Growth Collective's Max Ade on How Businesses are Winning with Text Marketing
Founder, Growth Collective
The founder of the freelance marketing firm spoke with EZ Texting's strategy and business development manager, Andrew Sugar, on the rising demand for text and how it's become a 2021 marketing essential.
EZ Texting: Thanks for joining us Max. First, who is Growth Collective and what are the problems you’re trying to address?
MAX ADE: Growth Collective is the easiest way to hire a freelance marketer. We find experts on every marketing channel, with every marketing tool, and then we connect them directly, by hand, with clients. So the idea is to make it easy to hire independent marketing talent.
There's an increasing amount of complexity and fragmentation in marketing, right? There are a lot of new channels and a lot of tools — text marketing being one example — so it's a lot harder now to hire all those people in-house, or even have all that expertise at an agency. So we're trying to create a database of all the top marketing talent to make it easy for people to find them and hire them.
EZ Texting: Within the SMS channel what type of demand are you seeing at Growth Collective? What types of businesses are requesting SMS?
MAX ADE: When we think about the broader trends you look at Shopify and they're crushing it, and they're crushing it because people have found a formula between Facebook ads and Shopify stores. But it's being overused and it's getting more and more expensive to acquire users for e-commerce, and specifically direct-to-consumer.
So, rightfully, people are emphasizing the need to increase the lifetime value and retention of existing customers. They start out by doing that with email, but email is also becoming saturated and, at the same time, you have Gmail and other email providers becoming better at moving things out of your inbox and into your promotional folder, or even marking it as spam.
People are looking for other ways to create a long term relationship with their customers, because if they could do that, then they can spend more on Facebook and win more auctions there. And that's one place I'm hearing about SMS, as a more intimate channel to interact with existing customers.
I've heard of people texting their customers two weeks after a purchase to ask, "Hey, how's your day going?" It sounds crazy, but people are creatively working [text] into their brand building and loyalty strategies.
EZ Texting: The trends support this marriage between e-commerce and text — especially the workflows that follow from that. So what are some e-commerce and SMS use cases that a company would come to Growth Collective to hire a freelancer for?
MAX ADE: They're usually hiring a freelancer to think through post-purchase or cart abandonment touchpoints. I've heard of people texting their customers two weeks after a purchase to ask, "Hey, how's your day going?" It sounds crazy, but people are creatively working it into their brand building and loyalty strategies.
EZ Texting: Absolutely. Any other benefits that you've seen with text marketing?
MAX ADE: With Growth Collective, we need to hear if a freelancer is available immediately in order to fill vacancies efficiently. We could send email, but email has a longer reply window along with less deliverability, or declining open rates. But if you get a text, you're opening the text. So it's a much more reliable touchpoint. We text freelancers a link to match a request.
So no matter how you're using SMS it's a way of cutting through the noise, and not just being one of 30 emails in your inbox.
EZ Texting: Do you see text entering into that core marketing consideration set after someone has an online store? Is it becoming mainstream as a part of an overall marketing strategy?
MAX ADE: Absolutely. The fact that so many people are doing it shows that it's effective. It's an alternative way of interacting with your customers and because there are so many increasing challenges over time with email deliverability and open rates, you're just going to see more of it.
Now, text is also harder to get right. You have to have a higher standard for it than you do on email. And you can't violate your customer's trust. But I think it's very early days and only a few people are really doing it well, but it's become a core part of the mix.
EZ Texting: Aside from Facebook ads or email what other tools do you think would integrate well with text? Do you see any popular integrations popping up within your freelancer community?
MAX ADE: Yeah. E-commerce is one business model, we do a lot of work there, but another big one is B2B lead gen. What I'm realizing is that people are starting to effectively leverage their CRM data into a real cross-channel strategy. That sounds very buzzwordy, but let me give you an example. Instead of a sales rep cold calling you they might advertise to you on a few different channels, then interact with you on LinkedIn in a softer way, before following up with a cold outreach email and, after you have some trust built up, SMS.
If you look at some of the most successful SaaS companies over the last few years they're doing stuff like this. They've figured out how to work across channels.
EZ Texting: Great example. So, if I was a company and wanted to start a text campaign and get in touch with a freelancer from Growth Collective, where would I start?
MAX ADE: Visit growthcollective.com, create a role, and we'll match you with freelancers who specialize in SMS and text marketing. As easy as that.