Any growing business is always looking for more ways to attract new customers and engage existing ones. With the growth in business texting services, texting can provide a new channel for getting customers to “opt-in” in order to receive information about your new products, services, sales events and more.
You probably already know that for existing customers you can use texting to better service them. This means you can easily send appointment reminders, order status info, delivery details and even customer satisfaction surveys, but to send marketing messages you need their explicit permission. This is detailed in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, but this is easily done once you get a customer to text you asking to receive your information.
Using Incentives to Get Prospects and Customers to text-in
First, think about what new customers and existing customers want from your business. Are they motivated by sales events, menu specials, loyalty coupons or even tips about how to better use the products or services they buy from you? Now you can craft a special offer and advertise it using an easy to remember keyword and an easy to remember telephone number to text.
Consider using Facebook to promote “Text VIPSale” to 972-200-7250 to get our special store offers only available to those who text-in”. Providing an incentive will likely get the attention of new and existing customers and will help you to start building a list of phone numbers that can be used for text marketing.
Once they text your chosen keyword, you need a business texting platform that allows you to respond immediately and automatically.
The power of keywords is that you can try different ones to see what works best and also segment your customers by creating different keywords to promote different products and services.
How can I make Text Marketing even More Effective? (Hint: Use a shortcode)
Consider the power of short codes instead of a long telephone number. First, what is a shortcode?
Shortcodes are a 5-6 digit number that is easy to remember and meant to be texted, such as 87000, It substitutes for a 10 digit telephone number because it is so easy to remember.
They are great in one particular way – they are super easy to remember.
The downside of shortcodes is that while they are especially effective at one way broadcast type messages where you might want to send city-wide flood alert, the messages appear impersonal, coming from a computer, and you can’t have consumer call back at that number. The bottom line is they aren’t effective in building a personal or long-term relationship with your customers.
Where should I advertise?
The beauty of this approach is it helps you amplify the advertising you are already doing. You can promote the keyword in many ways. It is especially helpful when using advertising methods where you have a short window of time to capture the attention of your audience.
- Social media sites
- Billboards/Posters/Yard signs
- Vehicle wraps
- Company website, business cards, Email
- TV /Radio Ads
- Direct mail (e.g. Postcards & brochures)
Now you can start building up a robust list of phone numbers that you have permission to market to and this can be a powerful and immediate channel that can generate engagement and real sales.
Using the Best of Both Worlds to Generate Sales
A hybrid approach is to use opt-in keywords sent to a shortcode, but instead of sending responses back from that shortcode, use your business phone number.
By text-enabling your business phone number, the customer can text or even call you back to further the sale.
Using these approaches to promote keywords using shortcodes or regular phone numbers can really work to help you attract new and motivated customers. Make sure the text message marketing you choose can offer a range of choices for promoting your business and can guide you to using the best practices for your type of business.