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A little on How Text Marketing can work for Small Business
You, the small business owner will create a keyword. This keyword is a word, two words or combination of letters and or numbers that represent your business. Customers then text your keyword back to your long code,(which you can choose for free when you sign up) ie: 904-721-3327. This is how they will "opt into" your list.
Then of course you would advertise your "keyword" on a billboard in front of your shop, facebook page, websites, emails, newspaper, etc.
Let's say you own a local ice cream shop called Cornerstone Cones. Near the end of September, business rapidly slows. You want to transition into hot cocoa over the winter season, but need to inform current customers of this new addition. To spread the word fast, you think about giving text marketing a try, so you sign up for free at Textafied.com and create the keyword CONE. When customers want to join your VIP text club, they can text "CONE" to your long code example: 904-721-3327.Customers see your keyword advertised somewhere, grab their cell phone and.....
... the software has now captured their cell number and they have legally opted in to your list.
The Auto Reply
After joining your list, customers will receive an automated text back explaining the details of their subscription. This message is called an auto reply, you set up your auto responder as you want ahead of time. An auto reply for Cornertone Cones might look a little bit like this.
Starting October 1, we'll be serving dozens of new hot cocoa flavors for the winter season.
Show this text for buy one cocoa, get one free deal.
During the entire month of September, you gather 497 subscribers. That's great! Now, when you're ready to transition over from cones to cocoa, you might fire out a"first cup free" offer. This will help drive new business to your cocoa stand, and reward loyal customers for stopping in. This is your offer. As your business grows, you can regularly fire out weekly promotions that encourage more business.
Having a hard time grasping the whole text marketing concept? Here's a great example.
Owning a local business isn't easy. Max and his sister just opened up a hardware store downtown, and so far, business hasn't been great. They usually get three new visitors a day, and out of those three, only one makes a purchase. Definitely not the way things should be starting out.
One day, Max is fed up with the lack of interest, so he decides to speak up. He heads over to his Facebook page, and posts a status that reads, "Business has been kinda slow at the new hardware store. Any ideas?" Within the first hour, ten people comment, saying something along the lines of, "We're having a hard time finding your store!"
It all starts to make sense. They are wedged between two large warehouses, and Max never mentioned this odd location in any of his marketing materials. This could definitely be the problem.
Finally, his sister Christine speaks up. "This might sound dumb, but can we text everyone the location info?" They actually have a list of numbers they collected right before their grand opening. They go online, Google "text marketing for small business," and Textafied is right near the top of the list. Max contacts us and asks about texting his list of numbers.
Because he put a compliance statement on his initial sign up sheet, he can then manually add these numbers to our software platform, and fire out a location text. The next week, Max and Christine are seeing 50+ new visitors a day. They then continue to fire out text promotions every week, which grows their business.
How Will SMS Grow Your Small Business?
Let's start off with these three common truths.
- People love shopping.
- People want to save money.
- Everyone reads texts.
Text marketing is doing wonders for our customers. Small business owners who follow our best practices observe the following.
- Increased foot traffic
- Increased offer redemption
- Heightened brand awareness
- Strengthened customer engagement
What do these benefits have in common? Every single one increases revenue.
Why Choose SMS?
Out of all other marketing solutions, what makes texting perfect for small businesses?
- Everyone can receive texts.
- Over 90% of all texts are read within the first 5 minutes.
- The average American looks at their cell phone 150+ times a day.
- 70% of Americans want to receive mobile offers from their favorite businesses.
- It's perfect for the business owner on a budget. At just pennies per text, it's cost effective.
These benefits just scratch the surface. Our platform also offers unparalleled customer support, innovative features, and educational tools that empower you to succeed.
How to Get Started
1. Choose Your Keyword
Your text marketing keyword must be simple, easy to remember, and totally unique to your business. For example, if you own a local record store downtown called Steve Spins Tunes, you might want to reserve the keyword STEVE or STEVESPINS. Even SST would do.
2. Write Your Auto Reply
Your auto reply is an automated text that subscribers receive immediately after opting in to your SMS marketing list. This includes a confirmation of subscription, offer redemption details, and a compliance statement. To protect you, we automatically include a compliance statement at the end of your auto reply.
3. Grow Your List
The next step? Promoting and growing your list. Settle on an irresistible opt in incentive, and then try the following list growth techniques.
- Post a text to join graphic on Facebook.
- Send out an email with opt in instructions.
- Put up in store flyers.
- Insert a sign-up widget on your website.
- Verbally engage with customers, and ask them to sign up.
4. Send Out Irresistible Promos
If your text promotions aren't irresistible, subscribers will eventually grow disinterested. Avoid this unfortunate speed bump by making campaign development a group effort. Have a sit down with employees, and review ideas.
If your messages offer little to no value, people will opt out. That sucks for you, as it ruins the entire purpose of text marketing. The more subscribers on your list, the more impact your messages have on sales.
Sample Text Campaigns for Small Businesses
You always want to be building your marketing web of influence. Use our email capture and integration features to grow your email list while engaging with text marketing subscribers.
Reply with your email address, and we'll send you an exclusive mobile coupon available for immediate redemption.
Text to Win Contest
You can't argue with the effectiveness of a text marketing contest. Make sure your grand prize is irresistible, and then use this as a tool to grow your list.
Want to win a year's supply of Limited Athletics merchandise? Reply with GEARME, and enter for your chance to win. Winner announced on 4/13.