For most retail organizations, bulk SMS for business provides a cost-effective way to connect with customers, generate engagement and increase sales. This is because SMS is regarded as the most intimate and immediate channel of communication, and because text marketing for businesses is a permission-based activity. Customers who opt into a business´s mobile marketing service are usually interested in the business´s products or services, or keen to hear what the business has to say.
There are some challenges to text marketing for businesses, and one of them – difficult database management – is actually due to its very success! Some businesses have seen incredible responses to their initial text marketing campaigns and have developed massive databases of opted-in customers. Without effective database management, subsequent text marketing campaigns become expensive to run and have uncertain outcomes.
How Club Texting Overcomes this Issue
Club Texting is part of a group of companies that has been providing bulk SMS services for businesses since 2006. We understand how database management issues arise and how they can be potentially expensive to resolve. Customers are not always quick to opt out of mobile marketing services - tending to delete messages they are not interested in - while businesses are running up mobile marketing costs that reduce the ROI of their text marketing activities.
How we overcome the issue of difficult SMS for business database management is by allowing clients unlimited use of free sub-keywords. To best explain how this works, it is important to have an understanding of keywords and short codes.
Keywords are words that customers text to a short code number (usually a five- or six-digit number) in order to take advantage of a promotion and opt into the business´s mobile marketing service. Let´s say, for example, that you owned a chain of burger restaurants called “Grillhouse” and ran a text marketing campaign offering everybody who texts “Grillhouse” to your short code number a free bag of fries with their next takeout order.
As customers send their texts and opt into your mobile marketing service, their details are added to your customer database. Depending on the number of hungry customers you attract with your offer, the customer database could expand to hundreds or even thousands of contacts within a short space of time. This not only make database management difficult, it makes text marketing for businesses expensive, as every time you run a subsequent text marketing campaign, you will be contacting your entire database.
How to Avoid Difficult Database Management with Sub-Keywords
The best way to avoid difficult database management is to plan ahead before you start text marketing for businesses. Bulk SMS for business is a successful way to market products and services, so expect a high volume of responses and plan how you are going to deal with them. Usually the best way is by using different sub-keywords for different products and services, to identify customers from different locations, and to establish which marketing source they originated from.
Sub-keywords are extensions of keywords that can be used to sort a customer database into sub-groups according to their interests, locations or marketing source. If you have a large database, the entire database can be sent a marketing message asking them to reply with a keyword and sub-keyword. When customers reply, they will be taken out of the general group and placed into a sub-group according to the sub-keyword used. Here´s an example of how this would apply to the Grillhouse.
- Text `grillhouse burger` to [short code number] if you prefer burgers.
- Text `grillhouse chicken` to [short code number] if you prefer chicken.
- Text `grillhouse NYC` to [short code number] if you live in New York City.
- Text `grillhouse TX` to [short code number] if you live in the state of Texas.
- Text `grillhouse FB` to [short code number] if you follow our Facebook page.
- Text `grillhouse TW` to [short code number] if you follow our Twitter account.
As each customer replies, they are allocated to the relevant sub-group. This helps avoid the scenario in which customers from Texas opt out of the mobile marketing service because they receive too many NYC-centric marketing messages and reduces SMS for business marketing spend. Mechanisms exist to prevent customers who prefer chicken, live in New York City and follow the restaurant´s Twitter account from being sent three marketing messages each time the restaurant runs a general marketing campaign.
Using sub-keywords does not add to the cost of an SMS for business subscription plan, and using them in order to plan ahead and avoid difficult database management issues is less expensive than continuing a campaign of text marketing for businesses to a largely redundant customer database. In addition to avoiding difficult database management issues, using a selection of keywords can help structure future marketing campaigns. If, for example, you get a great response from customers in New York City, but a limited response from customers in Texas, you know where best to target future marketing activities.
Free Advice about SMS for Business from Club Texting
Providing advice about how businesses can avoid difficult database management issues is just one of the ways in which Club Texting helps businesses get the most from bulk SMS for business while minimizing their mobile marketing costs. If you would like to know more about how bulk SMS for business can be of benefit to your business, or you have an issue that you think our team of Client Success Managers may be able to resolve, do not hesitate to contact us.