August 23, 2016

Real-Time Text Messaging Is a Marketer's Dream

It’s time you started using text messaging to drive traffic to your business. All you need to do is sign up for a Web-based text message marketing service and you’re on your way.

Otherwise known as Short Message Service (SMS) marketing, text message marketing provides the opportunity for you to grow your customer database using mobile phones. This is a huge potential market, seeing as there are more than 4.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. Along with that weighty statistic, consider that texts have a phenomenal open rate of up to 98 percent by some estimates (a perhaps more reasonable 82 percent by others) and are preferred to voice communications by millennials—the U.S.’s largest living generation at 75 million strong.


You begin by collecting mobile phone numbers via a short code—a five- to six-digit phone number—given to you by your service provider. Along with a relevant keyword that becomes yours and is unique to your business, you promote the short code wherever it is most likely to be seen. This can be on the top of a pizza delivery box if you’re a pizzeria, for example, or on a table tent if you’re a sit-down restaurant. Post it to a banner pulled by an airplane flying over the beach if that’s where your key targets will be: “Text BEACH to 69102 for your chance to win free sunscreen for a year.”

When the short code is texted by a consumer, his or her phone number is stored by the SMS marketing software, creating a database. The sender will also receive an automatic reply that you have created, such as “Thank you for subscribing to Beverly Pizza’s text club!” By law, you also must include an “opt out” message, like “text STOP to cancel.” Of course, you want to include redemption of the “hook” offer that drew them in, such as, “Show this text to your server for a free drink.”

Now you want to build customer loyalty and propel sales. Send text messages that include a promotion or a discount. Text messaging works best when utilized near a point of purchase and when implemented during a live event. Also, keep in mind that these marketing text messages must conform to the same 160-character constraint in effect for all regular text messages.

Most significantly, ensure that your SMS marketing campaigns create value for your subscribers. Remember that the people in your SMS marketing database have given you free access to a personal source of communication usually reserved for friends and family. Show your appreciation sharing only relevant information; otherwise, your messaging is sure to become a nuisance. In this regard, avoid sending more messages than your customers would normally expect or desire.

Here are ways in which companies today are using SMS marketing to deliver value and bring buyers to their businesses:

  • Appointment reminders: From doctor’s offices to nail salons, text messages are keeping businesses running on schedule, and helping consumers remember arrangements.
  • Contests: Engage your audience and build your database by offering customers a chance to win a product or service.
  • Mobile coupons: Digital coupons attract more new buyers than do print coupons.
  • Confirmations: When customers place an order, use texts to verify order status.
  • Tease email campaigns: Text a message about an upcoming email to increase your email open rates.
  • Voting and polling: Give viewers or listeners the opportunity to participate and engage with your brand.
  • Payment reminders: Let customers know when a bill is due. The recipient can even send the payment via SMS.

SMS marketing is powerful because it’s a permission-based mass communication tool. By its very nature, your SMS marketing database contains only those people who plan to patronize your business—and you can reach them by just the click of a button in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, your campaigns are easily trackable, allowing for easy improvements, including to those messages you send on other channels.

What’s stopping you from initiating a text message marketing strategy? You’ll be sure to increase your customer base and sales as soon as you do.  If you need any help with creating valuable text messaging for your target audience, or creation of any other compelling content, Content Boost can help. 

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