Sending a text message is almost the only marketing platform that can guarantee the receiver will read your message. With that kind power it is worth the time to look into using text messages as part of your businesses marketing campaign.
It is documented that 3.5 billion SMS (short message service) are sent and received every day. This is more than the number of cellphone calls placed and received. Since 2007 the number has been a threefold jump, with the biggest increases of usage by people over the age of 30.
Here are a few things to think about as you look into utilizing text messaging into your marketing strategy. 1. Don’t just blast out messages to random numbers. There are some marketing firms that utilize automated dialers to blast out texts to random numbers. Don’t hire these types of firms. There are laws in place against this and the majority of the message will be blocked quickly by the cell phone carriers.
2. Choose a a service provider that fits your marketing needs and operates within the law. There are a few legitimate options your business can look into. The least expensive option is hiring a firm like MobiQpons. This service is an iPhone application that utilized the geo-locator that will automatically send people a text coupon when they are shopping close to businesses that participate in their service. This service can cost as little as several dollars a day, but will not give you the cell numbers of the recipients. Another option is a custom approach. You can register your own “short code” and market that code in your other advertising.
The “short code” is a five or six digit phone number that people can text to reach you. This is an expensive option since the process requires the registration of the code and the licensing, activation, and hosting fees can be over a thousand dollars. A third and popular option is a simple off-the-shelf platform such from Mobile Commons or HipCricket that allow you to share a short code. This can get you started for about $800 a month.
3. Offer a reason for people to give you their cell number. Incorporate text marketing with your entire marketing plan. In your advertising, include your text messaging campaign. This will help build your cell number client base. Offering free coupons through text is a way to customers to give their cell number to you and agree to receive your messages.
4. Think long term. This is something you add to your marketing plan… not to take the place of your other marketing. Use your text messages to stay in touch with your customer base to build a long term relationship. Using SMS to remind clients of appointments or specials will help keep your business in front of them.
5. Don’t over do it. Don’t sent your customers too many messages. Keep it at a professional level without spamming them. Also, stay clear of texting shorthand. Use full words in complete sentences.
6. Texting can be powerful. Using text analytics can help target customers more effectively.