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Expert Interview Series: Natascha Thomson About Mass Text Messaging Dos and Don'ts

Are you trying to market your brand to a mass audience?

What strategies have you tried? Did you know that you can send targeted messages via text - custom tailored for the person you're trying to reach?

Natascha Thomson is the CEO of MarketingXLerator, a marketing consultancy with a focus on social media. She consults with small and large clients including SAP, Polycom, SLAP Company, LookingGlass and HR Strategies.

She recently caught up with us to share her insight on the dos and don'ts of mass texting. Read on:

Define mass texting.

Mass texting simply means that a text message is sent by one entity to a group comprised of multiple individuals. The word "mass" in commercial use generally implies at least hundreds if not thousands of recipients. It also often carries a negative connotation as it conjures up the image of spam.

But spam messages are not defined by the size of the list of recipients but by a lack of targeting of the message to the individual recipient. Herein lies the challenge of mass anything: the message either has to be equally relevant to all recipients (homogenous audience) or individually customizable. Both are possible.

What are some dos for mass texting?

1. Know your audience. Messages need to be relevant and sent at the appropriate time(s) and frequency. Otherwise it's just spam.

2. Earn and nurture your audience's trust. Especially on mobile devices, consumers feel that you are making a very personal "connection" with them in their "real" ad hoc lives. Irrelevant messages make you seem like an intruder and recipients will quickly opt out.

3. ALWAYS have a Call-To-Action (CTA). Your text message has to make it crystal clear what's in it for the recipient. A typical CTA is to ask the recipient to send a keyword to opt in to your contact list. For in-store offers, the CTA could be "show this text for a discount."

4. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This is the best strategy. In the brevity of 160 characters, use crisp, clear and unambiguous language and a simple CTA.

5. Measure and fine-tune. Define metrics that allow you to track your progress and fine-tune your texting and integrated marketing campaigns. Think big picture.

What are the "don'ts" for mass texting?

1. Be relevant. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, send a text message to somebody who is not clearly in your target audience for the message. Just because they opted in does not entitle you to send them irrelevant information.

2. Don't break the law. FCC rules protect consumers under the TCP and CAN-SPAM Acts. Commercial text messages can only be sent to a mobile device if the user has opted in, IN WRITING.

3. Never send anonymous messages. Make it clear in the message signature who you are and how to opt out.

4. Avoid abbreviations or lingo if you are not 100 percent sure your audience is familiar with them. Otherwise you might create confusion and frustration.

5. Don't be careless with your list. Protecting your clients' data and privacy needs to be your key concern. In the age of cyber crimes, hackers will exploit any security weakness, which can cost you customers, your reputation and revenue.

How can businesses use mass texts to their benefit?

Text messaging is just one avenue to reach a target audience, don't let it be your only one. Text messaging should be part of an integrated marketing strategy that also includes traditional online and offline channels like email and events, as well as social media.

Which integrated marketing strategy is right for you is strongly dependent on your objectives, your target audience, and your resources. Know your target audience intimately, including where and when they like to receive information and in what formats. The more relevant you can make your message, the bigger your chances for conversion and subsequent ROI.

Follow Natascha Thomson on Twitter.

Try ClubTexting for free.

6 Ways to Use SMS Marketing to Drive Your Food Truck Business

If you own a food truck business, it is important your clientele can find your truck no matter where you park. Many food trucks rely on social media to inform followers of their next location, but SMS marketing provides a better way to update customers on where you are. There are several ways to use text marketing to grow your business and ensure that your patrons always know where to find you.

Text Your Location


Let your customers know your current location through text.

One of the best things about this communication channel is that text messages have a high open rate, increasing the chance that your subscribers get your message. When you post your current location on your website or social media accounts, there is no guarantee that your customers will actually see the update. Alternatively, when you text your customers directly, they will be able to pick up your message quickly and make their lunch plans.

Specials

Your food truck may offer special menu items every day or simply do occasional promotions. Sharing your menu specials via text message can help to increase your business for the day. If you have several specials, then you can highlight one and include a link to your website that details the rest of the information in the text.

Offers and Discounts

It is also beneficial to use texting to share exclusive offers and discounts to your followers. These offers provide a little extra incentive to stop by for a bite. After all, everybody loves a good discount!

Turn Around a Slow Day with Last Minute Deals

Text messages are the perfect way to share last minute deals. If you're having a slow day, send out a text to your subscribers with a last minute deal that is only redeemable that day. If you time it well, you can reach them when they are deciding what to do for lunch. A limited time deal will motivate them to choose your food truck over the competition.

Contests and Scavenger Hunts

Another way to use SMS marketing to boost your food truck business is to develop contests and scavenger hunts. Text to win contests are easy to run and have the added benefit of growing your texting subscribers. You can promote your contest on print ads, your website and social media, and on your truck itself. Your customers can text a keyword for a chance to win something, such as gift cards, free meals, and more. It is best if everyone gets a small reward for entering.

As a mobile business, it is also possible to create a game out of letting people find you through a scavenger hunt. Although you do not want to make it too difficult, it can drive business and excitement by engaging your customers. If you choose to do this, consider providing a special incentive for customers who participate.

Polls and Other Feedback


Ask your customers to text you their feedback to help you improve your service.

You can also choose to receive feedback from your customer via text message. Many people prefer to handle customer service communication through text messages, but a lot of companies do not think to offer this service. Furthermore, it is easy to send out polls to your subscribers to gain invaluable insight. You simply have to send out a question along with two to four keywords. Your subscribers text back the keyword that matches their answer choice. Then, the keyword with the most texts is the winner. You can use polls to develop a new menu or decide where to park the next day.

SMS marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers and enhance engagement. Clever text message campaigns not only let them find your food truck; they also motivate them to choose you more often

Try ClubTexting for free to see how it can help you reach your customers.

5 Creative Text Marketing Messages to Increase Sales at Your Bakery

Starting and running a bakery seems simple enough -- create delicious treats with sweet, gooey frosting and watch the money roll in. However, no matter how yummy or sugary your baked goods, you have to open your doors and get the customers to your bakery if you want to share your pastries, bread, cupcakes, and other treats with the world. One quick and easy method to increase sales at your bakery is through creative text marketing messages.

Don't Forget National Donut Day

Effective text marketing is more than just blasting your subscribers with random text messages. Bakeries have an edge over other types of businesses simply because of the many holidays and events in which customers rely solely on baked goods. Make sure you are sending out text messages on the big dates but don't forget the holidays and events that aren't always as popular like Secretary's Day, Boss's Day, and of course, National Donut Day. Even if your particular bakery doesn't offer donuts, it doesn't hurt to give your customers an excuse to stop by for a treat.


Every day should be donut day.

Send Drool-Worthy Picture Messages

If the popularity of platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are any indication, people love pictures of food. In fact, the top Pinterest pins are often those including some type of exquisite dessert or baked good. When you send out your text messages, make sure you include a picture of the bakery's cake of the day, an assortment of pastries, or products that are brand new to your bakery. Just like the aroma of bread baking, picture messages can lead hungry customers directly to your bakery.

Skip Boring Messages and Opt for Text to Win and Exclusive Offers

While it's important to occasionally include special deals and discounts in your text marketing campaigns, make sure you aren't sending offers that are too easy to ignore. Unless it's during the holiday season, customers are unlikely to go out of their way for a 10 percent discount on a $2.00 pastry. However, if you can text an offer to win big or an offer that feels exclusive to the customer, you not only establish a more personal relationship, but there's a better chance he or she will stop in at your bakery.


Bring your BFF for a special treat.

Spread the Sugary Love and Bring a Friend

At first glance, it might seem difficult to involve others in personalized texting campaigns. However, you can encourage your customers to share and forward text messages in order to help spread the word. Further, consider text marketing campaigns asking customers to bring a friend with them to the bakery in exchange for a special treat or offer. This not only gets your customer to your bakery but can translate to new customers in the future.

Inspire Sharing in the Workplace

Let's face it. Everyone at work loves the person who brings in the donuts and the day just goes better if you start out with treats. When you send out your text messages, make sure you include offers for the workplace. Provide special deals for coworkers and employers, and before you know it you'll turn entire companies into fans of your baked goods.

You have an assortment of delicious baked goods, now you just need to get your customers to the bakery. Contact us to get started on a creative text marketing campaign for your bakery.

Attract Millennials to Your Nightclub with Text Message Marketing

Over the years, there has been a decline in Millennial patrons attending nightclubs. According to Insider magazine, the reasons for the decline range from increased technology for meeting people, overpriced drinks, and expensive cover charges. However, going out and spending time with friends over cocktails will always be a popular form of entertainment for partiers of any age. As an owner or marketer, you just have to use more creative methods to attract Millennials to your nightclub. One of the most effective ways to pack your dance floor again is through text message marketing.


Lead them directly to your doors.

Know Your Customers

You have to know your customers in order to effectively market to them. Millennials were born between the years of 1982 and 2004, and they make up approximately a quarter of the entire population. Because many Millennials have grown up with technology and smartphones, it can be difficult to reach them through traditional marketing methods such as magazine ads, radio spots, or direct mail. If you want to get the attention of Millennials (and get them to your nightclub) you need to take a more direct approach. Text message marketing lets you do this.

Provide Instant Interaction

Millennials aren't as willing to spend time looking at ads they aren't interested in. And, while it's important to include exclusive specials and discount offers in your text message marketing, it's good practice to create deals that this powerful customer segment can take advantage of immediately and redeem easily. Texting a Valentine's Day special the weekend before the holiday is infinitely more effective than posting flyers a month in advance.


Nightclubs are the best for selfies.

Allow Shareable Experiences

Make sure to also create shareable experiences to engage Millennials. Include rewards or perks for sharing the text online or interacting with your club on social media. Offer drink specials to those who share your texts with their friends or refer them to your list. When marketing to Millennials, the more people that can get involved, the better.

Include Fun Pictures and Images

Adding images or even just emojis to your text message marketing can go a long way in getting the attention of Millennials. Including photo opportunities is also a good strategy to increase engagement with this audience. After all, they are often referred to as the "selfie generation". Whether you request that your customers tag you on Instagram or use images in your texts, your text message marketing campaign must be not only fun but also fun to look at.

Exclusive and Personal Attention

Millennials often find more value in experiences and relationships than "things." Your text messages should make the recipient feel as though they have an exclusive connection to your nightclub. Avoid sending boring messages that scream, "We just want your money" and make your customer feel as though the offer or event has been designed exclusively for them. Also, make sure you avoid bombarding phones with too many messages. Millennials are particularly aware of spam and have no problem blocking you or asking to be unsubscribed from further notifications.

An effective text message marketing campaign can get Millennials through your nightclub door. Want more business? Try ClubTexting for free today!

Increase Your Band's Fan Base with Mass Text Messaging

The music industry is notoriously difficult to break into, but it is easier today for bands to find a following through social media and other digital marketing channels. One lesser known way to keep in contact with your fan base is mass text messaging. Many bands opt for what seems to be the more cost-effective way to engage fans through social media and email marketing, but text marketing has a very low cost and a much higher engagement rate than other platforms. There are many ways you can use mass texting to increase your band's fan base, including the following.

Event Reminders


Remind your fans about concerts and other upcoming events through text.

Social media and email marketing provide invaluable tools to reach a large audience and inform them about your concerts or other events. However, people do not always check them at regular intervals, so you typically need to post the information days, weeks, or even months in advance to ensure your fan base has a chance to see it.

Mass text messaging helps alleviate this by offering an immediate communication channel through which to remind them about the event. You can advertise the event through multiple channels, and then on the day before or even the day of the event, you can send out a text message reminder so that more people show up. Most people open their texts within a few minutes, so it's a good way to send last-minute reminders.

Invites to Concerts

Why not invite your mass text messaging subscriber list to your concerts? People who choose to receive information from you will already be fans, making them the perfect audience to invite to your live music events. You can also separate your fans into different markets using a mass texting platform so that you can send invites to only those in the geographical region of your concert.

Exclusive VIP Access

People enjoy feeling special, so treating your SMS subscribers as your VIP fans could be a great way to reward them. Since you can designate specific groups using your text marketing service, you can choose to send messages to only your most loyal subscribers. Then, you can share special VIP offers via text message for upcoming shows.

Tour Updates

Marketing is much more about creating a relationship than it once was, which is why many bands head to social media. It is important to be personable and interact with your fans. Mass text messaging also offers you a personal way to communicate with fans and update them on your tour, studio time, and more. This helps you to create a much tighter knit group of fans who feel as though they are part of your crew.

Deals for Free Music


Offer those who opt in to your texting free music to grow your fan base.

Although fans will most likely inevitably go out and purchase your latest album, they will always enjoy getting free music from you, especially if it is exclusive. By offering exclusive downloads and free music to your SMS subscribers, you can grow your text marketing list. Then, you can get subscribers to come to your live music events by sending special invites.

Mass text messaging can help you to engage with your fans and build your fan base. You can communicate with them almost instantly, and with a near 100 percent open rate you can almost guarantee everyone will see the message, whether you want to get people out to an event or just cultivate your relationship. Ready to get started? Try ClubTexting for free today!

Engage with Pet Owners through Mass Texting to Improve Your Pet Sitting Business

Pets are important and beloved members of many families. Pet owners in the US spend billions of dollars every year to ensure that their furry friends receive the best care possible. As a result, professional pet sitting businesses are becoming increasingly popular and lucrative. It takes a great deal of trust and faith to leave your beloved fur-babies in someone else's hands. Mass texting not only helps alleviate fears that families might have while you're caring for their pets, but can add value to your services and improve your pet sitting business.


Show pets having fun. But maybe not too much fun.

Text Updates from Pets

Whether you decide to attempt personalized texts sent directly from Fluffy or Spot, or just provide simple updates on a pet's daily activities, text messages can go a long way in comforting your clients while they are separated from their pets. Try to keep your messages upbeat. Consider sending fun updates with emojis rather than those that might cause the client to focus too much on how sad the pet is while they are away. While it's nice to be missed, you don't want your client feeling as though they are causing their pet any discomfort. You can also send fun videos and photos via text message which can help your client rest easily while they are away from home.

Reminders of Reservations and Other Appointments

Not every text you send has to be a promotion, nor should it be. Text message services also allow you to send reminders about upcoming reservations and other appointments. When your client receives a reminder of their pet sitting appointment, they can immediately add it to their calendar or notes on their phone, without interrupting their work day or other activities in which a phone call might be inconvenient.

Pet Sitting Discounts or Deals

Mass texting is especially ideal for sharing pet sitting discounts or deals throughout the year, especially during seasons when clients are looking for reliable pet sitting services. Text message campaigns with special promotions also provide a great opportunity to award referrals for forwarding or sharing the message with their friends and family members.


Everyone likes pet grooming tips.

Occasional Pet Care Tips

No matter the type of text message you send it's important you don't inundate your clients with too many messages and, of course, make sure you have permission to communicate with them this way in the first place. However, if you occasionally share pet care tips for house training or information on foods that are dangerous, your campaign can become an extremely helpful tool for your clients and their fur babies. For longer and more detailed messages, you can include a link to your website, allowing your clients an opportunity to read up on your pet care tips later if they choose.

In pet sitting businesses where establishing a trustworthy and dependable relationship with your clients is crucial to your success, mass texting can make a huge difference. Whether you send a text to help comfort clients while they are away or occasionally send important and helpful pet tips, text message marketing can benefit your business considerably. Get started with your first campaign and try ClubTexting for free today!

How to Use Text Marketing for Your Auto Repair Service

People have many businesses to choose from when they send their autos out for repair. To stand out from the competition, it is essential to provide better customer service and incorporate enhanced communication methods with your clients. Text marketing is an effective way for auto repair service shops to communicate with their customers in a way that also improves the customer's general impression of the overall service. If you are looking for ways to incorporate texting into your auto repair shop, following are some tips for getting started.

Appointment Reminders


Remind customers of their repair appointment through a simple text.

Many of your clients will make an appointment to get their auto serviced, including for non-emergency repairs such as oil changes or wheel alignment. As their schedule fills up, it can be easy for them to forget, especially if they made the appointment weeks or even months in advance. You can avoid this by offering appointment reminders through text message. This service is helpful for your customers and can reduce your number of no-shows.

Offers and Discounts

Offers and discounts are a mainstay for text marketing campaigns. You can advertise a special discount on a service for customers who subscribe to your mobile program. After a customer has subscribed, you can periodically send more offers, such as discounted oil changes with a full safety check inspection. It is also possible to create groups in your subscriber list so that you send a tailored discount to your subscribers. For example, keep track of when people are in need of an oil change and send them a special offer.

Tips on Auto Care

To retain your subscribers, it is important that you continue to offer them something of value through your text marketing messages. Although many people will appreciate any offers and discounts you send out, they are most effective if people actually need some type of repair or service. To maintain customer loyalty between visits, consider sending periodic tips on auto care. People will appreciate learning ways to extend the life of their car, and this will help them to continue to see your company in a positive light. When they do need service, they will think of you first.

Updates About Repairs

Another beneficial way to use your text marketing service is to send your clients updates about their repairs, especially when their automobile has to undergo extensive service that takes days. Providing these updates assures them that their car is not just sitting in your garage, forgotten. This also reduces the number of clients that will be calling you for updates, allowing your staff to concentrate more on other tasks.

General Customer Service


Incorporate texting into your customer service for increased satisfaction.

It is also possible to use your text marketing service for general customer service. Set up a two-way communication channel so that people can text you questions about their car or a repair. A majority of people prefer to communicate with customer service agents via text message, so by offering the service, you increase customer satisfaction.

Text marketing can serve many purposes for your auto repair shop. You can send special offers via text and use text messages to stay in touch and manage customer service inquiries. Try ClubTexting for free to see how it can help you boost business at your auto repair shop.

Expert Interview Series: Matt Sicotte About Creating a Mobile Website for Your Group, Club, or Organization

It's more critical than ever these days to have a mobile-friendly site as a majority of the population uses mobile devices to browse the internet rather than desktops or laptops, says Matt Sicotte, CEO of SimpleMobileSites.com.

We recently checked in with Matt to learn how organizations can make their sites more mobile friendly. Here's what he had to say:

What are the major differences between mobile and traditional websites?

The major differences are that a mobile website utilizes the functionality of the mobile device, such as "tap to call," "tap to text," "tap to map," as well as easier ways to make purchases with payment processing integration for certain banks and credit card companies.

How can organizations make their sites mobile friendly? What are some best practices?

There are many tools (software platforms) that will take an existing traditional website and create a mobile-friendly version that will redirect a mobile user, too, when viewed on a mobile device.

Make sure that when creating a mobile-friendly version of your website, you check to see that it works on most major mobile devices, as well as that it integrates seamlessly with the functionality of those devices, such as maps, SMS, messaging, payments and calling.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you observe on supposedly mobile-friendly sites?

1. Font sizing (difficult to read on a small screen)

2. The content from the traditional website is removed from the mobile version (lack of continuity between websites)

3. Functionality with the mobile device

4. Placement of crucial info, such as contact, location(s), hours of operation near the top of the mobile-friendly website on all pages

What are some of your biggest pet peeves when visiting a website via a mobile device?

That the most important information for a mobile user is NOT easily available, such as contact info, location(s), hours of operation. I suggest this info be near the top of the mobile-friendly version and available on all the pages of the website.

What are some of your favorite tools for making a site be more mobile-friendly?

DudaMobile has some really cools tools to help make an existing website mobile.

What brands or groups have been especially innovative on their mobile sites? What can we learn from them?

  • Panago.com has one of the most innovative and easiest ways to order food to be delivered to your door via your mobile device.

 

  • Monoprice.com and Vadara.ca utilize the power of easily being able to find contact info on their mobile-friendly website

 

  • Groupon.com makes it easy to browse and purchase via their mobile-friendly website.

Connect with SimpleMobileSites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Share information across your organization quickly and efficiently. Try ClubTexting for free

When to Use Emojis in Your Text Message Marketing Campaign

What started out as simple combinations of punctuation marks has evolved into an entirely new language commonly known as emojis. While it may take some users a little longer before they can take messages with smileys and hand gesture icons seriously, there's no arguing that emojis are a method of communication that's here to stay.

When it comes to using emojis in business correspondence or text message marketing campaigns, there's a fine line between appearing as a sixth grader snickering behind a smart phone and a smart and trendy businessperson sharing a fun message. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're thinking of using emojis in your text message marketing efforts, to be sure you send the right message.


Use the right emojis for your text message marketing campaign.

Keep the Campaign Light

Emojis are cartoons by nature and work best if you remember to keep your message light and fun. If you really have to dig deep to find an appropriate emoji for your campaign, it's possible that your message is just too serious a topic for emojis. Party: yes. Funeral: definitely not. If you can't find an appropriate emoji to use in your text message marketing campaign, save them for another, more lively and ubeat marketing effort.

Avoid Using Too Many Emoji

If you've ever received a message full of emojis, you're likely familiar with how difficult it can be to decipher the message. Using too many emojis or sending messages that are only emojis can leave your recipients confused and wondering if a middle schooler has hacked your account. You want your message to be fun and hip, but you don't want your readers giving up and deleting it because they can't figure out what 25 slices of pizza and 15 pandas should mean.


Don't leave your customers confused.

Keep Messages Brief

Using emojis can help to keep your messages brief and engaging. For instance, if you plan to invite your guests to a sports-themed party at your pub, you can choose to share a brief message, plus the appropriate emojis related to sports and partying. This can help you stay within the 160 character limit for text messages, while keeping things fun and light -- the kind of feelings you want to convey if you're planning a party.

Send a Clear Message

It's important when considering emojis for your text message marketing campaign that you use the appropriate ones to convey clear messages. This might take some research if you're experimenting beyond the party hat and happy faced smiley but will be worth it when you don't have to answer replies asking what exactly your intention was when you sent the eggplant emoji. If there's a chance that your message might be misunderstood or taken the wrong way, you might want to reconsider whether you absolutely need to include an emoji in your text.

Whether or not you choose to use emojis in your marketing efforts depends upon the type of message you want to send to your customers. But one thing is for sure: emojis or not, text message marketing can help your business in a variety of ways. Are you ready to get started with your first campaign? Try ClubTexting for free today!

 

Text to Donate vs. Link to Page: Which is Best for Nonprofit Text Message Marketing

Nonprofit organizations can boost their fundraising efforts by incorporating text message marketing into their program. There are two popular options for using texting for fundraising purposes: text to donate and texting a link to a donation page. There are important differences between the two that you need to recognize so that you can create the best text message-based donation campaign for your organization.

Text to Donate


Make it easy for your donors to give money with text to donate.

Text to donate is a program that allows users to text a certain keyword to a special code to automatically make a donation of a certain amount, usually around $5 or $10. The amount for the donation is typically billed to the person's mobile phone plan. This approach provides an easy way for interested parties to donate money, since all they have to do is text a keyword to help out.

Although this option is simple for donors, it can be difficult for organizations to set up. It typically requires that you receive a large number of donations per year, often over $500,000. Additionally, it can take months to get a campaign up and running. Once your campaign is over, it also takes weeks or months for you to finally receive all the donations. Additionally, it does not give the donor an option to sign up for recurring giving or matching donations and may limit the amount they can give. The cost of running this type of campaign is much higher than a typical text message marketing effort. Because of these issues, this type of campaign is usually only developed by larger organizations.

Link to Page

The other option for fundraising through your text message marketing campaign is to text subscribers a link to your donation page. You can still promote your program in a similar manner by using a keyword. When people text the keyword, they will receive a text message with a link to your donation page. From there, they can make a donation of any amount they wish and even sign up to make recurring donations.


Work on having a web site that works across all Internet enabled devices

When you create a link to page campaign, be sure to make your donation page mobile-friendly so potential donors don't need to login to their computers to donate. That way you still benefit from in-the-moment donations that are easy to complete. Setting this type of campaign up is inexpensive, and you receive donations instantly via your website. The only caveat is that it really works best with those who have smartphones. Around 90 percent of American adults have a cell phone, but only 64 percent have a smartphone, so you may miss out on the percentage that does not have one.

Whether you should implement a text to donate or link to page campaign largely depends upon your organization, its size, and the goal of your campaign. For many smaller organizations, it is best to just create a text message marketing campaign and incorporate a link to page program.

Contact us to learn more about using text messages to support your fundraising efforts.

New to Group Texting? Learn the Golden Rules of the Medium

Text messaging is a great way to get your message out into the world, immediately. But marketing messages need a deft touch or they can send your customers rushing for the 'opt out' button. There are a number of important factors to consider when structuring your text messaging campaign. To avoid making a mistake, pay close attention to the following golden rules.


People love their phones - send great texts and become a part of that.

Get Permission

Nobody likes to receive messages they didn't opt-in for. Critical to running a successful text messaging campaign is to make sure that your audience actually wants to receive your messages. To do this, you need to acquire their permission before you start texting them. Potential subscribers can text you to opt-in or if your database is manually managed, you can obtain written consent. Getting permission is essential to your text marketing campaign. Failure to do so could result in legal ramifications, as well as damage your brand and annoy your customers.

Timing Is Everything

The frequency of your texts is important. Too many, and your customers get irritated. Too few, and they forget about your campaign altogether. Standard practice is to send between two and four messages per month.

Similarly, keep your texts within business hours. Respect people's privacy enough to leave them alone when their work day is done. There is the added benefit of people being more interested when they're active and up and about. Text marketing often requires immediate action to work well, and that's not going to happen if your subscribers have just been startled awake from a nice dream by a text message notification.

Vary your times depending on the product you're selling. For example: if you're marketing a meal at a restaurant, then just before lunchtime is the ideal time to send your texts.

Be Clear

Tell people what is going on, and don't take your time about it. The constraint of text campaigns that balances out their speed is that nobody really likes reading long text messages. So your best bet is to get right to the point, and make sure your call to action is strong.

Additionally, ensure that your terms and conditions are easily accessible and be clear about what your campaign is about, what is required and anything the customer should know. Use easy language and don't get wrapped up in the little things -- a clear sentence is often better than one with a bunch of fancy words.


Texting is an immediate and direct form of marketing.

Add Value

The service you are offering or the campaign you are promoting must do something for the customer. It must enrich their experience in some way. They've given you their permission to communicate with them via this channel, and they should get something good in return for that.

It's all good and well to try and sell a product via text, but if there is nothing about your message that engages with the customer, then you're just wasting characters. As Kern Lewis says for Forbes: "Be of use to your subscribers first."

In an age where there are very few people on the planet without a phone, it's not difficult to see how text message campaigns can help businesses expand their reach and grow their customer base. If you're interested in seeing what text message marketing can do for you, why not try ClubTexting for free?

Attract People to Your Nightclub with Text Marketing

Nightclubs and private functions were made for each other. However, in order for you to count your party a success, you need party goers to add your club to their itineraries early. There is no shortage of options when it comes to venues, so getting people to line up at your club might require more creative methods than you've used in the past. Gone are the days of passing out flyers and hoping people show up. Here are some ways you can start the New Year out right and attract people to your nightclub with text marketing.


Start 2016 with the best New Year's party in town.

Texts Establish a Personal Relationship

One of the greatest benefits of text marketing is the ability to establish a more personal relationship with your guests. Rather than taking the chance they'll see a flyer somewhere, you can notify your SMS program subscribers about your event directly. Even if you send the same message to everyone, receiving the text on a smartphone feels much more personal than hearing an ad on the radio. Plus, it gives your guests the feeling of having an exclusive "in" to your club.

Word of Mouth at its Best

Considering nearly 100 percent of all texts are opened and read, you have a much better chance of gaining the attention of partiers through text marketing than by any other type of invitation. Make sure when you send out your text, you encourage the recipients to share the invite with loved ones. In order to reach more people even faster, you can provide an incentive, such as a promotional offer or bonus to those who pass the message along. There isn't any faster or easier way to spread the news about your event than by encouraging the receiver to forward your message or tell a friend about your club.

Include Special Promotions and Perks

There are a number of special promotions and perks you can include in your text marketing to make sure people are lined up to get into your club this year. Consider offering discounted VIP service and special drink offers. Further, try promotions such as asking the recipient to show the text at the door before 11PM for free admission. If guests are at the club by 11:00, there's a good chance they'll stay and celebrate until long after midnight.


Text marketing can make your club the #1 spot in 2016

Provide Instant Drink Specials and Bonuses

In this world where instant gratification can go a long way, consider providing instant drink specials and bonuses in your text marketing that guests can benefit from right away. If they know they can qualify for a free drink simply by texting the keyword or forwarding the offer to their friends, they can help spread the news of your party and may be more likely to show up at your club for future events.

Are you ready to get the party started at your nightclub? Try ClubTexting for free today!

Show This Text: A Powerful Call To Action for Your Mass Texting Campaign

Your call to action determines whether or not you get the engagement that you want from your marketing efforts. A strong call to action motivates your customers to click, buy, or otherwise interact with your company. Mass texting campaigns require a powerful call to action just like any other marketing effort. With only 160 characters, it can be difficult to find the perfect CTA for your text messages. One powerful choice for companies that have a physical location is "show this text."

The Power Behind Show this Text


People have their phones with them, making it easy to show a coupon.

When you send out an offer or discount to your mass texting subscribers, you may assume that they will inherently know to show the text to redeem the offer. However, if you do not specify that the offer only applies for those who show the text, then they may not realize that it is a special discount, or they may delete the text and then get frustrated when they are unable to redeem the offer. By specifically stating "show this text," it dictates to the customer exactly what you want them to do. It also helps to impart that they're receiving an exclusive deal, rather than a general announcement. This feeling of exclusivity increases their motivation to actually redeem the text.

Show this text is also a CTA that everyone can do, even those who do not have a smartphone with Internet capabilities. Although two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, it's still limiting when you send a text with a call to action that requires clicking a website link.

Convenient and Easy

Mass texting is a powerful marketing tool for many reasons. Texts have a high open rate and conversion rate. Additionally, almost everyone owns an SMS-enabled mobile phone. People also carry their phones with them everywhere, with 80 percent of smartphone users only letting them leave their side for about two hours per day. This means subscribers can receive the text even if they do not have Internet access or are on the go. It also means that they do not have to remember to print out a coupon or bring something with them to redeem an offer in your store; instead, they just need their phones.

Be Prepared


Your sales staff needs to be ready to accept coupons and other discounts via text.

If you send out a special offer such as a discount or coupon, exclusive access, or some other benefit and ask people to show the text, it is your responsibility to be ready to honor it. If your staff members or volunteers are unaware of the campaign, then it could lead to confusion and poor customer service. This will mitigate any positive effects of the campaign.

Show this text is a powerful call to action for your mass texting campaign because it is simple and imparts a clear order. To further increase the efficacy of your CTA, it is beneficial to create a sense of urgency and evoke emotion with your messages. Ready to see the power behind "Show this text"? Try ClubTexting for free today.

The Best 6 SMS Marketing Messages to Boost Your Real Estate Business

Although the real estate market has improved over the past few years, it remains a tough, competitive environment for agents. One way to stand out from the rest is to incorporate SMS marketing. SMS is an excellent way to keep in contact with your current clients, as well as prospective and former clients. If you are looking for ways to use SMS beyond sending individual texts as a way to boost your business, then try creating a message from one of the following categories.

Instant Property Alerts


Text clients as soon as a hot property hits the market.

Nearly everyone owns some type of mobile phone, and half of the population doesn't ever turn their cell phones off. This is one of the big reasons why people open text messages within just a few minutes of receipt.

Because texting is such an immediate communication channel, it is the best way to send property alerts to current and prospective clients. As soon as you hear of any hot new properties or a price cut on an attractive house, you can instantly send a notification to prospective buyers before others have a chance to get in the game. Your clients can also text you back their interest, setting things in motion right away and minimizing the risk of losing out to another interested party.

Market Updates

Another type of message that's interesting to your subscribers is market updates. This can include highlights of the latest properties on the market, as well as home price trends. It is possible to break down your subscribers by neighborhood or other geographic area to send targeted market updates, in addition to or in lieu of general updates.

Appointment Reminders

As a real estate agent, your calendar quickly becomes full as you take clients house hunting and work on offers. One missed appointment has the potential to throw your day off course. With SMS marketing, you can send out appointment reminders to reduce the number of missed and forgotten appointments. This not only provides a valuable service to your clients, but it also keeps your schedule on track.

House Hunting Tips

Current and prospective clients appreciate learning industry secrets, and you can use your SMS marketing program to send out house hunting tips to your subscribers. You only have 160 characters, so your tip can be something short and simple. If you have more to say, include a link to a blog post in your text message.

Tips for Selling Property

As a real estate agent, you not only help people find homes, but you most likely also help them to sell them. Your SMS marketing program provides a platform to send out tips on how to get the most money when selling property. It is easy to divide your subscribers into separate groups so that prospective sellers receive one set of tips and prospective buyers receive another set.

Special Offers


Partner with a maid service and offer exclusive discounts for your text subscribers.

One way to attract new business is to send out exclusive deals via text to thank clients for choosing you. This could be a free appraisal, free house cleaning, discounts on a partner moving company, and other related services that your clients would want. These additional services set you apart from the competition, and if they are only available to your text messages subscribers, they become even more powerful.

Incorporating SMS marketing can help to boost your real estate business in many ways. Before you start texting clients, it is important that you get their permission, which you can easily do when they sign up for your texting service. You can also attract prospective buyers to your list by advertising your campaign on your property listings. As people drive by, they can see your ad and opt into your campaign to learn more about the property and get the latest updates. Contact us today to see how texting can help your business.

How to Leverage Mass Texting to Capture Email Addresses

Text messaging has become one of the fastest growing marketing channels, but many companies still rely on email marketing as a way to communicate with customers. Although mass texting works well as a standalone marketing tool, it can also complement your email marketing efforts. With the right plan in place, it is simple to leverage your texting program to capture email address and grow your subscriber list.

A Texting Call to Action


Get creative with your CTA to increase engagement.

Asking potential customers to sign up for a email list or send an email message does not necessarily make the best call to action. People may not be in front of a computer or have their email handy when they walk by a poster or billboard, see a TV ad, or read a print ad in a magazine or newspaper. However, they will have their cell phone on them and can instantly text to join your mass texting program. You will capture many more subscribers using an SMS-based call to action as opposed to an email CTA, helping you to grow your list of potential customers with whom to communicate.

Ask Your Subscribers to Text Their Email

Once you have your mass texting program underway, it is time to send a text that asks subscribers to opt-in to your email marketing campaign. You can create an auto-response as part of the initial sign up that also asks for their email address, or you can send out a text at a later time. Your subscribers can text in their emails, which are then automatically included in your customer data so that they receive your marketing emails too. Many text message platforms integrate with the popular email marketing platforms, making it even easier to integrate the two.

Promote Your Email Campaign to Your Mass Texting List

Instead of asking your mobile subscribers to text in their email address, it is possible to simply promote your email campaign via mass texting. Although you do not want to overwhelm your followers with cross-promotional texts, it is beneficial to occasionally let them know of other ways to stay in touch with your company and receive discounts. In a text, you can provide information on how to sign up for your email campaign, as well as why it is beneficial to do so.

Provide Value

In order to get people to sign up for not one but two different campaigns, it is important that you illustrate their value for potential subscribers. Even if you only use your mass texting as a way to capture email, you need to first offer some type of value. The most common way to do this is to simply provide an exclusive offer or discount for joining.


Offer your customers something for opting in.

If you do plan to run two campaigns, it is even more important that you offer deals exclusive to each medium. You do not want your text message subscribers to opt out because they feel they receive the same exact information from your emails, and vice versa. Instead, they should want to be part of both lists because they receive valuable information and offers from both platforms.

The customers who have signed up for your mass texting campaign are already engaged with your company and want to receive communication from you. This makes it more likely they will want to sign up to engage with your business via email as well. By smartly integrating the two, you can use your texting program to capture emails to have another way to communicate with your customers. Contact us to get started with a mass texting campaign.

The Top 5 Ways to Use Group Texting to Boost Holiday Business

The holidays are just around the corner, and for many businesses, this time period represents the bulk of their sales for the entire year. The highest average monthly retail sales tend to be in November and December as people hit the holiday sales and buy presents. Having a good holiday season is important for the health of your business. By using group texting, you can engage with your potential customers and boost your holiday business.


Santa's not the only one who can send out holiday greetings and gifts through text.

Text to Win Contests

One way to get into the holiday spirit and engage your customers is to run a holiday-themed text to win contest. This type of contest is simple to run and easy for your customers to enter. If you offer an attractive grand prize or something small just for entering, such as a special coupon, then people will be more likely to participate and subscribe to your SMS marketing list for future campaigns. Once they have the coupon, they will be motivated to shop for gifts in your store or business.

Special Sales

Sales and discounts drive the holiday shopping, which is why Black Friday deals start earlier and earlier every year. You can take advantage of people's desire to save big in the holiday season by sending out special sales that are exclusive to your text message subscribers. In the weeks leading up to the holiday shopping period, it is beneficial to promote your group texting program, promising special exclusive sales and deals for subscribers.

Last Minute Discounts

Group texting is an immediate marketing channel. Most people open their texts within just a few minutes of receipt, which makes it the perfect forum for sending out last minute discounts and flash sales. It is best to send out your message a few hours before the sale begins to ensure people have time to prepare. The more limited-time the offer, the more motivated people will be to take action right away.

After Christmas Sales

The holiday season does not have to end once Christmas passes. Many smart shoppers wait for the after Christmas sales to do their shopping to take advantage of better deals. With group texting, you can promote your after Christmas sales and boost business by offering an exclusive coupon.

Create a Marketing CTA Related to Your Texting Program


When your team develops your holiday marketing flyers, incorporate a text CTA.

One way to extend the reach of your holiday marketing efforts is to include information about your group texting program in your call to action on your marketing collateral. A short CTA easily fits on posters, flyers, television ads, print ads, and more, because you simply need to include a keyword and short code. Not only will this help you attract more business around the holidays, it will also help to grow your mobile subscriber list.

There are many other ways to incorporate group texting into your holiday marketing strategy. A creative campaign can help you get the attention of last-minute shoppers and boost your business during this important season. Ready to run your holiday campaign? Try ClubTexting for free today!

7 Tips for Marketing Multiple Locations Using Mass Text Messaging

Businesses that have multiple locations don't have to always use the same mass text messaging campaign for all their stores. With a few simple actions, you can easily create multiple text marketing campaigns for each of your store locations, or you can text subscribers about all your locations. The following tips will help you to get the most out of your text marketing program at each of your stores.

To Use Multiple Keywords or Not


If your business has several locations, you may benefit from multiple keywords.

Using multiple keywords is an easy way to set up individual campaigns for each of your store locations. However, it's important to keep in mind that this doesn't work for every business. Generally, if you have multiple locations in one small geographical location, it may not be in your best interest to run multiple campaigns. Your customers can easily get confused if they are receiving unique offers for different stores within close proximity.

Businesses that have locations further apart benefit the most from using multiple keywords. Using your keywords, you can tailor your campaign to target offers for customers in one general area.

Be Wary of Text Frequency -- Schedule Smartly

It is important that you do not overwhelm customers with text messages, as they may become frustrated. When you have multiple campaigns running for each store location, you run the risk of sending a customer more texts than they want to receive. While most customers will sign up to receive offers from their closest store location, some may sign up for multiple campaigns. Recent data suggests the ideal frequency for marketing texts is around two to four per month. Therefore, it is important that you schedule your campaigns smartly so that offers don't all go out at the same time.

Make Coupon Redemption Easy


Make it easy for customers to redeem coupons across locations.

People are motivated by offers and coupons. But if you offer a coupon for one location and it is not accepted at another, you run the risk of frustrating your customers. Therefore, it is best to send out coupons that are valid at all store locations, even if you are running multiple mass text messaging campaigns for your different stores.

Choosing Keywords for Cross-Promotional Advertising

One thing to keep in mind when running multiple campaigns is your advertising. Generally, your television and radio ads are already targeted for the specific geographical region, so it should not be difficult to include a special keyword for each of your stores. But it may be more of a challenge to market your mobile program via your website and social media profiles. If you have geographical-specific sites, then it is easier. Otherwise, you may have to just list the different keywords for each region or store location and allow customers to choose which one to sign up for.

Monitor Your Campaigns Smartly


Keep track of your customers and campaigns so that you avoid duplication.

When you have multiple keywords, the organization and management of your mass text messaging campaign becomes more difficult. You have to ensure that you have the right subscribers listed under the right campaign. Additionally, you want to continually see how many people sign up for more than one campaign so that you can adequately schedule your posts. It is also important to ensure your campaigns remain unique for each location while also benefiting your overall business. Once you have a strong foundation built for monitoring your different campaigns, it will be easier to ensure they run smoothly.

Although having multiple keywords, one for each of your locations, may seem like a great idea, it is not for everyone. However, many companies with multiple locations find it beneficial to organize their marketing campaigns per location, and having special keywords for each location helps you stay organized. Ready to see how you can use text marketing to advertise multiple store locations? Try ClubTexting for free.

How to Drive Business to Your Cafe with Mass Text Messaging

To compete with other cafes, especially the large national chains, you need to stand out from the crowd. Mass text messaging offers an ideal way to do this. It is relatively inexpensive and the open and conversion rates for marketing texts are high. The following ideas should help you start driving more business to your cafe with an SMS program.

The Perfect CTA


Include a CTA about your texting campaign in TV ads to increase your opt in rate.

If you want to encourage customers to opt-in to your text marketing campaign, start with a call to action related to your program. You can include a keyword and short code or long code on your print ads, television ads, radio ads, and digital ads. That way, no matter where your customers are, when they see or hear your ad, they can sign up for your texting campaign instantly.

Offers and Deals

People love to save money, so one of the best ways to drive business is to offer special deals via text message. Routinely sending out valuable offers for food or beverage items at your cafe can help turn one-time or occasional customers into loyal customers.

Take Advantage of Perfect Advertising Spaces


Use the space in your own cafe to promote your program.

You don't need to spend a lot to advertise your text marketing campaign; you can take advantage of spaces you already own in your shop. For instance, you can advertise on your menus, napkins, napkin holders, table cloths, cups, and anywhere else that you also have your logo. Just add two simple lines of text with your keyword and short code and other pertinent information. To increase opt-ins, consider offering a special deal for signing up that can be redeemed that day.

Text to Win, Polls, and Surveys

Get creative with your text messages to engage with your cafe customers. Polls and surveys help you to discover what your customers want from your business so that you meet -- and even exceed -- their expectations. You can also develop a text to win contest, offering your customers a special grand prize, such as free coffee for a month. Text to win contests are easy to run, easy for customers to enter, and can help generate interest in your business and drive sales, especially if you include a small prize for entering, such as one free coffee or a special discount.

Loyalty Program


Reward the loyalty of your text message subscribers with occasional special deals.

Your mass text messaging program can be used to support (or in lieu of) a card membership loyalty program. It is easy to segment your text message subscribers into groups. For example, you can track your customers' purchasing data and send exclusive offers to those who spend a certain amount at your cafe to thank them for their loyalty. This helps your business all around, since 82 percent of customers shop more frequently with businesses that offer loyalty reward programs.

Mass text messaging is a simple way to engage with customers and drive business. Because it has a significant impact and a relatively low cost, it is a marketing channel that helps level the playing field for smaller cafes interested in competing with larger chains. Contact us to get started on your first campaign.

Why Integrating your Text Message and Social Media Marketing Makes Sense

Do your social media followers know that you're using text messaging to engage with customers? If not, it is time to tell them! Your social media followers already have a positive opinion of your company and want to remain in contact. That makes them the perfect target audience for your text marketing campaign. Integrating your social media and SMS marketing campaigns provides you many benefits, helping to capitalize on the lucrative advantages of both mediums.

Target an Attentive Audience


Your followers and subscribers already have a positive relationship with you.

Social media followers and text message subscribers are attentive audiences for your marketing efforts. They have already indicated an interest in your business. They generally have a positive feeling toward your company and plan to visit it in the future. This means they may also be willing to sign up to communicate with you in another way, whether that is email newsletters, social media following, or text message marketing. You can promote your text message program to your social media followers and vice versa to expand the reach of both efforts.

Increase Customer Engagement

Having a large number of followers on social media may seem like the ideal goal, but the real prize is having a significant amount of engaged followers. These are the people that interact with your posts -- commenting, liking, or sharing with their followers. You may have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of followers, but if they do not engage with your posts, then you have gained little.

You can increase the level of interaction by integrating your social media and text marketing campaigns. For instance, you can run a text to win competition, asking your followers to text a particular keyword for the chance to win. Alternatively, you can use your text marketing list to promote your social media campaigns and get people to actively engage online. For example, you can text your subscribers and ask them to like and share a post for a chance to win something.

Similar but Different Messages


Your social media and text message offers should be unique to the particular medium.

Integrating your social media and text marketing campaigns helps you to grow your reach and engage with customers. However, it is important that you still maintain the two channels as unique marketing forums. In order to benefit from both, your customers must want to sign up for both. This means that they need to see the value in following you on social media and signing up to receive text messages.

You can create unique value by sending similar but different messages through the various channels. It is also helpful to offer different categories of messages across the different channels. For example, you could reserve your mobile program for offers and your social media accounts for news or tips. This provides you with extra space to reach the same people without over-saturating them with messages from one source.

A strong marketing plan integrates multiple marketing channels so that you benefit from their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. If you haven't integrated your mobile program with your social media, it may be time to start. Contact us today to get started!

The Top 5 Reasons to Add Texting to Your Customer Service Program

Good customer service is vital to your company's success. People shop with their emotions, and poor customer service is one of the top reasons they choose to go to another business. There are many different tools you can use to build a strong customer service program. One cost-effective option is to use a texting service to improve communication with your customers. Some companies hesitate to incorporate texting into their customer service program, but they are missing out on the following benefits.

It Is The Popular Option For Customer Service


Many customers would rather text than speak to an agent on the phone.

Recent data shows that a large portion of customers, 64 percent, would rather use text messages than make a call to communicate customer service issues. That percentage increases to 77 percent for those between the ages of 18 and 34. By offering a communication channel that people want, you already set yourself up for a more favorable customer service experience, which in turn results in a more positive feeling towards your company. Your texting service can also serve as a two-way communication channel so that your customer service agents can hold a conversation with a customer.

It is Easily Accessible from Anywhere

The beauty of texting is that customers can communicate wherever they are. If they have an issue with your products or services or need information about a transaction or appointment, they can do so instantaneously. Most people have their phones with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As soon as the thought occurs to them, they can contact you, even if they are in the middle of something. Furthermore, if they do have to wait on a response, they are not tied to a phone or computer. They can go to work, exercise, watch TV, play with their family, or go out with friends without the fear of missing the response.

You Can Set up Auto-Responses

With a texting service, you can easily set up auto-responses to help your customer receive the information they need. Although not all inquiries or other customer service issues can be handled this way, answers to frequently asked questions can be sent via auto-response. This helps you to automatically respond to the issue quickly.

Relieve Customers of Frustrating Wait Times

One of the most frustrating aspects of customer service is waiting on hold. By using a texting service, you can reduce customer wait times. Instead of sitting on hold for several minutes, your customers can text and receive a response almost right away. Even if it takes your agents awhile to be able to contact them with the information, the customers are free to go about their business while waiting. This helps alleviate customer frustration. If customers experience issues but receive excellent customer service, they may be more willing to continue to shop with you.

Customers Read Texts


People actually read their texts.

Another reason that you should incorporate texting to your customer service program is that customers actually read text messages. Text messages have a whopping 98 percent open rate, and the vast majority of texts are opened within mere minutes. This allows you to feel confident that your customers are receiving your messages.

Text messaging may not be the customer service channel of choice for every customer, but a large majority would prefer to have it as an option. By using texts to communicate with your customers, you can improve your customer service program and boost your business. If you're ready to get started, try ClubTexting for free today.

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