Over the last year or two text marketing has taken the US by storm. Yet, in the UK very few companies have really begun to explore the potential offered by text marketing. This is even more the case with smaller local businesses, who may feel that this kind of marketing is either too expensive, too intrusive or too complicated for them to integrate with their current marketing efforts. Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth and it is this type of business which really has the most to gain from text marketing.
Not only is text marketing affordable to local businesses, it also represents great value for money and with LocalDirect’s text marketing dashboard, even the smallest of businesses can run a text marketing campaign like a global corporation. Furthermore, because our system depends on a customers having first opted in to receive text messages from a business, these customers aren’t put out by these marketing messages and, indeed, many actually look forward to receiving these texts.
However, there are some essential practices that a business must observe in order to keep their text subscribers happy.
Text Marketing – Keeping Your Customers Happy
1. Always ask for permission. You will receive far better results and far fewer complaints if your text subscribers were asked to sign up. Avoid simply buying a list of mobile numbers and sending out unsolicited texts. This is no better than the email spam, I’m sure many of you will already receive. Include a call to action for people to opt in for your text marketing campaign wherever you interact with your customers, be it business cards, posters, menus, flyers or email signatures.
2. Include an opt out. With the simplicity of a keyword and shortcode combo (e.g. text JOES to 60777 to receive special offers and events notifications from Joe’s cafe) getting text marketing sign ups is easy. However to be compliant with UK law you should make it just as easy for subscribers to opt out. LocalDirect provide a keyword STOP which will allow customers to easily opt out of your marketing messages so make sure you tell your subscribers every other message or so.
3. Keep things simple. Your text marketing message should be simple and should clearly tell your prospects what it is you want them to do. A strong call to action (e.g. Come to Joe’s tonight and receive 3 drinks for the price of 2) is essential to maximise response rates. If using text marketing as an appointment reminder, make sure it is clear exactly when and where you want your customers to be.
4. Keep it timely. Reverting to our example for Joe’s cafe, it would be silly for Joe to broadcast his text message at 10.00 in the morning. Few people are thinking about what they’re going to do tonight at that time of day. The beauty of text marketing, and one of its significant advantages over other forms of communication, is the immediacy with which messages can be delivered and read. Joe would have a much better success rate if he sent his message out either as people are beginning to think about leaving work or later in the evening if his bar is already experiencing a quiet night.
5. Be honest. Let your subscribers know from the very beginning what they are signing up to and don’t start sending them messages which aren’t related to what they opted in for.
6. Offer an incentive. Keep you subscribers desperate to hear from you by offering them deals which they can’t get anywhere else. They have trusted you with their mobile number so make them feel special in return by offering your best promotions and giving them special access to your events. A call to action to join a VIP text club is an effective way of gaining opt ins, so make sure you deliver on your part of the bargain.
By following these basic text marketing guidelines you are sure to see success in your campaigns. Of course there are additional tips and tricks you can use for even better results but these will largely depend on the type of campaign you are running and the audience for your text campaigns.
One way to enhance your campaigns is to include links to a mobile website or a mobile flyer within your text marketing. Not only does this allow you to get around the text message character limit, but it also allow enriches your texts with additional content and a visual reference – great for a memorable campaign.
Stay tuned for more mobile marketing tips and tricks coming this way soon.