- So text message marketing. It’s a great way to gain visibility in front of your loyal followers and customers, but how do you do it? What’s the best way to take advantage of text message marketing to grow your business and why text message marketing over email? I get that question all the time, and the reason is that text message marketing gets in front of people instantly and basically everybody sees it. With email there’s a little bit more of a delay, right, people don’t check their email in real-time.
They check their email here and there. Sometimes it can be a week later in some cases plus not everybody opens the email. The open rate on email, I mean you’re doing pretty well if 20% or so of people actually even open your email. With text message marketing, 97% of people open it within 1 to 15 minutes, so it’s essentially real-time visibility in front of your loyal followers and customers but the question is, how do you take advantage of it? Seven steps on how to do that coming up.
Let’s walk through it right now. Hi, I’m JB with Marketing 360, and we help small businesses grow with our marketing and design, talent, and technology, through our number one marketing platform Marketing 360. We call marketing and design MAD and we love MAD, and hopefully, these videos will help you fall in love with MAD, too. So make sure to follow us to learn tips, tricks, and strategies to grow your business and fuel your brand. So step number one, with text message marketing is to determine what type of content you want to send.
And so this can vary by business, but essentially you want to think of this as like a VIP format of content that you sending. Very valuable information, not something that you’ll send all the time, but it’s something you want to get in front of people when it’s super important to get in front of people and get that visibility that you need.
The easiest thing to do here, let’s talk about some examples, so for an e-commerce store a good text message marketing campaign might be something like an instant coupon, maybe somebody is on your eCommerce store, and they’re on the check-out page and you have a lot of abandoned carts and what not and you want to try to kind of reduce that, and so you put a call to action there, “Hey, opt into our text message campaign right now and get an instant coupon for 20% off.” This helps them move forward through the buying process.
It also opts them into your list so that you have them opted-in to send information later and they get that VIP coupon.
You could have an example, like a dance studio. A dance studio has classes and scheduling and particularly when the weather might be bad maybe they need to cancel a class or move class. This would be information that would be super important to get in front of people in real-time and have that full visibility. Email wouldn’t be as effective here, right? Text is much more effective if the class was canceled because of a snow day or something, let’s say.
Or anything like that. If you have a business that’s news-related or update-related like that, that can be super effective. And even businesses like roofers, you would think roofers, when would they possibly need text message marketing, right? You do your roof once every 25 years. Well, there can be great use cases like asking for reviews.
Review platforms often block people if they’re on the same IP, so you can’t just give people the same iPad or anything. You really need them to do it on their device, so having them opt-in to leave a review through their own phone could be an effective thing to do.
But now think about this, now you have this huge list of people in your SMS marketing campaign that you basically never text, right? You never text them. But all of sudden it hails in your area.
Now instead of going door-to-door with flyers or sending an email that 20% of people might see, you send a text message and all 97 plus percent see it real-time. You get that roof inspection job before the other roofer, right, because you had this opted-in list. And so every type of business has a way to use text message marketing to either better inform their audience or to drive more sales. A restaurant’s another great example. It’s a slow day on Tuesday at lunch, right?
Instead of just sitting there with a slow day and just dealing with it, you can send a text message out to the loyal followers of your restaurant, loyal customers of the restaurant that there’s $10 off an appetizer or $10 off your meal or whatever it might be.
If they come in for lunch today, now what you’re going to see is everybody in the area that sees that message is going to come and eat there, right? They need to eat lunch anyway, right, so why not eat lunch at your place that they already like because you’re sending them a deal. This is a huge way to get great business. My sister’s husband owns a chiropractic office and they have everybody opt-in to their SMS campaign so that on their slow days they can send out a deal to get people to come in and fill the seats, because there’s nothing worse than the doctor and the nurses standing around twiddling their fingers, right?
They’re still getting paid.
So what you need to do is fill the seats when an SMS campaign is a great way to do that. Email wouldn’t be as effective because only 20% of people would see it and often times they wouldn’t see it till tomorrow and it’s too late, right? SMS is perfect for that. So really think about what type of content you can send to your loyal followers and customers to drive more sales and to add more value so that they’re motivated to stay opted-in to your list and you get more sales.
So at the end of the month when the clock is running down and you’re behind on your sales goal? Boom, you can send this text message out and reach your goal. So that’s step number one. So step number two, once you understand the type of content that you want to send it’s time to start building your lists. So to build your list the first and foremost most important thing is to get these calls to action out in front of people.
With text message marketing, you can’t just put somebody’s phone number into a text message marketing software and text them. That’s against the rules. They need to actually opt-in to receive the information that you want to provide. So what you need to do is you need to think about where are you going to get this call to action out in front of people. So here are some ideas.
If you’re a restaurant you’d want an in-store sign, right? Something in the store, on the table, that people can see that’s motivating them to opt-in. It could say something like, “Text whatever your opt-in number is and the keyword is to enter into our list to get a VIP promotion on slow days or coupons on hot events that we’re doing.” Something like that, something that, based on the content that you want to send, you’ll know what these calls to action need to be. So now it’s about getting it in front of people, right?
So here’s what we recommend, in-store signs, social media posts, social media ads asking people to opt-in.
Send email blasts out to your followers asking them to opt-in to your SMS list and what they’re going to receive when they do that. Train your people to ask for it, whether it’s a front desk person, or somebody in the field, to ask people to opt-in to these lists and what they’re going to receive for doing that. The thing is if you really thought through step one and there’s tremendous value there, people are going to be more than interested to opt-in to your list because you’re providing them with information that they need, right? If I’m at dance school and I want to get alerts when class is canceled, I need to opt into the list.
Why wouldn’t I do that, right? Why wouldn’t I do that? I would do that and in all of these scenarios, everybody else would, too. So the question is, how do you get in front of people? Because the thing is if you have all these beautiful SMS campaigns built and all these unbelievable deals but nobody’s on the list it’s completely useless.
So you need to get people to opt into your list. So think about all the ways you can do that, call to action on your website and everything else to get in front of the eyeballs of your followers and consumers so that they opt-in and start building your lists. Step number three, once you’ve thought through step one, the ideas and things that you’re going to be sending, and step two, where you’re going to get this in front of people, is you need to be ready to go, so you need to set up an SMS account. There are a lot of text message marketing tools out there today for small business that is easy to use, and very affordable.
Take a look out there, and see what is available to you.
Marketing 360, we provide that, we have an SMS tool that’s very easy for small businesses to use, very low cost. And so you need to find that. When you set up your SMS account it’s going to give you a shortcode and a keyword that you can set up so people can text in, like, Marketing to 39970, let’s say, to opt-in. You’re going to have your own shortcode and keyword, too. So this is what you’re going to want to use within your marketing material.
When you set up your account, make sure that you set it up so that you can segment your lists and whatnot. Maybe you might want to segment your lists if you’re an eCommerce store by people who like men’s products versus people that like women’s products, for example.
You can do these types of things in the SMS tool when people opt in. So set that up. And also, power tip here, set up an automated message so when somebody opts in they instantly get a message right away that adds some value so that they don’t opt-in, and then it’s just like wait until something comes at some point.
Give them something right away, so as soon as they are opt-in, even if it’s just to tell them what they’re going to receive and thank them for opting in, “Oh hey, thanks for opting in. Whenever the snow comes into town we’ll make sure to send you an alert that class is canceled.” Tell them what they got, right? Or if it’s an eCommerce store and somebody opts in instantly say, “Hey thank you for opting in. As an appreciation for doing that, here’s a quick 10% off coupon code right now.
” Give them that instant gratification for opting-in so they feel good about it.
Now they’re locked and loaded and ready to go in the future. So when you set up your account you can get all these things set up ahead of time so that you’re ready to go. So make sure you do that as part of step three. Step four is just some quick tips on how to write these messages within your text message campaign.
Some power tips here. Don’t exceed 140 characters, make sure that all your messages are 140 characters or less, which isn’t a lot, so use tools like URL shorteners if you’re going to link them to a product offer or a landing page or your social media post or something like that. Use a URL shortener, you can just google search URL shortener if you don’t know what that is, but basically, it takes a long URL and it makes it super small so it doesn’t take a lot of characters up. And also, just some things that we’ve noticed that are very powerful, if you put a YouTube video in a text message, the phones are smart enough to know that that’s a video, so it actually pulls the entire video into the text message, so a great piece of content for text message marketing is actually videos.
So if you create short videos of information, those sorts of things, people will actually literally see the entire video in their text message and be able to click and watch it right there.
That can be super powerful as well. So think about these things as you write those messages. Keep them short, keep them sweet, use URL shorteners, and use videos and you’ll see some better results. Step number five is to make sure that you’re seeing subscriber growth. So you’ve set up your campaigns, you’ve set up your advertising, and put these calls to action everywhere to get people to opt-in.
You’re going to have to wait a little bit here and see if there’s growth that’s occurring. If you’re not seeing the growth in your subscription lists then you’re not going to see the value of your text message marketing.
So that’s step number one in terms of the growth part, which is checking and making sure that your campaigns are actually working. If not, you might need to change your call to action, your in-store displays, your social ads, and your email blast content. Tweak it a little bit so that it’s more compelling so that people are actually opting-in and make sure that your team is actually doing their job of asking your customers to opt in.
They can easily forget, so stay on top of them for that so that you’re seeing that growth because if you see more growth on your SMS list you’re also going to see more value out of it and more sales to your business.
So you need to start there. Step six is to think about the timing of when you send these messages. Timing is really powerful with text message marketing. The power of text message marketing is it gets in front of everybody’s eyeballs in real-time.
So you’re going to need to think about this. So if you’re a restaurant and you’re trying to fill your seats at lunchtime, you don’t want to be sending the text message too late or too early, right? Because people will forget. They get a lot of messages, they get interrupted all day. So what you’re going to want to do is your going to want to send them this message right before the typical lunch hour rush.
So that’s right in the decision-making process of literally when they’re thinking where should I go to lunch today? Ding! There’s the message, boom, you just won the business.
And you need to think about this for all your types of content. So if I’m an eCommerce store, I don’t want to send this during the middle of the working day, right?
People don’t have time to shop and buy. I’m going to want to send this at night when they’re sitting on their couch, during the commercials, and they get a message, it’s like, “Oh perfect, I’m going to buy this right now because I have all the time in the world.” So you’re going to want to send these messages at the right time based on your audience. Think about that before you move forward. Step number seven.
Last step and very important step. Only send valuable content and don’t overdo it. Less is more with text message marketing. If you start sending people too many texts they’re going to have a bad taste in their mouths about your brand and it’s going to hurt you. You’re going to want to send fewer messages, less is better than more, but very powerful valuable information, and only send them what you’ve said you’re going to send them.
So if you’re called to action is asking them to opt-in to receive a certain type of information or a certain type of deal, then just send them that, right? Don’t overdo it. We’ve all received text messages that we shouldn’t have received from companies we never even opted-in for? This is like you want to go to war, right? This is like the worst thing in the world that can happen to you.
Don’t be that company, right? But we also have text messages that we receive that we actually look forward to that it’s like, “Oh perfect, I was hoping I’d get that $10 off coupon off of my appetizer tonight because I was wanting to go there and eat anyways, right? That’s great value, right? Or, “I needed to go to the dentist anyway, I’m glad that their seats are empty today so that I can go in and get my teeth cleaned for half off, it’s an unbelievable deal, right? And they only text me that once like every many months, right?
” And so think about this for your brand.
What’s the most valuable piece of VIP content, deals, and information that you can send to your consumers at the right time that they’re going to love receiving, right? If you do that, you’re going to have fewer opt-outs, which means your lists are going to grow, grow, grow. You’re probably going to get referrals, too. People are going to refer their friends to opt-in to your lists.
You’re going to see growth there. This is the key to growth with SMS marketing and the key to success. So take those tips back to the fort. So thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this video about text message marketing.
If you have other tips that I’ve missed here, please leave them in the comments for others to see. Like the video, if you liked it, share it with your friends and follow us for more content like this down the road.
Happy Marketing! (groovy sitar music).