service. You just need to adjust how you develop your responses so that they continue to adhere to your brand voice and style while adhering to the parameters of the medium.

Sign up for free and get started with a text-based customer service option.

EZ Guide to SMS Marketing Strategies for 2017

SMS marketing is poised to have one of its best years. Many marketing experts are projecting record years for texting adoption, and they predict by 2025, about half of text messages will be from businesses to consumers. So now is the perfect time to adopt texting, if you have not done so already.

As with any marketing strategy, there are constant changes that need to be adopted into the campaign strategies over time. This year is no different. So, what should you expect to see emerging as the top strategies for 2017 in text message marketing? Read on to find out, as well as some tips on how to incorporate them.

Customer Service: People are turning increasingly to texting for customer service solutions.

Automation: Chatbots and AI tech will change the way we use automated messages.

Social engagement: Texting is poised to pass social media for some aspects of marketing. Find ways to integrate the two channels.

Local advertising: Texting works very well for local advertising solutions.

Mobile first: More people are turning to their mobile devices to access the internet. Discover how texting fits in.

Multi-channel marketing: Develop a seamless integration of all your marketing platforms, including texting, for an enhanced user experience.

Time-Tested strategies: Just because there are changes doesn't mean you need to completely give up everything you've done before.

 
Customer Service

Customer service has already been an important component of any SMS marketing strategy. There are many ways to implement it:
  • In store keywords for help

  • Two-way communication via text

  • Inquiries and requests handled via text

  • Transactional messages

  • Better engagement and customer experience

Texting gives you a great way to provide superior customer service.

If you do not have some level of customer service in your SMS marketing strategy, 2017 is the year to do so. The majority of customers want to utilize this platform as a way to engage with businesses and handle customer service issues, including troubleshooting problems or asking questions.

When developing your customer service strategy, keep your focus on the customer experience. You want to make it easy for customers to interact with you, whether they have a simple question or a larger problem. It should be a positive experience so that the customer walks away feeling satisfied.

Ready to take your customer service strategy to the next level? Look for chatbots to make their way to the testing environment in the near future. Chat bots utilize artificial intelligence to interact with customers in a way similar to another person. They can handle many different components of customer service:Inquiries

 
  • Handling problems

  • Providing solutions

  • Assisting with sales

  • Setting up appointments

  • Handling payments
  • Automation

    Another emerging trend for SMS marketing is automation. You already have some automation in your texting campaign, namely the response messages to your keywords. There are many ways to include automation into your campaign:
    • Chatbots

    • Customer service

    • Keyword response

    • Drip campaigns

    • Scheduled campaigns

    • Birthday/anniversary messages

    • Repeat campaigns

    • Follow up messages
    What type of automation strategy do you have in place for your campaign? To take full advantage of your campaign, it is best to have more than your confirmation message after someone sends a keyword to opt-in to your program.

    When you create your automation strategy, you will incorporate similar concepts to any marketing strategy:
    • Develop an objective

    • Focus on targeted content

    • Schedule timely messages
    The beauty with automation is that you can set it up once and then it can keep one part of your program going for a long period of time. It is perfect for drip campaigns since it will continue to hit leads at certain times to keep them engaged and interested, moving them forward towards conversion and repeat business.

    Social Engagement

    Another important strategy to include with your SMS marketing program is incorporating social engagement. People more and more turn toward text messaging as a way to communicate with friends, family members, businesses and many other people. You want to infuse your campaign with parts of this social component to reach your customers on a more intimate level.

    Text messaging is innately more intimate since you are sending messages to people on their cell phones in a similar manner to their friends and family. Just like social media marketing promises the ability to have your information right next to that of your customers' social network on their feeds, you have a similar place in their message inbox.


    Bring social interaction into your texting campaigns.

    Therefore, you want to take advantage of this situation for more social engagement. Now, it is unlikely that you will interact with every texting subscriber on a one-to-one basis. However, you can leverage your content to have a more friendly and intimate feel to it to get people to start seeing your brand as their friend.

    Additionally, you can utilize your social media profiles to support your texting program and vice versa. This also helps you to cross promote your channels and hit people on multiple levels through different channels.

    When you create more social engagement messages with your texting campaign strategy, there are some key rules you should follow:
    • Remain professional

    • Infuse some humor

    • Avoid text speak and abbreviations

    • Connect emotionally

    • Provide value

    • Remain relevant

    • Personalize messages
    Your social content in your texting campaign will be similar to that in your social media posts. You will find ways to connect with customers beyond simply selling them something or providing values and deals. However, ultimately you will remain a professional business that simply relates on a more personal level.

    Local Advertisement

    SMS marketing provides a key component to local advertising efforts. If you have not yet taken advantage of this component of your program, then be sure to do so. Promote your business in your local newspaper, on community radio, with geo-targeted ads and more. Include texting as your call to action. Then, when customers see the ads, they can text a keyword to opt in and receive more information about your business.

    This works very well for when people are already out shopping or looking for a restaurant. When they see your information, they can act and get an immediate response. Even if they are already in your store, they can take advantage of an offer for signing up for your texting program.

    This not only improves your overall business, it also gains you a larger following. Once you have people subscribed to your text marketing messages, then you have a chance to continually engage with them until they become repeat customers.

    Mobile-First

    A key marketing strategy for 2017 is to take a mobile-first approach. Mobile devices are quickly surpassing computers as they way that people engage with the internet, including searching for businesses and shopping. Therefore, you need to not just have a mobile-friendly platform but one that has a mobile-first concept.

    Your SMS marketing program fits well into this mobile-first strategy. People will have their phones with them at all times, so they can easily opt-in to your campaign and take action when they get your message. Additionally, they can redeem coupons in-store more easily, since they already will have their phone.

    To prepare for a full mobile-first strategy, you also need to make your website mobile friendly. Then, when you send out links to your texting campaign, any landing pages are already mobile friendly for a seamless transition from text to online shopping.

    Multi-Channel Marketing

    Speaking of seamlessly transitioning platforms, another key marketing strategy for 2017 is that you have a true omni or multi-channel marketing experience for customers. This means that they can go from one platform and/or device to another with ease. If they have looked at buying an item on their phone and then visit your site a few hours later on their tablet, your site remembers and retains the items in their cart.

    So, how dos your texting campaign fit into this multi-channel marketing strategy? Well, it is one platform among many through which you interact with customers. You need to incorporate the data from this channel with the data you have from your other channels. This provides you with a fuller picture of each customer. Plus, you avoid oversaturating the customers with interactions because you can easily keep track of when they received messages from you across different platforms.

    Time-Tested Strategies


    When incorporating these new strategies, don't forget the time-tested ones.

    Although there are many key changes to marketing strategies for 2017, there are still some time-tested SMS marketing strategies that you should keep in place for the coming year:
    • Customer first approach

    • Provide value

    • Offer incentives

    • Remain respectful

    • Limit your messages to 2 to 4 per month

    • Be timely

    • Personalize your messages

    • Choose the right keyword

    • Create a strong CTA
    This might seem like a lot of strategies that you need to utilize for your program. Just remember, ultimately you will create a program that fits the breadth of what you need to do while also engaging with your clientele. You might take aspects of each of these strategies to develop a strong and dynamic texting campaign that helps you achieve your business goals.

    Ready to give it a go? Sign up for free.
  • Fergal Glynn of Docurated On Multichannel Marketing And How To Incorporate SMS Into Your Marketing Strategy



    Fergal Glynn is responsible for all of Docurated's pipeline generation initiatives including marketing, sales development, strategy, awareness, demand generation, and driving growth.

    To start, can you talk a bit about what Docurated is and does, and what attracted you to become their VP or marketing?

    Docurated helps customers see and understand everything about their content. Our products are transforming how people and companies use and interact with content. From CRM to email to documents to meetings, Docurated maps the relationships between people and information, and acts as the intelligent fabric delivering personal and contextual content for every knowledge worker.

    In the Introductory Video For Docurated, your Co-Founder and COO speaks the memorable lines, "No one needs 20 more file-sharing solution. What we need is one great idea." First of all, what separates Docurated from the many content management environments out there? And, just as importantly, how do you convince customers that Docurated will solve their data dilemmas?

    Docurated is the only solution in this space that provides complete content activity and user coverage across all the time. Docurated acts as an intelligence layer that sits over all existing content stores providing users with a single access point to all content and activity data.

    Along those lines, what ARE some of the most common problems facing business owners, marketers, and sales teams that you work with?
     

    • Can't find relevant content.

    • No insight or visibility into how content gets used in the field.

    • No analytics on how content impacted a sales opportunity.

    • No single source of truth for enterprise content.

    • Marketing has no way of pushing relevant content to reps.







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    Prior to Docurated, you were head marketer for both Veracode - automated applicated security software; BlueNote Networks - real-time interactive business communications, both of which are pretty solidly B2B solutions. How did you get started as a B2B marketer, and why did you take it so strongly? How are you able to both understand and solve the problems facing marketers and sales teams?

    With a background in software engineering and product management, I moved over to Marketing because I wanted to be more involved in the decisions that drive company strategy. Working with great people at Veracode and Docurated certainly helped me grow as a marketer. At Veracode I built the company's inside sales function so that certainly gave me some valuable insights into the issues sales and marketing teams face.

    Another trend in your marketing experience is working across platforms, incorporating data from all of an enterprise's channels into one solution. First of all, when did you first notice the need for such a service? And how far has that industry come since you first started working with data and multiple channels?

    It is hard not to notice the need for a solution like Docurated. At pretty much every place I've worked so much time was wasted with people searching for and recreating lost content. I think the issues Docurated solves are still very relevant. Content is at the heart of everything Sales and Marketing do and any solution that drives efficiencies and increased effectiveness is going to have a major impact.

    One reason platforms like Docurated exist is so many people are so overwhelmed with the amount of data they receive in any given day, from so many different platforms. Checking e-mail feels like a chore, and a drain of time and energy. With that in mind, what marketing techniques do you tend to prefer, and why?

    I'm a believer in an account-based marketing model where each account is marketed to individually. Prospects demand personalization today. If you present materials that are irrelevant to their needs you will not get very far.

    SMS marketing is still an overlooked option, in today's marketing schema, although that's quickly turning around. SMS messages have an open rate of an impressive 77%, according to business2community.com, and while e-mail open rates vary by industry, they averaged around 20% for 2016. What are some reasons why SMS marketing has such an unusually high open rate?

    I think you touched on it in the question. SMS still gets overlooked so it is a channel that doesn't have as much noise as email for example.

    One thing that's so useful about SMS marketing is it's not invasive, requiring customers to opt-in to receive alerts. How important is this likely to be, this year and beyond?

    Vital. Customers only want to receive info relevant to them. Once they're opted in, you can start to incorporate SMS into your marketing strategy.

    Many SMS marketing campaigns use a mobile keyword to receive a promotion of some kind. How might these keywords, when used in conjunction with a marketing database, help customers to segment themselves? Why is segmenting one's audience so essential for truly effective sales and marketing, these days?

    It all goes back to the amount of info customers are bombarded with today. If it's not relevant they will ignore the email, SMS, etc. By segmenting your database, you can adapt your message and keep it targeted to each segment of your database.

    At this point, there's nearly as many cell-phone subscriptions as there are humans - currently around 6.8 billion according to Quartz.com, and they're on their person at almost all the time. Keeping that in mind, how can a company incorporate SMS marketing into all of their other marketing efforts, maybe using targeting, location specific messages, audience segmentation, etc.?

    Exactly yes all of the above. Again, it all goes back to personalization and relevance. Targeting, location-specific messaging, and segmentation are all techniques that should be incorporated into campaigns.

    Want to learn how SMS Marketing can help your business grow? Sign up for free today!

    The Repeatability of Effective SMS Marketing

    You've sent out your first marketing message and it's a success. What about your second, or third, or fourth, or hundredth?

    A truly effective SMS marketing campaign has the potential to not just drive business the first time you use it, but also throughout the life of the campaign. This is known as the repeatability of a marketing effort.


    With the right campaign, you will see your results occur again and again.

    It does not have to be an ongoing mountain of effort in order to achieve repeatability. In fact, it is quite easy with SMS marketing to continually reproduce similar results. This, in turn, leads to repeat business, which is one step closer to the coveted loyal customers.

    Repeatability in the Sales Funnel

    The first place to develop repeatability is in your lead generation and conversion steps of the sales funnel. You want to build a promotional campaign that continually creates new leads. Then, you want to have automated initial touch points with customers that take them to the next point in your funnel. Once you have a continual chain of leads and conversions, then it is time to also look to your process for retaining customers and driving repeat business.

    SMS and Continued Lead Generation

    SMS marketing is a permission-based medium. However, this does not mean that it does not have a place in lead generation. Texting is a powerful call to action. It can be placed on any marketing or advertising collateral. This gives your existing marketing efforts more power to generate leads. When potential customers see your ad, they can take immediate action by texting the keyword. This provides you with their information, and they have now subscribed to your text marketing program.

    To take full advantage of the continued lead generation promise of texting CTA, it is essential that you develop a strong CTA. For texting, the keyword plays a significant role. You want something that is:
    • Short
    • Easy
    • Memorable
    Developing a strong CTA provides the foundation for a continual lead generation. Add this to an attention-grabbing advertisement, and you will see a more effective program.

    SMS and Customer Retention

    Once way to convert leads and retain customers is to create regular touch points with your customers. The best way to do this is with continual interaction and engagement. SMS marketing provides a great platform through which to do this. To get the most out of it, you want to be sure that all messages are targeted to the customer and his or her position in the sales funnel. Additionally, the messages need to be unique to the medium and provide value to the customer.

    Types of Campaigns to Drive Repeatability


    Focus on developing campaigns that pave the way for repeat success.

    There are some specific types of SMS marketing campaigns that provide an avenue for driving repeatability. These include:



     
    Drip CampaignsA series of texts sent at different times to guide customers through the sales funnel.
    CouponsCoupons drive business and motivate customers to remain part of your messaging program.
    Cross-ChannelCross-channel integration provides an outlet for multiple touch points and engagement with customers.
    Recurring CampaignsScheduled messages so you never forget to interact with a group of customers.
    Loyalty MessagesMessages sent to particular groups as rewards for their loyal patronage and to motivate them to remain customers.

    At the end of the day, the most important aspect of repeatability with marketing efforts is that you have multiple ways to engage with customers and keep them within the sales funnel or as loyal customers. Developing a strong SMS marketing program that sends out regular messages reinforces your relationship with your customers. IT provides a way to engage with them. There are a few best practices to bear in mind:
    • Do not oversaturate customers -- limit to roughly two to four per month
    • Value first -- send content that customers want
    • Send at the right time -- be respectful
    There are many different types of campaigns you might wish to run. However, the same concepts can be used to do it. With SMS marketing, you have the potential for a powerful marketing program. It also is highly engaging, with roughly eight times the engagement rate of email. Therefore, it is even more important that you set the foundation so that you continually see gains and successfully achieve repeatability in your program.

    Sign up for free and see what you can achieve with your text marketing campaign.

    The Results of Effective SMS Marketing

    You've probably heard a lot about the benefits of SMS marketing over the past few years. There are numerous statistics that try to sway you to adopt this marketing program. But, what can you really expect to see as results after running an effective texting campaign?

    • Open Rate: 98 percent for texts versus 22 percent for email
    • Increased conversions: 32 percent conversion rate
    • Improved customer service: Over half of customers want to text for customer service
    • Easily assess your ad success: Use texts as a CTA to assess your ads

    What Makes an Effective Campaign?

    Before learning more about what you can expect, a brief reminder of what exactly makes an effective marketing campaign:
    • Content of value
    • Targeted messages
    • The right audience
    • The right offer or deal
    • Timing
    • Frequency
    Start by building a solid foundation that sets the state for each component. Then, you will have dynamite content that predisposes you to achieve the amazing results offered by text message marketing.

    Higher Open Rate Than Email


    Customers open texts at a much higher rate than email.

    You might not achieve the 98 percent open rate proclaimed, since this is an average rate based on a study. However, you will see a much higher open rate than your email marketing programs, and it is possible to get numbers up in the 90 percents. Compare that to the average email newsletter, which has an open rate around 22 percent. This is significantly lower than the potential for SMS marketing.

    Not only does texting have a high open rate, but it also tends to have a response time of just 90 seconds! Compare that to email, which has an average response rate of 90 minutes. If you want to make sure that customers see and act on a message, forget email. Texting is what you want.

    Increased Conversions

    Text message marketing has the potential to increase your conversions. It has an impressive 32 percent conversion rate. Compare this to the click through rate in email, which is an average of about three percent. What does this mean? It means that by sending out text messages to your customers, you have a higher chance of getting them to take whatever action you want. This might be to redeem a coupon or click a link or sign up for something.

    Another reason that you can expect increased conversions from your texting campaign is that you are reaching an audience that is already highly engaged. Text message marketing is a permission-based medium. Therefore, the people who sign up to receive your messages want to hear from you. Unlike email marketing, people are still very choosy about which businesses they provide their cell phone numbers to for texting campaigns. Therefore, they already have a significant interest in your company when they sign up. That makes it much easier to convert them through your program.

    This also makes it much easier to create a marketing program that targets a particular audience. Personalized, targeted marketing messages enhance the success rate even further.

    Improved Customer Service

    Consumers want to hear from businesses through text messages. Additionally, a majority wants to have any customer service completed through text. By providing the service, you already start to improve your customer relations.

    People shop more and more based on their experience and emotions. Therefore, the more you build your customer relations, the better service you provide. This develops more positive experiences for customers, which in turn leads to them choosing your business over others more often. Over time, they become loyal customers.

    Know The Success of Your Ads


    A texting campaign helps you judge the efficacy of you ads.

    Another result you can expect from a highly effective SMS marketing campaign is to know how well your ads succeeded. Texting is easy to add as a call to action across all marketing mediums. This not only gives your customers an actionable response that is easy to do from anywhere, but it also gives you an easy way to measure how well audiences responded to a particular ad.

    Although this is beneficial all the time, it is especially helpful if you plan to test a few ads. You can use different keywords on each ad and then see which one gets the most opt-ins. Alternatively, you have the potential to see which efforts are working the best for your entire marketing campaign, including print ads, TV and radio spots, digital marketing and more. Simply measure which ads received the most opt-ins by using different keywords. If you notice that certain ads are not getting people to act, then simply investigate to see if there are ways to change it or if you should just scrap that type of advertising.

    With an effective ad campaign, it is possible to experience many of these results. With such amazing statistics, it might be tempting to simply forgo your other marketing channels. However, texting works best as one part of an integrated, multi-channel marketing strategy.

    Sign up for free and see what results you can achieve with your texting campaign.

    The Reach of Effective SMS Marketing

    There has never been a better time to add SMS marketing to your marketing strategy. In addition to high open rates and high conversion rates, this marketing channel has a wide reach. As such, you have the potential to increase your pool of potential customers and ultimately convert them into not just one-time customers but loyal ones.


     
    Wide reachMost people own SMS-enabled phones
    More effective promotionsPeople carry phones with them, so they can instantly react to your ads
    High open ratePeople actually read your messages


    Most People Have Phones

    One main reason that SMS marketing has such a high reach is simply that most people have SMS-enabled cell phones. Approximately 92 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone. This is higher than the 68 percent who own a smartphone and 73 percent who own a computer. That means that messages sent out through text have a higher chance of reaching people than using messages that can only be accessed through the internet or computers, such as email, social media or mobile apps.


    People across all demographics own a phone and text.

    Of course, just because people own a cell phone does not mean that they text. However, the numbers for texting are pretty amazing, too. Out of smartphone owners:
    • 100 percent of 18-29 year olds text
    • 98 percent of 30-49 year olds text
    • 92 percent of those over 50 text
    This means that you have a very wide pool of potential people with which to send your text messages, upon their signing up for your program.

    More Effective Promotions

    Although it is easy to be ready to text everyone to get as wide a reach as possible, there is one caveat: you must have written permission to text people. However, there is an easy way to get over this stipulation: get people to sign up to your campaign.

    This might seem a bit like a catch-22; thankfully, it is easy to promote your texting campaign. Simply add it to the marketing efforts you already do as a call to action. A texting call to action is a highly effective one. Most people carry their phones with them at all times. A person might see your ad in several places:
    • Billboard
    • Flyer
    • Poster
    • Car wrap
    • TV spot
    • Magazine
    • Radio ad
    Then, they can take action by texting a keyword to the number you provide in the CTA.

    Consider the potential with the combination of the reach of these advertising mediums and the ubiquity of texting and cell phones. For example, you might have a billboard seen by tens of thousands of people. With the right call to action, you have the potential to effectively convert more of those viewers than without.

    As people view your poster or other advertising, they might become interested. However, if they have to email, call, visit in person or go online, you will lose a significant number of potential customers. This is because before they can take action, they need to get to a location in which they can do so.

    With a texting CTA, you remove this step that opens up the potential for forgetting or no longer feeling motivated. Instead, people have their phone with them and can simply text the keyword right then and there when they feel the peak motivation to do so.


    As soon as someone sees your ad on TV, they can take action.

    This not only increases the reach and efficacy of your current advertising efforts, but it also increases the number of people who subscribe to your marketing campaign. After they send the initial text, send a confirmation text so that they can sign up to be part of your campaign.

    High Open Rates

    Now that you have a solid number of people signed up for your SMS marketing program, you still have the chance to have a higher reach than other channels, such as email or social media marketing. This is because people actually open texts, with the average open rate at 98 percent. Compare that to roughly 22 percent for email newsletters and you will see how each text you send out has a much better reach than email. Social media marketing has also seen a dive in its ability to reach an audience.

    With these three legs, your SMS marketing campaign has the capacity to have a substantial reach. Not only does it have the capacity to reach a wider potential pool of people, it also more effectively connects with the customer already following you. This, in turn, helps you to have a more effective campaign so that you reach your goals.

    Ready to get started and see how wide a reach you can acheive with texting? Sign up for free.

    The Three R's of Effective SMS Marketing

    There are many components that come together to create an effective SMS marketing campaign. However, it is easy to put them into three main categories: reach, results, and repeatability.

     
    ReachThe size of your pool of potential customers.
    ResultsThe effectiveness of any campaign.
    RepeatabilityAbility to reach the same results over and over again.
    These three R's come together to create a solid foundation on which to build your entire campaign. By focusing on these three elements and their various associated ones, you will be able to institute a strong campaign that brings you the returns you want.

    Reach


    TV ads have a wide reach. SMS marketing increases their efficacy.

    With any marketing tool, the reach plays an important component. This is the number of people you will hit with any particular advertisement or marketing effort. For some mediums, this number can be quite large. For example, when you run an ad on TV or post a billboard, then you will reach a wide number of consumers. It is important to remember that your reach does not always include the quality of potential leads.

    For example, broad advertisements like billboards and TV and radio spots have a high number of viewers, thereby they have a wide reach and pool of potential customers. However, many people who view these ads are not highly engaged. This reduces the percentage of potential leads you receive from the ad, reducing the return on investment.

    This is, in large part, because there is no real target towards a particular demographic, niche, or otherwise interested audience. Targeted ads online and on social media networks can have a wide reach while also being more effective because they hit more interested parties. This can lead to more people engaging with your customers.

    Therefore, when you consider the reach of a particular marketing campaign, it is important to consider not just the number of people who will see it, but the percentage that are viable leads. It is also important to consider ways to increase the efficacy of an ad that does have a wide reach, such as a billboard or TV spot.

    When you add in SMS marketing, you have the potential to greatly increase the number reached through these ads. This is because you can use texting as a call to action on these ads. Then, people who are interested have something they can do to engage with your company, increasing the impact of the ad.

    SMS marketing also has its own reach in two different ways:
    • People who see the promotion
    • Subscribers of your program
    When you first implement an SMS marketing campaign, it is important to promote it to engage a wide audience of potential customers. Then, you can amass subscribers who you regularly text. This helps to convert potential leads into customers, and one-time customers into regular ones, ultimately creating more loyal customers. Therefore, your texting campaign will have a reach that equals the number of subscribers. However, you also have the potential to widen the reach through promoting your campaign through different channels and/or adding it as a call to action on your current campaigns.

    Results


    Your team can review your analytics to see the results of the campaign.

    Another important component of any SMS marketing campaign is the results. There are many metrics you might utilize to determine the results of your campaign, including:
    • Opt-in rate
    • Opt-out rate
    • Conversion rate
    • Click through rate
    • Redemption rate
    These numbers give you insight into the results of your campaign. However, there is much more that can be combined to determine if something got you the results you wanted.

    First, you have to have an objective or goal in mind. This is not just for your overall campaign, but each message sent out should have some type of meaning behind it. This might include:
    • Gain subscribers
    • Boost sales
    • Promote a new product
    • Increase awareness of your business
    • Engage with customers
    The objective of your message will determine which metrics to closely review. Then, you can determine whether or not you reached your goals.

    It is also important to compare each message with previous messages to see if you are gaining traction in your campaign. This also informs you whether or not a particular message type was effective. Additional information you might glean from reviewing your data include:
    • It was sent at the right time
    • It was sent on the right day of the week
    • You are using the right frequency of messages
    • The coupon type was desirable
    • The content was valuable
    With this information, you can continue to change your program so that it becomes more effective and provides better results. By routinely checking your analytics and comparing it, you also get an idea of how your program is moving, including whether you are continuing to see growth or if you have reached a plateau.

    When you see that you are not getting the results you want, then it is time to find ways to create messages that resonate stronger with your followers. You ultimately want something that is of value that motivates them to take the intended action. Places that can be tweaked to increase your results include:
    • Content
    • Word choice
    • Coupon selection
    • Personalization and targeted audience
    • Call to action
    Each of these elements takes your program to the next level. By reviewing the content and word choice, you can determine whether or not it was something that evoked emotion and motivated your consumers to take action. Perhaps you used a coupon that did not seem enticing enough to take advantage of it. You might also have used a coupon or deal that you used on another channel or a previous text message. This could make people bored with the program or simply unmotivated to take action right away.

    You also want to ensure each message includes:
    • Resonance
    • Relevancy
    • Value
    • Emotion
    • Motivation
    • Creativity
    • Exclusivity
    • Uniqueness
    It is important to continue to provide unique and exclusive content of value that motivates the customer to take the action desired. It should resonate with your customer and be relevant to them. One of the best ways to do this is to create personalized, targeted messages based on people's demographics, shopping patterns and other data you have.

    Repeatability


    Can you continue to have the same results with each message?

    The final R of effective SMS marketing is repeatability. This means you can continue to get the same results over and over again. However, it does not mean that you are simply sending out the same content and expecting to have the same return. It is about building a strong foundation so that your program works as expected.

    There are a few key elements of a strong foundation for your SMS marketing program:
    • Clear objective or purpose
    • Target audience
    • Cohesive brand voice
    • Difference or uniqueness
    • Value and relevancy
    • Plan of action
    When you develop your SMS marketing program, it is essential that you create some framework for each element of your program. This should be something that spells out your strategy for the overall program and each individual text so that anyone could come in and develop a text that adheres to your campaign. You probably developed something like this for your other advertising campaigns, such as content marketing guidelines that detailed the best practices for writing your blog and website content. Your texting guidelines should include:
    • The best practices
    • Target audience(s)
    • Brand voice
    • Most relevant coupons
    • General template for your messages
    You might find that you have other elements you wish to include in your guidelines to help you and your team continually develop messages that create a cohesive and strong campaign.

    By having a foundation in place, it is easy to develop messages that repeat your success without actually just sending the same exact message every time. You will have rules to follow that will help you to achieve repeatability. You might find that it is easy to create multiple messages off of a simple template that covers what you need. This might be something like:
    • Attention grabbing statement
    • Deal or coupon details
    • Expiration date
    • Call to action
    With an example text following this template being:
    "Don't miss out on the best deals of the season. Click here to get an extra 20 percent off clearance items. Act now before it expires on [date]."
    Reach. Results. Repeatability. These three R's of effective SMS marketing come together to ensure that you have a strong campaign that will build your business and help you reach not just the goals of your campaign but also your general business goals. Although there are many components to pay attention to, by focusing on these three R's, you will have a solid start to building a strong campaign.

    Do you have your foundation built and are ready to start? Sign up for free and kick off your first campaign.

    An EZ Guide to Getting Text Marketing Opt-Ins

    One important thing to make sure you have when you start your text marketing program is permission from all of your subscribers. The law requires that you have written permission to send marketing text messages to your customers. It is easy to get the permission; you simply need to have customers sign up via some type of online or paper form or opt-in via text message. This builds a foundation for your successful texting campaign.

    There are many ways to motivate customers to opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign. To generate more opt-ins, utilize several mediums to reach a much wider pool of potential subscribers.

    Signage and Flyers


    Add more subscribers by placing information in store.

    One of the easiest places to include information about your texting program is your signage on your store front. You can also include similar information on anything else you hang in, hand out, or place around your business, including:
    • Posters
    • Flyers
    • Table cloths
    • Menus
    It does not take much space to include a keyword, number and brief explanation of the program on advertising properties you already have. When people see these ads, they can easily reach for their phones and opt in.

    When you include information about your texting program on your signs, posters, flyers and similar marketing collateral, choose the keyword you use wisely. You want to use something that enhances the advertisement itself for an added effect. For example, if you run a café, then use a keyword that reinforces the idea that you have great coffee, such as GREATBREW.

    Emails

    Your email newsletters also provide a nice avenue for promoting your text marketing program and bringing in more subscribers. At the bottom of your email, include information about your campaign, including directions for how to opt-in. Alternatively, include a link where people can sign up for the campaign through an online form.

    Your email newsletters go to people who are already receiving something from you, so they are more likely to sign up for another program as well.

    Website and Social Media

    In addition to your email campaigns, your other digital properties also provide a space for bringing in more subscribers to your program. On your website, include a widget where people can easily sign up for the texting program. You can also have banners that have the information for opting in, including a keyword and short code.

    Your social media profiles can also include the information for opting in. It is also beneficial to occasionally directly promote the program to your social media followers through a targeted post. Your social media followers are already interested in knowing more about your company and remaining engaged, making them an attentive audience for getting them to follow you through another medium, such as your texting program.

    Business Cards

    When you are at networking events, trade shows and other places for meeting people, handing out business cards is an easy way to provide potential customers with all the information they need to find your business and remain in touch. This should also include information about your texting program. They will most likely have their phones with them when they receive their card, so they will easily be able to opt into the texting program right away.

    Register Receipts

    What information do you include on your register receipts? If you only have the name and address of the business and the transaction, then you are missing an opportunity to promote your marketing properties, including your text marketing program.

    At the bottom of the receipt, include a line about how to opt-in. Then, after customers have had a positive experience at your company and are disposed to following you, they will see the information and opt-in.

    Print and Other Ads


    Add information about your program on all your billboards and posters.

    It is not just flyers and signage that offer space for promoting your texting program. There are other common advertisement places that prime space for a texting call to action. These include:
    • Print ads
    • Billboards
    • Bus ads
    • Truck/car wraps
    You can use texting as the call to action on these ads, increasing the efficacy of the ads as well as adding more people to your subscriber list. Texting is a strong call to action, especially since people have their phones with them at all times. No matter where they see your ad, they will easily be able to respond by texting a keyword to opt in.

    Radio and TV Spots

    In addition to print ads, it is also beneficial to use a texting call to action for radio and TV spots. Because these ads go out to a much larger radius of potential customers, it also increases the chance that you will grow your subscriber list exponentially.

    Add Some Motivation

    When you include information about your texting program on one or more of these places, it is beneficial to include some motivation to increase the chance of people choosing to opt-in. An easy way to do this is to reward people with an offer or deal of some type just for signing up.

    When they sign up for the program by texting a keyword or filling out an online form, respond with a confirmation text. After they have confirmed they wish to sign up, then send them the text with the coupon or deal. This also ensures that you have the permission from the customers to text them.

    These are some of the most common places for promoting a text marketing campaign to build a larger and stronger subscriber list. The nicest part is that most of these channels you already own and regularly use, making it easy and cost-effective way to promote your program. As an added benefit, using texting as a call to action increases the efficacy of many of these ads, helping you to get the most out of your marketing and advertising efforts.

    Ready to start your program? Sign up for free and start today.

    An EZ Guide to Successful Text Marketing Campaigns

    It is not complicated to utilize text marketing to boost your business. However, like any other marketing channel, it is essential that you have a solid understanding of some basic fundamental components so that you can maximize your efforts.

    There are certain rules to follow, best practices to adopt, and other important aspects of a successful SMS marketing campaign that build a strong foundation on which to run your own creative and unique program.

    Basics of Text Message Marketing


    To get the most out of a texting campaign, start with a solid foundation.

    Before you go too far into creating your text marketing campaign, it is important that you understand the basics of text message marketing. This ensures that you have a solid foundation on which to build your own campaign. It does not take much to start a campaign, you just need:
    • A provider
    • A short code or long code
    • A keyword or set of keywords
    • Subscribers
    • An objective
    • A plan
    These factors each play an important role in a successful text marketing campaign. It is important to find a provider who offers the features that you need to run your program, including group segmentation, receiving and sending messages, and analytics. It is best to choose one with a dependable reputation so that you trust them to not spam your customers, sell their information, or cause problems with the sending and receiving of messages.

    When you have a provider, you also have to determine whether or not to select a short code or a long code, as well as whether to have a unique one or share one. Shortcodes are codes that are usually five numbers to which subscribers text a keyword and that identifies you when you send a message.

    It can be a lengthy and costly process to have your own unique code, so many businesses choose to share one instead. Some companies have started to offer long codes, which are similar to regular phone numbers. These are easier to get, and they make your messages appear less like marketing messages and more like regular texts. However, there are certain regulations involved in using long codes over short codes.

    Once you have a provider and short code, then you can start your program. You just need to advertise a keyword for opting in to build a subscriber list, determine your objective, and create a plan for sending out messages. When you get to this place, there are a few more best practices, rules and tactics that you should follow for a better program.

    The Most Important Rule of Texting

    Text message marketing falls under a few different laws, so there are some important guidelines and regulations that you must follow. The most important one is that you need permission in order to send information to your customers. This must be written permission. It is important to retain a record of all opt ins and opt outs so that you can readily prove that you have permission from all your subscribers.


    Be sure you have permission before sending anyone any texts.

    There are several ways you can get permission. Some of the most common include:
    • A written form
    • An online form
    • Opting in with a keyword through text
    When you have customers opt-in, be sure to send a confirmation follow up text to ensure they do wish to receive texts from you. It is also important to be clear about what they should expect, including the frequency and type of texts.

    It is essential that you only send marketing texts to those who have signed up for the program. If you send out appointment reminders or transactional messages, do not assume that people who have signed up for those type of messages will wish to receive marketing content as well. You must get additional permission for those types of messages.

    If you make any changes to your program, such as altering the frequency, it is also vital you alert your subscribers and give them a chance to opt out. It is also important to regularly inform subscribers how to opt out of your program.

    SMS Marketing Best Practices

    In addition to being a permission-based marketing forum, there are also some best practices to follow to create a stronger campaign.




     
    TimingSend at an appropriate time of day
    FrequencyRegular texts, ideally between 2 and 4 per month
    ExclusivityInformation only available through text
    PersonalizationTarget texts and add subscribers' names
    ValueProvide something of value in each message
    Collaborate and integrateA texting campaign is part of a wider marketing strategy
    ClarityShort, concise and clear messages that relay your information


    More than other marketing channels, it is essential to create a disruption of value. This is because many people carry their phones with them at all times, and they quickly look at any text they receive. Therefore, be respectful and considerate as to what time you send out the texts. Avoid very late and very early text messages, and you might also wish to avoid sending during rush hour and other inconvenient times for your subscribers.

    To further create a valuable disruption, do not over-saturate your customers with texts. Instead, send about two to four per month so that they do not feel as though they are being spammed. However, do not send so few that your customers forget they have signed up for the program.

    Additionally, make your message unique and exclusive to the medium. If you send the same message or deal through all your marketing channels, then it loses its impact. This leads to people not wishing to remain in your texting program. Instead, send out messages that they cannot get anywhere else -- and make each text message unique. Even if you send out deals or offers with each message, change what type of offer you send out.

    To further make an impact, personalize and target the messages. Use the data you have on your customers to divide your subscribers into lists. Also, ask for feedback and preferences to further inform your program. Then, send out messages that are targeted to your audience. Simple personalization, such as using their names in the message, furthers the impact of your message.


    Get your team together and collaborate for a stronger marketing strategy.

    When you create your text marketing campaign, do not leave it as its own separate program. Be sure that you collaborate with the other members of your marketing team, as well as other departments of your company. This also ensures everyone is aware of the program and is able to discuss it with clients and customers. Use this collaboration for a smart integration across all channels.

    Another important best practice to follow with your SMS marketing program is clarity. Make it clear to your customers what you are doing -- and the value provided to them by joining up. Each text message should also be clear while remaining within the 160 characters. As an added component of clarity, always leave room to sign your text messages so that people know from whom they come -- and where and how to redeem them.

    Tactics for a Stronger Texting Campaign

    To take your text marketing campaign a step further, there are a few tactics you can undertake. These include:
    • Adhere to customer expectations
    • Tempt and motivate
    • Choose the right words
    • Remain relevant
    • Write concise messages
    • Add short links
    • Engage to build a relationship
    • Consider triggered messages
    When developing your program, be sure that you are creating something that the customers want. You might need to do some testing and market research to find out what customers expect from the program, and how it fulfills a need. This also helps you to create messages that tempt and motivate your customers into taking action. The word choice further helps you to develop strong messages with greater impact.

    The best words to use are action verbs that create a sense of urgency. When you decide upon the words, make sure that your message remains relevant to your customers by making it adhere to their wants and needs. Furthermore, keep it short and to the point. Do not end up with a lengthy message because of a link. Instead, create a shortened link for the message. Not only will it avoid you from going over your character limit, but it also looks cleaner and might be easier to track clicks.

    For a very strong texting campaign, consider what value you are providing your customers. Make the value to the customer the priority over the value to your business. Text marketing provides a way to engage with customers, which can help you build a stronger customer base over time -- if you do it right. Find ways to create a better overall experience with your customers through your messages. This means you might include other forms of messages beyond offers and deals, including:
    • Appointment reminders
    • Event information
    • Exclusive information
    • Sales reminders
    • Preorder opportunities
    • Exclusive shopping opportunities
    There are many other message types you might choose to include to facilitate more engagement among your customers. It might also be beneficial to use triggered messages. These messages are used at particular times to re-engage customers. For example, you might send out a special coupon to a customer who has not visited your company for a period of time. This helps to incite the customer to come back and once again shop at your company.


    Keep your customers engaged and happy so they come back for more.

    There are many ways to create a strong and successful text marketing campaign. By creating your own list of in-house guidelines, you can ensure that each and every message does what it should. Starting with these best practices and tactics, you will have a strong foundation on which to build your own program.

    Sign up for free and get started with your texting campaign today!

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