Erik Huberman is a top e-commerce and digital marketing expert and the founder of Hawke Media. We had a chance to speak with Erik about the state of e-commerce today and what it takes to run successful digital marketing campaigns.
Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you decide to start Hawke Media?
My background is in e-commerce. I got out of college in 2008, and I started in real estate three days before the entire banking industry collapsed. So I started looking for an alternative.
I had always liked computers and buying and selling stuff, so I started working on creating an online company. And that turned into my first of three e-commerce companies. After running three different e-commerce companies, I started consulting for a lot of big and small brands.
I saw that getting marketing help was a real big pain point because hiring in-house was near-impossible. And frankly, 95% of agencies have no idea what they're doing, so the other 5% tended to be either really expensive or on long contracts or have some other barrier they put up. It makes them hard to work with.
So I adopted my own system and hired my own team of seven people, and went back to all the companies I was working with and said, "Everything is a la carte, month to month, and cheaper than hiring in-house." Basically, we told them that we can set up a team that fits their needs based on a menu of services. That's how we started more than three years ago, and we're now up to about 70 people.
If someone were to say to you, "I don't have enough money to spend on outsourcing a chief marketing officer," how would you respond?
Usually, that person is not set up for success. If they're making decisions without all the information, then that's going to be a pretty good recipe for disaster. So when that does happen, I usually say, "OK," and walk away, because it's not going to be a good relationship.
I'm pretty straightforward. We start at $3,000 a month; so for outsourcing your marketing, if you can't afford $3,000 a month, you don't have a business yet. That's my view of it, because you can't hire anyone or any help for that. So if you can't afford those kinds of fees, then it really comes down to you needing to build your business yourself and have the wherewithal to do it yourself, or go raise money before you can really talk to anybody about hiring anyone.
What kinds of digital marketing mistakes can doom a startup or brand new business to fail?
It's not looking at the full funnel and understanding that there's a lot of moving parts, not just one thing. Like running Facebook ads without a good email campaign or a good website, or running email marketing without anything to drive in new emails. Just not understanding that there's a full funnel is probably the biggest thing I run into with companies of all sizes.
I see massive, multi-tens-of-millions-of-dollars-in-revenue companies not getting that they are missing a huge piece of their marketing, because they look at it as this vacuum. Like they say, "I hear Facebook is good" and not understanding it.
Which digital marketing techniques or tactics are today's companies relying too much on? Which ones are being underutilized?
As far as those that companies are relying too much on, I think social media management or posting on social media. If you have a big following or are a big company, social media can be a pretty valuable tool. But if you're a small company with a small audience, social media does not move the needle for you. It's not going to make you money, and people love to focus on what they're posting on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook while not paying attention to the fact that it's actually not drawing any business to them. It's a vanity method. I think people pay way too much attention to that.
As far as not those that are underutilized, I think it's email. I even hear people tell me that, "Oh, I thought email was dead." We work with hundreds of e-commerce companies, and we see that about 80% of their revenue comes through email marketing. So when people tell me that email is dead, it's a little bit laughable because it's such a big thing and a lot of people don't take advantage of it.
Other than conversions, what metrics are the most important to capture and analyze in order to get a clear picture of the success of a digital marketing campaign?
Lifetime value is an overlooked metric. It's not about that first purchase. It's about how much someone is spending with me over the course of a year and their lifetime. I like the value of a year, because if someone's going to buy from me again ten years from now, that doesn't mean a lot for the sustainability of my business. That's a little harder to bring in. But if I know that someone buys from me four times a year, that affects the way I look at marketing a little differently than just a one-time purchase. So I'd say that's a metric that's really important.
If you have a high-purchased item, your cost-per-acquisition is going to take a long time to discern. So if you get earlier indicators, it's really going back up the funnel. So looking at the cost-per-lead can help a lot, like figuring out how much it costs you to get an email address and then understanding how many of those email addresses over time convert to a sale.
What role can SMS or text message marketing play in a given digital marketing campaign?
It can work a lot for brick and mortar retailers. With digital and e-commerce, it tends to be a little too invasive. So you have to be really careful how you're using SMS. Because with most companies, it doesn't work well; and if you use it too often, it feels invasive.
Again, when it comes to local brick and mortar stores, it can work. When it comes to things that are happening that you can time correctly, it works - like if you know that they're coming into the store, or they're down the street, or whatever. But when you're in e-commerce, it's harder to make it work.
What types of businesses or organizations might benefit from SMS or text message marketing?
I'd say restaurants, bars - honestly, any type of service business where you have regular customers. So coffee shops are great, even hair salons, supermarkets - places where you know that your customers can come back quite a bit, and it's usually a local place. Because then you know that your marketing can actually draw them in more often.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, what will be the components of a successful digital marketing campaign in the years to come?
The components are going to always be how are you covering awareness, meaning:
- how do you actually gain new audience
- how are you covering nurturing that audience
- how you are building trust with that audience
Three different pieces. So how are you showing third-party validation or some kind of social proof so that you're not the only one saying you're great? How are you creating awareness so that you're actually reaching new people? And then how are you taking all of those new people that now have heard about you and converting those to new customers?
That's always going to be the root of marketing. It's going to be done in very different ways, and that I can't predict. But it's always going to have to cover those three things.
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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
- 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.
|Timing||Send at an appropriate time of day|
|Frequency||Regular texts, ideally between 2 and 4 per month|
|Exclusivity||Information only available through text|
|Personalization||Target texts and add subscribers' names|
|Value||Provide something of value in each message|
|Collaborate and integrate||A texting campaign is part of a wider marketing strategy|
|Clarity||Short, 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.
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As with any marketing program, it is essential that you continually track your text marketing campaign using your metrics. This informs you not just of the success of a particular message or the trajectory of a long-running campaign, but it also highlights areas that are weak.
Know the right metrics to review for your texting campaign.
When you build the foundation of your campaign, it is important to choose which metrics to review to monitor whether or not you are reaching your goal <
|Opt-in Rate||Number of subscribers; program growth|
|Opt-out Rate||Number of people leaving the program; churn rate|
|Delivery Rate||Number of active subscribers|
|Open Rate||Number of subscribers who read the message|
|Conversion Rate||Number who completed a certain action|
|Redemption Rate||Specific type of conversion; number of coupons redeemed|
|Cost Effectiveness||Cost per customer; cost of sending text divided by redemption or conversion rate|
Opt In and Opt Out Rates
The most important text marketing metrics to review as you start your program is your opt-in and opt-out rates. These provide you with an invaluable key to the initial success of your campaign - especially your promotional efforts.
As your campaign continues, these rates also provide invaluable insight into your campaign. If your opt-in rate starts to plateau, then you might need to shake some things up in your promotional efforts to bring in more subscribers. You might also need to provide better value to entice people to join. If your opt-out rate all of a sudden increases, or if you see a steady increase over time, then something probably went wrong.
Delivery and Open Rate
Closely related are two other metrics at which to look: your delivery and open rates. The delivery rate informs you how many texts were actually delivered to the numbers on your subscriber list. There are several reasons for messages to not be delivered, including the number no longer being in service. You want to have a high delivery rate, as this means that you have a clean list with mostly active subscribers. If you notice that your delivery rate is low, it might be time to clean up your list.
You want to send messages that people actually open and read.
Your open rate is the number of people that actually read your text messages. In general, text messages have an amazing 98 percent open rate. However, for multiple reasons, your program might not achieve quite as high of an average open rate.
By closely monitoring your open rate, you will be able to see how engaged your subscribers are. It also informs you about whether or not certain messages are not as interesting to subscribers as others.
You want to focus on having a strong hook at the beginning of your texts so that people open them, rather than simply reading the first few lines on their home screens or ignoring the text altogether.
An important metric to continually monitor is your conversion rate. This might actually include several different measurements, such as:
- Click through rate
- Redemption rate
- Subscription rate
Basically, the conversion rate looks at the number of people who performed the action you wanted them to in the message. This might be to subscribe to your program, mirroring the opt-in rate. It might also be clicking a link in the text to review a blog, buying something or otherwise engaging with your online properties.
This informs you how successful your message was in motivating people to take action. It also is a measurement of the engagement of your SMS marketing campaign. Text message marketing has a much higher engagement rate, including conversion rates and click-through rates, than other channels, including email. It also plays a valuable role in determining your return on investment, since you will know how many of your customers actually end up performing the action you wanted, which ultimately will be to become a customer.
Redemption rate is a type of conversion rate, but it is important to discuss it on its own since so many text marketing campaigns rely on a significant amount of coupons. In general, text marketing campaigns have a strong redemption rate. This is because it is so convenient for customers to simply bring in the coupon on their device, which they most likely have with them all the time.
If you send out a fair number of coupons through text, then your redemption rate will tell you whether or not customers feel that your offer was a good deal. You can compare coupon types with the redemption rate to see to which one customers better respond. Then, you can focus on sending out more coupons that way.
Check that you are getting the best return on your texting campaign.
The last metric to look at with your text marketing campaign is the cost per customer. This helps you to determine whether or not it is a cost-effective solution for you, as well as whether or not you are receiving a strong return on your investment. To determine this, you first need to know the cost per SMS sent. Then, you divide this number by your redemption or conversion rate. Then, you can decide how much it costs per redemption to see whether or not you made money or lost it.
When you first start your campaign, you might find that you end up losing a bit of money, despite SMS marketing being a cost-effective marketing solution. However, once you build a solid foundation, you will find that it quickly becomes a way to market that is very cost effective.
By concentrating on these five metrics, you will have a solid understanding of your program. From here, you will know what areas to tweak for a stronger, better campaign that helps you to achieve your business goals.
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One of the most important aspects of SMS marketing is creating a large list of subscribers to whom you can send messages. Otherwise, you will not be able to have as effective of a campaign, since you can only message those who opt in. There are many different ways you can promote your campaign
Call to Action Marketing
Use texting as a CTA to increase the efficacy of all your marketing campaigns.
One of the best ways to promote your SMS marketing campaign is to simply add it as a call to action on all of your existing marketing collateral. This includes your flyers, print ads, social media accounts, email marketing campaign, and more. You simply add a keyword and a short code, along with a small description of the program so that they know what they are signing up for
Your keyword selection goes a long way in creating something that complements, rather than distracts from, your marketing collateral. Therefore, choose a keyword that fits in with the theme of the marketing. For example, if you are creating a marketing campaign that advertises your new product, use the product name as the keyword.
Promote the Program Smartly
In addition to adding your program as a call to action on existing marketing, it is also possible to simply promote it through your other marketing channels. However, you want to do this in a way that builds up all your programs, rather than lose customers. Therefore, do not cross-promote too often. Pick the right times to let your customers know about your SMS marketing program. For example, wait to promote your texting campaign on your social media campaign until you are running a special texting poll.
Additionally, do not constantly promote your texting campaign on your channels. You might choose to have a static place that informs customers about the campaign, such as a sign-up form on your email newsletter, social media profile and website. However, you would not actively promote it to your followers at every post, email or other interaction. You would save that for opportune moments so that your followers do not feel oversaturated by requests to hear even more from you.
Provide Good Incentives
For a successful SMS marketing campaign, you ultimately have to provide content of value. This typically involves incentives for joining -- and staying a part of the campaign. Therefore, take the time to develop offers and deals that are attractive to your customers. Also, do not continually repeat the same offer over and over again across all channels. Instead, make the offers unique in some way. For example, you might have several offers that have a percentage off, but that percentage might change. You also might alternate between a dollar amount off and a percentage off.
Reviewing redemption rates will tell you which incentives customers liked, and which fell short. Then, work off of that information to build stronger incentives as you move forward.
Don't forget to ensure that you retain the subscribers once they have opted in.
When you develop your SMS marketing promotion, you might only focus on bringing in more and more subscribers. However, do not forget to continually add value in order to retain subscribers. In the long run, this also helps you to build your program, since they will tell friends and family members about the program. Word of mouth promotion is one of the strongest ways to bring in new customers, so you need to ensure that you also spend time working on ways to keep your current subscribers happy. When you have happy subscribers, you can even ask them to promote the program for you. Just be sure to reward them for doing so!
When you promote your SMS marketing program, it is important to always put the customer first, starting with service before you go too far into promotion. Your promotion plays a big role in creating a successful program <
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Customer engagement drives business. It is increasingly common for potential customers to select a business based on their experience and emotions, rather than price or other more objective components. Text message marketing has one of the highest engagement rates. That is why successful SMS marketing programs utilize messages to engage and retain customers <
Send your SMS subscribers special offers that they cannot get anywhere else.
The easiest way to engage customers is to offer them exclusive deals and discounts in your text message marketing program. Not only does this increase the number of people subscribing to your program, thanks to the excitement of getting regular offers to patron your business, but it also makes them feel special. The regular messages also keep them in touch with your company, so they remain engaged.
To get the most out of this type of message, it is important the offers remain exclusive and unique. To do this, change up your offers throughout your texting campaign, never repeating the same exact offer. Additionally, do not have an offer on another channel and then use it on your texting campaign.
People love feeling like an insider. By sending out messages to your subscribers that include exclusive insider information, they will be more engaged. This might include behind the scenes looks or access to announcements before anyone else. For example, you might send out messages about a sales event to your texting subscribers before you announce it anywhere else. Include early access to shop before anyone else to increase the engagement.
Surveys and Polls
Messages like surveys and polls get customers directly interacting with your business. They have to take action and express their opinion. When they see that you take their responses seriously, they will feel more invested in your company.
For example, if you were a restaurant, you could ask your text message marketing subscribers to choose the next dessert for the menu. Include three or four choices. They can send in their response using the appropriate keyword. The one that gets the most responses wins. Then, you follow through and use it in the new menu. People will feel as though their voices were heard, which makes them feel closer to your company and more invested.
Contests are another way to get people to take a direct action. It also increases excitement around your brand. Just make sure that the prizes are enough to get people to participate. It also helps to provide a prize just for entering, such as a special coupon or another small prize. With your texting program, it is easy to run a text-to-win contest. All that people have to do is text in a keyword to enter. You can promote this through all your regular marketing channels to increase the number of entries.
Reward your loyal customers with special treats via text message.
A great way to build customer investment and loyalty is to honor them for being regular customers through some type of VIP or loyalty club. It is easy to use your text message marketing program as a way to communicate with this club. Divide up your list based on their buying habits, demographics, and other identifying information. Then, send targeted messages to them. For your VIP list, send exclusive deals, early access to events and other messages that make them feel special, and rewarded for their loyalty. They will wish to continue to patron your business.
Customer engagement is more than just getting them to act. It is about creating a positive experience so that they decide to patron your business over others. Your text message marketing program plays a key role in developing this engagement <
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Marketing outreach revolves around four main elements: promotion, engagement, alerts, and reminders. SMS marketing is no different in this respect than other marketing channels. Therefore, when you develop your strategy for MMS marketing, it is important to keep these four ideas in mind.
Get your team together and build a strong foundation based on these principles.
You might decide that your texting program will focus on one area, while other marketing channels will focus on others. Alternatively, you might decide to use all four in your texting campaign for a more diverse program.
No matter how you use it, it important to bear in mind certain SMS marketing best practices to get the most out of the program. It is likewise important to understand the nuances of each of the four elements so you can expertly use them.
Promotion is the way that you advertise your products and services to potential customers. It is about spreading the word about your company and increasing brand awareness and recognition. It is often the top part of the sales funnel, where you are taking in as many potential people as possible to eventually convert them into a customer.
There are many ways to utilize SMS marketing for promotion, but one of the best ways to use SMS marketing in your promotional efforts is as a call to action.
Any strong piece of marketing or advertising material requires a good call to action. This should be something that motivates the person to act while also being easy to get them to take immediate action.
You lose a significant amount of the power of advertising if it requires a person to have to remember to take the action at a later time. That is where SMS marketing really demonstrates its power.
It is easy to include your MMS marketing program on any existing piece of marketing collateral:
- Radio or TV spots
- Print ads
- Digital properties
- Social media accounts
You simply add a keyword and shortcode. Around 90 percent of people carry their cell phones with them at all times, so they can take action right away, increasing the efficacy of your marketing. Adding some incentive, such as an offer, increases the motivation for people to take the action.
This not only helps to strengthen the efficacy of your marketing materials, thereby increasing your brand awareness and pool of potential customers, but it also helps to increase the number of potential subscribers. Then, you have a pool of interested people to use the second element of a texting campaign: engagement.
Promotion combines well with other elements of marketing. You might use a texting program to send new product alerts, offers and deals, and other messages that promote a certain event, service or products
Promotion: Best Practices
When you use texting as a call to action, there are a few SMS marketing best practices to follow. First, add some terms and conditions when possible that are easy to understand. You want to let people know that they are signing up for a regular marketing program when they text the keyword.
This is easily done with a confirmation email that auto-responds when a person texts in the keyword. In this confirmation email, include some brief terms and conditions and a link to more information. Ask them to reply to confirm their opt-in to the program.
The great thing about texting is that people can take action from anywhere.
An example might be "Text CONFIRM to join our texting program or STOP to opt-out. Click here for terms and conditions [with link]."
Also, when you create a call to action, you want to use the right language to get people to take action. This typically includes strong motivational language. This works no matter where you include a call to action, including on any future texts in your texting program.
It is best to use action verbs along with some adverbs that create a sense of urgency. This should be done in as concise a manner as possible since you only have 160 characters.
A good example of a strong call to action that can be used to get people to join your program is "Text [Keyword] to [shortcode] to join our list and receive exclusive deals and offers. Get 20 percent off for texting today."
The second main element of MMS marketing is engagement. Customer engagement has become an essential component of business because more and more customers choose where they buy products based on their experience of that business. They rely more on emotional reasoning rather than logical reasoning (such as price or location).
This makes it even more important to create excellent customer service and find ways to continually engage with customers.
SMS marketing is a great way to engage with customers. In fact, it has a higher engagement rate than email and other forums. There are several types of messages that you might send to garner more customer engagement:
- Information and tips
- Exclusive news
- Customer service messages
- Offers and deals
Each of these avenues of engagement provides something different for customers. Surveys and polls let customers tell you what they think. Contests are always fun and increase the number of people who choose to opt-in since customers love to win new things. Many customers will wish to learn information and tips, especially if it is exclusive news about your company, products or services.
Offering customers service via text improves your service to your customers since it is easy for them to contact you with questions or problems from anywhere at any time.
Some of the most common message types are offers and deals. These get people to come in and shop at your business, but you want to always mix up your offers so that they are not the same basic offer every time. This reduces the impact of your offers since people know they can use them at any time.
Engagement Best Practices
Many companies choose to use several of these forms in order to keep customers excited about their program, rather than deciding to opt out because they tire of the same, boring messages over and over again. The important consideration in terms of engagement messages is that you create content of value for your customers.
There are several ways to determine what your customers might want from your program:
- Perform market research
- Review the demographics
- Directly ask customers through a poll or survey
Many companies find it beneficial to create a persona based on their target audience that is created through looking at shopping behaviors, demographics, and psychosocial characteristics. You might have more than one of these personas. Then, create messages that are attractive to your target audience.
If you have more than one ideal customer persona, divide your subscriber list into groups based on their various characteristics and then send personalized targeted messages. This increases the efficacy and engagement of your program.
Although it is tempting to send out several messages to really take advantage of the benefits of customer engagement. However, people do not appreciate being inundated with text messages, even though they do wish to hear from companies via text. This means you need to find the right frequency of texts for your program to get the peak success rates.
If you text too little, then customers will forget about your program or decide to opt out. Alternatively, if you text too often, then customers will get annoyed and opt out.
Most companies find that texting between two and four times per month is ideal, but you might need to poll your customers and perform some testing to determine the ideal frequency for you.
Timing is also important, especially for offers and deals. You want to provide customers sufficient time to use the deal, but you also want to create some urgency. Because most people open texts within a few minutes of receipt, it is the perfect medium for flash sales and limited time coupons.
Send out texts to let people know about emergency situations.
Another common type of MMS marketing messages is alerts:
- Emergency alerts
- Alerts about events
- Transactional messages
Educational institutions find SMS marketing a great way to alert their students, faculty, and staff of any activities on campus, including any emergencies that might arise. You might also use this to alert your staff to any emergency situations.
Because most people open text messages and have their phones on them, you can feel confident that they have read the message. That is why it is so great to use texting for important information, like emergency alerts.
Many customers prefer using texting for transactional messages. This might be for when they have bought something, it has shipped, it is ready to be picked up, or any other message that you might normally send via email or mail.
When it comes to alerts, there are not too many unique best practices. You want to avoid sending them more often than you need to do, and you want to be careful about the timing. Emergency alerts might be fine to send outside of business hours, but any other messages should be sent during the day at convenient times that are not disruptive to the customer.
Reminders are similar to alerts in that they send specific information to your customers. Their purpose is to simply remind customers about something they already know about. For businesses that sell products or offer services, this might be reminders about sales or events in store. Businesses with many events might also use it to send a last-minute reminder about events to boost attendance.
Medical professionals, service-oriented businesses, and other appointment-based business find that sending appointment reminders via text leads to fewer no-show appointments, reducing the financial loss when that happens.
When you send appointment reminders, you want to find the right time. It should be close enough that people do not forget, otherwise, you have missed the purpose of the reminder. However, you want to provide sufficient time to let the person alert you if they need to change the appointment.
Most people send out reminders about 24 hours ahead of time, but you might choose to send them closer to the time. The same SMS marketing best practices apply to event reminders as well.
General SMS Marketing Best Practices
The above discussed certain best practices for each of the central elements of marketing. There are some additional ones that should be used for every single text you send out, no matter the intention behind it.
Make sure to get permission before you start texting customers.
First and foremost, always get permission from your subscribers, especially if you plan to send marketing messages. This ensures that you remain in compliance with texting guidelines and rules.
If you send out several types of messages, such as reminders, transactional messages, and marketing messages, then you will need to have permission to send all three types of messages. You cannot assume that someone who signed up for reminders will also want to receive your marketing messages.
Make it clear to them what the program will provide, and then adhere to this contract. Also, make it easy to opt out. Keep track of all opt ins and opt outs in case you need to review it at some point.
MMS marketing is a unique channel that needs to be utilized as such. Do not simply reproduce the same content to send to your subscribers. Remember that several of them will follow you on social media, regularly read your blog, receive your emails and otherwise engage with you through several channels.
Therefore, they will have no incentive to join your texting campaign if it does not have its own unique enticement. This might be special offers and deals, exclusive information, early access to sales or other motivations for joining.
Ready to get started with your text message marketing campaign? Sign up for free.
Viveka von Rosen is internationally known as the "LinkedIn Expert" and is the author of 2 best-selling books on LinkedIn. We had a chance to chat with Viveka about how to make LinkedIn profiles more attractive and effective, and found out which premium LinkedIn features are worth the investment.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How and why did you become an expert on LinkedIn?
To be honest, I really lucked into my LinkedIn career. I was running a coworking space and had managed to double our membership through face-to-face networking. Since we had a lot of entrepreneurs at the business center, I invited my friend Laurie Macomber to come and speak to them about Web 2.0 (which shows you how long ago it was.) At the end of her speech, she mentioned a little network called LinkedIn that had 7 million members. I imagined how I could really make business explode with an audience of 7 million people.
By this time, it was 2007, and I was beginning to teach and train locally on LinkedIn. I got my first big break when ABCN (Alliance Business Centers Network) invited me to speak in the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom to their group of 500 millionaires and billionaires. That's when I realized that I had found what I wanted to do with my life.
I started doing a lot of virtual training and establishing myself in the LinkedIn space and social media in general, After about a year, I was able to quit my day job and focus solely on LinkedIn.
Why has LinkedIn remained so popular when compared to all other professional networking sites on the Internet?
I think LinkedIn has stayed pretty steady because it doesn't pretend to be anything other than it is: a social business networking site focused on the growth of its members' businesses. You know what you are getting with LinkedIn. It's not terribly sexy, but it works.
How can LinkedIn users easily improve their profiles?
I think because it's not as exciting as Facebook or Snapchat, people forget that it is still an important place to establish and promote your business brand. Doing simple things on a regular basis can make a world of difference, such as:
- Add a background image to your profile to promote your brand and share contact info
- Add rich media to demonstrate your product or service and prove your expertise
- Share updates to stay top of mind and create (personal) brand awareness
- Use LinkedIn Publisher to position yourself as a thought-leader
At what point should an individual consider purchasing one of LinkedIn's premium packages?
Some of LinkedIn's best features (Advanced Search, Saved Search, Tagging, and Notes) were just removed from LinkedIn's free account. So now more than ever, it is worth investing in the premium account - and not just any premium account, but Sales Navigator. And even though I have not, traditionally, been the biggest fan of Sales Nav., now that I have been forced into using it, I am really discovering value in its features. While it is not cheap, it only takes one new client to pay for it for the year.
Is an InMail message perceived to be more important by LinkedIn members than a regular email message? [What are other advantages of using InMail?]
One of the added benefits of Sales Nav are the 15+ inMails a month. (An InMail is simply a message to someone who you are not connected with.) InMails really give you the opportunity to reach out to anyone on LinkedIn. It's a pretty powerful tool.
The problem is that most people waste their InMails with a sales pitch. Like any sales transaction, you have to warm your prospect up a bit. Get to know them. Use your InMail to ask for a connection request, and use it to demonstrate that you have taken the time to research your prospect by referring to something in their profile or something they have shared on LinkedIn.
What types of traditional online marketing techniques can be effectively used for text message or SMS marketing? When crafting a marketing text or SMS message, what is it important to avoid doing?
Last year, LinkedIn switched from a traditional inbox to LinkedIn messenger (copying Facebook). It allows for more responsive and casual conversations on LinkedIn. While the responsiveness of this chat-like feature can certainly stimulate conversation, I would warn not to go "too casual" (or add too many emojis.) to your conversations. This is still LinkedIn after all, and the average user is 41 years old - not your kid's age.
Will LinkedIn continue to be one of the leading social media platforms in the coming years?
Time will tell as to whether LinkedIn will maintain its position as the premier business networking site. It was recently acquired by Microsoft, and my hope is that the resources MS brings to the platform will continue to help it to improve. My fear is that MS will try and monetize the platform to the extent where the average business person will no longer want to use it. This latest user interface make-over seems to suggest the latter. But since there really is no competition (for the time being,) it's most definitely worth investing your time (and maybe some business dollars) on LinkedIn.
See if text message marketing is a good fit for your business. Sign up for free today!
Text message marketing complements any type of marketing and promotion you already do. There are many areas with which texting works to build a stronger marketing campaign. Effectively integrating your marketing efforts helps increase your success for all campaigns, especially holiday campaigns <
Ask your email subscribers to sign up for your texting campaign.
When you integrate SMS marketing with other channels, it goes both ways. For example, it is possible to use your email marketing campaigns to increase your subscribers for your texting campaign and vice versa. Send a text out to your subscribers and ask them to send a text with their email to join your newsletter. This has the potential to bring in more people to your newsletter, and you might also be able to sign them up to your text marketing program as well.
Conversely, ask anyone who signs up for your email newsletter to also sign up for your texting campaign. By capturing all the information at once, it is more likely people will do so. Additionally, you can also include promotion about your SMS marketing program in your email newsletters so that interested clients will sign up at a later date. Make it easy for them to do so; otherwise, you will end up losing them.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing provides a way to utilize people's personal networks to build your brand. You also have the ability to connect directly with your followers, creating a more intimate relationship with your clients and customers. A texting campaign helps to build that personal relationship even more. Most people do not view texts as marketing, since it is not as saturated with ads and spam as other forms.
Therefore, take advantage of the close relationship of both mediums to relate even further with your fans. Ask your social media followers to join your texting campaign and vice versa. Any time you run a campaign on one, cross promote on the other.
Blogging helps you to continually bring in new clients to your website. This is because you can find ways to increase your organic traffic through optimizing it for SEO and providing information people want. Once people on your page, you have the ability to get them to sign up for ways to remain in contact with you, like your texting campaign. Similar to email marketing, have a way to capture information from them on your blog form, including their mobile number. Alternatively, have a call to action that includes a keyword and your number so they can easily opt in.
You can also promote your blog to your text messaging subscribers. Send out a brief description of the blog and a link. This will keep customers engaged with your brand, increasing the chance they will continue to choose you when it comes time to take advantage of your goods or services. Just be sure to remain within the 160 characters for the text message and make it easy for them to link to the blog.
With SMS marketing, people can take action from wherever they see your ads.
Text message marketing is the perfect complement to print ads. It is a strong call to action that helps improve the efficacy of your ads. Simply add a keyword and your number to all of your print ads to give an easy way for customers to take action upon seeing your ad. Add in an incentive, like an offer or a deal, for greater efficacy. You can also use print ads to promote your texting campaign and get more subscribers.
For integration to really work, it is necessary for you to create unique content of value that is exclusive to the medium. For example, the deals you offer through email might be different than those through text. This increases the chance that people will sign up to follow you across the board. With a seamless integration, you can run a holiday campaign <
Contact us to learn more about integrating your marketing campaigns.
#furbaby is a thing, a really big thing. Lurk social media and you’ll see the great lengths people will go to ensure their beloved pets live a fulfilling and comfortable life. With a plethora of bougie pet boutiques available, pet owners expect the same high-quality of service from their veterinarians. As someone with a veterinarian practice, you likely want to find the best way to retain your clients and capture leads. A powerful tool you can use is SMS to effectively communicate with clients, as well as promote your business. Check out a few helpful SMS marketing tips:
Send Appointment Reminders
When a prospect calls or walks into your office to make an appointment, you can ask them to opt-in to your text subscriber list. If they decide to opt-in, you can send your subscriber a text to confirm their appointment and then send a reminder 12-24 hours before the appointment with an option to cancel or reschedule. Those who are subscribed to your text alerts may appreciate a reminder each time they have an appointment if they live busy lives.
Follow Up With Pet Owners Post-Appointment
Pet owners want to feel valued and as if their pet matters to you. To develop a relationship with clients, and keep their loyalty to your practice, sending personalized text messages can be most rewarding. If a pet has a procedure or is prescribed a new medication, shoot the owner a text a day to a week after the appointment, and check in to see how your patient is reacting to the change. You can also segment clients into lists based off breeds, species, conditions, and more, and send each group general tips on how to maintain good health.
Allow Clients to Inquire Via SMS
It has become a primal instinct to Internet search symptoms or unusual behavior as soon as we notice them. Most often, panic and assumptions ensue. Reassure clients by offering an open line of communication where clients can ask your office staff questions about their pets’ health during business hours. Although not all questions can be answered with a simple text message, and some circumstances call for emergency help, clients will be grateful that they can get a professional opinion firsthand rather than diagnose their pets through Internet searches.
Offer Promotions and Mobile Coupons
You can show your clients that you treasure their business by sending them the occasional discount or letting them know about promotions and exclusives before non-subscribers. Many pet owners may skip out on routine checkups and vaccines because they cannot afford all the expenses. Giving clients a discount or occasional freebie can significantly help them and thus influence them to refer you to other pet owners.
With the ever-growing popularity of mobile use, it is imperative that you use it to your vet practice’s advantage. Use SMS to best engage with your pet-loving clients.
Do a 360 right now and you’ll likely notice that many people are absorbed in their mobile devices. It has become the norm to multitask with a phone in one hand, so it makes sense to incorporate text communication into your marketing strategy. SMS alone can be a successful tool for your business, but using it in conjunction with other marketing tools can take your business to a new level. There are at least five ways you can use SMS marketing to boost your marketing efforts if you integrate it with different channels such as website, email, social media, ads, print, and radio/TV.
Have a Successful Call-to-Action
Text messages are instant. Including a call-to-action on a print or digital ad, prompting people to text in, can deliver quick results i.e. SMS subscribers or conversions. Providing this call-to-action via SMS makes it easier for people to act on the spot before they are injected with another brand’s pitch. Text marketing makes it simple for customers to engage with your brand through different channels at once.
Ability to Cross Promote
Each marketing channel can serve a different purpose and can reach different demographics. Include your text marketing program in your newsletters or social media accounts with an incentive to receive exclusive offers through the program. If you develop a contest campaign on one channel, let followers know that text subscribers will get additional bonuses or an inside scoop into your events. Those who follow you on other channels already show an interest in your brand, so they may want to become more intimately involved with your brand through text messages.
Generate Unique Content
Make every channel valuable. Rather than copy and paste the same message onto each channel, create unique content for each. It is important to develop a different strategy for each channel because not only does the formatting change throughout channels, but audiences may vary per channel. When you structure content according to your audience’s preferences and engagement styles, you remain exclusive.
Complement Other Channels
Once you begin to understand which channels see the most conversions, traffic, or engagement, you can scope out better ways to improve your marketing plan. If there is a specific channel that you wish to promote on a slow day or to improve engagement through it, introduce your text program on the channel and increase visibility. Offer exclusive coupons that can be redeemed once a follower opts-in or enters a campaign-specific keyword.
Target Frequency of Subscribers’ Sales Texts
If possible, figure out which followers follow which channels in order to prevent over saturating their experience with your brand. Text marketing allows you to filter people into different subscriber lists so that you can launch campaigns according to their interaction with your brand through different channels. For those that follow you on every channel, send them a minimal amount of sales texts and instead build brand loyalty by engaging through friendly conversation or sending last minute updates about the brand.
Get your champagne bottles ready, it’s the season to celebrate financial gains. Given that there are a cluster of holidays this month, all of which are centered on celebration and giving, it is necessary that you vigorously take action toward marketing your business. One quick and easy way to secure these holiday benefits is by implementing SMS to your overall marketing efforts. More than $650 billion is spent during the winter holidays. That’s pretty intense, so why not figure out how to get a taste of this yourself? Here are a few ways to increase brand awareness or ROI before the year is over, and to spare yourself those sweaty palms.
Use Holiday Marketing To Offer Special Mobile Deals
There is an unspoken expectation that brands must offer deals during holidays. Loyal customers may seek your company during holidays to justify spending while new customers may become aware of your brand through unique deals. If you are okay with tailoring to your leads’ expectations, then offering customized deals via SMS is quite ideal this holiday season. If you are trying to plump up your text marketing subscriber list, advertise it with an irresistible incentive such as a steal deal welcome coupon when users subscribe. Once you are ready to send out a holiday campaign, make sure you know your audience well in order to send valuable texts. Review your already-subscribed users’ shopping data, demographics, market research, and survey results, (if available). If you do not have access to this information, and if you need data from new subscribers, send out an SMS survey with several questions, including perhaps a funny elf graphic to let people know you understand how important it is to lighten up during this stressful time. Use the answers to put subscribers into appropriate subscriber lists and target each group with exclusive holiday offers. Awkward unfitting text coupons are a ticket to the unsubscribed list.
Integrate it With Your Other Marketing Efforts
Text marketing alone can be effective, however, using it with other channels such as print and digital ads, social media, and TV spots, can increase the potency of your efforts since each channel may reach different demographics, and it may align better with your company if it prides itself in design, social engagement, and more. Although quick reminders of holiday deals can be effective on social media and through email marketing, text messages are instant, and instant is good in this instant gratification culture. In fact, more than 98% of people open text messages. Therefore, a last-minute reminder for a sale or new inventory alert will get people to act fast, which is imperative during the busy holiday season when people need certain goods in a short period.
Whether you want to focus on conversion or brand awareness this holiday season, SMS marketing can take your business to a new level because of its immediacy. While people hurriedly shop with a latte, shopping bags, and mobile device in tow, they will appreciate instant text alerts with up-to-date information on your company rather than have to physically scope out deals during lunch breaks or traffic jams.
It may seem absurd that some people don’t enjoy indulging in funnel cake whilst being mildly nauseous from fast-speed rides, but amusement parks have more to offer than just adrenaline-inducing thrills. If you own an amusement park, and have entertainment attractions, reputable food, and family activities you wish to share, implement mobile marketing into your marketing efforts to attract more foot traffic.
Check out five ways that you can use mobile marketing for your amusement park.
Reach the Best Audience
Finding your target audience is made easy with mobile marketing. When you advertise your opt-in information on an ad or commercial, people directly inform you that they are interested in your company, as they willingly subscribe to receive text messages from you. Having people subscribe to your SMS list filters out prospects that you would otherwise target through expensive advertising. Once you have a list of leads that have shown interest in your amusement park, you can capitalize on this advantage by directly marketing to the list to increase business.
Increase Repeat Visitors
Build a relationship with your customers. When customers buy tickets for your park, send them a thank you text a day later and ask how their experience was at the park. Offer an incentive if they did not have a positive experience, and if they did enjoy their visit, schedule a loyalty coupon for a future date. Additionally, the occasional check in or celebratory text will keep you in your customers’ radar.
One of the best ways to bring customers into your park is through personalized coupons. For repeat customers, you can show them that you appreciate their business by sending a coupon after they visit your park. Customize coupons with customer’s subscribed name and choose what type of deal is most fitting for your target customer. If you want to bring in new clients with coupons, you can advertise your subscriber list by offering a coupon for those who opt-in.
Get Customers Involved
If you’d like to make discounts more fun, create a trivia game. Perhaps you have a seasonal theme at your park or want to celebrate a holiday, you can come up with questions that relate to these features. Customers can participate through a text-to-win format where they have an option to choose from a section of answers. If your prospect answers the trivia question correctly, offer a freebie for their next visit such as a free meal, a free drink, a child’s ticket, etc.
No one enjoys trekking out somewhere, bright-eyed and full of expectations, and then suddenly faced with unforeseen changes to plans. Whether it is uncomfortable weather, unusual long ride lines, reaching max capacity, or malfunctioning rides, customers shouldn’t have to have an unsatisfactory experience due to unexpected circumstances. However, if it is within your control, alert ticket holders via SMS of anything that might affect their visit. Customers will likely appreciate that their time and money are being taken into consideration.
Amongst the cheery jingling music, pungent aroma of naughty sweets, and overall unstable societal temperament during the holidays, overwhelmed people seek refuge. That’s where you come in. As a business owner, the holidays are the best time to lay down your marketing dollars, and put forth a thoughtful campaign to relieve your leads from stress, and to benefit from the peak spending months of the year. Here are three ways to use SMS for your holiday campaign.
Offer Exclusive Coupons For SMS Subscribers
Now is a great opportunity to increase your text marketing subscriber list. If you haven’t delved into SMS marketing yet, it is a prime time to do so. If you have been struggling with opt-ins or have had many users unsubscribe from your list, or would simply like to have more subscribers, holiday specials can be a strategic way to persuade customers to join your list. Whichever industry you are in, if you have a physical space where you interact with people, consider advertising your short code and keyword in that space, along with your offer. Your offer may look something like, “Join our texting list to receive exclusive discounts this holiday season.” People who see this call-to-action in person, while interacting with your brand, will likely join on the spot. However, if your business is heavily focused online, utilize your social media and email marketing to promote SMS subscriber list incentives. By getting people to opt-in, you can increase engagement.
Create a Loyalty Program
Once you have new opt-ins, send your list a welcome message. In that message, include a new subscriber coupon as a sign of gratitude. To further generate loyalty, introduce a holiday rewards program. You can get creative with how you structure your program, as long as you give buyers a chance to accumulate points, equivalent to their spending dollars, to receive rewards at the end of the season (which may consist of more coupons, discounts, free goodies, etc.) Customers may also appreciate text alerts when items or services they frequently purchase are unavailable or nearly unavailable.
Send Happy Texts
It’s frowned upon to be a Scrooge or an excessively strong marketer during this time of the year. Even if you are tempted to solely push for sales through texts, don’t. People generally like to interact with people, so let your subscribers know that you value them. Establish a relationship with subscribers, and develop brand awareness, by sending the occasional friendly greeting via SMS, and wish them warm holiday wishes throughout the season. Also remember to not assume what holiday your subscriber celebrates, keep it in general terms.
Though it is the season of giving, and many privileged people may be blissed out on holiday cheer, you still need to think about extending these strategies after the holiday season in order to retain your buyers, and keep them craving your brand.
Say the word “dentist” and many will cringe. Your seat is often one of the most avoided seats, yet it is inevitable that we will have to become well-acquainted with it someday. As someone who has a dental practice, you may find that people are flighty or hostile during your interactions. If you want to develop better relationships with clients, text marketing can help you manifest clients’ expectations into a more pleasant e. Consider these tactics for your dental SMS marketing campaign to help grow your practice.
When a potential new client calls your office to make an appointment, you can prompt them to create a profile with whichever patient portal you use, in order to have them opt-in for communication via text messaging. If they agree to receive text messages from you, then you can begin to build a relationship with them. Prior to their appointment, remind them to engage in self-care practices to ease off any anxiety, and simply let them know they are in safe hands. After their appointment, send a simple survey, or personalized question, to see how satisfied they were with their visit and how it can better improve (if at all).
Reminders are a must for healthcare professionals. People are often preoccupied in their heads with daily to-do tasks and endless chatter. This may result in missed appointments. You don’t want to end up sitting around waiting for a no-show, while missing out on money, so use text messages to remind clients about the agreed appointment’s date and time. Let clients know that they must reschedule within a certain umbrella of time to ensure that your time is valued as well.
Text Alerts for Specials and Cosmetic Services
If you are trying to push certain cosmetic services in your office, then you can text personalized ads to your subscriber list. Show clients that they are not limited to routine procedures by offering a discount on their first cosmetic service. Additionally, whenever you have specials on products or services, send an alert to your subscribed clients so that they can snatch up the deal immediately.
Provide After-Care Tips
Let your clients know that you genuinely care about their health by sending a follow-up text, post appointment. A few days after their appointment, provide clients with a couple helpful tips for managing their specific condition, maintaining good oral health, or caring for their cosmetic work.
Ultimately, if you want to improve your dental practice, you must become a friend to your clients. Use SMS marketing to organically build loyalty amongst your clients.
We are in the midst of holiday cheer. Temperatures are dropping, trees are being garnished, and the red Starbucks cups are out in full force. With visions of sugarplum fairies dancing through their heads, jovial customers are buying up gifts in droves, and with 10 times the coupon redemption rate and a nearly 100 percent open rate, SMS marketing is truly a gift that keeps on giving. Here are five holiday messages that you can effectively utilize in your SMS marketing campaign.
Happy Holidays! Sign Up and Get a Free _____!
Grow your network this holiday season by creating an engaging call to action that rewards new customers with one of your products or services. With all that holiday shopping for others, it’s nice to get something for yourself.
Drool-Worthy Picture Messages
‘Tis the season for indulgence – especially when it comes to yummy food. If you run a restaurant or bar, send an image of one of your decadent dishes. Just like the aroma of freshly baked pastries, messages with images can lead hungry customers right through your door.
Send Back-In-Stock Messages
While simple, this technique is crucial. According to the National Retail Federation, half of shopping will be conducted online this year. If you have a best-seller that customers crave, let them know it’s back in stock! You can also include a special incentive, such as “the first 10 shoppers to sign up for our messages get this product 15% off.”
Customers within the 24 to 35 bracket say they find messages with coupons more useful, and those coupons are redeemed 10 times more than email coupons. With so many folks buying online this year, sending SMS message coupons is a great way to entice them to shop at your company.
Exclusive In-Store Offers
Don’t forget about your physical store! Use SMS to send exclusive in-store offers to drive foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations.
SMS messaging can be a valuable resource to generate sales and move inventory this holiday season. By utilizing these five messaging tips, you can increase your potential customer network and attract many more shoppers to gobble up the goodies on your website, as well as your physical locations.
SMS marketing and mass texting aren’t just for marketing professionals or businesses anymore. In recent times, this convenient mobile communication tool has begun being utilized by universities and colleges for a number of reasons. Not only does it open the floodgates of communication between students, but it also helps school staff and recruiters keep in touch with one another, as well as the co-eds. Here are three reasons why your campus should get on the mass texting bandwagon.
Quick and Efficient Emergency Alerts
School tragedies, such as shootings, sexual assaults, and bomb threats, are increasingly on the rise at college and universities. Taking a proactive approach to these threats can help protect students and personnel alike. Numerous schools have partnered with mobile carriers to distribute quick and efficient alerts via mass text as part of their emergency protocol. Besides emergencies, mass texts can be used to warn off campus faculty and students about severe weather conditions and school closings.
A recent study by Royall and Company found that 57 percent of 8,515 college-bound high school seniors surveyed would be compliant with receiving texts from colleges. In order to get more students on board with mass texts from your campus, text only those who opt in to your program, create a call to action, give them an enticing incentive (such as a discount on textbooks or school supplies), always make your texts actionable, and never, ever overdo it. If you text too much, you risk losing busy co-eds as subscribers.
Likewise, the recruiting department can use mass texts to make appointment notifications to send to co-eds who would otherwise forget due to their busy schedules.
Streamline the Administrative Process
Scheduling a meeting with your entire department or staff can be frustrating for any company, and especially trying for colleges and universities, since everyone is always busy. Instead of using email or slipping notes into numerous mailboxes, schedule a mass text to remind your faculty about an upcoming meeting.
Mass texts can be a great way for college and universities to do a number of things, including notifying folks about an emergency, simplifying admin processes, and making recruiting efforts much more efficient.
How Can My HR Department Use SMS Marketing?
Does text messaging belong in the office? While human resource personnel and employers have discouraged this behavior in the past, texts can be a helpful tool in the workplace, just like a copier or computer.
Here are a couple ways your HR department can utilize SMS marketing while in the office.
Employee chatter, unless it’s about weekend plans by the watercooler, can be hard to encourage. With SMS messaging, this problem basically disappears. Texts have a response rate that’s 7.5 times higher than email, making them not only efficient, but reliable as well. Also, 90 percent of all texts are read within the first three minutes, meaning that SMS is one of the most immediate forms of communication out there.
Need the right person for the job? Start using text messaging as a way to begin promoting new openings, reminding potential candidates of interview times and notifying them if they got the job or not. For unemployed people, texting is a discreet way of interacting with companies. Perhaps this is why more than 60 percent of recruiters utilize SMS to communicate with candidates.
Instead of using emails to keep track of meetings and those invited to join, send a text to invitees to make the gathering more prominent in their minds. Doing this also lets them know where to meet and when.
The weather outside looks frightful. So, update employees about bad weather reports through a text message, which they are guaranteed to see quicker than an email or voicemail. If you need to get ahold of multiple people within a few hours, SMS group messaging is the best way to do this and is perfect for weather emergencies or disaster situations.
Celebrate the cheery news of promotions or other commendations easily via SMS messaging. It’s a simple way to ensure everybody at the company hears the good news at once.
If the HR department has something it wants people to start filling out, text them a link. This enables them to have easy access to it from their mobile devices.
As you can see, there are multiple ways your HR department can utilize SMS messaging within the office. From updating employees about emergency closings due to weather to sending employee recognition and surveys, the possibilities are endless!
Your main purpose as an ad agency is to deliver the best results for your clients and the highest ROI of your services. Sometimes, a small thing like using the right channel can make a difference.
There is a lot of hype today about social media and email marketing, but there is another channel that works even better: mobile marketing. But does mobile marketing for ad agencies make sense? In this post, we’re going to give you three reasons why it does.
Mobile marketing helps you reach more people
Mobile marketing for ad agencies is much more effective than email marketing when it comes to reaching your audience. A study by Xtify concluded that push notifications have average open rates of 30 to 60 percent, while the average open rate for email marketing is just 20 percent. This is nothing compared to the astonishing results SMS marketing can give you: 98 percent open rates.
In other words, with mobile marketing you can reach up to five times more people. This is really not that surprising since people tend to carry their phones all the time and check email at least a few times per day.
Mobile marketing has stronger call-to-action
The main purpose of your marketing should be to influence people to take action and take advantage of your offer. This is where mobile marketing for ad agencies could be extremely helpful. Here’s how it can help you:
You get higher click-through rates – the biggest mistake you can make here is not including a call-to-action with a link. It seems that, on average, 29 percent of people click on a link placed within an SMS. For comparison, the average CTR for email marketing is just 3.57 percent. This means that with SMS marketing, an average of eight times more people will check your offer.
You get higher conversion rates – A lot more people might check your offers with mobile marketing, but do they convert? It seems like they do. Dynmark states that, on average, SMS marketing has conversion rates of 14 percent. According to MShopper, conversion rates for mobile marketing can reach 23 percent with a strong call-to-action and limited time offer.
You get higher response rates – If your goal is to get a reply from people, mobile marketing is the way to go; a lot more people will be willing to respond to your text messages. According to a study, SMS marketing has a response rate of a 45 percent, while for email it’s only 6 percent.
Mobile marketing helps you create an omni-channel strategy
The biggest benefit of mobile marketing is that you don’t have to use it on its own. In fact, it tends to work so much better when you integrate it with all your other channels.
A great strategy is to use mobile marketing to redirect people to other channels that will do a better job when it comes to engagement and conversion. For example, you can use an SMS to remind people about your upcoming webinar or your Facebook Live. And since open rates and click-through rates tend to be higher, you will have a better chance of having more people at your livestream.
Does your ad agency currently use mobile marketing? What are the results that you’re getting? Let us know in the comments below.
Text messaging is not just a fast way to chat with friends, but a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. With more than half of the global adult population using cell phones to send messages, there is no sign that SMS marketing will stall. In fact, a vast majority of mobile users are more engaged with SMS messaging than other marketing channels. More than 90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes thanks to a robust notification system that alerts the users whenever the text arrives. Below are just but a few reasons why small enterprises invest into the multi-billion industry:
Direct and Instant communication
Unlike the conventional channels, text messages are short and fast to convey across the target audience. There are no technical designs needed or promotional material required to carry the message, just decide the content and send a bulk SMS to your clients. It takes the same time to send bulk texts as it does to one recipient, which means you have ample time to focus on your brands. The recipients are likely to read the full text since it is short, precise and convenient.
Other than fast message delivery to the target audience, marketers are keen to know what the clients feel about the products. Rapid communications trigger instant purchases as it provides relevant information required to make a purchase decision. Customer feedback is a vital component that helps the business improve the products to suit their needs. The faster the response, the more likely the company will address issues before losing the clients.
Higher conversion rate
Unlike the lengthy email marketing content, text messages yield a higher conversion rate. The content is mobile friendly, which triggers response to the call to actions than other marketing platforms. The call to action communicates in clear yet engaging way, with no links and images to fluff the content.
Without clear measures of success, it is almost impossible to know the impact of the marketing strategy. A vast majority of service providers provides delivery reports that show the number of texts that reached the audience. You can opt for a more complicated option that shows the recipients and the time of receipt.
Marketing takes a toll on the company’s budget, hence the need to derive the highest possible return on investment on the campaigns. Unlike placing a full in social platforms, you will probably spend cents to send each message or flat rates on bulk texts. It delivers great value proposition for business owners operating on tight budgets.
Without a sizable budget to fund your marketing campaigns, it is hard to compete with the large corporations on traditional platforms. Text messaging provides a level playing field to sell your brand in the highly competitive market. The vast yet fast coverage outweighs the cost associated with bulk texts and tracking services, making it a worthy investment for small enterprises.
At EZ Texting, we continue to improve the industry’s leading text messaging platform for businesses. Check out some of our recent enhancements below.
Use Drip Campaigns to send a series of text messages automatically based on a schedule that you define. Drip Campaigns are a great way to nurture your customers!
With recurring text options, you can schedule a message to be sent periodically at an interval of your choice. The recurrence can end after a certain number of occurrences, or on a specified date.
Having trouble getting your campaign started? Use one of our helpful message templates for inspiration. You can also create and store your own custom templates.
Campaign Data Export
Use this feature to export summary-level data or details related to your sent campaigns. If you'd like, use filters to isolate a subset of data and then export only that segment.
Stay tuned for more great product, tools, and enhancements coming soon.