SMS Text Marketing Blog

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 09:34 — EZ Texting

You're excited to have customers, and when you first start your business, that excitement can take you a long way. However, after a while the excitement tapers off and you work hard at the realities of sustaining that business. You focus on your marketing, hone your product, and make sure that you have exceptional customer service. Then there's a problem: a payment bounces. What can you do? You can use a texting service to make payments simpler. 

The Problem of Missed Payments 

Let's say that you run a local fitness center. You have overhead costs, and these can be substantial. For example, you need to pay for your building, and you must maintain your equipment. You have staff to pay as well, and while some of them might depend on the number of specific clients or courses you have, others are essential to your basic operating. You also need to pay your marketing budget, and you have other consultants such as an accountant. 

What happens when your fitness clients miss a payment? Perhaps they started out at the beginning of the year and were excited about the possibility of joining your gym, but their enthusiasm has waned. As it wanes, so do their payments, and all of those bounced payments cause you trouble as you try to pay your overhead costs. You count on them to make ends meet as a small business owner.

Missed payments also cost you staff time. Instead of marketing to new clients and asking for referrals from satisfied customers, now you're chasing down clients to collect past due payments and clarify whether they want to continue as members. 

Texting service

Create Payment Reminders with a Texting Service 

What can you do to prevent missed payments? 

Unfortunately, not everyone is diligent about tracking their expenses, or they may have a month when a few expenses hit at once and they forget about their monthly payments that usually come out of their account. What happens then? The check bounces or the credit card is declined. 

Your business can work to prevent this problem. If you use a texting service, you can set up a payment reminder for clients who pay on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. This gives them time to ensure that the funds are in their account.

Send Out Payment Notices with Your Texting Service 

According to Xero, in the field of small business, about 60% of invoices are paid late.

Do you have a group of customers who missed their monthly payments? Get overdue or late payment notices into their hands quickly with a texting service. If you find that your customers often need to update their payment information, Business.com suggests that you "have a merchant services portal that can handle setting up monthly payments." You can link to this within your text message as well if you wish.

Instead of spending a lot of time on the phone, emailing notices that are easy to ignore, or sending out notices through the mail system, get to your clients quickly and easily using a texting service.

At EZ Texting, we're here to support your business development. Whether you're trying out text-based marketing for the first time or you need to set up the infrastructure to stop late payments, we can help. Sign up for free today.

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:35 — Jessica Terashima

If your company communicates with customers, then you’ve got brand voice. Even if you’re a tiny mom and pop shop, you speak with a certain personality in your marketing materials, website, and customer interactions. This ‘certain personality’ is known as your brand voice.

Have you ever thought about what your voice is? Or what it should be? Without a clearly defined voice, you could be communicating in many different voices or one that doesn’t work for your audience. For example, you want to make sure your text messages sound like they’re from the same company as your website. Also, you wouldn’t want to speak to your senior knitting club members as if they were a bunch of skater bros.

The stakes get higher when you have smaller word counts to craft your message, such as on social media posts and text messages. When every word counts, it’s important that your voice represents your best face to the world.

1. Understand Your Company Personality

You know what service or product you sell, and hopefully what the core values behind them. Try writing these down to help you ground your voice.

We’re a company that sells ________. Our core values are ________ and _________.

We’re a company that sells cotton clothing. Our core values are fun and exploration.

2. Understand Your Customer Profile and Their Motivation

What are they key characteristics of your customers – can you bucket them in a few groups like working moms, college students, or mid-level accountants? For each of these groups try writing a similar sentence.

Our ________ customer shops for ________. They’re motivated by _______ and _________, and care about ___________.

Our college student customer shops for t-shirts. They’re motivated by price and durability, and care about looking cool.

3. How Can Your Voice Speak to Those Customers?

Think about how your company and product address the concerns and motivations of the customer groups you identified. And be honest with yourself – are they aligned? Even if your brand is all about fun and jokes, there still needs to be room for being helpful. Try coming up with a final voice statement that combines both pieces.

At _____ company, we value ________ and _______ . We help our customers achieve their goal of _________ by helping them __________. We speak to our customers with a _______ and ________ voice, and always encourage _______ and _______.

At SuperFun Clothing company we value fun and exploration. We help our customers achieve their goal of looking cool by helping them understand the latest cotton fashions. We speak to our customers with an upbeat and adventurous voice, and always encourage them to explore.

So What Does Your Voice Say?

With these exercises in mind, think about your company and how you should communicate with customers. It’s also worth looking at your current materials to see if you’ve been missing the mark. Having a strong brand voice can only help you when connecting with customers, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right!

Want to learn more about how you can develop your brand voice with text marketing? Call EZ Texting at (800) 753-5732 to learn more!

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 07:55 — EZ Texting

Are you considering adding group text messaging to your list of marketing tools this year? If so, you may have questions about how it works. How can group text messaging work to transform the way you do business? 

1. How Do I Get Started? 

When you want to try out text messaging, you need to work within the legal guidelines. Working with a text messaging company ensures that the privacy of your customers remains intact. It's also much more convenient.

You'll need to get a short code, which is like a phone number for your text message marketing campaign. You can either buy one for your campaign only or share one with other businesses. The second option is less expensive. You will also need a unique keyword. This word should connect directly to your text message marketing campaign. For example, if you're asking people to sign up for a discount on pizza, they could send the word PIZZA to your shortcode and add themselves to the list.

Group text messaging

2. How Do You Get Subscribers? 

To send out a text to a group, you need to have a group. How do you get those initial people to become interested in your text message campaigns? 

Focus your energy on acquiring customers on your text message marketing list by: 

  • Adding signage at your store or at events 
  • Making an offer if they sign up for your list of deals 
  • Sending out an invitation in other forms of media, such as social media or email 
  • Creating business cards that direct people to a specific text message marketing group 
  • Promote your text marketing on your receipts for your store or send existing online customers a follow up with their invoice 
  • Create a campaign specific to a single event, such as a promotion at a football game 

3. What Do You Send Out As a Group Text? 

Texting your customers is a unique way to get in touch with them. When you're texting, you have a limited number of characters in which to get your message across. You're not going to write a blog, and you're not even going to write an email. Your goal is to connect with your customers, then move quickly to an effective call to action. You can link within your text to different resources that you think that your customers might use, or you can use multimedia messages to send out videos or photos—both of which are highly effective at getting your message across.

Since texting is short and immediate, it's much easier for your customers to engage than with other marketing campaigns. While you may feel like you need to cram a lot into a few characters, the benefit is that more of your texts get read. Want to connect with your customers quickly? The vast majority of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt.

4. How Much Does It Cost? 

If you're just trying out text message marketing, you don't want to spend a lot of money at first. Look for a company that offers a free trial or free options so that you can try it out. If you're thinking of committing for the long term, know that the more keywords you use, the more expensive your campaign will be. It is also expensive to choose a unique shortcode. Consider sharing one to reduce costs. However, from $50-$150 per month, text message marketing will form a small portion of your marketing budget.

At EZ Texting, we have the tools you need to make your business run more smoothly. Group text messaging can be an essential tool in your marketing toolbox this year. Talk with us about how a texting service can boost your business, and sign up for free today.

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:26 — Daniel Jacobs

For every business owner that’s come out with a new product or service, nervous that customers won’t care, EZ Texting’s polls and surveys feature might be just what they’re looking for.

The primary benefit of surveys and polls is that they can help you unlock a mountain of customer data. Imagine you own a pizza shop; these tools can help you gain insights on everything from their favorite toppings to their preferred soda flavors. In short, polls and surveys help you run your business more efficiently.

So how does this work and how can you implement it? Read on to learn more.

Keywords and Short Codes

EZ Texting utilizes short codes, which are five to six digits long and are shared by multiple clients. Keywords, two to twelve digit one-word phrases, are what customers use to ensure their texts end up in the right mailbox within the shared short code.

Using keywords on shared short code networks are the foundation of how polls work, but they don’t offer a lot as a stand-alone feature. So how can you leverage them to unlock customer data?

Sub-keywords

In the scenario above, the business owner can capture customer insights by implementing sub-keywords, which are used following a primary keyword.

Still inquiring about pizza toppings, the owner may want to advertise or send out the following message:

What’s your favorite pizza topping? Text any of the following to 313131:

  1. PIZZA pepperoni
  2. PIZZA sausage
  3. PIZZA veggies

In this case, only one keyword - pizza - is needed, and the toppings are represented as sub-keywords (bonus note: sub-keywords are free!).

As long as there is a space between the main keyword and sub-keyword, the owner will have an easy time discovering what their customers’ favorite toppings are. They can then adjust their business and marketing strategy accordingly.

Reporting and Marketing

What good is all this data if you don’t know what to do with it? EZ Texting’s platform can sort customers’ responses based on key/sub-keywords and even provide reports based on who chose what response.

Further, you can segment these inbound texts into different groups based on respondents’ answers. This helps you more effectively reach out to them in the future; for example, you likely wouldn't advertise a new meat lover’s pizza to customers who said they prefer veggies.

This is just the start for texting and polling. Call our Client Success Managers today at (800) 753-5732 to see how learning more about what your customers want can boost sales!

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:01 — EZ Texting

They're back! When you're marketing to your leads, how much time do you spend focusing on new leads versus existing customers? Retention marketing shines a light on the value of your existing customers, encouraging you to think about their needs and interests as you embark on another marketing campaign. What is retention marketing, and how can you use it in your business? 

What is Retention Marketing? 

According to Hubspot, retention marketing is "the activities a store uses to increase the likelihood of a customer purchasing again while focusing on increasing the profitability of each repeat purchase." When you focus on retention marketing, you're not just trying to draw your customers back into the business again, but you're also trying to strengthen your relationship with that customer so that he will decide to increase his commitment to your business through a larger purchase. Retention marketing is one way of increasing your return on the initial investment you make in finding customers. If you can retain them and they can become regulars, then that's a stronger return. 

Why Bother With Retention Marketing? 

Why would you turn to retention marketing? Frankly, it's better to develop a relationship with a dedicated customer than it is to spend a lot of money creating advertising to draw in new customers. When you're looking at the CPC of connecting with customers, repeat customers are financially worthwhile. You can often use less expensive methods when you're focused on customer retention, such as a texting service that allows you to connect with your customers about new deals or place them into an exclusive club.

Existing customers also convert more easily and spend more over time. According to Smile, "if you can get that customer to come back and make a second and third purchase, they have a 54% chance of making another purchase." It's also worth mentioning that 40 percent of a store's purchases are often made by about 8 percent of its customers. They've tried your products, they're satisfied, and they're back for more. 

Texting service

The Retention Marketing Process 

When and how do you start on retention marketing? To some degree, retention marketing depends on your history as an organization. If you have just started your business, you will naturally need to focus on acquiring new customers. However, if you have many customers from years of business, you can split your attention between acquiring new customers and retaining your existing ones.

What strategies should you use when you want to focus more of your time and budget on retention marketing? 

  • Make it convenient to come back to your business. For instance, Starbucks has seen success with its mobile order and pay feature, which allows people to pre-order their morning coffee. Simple tools like this rely on your customers' existing experience and dedication to your products and fulfill the wishes of your current customers.
  • Tailor your offers to your existing audiences. For example, segmenting your audience and using a texting service can send your customers deals that work for them at times when they need them.
  • Make it personal. Over time, you can get to know your customers, just as you would if you were in a brick and mortar store. Respond to them on social media and respond to their emails in a personal way, and they'll feel more and more connected to your company.
  • Create ways for your customers to connect and refer others. For instance, if you offer a raffle, encourage them to share a photo, or gamify your interactions, customers stay more engaged than if you offer the same old advertising all of the time.

At EZ Texting, we're here to help you gain and maintain your customers. How can you communicate with those customers in a way that feels natural and is engaging to them? Try a texting service. Visit EZ Texting and sign up for free today.

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 09:12 — EZ Texting

What do you offer to your customers? To succeed, you need to differentiate your business from others around you. Your business needs to offer something that others do not offer. This doesn't mean that you need to offer a unique product, but there must be something different about your business that makes customers choose you over the competition. As you strive to succeed in the business world, how can you develop your unique selling proposition? 

What is a Unique Selling Proposition? 

Who are you as a business? What do you create, and how do you provide those goods and services to others? According to Entrepreneur, "unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully."

Your USP doesn't need to be a thing or a specialty service that no one else offers. It can be a concept as well. 

  • A particular kind of exceptional service, such as repairs completed in 24 hours
  • A higher-end product or experience 
  • A bargain 
  • A connection with a particular place or demographic that cannot otherwise access that product or service. 
  • If you want to get more esoteric, you could also sell a feeling or a concept. For instance, if your company fixes furnaces, you are one of many who fixes furnaces. What makes you different? One way to differentiate your company could be to be the furnace company who repairs one furnace for a family in need for every $1000 spent by other customers. You could sell the concept of giving or charity rather than just selling your services.

The number of concepts, people, and places you can connect with is endless, and so is the ability to differentiate your company and your products from others. 

Using Your USP to Achieve Business Success 

How is a unique selling proposition connected to business success? When your customers know who you are and what they are getting, they are more likely to visit your company. 

  • Place yourself in the mind of your customer. What is that customer looking for? How can you position your company to provide that particular service or item to your customer? 
  • Talk with your customers about their choices. Learn why they choose you over the competitors. This will help illuminate your unique selling features, and then you can highlight these features in your inbound and outbound marketing.
  • Do a trial run of different marketing strategies to see what works for your customers. For example, you could work on your text message marketing, sending two slightly different messages to two groups of similar customers. If you position your products and services differently in each one, this could help you pinpoint why customers are visiting you rather than the competition, and it can inform future marketing campaigns. 
  • Continue to explore your business values and identity over time, and look at ways to communicate this to your customers. According to Kissmetrics, "many businesses make the mistake of attempting to stand for everything when they first get started." As your customers get to know you through marketing campaigns, social media, and media attention, your reputation will grow. You will become known not just as the company that sells a specific product but as the company that stands for quick customer service, making products accessible to those with disabilities, or creating a higher-end product than the competition.

At EZ Texting, we want to make text message marketing simple for your business. Talk with us about our many text message marketing options and sign up for free today.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 15:21 — Jessica Terashima

After a launch plagued with issues, Apple’s 11.2 and now 11.2.1 operating systems are creating headaches for mobile marketers. As of January 4, 2018, over 50% of iOS users are on 11.2. That said, iPhones only make up about 40% of the total market in the U.S. and Canada

Here’s the scoop: When an iPhone user running iOS 11.2 or above gets a text message with a dollar sign in front of a number, or the word “dollar(s)” or “bucks” in front of a number, the phone strips out any hyperlinks in the message.

So, if your text message says, “Save 5 bucks by clicking the link http://www.eztexting.com” the link would not be clickable for those affected iPhone users.

Strangely, if you add a dash in between the number and dollar sign or use two dollar signs instead of one, the link will show. We suggest trying these workarounds and sending test message internally, before sending to your subscribers.

DO – Consider using a percentage instead of a dollar amount, add a dash, multiple dollar signs, or avoiding mentions of currency altogether.

 

 

DO Examples:

“Get 10% off your purchase when you fill out the survey at http://www.eztexting.com

“Save 10 on your next order, at http://www.eztexting.com

“Save 10-dollars on your next order http://www.eztexting.com

“Save $$10 on your next order http://www.eztexting.com

 

DON’T – Use the word dollar or dollars, bucks, or the dollar sign in next to a number or number word.

DON’T Examples:

“Save $10 on your next purchase at...”

“Save 10 $ on your next purchase at...”

“Get Ten Dollars off when you call...”

“Save 15 Bucks when you when you fill out the survey at...”

This bug has been reported to Apple and they have not said when it will be fixed. In the meantime, try using a workaround, and always test these kinds of messages before you send to your subscribers.

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 14:57 — Daniel Jacobs

Congratulations to you, small business owner! Your company is up and running (or perhaps you’ve already made a big footprint) you have lots of customer data, and you want to get even more customers. Time to start reaching out to them with marketing and promotions messages, right?

The answer is yes, but the answer is also “yes, but not so fast.”

To celebrate EZ Texting’s “Text Compliance Month,” we’re giving you a brief overview of what you’ll need to know to engage customers legally and appropriately.

You Need Customer Opt-ins Before Texting

Customers need to explicitly opt in to receive text messages before you send them one.

One way to get people to opt in is to advertise an enticing message on a billboard, social media, or anywhere your customers eyeballs are. A good message might be: “Text TacoFan to 313131 to receive discounts from Jaime’s Tacos!” When customers follow that call-to-action, that is considered opting in.

Provide Next Steps and Key Info

When customers opt in to receive future messaging, you’ll need to inform them of the following:

  1. Confirmation they’ve opted in
  2. An estimation of how often you’ll text (i.e. twice per month)
  3. Instructions such as “Reply HELP for more info, Reply STOP to stop.”

Not offering contacts the chance to leave your text list can immediately label you a spammer, which violates the CTIA’s guidelines for best practices.

Only Send Relevant Messages

Your customers have opted in to receive texts from you; in a sense, they’re trusting you to use their personal phone number responsibly. As such, don’t send them pictures of your new dog or you flexing at the gym. Sending irrelevant messaging will cause them to opt out, lower your sales, waste your marketing budget, and even put you at legal risk.

With all of these best practices, the key is to stay on the good side of the law. Much like email and phone calls, marketers have to follow specific steps to remain compliant and avoid being labeled a spammer; or much worse, getting taken to court. The above tips provide some guidance, but to get the full list of what’s legally required, check out the CTIA!

Throughout this month, we’ll be celebrating compliance, so be on the lookout for great new content showing you how to text like a pro!

Get your text compliance questions answered by calling our Client Success Managers today at (800) 753-5732!

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 04:47 — EZ Texting

When you run a small business, you know that it's no small feat. You're juggling a lot of different pieces, and anytime you can find technology that acts as an inexpensive but efficient assistant, that's a big win for your business. What technologies are available to free up your time and your budget, leading to small business success? 

1. A Texting Service 

Mobile traffic is essential to your small business. It doesn't matter whether you have a store or provide products and services online. In any case, people want to look at your products, services, and offers online. According to Small Biz Trends, in 2015, "56 percent of consumer traffic to the leading U.S. websites came from mobile devices." This trend is only increasing. 

One way to respond to this trend is to connect with your customers using the same device that they use to access the internet: their phone. While customers often wait a while to look at emails and can delete them easily, they respond more quickly to text messages. Get more for your advertising budget by connecting with leads and existing customers through a text message marketing list. You can create multiple lists for different customer segments as well.

2. Responsive Websites 

What if your website could act as a lead generation tool that connected individually with each customer? Today, you can design your website to do that. You can have chatbots that answer customers' questions and landing pages that speak directly to a specific audience.

Responsive websites are also designed to show up differently on different devices. This means that your customers can seamlessly interact with your site on a tablet, desktop, or different phones. Frustration with websites can increase your bounce rate—reduce it with a responsive website.

3. Collaboration Tools 

Do any of your staff work from home, at least part of the time? Working from home is becoming much more common, and thankfully there are free or inexpensive tools to help you collaborate. From Dropbox to Google Docs, there are multiple, free ways to work on shared, cloud-based documents. Take a look at collaboration tools designed for education as well. You can work together online in forums like Scribblar, a "free online collaboration room that is ideal for holding virtual brainstorms," according to LifeWire. With Twiddla, you can use an online whiteboard that allows you to avoid sending files back and forth during meetings. If you can name a need for remote work, there is likely a free or inexpensive program that can support that need. 

Texting service

4. Accounting Software 

Small businesses need to track expenses and ensure that they stay on budget. If you're working with an accountant who doesn't work in your office, then setting up a cloud-based system for monitoring expenses and providing budget reports is the way to go. Online accounting systems such as Quickbooks Online can help you and your employees track your expenses and income. If you're in need of a smaller system, Zoho Books might be a good fit for your company.

At EZ Texting, we're here to help you create connections with your customers. Using a texting service can cut down on the cost of your customer communications, and it's a simple way to connect quickly with your customers. Are you curious about how EZ Texting could improve your business communications? Sign up for free today.

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:30 — Daniel Jacobs

Helping your clients find success in the fitness industry is tough; personal trainers complain about no-shows, gym members are often at a loss for how to reach their health goals, and employees struggle to answer every question from clients. So what’s the solution?

Check out how bulk texting enables trainers and gym administrators to strengthen their operations and help people find fitness success:

 

Standard text messages

 

Got a new personal training client? Want to keep customers engaged with their goals? Text messages can be set up to remind clients of appointment dates and times to reduce no-shows. You can also send texts with workout tips or info about healthy eating to all your members, or divide them into groups - such as the Bicep Battalion or Ab Assault - to more strategically engage them based on their interests.

 

Keywords and shared short codes

 

“Text FITNESSGOALS to 313131 to learn how you can become a healthier you!” A gym or personal trainer might want to drum up business by advertising this message on:

  • social media
  • billboards
  • flyers
  • mailers
  • posters
  • on-site signage

Most bulk texting services utilize short codes (in this case, 313131), which are shared among their users; shared codes make bulk texting affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. Keywords, such as FITNESSGOALS, are used to ensure that texts sent to a shared short code end up in the right mailbox. As a best practice, you can also set up an auto-reply with healthy tips and next steps.

 

Polls and surveys

 

Not every client is the same, and they all have different goals and needs, so you’ll need a way to determine what’s important to them. Polls and survey texts can do just that. Using a keyword, such as PERFECTGYM, you can ask a question and include up to five answer choices, which are also known as sub-keywords. Perhaps you’d like to know what your members would like from your gym. You can ask that question, and offer up keyword/sub-keyword choices such as PERFECTGYM DUMBBELLS or PERFECTGYM TREADMILL. By acting on what your customers want, you’ll be creating the fitness environment they desire, ensuring they’re more likely to reach their fitness goals.

EZ Texting’s platform provides all these tools, and so much more. Your members have fitness goals to achieve while you have company goals to hit. Reaching them has never been easier. You can set up any of these texting solutions in 30 seconds, and even track results to fine-tune your message.

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

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 12:30 — Daniel Jacobs

February 14th seems like a long time away, but if you haven’t started prepping for Valentine’s Day yet, it will sneak up on you and you’ll be unprepared for maximizing your holiday sales.

Valentine's Day Gifts

So how can EZ Texting boost customer engagement and make a stronger financial impact this holiday?

Perhaps your first step is to send a text to all your contacts wishing them a happy Valentine’s Day, and to include a link to where they can purchase your products. You can even create a drip campaign, which are timed messages that you create and set up ahead of time to go out to groups you select. Drip campaigns are one way that people can join your contacts list, as they can text in a special keyword you advertise.

How else can you get them to join? Advertise a message with an enticing deal. Consider something like, “Text HappyVDay to 313131 to join the Barbara’s Bakery family and get 10% off your first purchase!” Then set up an auto-reply that thanks them for joining, provides help and opt-out info, estimations of how many texts you’ll send, and a link to your products page. For more best practices on setting up a compliant program, learn more from the CTIAA.

You might look at that message and ask yourself, “What’s 313131 and where did HappyVDay come from?”

Many bulk texting providers, including EZ Texting, use shared short codes, which are 5 or 6 digit numbers that customers can text in to. Keywords - created by businesses and used by customers in their texts - ensure that texts they send go into the right mailbox. A Valentine’s Day themed message might be “Text ValentineDay to 313131 to get 20% off all purchases now through Feb. 14!” You might advertise this on social media, mailers, posters, radio/TV, billboards, etc. All EZ Texting pricing plans come with one or more free keywords, though you can buy more at any time as long as it’s available.

This might be a lot to take in at once, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Client Success Managers today at (800) 753-5732 to learn more!

You can also click here to set up a free account!


 

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 03:39 — EZ Texting

Mobile marketing is no longer just an up-and-coming trend to watch or a “nice to have" marketing strategy. It has become a necessity for businesses that want to capture the attention of the masses and play along with their competitors who are vying for the same consumer attention. 

Mobile usage has skyrocketed over the past few years. Mobile email opens have grown 180%, and as of February 2017, mobile devices accounted for 50% of web page views worldwide. If you have not yet connected with your mobile audience, now is the perfect time to do so.

Want to use mobile marketing to reach more people and grow your business? Read on to find out what mobile marketing is and how you can create a solid mobile marketing plan for your business.  

What Is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing targets people who use their mobile devices whether smartphones, tablets or other related devices. Businesses target mobile users via emails, text and multimedia marketing (SMS and MMS) messages, company and social websites, mobile ads and applications. 

Two popular mobile marketing strategies are SMS (short message service) and MMS (Multimedia message service). SMS is a formal name for text messaging. SMS messages are short text-only messages sent over a cellular network. MMS messages are similar to texts but they can also include additional media such as videos, photos or GIFS.  

Mobile advertising is another effective mobile marketing strategy that allows you to reach new customers and advertise your products. We will discuss these strategies in more detail in the next section.

Why Is Mobile Marketing Valuable for Businesses?

Mobile marketing plan

Mobile marketing has become vital for businesses that want to reach more people with their brand and products. Consumers are using mobile devices just as much as desktops. They are turning to mobile phones to make purchases, with 50% turning to smartphones or tablets for convenience and 46% using mobile platforms to save time. 

Businesses are taking advantage of the mobile marketing trend as well. Seventy-one percent of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business. Also, mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019

SMS and MMS

SMS is among one of the most widely used mobile marketing strategies. It is popular because text message open rates average around 98%, and texts have eight times the response rates of emails. Text message marketing is also easy and cost-effective. With SMS, send text messages (costs as low as a few cents per message) to all of your contacts simultaneously, and do so in minutes. Another advantage of this type of mobile marketing is that you can reach your contacts wherever they are. 

When sending MMS messages, you can include multiple forms of media such as videos, photos or GIFS. MMS messages allow you to add more branding elements to your message as well, so you can connect more with your message recipients. If you are launching a multi-channel marketing campaign, MMS is the way to go.

Mobile advertising

According to a Google survey, 82% of users notice mobile ads and half take some form of action after viewing them. Also, 88% of local information seekers took action within a day after viewing a local advertisement. 

If you own a brick-and-mortar store, use location-based advertising when launching your mobile campaigns, especially if you are advertising a new promotion. For example, if you own a restaurant/bar and you are advertising happy hour specials, launch a mobile ad at the exact time when happy hour starts and target people located in the geographic area around your store. Targeting based on longitudinal and latitudinal information is called "geo-fencing." Attract the people roaming in your area and get more foot traffic into your establishment. People will come simply because it’s convenient for them to visit a location nearby that is offering a special incentive. 

Mobile marketing plan

Optimizing for a local audience will also help you attract the searchers who are using their phones to find nearby establishments. Searches like, “nearby restaurants” or “nearby bars with wi-fi” are not uncommon. You can capture these local searchers by optimizing locally with your mobile marketing campaigns.

How to Get Started with Mobile Marketing

Identifying your mobile audience

The first step to launching an effective mobile marketing campaign is to identify your mobile audience. This entails creating detailed marketing personas that pinpoint your targets' life and behavioral traits.

Mobile marketing plan

Persona details may include gender, income, location, interests, parental status, marital status, job position and more. Knowing your audience this intimately will allow you to target them with precise campaigns and hit the bullseye with your promotions.

When considering your target audience for your mobile promotions, think about their behavior, personal traits and mobile habits. Here is an example to explain what this would look like for a real-life mobile campaign.

Let’s say you own that restaurant and you are promoting 2-for-1 drinks for Tuesday night happy hour. 

You create two different campaigns, A and B.

For mobile marketing campaign A, you don't do any target market research nor consider any specific factors about your audience. You run generic mobile ads to every person in the local area and hope to get more foot traffic.

For mobile marketing campaign B, you did some research on your best customers to find out what they desire. From your research, you determined that 75% of your happy hour patrons are female and they hail from nearby corporate jobs. They are primarily single and their favorite happy hour drink is gin and tonic. They like to stop for a drink with friends after a hard days work. Armed with this information, you promote a 2-for-1 gin and tonic special and target your ad copy to speak directly to hard-working single females.

Which campaign do you think will enjoy the highest conversions? Campaign B will result in much more foot traffic because its message will resonate with its audience. 

The more you can understand your customers, what they desire and how your products can become a solution to their problems, the better you can target them with your ad messaging and increase your mobile ad conversions as a result.         

Choosing the proper channels to reach your audience

Mobile marketing plan

Once you know your audience, the next step is to choose the proper channels to reach them. Not every channel is ideal for your mobile marketing campaigns. It will depend on your overall goals. Let’s take a look at some examples using text marketing and location-based advertising. 

If you are marketing a web-based promotion, the ideal channel would be text marketing. In a text, you can include your coupon codes and links to your website, and recipients have a record of the message in case they forget the information. This doesn’t mean that you can't use text messages for non-web promotions. But if you do run an internet promotion, text marketing is an effective strategy. 

If you are looking to get more local foot traffic, location-based advertising is the ideal channel. As discussed before, with location-based advertising, you can target the smartphones of people in the area near your store and get more people in the door.

It’s important to note that each mobile marketing strategy can be effective regardless of whom you are marketing to. So the best way to figure out what works and what doesn't is to test your one to determine which ones resonate most with your audience. Your audience is the best determinant of how successful a campaign will be.  

Marketing tip: To avoid losing money on testing a mobile marketing campaign, test your messages with a small subset of people. If a message converts well, send it to all of your targets. If it doesn’t perform well, go back to the drawing board and rework the content until it performs well enough to send it to more people.

Creating content that will resonate with the user

To create effective marketing campaigns, ensure the content aligns with mobile users. Mobile users are on the go, and they will likely not have the patience to read through lengthy ad copy or a long message. 

Mobile marketing plan

Here are some tips to help you create mobile content that works.

  • Get to the important content or the offer right away to grip the recipient's attention.
     
  • If you are using coupon codes, make them short and easy to remember.
     
  • Keep your messages friendly and be empathetic with your words so people can connect to your messaging. Get inside the hearts and minds of the people you are targeting. For example, if you were that restaurant/bar promoting those happy hour drinks, your text may read, “Rough day at work? We are here for you.” Connect with your target right away to increase conversions.
     
  • Reveal your identity – Spam is a major concern for people receiving text messages. To keep your messages from being mistaken for spam, state who you are right away in your messages, so recipients recognize your brand.

Get Started with Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is necessary for businesses to maximize their reach and gain access to more potential customers. 

Use the above tools and strategies to start and scale your mobile marketing campaigns, so you can attract people who are ready to become customers. Remember to test your strategies to save money and automate your efforts with tools like text messaging.

If you would like to try text marketing for your mobile campaigns, sign up for a free account here. With our free plan, we offer 250 free texts a month, 1 free and EZ keyword, and unlimited contacts. Take advantage of EZ Texting's industry-leading marketing solutions and get started finding and attracting more customers with your mobile marketing campaigns today.

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:15 — EZ Texting

What do you get from your marketing campaigns? It could be a sense of popularity and a feeling that the phones are ringing and the orders are coming in more frequently. However, a sense that your brand is doing well doesn't tell you much of a story of success. What you need are the numbers, but how do you track marketing ROI? A text message marketing campaign can help. 

Why Check Your ROI? 

ROI or Return on Investment is a major part of your marketing campaign. It's the follow up to all of the visioning, writing, and focused effort you've put into the campaign. With an understanding of your ROI, you can make better decisions about your future marketing directions. Understanding your ROI isn't an aspiration: it's a necessity. According to Track Maven, "every marketer needs to be able to prove their return on marketing investment and tie their efforts to revenue and other business outcomes." 

1. Check Your Leading Metrics 

Some metrics are relatively easy to track. For example, if you send out a text as part of an SMS marketing campaign, you should be able to get a report on: 

  • Texts sent 
  • Messages received 
  • Contact counts 
  • Opt-ins to campaigns

With this information, you can track your changes in engagement and use them to analyze and refine your campaigns.

No matter what kind of marketing you're doing, you should be able to track: 

  • Page impressions 
  • Clicks 
  • Different interactions, including texts, emails, and phone conversations 

Check for a correlation between your campaign and these types of metrics by tracking current data for these metrics. Compare your current data with past data to see if you can track down the reasons for the change.

Text message marketing

2. Understand Your Impact With Test and Control Groups 

How do you know if a text marketing campaign worked if it's just a busy time of the year? According to Marketo, "a great way to measure the true impact of a particular marketing program is to test the effectiveness of that initiative against a well-formed control group by comparing the two groups’ results." Text marketing is especially helpful in this regard. You can segment your customers into different marketing lists and send out a message to one and not the other, or you can send out different messages to see how well each one works. That way, you can get a sense of the ROI of a specific marketing campaign before you leap in.

3. Get Insight Into Customer Lifetime Value 

While you want to sell those pizzas right now, understanding customer lifetime value is also important when you're investing in a marketing campaign. CLV is "an often-overlooked metric that can accurately predict how much your customers are really worth," according to Shopify. Your customer is worth so much more than a single sale, and if you treat them as a one time sale, that could be all you get. Encourage your customers to sign up for a text marketing list so you can stay connected, and increase their engagement and value to your business.

Collect information about your customers to understand how valuable they could be to your business over time. To do this, you'll need to gather customer data about the recency of each purchase, frequency of purchases, and the money that a customer spends in each time frame. If your text marketing campaign brings in frequent or high spenders, it has a higher ROI.

At EZ Texting, we're here to make your text marketing campaigns simpler. How can you improve your marketing and understand its effects? Learn more at EZ Texting when you sign up for free today.

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 07:52 — EZ Texting

Business seeks partner: only serious prospects need apply. When you're in the market for a partner, what do you look for? Are you seeking a fresh, lighthearted marketing partner, or a serious, tried-and-true match? When you're looking for a texting service, here's what you should look for to help ensure your future marketing success. 

1.Experience in the Field

When you're looking for marketing partner, you want to find someone with more of a depth of experience than you have in a particular area. That way, the specialist knowledge of your marketing partner can combine with your understanding of your product, so that you can work together to develop an effective marketing plan. Look for a company that specializes in specific types of communication and really understands how they work. According to Hubspot, you should ask whether you can find "partners who launch campaigns with the same strategy and thoughtfulness you do." This can be difficult, but when you find someone who brings experience, thoughtfulness, and deep strategy to the work that they do, you feel liberated to do your own work, knowing that their technology, strategies, and analytics are behind you.

2. A Well-Established Reputation 

Client testimonials are key to finding an excellent partner. What do other people say about the company? Look at online review sites, talk with others in the industry, and ask your potential partners about current clients who might be able to speak to the strengths and drawbacks of working with that company. According to ThriveHive, "a strong reputation is one that remains stable amidst the chaos of real-time, viral, and trending information in our culture today." Look for a company with a reputation and values that are consistent across different channels and over time.

Texting service

3. Driven to Get Results 

Is your marketing partner as committed as you are when it comes to looking for results? Your marketing partner should show a dedication to understanding data, not just to sending out marketing copy. When you're looking at text service providers, examine the back-end data that they will provide to allow you to reflect on your marketing campaign. For example, you want to be able to: 

  • Track when and how people are opting into your list 
  • View stats about texts sent, messages received, and overall up-to-date contact counts
  • Examine your opt-outs to see what campaigns didn't work for your customers 
  • Get detailed information on the status of each message you send

4. In-Depth Industry Knowledge 

When you create a partnership, you need to know that your partner brings something to the table. In this case, that knowledge is the knowledge about the text marketing industry. You can rely on your partner to generate key information for you and to adapt their business to meet the changes in the industry. When you know that your partner brings this understanding to the table, it eases your mind as you create your marketing strategy.

At EZ Texting, we understand your business needs, and we want to work with you to gain an even deeper understanding of how we can help. Curious to see how text message marketing could help your business? Sign up for our texting service for free.

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 06:23 — EZ Texting

Hey, remember me? Sometimes a simple reminder can be just the prompt that your customers need to re-engage with your company. Whether you're holding a sale, or your website or store visits have dipped and you're trying to connect with your customers once again, you can use SMS marketing to remind your customers to come and visit you. 

Why Use SMS Marketing for Reminders? 

Social media is a wonderful way to connect with your customers, but it's totally optional, and customers may decide to visit or they may not. Emails are easy to delete when your customers feel like they don't have time to read what you have to say. However, text messages get read. According to the Adobe blog, SMS messages have a 98 percent open rate. When you have something to say and you really want to get in touch with your customers or patients, SMS marketing is the way to go. 

Connect With Patients With Text Marketing 

According to Physicians Practice, "technology solutions can help you automate patient reminder emails and/or text messages, using the parameters that you set up. Thus, it doesn't matter if your staff isn't in the office to make a call." 

In addition to helping unclog your workflow, for healthcare providers, sending out automatic text message reminders to your patients also allows you to improve your connection with them and address health issues before they become serious. Text message reminders are an important part of patient care, reminding patients to come in for regular check-ups or follow up appointments. You can show that you care and keep your patients on track with SMS messaging. 

No shows are also bad for your budget. With a simple text, you can reduce those no-shows that are due to patients who've simply forgotten about their appointment.

SMS marketing

Improve Customer Service With SMS Reminders 

Customers love a company for a while and then forget about it. For instance, they might decide to try out a new makeup product, but they don't use it often, so it expires in the drawer. When your customer goes to use the product again, she's unhappy to see that it's expired. What if you could send a reminder to your customer so that she would visit your website before supplies ran out or items expired? Sending a note about a sale or a simple "we haven't seen you in a while" discount text can help your customers re-engage with your business.

When Sales Are Down, Try Texting 

Texting is a quick way to get more from your customers. If you notice that your sales are down and you need a boost, talk with your customers who may have strayed away from your business. You could try out a couple of different text messaging campaigns to see which one results in more clicks, or you could connect with a specific segment of your customer base that bought from you recently, but not too recently. Text message marketing makes it easy boost your sales quickly by trying different types of campaigns.

At EZ Texting, we meet your needs by helping you meet your customers' needs. Sometimes all your customers need is a little reminder to reconnect. Talk with us today about how we can reinvigorate your sales or remind your patients to show up for appointments. Sign up for free today.

Tue, 12/26/2017 - 07:17 — EZ Texting

Hello out there: if your audience isn't listening to you, it's time for some better cross-promotion. However, setting up promotion and cross-promotional opportunities takes time, and that's something that few of us have in abundance. When you sign up for text message marketing, you can promote your SMS messaging list in many different ways. How does EZ Texting simplify your cross-promotion efforts? 

1. It Helps You Connect with People via Your Website 

When people are looking online for a business like yours, they could stumble across your website. There's a lot of focus on getting people to sign up for email lists, and you can certainly have an email opt-in form on your site. However, text messages are faster and simpler than email. 

Why should you add a text message marketing opt-in to your website? According to Jonathan Ames, marketing strategist, "email is very temperamental," and delivery can depend on a number of factors such as how many other emails are in peoples' inboxes at that time. SMS messages cut through and communicate your message in a simple, clear way.

Text message marketing

2. You Can Connect Through Facebook 

If you're working hard to build your social media profile, does that mean that you don't need to work as hard in other areas, such as sending out active promotional messages?

If you synchronize your social media marketing and your text message marketing, you'll have the perfect combination that leads to lasting connection.

Social media is a venue for social connection. On social media, you may market a product or service, but you also respond to questions, share ideas, and create a conversation about your brand.

With text messages, you have one goal: to get your customers to take the action you specify in the message. Social media and text can complement each other. People chattering about your product on Facebook can get inspired to act when you send them a text message.

3. Synchronize With Twitter 

Twitter is also a way of building community, but its somewhat different format makes it the perfect venue for sending out notes to that community about your text message keyword. If you're working for a nonprofit and you need to build a list of donors quickly in an emergency, you could Tweet out a donation request and get people to text a keyword in to donate $5 to the cause. The speed of Twitter combined with the speed of text message marketing makes the two a successful pair.

4. Add a Text Marketing Opt-In to Your Blog 

According to Marketo, "customers are very careful about opting into text message updates." This is actually a good thing. You want to contact those who are extremely engaged with your brand or willing to be that connected, not those with very little interest. 

When you write a blog, you build a relationship with people who are interested in your products. Over time, you become a trusted resource. Extend this trust a little further, and ask people to sign up for your text updates so that you can also get them to take action. 

At EZ Texting, we want to make your business life simpler. Use our text message marketing service to reach out to leads and customers. Sign up for free today.

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 09:43 — Jessica Terashima

Using text marketing may already feel like “the final frontier,” but are you taking advantage of all it has to offer? We’ve put together this short list of top retail texting trends for 2018, along with some tips to help you start using them now. Why not be one of the first to get in the game and get a jump on your competition?

Personalization

Creating personalized messages for email is old news, but have you thought about personalizing your text messages and offers? EZ Texting lets you automatically insert contact names, even when you’re sending to thousands of people at once. Personalization can also mean creating segmented lists and offers for unique groups of customers. For example, you can create lists of customers that opted in using a specific keyword such as “EZDISCOUNTS.” You can also tag customers based on their purchases or preferences. Create a list of subscribers that have purchased kids clothes, for example, and then send them coupons for your back-to-school promotion.

One-On-One Chat

As useful as bulk text messaging is, you also need to speak to your customers one-on-one. Increasingly, customers prefer to have these conversations via text. EZ Texting created the EZ Chat service to make these conversations simple for you to have within your EZ Texting account. EZ Texting can text-enable your landline for you or help you purchase a new one to use. From there, when a customer texts you a question, you can type the answer back to them from your EZ Texting account.

Texts with Pictures and Videos

Sometimes a 160 character text message can’t make the same impact that an image or video can. In these cases, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is the best option. MMS messages let you attach a picture or GIF to the message to make sure it really pops. MMS messages can contain up to 500kb of data. With these kinds of messages you can let creativity be your guide. Consider sending coupons, maps, or promotional videos – whatever will help your customer take the next step. EZ Texting also provides free downloadable templates with holiday greetings, which you can easily use to send to your contacts. You can send MMS messages with any paid EZ Texting subscription.

As you plan for the year to come, what is your texting strategy? Have you thought about how you can take your marketing to the next level and use the top retail texting trends for 2018 to your benefit? There’s no reason to wait – the next new thing is already at your fingertips.

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 08:48 — EZ Texting

Do you know the key to text marketing? Your keyword is critical to gathering interest for your text marketing campaign. What is a text marketing keyword, and how do you choose one for your next campaign? 

What is a Text Marketing Keyword? 

When you create a text marketing campaign, you need to choose a keyword and a shortcode. Your shortcode is the number that people will text. The keyword is the name that they will text in order to opt into your campaign. 

When you're creating a text marketing campaign, everything begins with that keyword. It's the way you get peoples' attention, encourage them to opt-in, and segment them into different lists. You can use different keywords to build new lists or campaigns over time. 

Why Your Keyword Matters

What is your business logo? Think about how that logo reflects upon your business. Your choice of an image and colors makes a strong connection in peoples' minds. 

Think of your keyword as the logo for your text marketing campaign. You need to have a single word that represents your campaign and connects with your customers. 

That's why your keyword matters. It is both your brand representative and your call to action. It must bring your brand to mind in a positive, concise way and get people inspired, all at the same time.

Text marketing

Best Practices for Choosing Text Marketing Keywords 

How do you choose text marketing keywords? There are a few best practices to help you create the best text marketing campaign possible: 

  • Make it high impact. Your keyword should be memorable. How can you connect your keyword to your core business or to the specific theme of this campaign? 
  • Keep it short. According to Mobile Marketing Watch, "too long of an SMS keyword and potential subscribers will avoid your campaign like the plague."
  • Connect it directly to your campaign. Logical keywords are helpful when you want people to remember what to text. Do you want someone to add their name to your list for discount glasses? Use a keyword such as GLASSES rather than a keyword like BETTERVISION.
  • Don't fuss. A keyword should not have a lot of extra characters or odd spellings. Avoid being cute or silly when you're developing your keywords. Text message keywords are not the best place to practice your wordplay.
  • Make it simple. Now is not the time to use large compound words or short phrases. If it's hard to remember, your leads aren't going to bother texting you. Using two words also makes it easier to have punctuation or spacing issues that will lead to people texting you and not connecting with your campaign at all. 
  • Be relevant to your readers. Pick words that they would use, rather than fancy industry jargon. 

Are you curious about adding texting to your marketing strategies? At EZ Texting, we are focused on helping you build your text marketing list so that you can build your sales as well. Sign up for free today.

Thu, 12/21/2017 - 03:00 — Daniel Jacobs

For about the past 20 years, email has been the gold standard for digital marketing. And in that time, it has evolved to become an interactive experience, with companies able to mine a world of data from it.

But nothing lasts forever, and advances in technology, combined with a change in consumer behaviors, have chipped away at the effectiveness of email. Further, there is enough data to support the idea of ditching email all together and reaching out to contacts through text messages.

 

 

Yes, text messages; the thing that you use to send food pics to friends and baby photos to family members has grown to become a major marketing tool for businesses. In a new infographic, we break down how and why texting has become a more effective approach to customer outreach:

Your customers prefer text:

Texting is used daily by 97% of consumers, making it far and away the most-used mobile application. Phones typically have a different sound for text than email, so as soon as the text ping rings into the air, people reach for their phones. But email? Meh. They get so many throughout the day that not even a unique sound effect gets them excited anymore. Further, 55% say they’d rather text a company than call them. Don’t think this means ditching email; in fact, you should use the two in conjunction.

Texting is a bigger driver of engagement:

Fifty-five percent of customers would prefer to text with companies, yet only 38% offer that capability. Imagine how much your interactions with them would increase if they could handle purchases and returns in a way that’s convenient for them. Adopting a texting channel for this can even be felt on the bottom line: the cost of a single customer service call can reach as much as $20, yet texting can reduce this to just pennies.

The writing is on the wall; texting is more effective than calls and emails, customers would prefer using it (you just have to offer it!), and it can even drive the bottom line!

Check out the infographic to learn more, and visit us at www.eztexting.com to learn more about how texting can improve the customer experience and revitalizing your marketing!

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 10:05 — EZ Texting

Is your property management business too busy? If you're feeling overwhelmed by property management communications, getting started with a texting service can help. Management companies can use texting to stay in touch with tenants. Here's how text messaging can help your property management company maintain its communications.

Promoting Your Property Management Company 

In 2001, UAS Properties began to develop and renovate properties in the Chicago area. Today, the company manages more than 800 rental properties. Like any property management company, the company must balance repairs, maintenance, and promotion. They receive 150 calls every day from prospective renters.

What happens to those renters who don't find a match right away? If you want to maintain a waiting list for your rental properties, one of the best ways to do this is to add interested parties' names to an SMS list. People receive opportunities for price reductions and notices about new properties. Text them when new rentals open up, and you'll reach a keen and already-engaged market. According to UAS Properties, after sending out a text message, they are busy for the next 30 minutes with questions from prospective tenants.

According to NewsMax, tenants not only respond to notes about new properties: texting tenants also helps retain them. "Establishing a one-on-one texting relationship with residents is a reliable way to increase an apartment community’s retention rate."

Speaking of the Rent 

Life gets busy, and you probably find that when you're working in the field of property management, people forget to pay the rent. Too many forgotten rent payments make life difficult for you because you need to follow up on each one. 

In the example above, UAS experienced many late payments every month. They could follow up with a phone call, a letter in the mail, or even a knock on the door, but that is all very time-consuming. With 800 properties under their wing, the time it takes to follow up on every late payment would be significant, even if each person just received a phone call. Using their new texting service, they began to send out late payment reminders. This has had a huge impact on their bottom line. UAS saves $140,000 per year and replaces this with $100 or less of texting a month because they don't need to have an in-house collection agency.

Managing Maintenance 

According to The Reluctant Landlord, text messaging can also help you maintain a strong relationship with your tenants and get to maintenance issues more quickly. Have you noticed that "providing prompt feedback to tenants creates a lot of goodwill?" Text communication facilitates this fast communication.

Tenants also need to get a heads up about activities around the apartment, such as routine maintenance. If the carpets are getting cleaned next week and you need to make sure that everything is off the floors in the hallway, you can send out a message to your tenants via text. This is far faster than email and more effective and less time-consuming than a note on the door.

At EZ Texting, we want to make sure that your business succeeds. Talk with us and discover the many ways that a texting service can boost your business. Sign up for free today.

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