Today more and more people have mobile devices with them 24 hours per day. In fact, a majority of people leave home with three things in hand…their car keys, purse or wallet and their cell phone. Cell phones have become so much a part of our daily lives that we would be lost without them.
Stop and think about that for a minute. When was the last time you accidentally left your smartphone at home and didn’t know how you would make it through the day? I know I have. If you haven’t experienced that feeling then you are one of the lucky ones.
But, if you are like me, your smartphone is your lifeline to the world with all the information stored in it…important dates, meeting reminders, contacts, and text messages. Smartphones can help you personally stay connected with friends, family and fellow colleagues.
Smartphones can also help your business stay connected as well, especially with your customers or potential customers. This can be done through mobile marketing, specifically by text messages.
Let’s look at three strategies on how you can use text message marketing to grow your business and increase sales.
Strategy #1 – Convert Your Content Into Mobile-Friendly Formats
Before you start any mobile marketing campaign, you first need to consider the habits of your customers and the types of mobile devices they may use to view your web site on their device. So make sure that your web site is viewable on a mobile device in a user-friendly way.
For example, you should try accessing your web site and content from various types of mobile devices and see how it looks. You can then have your web programmers make adjustments so that your web site looks better on both mobile devices and also on regular computers with full screens.
There are programming options available where you can create a mobile specific version of your site that is only displayed when a mobile device is viewing the site. The user can often turn off the mobile view if they select an option to see the full site version.
In addition to making adjustments to your web site, you should also consider adjusting the content or products that you sell to make them mobile friendly as well. For example, if you sell training products, consider offering MP3 audio files or video formats that are supported on mobile devices.
You may also want to add an opt-in box to your web site where customers or potential customers can sign up to receive notifications of promotions or offers via text messages, which I will talk about in more detail below.
Strategy 2: Promote Your Products Or Services
Text messaging is an affordable way to get your products or services in front of your customers or potential customers. Text messaging is an inexpensive way to communicate and interact with your customers or potential customers. However, the recipient must agree to receive your text messages. So you need to get their permission.
There are two ways you can get their permission. As I mentioned earlier, the recipient can sign up via a form on your web site or they can text a keyword to a short or long code from their smartphone.
The keyword is the word that the person will use to subscribe to your text messages. A short code is a dedicated telephone number that is significantly shorter than a full telephone number. It is usually a five- to six-digit number. A long code is a standard 10-digit dedicated phone number. Contact your local wireless carrier to get specific details on how to purchase a short code or long code number.
For example, let’s say you own a pizza shop and you want to offer customers or potential customers a 25% off coupon on any pizza order. You post a sign in your shop that says “Text Pizza to 555555 or 888555555 to get 25% off to your purchase today”. The word “Pizza” is your keyword and “555555” is the short code and “8885555555” is the long code. Once the customer texts “Pizza” to the short code or long code, the customer has given their permission and opted-in to your text messaging list to receive your 25% promotional coupon and to receive further offers from you.
Once the customer opts-in to your text messaging list, you will then want to inform your customer as to how the customer can unsubscribe from your list, how to receive help, and what the cost is for receiving any texts.
Below are examples of how you can provide these instructions to your customers:
1. To STOP receiving future text messages and to unsubscribe from your list, the customer can opt-out by texting “STOP” to your short code or long code. Ex: Reply STOP to opt-out.
2. To receive HELP, the customer can text the word “HELP” to your short code or long code. Ex: For help reply HELP.
3. To inform customers as to the costs for receiving text messages, you can the phrase “message and data rates may apply” in any text messages sent to the recipient. This is usually best to send this type of message immediately after a recipient opts-in to your list. Ex: Msg & data rates may apply.
You can also use text message marketing to drive traffic to your web site, which is the next strategy.
Strategy 3: Drive Traffic To Your Web Site Or Product Sales Page
Text message marketing is highly effective in driving traffic to your mobile-optimized web site or product sales page for your product or service. For example, you can insert a hyperlink into a text message. This allows the recipient to make a purchase within minutes from their smartphone by clicking the hyperlink.
It is also easy for a recipient to forward a text message to others. This is especially true if your text message has a catchy slogan or a strong call-to-action that others may find of interest. Just make sure that your text messages are valuable and relevant to your customer or potential customer’s needs.
Remember though that text messages are limited to 160 characters. Your call-to-action asking them to do something needs to be very well defined. It needs to state the purpose of the message, what the value is the recipient will receive by acting and why the recipient should act. If done correctly, you can drive a lot of traffic to your web site or product sales page with text message marketing.
Text message marketing is an extremely powerful promotional tool. If you are not sending text messages to your customers or potential customers, then you may be missing out on an opportunity to grow your business and increase sales.
To learn more marketing strategies about how to grow your business and increase sales, watch this short video that reveals how you can tap into the buyer marketplaces where millions of people are spending money every day.
*Originally published as Issue # 141 – November 16, 2012