Text message marketing campaigns are a way to reach customers without breaking the small business bank.
Text messages are a great way to build your database, attract new customers and gain customer loyalty. Once you have your customers’ cellphone numbers plugged into your database, you can use a variety of auto-responder programs to send out broadcast text messages. These messages can promote coupons and upcoming specials among other things on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
Text messaging is also a very cost-effective way to run a marketing campaign. Plus, today’s society is so obsessed with text messaging that it is more likely your message will be seen than if you send e-mail or use a direct mail campaign. Text messages have an average open rate of 90 per cent, which makes texting far more effective than any other type of communication.
Here are seven ideas for a potential or a pre-existing text message marketing campaign.
Text orders in
Give your customers the option of texting in their order so that it is ready for pick up. Have an online menu with photos that customers can use to refer to when ordering. Then ask your customers if they would like to receive occasional coupons and discounts via text. If they say yes, you have just added another customer to your database.
Offer promotions to drive referrals
Encourage your customers to share your promotional text messages with their friends. If they get three friends to opt-in to your text program, reward them with a free cupcake, a complimentary cup of coffee or another delicious treat.
Use cellphone numbers to keep track of rewards
So many companies now offer customers loyalty rewards programs that most people’s wallets are now jammed with dozens of punch cards from various retail stores, restaurants and other businesses. Make life easier on your customers by tracking their purchases using their cellphone numbers. Send them a text each time they make a purchase to let them know how many more buys they need to achieve the loaf of bread, piece of cake or cup of coffee. If your customer has not visited your bakery in a while, send them a text message to remind them that they are close to their reward.
Geo-fencing technology has proven to be a great success. The technology creates a virtual perimeter for a geographic area so your customers can receive a text message when they are within a set radius of your bakery. Geo-fencing technology is also affordable for small businesses.
Use text messaging to boost Facebook fans
Text messaging is a great way to gain more fans on your Facebook page. Use a DIY SMS marketing platform such as Ez Texting that allows you to launch bulk SMS campaigns at the touch of a button. For example, place an ad where there will be large crowds of people, like a sporting event, movie theatre, concert or community gathering. In your ad, offer a free cupcake or cookie to anyone who texts a certain code to a designated number (via your marketing platform). Once the person sends the text, they immediately receive a response telling them to visit and like your Facebook page, and then they will get their free cupcake.
Send text blasts on slow DAYS
Send out coupons via text during slow periods that require an immediate call to action. For example, if you know you are slow on Mondays, send out a text blast in the morning with an offer that expires the same day. This will get your customers to act immediately on your offer.
Be sure to get permission
Before bombarding your customers with text messages, however, always make sure you let your subscribers know that if they enter a contest via text they will be added to your marketing database. It’s also important that subscribers are offered an opt-out option. This, however, should be a standard feature with any platform you choose.
Try launching our own text message marketing campaign, and benefit from cost savings and more interaction with your customers.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for more than 25 years. She provides innovative food and retail merchandising programs, interior design, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or at
, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .
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