How To Use Text Message Marketing For Small Business

Leveraging current technologies for small business marketing is the best way to go. When you employ mobile strategies, your audience will have the information they look for in the palm of their hands. You don’t have to create your own apps to make that a reality. Here is how you can leverage text messaging to get the foot traffic you’re after.

Always Make Sure Your Recipients Have Opted-In

To set the stage, here is a statistic that provides insight into the consumer mind. In 2015, an estimated 126 million people were using AdBlock on Google Chrome. AdBlock is one of several apps that allow users to dismiss advertisements when loading a web page. Applications like this work on Google, Facebook, and all other websites. The number of people using these tools is growing, and peak amongst a high-converting demographic: young and well-off consumers. This tells us that people don’t like being advertised to, and that’s not going to change any time soon.

In fact, your market is only going to get more savvy about finding ways around advertisements and unsolicited promotions. Marketing is now making its way toward an inbound approach, and this is one more reason why you need to encourage your customers to opt-in to receive updates from your small business. Here are some ways to do promote SMS subscriptions:

  • Add a landing page and/or a form to your website. Depending on whether or not users will subscribe to your newsletter via a shortcode or a subscription form, you will need a landing page on your website with instructions on how to opt-in to receive texts from your company. You can also include a “phone” box in your current email newsletter subscription form.
  • Leverage your email newsletter. When you run a new SMS marketing campaign, you can promote it to your email recipients. When you do this, include a call-to-action that asks them to subscribe to receive updates via text.
  • Send a postcard to your snail mail recipients. Postcards are still a great way to promote, and allow you to make your long-term customers feel appreciated. You can direct readers to your landing page with a QR code printed on the card, or include instructions like, “Text “YES” to 121212 to subscribe to texts containing flash sales and discounts.”
  • Promote your text message list on social media. You can use the same instructions as above to make the most of social media opt-ins. Keep in mind that many people who see your message on social media are viewing it from a smartphone, which means they’re ready to act now.

Note: Opting-out should be just as easy as opting-in. You need to set up your system to allow users that don’t want to receive communications from you an option to unsubscribe at any time.

How to Run “Insider” Promotions Via Text Message

People love to be treated as VIP clients and receive special discounts. Your customers will be interested when you offer them an insider discount or free gift. Use words like “reward” and “gift” to make customers feel special. Discounts are great for people who already use your products or services, especially if you use the magic word: “because.” They are receiving a reward or gift because they’ve purchased something in the past. This is how you personalize the offer or promotion.

Use list segmentation to break your text message database into leads, customers, and even customers who have purchased specific products, in order to distribute VIP and insider campaigns to the relevant audience. My credit card company continually sends me an email offer for a service that I already use, and the messages are now an annoyance, especially since I know how easy list segmentation is. The last thing you want is customers that feel like you’re not paying attention.

Run Flash SMS Sales From Time to Time

SMS campaigns bring fast and substantial results, and you can get the most out of this time-sensitive medium. This means that it is the perfect avenue for you to run flash sales. Offer a free t-shirt to anyone who spends over $50 or 40% off all inventory in a certain department. Create a sense of urgency, noting that the offer ends in a matter of hours or days. This will trigger people to act fast.

Redbox is a master at SMS flash sales. They run text message promotions, integrated with online landing pages that deliver instant results. An example is their “scratch-off surprise deal.” They sent an SMS with a link to a mobile webpage with an app embedded that would allow visitors to slide their finger across the screen to “scratch” and reveal a mobile coupon. The discount would then expire after a short time, creating a sense of urgency that got customers to visit their rental kiosk right away. This strategy can be creatively altered to work for your small business.

Final Thoughts

Many small businesses regularly benefit from SMS campaigns. Yours can too, if you run your campaigns the right way. Make sure recipients have opted-in and can opt-out at any time. Make customers feel important by being relevant and sending valuable offers, and run flash promotions. If you follow these guidelines, your SMS marketing ventures will be off to a great start.

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