I know the last couple of posts have been on SMS (short message service) or "Text Marketing" but I keep getting asked questions so I figured I would share a little bit more about it. One of the main questions I get asked is "Why do you like text marketing?" I like it because it puts control in the hands of the business and it's very easy to track the results, tweak your campaigns and get your best customers to purchase more frequently. If a business owner will take the time (and we're talking 15 - 30 minutes) to learn how to use it properly (s)he can increase sales dramatically at a very low cost. This is the best way to have instant access to your best customers. Email lists are great but the reality is that in most industries the best you can hope for is to actually only reach about 20% of the customers that you email and many may not open the email for days. If you're running a one day sale that email can easily miss your target audience. On the other hand over 96% of all text messages get read within 3 hours of when they are sent and most are read within 2 minutes. Can you imagine the impact to your sales if you could reach 96% of your best customers with a special offer right now? If you are currently using email blasts then you know the importance of reaching your customers, text marketing allows you to reach more of them and to reach them instantly.
The other thing that I love about text marketing is the low cost. (Unfortunately that is only true if you choose the correct provider). If you purchase an account from a company like Dealz4.org that gives you unlimited texts for one fixed price (usually $995 per year but lower if you're a Page One For Professionals referral), then you can reach your customers for less than $20 per week. With a fixed price system your costs do NOT increase as you get more subscribers and start to give more offers. That is very important because as your business grows, you will get more subscribers and you'll want to send out more offers and you don't want to have to recalculate your budget every time you plan a text campaign. Having a fixed annual cost gives you a lot of freedom.
Many businesses find that once their text lists are built up sufficiently they can greatly reduce their print and online advertising, so the service can actually pay for itself.
That does bring up one potential negative. You, the business owner, will ultimately be responsible for how well, or how poorly, your text marketing campaign performs. You and your employees will have to encourage people to sign up. Once you have them signed up, you will need to make offers that keep them interested and get them to purchase. We can teach you some of the best practices for getting subscribers to your list but it will come down to how willing are you to actually ask customers to sign up. Dress Barn did a great campaign a few years ago. They simply trained the girls working the sales floor, when they saw a customer with a few items in their hands, they asked "Do you have a smartphone with a text plan?" If the customer said yes, they asked "Would you like to save 10% on your purchases today?" Most customers said yes. Then they explained how to sign up or offered to do the sign up for the customer. Then once they confirmed the sign up, the customer received an automated text with a code the cashier could use to give the 10% discount. That 10% is a small price to pay for the opportunity to market to this customer once a week, or once a month for the next few years. Those customers are the first to know about clearance sales, new inventory and store events. The customers appreciate it and Dress Barn increases their sales. There is no one better to advertise to than someone who ASKS you to send them ads.
Another question is, "Will it work for my business?"
I believe that text marketing can work for almost any type of business however, I always clarify that text marketing is NOT for every business. There are some specific types of businesses that can really do well with it and others that I would advise to not bother. For example, a contractor who builds kitchens is NOT going to do well with text marketing because people who want to rebuild their kitchen are NOT waiting for a text message and once they purchase the service, they should never need it again, unless they buy a new house. Most doctors, dentists and similar professionals will not need text marketing for sales, but there are some ways that it can be used.
We offer free consultations to help you determine what type of marketing is best for your business and if Text Marketing can help you. Call us at 973-220-6859 or fill out the form to the right for a free, no obligation consultation.
I'm George Louvis