5 Ways to Grow Your Business with a Mobile Messaging Campaign
It’s no secret smartphones are one of the most widespread forms of communication society has ever experienced. Statistics show there are more mobile device subscriptions than there are people! This provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses to create unique and interesting ways to engage with customers using mobile technology.
Market research studies show that as much as 95% of SMS/Text messages are opened on a regular basis by consumers. Although these numbers may be accurate, I believe the real benefit of mobile marketing is the extended reach and personal engagement it allows small business owners to have with their customers.
Now, most small businesses are unaware of mobile or text message marketing. In fact, when I explain that I create mobile marketing campaigns including text message marketing, most reactions are perplexed. Small business owners ask me,
“How in the world can sending text messages, consisting of 160 characters help grow my business?”
I’ll answer that here. Below are five ways small business owners can use text message marketing to enhance customer relations, thereby growing their businesses. Let’s get started.
- Loyalty Clubs. This is a very common way to get new mobile subscribers. The goal is to create a group of mobile subscribers who want to receive regular messages from you. It’s not necessary but you can offer an initial incentive such as a discount. However, once they’ve subscribed, you need to keep their interest. You can do this by sending exclusive updates on your latest promotions, sales, new products, events and specials on specific products your business is selling.One small retail store made t-shirts with the advertisement about their new loyalty program printed on them. This made it fun for employees and an interesting conversation piece to have with customers.
- Send VIP customers special offers. Identify your top customers and treat them with extra-special care. Place them in a separate group and provide offers that are even better than the ones for your loyalty group. For example, suppose your restaurant has created a brand new menu item. Your VIP customers can be the first to find out by sending them a text with a picture of the enticing dish. You can also include a special discount just for them. This type of messaging can be used for other types businesses as well, including retailers with new merchandise or a service based business that have just implemented a new and improved offering. Giving customers access to products or services before they are available to the general public wins their trust and helps them to become more familiar with your business.
- Share your best information. Many business owners under estimate the power of their own words. Although your customers and prospects are bombarded with marketing messages, they are still eager to hear what you have to say. They continually want to know how you can solve their problems or help their businesses grow. Perhaps you’ve recently given a presentation filled with valuable information. Share it with them in a text. Instruct your audience to text a keyword such as “events” to receive a pdf version of your presentation. If you’re an author, give your audience the option to receive a free chapter download of your latest book. Suppose you are an attorney, accountant or financial planner, you can text a link to documents needed to complete before their first consultation with you. Use your imagination to create useful and innovative ways of sharing your information.
- Manage Appointments. Many small business owners lose revenue when customers or prospective customers miss scheduled appointments. Not only does this apply to spas, salons or healthcare professionals, but it’s also important for other professionals such as accountants, financial planners or business coaches to reduce missed or late appointments. You can send text messages as reminders. You can also send a link to a mobile landing page for customers to reschedule appointments. This will help streamline appointment setting for you and your customers, saving time for all parties.
- Contests, Sweepstakes & Trivia. These are excellent and fun ways to engage with customers because everyone wants to win something. You’ll also build loyalty and generate buzz about a new product or service. The key to creating a valuable contest is to create a long term strategy. For example, create a campaign where each week subscribers receive a text message trivia question. Set a certain number of questions they can answer, such as 5, and each questions serves as an entry to win a big prize. This can last over a holiday period or specially designated month. Your business can capture lots of data on customers which gives you great insight on their behavior and interests. One important note: When communicating the messaging about contests, sweepstakes, surveys and polls, make it clear to users that they are subscribing to future messaging, or else it will be considered a one-time message – which means you are not allowed to continuing messaging that user. You must clearly communicate the subscription properly or you have not obtained permission to communicate with them on a regular basis.
By focusing on your ideal customer and taking an innovative approach, small business owners can create and manage a text message marketing campaign that is comparable to large businesses. Mobile message marketing is flexible and highly scalable. As your mobile marketing campaign takes off, you can monitor the results and make adjustments to improve the outcomes. By using creativity, innovation and consistent messaging, you can have a solid mobile marketing strategy that puts you well ahead of your competition. Another important benefit is that your customers become more knowledgeable about your products and services making it easier for them to continually purchase what you have to sell.
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