There are a lot of advantages to Text Message Marketing. We touched on them in my last post. That was a long post, so I thought I'd write a shorter (and hopefully more concise) primer. Text Message Marketing is also called SMS "Short Message Service" Marketing.
The two biggest advantages of SMS are:
1. It puts the advertiser in control of the message and the timing.
2. People "opt-in" so you know that these are people who WANT to hear from you.
The downside to SMS is:
It requires work on the part of the business owner. You need to educate your staff so that they will educate your customers so your customers will sign up for your SMS program. You see, you can't just purchase a system and then shoot out text messages to everyone's phone. Customers have to sign up and they won't sign up if they don't know how, or worse, if they don't know that you have an opt-in program.
Fortunately, it is very easy to overcome the downside. You can quickly teach your employees how to sign people up and some companies pay a bonus or incentive to the employee who signs up the most customers in a given time frame. You can also put a post card in every customer's bag as they leave explaining the program and including the SMS sign up code. Give customers an incentive to sign up while you have them in your store or restaurant. For example, you could offer 10% off today's purchases if they complete the sign up process. Let them know that they will receive exclusive offers and discounts as a "member" of your text club.
Texting is also great for bands, artists and theaters. Your "members" get notification via text whenever you have a new video, song, show or even an interview available. You can attach photos to a text message and really give your fans a personal touch.
Would you like to learn more? Better yet, would you like to try text marketing for 3-4 months free with absolutely no-obligation? Simply fill out the form to the right and in the Questions box write "free text plan". We've set up a deal through Dealz4.org to give a free demo. At the end of the free trial period, you will be given the option to pay a discounted yearly fee or have the service shut off. NO credit card is required for the free trial and your system will NOT become active unless YOU choose to active it after the trial period. What could be more fair?
*if you decide to keep the service you will receive unlimited texting for $397 per year.
Reaching Customers on Their Phones
1. As long as your website is mobile friendly, you can use your customers dedication to their phones to your advantage. This past year I did some work for a company that specializes in poison ivy removal. When I began working with them, their website was NOT mobile friendly. You simply could not read their site, (which was designed for a desktop computer) on a 4 inch phone screen. We changed that immediately. We also added a "click-to-call" feature to the website. The number of phone calls coming in from people requesting quotes almost doubled from the previous year. Why? Because we thought about our customers and made our system work for them. Think about it, you're out in your backyard, you see something that you think is poison ivy, you grab your phone and search poison ivy, looking for images. You see pictures of poison ivy and realize that, yes what you have in your yard is poison ivy. Now, the next search is "How do I get rid of poison ivy". The company website comes up and you see they offer free estimates, you either fill out the form or click "call now" and set up an appointment. Either way, the customer is satisfied that the problem is being dealt with and can move on in their day. The consumer is grateful that their problem is solved. From the company's perspective, that customer is not calling around, they found what they need, they called you, all you need to do is follow through and close the sale.
"...but advertising doesn't work!"
If you put 100 business owners in a room and asked them what they think of advertising I guarantee you a large percentage will say "advertising doesn't work." When I started out doing ad sales for newspaper and radio I would hear that comment from prospects frequently. My response was usually "Have you ever heard of Coke, Pepsi, Ford or Kelloggs?". They would always say "yes". I would say "You see advertising does work." "Bad advertising doesn't work." If your advertising is not working, you may be running bad ads.
"What makes an ad bad?" Well, a lot of things, putting an ad in the wrong place is just as unproductive as putting a really poor ad in the right place. You see there's a lot that goes into an ad. I think the biggest problem with most advertisers is they do ads for themselves, not for their customers. Allow me to explain. If you own a clothing store named "Dorothy Marie's", and you're "Dorothy" the average ad rep (for a print ad) is going to bring you a sample ad with your name really big at the top of the ad. The problem with that is if I've never heard of your store, seeing the name, frankly means nothing to me. So putting "Dorothy Marie's" in huge letters at the top of the ad is most likely going to make you feel really good but it won't do anything to attract customers. It's a vanity ad.
So how do you reach customers? Well, what are you selling? Using Dorothy as an example again, let's imagine that she sells women's shoes. Ok, but what makes her shoes any better than the discount place at the mall? Well, she sells really comfortable, stylish shoes for working women who commute into the city.
So with that information how do we make a good ad. Well, I had a customer like that in 2002 or 2003 and we designed this ad campaign. We took a women, put her in a bubble bath and had her laying back in her tub with her feet out and these really nice dress shoes on her feet. The headline of the ad was "Shoes so comfortable, you'll never want to take them off", combined with this sort of shocking photo of a woman in her bath with shoes on. Then we simply added additional text under the photo and it worked. It got attention and it sold shoes.
See our focus was her customers. How they want to feel in their shoes. They want to look good but they also want comfort.
So what do your customers want? What do they need from you? Why should they come to you (or your store) instead of going to a competitor?
Need help brainstorming? Please fill out the form on the right for a free, no-obligation consultation.
We frequently hear from people who tell us "my website used to come up on page one of Google but I don't see it anymore." There are a lot of reasons why a website that was page one of Google six months ago or a year ago, isn't page one any longer. First, Google changes their algorithms constantly. Their job is to make money, they make money selling ads. If it was easy to get your business to page one for free, no one would buy ads. So they're really not interested in making it simple for you to get to page one. Also, they want to protect their users and to Google that means getting the users the most accurate, valuable, relevant information. If your site has great content but nothing has changed in 5 years, you're probably not going to hold your spot for long.
Then of course there's the competition. I try to explain search engine optimization (or SEO) with a football analogy. Since I'm only about 8 miles from MetLife Stadium, I'll use the Jets as my example. Now suppose the Jets are going to open the season against the Patriots and they come out and win the game 28 - 3, holding Tom Brady to less than 100 yards passing. Well, that's great for them for game one but if they play the Patriots again in week 14 of the season and come out and try to do exactly what they did in game one, they will probably lose 28 - 3, or worse. You see, the Patriots and every other team in the league that is going to play the Jets during the season studies the game tapes, they look for tendencies, they look for strengths to be wary of and the look for weaknesses to exploit. SEO is the same principle. If you're a cosmetic dentist and you're on page one for "Cosmetic Dentist in Montclair, NJ" this week, all those cosmetic dentists on pages 2-10 are trying to figure out what you are doing to rank higher than they are and they'll be doing all they can to imitate your strategy and make themselves look better to Google.
Unfortunately, SEO is NOT something that you can do once and forget about. You need to check your ratings frequently. Ideally, you want to add valuable content to your site at least once per month and you want to be ready to tweak your site if you notice it dropping in rank.
We offer a free 50+ page analysis of the strength of your SEO. There is no obligation and the report will be emailed to you. If you'd like your site analyzed free, please fill out the form to the Right and simply request "Free SEO analysis" in the "comments" box.
I'm George Louvis