small group of people using cellphones together.

Fine Tuning Your SMS Marketing Campaign

SMS marketing is still in its infancy, which means that you can try new things without worrying about breaking rules; there are no rules yet. Generating your list of phone numbers is going to be the hardest part initially. You may have to hold special events or promotions just to draw people to your storefront, after which you can persuade them to sign up.

This is more than an chance to beef up your mailing list, by the way. It’s an opportunity to get a feel for how a multi-pronged marketing campaign should fit together. The initial goal of the event might be to collect information, but you should plan and put on your event as if there was never any other agenda. Give away free products or offer a considerable discount. Make people excited to sign up for your SMS list by demonstrating why your product or service is so crucial.

Figure out a communication style that works for your business. It is often perfectly fine to phrase your messages as obvious advertisements, especially if you are announcing a sale or a special promotion. Other times, it is necessary to approach SMS communication as a real conversation between yourself and your customer base. No matter what style works best, there are some calls to action that are guaranteed to generate interest.

When you offer discounts to people who show the announcement text at the register, you are encouraging people to sign up for your text list and watch out for your messages. Including a coupon code for your website in the message will give you clear statistics on the efficacy of your campaign. Encourage your customers to respond to your texts. It is always beneficial when a business becomes an everyday component of people’s lifestyles. Keep the conversation going and people will naturally start to prefer you over your competitors.

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A group of friends chatting with their smartphones in the street

Why SMS Marketing is Valuable

Text messaging is the last frontier of viral marketing. It’s naturally the next step in the digital marketing game, yet it also feels somewhat quaint. Texting presents a lot of limitations that marketers do not want to work around. This is good news for you, since it means that your business won’t have much competition when it comes to its SMS marketing.

By necessity, SMS alerts have to be short, simple and succinct. They cannot include the images that populate emails, nor can they include hash tags. Keep in mind that text blasts must be compatible with every type of mobile phone, not just new ones with web access and image displays. There are no community elements, such as commenting or sharing, with SMS marketing. The success of a campaign depends solely on whether it resulted in an increase in sales.

Launching a texting campaign will force you to go back to basics and think about what you’re really selling and how you want to speak to your customers, old and new. This is a good thing! The pictures and verbiage in emails and social media posts are crucial in their own ways, but by the same token, your customers probably already have certain feelings about marketing emails. SMS marketing is likely new to many of them. Don’t be deterred by the fact that your SMS blasts won’t look as pretty as your emails do. Your texts will be reaching people directly, via the one communication avenue they check more than their email.

The key to running a successful SMS campaign is offering tangible rewards. The benefit of the images in other forms of marketing is that they remind people that the brand exists even if there isn’t anything new to promote. Text marketing necessitates that special promotions be created. Think of SMS alerts as the ultimate calls to action. You are contacting people directly and inviting them to visit your business. Include special discount codes in your texts, or offer free products for people who show their text messages in your stores. You could even introduce a routine, perhaps texting new specials once a week.

Once you develop a plan for special promotions and work out a proper schedule for SMS blasts, you can start asking people to join your text list through your social media outlets and website.

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Couple having dinner in a restaurant

How to Ask Restaurant Customers to Join Your SMS Marketing List

There comes a point when a business can no longer increase its customer base without augmenting or completely changing its marketing strategies. It is tempting to stick to low-key online methods that give people the freedom to opt into mailing lists and text alerts. However, online marketing has its limitations. It depends on people seeking out your brand on their own, after they have already left your restaurant. Sometimes, it’s worth taking a risk and plainly asking people to sign up for your SMS list while they are still enjoying their meals. This method might not work for a fancy restaurant, but for brs and casual eateries, it could be the difference between a middling method of promotion and a wildly successful project. Here is a foolproof way to convince your customers to sign up for your text alerts.

1. Mention the perks first, and if your customers are receptive, follow up with how they can access those perks. People are very savvy when it comes to marketing tactics, and the last thing anyone wants is more promotional emails clogging up his or her inbox. However, people are open to subscription promotions that deliver worthwhile deals and rewards. The trick is to make sure that your perks are things that people actually want. Make sure you promise not to send out alerts too frequently. Your customers will respond well to your assurances that you won’t overwhelm them.

2. After you have gotten your patrons’ attention, ask them if they own cell phones. Make sure they understand that all types of phones, not just smart phones, can receive SMS promotions.

3. Show them how to sign up. If appropriate in the moment, encourage them to sign up right then. Prove to them just how fast and easy the sign-up process is.

If you get this far in the conversation, you will have accomplished several things. You will have made a positive impression on your customers and put a real, human face on your restaurant or bar. Your customers will leave your establishment with the impression that have them in mind when making decisions about your business. Most importantly, you will have spoken to them in a way that moves them to tell their friends about your specials and encourage them to sign up as well.

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man receiving text messages before going to bed

Text Messages Marketing is Very Different From Email Marketing

Text messages are not like emails.

Many people think that the same tactics used for email marketing will work for Text Message Marketing. However, there are many differences from emails and texts. For starters, emails are usually much longer than texts. They include newsletters, event calendars and much more information than should be in a text message.

Also, you can’t expect people that are receiving your emails to read them immediately. I don’t know about you, but I get way to many emails that are not important. And they are absolutely not time sensitive. I even have email notifications turned off on my phone. Texts, on the other hand, are read instantly. Ask yourself, when have you ever received a text that you didn’t read? The trick is to keep your texts sweet and simple. Then people will actually want to read them o.O

You’ll also want to give some thought to what would be the best time of the day for your subscribers to receive your texts. Unless you just want your subscribers to hate you, don’t send texts during times when people are usually asleep.

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