People are more engaged in local and national government than ever. Grassroots organizations from all parts of the political spectrum are popping up around the country looking to help change the world in a variety of different ways.
One of the biggest obstacles these groups face is finding an easy way to organize and communicate with members and interested parties. Group texting provides a way to get members organized, informed, talking and working together to be more successful in their efforts, whether their aim is to support a local candidate or get legislation passed or not passed.
Increase attendance at meetings and events with a group texting program.
Why Choose SMS?
Why should you consider using SMS over other forms of communication such as social media or email? There are a few key reasons:
- It's fast
- It's inclusive
- It has a high open rate
Not everyone in your community group will want to connect on social media to stay informed. However, almost everyone has an SMS-enabled phone, making it possible to receive messages about events, rallies, meetings and more. Texting is something that reaches across income level and educational level divides. Plus, you also can cross generational gaps, since it is not just millennials and gen Z'ers adept with texting; older smartphone users text almost as much as their younger counterparts. This inclusivity makes it much easier to communicate with all members of your community.
Additionally, text messages have a high open rate, and they are typically opened within just a few minutes. You do not have to compete with the many things crowding social media newsfeeds and email inboxes. This means that even when things change at the last minute, you are able to communicate with your members. If a key piece of legislation is passed, then you can rally your members to act right away. If your meeting changes locations or times, then you also have a chance to let everyone know.
Group texting is a simple communications solution for community organizations, whether grassroots or nationwide groups. However, there are some key considerations to make, and some best practices to follow so that your members remain not just informed but happy:
- Get permission: Make sure you only text members who opt-in to the service
- Be respectful: Limit the number of texts and send at appropriate times
- Segment your list: Organize your list based on interests
- Share quality content: Send relevant content of value that resonates with your members
The most important aspect of any successful group texting campaign is that you have permission to text your recipients. This should be written permission of which you retain records. There are a few different ways to get this permission:
- Include it as part of the sign in sheet
- Add it to online forms for contact information
- Opt-in keywords
- Confirmation text
The easiest way to get permission from your potential group members is to have them opt-in with a keyword. Most likely, you are familiar with this, as it is the way that most SMS marketing programs get people to sign up. On your informational materials, including your brochures, flyers, social media sites and websites, simply provide information about your group texting program, including your keyword and short code. This might look like:
Sign up to receive updates on [issue/group name] by texting [keyword] to [shortcode].
In addition to asking for opt-ins this way, also include it as a communication option when people sign up either in person or online to become a member of your organization. Some people might choose to just receive texts from you, or they might choose to receive them in addition to email and/or social media updates.
Make sure to have everyone confirm that they really do want to be part of your texting campaign.
Once your members have signed up, either through a form or a text, send a confirmation text. This text should include a link to your terms and conditions, as well as an action such as:
Text YES to confirm, NO to opt out, or HELP for more information.
This serves as an added assurance that everyone on your list wants to receive your texts. Furthermore, you also will have a record that you have permission for your program. It is important to also include ways for your subscribers to easily opt out or get help on future text messages so that if people change their mind, they know how to stop receiving messages.
It's also important to be respectful to your members of your group texting program. This might seem obvious, since you are closely working together to advance your cause. However, there is more to being respectful than just the words you send, although those are important. So, be sure to do the following:
- Limit your number of texts
- Text during appropriate hours
- Remain relevant to the group's mission
- Avoid potentially abusive or hurtful comments or content
- Set parameters and follow them
Establish guidelines to ensure that everyone who texts within your organization will remain respectful. Guidelines also give your members an idea of what to expect if they choose to subscribe. You might determine these guidelines on your own, or you might come up with them at a group meeting, depending on the size and structure of your group. Regardless, respect should always be at the forefront of your program.
Although there are plenty of reasons to text out to your community about actions or events, you do want to limit the number of messages and text during appropriate hours. The number of texts that becomes troublesome depends on your own organization and the members' preferences. To determine the right number, ask your members and look at your opt-out rate. If you notice a lot of members unsubscribing, then you might be sending too many messages.
Additionally, remain relevant to the mission of your group. There might be many things that you hope to accomplish, but that does not mean that you should be sending general texts to your group. Limit your texts to the latest news, events, updates and other information that they need to know. Even in emergencies, avoid texting at inappropriate hours, such as during the night when people are sleeping.
Depending on the size of your community organization, you might have several sub-groups. Perhaps some people are more interested in helping with different aspects of your movement than others. For example, some people might wish to have a leadership role, and others wish to simply show up when you tell them to do so. Therefore, you want to segment your subscriber list into groups. Organizing your list based on people's preferences ensures that they only receive messages relevant to them.
So, how do you know what group to put people into? There are a few different ways you can gain this insight:
- Run a survey
- Ask them at sign up
- Check their participation history
With this information, you will know which section to organize a person. Some of your more active members might belong to several of your text groups. This is fine, but just be sure that you do not end up sending duplicate texts. This could cause your opt-out rate to spike.
The more specific you make your lists, the more relevant the content. This keeps people signed up to your group texting program, and it helps you to ensure that your calls for action are hitting those most likely to help out.
The right content
Keep your members happy by only sending out content that matters to them.
Another essential component of a successful group texting program is that it distributes relevant content of value to the recipient. It might be tempting to use your texting program as a way to send many different informative items to your members, but you want to limit it to the most important messages. Instead, share additional information on your social media pages or through your email newsletter. To maintain your group texting program's impact, you need to limit what you send. Ideally, send out the following messages:
- Event invites
- Donation requests
- Important updates or information
Any funny memes or relevant newspaper articles should be saved for other forms of communication -- unless it is something you feel that everyone really needs to see. If you do want to ensure that your members who might not follow you through email or social media see certain content, consider creating a web page that aggregates important information for a particular week. Then, send out one text per week with a link to this page so that members can stay informed without feeling overwhelmed by several messages.
Remember, a strong group texting program follows certain guidelines. People expect every text you send to be directly related to an action they plan to take or valuable information they must see. If they are looking for everyday social interaction with your group, they will probably head to social media for that.
There are five main categories of messages that typically are appropriate for a group text message:
- Inform members
- Organize volunteers and subgroups
- Promote events
- Get donations
- Emergency alerts
Your group might choose other content to include on top of this, and as long as your members are happy with what you send out, then you have remained relevant and of value to them. Plus, you can use texting as a two-way communication forum through which members can contact you to ask questions or alert you to the latest news.
Whether you are trying to get a candidate elected or legislation approved, for either local or national government, it is important to get citizens united and involved. Communication and organization play key roles in being able to do so, and group texting provides one way to mobilize your group. It works well on its own, and it complements your social media and email communication channels as well.
Ready to step up your organization's communication abilities? Then try ClubTexting for free and get started today.
Personalized, targeted messages take a decent -- or lackluster -- campaign and turn it into a powerful one. Before integrating this into your text marketing program for a more successful effort, you first need to know who your nightclub's audiences actually are.
Build a stronger campaign by knowing your customers better.
Depending on your club, you might attract a similar demographic of people every night, or you might find that certain events or evenings draw in different crowds. Some clubs might also do a good job of having a diverse clientele every evening of the week. No matter into which category your club falls, it is important to understand your audience or audiences. The best way to do this? Build a marketing persona.
What are Marketing Personas?
You might have heard about marketing personas before. They have become one of the best ways of determining the target audience for marketing campaigns across all channels. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, marketing personas are basically representatives of your ideal audience. They have similar demographics, behavior patterns, psychographics and other characteristics of your typical or ideal customer. Then, you use these for creating content that speaks to your customers.
Typically, marketing personas are built using a variety of data integrated together, including:
- Buying patterns
- Data and analytics
- Customer surveys
- Market research
- Competition research
So, once you have a persona built, how exactly does that help your club's text marketing program? And, how do you know which personas to utilize for your texting campaigns?
Once you have an idea of the customer and their likes, dislikes and behavior patterns, then you will have a firmer understanding of which customers will choose to engage with your club via text marketing. Then, you have a better idea of the type of content that is tailored to their preferences, thereby increasing the success of your program.
What Is Your Campaign's Objective?
Start by getting your team to determine the purpose behind your texting campaign.
When developing marketing information based on a marketing persona, it is important to also recognize what solutions or value your company's products or services solve. As a club, you offer your customers entertainment and a place to socialize. Your texting campaign has the potential to offer a wide variety of solutions or services within this, including:
- Exclusive access
- Presale tickets
- VIP seating
When you determine who your target audience is, consider for what purpose they have decided to sign up for your texts. Is it because they want to engage with your club, or are they looking to save money or gain special access? Your answer to this question informs what type of content to send.
Which Data Is Most Important?
It is important to consider what data to use when determining the audience for your texting campaigns. Depending on your company and its records, you might have a wealth of information -- or you might have very little. Places to find the data include:
- Social media followers
- Website analytics
- Email newsletter data
- Online forms
- Loyalty club membership
You might choose to go right to the source with customer surveys, and as mentioned, you might also use market research or look at your competition for additional data. So, once you have all the data, which information is the most important in creating your target audience for your texting program?
Ultimately, that depends on the objective of your marketing strategy and program. However, you want to start by looking at any data that provides more information to you about your general customers than simply their age or that they visited your clubs. Information about their likes, dislikes, interactions with your clubs and other facts helps you to build a better idea about those who patron your club.
From this, you can determine which audience will more likely sign up to your text marketing program, helping you to further narrow down which persona or personas to target.
Should You Segment Your Subscribers?
When writing personalized or targeted messages, it is essential that you create content that speaks to the person, even if that content is only 160 characters, as is the case with text marketing. Once you have reviewed your marketing personas, you might notice that you have several different typical customers. When this is the case, then it is beneficial to segment your audience.
For example, perhaps you have one persona who represents customers in their 20s that enjoy house music, visit on Thursdays, and tend to buy alcohol rather than food. With this information, you will want to focus your content and provide deals, information, and access for events that take place on Thursdays and feature house music. Offers involving free drinks will have a greater impact than offers on free food.
Then, say you have a person representing people in their 50s who come out for 80s band cover night. They typically visit on Wednesdays and like to eat as well. The best offers to send them would be for free food on nights with the 80s cover bands.
How do you do this? Segment your list, assigning each person for whom you have sufficient data into a group based on their behavior patterns, preferences and psychographics. Then, you have the potential to get even more targeted in your message approaches, increasing the success of your overall campaign.
Personalized messages to each group of subscribers can enhamce the efficacy of your entire campaign.
Of course, when you do this, it is essential that you pay attention to whether or not someone makes more than one list. If this is the case, you will need to monitor your campaigns so that a person does not get the same message multiple times -- or that they end up overwhelmed by messages. Additionally, it is important to continue to have a more general message that you send to those for whom you have minimal data.
How to Put It All Together
So, how do you put all of this information together to find the right audience for your club's text marketing program? Simply put, you spend time researching your current and prospective club visitors, including their demographics, psychographics, behavior patterns and more. Then, build marketing personas. From there, determine which ones will be more likely to interact with you via text. Then, develop texting campaigns that target those particular marketing personas. Segment your list based on any data you have to receive the targeted messages.
With a bit of work, you will know your texting campaign's audiences. From there, you will have the information necessary to create personalized messages that take your texting campaigns to the next level.
Ready to start creating personalized campaigns? Get started and try ClubTexting for free.
Although it might seem as though SMS marketing is a relatively new marketing channel, it has actually existed since the early 2000s. From its onset, many have seen the potential of the medium, yet just as many remain wary of it.
SMS marketing is an effective way to bring in customers.
In the past few decades, a lot has changed in marketing, including the changing emphasis on mobile marketing. What was once used by a few brave leaders is now becoming commonplace. However, there remains some who are still unsure whether it is something worth adopting or simply a passing fad. Some myths remain so entrenched that it is difficult to know the reality surrounding this highly-effective medium. By reviewing a few of these misconceptions, you will discover why so many have adopted it.
A Short History Lesson
Back in the early 2000s, Adage wrote an article about the promise of using SMS for marketing purposes. During this time period, texting was just starting to become widely popular, especially in Asian and European markets. Between 2001 and 2002, there was a surge of over 150 billion more texts sent per year, and in 2003, the first few commercial SMS services started to emerge.
The promise of this new marketing channel was obvious. It was seen as a way to be personal and directly communicate with individuals. Some major brands, including Nike and Coke, became early adopters. However, this marketing forum also saw a huge obstacle due to many carriers, and users, viewing it as spam or a passing fad. It ultimately took a back seat to some of the other marketing channels, such as email and social media.
Many of the benefits -- and concerns -- surrounding text message marketing still stand 15 years after the publication of this article. Despite the Adage writer seeing the benefits of this medium so many years ago, companies still hesitate to adopt it today. If this is you, there is no reason to continue to wait to see whether or not people will adopt SMS marketing. It is a highly relevant marketing channel with many people wanting to communicate with businesses through it. Not convinced? The following should help.
|Percent of messages that are spam||1 percent
Conversion rate 32 percent
|Open rate||98 percent|
|Time to read||Under three minutes|
|Consumers who wish to communicate via text with businesses||70 percent|
|Number of consumers who wish to have SMS customer support||52 percent|
|Engagement rate||8x that of email|
Myth 1: People Interact with Companies on Computers
With the growing importance of the internet, it is essential to have a web presence, including email and websites. In today's market, taking this presence into the mobile space is becoming more important than ever. More people interact with businesses or go online on their mobile devices than a computer, with mobile internet usage making up 70 percent of usage. The numbers are set to only increase, with the number of people preferring to access the internet via a mobile device rather than a computer expected to jump by 28 percent. This makes mobile marketing a priority for businesses, especially since people are looking for a mobile-first solution to their shopping needs.
Another reason SMS marketing has such power: people carry their phones with them everywhere. A significant portion of people who own a cell phone never have it out of reach, and they will check it multiple times per day. When they receive a text message, they open it within just a few minutes. Because more and more people also shop on their phones, they can easily take action on a text coupon by clicking to link and complete a sale.
Myth 2: Customers Do Not Want to Receive Texts from Businesses
A very prominent myth about SMS marketing that still reigns supreme is that customers do not wish to have businesses contact them via texting. However, that is not the case. Around 75 percent of consumers want businesses to communicate with them via text rather than targeted internet ads. In addition to receiving messages from the business, many consumers wish to interact with businesses via text, especially for customer service.
Customers do want to hear from you through text message.
There are many benefits to choosing to interact with consumers via texting. For one, it builds a more intimate relationship with consumers. You are texting with them in the same channel that they typically reserve just for their family and friends. Additionally, spam takes up just 1 percent of messages, so consumers will view each individual message as important.
Additionally, texting is a permission-based medium, which means that you are only communicating with those who wish to hear from your business. This makes the message have that much greater of an impact. When you market to people who already have a positive experience with your company, then they are more likely to take the intended action. This leads to SMS marketing having some of the highest numbers for conversion rates and engagement rate.
Texting has a strong engagement with customers, which helps you to build your business. Many people now shop based on their experiences and engagement with a company, rather than based on price and other factors. By using texting to engage with customers, you will be able to retain them and increase your number of loyal customers.
Myth 3: Only Young People Text
Millennials and Gen Z'ers are famous for their love of texting and mobile devices. This makes SMS marketing an ideal channel for marketing to younger consumers. In fact, 60 percent of Millennials prefer two-way texting, and more than 83 percent open their texts within 90 seconds. However, this is generally an underused medium, as only 60 percent of Millennials receive five or less marketing messages from businesses, and a full 20 percent do not receive any.
It is not just young people who text.
However, Millennials and Gen Z'ers are not the only ones who text, and thereby not the only ones who can benefit from this marketing tools. Baby Boomers and older also text in high numbers. Out of smartphone owners:
- 100 percent of 18-29 year olds text
- 98 percent of those aged 30-49 text
- 92 percent of those over the age of 50 tex
. As you can see, implementing a text program will not eliminate your ability to target older demographics.
Myth 4: Other Marketing Channels Are Better
Many companies simply focus on other marketing channels, feeling that adding SMS marketing does not make sense. They feel that digital marketing, SEO, blogging, social media, and traditional advertisements go a lot further than texting. However, time and time again, SMS marketing has shown it reigns supreme:
- Mobile coupon redemption is 10x that of print offers
- It has 8 times the engagement rate
- It takes less than 90 seconds for a response, compared to 90 minutes via email
- 98 percent of texts are opened, compared to only about 20 percent of emails
- Over 90 percent of consumers will redeem a coupon via mobile device
These are just a few of the key statistics showing the power that texting has over other marketing channels. Additionally, more than two-thirds of subscribers to mobile marketing have made a purchase due to a relevant message.
SMS marketing is a cost-effective marketing solution that packs a punch. That does not mean it should be your only marketing channel. It works best as an integrated part of a comprehensive marketing campaign that utilizes multi-channels, including:
- Social media
- Content marketing
- Radio and TV ads
- Print ads
- In-store promotions
- Email newsletters
Every marketing channel has its strengths and weaknesses. However, you would be remiss to reject SMS marketing just because you feel that some of the other marketing channels are better.
Myth 5: It's a Passing Fad
Texting has not yet reached its peak as a marketing channel. It is expected to continue to grow and become an even more vital component of marketing. In the coming years, more automation and chat bots with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence will emerge and integrate with SMS marketing and messaging chat apps. The marketing channel is expected to continue to grow, with no end in sight. Therefore, there is no reason to simply not adopt it, thinking that it is simply a trend that will quickly go away.
Get your team together and start working on a plan for your program.
Now is the perfect time to add texting to your marketing strategy if you have been hesitant. It is continually increasing in its efficacy, and customers are primed to opt-in. Despite its many advantages, few businesses have adopted it, meaning that customers are not overcome by messages. This helps you to cut through the mess and compete, even with the larger corporations that might have more money for marketing and advertising.
SMS marketing has been around for 15 years, and it will be around for decades to come. Rather than believing the myths that continue to circulate around the medium, take advantage of the lucrative benefits of the medium and add it to your marketing campaign today. Get started by trying ClubTexting for free.
For a dynamite SMS marketing campaign, it is essential to create something that is specific, targeted and personalized. Overly generic messages do not have the same impact as messages that resonate with the recipient. If you really want to see your conversion numbers soar, then it is important to create a message that means something to the customer <>. To do this, you first need to determine who the audience is. Whether you have one or several target audiences, a similar process provides invaluable information about your subscribers.
For many marketers, it is beneficial to create a persona that represents their ideal target audience. This persona has the basic habits, behavior patterns, personality, characteristics, demographics and other features of the ideal customer. It is typically based on a conglomeration of actual customers. To create this persona, there is certain information you need to know. Even if you do not actually create a symbolic customer, the same information informs your marketing efforts.
Take some time to research your customers to determine the best target audience.
The first place to begin discovering your target audience is through research. First and foremost, you will conduct market research. If you do not have the resources to perform your own market research, it is possible to purchase data from market research firms and larger businesses.
Additionally, take the time to review the information you have about your own customers. This should include data across all the channels with which you interact with customers, including:
- Shopping metrics
- Buying habits
- Website visitors
- Social media followers
- Email newsletter followers
- SMS marketing subscribers
Each of these areas has the potential to provide you with invaluable information about your own customers. From this data, you have the foundation on which to choose your few key personas to create. Once you have this, you can continue to imbue them with some of the information that you see continually appear when you look through your data.
You might start by looking at key pieces of data and their relationship to other data. For example, you can start with females between 20 and 35. Then, you can see what information you have for that demographic to then add in other characteristics and buying habits. The market research you conduct or purchase will further add certain elements to the personas.
It is important to remember that the target audience for one marketing channel might be different than that of the other. Therefore, your texting campaign might require some additional research to what you already have. However, you also might find that you have the same personas on several channels because customers within that demographic and behavior pattern interact with you across multiple channels.
Although research is a key place to determine your target audience, it is also important to actually talk with your customers. The way to do this is to ask them to conduct surveys. Then, you have the chance to learn additional information about certain groups of customers and what they expect from your company and SMS marketing program.
You might find that certain customers are not as open to texts as others, which means that you would be wasting some of your resources in trying to get them to sign up. Instead, you can focus on the groups that are most open to texting, making it easier to receive all the lucrative benefits of the medium. Direct communication provides invaluable insight into not only who your target audience is, but also what they want from you.
Look to the Competition
Another place to glean information on your potential target audience for your texting campaign is to look to see who your competition is targeting. This information can be used in two ways. For one, you might decide to target the same audience as your competition, or you might choose to focus on another area that might be left alone by the competition. You can fulfill a gap in the market, something that many smaller companies do in order to compete with larger firms.
No matter how you use the data you receive, looking at who your competition targets with their texting campaigns will help you narrow down your own target audience. Of course, it is possible that your major competition is not using SMS marketing, but you can still find some helpful information. You see what audiences they target with their other marketing efforts, and this provides insight into what demographics they see as the main pool of customers.
Understand the Value of Your Goods and Services to Your Customers
Consider what your customers expect and want from your company.
The final key piece for understanding your target audience is to look at the value of your goods and services to customers, or your unique sales proposition. See not only who buys your products, but also how they buy and why. What need do your goods and services fulfill for customers? This gives you a richer idea of how to market to your target audience because you know how to best speak to them and reach them in this place of need.
You might find that different audiences see different value in your goods or services. If this is the case, then it is important to alter your marketing message to these different audiences. Even a short-form content like SMS marketing needs to create messages that resonate with the audience and how they interact with your company <>.
By taking the time to fully understand your target audience, you will be able to create a stronger texting campaign that helps you reach your goals. It is also easier to create content that converts and provides you with the impressive rates for which texting is famous.
Contact us to learn more about discovering your target audience.
When you develop your group texting program, it is important to know the objective of each and every message you send out. For many, this goal is to convert subscribers into customers <>. To reach this goal, it is important to create content that establishes an opportunity for conversion. There are some key elements you need to have in your message to increase your conversion rate and ensure that customers know what you want them to do, and increase the chance they actually will do so.
Strong Call to Action
Include a strong CTA to improve your conversion rates.
The foundation of your group texting message is the call to action. Even though you might only have 160 words with which to work in this short-form content, it still needs a strong call to action. Examples of calls to action include:
- Buy now
- Click here
- Redeem in store
- Text to win
- Respond with a keyword
- Share with a friend
There are many other calls to action you might decide to use when you develop dynamite content for your SMS marketing program. The important part is that you use a CTA that drives action from your customers. If your goal is to increase conversions, then you need to determine in what way you want that to be.
When speaking about marketing analytics, the conversion rate might mean different things, depending on your business and your goals. In simplest terms, it is the percentage of your subscribers or customers who take the action desired on the message. This might be buying something, but it could also be joining a newsletter, redeeming a coupon, sharing the text or any of the other actions already mentioned. Your call to action should match what type of action, or conversion, you want from your customers.
The language you choose for your content plays a significant role in its efficacy <>. There are some key factors involved in the type of language you choose for your call to action and text as a whole:
- No helping verbs
- Active not passive voice
- Motivating language
Together, these elements create a strong message that incentivizes your subscribers to take action. Because you are working with just 160 characters, you want to be as concise as possible.
Avoid using helping verbs and focus on active rather than passive voice. The words you choose should be strong and motivating. Add in a sense of urgency for a greater impact. Touch on their emotion as well, especially a fear of missing out or peer pressure. Some examples of strong texts that include motivating language and a solid CTA follow:
Act now to get your free gift with qualifying purchase. Bring this coupon to the store before [date].
Don't miss out on the opportunity to save 30 percent today. Click here to redeem this coupon online or bring it to the store. Expires [date].
Another element of developing content that converts is engagement. More and more customers are choosing which company to patron based on their experiences. Therefore, you want to create messages that engage with customers. The language you choose plays a role in this as well. Engaging content also increases the chance that customers will share the text with friends and/or tell their social and professional networks to sign up as well.
One way to create engaging content is to make it a two-way content. This might be a challenge or competition, which connects with people's competitive spirit. Another way to engage with customers is to allow them to contact you with questions and other customer service issues through text. Ultimately, sending positive messages that convey a sense of value to the customer will increase the level of engagement. This, in turn, improves the number of customers who take action, thereby increasing your conversion rate.
For greater efficacy, create content that is relevant to your audience.
The final element of creating group texting convert that converts is to ensure that it is relevant. Ultimately, you must have an SMS marketing campaign that provides value to your customers. To do this, the content must be relevant to the users. For example, you cannot expect single males under the age of 25 to be excited about a coupon for baby clothing. This type of coupon needs to be sent to the right demographic, such as someone who is married and has a child.
To create relevant content, it is important to know who your target audience actually is. Most likely, you will have several target audiences and run several campaigns, each of which targets one of these groups. This helps you to create more personal content, which in turn is more relevant.
Ultimately, if your content is not relevant to your subscribers, then they will opt out in droves. They also will not redeem the coupons or otherwise take the action you want them to take. This hurts your conversion rates, and you do not benefit from all the advantages of the medium.
By paying attention to your language and call to action, you can more easily create content that engages with customers, remains relevant and motivates them to act in the way that you want. With these four elements working together as the foundation of your program, you will develop a strong campaign with high conversion numbers.
Contact us to learn more about how to develop great content.
Before you start your text message marketing campaigns, it is essential to have a goal in mind toward which to build your strategy and determine where it fits into your overall marketing efforts. Although you might have a general objective or goal for your texting program at large, each new campaign needs to have its own goals. For example, as discussed previously <>, when you develop a holiday campaign for your club, it is important to start with a specific goal in mind.
Using the SMART goal philosophy helps you to create stronger, more effective goals that also complement your overall marketing strategy and your business goals at large.
Get your team together to discuss your goals and how to make them specific.
It is tempting to just say you want to increase sales or add new customers when setting a goal. However, this is a vague statement. You could technically increase sales by $1 and reach your goal, or you could double your sales and have reached the same goal. Instead, develop a very specific goal. It should be clearly defined and easy to understand by everyone connected to the project. This makes it easier to create a plan to reach the goal, as well as measure whether or not you were successful in your endeavor.
An example of a specific goal is to use in your text message marketing program is to increase profits by 10 percent in the next quarter.
In order to determine whether you are on target to reach your goal, you need to be able to measure your progress. This might be through analytics, accounting or other measures. You should be able to monitor the program and compare it to your goal at any point to see whether you are on target or need to make changes to get where you want to go.
For your text message marketing program, you will use data from your analytics, such as open rate, conversion rate, and opt-in rate to measure your success. To make your goal measurable, include numbers that reflect these measurements. This might be to add 100 new users in the next month. You can measure that by reviewing your opt-in rate.
The A in SMART goals stands for actionable. This means that you are positioned to take actions to fulfill the goals. To go from a vague goal to one that is actionable, focus on something concrete. Add milestones that help you take action to attain the goal.
For example, rather than saying you want to drive more business, define it in such a way that you can take action with your text message marketing program. The goal stated above, adding 100 subscribers, is also attainable and actionable. There are tasks you can do to achieve it.
Many of the components of SMART goals bleed into one another. For example, in order for a goal to be actionable or attainable, it also needs to be realistic. You cannot reasonably go from 0 subscribers to 10,000 overnight. However, it is realistic to aim to gain 100 in a month. Perhaps you might also be able to add a few thousand over the first few months. Although you might get to hundreds of thousands of subscribers, it takes some time to build to that point. That is where creating smaller goals and milestones will help you to follow through and meet your goals.
How long will it take you to add 100 subscribers?
The last key component of this type of goal is timely, or you might also define it as tangible or trackable. This means that there is a reasonable period of time in which you will be able to achieve the goal. It also provides you with a deadline to keep you and your team motivated. You might have other, long-term goals that will take years to meet. However, you will have smaller SMART goals that will help you to achieve them.
When creating your text message marketing goals, whether for a specific campaign such as a holiday marketing strategy <> or your objective for adding the program to your marketing efforts, it is important to rely on SMART goals. This will help you to develop a better plan so that you will ultimately reach, and might even surpass, your goals.
Contact us to learn more about how to incorporate your SMART goals with your texting program.
Although President's Day is not at the top of the list for holidays in which to celebrate with a party, any holiday has the potential to turn into an event to draw crowds into your club. Most places will go big with a Valentine's Day party around the same time. By choosing President's Day, you will stand out and attract those who do not like to celebrate Valentine's Day but still want to party!
As discussed in a previous post <>, holiday marketing provides you with an opportunity to utilize some creative marketing endeavors to stand out from your competition. SMS marketing is a channel that helps you to advertise and promote your event so that your party will become the place to be on the President's Day weekend or any other holiday you wish to celebrate throughout the year. A few special types of messages will help you to promote the event and attract new and existing clients to your party so that you reach your attendance goals.
Offers and Deals
Attract more people to your party with the right offers and deals.
One of the best ways to attract new people to your club to get your event going is to send out exclusive offers and deals. There are several types of deals that work well for a nightclub. It is typical for nightclubs to price their alcoholic drinks with the idea that a significant portion of their profits comes from alcoholic drinks. That is why offers and deals that get people into the club work really well. You have people in the club, and then they will buy alcohol, helping your bottom line. This includes:
- Free Entry (could be before a certain time or all night)
- Percent off admission
- Money off admission
You can also choose to provide deals on food and drinks, such as buy one get one free or a percentage off of the bill. A BOGO works well, especially if you do not give the free beverage until later. This will keep the beverage fresher so that it tastes better when the person drinks it, increasing the chance they will decide to order another one.
It is easy to run a text-to-win contest using your SMS marketing program. As an added bonus, you may increase the number of subscribers to whom you can promote future events at your club. Promote the contest on your typical marketing channels, including social media, billboards, flyers, posters around the club and anywhere else. Tell people to text in a keyword to a phone number to enter. For your President's Day party, run a contest that is presidential-themed.
Enhance your reach by making everyone a winner by providing a small prize, such as free admission or a free drink, to everyone who enters. This serves to not only increase excitement about the contest, but it also brings people into your club even if they do not win the grand prize. Just make sure that all prizes are exciting enough to entice people to take action.
Provide special access to your loyal subscribers to motivate them to come.
Your SMS marketing campaign also works well as a loyalty or VIP club. It is possible to group your list based on how often they attend your club, or everyone on the list can be a VIP. You can use this by sending out a message targeting your VIPs that offers them exclusive access during the party. This might be an early entry, ability to bypass the line or a special seating area. People who might have been on the fence about your party will be more likely to come if they feel special by being part of the VIP guests at your party. For an added impact, personalize the message by including the person's name.
There are many ways to use SMS marketing to complement your President's Day weekend party and draw a larger crowd. Just be sure to create a smart plan that helps you to get the most out of the channel <> so that it helps you to have an amazing event.
Ready to increase the attendance at your party? Try ClubTexting for free.
In her role as cofounder and partner at SMB Group, Laurie McCabe has earned widespread recognition for her thought leadership, experience and insights in the SMB technology market.
Here she discusses the technology challenges facing small businesses today and the must-have tools to overcome them. Read on:
What is the mission behind SMB Group? How did you become passionate about helping small businesses?
Both myself and my business partner, Sanjeev Aggarwal, had been industry analyst focused on the small and medium business market for many years. We felt there was a gap in coverage - most IT analyst firms concentrate on technology as it relates to large companies. So we created SMB Group to focus exclusively on how SMBs use technology in their businesses.
What are some of the technology challenges facing small businesses today?
Our research shows that small business goals remain consistent over the years. How do I grow revenues, attract customers and operate more profitabily are always at the top of the list.
But these challenges loom larger today because digital, social and mobile technologies are changing how businesses and customers interact in a fundamental way. Technology shifts power to buyers.
- The internet makes it easy for buyers to do more research on their own before connecting with vendors.
- Social media gives buyers access to ratings and reviews from thousands of other people that have tried a product or services. to .
- Mobile devices put the internet it peoples' pockets for anytime, anywhere access to information.
So small businesses need to have a strategy to evolve and tools to help them meet these rising expectations.
From where you sit, what are some must-have tools for SMBs today?
Of course, every business needs to keep track of money going in and out of the business, so an accounting or bookkeeping solution is often the first type of business software that many small businesses buy.
Today, small businesses also need tools to attract, engage and transact with customers, which are usually called customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. There are lots of solutions out there for small businesses, but I recommend looking for a solution which integrates sales, marketing and service, and enables you to integrate social media interactions into these functions so you can easily bring the voice of the customer into every part of the customer life cycle.
What are the most useful tools for SMBs for mobile and social media marketing?
Most businesses need solutions that let them easily monitor, post and respond to what people are talking about across the different social networks that are relevant to their business, whether via your desktop or via a mobile device. But it doesn't stop there. A good digital marketing strategy connects your website, nurtures leads, includes online and mobile advertising and provides analytics so you can figure out what's working and what's not.
How should small businesses be incorporating mobile marketing into their marketing strategies?
First, they need to recognize that people are increasingly spending more time engaging and transacting on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops. So now is the time for small businesses to create a mobile marketing strategy.
The good news is there are lots of choices out there in terms of how to do this. The bad news is that it can be very challenging to figure out which one is the best fit for your business. So you have to start with an internal assessment. I think having a mobile-friendly website is table stakes for all businesses. From there, think about what you're trying to accomplish For instance, a small local services business, like a salon or dental office, will want something that helps people in their local community find them, book appointments, share reviews, earn loyalty points, etc. within a local geographic area. Meanwhile, for an online commerce merchant selling products all over the world, mobile payments and in-app messaging may be the must-have capabilities.
What SMBs do you think have been especially innovative with their mobile marketing? What can we learn from them? What are the most exciting technology innovations for small businesses you're following right now?
For small businesses, it all boils down to making complex technology solutions easy to use. If they're not drop dead easy, most small businesses won't use them. In the mobile marketing area, vendors are making mobile marketing tools easier and easier to use, while at the same time incorporating more capabilities, such as push notifications, in-app messaging and many more, to help you market your business. Making solutions very easy to use is a key because it enables small businesses - who may be hesitant to get involved with mobile because they are afraid it will be too hard to do or too time-consuming.
Looking for an easy-to-use mobile marketing solution? Try ClubTexting for free.
Text message marketing complements any type of marketing and promotion you already do. There are many areas with which texting works to build a stronger marketing campaign. Effectively integrating your marketing efforts helps increase your success for all campaigns, especially holiday campaigns <>. Although it is easy to incorporate your texting campaign with any of your marketing efforts, it really complements email, social media, blogging and print ads.
Ask your email subscribers to sign up for your texting campaign.
When you integrate SMS marketing with other channels, it goes both ways. For example, it is possible to use your email marketing campaigns to increase your subscribers for your texting campaign and vice versa. Send a text out to your subscribers and ask them to send a text with their email to join your newsletter. This has the potential to bring in more people to your newsletter, and you might also be able to sign them up to your text marketing program as well.
Conversely, ask anyone who signs up for your email newsletter to also sign up for your texting campaign. By capturing all the information at once, it is more likely people will do so. Additionally, you can also include promotion about your SMS marketing program in your email newsletters so that interested clients will sign up at a later date. Make it easy for them to do so; otherwise, you will end up losing them.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing provides a way to utilize people's personal networks to build your brand. You also have the ability to connect directly with your followers, creating a more intimate relationship with your clients and customers. A texting campaign helps to build that personal relationship even more. Most people do not view texts as marketing, since it is not as saturated with ads and spam as other forms.
Therefore, take advantage of the close relationship of both mediums to relate even further with your fans. Ask your social media followers to join your texting campaign and vice versa. Any time you run a campaign on one, cross promote on the other.
Blogging helps you to continually bring in new clients to your website. This is because you can find ways to increase your organic traffic through optimizing it for SEO and providing information people want. Once people on your page, you have the ability to get them to sign up for ways to remain in contact with you, like your texting campaign. Similar to email marketing, have a way to capture information from them on your blog form, including their mobile number. Alternatively, have a call to action that includes a keyword and your number so they can easily opt in.
You can also promote your blog to your text messaging subscribers. Send out a brief description of the blog and a link. This will keep customers engaged with your brand, increasing the chance they will continue to choose you when it comes time to take advantage of your goods or services. Just be sure to remain within the 160 characters for the text message and make it easy for them to link to the blog.
With SMS marketing, people can take action from wherever they see your ads.
Text message marketing is the perfect complement to print ads. It is a strong call to action that helps improve the efficacy of your ads. Simply add a keyword and your number to all of your print ads to give an easy way for customers to take action upon seeing your ad. Add in an incentive, like an offer or a deal, for greater efficacy. You can also use print ads to promote your texting campaign and get more subscribers.
For integration to really work, it is necessary for you to create unique content of value that is exclusive to the medium. For example, the deals you offer through email might be different than those through text. This increases the chance that people will sign up to follow you across the board. With a seamless integration, you can run a holiday campaign <> or any other campaign that has a higher reach, because you will talk to the customer anywhere they are, whether email, blogs, social media, print media or texting.
Contact us to learn more about integrating your marketing campaigns.
Gil Shapira is the VP of Business Development at TeleMessage, a leading provider of business mobile messaging offering mass messaging and secure compliant mobile messaging solutions. Gil recently spoke with us about the growth and capabilities of mass text messaging and gave us a glimpse as to what the industry will look like in the future.
Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you decide to co-found TeleMessage?
TeleMessage is an established company which has provided robust messaging services for the last 16 years. It all started when we were backpacking around the world. We were looking for low-cost ways to exchange messages between travelers and families back home, and the idea was to send messages to phones from a web portal.
What are some of the benefits of mass text messaging that aren't necessarily seen when relying solely on emails?
Nowadays, people are looking for a mobile-first solution, and I believe that the tremendous growth of text messaging speaks for itself. Mobile messaging is the fastest growing online trend and behavior (passing social networks). It passed three billion mobile messaging app users worldwide. If you take into account SMS messaging, you can actually reach seven billion mobile users worldwide - which is the single most ubiquitous communication channel in a fragmented chat apps world.
Mobile phones take up the most digital time and attention, and chat and messaging apps are amongst the most-used services on phones. Unlike email, text messages usually receive a response within 90 seconds. Moreover, in most chat apps, you know whether recipients have received and read the message.
Chat apps offer far more services and features than email. They are built for mobile devices because they are faster, instant, and more secure. Plus, they allow voice and text, group chat, file sharing, channels, stickers, media, and video messages. And they are clearly better-suited for a world that is concerned with security and privacy.
If someone were to say to you, "I don't need mass text messaging. I'll just communicate with my clients and customers through social media," how would you respond?
I would not rule out social media as a channel; but for the majority of companies as well as customers, mobile is clearly the preferred channel of communication. It's uncommon to find companies doing social engagement and not doing mobile engagement. Surprisingly, there are still a lot of companies that are not utilizing mobile texting at all. Some companies are still doing only voice or email, and they are missing out on big opportunities in both cost savings, proactive engagement, and improved efficiency and innovation.
In what situations are automated voice broadcasts more practical or effective than simple text messages or emails?
There are still many use cases where voice is a very important channel.
Let's take an example of emergency notifications with time-critical information. If you would send it only via email or text, people might not notice an email or hear a beep of an SMS arriving. But if the phone starts to ring and vibrate, they will surely notice it.
In our platform, we have the ability to track delivery confirmations or send chasing messages that will try to reach people across many channels, including IP push notifications to apps, SMS, MMS, voice calls, faxes, and emails.
Do you have any tips on how to craft a mass text message if time-sensitive responses are critical to the campaign?
Try to make it personal. Schedule the message to be sent at the best time to trigger a response. Don't send too many messages; people are already overloaded with messages and information.
Other things to consider:
- Try to utilize templates and plan for two-way interaction.
- If you can, try to automate the process by using APIs.
- An email to SMS might be a good solution for some companies using Outlook as their main messaging tool.
When utilizing mass text messaging, what are some important metrics to keep an eye on?
This needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, since different companies and services have different goals and metrics.
For example, some are trying to decrease support calls into their call center and might measure how many hours they saved by sending proactive alerts. Others want the opposite and are trying to generate more responses and calls for ordering goods and services. What is truly important is to choose a messaging solution vendor that can provide tailored reports and statistics.
Tracking message delivery statistics is a must for everyone, since the quality of delivery is of great importance. Though companies are not aware of it, there are different routes and ways to send messages; and there are also regulations about when you can use long codes or short codes, as well as what information needs to be delivered to subscribers and the processes for opting in and out of a messaging service.
Tell us about the future of mass text messaging. Will another method of messaging render it obsolete, or will it remain a viable type of communication for the foreseeable future?
The future for messaging is very bright. It's the preferred communication channel for the younger generation, and social messaging still has a lot of room to grow.
On the enterprise front, since consumer chat apps are overtaking enterprise communication, we foresee companies embracing similar enterprise messaging apps for internal communication. Enterprise apps have far more requirements that encompass the administration of users, compliance and regulatory requirements, greater security and reliability demands, and IT integration needs.
Another concern for companies is the fact that their employees are chatting with customers over these consumer channels even though there is no record of this communication and interaction in the enterprise. Solutions which solve this need driven by compliance and regulation will clearly emerge, and we are already offering text archiving solutions.
On the messaging apps front, Asian messaging apps are far more advanced, and we can assume that the Western chat apps will follow many of the trends that are successful in China. This means far more power will shift towards companies like Facebook (which owns FB Messenger and WhatsApp), as well as far more e-commerce, brand engagement, and paid services done via chat services.
As for chat bots, they will clearly change the way we communicate. Our vision of the new hype is the following:
- Smarter bots evolving; bots combined with human engagement
- Messaging bots will overtake vertical apps; companies and appliances will utilize bots instead of apps
- Far greater power for companies running these chat services
- More bots with personality
In ~5 years:
- Singularity point: natural language processing + AI + semantic search + image and voice recognition + location + connected IoT
- A blur between messaging bots and intelligent agents - you won't know if you're talking to a human or a machine
In ~10 years:
- Sensor maturity, advanced machine learning
- AI systems make automatic recommendations
- Bots will be the new APIs
To summarize - these are the main trends we see in messaging:
* Messaging chat apps becoming a major channel for customer interactions and communication
* Messaging chat apps becoming a major source for e-commerce transactions and payments
* Chat apps and messaging being used by brands for acquisition and retention phases
* Enterprises embracing chat apps as a main communication channel
* Chat bots with artificial intelligence and personality
Want to see if mass text messaging can help your organization? Contact us today!
As a mom and pop store, you constantly have to compete with the large chains that establish a footprint just down the road, as well as all the offers available online. It can be tough, but you provide things that these larger companies cannot, such as above-and-beyond personal service. It is essential to find additional ways to stand out from the competition that are not based solely on price so that customers choose you.
Group texting provides a way to engage with customers and market your business. It is a cost-effective marketing solution that is easy to implement, and it is highly versatile, making it easy to integrate with your existing marketing strategy.
Above-and-Beyond Customer Service
Customers come to you for your service. Provide even better service with texting.
As a mom and pop store, your customer service is one of your most marketable components. You treat your customers like family, and your service far outdoes that of the competition. Take your customer service one step further with texting. It provides a great medium for transactional messages. Plus, it is a two-way communication tool through which customers can contact you about any customer service issues. Many customers prefer dealing with customer service through text. Providing that platform helps you stand out from the crowd and it adds to your above-and-beyond customer service.
Another way to use text messaging for your mom and pop store is to send out reminders. This might be appointment reminders if you have a service-based business. It also might be reminders about any events that take place at your store, such as a customer appreciation party or a special sale. Texts are read within a few minutes of receipt, so they make a strong reminder. You can send a message the day before or the day of the event to ensure that people do not forget. This increases your attendance, which in turn boosts your sales.
Personalized messages have significant power and texting provides a way to send them. You can easily group your subscribers into categories according to preferences, shopping behavior, and demographics. Then, send targeted messages based on these parameters so that the messages your customers receive are personally relevant to them. You can even create a loyalty club through which you send specialized coupons, rewards, and other offers only to those in that group. Other examples of personalized messages might be birthday rewards or notifications of new merchandise.
Exclusive Coupons and Deals
Send your customers exclusive deals to get them to visit your store.
Coupons and deals are strong motivators for shopping. Your texting subscribers are a great audience for your store. They are already interested enough in your company to receive texts from you. With the right coupon or offer, they will be ready to take the next step and visit you. This can be said for any medium through which you send offers, but texting makes for the ideal one.
Around 98 percent of texts are opened, often within the first minute. This means you can feel confident that your offers are actually seen. Plus, they are easy to redeem, since all customer need to do is show the text. Most people already have their phone on them, so they do not have to worry about forgetting to bring the coupon. That is why mobile coupons have a much higher redemption rate than others.
No matter how you choose to use your SMS marketing campaign, it is important to always provide messages of value to your customers. This ensures that they continue to want to receive your group texting messages, and that they continue to view your company in a positive light.
Ready to see how texting can help your store? Try ClubTexting for free.
You probably focus a lot on the sales funnel. You look to find ways to bring more people through it, as well as determine where there might be some hiccups. SMS marketing provides an opportunity to hit potential customers at every aspect of the funnel. It is highly adaptable, so it easily fits into any or all of the efforts you put into creating leads and converting them into customers down the line.
Bringing in Leads
Add texting to all the marketing ideas your team develops.
SMS marketing might be a permission-based marketing tool, but that does not mean it cannot provide assistance at the top of the funnel. It is a highly versatile medium and one of its great potentials is as a powerful call to action. Including a keyword and number to text on existing marketing collateral increases the number of people who act on it. This can help you to reach more people as potential leads to start the journey into your sales funnel.
Nurturing Potential Customers
Once you have people in the funnel, it is time to start nurturing the leads into customers through building a relationship. Having people opt-in to your SMS marketing program provides a way to engage them and keep in touch with them. It is important that you do this wisely.
People are open to receiving texts from brands, but they still expect there to be value in the texts. Take the time to build content of value that speaks to your target audience. This might be in the form of reminders, information about your company, deals, and coupons or helpful information. Be careful not to oversaturate your leads with messages. The best frequency is typically between two and four texts per month, although you might find that your audience prefers more or less frequent texts.
Converting into Action
Once you have built a relationship with your potential customers, it is time to convert them into action. Text marketing programs provide several ways to do this. You can send out offers and deals that inspire customers to act. You can remind customers about exciting events, run contests to increase engagement, or provide other programs that get people interested in your goods or services. Take advantage of the immediacy of texts by sending out timely deals, especially those that quickly expire. This will motivate people to act.
Texting leads to happy customers that return again and again.
SMS marketing also helps you to retain customers. Not only do you have a way to remain engaged with customers that is more effective than email, since texting has eight times the engagement rate of email, but it also serves as a solid customer service tool. Customer service has become an increasingly important component of sales because people more and more use their emotions to determine where to shop rather than prices. Many customers prefer to deal with customer service issues through text. By offering this, you will create a positive relationship that will translate into customer retention and loyalty.
It is easy to fit SMS marketing into each component of the sales funnel. It provides a versatile and cost-effective way to draw in potential leads, engage with them, convert them, and retain them so that you increase the number of customers and grow your business.
Ready to add this to your sales funnel? Try ClubTexting for free.
During the winter holiday season, many companies launch strong campaigns to take advantage of the large number of people searching for holiday gifts.
It is also customary to use the excitement about any holiday to advertise a sale or promote goods and services. Think about how Columbus Day has become less about celebrating the discovery of the Americas and more about mattress sales.
Run a texting campaign to take advantage of the holiday shoppers.
Running a texting campaign during this time provides a way to support your overall marketing efforts. The more than $650 billion spent during the winter holidays, including Christmas, makes it the perfect model on which to create holiday promotions throughout the year.
There are several steps to take to create a more effective text marketing campaign that works not just during the winter holiday season but for any of the holidays that take place year round.
What Are Your Goals?
Before you go too far down the rabbit hole of creating a dynamic text marketing campaign for the holidays, it is important to understand your goals. Ask yourself some questions:
- Do you want to increase profits by a certain percentage or move inventory?
- Is your promotion more about building brand awareness and increasing traffic, whether online or in person?
Having a strong idea of the objective of your efforts helps you to create a stronger plan that will actually meet those goals.
To do this, get your team together for a brainstorming meeting. Ask everyone what they believe the objective and goals of the program are. When going through the different potential goals, make sure to keep SMART in mind:
A good example of a goal is to increase holiday sales by 10 percent.
Why Do You Bother With Holiday Marketing?
One place to start is to think about why holiday marketing is important in the first place. People are trained to know that certain holidays are synonymous with deals to buy gifts and personal items:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
Although this provides an opportunity to promote sales, it also means that you are competing with hundreds of stores in a wide variety of industries.
During the brainstorming session discussed above, ask your team why you are even bothering with holiday marketing. Are you doing it just because it is what is done, or do you have another reason?
Even if your sole reason behind it is because everyone else is doing it does not mean that you will have a lackluster marketing campaign. However, it does mean that you might just be going through the motions if you do not take a moment to focus on creating a dynamite campaign.
When Is the Best Time To Start?
It is not enough to promote your holiday marketing in December. Marketing surveys point out that in October, 26 percent of digital shoppers are already getting an early start on their winter holiday shopping. Almost half start in November. Some people start in September or even earlier!
If you start too late, then you miss out on all of those early shoppers. Therefore, consider running some deals throughout the fall. Or you might simply just start advertising your holiday sales weeks ahead of time so that people can plan accordingly.
Don't be afraid to start your promotion early to catch shoppers.
Early planning is not just about letting your customers know about your sales; it is also ensuring that your company is ready, too. Inform your employees about the sale, making sure that they have all the information necessary to answer questions from customers.
Give yourself plenty of time for creating the marketing material for your promotions so that you can ensure it is perfect. However, finalize the promotion late enough that you can make any last-minute adjustments you need to based on any current events or feedback from customers so that you remain relevant.
For your texting campaign, this early preparation includes the following:
Develop a strong strategy.
- Determine how often you plan to text customers.
- Consider what types of offers you plan to send out.
- Create a calendar so that the texting offers complement other deals without oversaturating.
- Decide how you plan to promote your text marketing program to increase the number of subscribers.
- You might choose to have a push for subscribers months prior to the big holiday event for greater impact once you launch your holiday texting campaign.
- Choose who will be in charge of reviewing the content and handling any issues that arise.
How Do You Integrate?
Text marketing works a little differently. It is an immediate medium since most messages are opened within just a few minutes of receipt. This makes it a great medium for last-minute deals and reminders about sales. This complements your program, especially if you take the time to integrate your text marketing smartly.
During the initial planning stages for your holiday text marketing program, consider where it fits into the rest of your marketing efforts. A texting campaign complements other channels really well. You can ad it as a call to action on your
- TV and radio spots,
- print ads,
- digital marketing properties,
- social media accounts
- and more.
This works two-fold: first, you increase the number of subscribers and second, you increase the engagement and success of your other marketing channels.
Taking the time to strategize how you will use your texting program prior to running any of your holiday offers or advertising campaigns helps you to integrate in the best way possible. You can determine where to place your texting campaign in the sales funnel and how to best use it to increase the efficacy of the rest of your marketing efforts, and vice versa.
For example, use texting as a call to action with your print ads that provide early promotion of your holiday deals. Then, text your subscribers reminders about the sales the day before to increase the number of people who participate.
How Do You Promote?
In order to get the most out of your texting campaign -- and your holiday sales -- you need to create increased awareness. To do this, it is necessary to promote your campaigns.
It is even more important that you let people know about your texting campaign early because it is a permission-based medium. This means that you have to have people sign up before you can send them messages.
Many of the traditional forums for promotion also work for your texting campaign:
- Print ads
- In-store signs
- Digital banners
- Email newsletter mentions
- Social media posts
- Radio and TV spots
Any way that you traditionally announce news to customers will also let them know about your new texting promotion.
However, do not just let them know and expect them to sign up. A common way to do this is exclusive offers and deals, including a special coupon just for signing up. Do this early enough to capitalize on the number of people who sign up when the holidays roll around.
Plus, strategically send messages throughout the year to keep people interested in staying on your list so that you only have to build on it each year, rather than having to rebuild it.
Who Is Your Audience?
Create targeted messages based on your ideal customers.
An effective holiday text marketing campaign always keeps the audience in mind. This is because you want to strive to create content of value each time you send out a text message, especially during the holiday season when people are saturated with marketing messages. Therefore, spend some of your planning stage determining who your audience will be.
To do this, gather as much information as you have about your customers:
- Shopping data
- Behavior patterns
- Survey results
- Market research
To find this information, it might be necessary to directly ask your subscribers to provide it. Because many people might opt into a text marketing campaign with a simple text, you might not have that much information about them. If that is the case, then you might want to create a persona of your ideal target audience.
You do not have to stick with just one target audience. It is easy to divide your subscribers into lists based on their personal data in order to send personalized, targeted messages. This also enhances the effectiveness of the campaign.
What Offers Should You Use?
Once you have completed the prep work, determining your goals, audience, calendar, integration and other components of the structure of your marketing strategy, you can start focusing on the fun part: the text message content and the offers themselves.
First, consider what type of offer you wish to send, whether a BOGO, a percentage of purchase, dollar amount a price, a free gift with purchase, free shipping or something else. It is most important that you choose something that is attractive while also not hurting your profit margin. For the best impact, create something unique and exclusive, as this further motivates the customer to take advantage of the deal.
The words you use also helps to create the best redemption rate. Choose active verbs and words that impart urgency. For example, Buy Now, Redeem Today, Limited Time Offer, and Click to Activate This Exclusive Deal all motivate customers to take the action you want them to do. Be sure to make it easy for customers to redeem them; otherwise, you will lose out on a lot of sales.
How Do You Stand Out?
Now for the fun part: making your content unique, attractive and fun so that you stand out from the competition. Do not be afraid to include some of the personality of your company in the messages.
One common way to do this is to add some humor into the messages. However, do not become too unprofessional when you do so. Puns and simple, unoffensive jokes are easy ways to get creative without worrying about losing customers.
An example of a Christmas offer with some humor is, "Don't be a Scrooge. Use this 20% off coupon to buy your loved ones gifts. Expires [date]."
Get your team together to brainstorm creative ideas for messages.
One of the reasons to jump onto holidays in terms of marketing is that you can create themed messages. A simple template for dynamic holiday-themed messages that lead to a successful campaign is the following:
- Character/holiday allusion
- Active language
- Urgent/motivating language
- Expiration date
- Company Name
- Stay within the 160 character limit
- The right timing
Use your creativity to decide upon promotions, deals and content that sounds just like your company rather than the same old, boring offers that everyone sends out. This helps you to stand out from hundreds of promotions circulating during the holiday season.
What Is Success?
Before you start sending out your messages, consider how you will measure success. Most texting platforms have analytics that detail the open rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, click-through-rate and other metrics similar to other digital properties.
Look at your starting point and set a realistic finish point that means your program is successful. Reviewing your original goal will help you with this. For example, if you wish to increase profits, then you might focus on the number of conversions your text messages create.
Remember that a strong texting campaign takes some time to build. You might need to do some trial and error, which is why it is best to start your text marketing program long before the holiday season. This gives you time to work out the kinks so that you can take full advantage of the medium when it comes time to promote your sales.
Ready to get started on your holiday texting campaign? Try ClubTexting for free.
Although the word objective is a synonym for goal, it has its own nuances that make it unique. In business, objectives are more specific than goals and should be used to explain strategic or planning activities. They should be easily measurable and provide a reason for implementing a program like SMS marketing.
It is essential to have a strong, clear and defined objective for your texting campaign. Otherwise, it is difficult to assess whether or not you are succeeding. You might also end up with a lackluster program that does not provide the returns it could.
Unfortunately, many marketers simply launch an SMS marketing campaign with no real objective, or at the least a vague concept. Rather than falling in with the 57 percent of marketers who do this, take the time to create a strong, clearly defined objective for your texting campaign using one or more of the following tips.
Ask the Deep Questions
Before you start texting your customers, ask questions to make sure your campaign has a clear purpose.
Developing an objective starts by asking questions. Begin with a simple why. There is probably some reason behind your decision to launch a texting campaign. Perhaps you have heard about other companies having a strong response or you simply are amazed by the 98 percent open rate. There is no wrong answer. In fact, it is fine to have multiple reasons.
In addition to the why behind your actions, consider how you see it helping your business and fitting with your overall marketing strategy. Although text message marketing works well as a stand-alone campaign, it only reaches its full potential when it is integrated into your overall strategic plan. It should complement key marketing channels, including email, print ads, and social media. Ask yourself and your team what you hope to achieve by running the texting campaign.
Look for Patterns
When you ask these questions, allow room for brainstorming and pursue different avenues of thought, following up questions with more questions. Document all the reasons you come up with. As you discuss these components, see if you notice any patterns emerging. Perhaps you and your team continue to talk about brand awareness or increasing sales. As you start to see the common grounds, make note of it. There might be more than one, so do not limit yourself at this stage.
Take Your Business Goals Into Account
As you are brainstorming the objective behind your texting campaign, take adequate time to think about your overall business goals. See where text messaging might fit to help you achieve those goals. Your objective will most likely relate to or complement those goals.
Think SMART Goals
Have your team keep SMART goals in mind while creating your objective.
During this process, keep in mind SMART goals. This is an acronym for
Your objective should have many of the same concepts in it. You want something specific for which you have the tools to measure that is also a realistic and attainable endeavor. Using the ideas you have brainstormed and the patterns you have discovered, create the main objective for your campaign. Verifying it is SMART.
Building an objective for your texting campaign has many parallels to creating your goals. However, you want to be more specific so that you and your team understand the point of running the campaign. This helps you to build a strong program that will achieve not just the objective but also your business goals. The clearer and more defined your objective, the stronger your program will be.
Got your objective ready to go? Start your campaign bytrying ClubTexting for free.
How important are the final months of the year for your business? If you are like most, they make up a solid percentage of your overall sales. In 2015, the total revenue from holiday sales reached $626.1 billion, which was a 3 percent increase over the year before, according to the National Retail Federation. SMS marketing provides an avenue for marketing your business to help you increase holiday sales and take advantage of these peak shopping months, even if your company is not in the retail industry. Not entirely convinced? The following might help.
There is tough competition during the holidays; stand out by texting.
The winter holiday season is an important time for sales, so most companies put in extra marketing efforts advertising sales so that they will attract customers to their business over the competition. This means that the average customer is flooded with ads from a variety of sources, including emails, social media posts and ads, print ads, radio and TV spots, and mailers. This flood of information makes it really easy for anything you send out to simply get lost in the shuffle.
With SMS marketing, you can stand out from the crowd. Although it is an effective marketing channel, not many companies actually use it. There is also no spam filters on messages, although there are rules defining to whom you can send marketing messages. This means that your messages make it past the massive numbers of messages your customers received and are actually read.
Not only do the messages in your SMS marketing program stand out, but they also are actually seen. Text messages have an almost 100 percent open rate, compared to just between 20 and 30 percent for emails. More people see and read SMS messages. This increases the potential number of people who actually take action on your messages. In fact, text messages have a 36 percent click-through rate, compared to just 6 to 7 percent for email. Social media marketing also has a much lower hit rate than a texting campaign.
With an increased engagement, you have a better chance of converting customers. They receive your messages and read them, which already improves the chance they will act. With a strong, motivating message, your customers will take the final step and convert, giving you the sale over your competition.
Reach Customers Anywhere
Texting lets you reach customers anywhere, even when they are already shopping.
Cell phones have become an extension of a person. According to one survey, a high number of people would rather give up a number of things, such as sex, a car, a bed, a vacation or a cup of coffee, than their phone. Most people carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Therefore, with SMS marketing, you have the chance to reach customers anywhere. They will read your message even if they are not connected to the internet. Perhaps they are already out and about doing some holiday shopping when they receive your message. They can take action right away, increasing the chance that they will actually do it.
There are many other reasons to take advantage of SMS marketing this holiday season. Once you have started your campaign, you will not want to stop even after the rush of holiday sales are over. The same benefits that accrue to exceed your goals for the final months of the year will continue to help you to grow your business and reach all your goals.
Ready to get started and improve your business this holiday season? Try ClubTexting for FREE.
Niraj Ranjan Rout is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. We recently spoke with Niraj about the prevalence of business collaboration and the current and future of email in the business setting.
What exactly does Hiver do for its customers?
Hiver is built primarily for collaboration around communication in general. It helps you and your team manage shared email accounts like email@example.com, assign emails to each other, and see who is doing what.
To give you a simple illustration of how this might be of use, think about the publications you're pitching to on their email IDs, like firstname.lastname@example.org. They would be receiving tons of pitches there, and they'd have a team to pick up articles and work on those. Hiver would help this team manage the tip@ email account efficiently and delegate tasks without confusion - without anything "falling through the cracks."
Is a tool like Hiver effective not just for companies, but also for clubs, civic organizations, and volunteer groups as well?
Yes indeed. Hiver is used by a lot of non-profits, educational institutions, and citizen bodies. In fact, two of the non-profits using Hiver are Pets for Patriots and Amani Children's Home. It fits right in wherever you have a group of people that you are collaborating with over email.
What are some of the main challenges that your customers are trying to grapple with?
Everyone loves to use email (though they do complain about it, sometimes), but using email in a group scenario can be very inefficient and tedious because you end up siloing tasks and information in individual inboxes.
For instance, it's extremely convenient to forward an email from a customer to someone in your team if you need help responding to the customer, but then it's extremely messy to keep track of all your forwards and awaited replies. That's where Hiver comes in. We make it extremely efficient to carry out collaboration and task management over email.
Why did you choose the Gmail platform as the centerpiece of your service offerings?
When we started out, Gmail/Google Apps was the most prominent cloud email offering. Also, most Gmail users use Gmail's web interface, and we as programmers loved the idea of modifying the Gmail interface with a browser extension to add more efficiency to how people use email.
We're now expanding beyond Gmail. Hiver for Exchange/Office-365 is releasing soon, and we're sure it'll do very well.
Has the rise of a virtual world and a telecommuting workforce led to an increase in demand for virtual collaboration tools like Hiver?
Absolutely! We have customers where the team does not see each other in person for weeks, and yet, they continue to work efficiently. This trend is on a strong rise; with communication tools improving so much, everyone is now questioning why they must spend hours daily driving or on a train.
Is Hiver a good tool to use to help manage or complement text message marketing, digital marketing, and/or social media marketing campaigns?
Hiver is great for managing your outreach, as well as handing off or delegating responses that you receive.
Some Internet observers think that email will gradually become obsolete in the future. Do you agree or disagree with that viewpoint?
There are two kinds of email in a business scenario: internal email within a company, and external email that comes in from people outside the company (like customers, vendors, sales leads, etc.). While internal email is under serious threat from tools like Slack, external email is definitely going to be around. Hiver is completely targeted on external email - that is, helping teams manage their customer and sales communication.
So to sum up, Email's personal use and use for internal communication in organizations are already seeing a decline, but email is going to stay strong in inter-organization scenarios - and that is what we're building on.
Need a convenient way to communicate with members of your club, group, or organization? Try ClubTexting for free today!
As a dentist, you want to grow your practice. There are many different marketing opportunities at your disposal, which at times makes it difficult to determine which one to use. SMS marketing is a valuable addition to any strong marketing strategy. Group texting provides a great way to engage with current clients while also promoting your practice to others in your community. If you plan to implement it, the following tips will help you to start off strong.
Be Smart About Collecting Numbers
Ask your patients to sign up for texts when they visit your office.
One of the things to always keep at the forefront of your program is that group texting for marketing is a permission-based medium. You might be able to send some texts, such as appointment reminders, without written permission. However, if you plan to send regular texts for any reason, it is best to get people to opt in before you start. Therefore, you need to have a strategy for collecting numbers for your texting list. Additionally, it is key to keep accurate records of all opt-ins, active subscribers, and opt-outs. Regularly checking your list for any errors will help you to retain a clean list.
To build your list, have patients sign up when they fill out their initial paperwork when they come into the office for a visit. Ask them to also provide preferences as to what type of messages they would like to receive. Alternatively, reach out to patients in your other channels, such as email and social media, and ask them to sign up for your new texting campaign. You can also add it on all of your marketing collateral, including print ads, TV spots, radio ads and any other promotional material you might have. Simply include a keyword and your shortcode or number and have people text to opt in.
Decide On Your Campaign Strategy
There are numerous ways to use group texting in your dentist office. You might wish to take advantage of high open rates to send appointment reminders and reduce the number of no-shows you experience. It also provides a way to send out thank you messages, dental hygiene tips, and general marketing texts. This might include offers and deals on your services, especially voluntary procedures such as teeth whitening. It is also beneficial to use it to reach out to clients who have not visited in a while.
Some practices might integrate all of these text types into a comprehensive texting campaign, while others might focus on just one. It is important to have an idea of what you wish to do and then create a detailed plan to accomplish it. This reduces the chance that you will end up not seeing the return you want due to an ineffective campaign that tries to do too much at once.
Organize Your Campaign
For the most effective campaign, it is essential that you put as much energy into building a strong foundation as you do in implementing the program. Start with detailing your campaign strategy, including determining the objective of your group texting efforts. You might wish to grow your practice, bring in more new clients or simply engage more with those you already have. This objective informs the rest of your campaign, as it will help you to create goals and analyze data to see whether or not you reach them.
Segment your list so you can send targeted messages to certain subscribers.
Organizing your campaign assists you in building this foundation. Start by segmenting your subscriber list into groups. This helps you to target messages to particular people. For example, send offers to clients who have not visited recently. It is also possible to group subscribers by their potential interests. You might have a group that is interested in teeth whitening and then periodically send them offers for the service. Subscribers can be members of several groups. Therefore, it is important to keep track so that you do not overwhelm particular clients who might be in several groups with texts, especially if they also receive emails from you and/or follow you on social media.
The more time you spend creating an organized plan and subscriber list that includes as many patients and possible patients as possible, the smoother your texting campaign will run. It might still take some time to really hit the marks you want to hit, but it will set you off on a strong path to get there.
Ready to start a strong texting campaign for your dental practice? Try ClubTexting for free.
As an amusement park owner, you work hard to build rides, games, shows and other entertainment that attract and thrill your customers. Despite your efforts, you will not see a rise in attendance if you do not find a way to get the word out to potential customers. It is likewise important to engage with visitors so that they want to come back again and again. Club texting provides a way to engage with current and future visitors to increase business at your park. There are several ways that it has the potential to help your visitor numbers grow.
Access More Customers
Text messaging provides you with a wide net of people you can reach.
Running a texting campaign has the potential to help you reach a much wider net of people. Over 90 percent of Americans own an SMS-enabled cell phone. This is more than those who have email or regularly visit social media sites. Additionally, text messages on average have a whopping 99 percent open rate, compared to about 20 to 30 percent of emails.
Together, this means that you have the chance to reach a wider demographic of customers, including those without regular access to the internet. Plus, any messages you do send out will actually be read, making it a much more effective marketing forum.
Reach an Interested Audience
Club texting is a permission-based marketing forum, so you can only send your messages to those who have opted in to receive them. You might think this reduces the number of people affected by the message. However, it actually has a much larger impact. When you run ads that try to bring in a wide variety of numbers, such as a print ad, TV spot, radio ad, billboard or flyers, you have a very low number that respond. Many of the people that see these ads have no interest in your amusement park -- or any others -- so the impact of the ad is quite low.
Alternatively, when you send messages to those on your texting campaign subscriber list, you have a much bigger impact. These people have enough interest in your company to sign up to receive messages. This might be because they have already visited or because they wish to visit one day. You can capitalize on this interest and turn them into customers much easier, and for less money, then it would take to convert someone with little to no interest in your park.
Motivate People to Visit
It is not just about reaching people with your message; however; it is also about actually motivating them to take action. Texting remains a more intimate medium. Most people still mostly use it to communicate with their friends and family members. They reserve any marketing messages for companies from which they really wish to hear. This means that they actually read your message and pay attention to it and that it has the potential to motivate them to act. When you include a strong call to action, it increases the chance that someone will visit your amusement park even more.
Increase Repeat Visitors
Connect with customers so that they come back to your park over and over.
To turn a customer from a one-time visitor into a repeat visitor, it is important to engage them. First, they need to have a good time while at your park and experience great customer service. Regularly engaging with them afterwards through club texting provides a way for them to continue to think about your park and wish to return. Customer engagement has become the key aspect in turning customers into loyal ones, and texting has a better engagement rate than email or social media. Increase this effect by regularly offering incentives for them to return to the park, such as discount entry fees or free gifts.
These are just a few of the lucrative benefits offered by club texting. Integrating it into your marketing strategy will help you take your amusement park to the next level and attract more people to your park.
Contact us to learn more about how to use texting to help your amusement park grow.
There are many different considerations you need to make to create the best foundation for your texting campaigns. In addition to basic etiquette, there are also certain guidelines and rules that you must follow. Although some of the guidelines might be seen more as best practices, there are also laws in place that if you break, you might set yourself up for a lawsuit or worse. Following are some of the most important rules to follow from the get-go when you launch your SMS marketing campaign.
Do not send marketing texts before you have written permission.
SMS marketing is a permission-based medium. The FCC has determined that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act cover text messaging. This targets auto dialing for marketing purposes, so it does not necessarily apply to all text messages, such as appointment reminders, emergency alerts, and transactional messages.
This means that in order to send marketing messages to clients or customers, you must have their written permission. This includes an opt-in text message from the client, an online form submission, a written agreement or any other type of documented evidence that clearly demonstrates that the person has agreed to receive marketing messages from you. If you are simply sending appointment reminders or emergency alerts, it is always a good idea to get permission, but you must do so for marketing texting campaigns.
Make It Easy to Opt Out
Just as you have to get permission to text, you also have to make it easy for those who have changed their mind and decided to no longer receive texts from you to opt out. There must be a free, legitimate and easy way to do so. Typically, it is through the individual texting the word STOP as a reply to a text.
If you regularly text, it is not necessary to always include information about how to opt out, but it should be frequent enough that any follower will know how to do so. If you only occasionally send texts, then you will need to include the opt out message every time. You also have to take action if someone has requested to opt out through another method, such as during a phone, in person or email exchange with an employee.
Make it easy for subscribers to find and read the terms and conditions.
It is also important that you are clear to your customers as to what they can expect from the program. This includes the frequency, description of the program and more. For example, in your promotional material about the program, include language that details it is a subscription. If there are any other aspects of the program, such as whether there are premium fees or other components, it must be clearly disclosed upfront. You should also declare that message and data rates may apply.
These rules are the most important to follow. They are also relatively easy to do so, and it also ensures that you offer the best customer service possible. It is also beneficial to always include a signature when you send the text so that clients or customers know it is from you, especially if you frequently change the number from which the texts are sent.
Contact us to learn more about the laws and guidelines governing SMS Marketing.
Nilesh Patel is CEO of customer acquisition platform LeadSquared, who brings a decade of experience in sales and marketing to the team.
Here, Nilesh shares his insight on where companies struggle with lead generation and how they can improve their sales efforts. Read on:
Tell us about LeadSquared. What services do you offer?
LeadSquared is used by marketing and sales teams to capture, manage and nurture leads, and enhance sales for their businesses. It is a complete customer acquisition platform with lead capture automation, lead management, marketing automation, sales CRM and analytics to help businesses close more deals in less time. The software is being put to use by varied businesses like marketing agencies, IT businesses, real estate, education, financial services, tours and travel, health and wellness and more.
With LeadSquared, customers can find facts like selling velocity of the business, revenue performance by lead sources, products or sales person, view marketing and sales funnel and a lot more analytics, to fine tune and increase ROI from their marketing and sales efforts.
Businesses are using LeadSquared for:
- Lead Capture Automation: Seamlessly capture leads from all sources - inbound email, online campaigns, phone calls, website, chat, lead generation websites and more.
- Lead Distribution: Distribute leads based on city, product or any other rules to cut down the response time.
- Marketing Automation: Engage and nurture leads using email and SMS campaigns, and trigger-based emails to make them sales ready, and create future opportunities.
- Sales Acceleration: Focus on leads with the highest potential for conversion with automated lead engagement scoring technology.
- Marketing and Sales Analytics: Access detailed marketing insights about the campaigns and sources driving qualified leads and revenue.
- Mobile App: Manage leads on the go.
What's one of your favorite client success stories?
I would have to say, the Byju's Classes success story would be among my favorites.
"Byju's Classes" is a leader in test preparation segment, and they are completely changing learning in India. They also recently got funded by Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. They have been using LeadSquared to manage their marketing and sales for over two years now.
They generate hundreds of thousands of leads across online, chat, mobile app, phone and offline channels. LeadSquared has organized lead capture across all the channels. As a result, they achieved zero lead leakage and completely got rid of Excel sheets filled with leads lying on each desktop.
With a huge lead volume, it is a challenge for any business to respond quickly to every inquiry. LeadSquared's rule-based lead distribution engine helped Byju's automatically assign the leads to the relevant sales person, thereby, cutting down the response time drastically and improving the chances of winning.
Lead intelligence helped the sales people prioritize leads that are likely to close. The benefit is clear - the sales bandwidth is applied to maximize the revenue potential.
Using marketing automation, they engaged and nurtured leads to retain mindshare and convert some of them into sales opportunities and up-sell to existing customers. This resulted in increasing the ROI on marketing investments.
Finally, with analytics, it was seamless to monitor and measure sales and marketing performance.
What are the most common challenges small businesses face in generating leads?
In a nutshell, these are some of the most common challenges I think small business face in generating leads:
- Not knowing where to invest when they begin because the marketing budgets are lean. It also is a result of not knowing where your audience is - whether it's online or offline or which specific online platforms are they present in.
- Not getting the right talent with the knowhow of a lot of things. Small businesses cannot afford to hire big teams so they need really efficient individuals.
- Randomness in collecting data from current channels, which doesn't give them the right picture for future investment.
What are the biggest mistakes you see businesses making when it comes to lead generation?
Firstly, not measuring their returns or results properly,
Secondly, concentrating too much on vanity metrics, instead of actually trying to understand whether they are contributing to the ROI goal.
Thirdly, investing in platforms or tools without actually knowing if it will help. Of course, you need to test and experiment to actually know whether something is working for you. But even then, you need to have some research or statistics in place, to take that forward.
How should small businesses approach lead generation today?
You need to find out where your audience is and then go after them. Investing in the rights tools and channels would really help.
Measure and analyze everything you do. If a specific channel or source hasn't worked for you repeatedly, it's time you moved on to something different. Small businesses don't have a huge budget, so they need to be wise about it.
What types of analytics are the most helpful/beneficial to study to improve lead generation and nurturing?
When it comes to analytics, lead source to lead conversion analytics is what I would look at. If leads are constantly coming in from a particular source but they haven't been converting to customers, then you know it's not working for you. Map the entire journey, from lead generation to lead conversion and see what all channels or mediums are working for you.
As far as lead nurturing goes, email analytics are very important. You are constantly sharing content, but do the subscribers find value in it, or are they even reading this content? If you are getting too many unsubscribes, then your emails are not working. Here's what you need to look at
- If no one is opening your mails, there is a problem with the email subject line.
- If people are opening your mails but not taking any action - there is a problem with the email content. Maybe they aren't compelling enough for people to take an action, or maybe the copy is weak. There could be multiple reasons for this.
You should also analyze the days of the week and specific timings when your emails have performed better than other days (and times).
What are the benefits of SMS marketing?
I think the key benefits are that SMSs are more accessible, personal, two-way and almost 100 percent deliverable. It's certainly a must-have for B2C businesses I would say.
In fact, nowadays, businesses are opting for WhatsApp and other such messaging platforms as well. The idea in both is to keep the message short and straightforward.
What are best practices for small businesses in using SMS marketing?
Segment your audience, as you would while sending emails. Automate SMSs based on user actions, instead of spamming everyone with every offer possible.
I'd suggest you keep it targeted. For starters, target based on demographics, gender and age. Something that is relevant to a 50 year old may not be relevant to someone in their 20s. So be wise about it and target accordingly.
What are the most exciting trends or innovations you're following in small business marketing today?
Hundreds of new businesses are getting registered in India every day. All of these are SMEs or micro businesses. Even before the business is formally launched, the Gen-Y SMEs are thinking marketing-first and are pro digital. Most of them will have a website from day one, communicate with customers on WhatsApp, and perhaps, spend on marketing to get discovered on the Internet.
Older SMEs had a certain way of doing business, but they are now gradually embracing the new reality and are willing to adapt systems and technologies to improve their business performance.
What's one piece of advice you find yourself repeating to clients over and over?
- Reach the stage of product market fit as soon as possible.
- Founders should always be selling - make it a regular routine to reach out to potential customers through email, phone, face to face or any other relevant forum.
- Startups should raise money if they can. Cash is the lifeline of the business; use it wisely.
- Do not focus on selling through partners; if you cannot sell partners can't sell either.