Marketing On Demand Using SMS
Marketing is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. Without a marketing strategy and targeted advertising, many businesses simply do not make it. Many business owners think that simply having a store front or running an ad in the yellow pages is all they need to do and soon realize, it’s not that easy.
In today’s world, businesses big or small are finding more and more challenges when it comes to traditional marketing strategies. Running an ad in a local publication or paying for a spot in the yellow pages, just doesn’t produce the same results they once achieved and are very expensive.
The reason why this is happening is that we are in a rapid changing communication age. With the birth of the Internet and number of internet-ready cellphones expanding globally, the effects on marketing are tremendous and are taking the marketing challenges to a new level. International businesses large or small are facing the same challenges.
The technical requirements associated with setting up a website, understanding social media, creating campaigns that will promote brand and convert traffic into buyers, are all part of the requirements necessary to market a business in today’s world. The problem is many business owners need to focus on running the business and do not have the time, can’t manage, nor have all the skillset required to create and manage an effective marketing program.
One new marketing method that will have a tremendous impact on businesses globally has to do with mobile text marketing. Mobile text marketing targets cell phone users in a very unique way. Similar to the time when e-mail marketing was brand new, mobile text marketing has a much higher response rate. With response rates at 90% plus, business owners need pay attention and incorporate this strategy into the overall marketing strategy.
There are a lot of reasons for the high response rate in mobile text marketing. Here are a few:
• When a user receives a text message they almost never ignore it due to the alert features on cell phones.
• It’s considered more personal than an e-mail because it is used primarily by personal friends and family. So, the user always responds to a new text.
• Most businesses have not yet utilized this strategy so; the opportunity is here right now to be on the cutting edge of this new marketing concept
• Users do not ignore the messages when received.
• Messages are short and to the point.
• Newer cell phones display the message right on the front of the screen.
• Users almost always have their cell phone on them.
• Cell phones do not require internet access to receive a text..
• Almost every cell phone made today has text messaging built in.
The most important factor is that cell phone users out number internet users worldwide. With the rapid increase in internet-capable phones, there will also be a proportional increase in a business’ ability to market to a cell phone user.
For those who don’t know, here is how mobile text marketing works in general. Let’s say you want to run a campaign to offer a discount for a product, service, or an event. As a business owner, you would target your existing customer base first. You would offer a coupon or discount, when a user sends a text message from their cell phone to your advertised campaign word. An example of this would look something like the following:
To receive a discount today, text “specialoffer” to 41242
What happens is the customer wants to receive a discount, so they text the word to the number. Then they immediately receive a response back with a promo code or message authorizing a discount. They are also informed they will receive future discount offers and can opt out anytime. Your customers are ok with this since they are already patrons of your business. This process all happens automatically.
Now, a month later you decide you want to have a sale or run a special on the weekend. If you didn’t have a mobile marketing strategy, and in order to let your customers know you’re having a sale, you would need to run an ad in the newspaper, pay for ads on TV, run an ad on the radio, send mail outs or some other means to let them know. This is expensive and takes time to plan and the customers response time may not coincide with time advertised was received.
But, as a smart business owner, you simply send out a text message to your existing customers and because you know they will read it, your sales are a success. You managed to increase business with the least amount of effort and greatest response.
With traditional marketing, the customer would need to read their junk mail, newspaper ads, or be in front of the TV at the exact time your ad ran. But with a cell phone in hand, your customer receives your promotion. You didn’t need to pay for expensive ad materials or hope the customer was in the right place at the right time.
Did I say this was powerful, cutting edge stuff?
There is an added benefit to marketing this way. Consumers do not receive junk mail from you and you won’t kill a tree to run an ad in the local paper.
Did I mention it is good for the environment?
In today’s world, a customer will jump at the opportunity to do something good for the environment. This is especially true when it doesn’t require much effort from them. I think most of us would be willing to receive a promo code to our cell phone in comparison to a bunch of junk mail at home that fills up our mailbox and usually gets tossed in the garbage and then finds its way to our landfills!
There is also another advantage over traditional advertising. I call it the on demand factor. This makes it a must strategy for restaurant owners or businesses that operate in a daily entertainment industry.
Here is an example of the on demand marketing factor. Let’s say you own a restaurant. You expect the coming weekend lunch crowd to be slow due to an event in the area during that time of day. So, you have a message sent out to your mobile list letting them know they can get a free appetizer at lunch – but for this weekend only. You do this two hours before lunch to a hundred people on your list. Then an hour later you decide that the response wasn’t enough to fill the seats up completely and you believe you will have a few open seats. So, you quickly have another message sent to another hundred people.
An hour later you have a small line at the door. You managed to let your customers know about your special for the weekend only. You also filled the seats and maximized your business without over promoting. You wouldn’t want customers that would have come to your restaurant without a promo code to be turned away due to an extra-long wait.
On demand marketing lends itself to maximum flexibility in timing and number variations. There is no other marketing strategy that has this type of on demand capability. I wonder what happened to the other restaurants in the area that didn’t have a mobile marketing strategy.
To this point we have only targeted existing customers. You can build your customer base in a more powerful way. All of the traditional marketing methods still work and can augment your mobile marketing strategy. It is important to not be tied to other marketing channels for all your marketing needs.
One reason to not be handcuffed to traditional marketing channels is that they dictate to you the options and the cost for advertisements. Most of them can be expensive because of the media that must be designed for the ads. The biggest factor is that the consumers of a particular media channel belong to that media company. But as a mobile text marketer, you can place your mobile text campaign word on printed ads, radio ads, and TV ads. This will enable you to capture more leads. When the consumer opts in to your mobile marketing list, you can then market to them over and over without paying the original media company another dime.
Building a list is one of the most important business strategies you can have. A mobile marketing list is the most effective.
Mobile text marketing may not work for every business. There are a few businesses where this strategy is very exciting. Here is a list of some businesses that could benefit:
2. Salons & Spas
3. Bars & Night Clubs
6. Vacation Rentals
7. Events and Nightly Entertainment
8. Department Stores
9. Any service that the consumer does regularly
10. Most business that advertises a lot.
As you can see there are a lot of businesses that could save money on their advertising expenses while increasing their ROI.
So, how does a business owner get started?
Well if your business is a big brand, you can lease your own short code for $500 to $1000 a month. A short code is the number the campaign word is texted to. You will also need to pay web programmer money to develop a campaign management system to receive and respond to opt-ins. This can cost thousands of dollars to develop.
Option two; you can contact a mobile marketing consultant such as Rapid Action Marketing or Mobile Helpers. They will help tailor a marketing strategy to the size of your company and manage your campaigns for you. Plus they help build your list and leaving you to run the business. When you want to send a special offer out to your mobile list, you simply call and they will take it from there. They also implement various techniques to help increase opt-ins for your campaigns.
There are also many mobile text marketing platforms available. Most are tailored towards the big boys of marketing and priced accordingly. There are two in particular that I have found that offer all the features in the expensive services but at a price starting around $15 a month and as much as $1000 plus per month.
For the mid-size business, I recommend option two as the text marketing firm can get your mobile marketing campaign started right. But, for the smaller business a self-management option maybe the only option.
A service such as http://wwwyeptext.com or http://wwwmobileautoresponders.com can get you started with a service that is sized towards your business.
Out of the two, I would recommend Yeptext. If you use the promo code “Get30Off” when you sign up, you will save 30%.
Now that you are more informed than the average business owner, remember all the knowledge in the world is useless unless you take action. So, give your business a boost and take action today.
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