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Expert Interview Series: Nilesh Patel of LeadSquared

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.

Contact ClubTexting today to see how SMS can help you reach your customers.

Most Common Reasons Businesses Still Hesitate to Use SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a widely popular marketing channel that many companies have adopted to receive benefits such as higher conversion rates and better customer engagement. However, a significant number of businesses still hesitate to implement this channel. Much of this hesitation is based on myths and uncertainty rather than facts. The following are the most common reasons businesses baulk at adding SMS marketing to their campaigns--and the reasons they should not.

Too Expensive


Texting can fit into almost any marketing budget, and it has a high ROI.

Some companies are afraid to add texting to their marketing efforts because they simply feel it will not fit into their budget. Although money plays a significant role in decisions for businesses, especially those just starting or with little wiggle room in their budget, it should not be the reason to not add SMS marketing. This form of marketing is highly cost effective. Most platforms charge just pennies for the texts sent and received. It might also be possible to sign up for a monthly plan so you have a regular expense and need not worry about going over your budget. The low cost and high efficacy make it a highly cost-effective marketing tool.

Invasive and Annoying

Texting is a very intimate messaging system. It does not have the reputation of spam as email does, since only about one percent of texts sent worldwide considered spam. Plus, many people regularly use it for communicating with friends and family. It is also not as widely used as other marketing channels for businesses, despite more businesses signing up every year. Therefore, many companies hesitate to add it out of fear of intruding too much into their customers' lives.

However, the intimacy of the channel is one reason it is so highly effective. People who sign up want to receive messages from you, and many consumers wish to hear even more from their favorite brands through texting. About 75 percent prefer offers sent through texting than other avenues. You also cut through a lot of the clutter for a more direct message to a highly-engaged group of people, making for a more effective overall message.

Too Complicated

Another fear many marketers have regarding SMS marketing is that it is simply too complicated to add. However, that could not be further from the truth. Most mass text messaging platforms are user-friendly. Subscribers are added to the list automatically when they opt-in. It is also easy to upload a list of users who opted in from another source, such as your website or in-person sign ups. On the platform, you simply have to choose who receives the message, write out your message, and then send it right away or schedule it for a later time.

Only Millennials Use Texting


It is not just Millennials who text.

Companies that focus on older demographics, or wanting to be as inclusive as possible, often feel that SMS marketing is not worth using because it targets only Millennials. Millennials use texting and always have their cell phones with them, making them one of the best demographics to target with SMS. However, it is also highly effective for targeting other generations. About 92 percent of smartphone owners over the age of 50 use it to text. Many people in this generation will be just as eager to receive texts from you as their younger counterparts.

Every business has its own experience with SMS marketing, but the vast majority find it is highly effective and beneficial. It has a high engagement rate, high open rate, and is something customers want. There is no reason to hesitate due to myths and rumors that remain circulating. Instead, try it out for yourself to see if it something that you want to utilize for your business.

Contact us to learn more about why text message marketing can help your business.

How Bridge Clubs Can Use Group Texting to Improve Membership Numbers

Bridge might be an old game, but it remains a popular pastime. However, many bridge clubs find it is difficult to attract new members to join their numbers. One way to encourage people in your community to join your bridge club is to use group texting. This does not just help you attract the attention of Millennials, who are known for their texting ways. Out of smartphone owners over the age of 50, around 92 percent text. No matter the demographics of your bridge club, you can benefit from using texting.

Make It Easy for Interested Parties to Contact You


When someone sees an ad about your club, they can text you for more information.

Utilizing a club texting program makes it easy for interested parties to contact you for more information. No matter how you advertise your club, whether in church bulletins, bulletin boards at local cafes, flyers at social hot spots or anywhere else, it is simple to add a way for people to contact you. Add your number and a keyword. Then, when potential members see your advertisement, they simply have to text to find out more information. This is much more effective than leaving a phone number to call, an email to contact, or even a website to visit.

Remind Current and Potential Members About Events

Once you have people signed up for your club texting program, it is easy to send out reminders about upcoming events. Most texts are opened within just a few minutes of receipt, making it the perfect medium for reminders. You send out a text the day before an event, or even a few hours before, and feel confident members and potential members can see it.

Send Out Bridge Tips

Regular contact with your club texting subscribers helps to make them feel as though they are a part of your club, even if they have yet to fully join or are too busy to attend events. One way to remain in regular contact is to send out bridge tips. It is easy to segment your subscribers into different groups based on their skill level. Then, send out targeted tips that help them improve without fearing that you are sending information to those who already have surpassed a particular tip.

Take Questions

Club texting is not just about finding ways to send messages out to your members or potential members. It also works as a channel of communication to receive messages from your members. Many people prefer to send messages or other inquiries through text than calling. This also makes it easier on you to be available for your members throughout the day without having to have someone sitting right next the phone.

Poll Your Members on What They Want

For a successful bridge club, you should listen to your members and offer what they want. This includes those who are merely interested in joining but might not have come to any classes or tournaments. Find out more about what you can offer to increase attendance and membership through polls. Club texting polls are easy to run. Simply send out a question with a few keywords for each answer. Your subscribers text back their keyword of choice, and you know which one is the most popular.

Organize Tournaments and Classes

It is easy to segment your club texting subscriber list. This helps you to easily organize tournaments and classes. Send messages to different members based on whether they would be interested in a particular event. Create a group for your staff and/or volunteers who help to organize and host the events. Then, communicate with them to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Offer Discounts to Potential Members


Increase the number of people who join your classes with discounts.

Many young people might be interested in learning more about bridge, but sometimes classes can be expensive, leading to them deciding to learn from another source or just giving up. Offering a special deal might help increase the number who come to your classes. Perhaps, offer the first class free so they can see whether they actually enjoy the class. If that is not possible for the budget of your club, determine a percentage off that works well for your club while also being attractive to your students. Then, use the time during classes to motivate them to join the club

There are many ways bridge clubs can grow their members through using club texting. It is a highly versatile and effective marketing and communication method that is also cost effective, making it easy to fit into almost any budget. Once you have it, you can use it in many ways to communicate with your current members while also attracting new ones to keep your bridge club going for many more years.

Ready to see if texting can help organize your bridge club? Try ClubTexting for free.

6 Ways that Advertising Agencies Benefit from Text Message Marketing

As an advertising or marketing agency, your priority is to increase awareness about the brands you serve. However, you do not want to forget about advertising for your own agency so that you continue to bring in more clients. This is also an unofficial way to demonstrate your skills to potential clients before they make initial contact with you.

Text message marketing has become increasingly popular marketing channel for businesses to use. It helps to attract new clients and maintain those you already have. Rather than just using it for your customers, be sure to include it in your own advertising to receive the following benefits.

Compete with Larger Agencies


Bring your advertising agency to the next level with SMS marketing

As a small boutique advertising or marketing agency, it is sometimes hard to compete with the large, well-known agencies that have a large advertising budget. Text message marketing levels the playing field. It is a text-based medium, so it requires no expensive graphics to look great. Plus, the cost to send and receive texts is minimal, often just cents per text. This makes it easy to fit it into almost any budget.

Many companies have yet to include SMS marketing in their services or marketing strategy, but people like it. By including it, you also stand out from the competition.

Demonstrate the Medium to Clients

By incorporating text message marketing into your own marketing strategy, you also have a chance to demonstrate its effectiveness to your clients and potential clients. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Run a great campaign, and it won't take much persuading to convince your clients to do likewise.

Add Another Component to Your Clients' Marketing Strategy

Text message marketing is just one of many marketing channels in today's market. It is easy for clients to start to feel overwhelmed by all their options, from traditional print ad marketing to digital marketing to mobile marketing. By including SMS marketing in your own advertising, you also will have the tools needed to add it to your clients' so that they can take advantage of the many benefits of the medium, such as a high open rate and a high engagement rate.

Send Instant Updates and Reminders

Texting is highly versatile, so it does not need to remain only in the realm of marketing. It also provides a beneficial way to communicate with your clients. Send them a reminder about a meeting or a campaign launch. Send tips to your clients about how to improve the aspects of the campaigns that they run.

Instantly update your clients about any changes to their program, including any problems you might have. Texts are typically opened within a few minutes, so you can feel confident that your client can see and respond right away, reducing the amount of time a problem inhibits the continuation of your client's program.

Improve Customer Service

Two-way communication helps to improve your customer service. A majority of consumers prefer to contact companies about customer service inquiries through text messages. They can text you at their leisure while knowing that you will take care of it. The smooth handling of the issue helps to improve their overall feeling towards your company, improving your retention rates and referral rates.

Have a Strong Call to Action


Potential clients can text from anywhere when they see your ad

Implanting a text message marketing program for your own agency also helps you to have a strong call to action on all your advertisement and marketing collateral. As you probably tell your clients often, you need to have something that inspires customers to take action right away. Providing a number and keyword to text for more information on bus ads, digital ads, radio ads, print ads, TV ads, and any other ads makes it easy for them to take action right away, increasing the number of leads you receive.

Do not miss out on the high open rates, redemption rates, and engagement rates associated with this medium.

Contact us to learn more about using text message marketing for your own agency, as well as for your clients.

Thinking of Ending Your Lackluster Text Message Marketing Campaign? Try This First

You started a text message marketing campaign full of hopes that it would provide the many promised benefits to your business. After putting in an extensive amount of time and effort, it does not appear to be working for you. If this sounds like you, you are probably tempted to just stop the campaign and switch your efforts -- and spending -- to something else. However, before you do this, there are some things you can do to turn around your campaign and get the results you want.

Do You Have a Realistic Expectation?


Have your team review your goals and expectations to see if they are realistic.

SMS marketing is a powerful medium, with high open rates and engagement rates. However, it is not a miracle worker. As with any marketing campaign, it takes effort and time to succeed. Therefore, take a quick look at your goals and expectations. Have you given sufficient time for the process to work? You most likely will not see high numbers overnight; most campaigns take a few months to really start to gain momentum.

Also take some time to review your business goals and what you hope to achieve with text message marketing. You might find that your efforts are not in line with your goals. It is also possible that you did not take the time to adequately create clear, defined objectives before you started the campaign. You would not be alone, as over half of marketers run a texting campaign without clear objectives. If this sounds like you, then take some time to develop clear objectives and create a strategy that will help you to meet those. Then, give your campaign some time to grow and meet your new expectations before you give up.

Find the Source of the Problem

Before packing in your text message marketing campaign, take some time to search for the root of the problem. Start by reviewing your metrics, especially the numbers that have made you feel as though it is time to give up. Perhaps your list is not growing or you have low redemption rates for your deals. Once you have narrowed down where your program is faltering, make changes that fix the correlating area of weakness.

For example, if your list is not growing, revamp your promotion strategy. Perhaps you need to promote your texting campaign on social media or add it to your print ads. It might be beneficial to start targeting a different set of customers. For those who feel they are not getting the response they want, consider whether or not the content matches what your customers want. You might also be sending the messages at an inopportune time or at an inconsistent frequency. There are several adjustments you can make to create a stronger campaign that will fix the problem and get you back to where you want to be.

Try a New Type of Message

There might not be any noticeable area in your text message marketing campaign that is the source of the poor response. It might simply be that your customers do not find value in the messages you send, or they might simply be fatigued by the same message every time. That is why it is important to switch up the content of your messages with every text, as well as provide exclusive content.

Take some time to develop and test some new types of message. For example, if you normally send out offers and deals, try sending out a poll or run a text-to-win content. Those who tend to rely on informational messages, try an exclusive flash sale or another offer. It might also help to try a few different messages and see how your customers respond to shape your campaign in the future.

Ask Your Customers What They Want


Ask your customers to review your program and provide some answers.

Another reason your campaign might be faltering is simply that it did not meet your customers' expectations. It is beneficial to take some time to see what your customers think before you completely just give up on texting. Ask your subscribers to fill out a survey to see what type of messages they wish to receive from you. It is also possible to simply send out a quick poll to see whether people are satisfied or not with your texting program. This not only helps you to know how to retool your lagging campaign, but it also provides a way to engage your customers and get them involved. You might also find that your campaign is actually doing much better than you previously thought.

It can feel disheartening to find your text message marketing campaign not succeeding or starting to falter. This leads many to simply stop and move on to another marketing strategy. However, do not give up. Instead, take some time to evaluate your efforts and make some changes to give your campaign another chance to succeed.

Contact us to learn more about what you can do to recharge a lackluster campaign.

Why Your Small Business Needs to Adopt SMS Marketing

As a small business, you have to monitor your budget closely to ensure every penny comes with a strong return on investment. SMS marketing provides many benefits that are well worth the investment for any small business. It is a cost-effective solution that has high response rates. As an added benefit, it increases customer engagement, which, in turn, leads to more loyal customers. The following are just a few of the reasons why many small businesses are turning to this highly lucrative marketing channel.

Intimate


Texting helps you build a more intimate relationship with your customers.

One of the best reasons to adopt SMS marketing is that it is a more direct and intimate channel. Almost everyone owns an SMS-enabled phone. Of smartphone users, almost 100 percent use text messages. It is not just Millennials. Baby Boomers and older generations also consistently text. Additionally, texting is not as saturated by promotional messages as email or social media. This means that your text will arrive right next to texts that are mostly from friends and family members, making it possible for customers to unconsciously place you in the same category.

Fast Response

SMS marketing is the perfect medium when you need a fast response. Most people carry their phones with them everywhere and check it over a hundred times in a day. This means that they will see your message quickly and respond just as fast. In fact, the average response rate for texts is just 90 seconds, while the average response rate for email is 90 minutes. Which kind of response would you rather have?

Targeting More Engaged Customers

Text message marketing is an opt-in channel. This means that in order to send messages to your customers, they must sign up for the program. Although this leaves out a fair number of people, it does mean that you are working with more engaged customers at the baseline. Because they have signed up for your SMS marketing campaign, they already have a relationship with your company and wish to know more. This makes it easier to convert them into customers.

High Engagement

If you are looking for a marketing channel with a high engagement rate, then SMS marketing is the right channel for you. It has eight times the engagement rate, along with high click through rates and redemption rates. Customers not only read the texts; they also take action. This leads to a much higher return on your investment.

Stand Out From the Competition


With texting, it is easier to compete with the larger corporations.

As a small business, it is difficult at times to distinguish yourself from your competition, especially the larger corporations. Many large companies have yet to adopt text marketing because they have so many other advertising channels, which means your business stands out when you text.

When you have a small marketing budget, it is harder to develop marketing collateral that really stands out when you are trying to compete against brands with a significantly higher budget than you.

SMS marketing levels the playing field. It is a text-based marketing forum, which means you do not have to worry about developing expensive graphics. It is also short-form content since you only need 160 characters per text. This makes it much less expensive to run a strong texting campaign, especially when you also add in the cost of texting, which is often just pennies per text.

SMS marketing provides a cost-effective solution for small businesses to engage with customers and build their business. If you have not considered adding it to your marketing strategy, then it is time to do so and see how it can provide the boost you've been looking for.

Ready to see how texting will provide a boost to your business? Try ClubTexting for free and experience these benefits for yourself.

Aren't Your Employees Part of Your Club?

You have worked hard on your texting campaigns to ensure that you engage members and grow your club, and your analytics show your efforts are working.

However, you might be leaving out one very important group in your lists: your employees. When developing your mobile marketing campaigns, be sure to get your employees signed up as well. This makes it easy for you to take advantage of the advantages that text messages have to offer, including a higher open and response rate than email, to communicate with your employees just as you do with your members. It can improve communication among your employees and help them to provide better customer service.

Keep Employees Happy


Engaged employees are happier employees. Texting enhances engagement.

Text messages help you to engage with your employees on a regular basis, which in turn helps them to feel more emotionally invested in your club. Employees who are engaged are 87 percent less likely to move on to another club or company.

However, around 70 percent of workers in America are not engaged, and only 40 percent are aware of the goals, tactics, and strategies of a company. Often, this is due to a lack of communication. Running a texting campaign overcomes this issue.

It is best to have your employees in multiple groups in your subscriber list, including the general list serve, the employee group and a group based on their department. That way they receive the same messages as members, as well as pertinent messages for their job.

Regularly texting to employees facilitates more engaged and happier employees and helps to create a company culture in which employees want to be part of the company. As an added bonus, happy and engaged employees provide better service to club members.

Informed Employees Provide Better Customer Service

Sending your employees the same messages you send your members increases their ability to provide the highest quality customer service. If member-facing employees have no knowledge of your texting campaigns, then they are unable to answer any questions about it. They also might not be aware of any offers or promotions, thereby creating a frustrating situation when a club member tries to redeem one or otherwise act on the content in your text messages.

Taking time to train employees on all your traditional and mobile marketing efforts, as well as keeping them informed of any new information sent out to members, ensures they have all the information they need to provide the best service to your members.

Better Communication With Employees

Part of your texting campaigns should focus on necessary information for your employees. Send updates about any maintenance work being done. Use it for emergency alerts, such as severe weather or a fire in an area of the club. It is beneficial to use texting rather than email for your employee communications since it is much more likely they will actually read the message. Only about 20 to 30 percent of emails are opened, while 99 percent of texts are.

These messages do not always have to directly involve work; it is possible to use them to encourage social gatherings for employees or to celebrate victories, milestones, or employee achievements. For example, send out a text announcing the employee of the month winner or to alert employees that your club has reached a business goal.

Remind Employees About Events


Texting event reminders makes sure employees are adequately prepared.

Employees need to be reminded about events just like your customers. Send a text message out to your employees the day before or the day of a big event so that they have adequate time to finalize the preparation and provide the best experience possible for your members. This also increases the attendance of employees at non-mandatory work events, which in turn demonstrates to your members the dedication your staff has to the club.

There are many ways to utilize your mobile marketing services to communicate with your employees in addition to your members. It helps keep them informed and up to date with all content members receive, as well as provide an easy to use way to impart essential company information.

Ready to implement a texting program for your club? Try ClubTexting for free and see how it improves engagement with your members and your employees.

4 Ways to Use Texting to Boost Your Booster Club

School sports rely on fundraising through the booster club to finance many of their activities. Educational funding continually sees cuts, making any booster club financing that much more important. However, traditional fundraising such as selling candy or cookie dough does not always provide sufficient donations to bridge the gap, and neither does ticket sales to the games. Rather than utilizing sales campaigns that take most of the proceeds and require a lot of work on the part of the team, try using mobile texting to support your next fundraising campaign.

Increase Your Supporter List


Texting campaigns helps to bring in more community support for your team.

For your mobile texting program to have a significant impact, it is important that you increase the number of supporters for your booster club. People can sign up to receive texts from you, including fundraising campaigns and information about games and other events. Invite your students to share the information with their social network and promote it in the community as well. When you put up flyers and posters about any events you might have, whether fundraisers or games, include a keyword and number that people can text to opt into your booster club text campaigns.

This provides a way to get more of the community engaged with your team, which in turn leads to more opportunities for fundraising.

Boost Traditional Fundraising

Traditional fundraising still provides a great way to bring in much-needed funds to your school. Booster club text campaigns provide a way to support these fundraisers. Send out alerts to your subscribers when you have a bake sale, raffle, BBQ or car wash. Most texts are opened within just a few minutes of receipt, so they offer the perfect medium for reminding people about your fundraising events on the day or the day before to increase attendance.

Texts also have a high response rate and a high open rate. This is highly beneficial for when you are selling items, such as candy, cookie dough, candles, calendars or other items. Include a link to the web page through which people can buy the items. Your team members simply send a text message to their friends, family members and other people in their network. You also send a text out to your subscriber list to increase the number of people who purchase items during your fundraising campaigns.

Text to Donate

Texting campaigns also offer a way to simply ask for donations. You might be familiar with text to donate campaigns that many of the large non-profits, such as the Red Cross, run after a disaster to raise money. Your booster club can take advantage of the same programs.

However, many smaller organizations find that using mobile texting programs to send out a link to a web page for donations works much better. By sending out a web page you have designed, you have much more control over the process. Your supporters also have the chance to donate more money than the traditional text to donate campaigns, which often have a set amount such as $10 per text. It is an easy way to ask for donations from your supporters without having to sell anything.

Run Creative Campaigns


Use the power of texting to promote new and creative ways to fundraise.

Your texting campaigns also offer a venue for running creative fundraising campaigns. Your booster club can have people pay to have a friend or family member's house "attacked" with posters and other items promoting school spirit and support for your team. Your team members might provide gardening or cleaning services for a fee. Whatever type of campaign you wish to run, it is possible to promote the information through texting. Interested parties can simply text a keyword to your number to show they are interested. Then, you get in touch with them about the particulars and/or send them a link to your web page with more information.

Booster club text campaigns facilitate your fundraising efforts and help you to do much more than traditional campaigns allow. It is a cost-effective option that fits into most budgets, helping you to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign without taking away too many of your much-needed profits.

Contact us to learn more about how texting can be used for fundraising and other activities for your booster club.

Bring Business to Your Restaurant with These SMS Marketing Messages

There is a lot of competition among restaurants, so it is important to find ways to reach your potential customers and get them to choose you over the competition. One way to do so is SMS marketing, which has a high engagement rate and is very popular with customers. To take full advantage of this lucrative marketing channel, it is important to find the right messages that resonate with your clientele. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, try one or more of the following messages.

Happy Hour Specials


Increase attendance at your Happy Hour with a timely text message.

Happy Hour is a long-standing tradition in the restaurant and bar business. Promote your Happy Hour specials to your SMS marketing subscribers with a text. Text messages are typically opened within just a few minutes of receipt, so you can send the message just a few hours prior to the start of Happy Hour. This provides the idea to people to head to Happy Hour at the end of the workday without time for them to forget or decide upon another venue.

An example of this type of text message is

"Join us for Happy Hour today and get 2 for 1 drinks by showing this text."

Easy Deliver Options

When people are stuck at work all day unable to head to your restaurant for a meal or wish to remain at home for a nice relaxing day in, they will be interested in your delivery options. If your restaurant is equipped to handle delivery, remind your SMS marketing subscribers about your services. Provide a deal just for delivery or highlight your delivery menu. This works really well when sent right near lunch or dinner time to capitalize on an already hungry crowd.

This type of text might look like

"Enjoy a delicious meal without any work on your part with our delivery service. Call or click here to order and get 20 percent off."

You would just include your phone number or a link to your website if you have online ordering enabled. This makes it very easy for people to order as soon as they see the text.

Offers and Deals

Any offer or deal works well for your SMS marketing program. There are special times that it makes sense to promote, such as happy hour or lunchtime specials. However, you always want to provide value to your customers to retain them as subscribers. One way to do this is to send out exclusive coupons for your restaurant through your texting program. For extra motivation, include an expiration date on the coupon so that people feel motivated to take action right away.

An example of a strong coupon is

"After a long day at work, you deserve a treat. Enjoy a free dessert with an entrée purchase after 5 p.m. by showing this text. Deal expires on [date]."

New Menu Poll


Encourage customers to vote on new menu items through text.

Although many restaurants turn to SMS marketing for driving business through specials and coupons, this is only a small part of text message marketing. There are many ways to engage with customers through your texting program. One way to really get customers involved is through sending out a poll. The perfect time to do this is when you plan to make changes to your menu. Ask customers what they would prefer added and provide a few keywords with which they respond to vote. The keyword with the most texts wins. This helps you to continue to provide items on your menu that meet your customers' desires.

An example of this type of text is

"What dessert should we add to the menu? Click here to view the options and text the corresponding keyword to [shortcode] by [date] to vote."

Create a page on your website with pictures and descriptions of the options and the corresponding keyword. Alternatively, you could text something like

"Which type of pie should we add to the menu? Text apple, pumpkin, peach or key lime to vote."

These are just a few examples of texts you can send to your SMS marketing subscribers to drive business to your restaurant. A combination of coupons and offers with texts that engage the customers will help you to get repeat business and turn customers into loyal diners.

Ready to implement a texting program for your restaurant? Try ClubTexting for free to start taking advantage of this powerful marketing channel.

5 Ways Movie Theaters Can Use Text Message Marketing

The movie theater industry is in crisis with the advances to the home theater. In 2016, the film industry is expected to sell fewer movie tickets than it has in decades. In addition to just trying to get people into your seats, you also have to compete with other theaters. One way to increase customer loyalty and get customers to leave their house and come to your theater is text message marketing. This is a versatile marketing medium that provides a way to directly engage with customers.

Loyalty Rewards Program


Reward customers for coming back to see more movies at your theater.

There are many cinema chains and companies competing for the same customers. It is important to elicit customer loyalty. It is much easier -- and cheaper -- to market to and convert those who have already frequented your theater than brand new customers. Reward those who come back with a loyalty rewards program. It is possible to use your text message marketing program to do this. Group your subscribers by their behavior, including those who frequent your business. Then, text them special, exclusive VIP offers to get them to continue coming back.

It is also beneficial to use your SMS marketing program as your reward program. Anyone who signs up becomes a member of your movie club, receiving special discounts and valuable information about movies.

Deals on Movie Tickets and Concessions

Many people choose to watch movies at home rather than the theater as a way to save money, especially with the price of movie tickets increasing. Discounts and offers provide a strong motivator to get people into your theater. Promote your text message marketing program as a way for customers to receive exclusive deals on movie tickets and/or concessions. Then, text your customers with periodic deals and see your attendance numbers increase, helping your overall bottom line.

Keep Moviegoers Informed of New Releases

Not everyone is a cinephile, so they might not know what that a movie is coming out that they want to see in the theater. Your text message marketing program provides a way to keep your customers informed of all the latest movies released. Every week, send out a text highlighting the must-see movie or movies released that week, as well as a link to your website that details the other movies in the theater. Include a link to a trailer or other information about the movie as well to help them know why they need to see it.

However, it is important to remain within the 160-character limit for text messaging. That is where links provide benefits. An example text is

"Check out the trailer for [movie] to see why it will be what everyone is talking about on Monday. Don't miss out. See the showtimes for all movies."

Ticket Ordering

Another element to add to your texting program is an easy-to-use ticket ordering system, such as a link to your online ordering system. Add a limited-time offer to the text for even more motivation to act right away. It is also convenient for people to walk right up to the door of the theater and show their tickets right in their text message without having to print anything out.

This is easily added to another message you send out, including those already discussed. For example, send out a text message promoting a certain movie opening that weekend and include a discount just for that movie and a link to the online ordering system. For example,

"Catch [movie title] this weekend and save $2 on your ticket. Click here to order online and redeem this offer. Deal expires [date]."

Show Time Information


Make it easy for people to find out what time a movie is showing.

Another service to offer your text message marketing subscribers is an easy way to find information about show times. One way to do this is to create a group of subscribers who wish to have alerts about weekly show times. Then, create a message that highlights the most popular movie times and includes a link to the rest. Additionally, you can set it up for people to text you a keyword, such as SHOWTIMES, and receive an automated reply with a link to your page.

However, you can also offer even more personalized service. Each movie could have its own keyword and auto-response. For example, a person could text a keyword such as XMENTIMES to find out the show times for the latest X-Men movie. Each movie would have its own personal keyword for this purpose.

There are many other ways that you can provide customer service and other information for value to your movie theater customers through your text message marketing service. The most important thing is that you find something that meets the needs of your customers and inspires their loyalty.

Contact us to learn more about using texting messaging to attract customers to your theater.

Scare Up Some Customers This Halloween With SMS Marketing

Halloween is always a fun time of year where people young and old alike enjoy dressing up and consuming copious amounts of sugar. It is the perfect time for businesses to run promotions or host events. SMS marketing provides the perfect medium for taking advantage of this holiday to connect with customers and drive new business. If you are unsure what type of messages to send out, try one of the following Halloween-themed texts.

Halloween Party RSVP


Make it easy to RSVP to your party with texting.

If your business celebrates Halloween in style every year with a monster-size bash, then leverage your guests to improve your SMS marketing campaign. Ask those who register for your party to sign up for your texting program. On the invitations and flyers, use texting as the call to action. When people want more information, they will text a number and get a response.

It is also possible to use your texting program as a way to get people to RSVP for the party. They simply have to text a keyword and you know they are coming. As a bonus, you get their number to use in various SMS marketing campaigns to get them to patronize your company. Remind your followers about the event via text the day before to improve attendance.

What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

A holiday like Halloween is perfect for engaging audiences with themed messages, including polls. Ask them to name their favorite scary movie or their favorite monster. There are numerous other holiday-themed polls you can run, including their favorite candy, whether they trick-or-treat, if they like haunted houses, and more.

To run the poll, create a few keywords that match answers to a specific question. Then, text the question and the answers and let your subscribers text the keyword that corresponds to their answer. For example, text "Who scares you the most? Text Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman or Other to vote." For additional engagement, promote the polls in your store, social media posts and digital marketing properties. Engagement increases brand loyalty, which ultimately helps your bottom line.

Don't Get Tricked in This Hunt For Treats

Halloween is known for its candy and treats. Adults and kids love any excuse to indulge. Run a contest with your SMS marketing program to get people involved and engaged with your company. This can be as complex as a scavenger hunt or month-long trivia game. Alternatively, it can simply be a text-to-win contest. Offer a special Halloween-themed grand prize. For additional motivation to play, offer participants some benefit for entering, such as a discount on your products or services.

Exclusive Sale on Costumes, Candy and/or Decorations

There are so many Halloween goodies that people wish to buy, including costumes, candy, and decorations for their houses. More than 157 million Americans celebrate the holiday in some way. The cost can easily add up, with the average person expecting to spend $74 on the holiday. To stay within this budget, many people search for ways to save. Run an exclusive sale through your SMS marketing program that lowers prices on all your Halloween goodies. This will not only drive your business during the holiday, but you will also have more people sign up to your texting program. With regular texting and future offers and deals, you will have more chances to convert them to customers down the line.

Dress Up For a Discount


Provide discounts to customers who come in wearing their costumes.

Encourage your customers to dress up and visit your store to help extend the Halloween fun. Send a text to your subscribers that offers something for free or a huge discount to those who come in on a certain day wearing their costume and showing the text. Many people already have their costumes, so they will easily be able to take advantage of such a sale. This also increases customer engagement for enhanced business opportunities.

There are many ways to take advantage of SMS marketing to drive business this Halloween. Plus, once you have a strong campaign going, it is possible to continue to leverage this beneficial medium to continue to drive business and engage with your customers all year long.

Ready to get your Halloween campaign up and running? Try ClubTexting for free to get started.

Get Voters to the Polls This November with Group Texting

The 2016 election is bound to be one that goes down in the history books, no matter the outcome. Although most people are focused on who will be the 45th U.S. president, citizens will have many other decisions to make when they cast their ballot. There are local and state representatives as well as policies for which people will vote, and it is important to make people aware of the issues and get them to the polls to do much more than just cast a ballot for president.


Help increase voter turnout with a strong texting campaign.

Whether you are a local, state or national candidate; a local or national political party organization or simply an organization looking to get its members to the polls, there are several ways that you can leverage the benefits of texting to help make it a record year for numbers at the polls.

Promote Your List to Gain More Subscribers

It is important to leverage your group texting program to correspond with voters in the days and weeks leading up to Election Day. Promote your campaign at rallies and other events to get more people to subscribe to your program, as you can send texts only to those who have given permission. You can easily add texting as a call to action on your promotional materials, including any signs your supporters put in their yards, to get more people involved in your campaign. Many of the national candidates already are doing this in many of their promotional campaigns.

Create Targeted Messages

It is beneficial to divide up your subscribers based on different factors, such as geographical location, demographics and preferences. Then, develop targeted messages that resonate with them. This might be sending information about local meetups and rallies to those in that region. It is also beneficial to send out messages that provide resources for voters, including links to your site for more information about your platform and to non-biased sources that help them determine for whom or what policies to vote in the election. Use your group texting program to send messages of value to voters to enhance their overall opinion of you, which increases the chance they will vote for you.

Remind People to Vote

Election Day in 2016 is November 8, and it will probably be hard for most people to miss the day with the amount of media coverage. However, it still could happen. For elections that occur outside of the general election and for future elections, it is even more important that you let people know what day they need to get out and vote. To do this, send your subscribers a quick text on Election Day that reminds them to get out and vote if they have not already done so.

Help Them Find Their Polling Location

One impediment some people have in getting out to vote is knowing where their polling location is. The day before Election Day, send your group texting subscribers a text that prompts them to check for their polling location. Provide a keyword with which they can respond for additional help if they are unsure where to go. For example, your initial text would state, "Make voting tomorrow easier. Find your polling location now. For additional information, reply HELP to this text." Your volunteers or staff members can personally text or call those who have replied help to assist them in finding where to go to cast their vote.

Limit Your Texts


Text subscribers with valuable information, but be careful not to overdo it.

Although texting provides a great way to get your supporters and other voters out to the polls, it should be used with caution. You want to be sure not to oversaturate your subscribers, especially those who also receive emails and letters from you and/or follow you on social media. One way to do this is to group your subscribers based on their preferences and other factors if you have the information. Ideally, you want to try to limit texts to two to four per month, although in the week or two leading up to Election Day, you might be able to get away with a higher frequency as long as the messages are not redundant and have value to the subscribers.

Group texting has become an invaluable tool for any political campaign, whether of local or national interest. Leveraging the immediacy and intimacy of the medium must be balanced with respecting your subscribers. Focusing on creating messages of value that serve a purpose and limiting the number of texts will go a long way in making your campaign beneficial rather than hurtful.

Contact us to learn more about using texting to help this Election Day.

Increase Your Museum Membership with Group Texting

Museums provide an important cultural service to the community. Whether you have an internationally known museum or a small one focused on local art, history and/or culture, some of the most important clients you have are your members. It is common for museums to rely on donations from members to sustain their events and bring in new and exciting exhibitions. Group texting provides a way for you to engage with your audience to drive interest and attract more members. There are many ways to utilize this channel to help your museum flourish.

Promote Your Museum


Include a texting CTA on all your marketing materials to increase patronage.

Group texting is an excellent way to promote your museum and membership options. Include a keyword and your short code or long code on your advertisements in the paper, magazines, TV, radio, billboards and anywhere else. When people see the ad, they can reach for their phone and quickly text to get more information. Choose a keyword that matches your exhibition and offer a discount for improved impact. An example would be, "Text 'Picasso' for more information about our exhibit and to receive a 20 percent discount on tickets."

Reminders About Events and Exhibitions

Once you have patrons as members or interested parties, then text them reminders about events and exhibitions. Email newsletters, your website, social media and other channels provide more space for a lengthy explanation about your events. However, people do not always look at these, so you often have to send them out days or weeks in advance.

Text messaging has a 98 percent open rate, and the messages are typically opened in just a few minutes of receipt. This makes your group texting program the perfect medium for event reminders. You send out an email about the event a few weeks in advance and then text your subscribers the day before or the day of to remind them. This helps to increase attendance, keeping your members active and happy so they will continue to renew year after year.

Information About Pieces

Not everyone who comes to your museum will wish to take a guided tour or use an audio tour, even if you make it easy and have an app for smartphones. However, they might still have questions about particular pieces in your exhibitions. Post keywords on these pieces and create an auto response that has more information. You will only be able to send 160 characters in the text, but you could include a link to a web page that has even more information.

Discounted Tickets

Your group texting program also provides a space to send out discounted tickets. Although most of your members will be able to get in for free, they might wish to bring family or friends and take advantage of the discount. You might also have subscribers who have visited your museum but are not members, or there might be those who have let their membership lapse. Upon receiving a discount rate to come to an exhibit, they will be motivated to come back. Once you have them in the museum, you can try to get them to join as a member. You can also occasionally offer deals on your membership directly.

Easy Membership Renewal and Donations

One way to keep your members active is to make it easy for them to renew. You might have it set up to auto-renew, but not all museums have this option, and not all members wish to do it if you do. With group texting, you can make it easy. Send them a reminder that it is time to renew. Ask them if they would like to renew now, and then when they reply with YES, send them a link to enter their credit card information. You can do the same with donations.

It is also possible to set up a text to donate program for your fundraising efforts. With this, patrons can simply text a certain keyword to a number to donate a preset amount, such as $10. It is very easy for the patrons, but many non-profits find that it can be limiting. That is why they choose to send a link instead. Then, patrons can choose to give a much higher amount, and it does not cost as much as the text to donate programs.

Get Feedback


Texting lets you get feedback on your exhibitions from anywhere.

It is always important to engage with your members and other patrons and ensure that you are providing the best experience possible. Occasional feedback helps you to assess how well you are adhering to the wishes of your guests. Group texting makes it easy to get feedback through texting polls and surveys. With this information, you can continue to make improvements so that your members and guests continue to enjoy their experiences at your museum and wish to come again and again.

There are many other ways that you can use group texting to engage with your members and guests to keep your museum alive. It helps to facilitate engagement so that more and more of your guests will want to become members and return to your museum again and again to enjoy all your exhibitions and events.

Contact us to learn more about using texting for your museum.

Most Common Questions Asked About SMS Marketing

Whether you are just about to start an SMS marketing campaign or are still trying to figure out if it is beneficial for your company, you probably have questions about the medium. It is common for people new to texting to be unsure about certain aspects of text message marketing. Even old pros sometimes forget some of the basics of the marketing channel. The following provides some answers to the most commonly asked questions to help you take the next step in your texting campaign.

Does SMS Marketing Only Work on Millennials?


Older generations text almost as much as Millennials do.

Although Millennials might text more than their older counterparts, the difference is not as much as you might think. All Millennial smartphone owners probably text. However, 98 percent of those between the ages of 30 and 49 text and 92 percent of those over the age of 50 text. Therefore, SMS marketing is not just for Millennials; it works for all generations.

Won't My Customers View the Messages As Spam?

When email marketing debuted, it was not long before spam became so excessive that filters became the norm. Now, only one percent of text messages are seen as spam. Plus, 70 percent of consumers surveyed believe that brands should text them more often. Consumers want to receive messages from their favorite companies and are more than willing to sign up.

What Type Of Information Will I Have About Subscribers?

This depends on how they signed up. For those who opt in through a keyword, you will simply have their mobile number. You might initially have more information from subscribers who sign up through another channel, such as an online form. As your campaign progresses, you can ask for more information from customers so that you can integrate the campaign with your other channels and more easily group the subscribers for targeted messages.

What Messages Do I Send?

You can send any type of message you want. Many businesses use their SMS marketing campaign as a way to send exclusive offers and deals to their customers. This works well, as the medium has a higher redemption rate than other channels. There is no need to stop there. It is possible to use texting to send out tips, reminders, invitations to events, transactional messages, customer service inquiries, polls, surveys and more. You can also run contests.

What Makes a Campaign a Success?

What makes the campaign a success depends a lot on your goals. Do you want to bring in a lot of subscribers, spread the word about your company, increase your sales, or enhance your customer service? You can't measure success unless you have metrics. The fundamental metric is your established goal. Your texting platform will have analytics you can review, including an opt-in rate, opt-out rate, conversion rate and redemption rate. Reviewing these will provide insight into how well your overall program performs.

How Often Should I Text?

The ideal frequency for texting varies based on the audience and the business. In general, the preferred number of texts is two to four per month. It is generally better to err on the side of too few texts than too many, since too many texts may annoy customers. However, you do not want to text so rarely that your customers forget that you have a texting program.

How Long Should a Text Be?

Text messages should be no longer than 160 characters. Although some newer smartphones appear to send messages that are a lot longer than that, that is not exactly the case. They still send the message, but broken up into 160 character chunks; it just does not appear that way to the user. Thus, sending longer texts could end up costing your subscribers more money. Keep it short and simple, and include a link to a web page if you have additional information you wish to share.

How Do I Get Subscribers?


Include information about your program on reciepts and flyers.

It is essential that you only send texts to those who have opted into your campaign, as texting is a permission-based marketing platform. Luckily, there are many ways to promote your SMS marketing campaign and get subscribers.

  • Add a line on your existing marketing and advertising that has a keyword and a short code and a short explanation of your program.
  • Promote it on your social media profiles and post about it.
  • Have information on your website.
  • Include it on receipts.
  • Have flyers in your store
  • Have your employees tell customers about it.
  • Alert your email subscribers about your new campaign.

As your promote your list, it will start to grow. Include some type of incentive, such as an exclusive discount, and watch your list grow even faster.

These are just a few of the most common questions that go beyond the basics of what is a keyword and short code or how much does it cost. SMS marketing is a lucrative marketing channel that shows no signs of slowing down. Take advantage of it today, and contact us if you still have any questions about the channel.

Ready to start your campaign? Try ClubTexting for free and get started today.

4 Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Your SMS Marketing Campaign

A successful SMS marketing campaign requires continuous work. It is important to check regularly and make adjustments to ensure that your efforts continue to bring strong returns. There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your texting campaign, and your text message marketing platform probably offers several key analytical tools to get you started. Knowing the right ones to use for your campaign ensures that you are tracking the right things and making the right adjustments to keep your campaign going strong and bringing in more business.

Are People Signing Up--And Staying Active?


Sign me up for that!

A basic way to measure the success of your SMS marketing campaign is how many people sign up to receive messages from you. This is measured through your opt-in rate. It is just as important to look at the opt-out rate and delivery rate to see how many people remain active subscribers. You will always find that a few people choose to opt out for reasons beyond your control, and you will find you have some texts that bounce. However, an effective campaign keeps these numbers low while the opt-in rates remain high.

Are Customers Engaged?

In addition to continually recruiting new subscribers and retaining them, you want to keep them actively engaged. This can be measured in a few different ways, including redemption rates, conversion rates, click-through rates and open rates. In general, text message marketing has eight times the response rate as email marketing. You want to take advantage of this and maintain a high engagement rate across the board. This not only means that you have a successful campaign, but it correlates to increased business.

These numbers also tell you what messages work, and which do not. A coupon that sees a high redemption rate met some need with your customers. Although you want to vary your coupons and deals to maintain value, you also want to be sure to send coupons that work. Using the data you receive can help you to tailor messages to those your customers like, keeping your campaign more successful over time.

Are People Sharing With Their Friends?

Another way to measure the success of your campaign is to see whether your customers are telling their friends and family members to sign up as well. You can track this by using a unique keyword that your SMS subscribers can send to their friends to sign up. You might also send out surveys asking how people heard about the program.

Unique keywords tell you, in general, from whence your subscribers come. This allows you to see which of your campaigns work the best and which are the least effective. For example, you might run a promotion on your social media page and a TV ad simultaneously, both of which use a texting call to action, but with unique keywords. You can track the opt-in numbers using the different keywords and see which one had the most people sign up.

Is It Cost-Effective?

In general, SMS marketing is a cost-effective marketing channel. It costs just a few cents to send and receive texts and you do not have to pay for expensive graphics, which are reasons why texting typically has a high return on investment. However, you might find that you are not getting the return on investment you expected. By comparing the cost of your campaign with any increase in business, you can determine whether texting has been effective for your company. You might find that making a few adjustments could help you to increase the impact and, thereby, generate a better ROI.


Reviewing your campaign ensures you get the most value from your investment.

People like to receive texts from businesses. Texting is quickly becoming one of the top business marketing channels.

By reviewing these four different components of your SMS marketing campaign, you learn about its effectiveness. A quick review of your analytics should provide most of the information you need, although you might also want to talk with your customers and learn more about their perspective to learn how you might improve in the future.

Contact us to learn more about how to monitor your campaign.

Attract More Customers and Sellers to Your Consignment Shop Business with SMS Marketing

As a consignment shop, you not only need to find shoppers, but you also need to find sellers. This ensures you have sufficient stock for your customers. The consignment business has seen strong growth, which means there is more competition from both brick and mortar stores and online services. Therefore, you need to promote your business that attracts not just buyers but also sellers. SMS marketing provides an impressive, versatile marketing tool perfect for attracting more business to your consignment store.

Promote Your Business


Bring more people into your business to buy and sell and achieve your goals.

SMS marketing is a versatile marketing channel that offers you a way to promote your business. Once you have a subscriber list, it is simple to send them texts about your business to encourage repeat business. Your subscribers already have an interest in your business, so they are a willing audience for your promotion.

It is not just to current customers to whom you can promote your texting program. It makes for one of the best calls to action to use on any of your advertising or marketing collateral. Add a keyword and instruction on your flyers, radio spots, TV ads, print ads and other pieces as a way for customers to take action after seeing your ad. People carry their phones with them everywhere, so it is easy for them to text when they see your ad, improving the success rates of your ads. For increased impact, offer a deal for signing up.

Text Sellers About New Opportunities

It is easy to segment your subscribers into sellers and buyers, and you might have even more groups you wish to create. The same customer can be placed in more than one group, so if someone is both a buyer and seller, he or she will not miss out on any text.

When there are new opportunities for selling at your consignment store, send out a text to your SMS marketing subscribers. This might be when you start selling a new product or merchandise. Perhaps you had too much of a particular item but now require more. This makes it easy for you to reach your sellers and communicate your needs to them.

Let Customers Know About New Inventory

On the other side of your business is your customer base. When you have new stock from one of your dealers or vendors, text your SMS marketing subscribers. This allows them the first look at your new inventory while also making sure people know what you have available for them. You might have a regular text that puts the spotlight on a particular stock item. This might typically be new items, but you might also highlight something that has been difficult to sell.

Send Offers and Coupons

SMS marketing provides an excellent way to send your loyal customers offers and coupons. Mobile coupons have a much higher redemption rate than other formats. They only need their cell phones with them. Then, they simply show the text at checkout. There is no printing anything out or remembering to bring it. Coupons provide a strong motivation for customers to come in and shop at your store. Alternatively, if you need more merchandise, offer a special discount for those who wish to sell something on consignment at your store.

Alert Subscribers About Events


When you text, people can recieve alerts about events anywhere.

Text messages have a high open rate. This means you can feel confident that messages you send to your SMS marketing subscribers are read. Capitalize on this by sending your subscribers information about events in your store. Perhaps you plan to have a massive sale to move your products, or maybe you plan to host a customer appreciation party. Whatever the event, you have the chance to increase attendance by alerting and reminding your subscribers about it through text message.

Implementing an SMS marketing program provides you with a way to increase engagement with your buyers and sellers. This will help your consignment business, and you also will stand out from the competition, further increasing your sales.

Contact us to learn more about how you can utilize this powerful marketing channel.

5 Tips for Implementing Group Texting for Your Yacht Club

To successfully run your yacht club, it is imperative you provide your members excellent customer service. They expect only the best from you, and they will clarify it when you do not meet their expectations. It is up to you to continually attract new members, so your numbers remain active, and you reach your goals each year.

Implementing a group texting campaign provides you a way to promote your business and communicate with current, new and prospective members for enhanced customer service. The following will help you to create a strong foundation for your campaign so you will meet -- and exceed -- your goals.

Start with Your Goals


Consider what you hope to achieve for your yacht club with a texting campaign.

Before you do anything, it is imperative you develop goals for your program. It helps if you review your overall business goals. Perhaps you wish to increase membership by 20 percent this quarter. Maybe you need to increase sales or increase event participation. Your goals for both your yacht club business and the group texting campaign go a long way in determining what type of messages you send, and how you plan to promote your program.

Determine Your Audience

You should also determine your target audience for your group texting campaign. This might be prospective members or current members, or you might run simultaneous campaigns for both. It is beneficial to perform market research and learn more about the demographics and behavior patterns of your yacht club members. This will help you to create the right content for your followers, increasing the engagement and ultimately success of your campaign.

Create Content of Value

One of the most critical components of any successful group texting campaign is that you provide content of value to your subscribers. This could be discounts or offers on your services or information about member events. What is considered "value" depends on your clientele and members, and the services you offer. You might have to run a few test campaigns after your market research to see which content has the greatest impact. Regardless, take some time to determine what you and your members consider valuable, and what measures you plan to gauge the success of this content.

Develop a Schedule

For your group texting campaign to work, you must contact your yacht club members at the ideal frequency. You want to communicate with them enough, so they continue to take advantage of your offerings and engage with your club. However, you do not want to oversaturate them to where they disregard your messages or opt out of your service. Finding the right balance might take trial and error, but it is typically around two to four messages per month.

Segment Your Subscribers


Create groups for your subscribers and send targeted messages.

As a yacht club, you have to balance between providing service to your current members and try to attract additional members. Your group texting program provides a way to contact both, and you should send personalized, targeted messages to both categories. It is easy to segment your subscriber list, so you send only the relevant messages to each person. You can have multiple groups, and your members can be placed in more than one. Just be sure that you still only send members around two to four messages per month even if they are in more than one group.

The more time you spend researching your prospective members and determining what they want from a group texting program, and what goals you wish to reach, the better campaign you will create. This research helps you to build a strong foundation on which to build as your program commences and progresses.

Ready to see how texting can increase your yacht club membership numbers? Try ClubTexting for free.

6 Ways that Advertising Agencies Benefit from Text Message Marketing

As an advertising or marketing agency, your priority is to increase awareness about the brands you serve. However, you do not want to forget about advertising for your own agency so that you continue to bring in more clients. This is also an unofficial way to demonstrate your skills to potential clients before they make initial contact with you.

Text message marketing has become increasingly popular marketing channel for businesses to use. It helps to attract new clients and maintain those you already have. Rather than just using it for your customers, be sure to include it in your own advertising to receive the following benefits.

Compete with Larger Agencies


Bring your advertising agency to the next level with SMS marketing

As a small boutique advertising or marketing agency, it is sometimes hard to compete with the large, well-known agencies that have a large advertising budget. Text message marketing levels the playing field. It is a text-based medium, so it requires no expensive graphics to look great. Plus, the cost to send and receive texts is minimal, often just cents per text. This makes it easy to fit it into almost any budget.

Many companies have yet to include SMS marketing in their services or marketing strategy, but people like it. By including it, you also stand out from the competition.

Demonstrate the Medium to Clients

By incorporating text message marketing into your own marketing strategy, you also have a chance to demonstrate its effectiveness to your clients and potential clients. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Run a great campaign, and it won't take much persuading to convince your clients to do likewise.

Add Another Component to Your Clients' Marketing Strategy

Text message marketing is just one of many marketing channels in today's market. It is easy for clients to start to feel overwhelmed by all their options, from traditional print ad marketing to digital marketing to mobile marketing. By including SMS marketing in your own advertising, you also will have the tools needed to add it to your clients' so that they can take advantage of the many benefits of the medium, such as a high open rate and a high engagement rate.

Send Instant Updates and Reminders

Texting is highly versatile, so it does not need to remain only in the realm of marketing. It also provides a beneficial way to communicate with your clients. Send them a reminder about a meeting or a campaign launch. Send tips to your clients about how to improve the aspects of the campaigns that they run.

Instantly update your clients about any changes to their program, including any problems you might have. Texts are typically opened within a few minutes, so you can feel confident that your client can see and respond right away, reducing the amount of time a problem inhibits the continuation of your client's program.

Improve Customer Service

Two-way communication helps to improve your customer service. A majority of consumers prefer to contact companies about customer service inquiries through text messages. They can text you at their leisure while knowing that you will take care of it. The smooth handling of the issue helps to improve their overall feeling towards your company, improving your retention rates and referral rates.

Have a Strong Call to Action


Potential clients can text from anywhere when they see your ad

Implanting a text message marketing program for your own agency also helps you to have a strong call to action on all your advertisement and marketing collateral. As you probably tell your clients often, you need to have something that inspires customers to take action right away. Providing a number and keyword to text for more information on bus ads, digital ads, radio ads, print ads, TV ads, and any other ads makes it easy for them to take action right away, increasing the number of leads you receive.

Do not miss out on the high open rates, redemption rates, and engagement rates associated with this medium.

Contact us to learn more about using text message marketing for your own agency, as well as for your clients.

Surf's Up! Build Your Surf Shop Business with Mass Texting

Whether your surf shop is open year round or needs to make the most of your summer business, finding clients is an essential component of your business. You can promote and promote your shop, but it is important to find a way to engage with your clientele so that they not only choose you over the competition, but also come back again and again.

Mass texting provides you a versatile way to promote your business, communicate with potential clients, and maintain a relationship with those you already have. Following are just a few ways to utilize mass texting as part of your marketing strategy.

Promote Your Business


A texting CTA works well because people always have their phone

Mass texting provides an excellent channel for promoting your business. It is an opt-in service, which means that you are only allowed to send messages to those who sign up. You can promote to these customers, which does help, since they are already engaged. However, you do not have to feel as though this limits you. There are ways to utilize your texting program to draw in new business as well.

Texting makes a great call to action on any of your other marketing and advertising collateral. For example, add the phrase "Text Surf Rental 55555 to find out more and get a 10 percent discount on surfboard rentals" on your ads that promote your rental business. Adding a discount or offer to the CTA increases the response to and improves the efficacy of your ad.

Engage with Customers

Customer engagement is an essential component of business in today's market. Finding ways to communicate with clients and build a more personal relationship helps to create more loyal customers. Your mass texting messages do not have to be just deals and offers, although those do create highly lucrative messages. It is also a medium through which you can send out tips and other information to continue to build your relationship with your customers. For example, keep your customers informed of the surf report or tips on surfboard care are other ways of keeping in touch.

Text messages are a more intimate medium. People have yet to feel saturated with SPAM and marketing messages. This gives you an edge over your competition when you communicate with customers through texts. They will be more willing to view you as a friend than just another company, helping to bring in more repeat business.

Send Out Reminders

When you have events, you want to be sure to have a strong level of engagement. People are so busy, they might easily forget about events, especially if you initially tell them about it weeks ahead of time. Mass texting is the perfect avenue for sending out reminders because messages are opened and read within just a few minutes. Send out an email to let people know about the event. Then, remind them about 24 hours ahead of time to increase participation.

This also works for transactional messages. Text reminders of rental pre-orders or let customers know when an order is ready to be picked up. Send receipts through text and include a thank you with a deal or other motivation to customers to come back.

Invite Customers to Events and Tours

Another way to engage customers is to host events at your business. This might be customer appreciation days or weekly surf club meetings. You might run tours and surfing classes for visitors. Perhaps you also offer stand up paddleboard and kayak tours. No matter what events your shop offers, you want to be sure to attract people to them. Mass texting provides you a way to alert your customers and increase participation. Adding it as a call to action also helps you to draw a larger crowd.

Take Advantage of a High Surf Day


When the surf is perfect, send out a text to alert customers

People carry their phones with them at all times, making mass texting the best way to get a hold of them with last minute information. Take advantage of this by sending out alerts on days where the surf is perfect. You might already send out surf reports to some of your more loyal customers, but not everyone might want this daily or weekly information. Group your customers for sending relevant text messages, and then have some messages sent to everyone, such as a high surf day.

These are just a few ways to utilize mass texting for your surf shop that go beyond sending coupons and deals. These play an important role in any SMS marketing campaign, but there is so much more you can do with this versatile marketing medium.

Ready to see how you can implement texting in your marketing efforts? Try ClubTexting for free.

The Curtain Rises on Club Texting and How It Helps Your Community Theater

Keeping a community theater open takes a lot of time and effort, often by a group of dedicated individuals volunteering their time and talent. Communication and organization become key components of maintaining order and reducing drama from your theater. Club texting provides a valuable tool to help you communicate with your audience while also organizing your staff, volunteers, stagehands, and actors. There are many ways that this versatile tool can help your community theater have the best season yet.

Organize and Communicate with Ease


Keep in touch with your cast and crew via text to increase efficiency

Almost everyone has a cell phone, with 90 percent of American adults owning an SMS enabled phone. Most of these people keep their phone within an arm's reach at all times throughout the day. That means that texting is one of the best ways to get in touch with your community theater staff, cast, crew, and other volunteers. It is easy to create groups for your club texting subscribers and target messages to just the relevant receivers.

When you need to reschedule rehearsal at the last minute, you simply send a text and feel confident that everyone will be aware of the news. The same goes for any other communication you need to send. Your members can also reply, helping you to get RSVPs from everyone before a show, rehearsal, or audition. This will make the organization of your community theater that much easier, giving you more time to spend focusing on the drama you actually care about: the one on the stage.

Increase Audience Numbers

Club texting also helps you to increase your audience numbers. When you promote your latest show on flyers around town, billboards, posters, print ads, radio spots, or any other type of advertisement, add a texting call to action. This provides an easy way for people to find out more information as soon as they see your ad, rather than having to wait. Once you have community members subscribed to your list, text them updates on the latest shows. This helps to increase the number of people who return to your theater every season.

Donation and Funding

As a community theater, you probably rely a lot on donations and other funding from the local community. Running a club texting campaign helps you to bring in a larger number of donations. During your fundraising drives, text your subscribers asking for a donation. Additionally, add a texting CTA to your donation pleas on your playbills and other advertisements.

You can set it up so that they only have to text a keyword to a particular number and automatically donate a certain amount of money, which is simple added to their phone bill. This is easy for the community, but it does have some additional work for theaters. Some theaters find it better to simply send a link to a donation page. This lets you receive more of the money, and your community can choose how much to give in one donation. Either way, you have the chance to easily increase your donations to help fund your next show.

Find Cast and Crew Members

A community theater only thrives when it has the involvement of the local community, especially if you rely on volunteers for some or all of your cast and crew members. Club texting also helps you to increase the impact of your casting call. It can likewise be added to your advertisements as a way for interested people to easily and quickly get in touch with you as soon as they see the casting call. You also can have a group of people in your texting subscribers who have helped or expressed interest in the past to whom you also send an invitation for casting calls or other volunteer opportunities.

Reminders About Events


Increase your audience numbers by texting reminders about your shows

Text messages are typically opened within just a few minutes of receipt. This is why they are the perfect avenue for sending out reminders to your audience and cast and crew. You might have promoted an event through several different avenues, including social media and email. However, the nature of these mediums typically requires that you post the information far enough in advance to feel confident your followers read it. With texting, you can send a reminder within 24 hours and know that your recipients have read it. This can help to increase the attendance at all your events, whether it is a show, a fundraising event or a casting call.

Club texting is a versatile marketing and communication medium that has the power to greatly enhance the organization and communication of your community theater. It has a relatively low cost, making it easy to fit in most budgets, even those of a non-profit community theater. This makes it a cost-effective way to keep your volunteers and audience members apprised of your events, helping to keep your productions SRO.

Contact us to learn more about how texting can help your theater.

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