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February 23, 2017

Definitive SMS Marketing Guide for Restaurants and Clubs

The restaurant and club business is notoriously competitive. You have to find ways to stand out from the crowd and get people to choose you over other restaurants or clubs in the area. There are a few ways you can do this simply by what you offer, such as the type of food, price, or atmosphere.

Although you concentrate on creating a unique experience for your clientele, marketing remains a chief way to draw people into your business. This is because it:

 

  • Tells people who you are
  • Engages with customers
  • Builds your brand identity
  • Enhances your reputation

 

As part of a multi-channel marketing strategy, you need to have a strong mobile marketing campaign. One way to do this is to incorporate SMS marketing. People text more and more, and they are ready and willing to hear from their favorite businesses via text. When you start your texting campaign, be sure to add a few key elements.

Offers


The right offer gets people to bring their friends to your restaurant.

One of the most popular text types that restaurants and clubs use is offers and deals -- and for good reason! People love getting discounts, so it is a strong motivation. When it comes time to decide upon where to eat or which club to visit, people can easily be persuaded to go to the one that saves them the most money.

There are plenty of different types of offers or deals you can send via text to motivate people to come to your restaurant:

 

  • Free appetizer or desserts
  • Free drinks
  • BOGO for entrees, appetizer, drinks, etc.
  • No cover charge
  • Discount on total bill
  • Dollar amount off

 

These are just a few ideas of the wide range of offers that you can send to your customers. One of the best types of offers to send to your texting customers, however, are last-minute deals. This is because text messages are typically opened within just a few minutes of receipt. You can send targeted messages to your customers for a particular meal or event.

For example, around two hours before the lunch rush, send your subscribers a text with a discount on the lunch menu good for that day only. Then, as people are trying to decide where to go to lunch, they will see your text and choose you!

When you create your offers, there are a few key concepts to keep in mind.

 

  • Send something that is valuable to your customers, and relevant to their wants and needs. Offer a good deal for your customers that doesn't cost your business an arm and a leg.
  • Include motivating language and a strong call to action so that you see a high conversion rate.

 

Keywords

Another important component of any strong SMS marketing campaign is having the right keywords in place. Keywords are a central component of your overall marketing strategy. They are the words that your customers text to you to join your campaign, ask a question, participate in a contest or poll, or otherwise interact with your program.

When you choose a keyword, you want it to be unique and relevant to your company while also being easy for customers to remember and use. As a business in the restaurant, bar and club business, you have a plethora of words from which to choose. You can go with something that matches your food choice or an event at your establishment. Some examples include:

  • Pizza
  • Italian
  • French
  • Cuisine
  • Tacos
  • Party
  • Dance
  • Salsa

Each of these words is fairly common and easy for your customers to remember. Do not try to make them more unique by adding special characters or symbols, as this complicates everything. You want something that people can text without fearing they will get it wrong. If they do mess up, then you may lose a potential subscriber.

Your keyword plays a key role in your marketing efforts, so you want it to be something that complements your ads while also standing out. The same rules apply when you use a keyword in your texting, digital and/or social content.

CTAs


The right CTA gets people to join your campaign and visit your place.

Another major component of your SMS marketing campaign is your call to action. Texts make excellent calls to action on other marketing media, but they also require a strong CTA on each message. When you develop your CTAs, always make sure that they:

  • Motivate
  • Use active language
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Connect emotionally with your customers
  • Are clear and concise

As a restaurant or club, most of your calls to action should include some version of visiting your business. You might also choose to include a link to your website or social media profile to increase engagement with your other digital properties.

Even though many of your CTAs will involve getting people to dine at your restaurant, do not become complacent so as to always use the same one or two CTAs. Create a template and then play with the wording to create a unique CTA with every advertisement and/or message.

For example, instead of always saying "Redeem this offer at our restaurant," you could say:

 

  • Enjoy a free appetizer on us when you show this coupon.
  • Visit our restaurant to get your free drink
  • Show this coupon to get free entry.

There are plenty of ways to get creative with your CTAs without losing their efficacy or appeal.

Content

Before you go too far down the line into creating your SMS marketing program, you first need to gain permission to do so from your clients. You can do this by promoting your campaign, including a texting CTA on all your marketing collateral, and get people to opt in with a strong keyword.

Once you have subscribers for your texting campaign, it is time to focus on building your content. Strong content needs three main things:

    • Purpose
    • Value
    • Relevancy


Texting is a disruptive medium, which means that each time you send a message to your subscribers, recipients are distracted from whatever else they were doing. Therefore, what they receive needs to be worth that momentary moment of distraction.

So, how do you know what your customers find valuable? Ask them directly. Market research also will inform you of many of the key elements of a strong marketing campaign. Trial and error and A/B testing also works well.

Messages need to be relevant to your customers. Personalized content goes a long way towards creating something that is relevant to each of your customers. It is easy to create groups out of your subscriber base and send targeted messages based on demographics and or other similar data.

Finally, you need to have a purpose behind each and every message you send. This is a specific purpose - not just to get more business, although that is your ultimate goal. It should provide some value to your customers:

  • Save money
  • Reward loyalty
  • Provide exclusive access
  • Remind about events
  • Updates on goods and/or services

There are plenty of purposes that your messages can have. By focusing on one objective per message, you create a more concise message that fits within the necessary 160 characters.

Audience


Know who to target with your messages.

Although your keyword, CTA, and content will ultimately play the most important features of your marketing strategy, it is key to know who your audience is. In fact, you might spend weeks before launching your campaign discovering just who your target audience or audiences are. To determine your audience, perform a few key actions:

  • Conduct market research
  • Build personas
  • Review your current customer data
  • Integrate your marketing platforms
  • Run surveys and polls
  • Research the competition
  • Think like a customer

There are many other ways to find out what type of customer you plan to target with your message. As previously stated, you can have several different groups that you will target.

As a restaurant, you might ultimately want to target all demographics. However, each texting campaign you run needs to be targeted to more specific demographics for greatest efficacy. In order to do this, you need to have an idea of the audience you plan to reach.

Before you run your SMS marketing campaign, take the time to build a strong foundation. This works by spending time devising the right type of offers, keywords, calls to action, content, and audience for the particular campaign.

Although this can be said for any texting campaign, it is even more important as a restaurant or club that you do this. It gives you the chance to determine what sets you apart from the competition and to build your brand identity. Then, you can focus your marketing campaign to engage with and attract customers to your business and reach your goals that go far beyond simply sending out discounts via text.

Ready to start your texting program to grow your restaurant or club? Try ClubTexting for free.

February 20, 2017

Quentin Aisbett of OnQ Marketing About How to Use Mass SMS Texting to Improve Your Business


Quentin Aisbett is the Chief Strategist at OnQ Marketing. Recently, we had a chance to sit down with Quentin to hear his thoughts on the state of the SMS landscape and how best to leverage this technique for marketing purposes.

How does OnQ help its customers with their marketing needs?

First, we identify the client's questions and business objectives and dig down to understand their key customer personas. With this information, we identify the most efficient strategy to reach the objectives.

As a generalist agency with a focus on strategy first, we don't apply one consistent tactic and hope for the best. We look at every option available to us and the client, and then weigh costs vs effectiveness.

In every instance, our approach has a large focus on the customer's experience. We believe that for the business to reach its objective, the client must first achieve theirs.

What is the current state of SMS text messaging and marketing in Australia? What kinds of companies or organizations are using it?

The state of SMS marketing in Australia is - to put it bluntly - a state of confusion. Most brands and businesses are aware of the opportunity but super-cautious of the pitfalls if they don't execute it right. So for many, the risk is too much, so they ignore it.

In my experience, the businesses using SMS often include the health industry who use SMS as appointment reminders.

When it comes to SMS marketing, what is the most underutilized aspect or tactic?

It sounds obvious, but far too often I see SMS campaigns that are too complicated for the medium. So the most underutilized tactic is to assess how user-friendly the process will be before sending.

This might change the way you run the campaign, but if you waste consumers' time with a process that they don't understand, you will pay by seeing little engagement and higher opt-outs.

Could you give us an example or two of an innovative SMS marketing campaign that was carried out which achieved exceptional results?

We once used SMS as a vehicle to drive leads while our client was speaking to a small business audience. We produced a PDF checklist that was an extension to what the client was speaking about on that day. The audience was provided with the SMS number and a code word to send. Moments later, they were prompted for their email address, and then they received the PDF. This brought the audience into the client's conversion funnel with little effort.

On another occasion, we developed an SMS voting campaign where we asked cafe customers on a main street to vote for their favorite cafe. It was a simple "SMS the specific code word to the number" campaign. Each cafe had their own unique code, and both the weekly tallies and the final tally were promoted via Facebook. The campaign drove significant engagement on the main street Facebook page as well as on participating cafe pages.

What guidelines would you suggest for people utilizing SMS messaging in terms of frequency and length of messages?

An SMS message is just 160 characters, so you need to be short and concise. It's great to utilize all 160 but if you can say what you need to say in 130, then do that.

There are some other tips I would recommend:

i) Make sure you make it clear who you are and how you have their number. It is likely they have forgotten how they opted in, so remind them. Don't use a big chunk of your characters on it; find a way to do it in 2-3 words.
ii) Show value. Yes, your hesitations around SMS messaging are real because you know how you feel when you get a promotional message. But this all boils down to whether the message promotes value. So make sure you have it and are communicating it as well as you can.
iii) Knowing that 90% of SMS are opened in the first three minutes, don't send them too early before an event. For example, if you have an in-store sale Friday, don't send them a message on Wednesday. Do it Friday morning.
iv) Make sure you have a clear call to action. This is where you are likely to reach your aim. Ask them to call, click on a link, or send their email address.
v) Don't hide the opt-out. Be clear on how they can opt-out.

A short 160 characters sounded easy at first, didn't it?

If the goal is to obtain feedback from people, how might you use SMS messaging to achieve it? Is it as simple as texting a question to everybody on your messaging list?

It can be, but would it be effective? I don't think so. Again, 160 characters is our limit, so if your recipient wants to give you more feedback, they can't. This feedback may well be valuable.

So keep the message short and sharp, and ask them to complete an online survey by following the link. Make sure you provide some incentive. As with any decision, they will weigh the value against spending a few minutes to help your business.

How can you tell if an SMS messaging or marketing campaign is improving conversion rates or accomplishing other objectives?

As with any digital tactic or campaign, you should first identify your objectives before you have finalized your tactics. It is also imperative to include a consumer action that will help you identify whether the objective has been reached.

For example, objectives such as driving email subscriptions, online retail purchases, or bookings can be attributed without too many issues. If your objective is to increase in-store foot traffic, then you need to put in place another step in the customer journey to measure your objective.

If you are sticking with SMS, then subscribe and churn rates will likely be your objective and these will be simple to measure. But if you have a business with multiple locations, use different code words so you can identify the location and more accurately measure your performance.

With all of the other digital marketing options available, will SMS marketing soon vanish or drop in popularity? [Or is it here to stay?]

I see SMS in a similar vein to email. Many "experts" have spoken of their impending death, but yet they remain viable marketing options. The Adobe Blog cites that 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes. Compare this to average email open rates of 20% to 30% and the dwindling organic reach of Facebook. A terrific opportunity exists!

But will marketing budgets adjust to meet the opportunity? It's really hard to judge. It will take some global brands or potentially a startup to lead the way.

Still not sold on the power of SMS messaging? Try ClubTexting for free today to see if it works for you.

February 16, 2017

Debbie O'Connor of mumstheboss.co.uk on Digital Marketing for Small Business Owners

Debbie O'Connor runs Mum's the Boss, a virtual assistant and digital marketing service that specializes in helping home-based businesses get online. She blogs at www.mumstheboss.co.uk.

We recently asked Debbie for her advice on blogging and digital marketing. Here's what she shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind Mum's the Boss? What inspired you to start your business?

In 2010, I was working from home, running two MLM businesses in the evenings and weekends. My youngest son started school full time and I realized I had some time in the daytime to do something more.

One of my online contacts, Alli Price, was emigrating back to her native Australia so she sold her U.K. business, Motivating Mum to me and I bought Mum's the Boss in 2012 to add to the mix.

I realized that as an accountant in business, and later as a work-at-home mum, I had a lot of experience to share with home business owners, and as I started blogging I taught myself to do social media from the ground up and loved every bit of it. Before long, people were asking me to help them with digital marketing and so I have moved in that direction in the last year or so.

How has digital marketing evolved since you started your business? What are the biggest changes you've observed?

When I started out blogging you could just about write anything, stuff it with keywords and people would find it and read it. I also made quite a bit of money from publishing sponsored posts on my blog, which were essentially link building for the companies that advertised with me, and not necessarily quality pieces of journalism.

I'm pleased to say that Google have tightened their act up over the past few years. Nowadays you do have to think a lot more carefully about what you write and how you promote it. I don't accept link building type sponsored posts any more - instead I am making money by actively helping people to understand blogging and digital marketing.

The amount of material that is available online is growing every week, so companies have to try a little bit harder now to stand out and be noticed above all the noise.

What are some of the challenges you find home-based business owners face in marketing their businesses?

I think many small business owners are seduced by the idea that you can just put anything on the net, and people will read it and come and buy from you without you having to do much else. When my clients come to me they are often disillusioned that their websites have failed to attract customers to whatever it is that they do, despite their efforts on social media.

The biggest mistake I come across is people just posting up pictures of their products or services with text that basically says "buy me," and making no attempt to inform, educate or build trust with their readers before they try to sell. Digital marketing is quite a complicated process - it takes a bit of time to nurture your followers and turn them into fans, but the effort is well worth while.

It always makes me happy when I am able to improve viewers and customers to a small business website. I put a little bit of SEO effort into the content on a client's website and make the site a bit more attractive to viewers. I give people a bit of training as to what to post, how often and how best to promote it on social media, and then the viewers start to come, and they can hopefully be converted into customers.

Where should home-based business owners start when creating an online marketing strategy? What are the dos and don'ts?

If you are just starting out in business, I would say first of all invest as much as you can into your website. The sort of website which just has six static pages and looks like it was designed in five minutes is unlikely to get much traffic, no matter what you do. As a minimum you should buy a domain name and have somebody set up a self-hosted Wordpress site for you, using an up-to-date theme. This doesn't have to be too expensive, but I recommend people to spend as much as they can afford in this area.

Once you have the website in place you can put in place a strategy of blogging regularly - or at least updating your site with fresh and original content, bearing in mind the keywords that people might be searching for if they want to buy what you are selling.

Then the third strand is promoting your content on social media, choosing the channels where your target market are likely to hang out and which are best for promoting your type of product, and experimenting with different types of posts until you find a mix that people respond to.

What are your favorite digital tools for helping home-based business owners spread the word about their businesses? What have you found to be most useful?

The tools I would not be without in my business are the social media scheduling tools. I use Buffer (which comes in a free version which would suit a small business) and I also use Meet Edgar (a bit more expensive), which builds up a database of your best social media posts and sends them round again at regular intervals. Those two together save me so much time.

For email marketing I use Mail Chimp, which has many tools to help you capture email addresses and nurture your leads until they are ready to buy - that also comes with a free version for small email lists.

And finally I wouldn't be without Evernote, which helps me capture information when I am out and about, whether that be leads, contact details, or just ideas that occur to me when I am not at my desk. It is not a marketing tool as such, but it helps me be the most efficient in my business, and helps me to keep on top of everything.

What are the most cost-effective marketing methods you've found for cash-strapped business owners?

It really depends on what your products are. I have seen some businesses that can generate sufficient sales just from a Facebook page. Other types of business benefit more when the business owner goes out to face-to-face networking groups and makes contact with people. It really depends on your product and the target market of people you are trying to sell to.

At the end of the day it boils down to correctly identifying your target market, finding out where they go when they are looking for infomration, and then meeting them there, whether that is online, in person or in a magazine.

The other cheapest and best strategy is giving your existing customers the means and maybe a small incentive for recommending you to their friends. Word-of-mouth marketing is always the easiest, and a satisfied customer can be a walking billboard for your business at very low cost to you.

What's one piece of advice you'd share with business owners who are intimidated by digital marketing? How can they overcome their fears?

To be honest I find digital marketing a lot less scary than let's say door-to-door sales, which used to be the way many people did business not so long ago. If you compare the two then surely it would be more scary to have to speak to each potential cold lead in person than it is to put stuff out on social media. We are much luckier in the digital age.

If you hate the idea of digital marketing or you just feel nervous about it, then help is always at hand. There are so many people out there now that can help you get set up with digital marketing, either giving you advice to help you do it in the best way for your business, or for a very small outlay, taking it off your hands, so that you can concentrate on the thing that made you start a business in the first place.

Spread the word about your organization. Try ClubTexting for free.

February 14, 2017

The Case for Personalization in SMS Marketing Campaigns

Personalization is key to a successful SMS marketing campaign. Although people might open and read your message, it does not always guarantee they will take action. Creating a more personal approach leads to a higher engagement rate, better conversion rates and an overall better ROI. There are two main ways to make your messages more personal: Targeted Marketing and Personal Addressing.

  • Targeted Marketing. Create messages that relate directly to the interests of your customers
  • Personalization. Address recipients by name to increase response rates


Determining Your Target Audience


The first step to take is to know who your audience is.

In order to successfully carry out a more personalized marketing campaign, there are a few key things you need to know. To gather this information, you must first perform some marketing research.

You want to discover your customers' interests and preferences. Additionally, it is beneficial to know their buying habits, demographics, psychosocial data, preferences and more. These can be found by reviewing a few key items:

  • Data across all marketing channels
  • Market research
  • Research on your competitors
  • Surveys and polls
  • Fillable forms at opt-im

You might not always have all this information for your SMS marketing subscribers. However, you can still divide them into different groups by creating different keywords for different subgroups to use when they opt in. This at least gives you an idea of where they saw your promotional ad, which provides some information as to their interests and other information.

It is possible to create very specific groups and target them with particular messages, or you can simply decide to just target based on larger groups, such as gender or location.

Customers Demand Personalized Marketing

More and more, customers are demanding a more personalized marketing approach. Although they might respond to generalized marketing messages on certain mediums, when it comes to more personal ones such as mobile and social media, they expect it to relate to them. This is creating a more personalized marketing in which businesses create well-crafted, relevant messages that are directed at a particular individual or group. This utilizes not just behavior patterns and demographics but also at what point in the sales funnel they are located.

Part of the point of personalized marketing is to develop relationships and engage with the customers. This helps not just to convert someone for one sale but also to hang on to them so that they eventually become loyal customers. An important component of this type of marketing is interactive content.

How SMS Marketing Fits In


People rarely go anywhere without their cell phone.

Text messages are an intimate channel for communicating with customers. Although they are willing to receive texts from brands, they reserve it for their favorite ones. They also have a special relationship with their cell phone. Most people carry their phone with them at all times and would rather give up items such as caffeine and chocolate rather than their phones. This provides an atmosphere perfect for a more personalized and targeted campaign.

Texting is also an easy way to interact with customers and engage them. It is a two-way communication medium that can be used to send offers and deals but also to run contests, take polls, send out surveys and engage in customer service operations. This makes it a prime channel for personalized marketing.

If you simply send out generic messages to your customers, you leave it open to quick opt-outs. Your goal needs to be providing something of value. Customers want to feel special. What better way than sending them a message that makes them feel as though they are the only ones who got it.

How to Personalize

The first step in a personalized message is to create content that is relevant to the customer. This is where dividing your list into groups based on your research comes into play. Customers can also go into more than one group. However, you want to be sure that when you send out messages targeting one or more groups that you still do not oversaturate the individual customer with several messages.

Develop an easy system for cross-channel integration. Most people use their cell phones to interact in many different ways. If you have a smartphone user, it is likely they also check their email, go on social media and surf the internet with their phone. Therefore, you can create a system with your SMS marketing program that makes it easy to interact between channels. This can simply be through making a call to action lead to another channel. This also makes it easier to create a database of customers with additional information from which you can draw to develop your targeted messages.


Your marketing team can work together for a comprehensive database.

The final component of a personalized message is the easiest. Simply leave room in your message to include their name. Your texting platform might include a way where you can automatically populate the message with the person's name. Of course, this requires that you have this information, which you can get through a form they fill out when they opt-in. However, if you do not have sufficient names of your subscribers for it to make sense to do this, there are still ways to greet your subscriber at the beginning of the text in a way that feels more genuine and person.

Personalization is an essential component of any effective SMS marketing program [[placeholder]]. By taking some time at the beginning to determine how you plan to develop targeted messages, you will have a foundation for a program that has the potential to bring you much bigger returns.

Contact us to learn more about developing an effective texting campaign that reaches audiences.

February 07, 2017

Alice Elliott of Fairy Blog Mother on Creating a Successful Blog



Alice Elliott, founder of Fairy Blog Mother, is an award-winning blogging teacher who has helped thousands of beginning bloggers for over a decade.

We recently asked for Alice's advice on launching and marketing a successful blog. Here's what she shared:

Can you tell us about your background and interest in blogging? What inspired you to start Fairy Blog Mother?

Many years ago I proudly finished designing my first website, and someone suggested I should promote it via a blog. When I started to investigate blogging, I found out that my mother already had a blog! So not to be outdone, I started using WordPress, and realized it was a wonderful way to create a website as well.

But when I started telling my friends about this, I was met with glazed stares. I realized that blogging was something that needed to be explained in an easy to understand way using ordinary, everyday language. Thus the Fairy Blog MotherĀ® was born, specializing in explaining to totally non-technical, would-be bloggers the basic concepts of blogging using highly visual, step-by-step methods.

Since then, many blogging teachers use a similar method, but none of them show absolutely every tiny step, or never assume any technological knowledge beforehand. Focusing on the minutiae of teaching technical stuff to real beginners is something my past students have been very grateful for, and many have gone on to create fantastic blogs!

How has the world of blogging evolved since you started blogging?

WordPress and other blogging platforms have tried to focus on simplicity. Other blogging platforms such as Medium, Pulse, Tumblr etc. have all managed this to an extent. But as many bloggers start to learn about what else a blog can do (SEO, promotion, engagement, etc.) they soon realize the limits these simplistic platforms can offer.

WordPress.com has been transformed to make it "more simple," but actually I don't think this has totally succeeded. Certainly, the new function is easier to use via hand held devices, and that is vital in today's fast-moving world. But this means certain elements are superseded and others take on a higher priority.

And another huge area about blogging that really concerns me is the decline in commenting on blogs. This finds it difficult to compete with social media's real-time responses, even with the lack of moderation for spam and trolls.

Commenting techniques have evolved into quick-fire, bitty conversations with little substance or proper discussion. So commenting on blogs, which requires quality writing with structure and purposeful meaning or motive, has fallen out of favor due to the higher popularity status social networking can conveniently supply to readers.

What does it take to succeed as a blogger today? What are best practices for creating, maintaining and growing interest in a blog?

If you want to succeed as a blogger, you really need to think how you are going to stand out above the crowd. There are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs, some good and many bad, so you will need a niche that resonates with your readers and that you have a continuous passion to keep on writing for.

Embrace technology to make it easier for your readers to read what you write. Every blog should be adapted for the small screen by now, and how you construct your posts should benefit the time-poor reader, those that scan for information and be visually compelling for easier reading.

Images and other media are vital to not only maintain the interest factor of your blog, but to get your message out in different capacities to capture a more varied audience. Good pictures are more sharable, can say more than words, and attract attention. Video, podcasts, slideshares and infographics are just some examples of other ways of communicating with your readers.

Every post should have a purpose, and therefore a call to action. However, this doesn't mean your blog should be a selling machine. Conversing and engaging with your readers is your main function, as you write purely for their benefit. Without readers your blog doesn't exist, so always write what they want and expect to read if you want to keep your readers sweet.

I mentioned above conversing with your readers. Your writing style needs to be like a conversation, with short, concise sentences. Similarly the paragraphs need to be short, to give the blog more white space to make it easier to read. And focus on using the kind of words your readers would use, so they can relate more to what you have written.

How should bloggers approach designing their sites?

Every blog needs to be responsive, so it can be read easily from a small screen. Therefore the sidebar is slowly becoming more defunct, as its contents are confined to the bottom of the screen (and need to be scrolled down to see it).

Modern design incorporates important elements within the main content of the blog and its posts. Sign up forms for email capture are now presented as triggers within the text. Other call to actions or items that need to noticed like testimonials are now big, bold and colorful.

Short sentences and paragraphs are easier to read on responsive blogs. Social sharing buttons need to be more prominent to encourage engagement. Commenting facilities should be easy to use without logging in procedures and not hidden by other digital marketing functions.

And simplicity will help your reader find what they want. A clear navigation system that guides the reader to their purpose for visiting your blog, and there is a trend to avoid cluttered and over-elaborate designs that diverts the attention of the reader away from your posts.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see bloggers making when attempting to grow their sites?

    • Not understanding their ideal reader. You can't write or converse properly with your readers if you don't know who they are. The sole purpose of your blog is to write for them, to form a relationship with them, to gain their loyalty, and eventually to get them to respond to your call to actions.

 

    • Not having a method of capturing emails. This is usually done with offering an incentive, which needs to be relevant and worthy. These warm leads need to be communicated with via a newsletter, offering them exclusive information that other readers don't get, to eventually persuade them further down your marketing funnel.

 

    • Not having social sharing buttons. How are your readers going to share your posts with their friends on social media if they like what they read? This is the ultimate sign of appreciation before moving onto comments and discussions, which enables you to get to know your readers better and gain their loyalty.

 

    • No consistency in publishing. Remember, it's not just your readers you have to constantly supply with new content to read, but the search engines as well. If you schedule to publish at prescribed times, both your readers and the search engine spiders will be eagerly waiting for your next installment.

 

    • Not promoting enough. The old adage "built it and they will come" is outdated, so you need to go out there and spread the word, make yourself visible, comment on other blogs, guest blog like fury in high-ranking, relevant blogs, converse on social media with influential people, and link your posts combined with introductions all over the web.



What are the dos and don'ts for marketing a blog?

Blogging is all about getting your posts read. Otherwise what is the point of blogging? Therefore you need to understand your readers, have a meaningful purpose or objective, develop an excellent writing style and post consistently.

Once this is established, you need to promote your content. But this isn't about getting out there and pushing your posts under everybody's noses. The best way of getting attention is by engaging first. Get yourself noticed for the right reasons. Spread your knowledge and show appreciation by extensive commenting (both on blogs and social media).

You need to increase your reputation and gain credibility by showcasing your expertise. This isn't only in your posts, but on other blogs as well. Set up a vibrant guest blogging regime to get yourself read by much wider audiences, and make sure your biography is tip top to encourage people to visit your blog to find out more about you.

And make sure you have plenty of quality posts on your blog for your existing and new readers to read. Learn how to write properly in the correct blogging style, and be prolific in the different styles of generating content. Make sure everything you produce is relevant, valuable and worthy.

How do you think marketing rules for blogging could be applied to text messaging marketing?

Text messaging marketing definitely needs to be permission based if it is going to succeed. It is not going to work if you constantly push it at people who aren't interested or don't use their phones enough for this particular kind of marketing.

This is the same for promoting your blog. Make sure you target the right kind of audience first and get to know them properly. Are the devices they use properly equipped to cope with receiving updates from your blog? Are they interested in the subject you blog about? How often could they cope with receiving updates before they get annoyed and unsubscribe?

Value and relevance are key areas here if both blogging and text messaging marketing are going to succeed in attracting their audience's attention and maintaining their interest over a reasonable period of time.

And a cautious approach to push marketing should be applied. Blogging isn't about selling, but about forming relationships, both on and off the blog. Text messaging marketing is about promoting a product or service via special offers or time-scarcity vouchers close to the point of retail or within a specific time frame.

How can SMS be incorporated into a blog's marketing strategy?

You need the right kind of audience, those who are wedded to their phones, and those who are willing to opt in to receive texts on a regular basis.

I'm quite happy to receive a text when someone has just published a new post, as part of the RSS feed system. If I have time I will read it there and then. But usually I would prefer to have it delivered by email so I can focus on it at my leisure at a later time.

However, text notifications are not conducive to gaining comments, particularly on the blog. This is so especially during the summer. People are out and about, and sometimes may have been interrupted by the text. They haven't time to read the post properly or have the inclination to leave a good comment on whatever social system of their choice.

Also, the keyboard on the phone is not designed for extensive commenting replies, but more for quick responses on social media including emojies, gifs, etc. If your audience is inclined like this, make it easier for them to help promote your blog post in this way.

What trends or innovations in blogging are you following right now? Why do they interest or excite you?

I'm intrigued by the redesign of responsive blog themes for hand held devices. We need to be able to promote what our blogs are about successfully within a small screen. This doesn't mean cramming everything into a small space, but whatever shows up needs to communicate your message correctly and succinctly and encourage your readers to want to find out more.

It is essential that blogging should become applicable for those on the move. In a sense this inhibits the complexities of blogging because this makes it more difficult to apply. But the process of taking out your tablet and quickly writing a post there and then is a concept that the modern blogger needs to get used to, and quickly.

Blogging will become a much more social animal in the 21st century. It needs to be a forerunner of engaging on social media. It should act as a resource archive for more extensive information that is hinted about in your conversations elsewhere: social media, other blogging platforms or whatever. In other words, driving new readers back to your blog to increase your traffic stats.

I would ignore the rumors going around that blogging is dying. It isn't. There will always be a need to write and express yourself online, to promote yourself or your business, or just to have somewhere to dump your ideas. But what really is dying is commenting on blogs, and for me that is a very sad indeed.

Engage with your followers and spread the word about your organization. Try ClubTexting for free.

February 03, 2017

Bonnie Harris of Wax Marketing on Integrated Marketing Communications



Bonnie Harris is the founder of Wax Marketing, an integrated marketing communications firm.

We recently asked Bonnie for her insight on integrated marketing for small business owners. Here's what she had to say:

Can you talk about your background in marketing? How has marketing communications evolved since you started your career?

I have worked in marketing, management and sales for the past 25 years. For the past 15 years I have been the President of Wax Marketing, an integrated marketing communications firm that works with mid-sized companies. My work has been focused heavily on the technology, finance and social services industry sectors.

Marketing communications has evolved dramatically over the past two decades, and the past 10 years in particular. The number of marketing channels has exploded, causing a massive shift in the way consumers and businesses create, curate and share information. In addition marketing and technology continue to merge, creating more and more opportunity to uncover and influence the customer behavior directly. We no longer need to rely on demographics to predict that behavior.

What is integrated marketing communications?

Integrated marketing communications is often confused with multichannel marketing, but they are not the same. Integrated marketing communications involves a planned, consistent use of different promotional methods that reinforce each other. The idea that the strategies and tactics within IMC "boost" each other's results is key to understanding its power.

How should brands approach their integrated marketing communications strategy today?

Brands should define their audiences as narrowly as possible, and craft strategies to reach those audiences. Keep in mind that the customer experience is growing more and more self-directed. Brands need to focus on influencing their customers or buyers from one stage of the buying cycle to the next; not merely selling to them.

What are the most common challenges or frustrations your clients face in marketing communications? How do you help them overcome these challenges?

The most common challenge for my clients, being smaller in size, is budget. They simply don't have the massive advertising budgets of the larger brands they may be competing with. This is where IMC is so powerful. Large company organizations are often much too siloed in nature to effectively use integration. Mid-sized companies can often adopt an integrated mindset much more easily. And the results of truly integrated campaigns are typically 100 to 200 percent greater than traditional campaigns, no matter the ad budget. That helps close the gap in terms of mindshare and performance against larger companies.

What should brands be doing today to prepare for the future of how they handle marketing communications?

The best thing they can do is eliminate the silos between marketing, sales, communications and technology. To do that, they need to also eliminate siloed goals among organizations. Adopting a project methodology like Agile for marketing can also be very helpful.

What role should SMS play in marketing strategies today?

SMS is another messaging channel that should be considered if the brand's target audience is a user of that channel.

What best practices would you recommend your clients follow with their SMS strategy? What are the dos and don'ts?

Once again, SMS is another messaging channel. It's important to consider it not just because "everyone says you should" but because your target audience uses it as a way to gather, curate or share information. If you're targeting non-digital natives it may be less important, for example. There are many "do's and don'ts" but the main thing is to make sure you're using SMS because it's an important tool for your customers.

What trends or headlines are you following in the world of digital marketing today? Why do they interest you?

I'm following marketing automation most closely. I think that there are far too many martech tools out there today, and there needs to be some consolidation in order to gain effectiveness within this space. I'm also following virtual reality trends, as I feel this is a huge gamechanger for marketing. I also watch neuromarketing techniques, a quieter sector that's getting better and better at influencing behavior.

What brands do you believe have done an especially outstanding job with their integrated communications strategy? What can we learn from them?

Amazon is a powerhouse, and I've written about them many times on my own blog. They use email marketing as the foundation for an amazingly coordinated marketing engine that is among the most integrated I've seen. The Red Cross has some excellent integration going on, particularly between their communications and development programs. I also like to follow some of the eCommerce smaller companies working in B2B, like Insite Software. Those companies are really integrating field sales into some cool marketing programs that incorporate Account Based Marketing, again to reinforce other promotional methods. You can't forget about sales. It always belongs in the integrated marketing mix if there is a direct sales component to the business!

Help spread the word about your organization via SMS. Try ClubTexting for free.

January 30, 2017

The Case for Engagement in SMS Marketing Campaigns

Customer engagement. This phrase has become a buzzword in marketing circles. Although you might be tired of hearing about customer engagement, there is a reason why it has become so crucial to modern business: more customers are choosing where to buy items based on their emotions than other components, such as price or location. Typically, their feelings are based on their interaction with the business while shopping there and through other avenues, such as social media, customer service, and a website.


Create a positive interaction so that customers want to come back.

There are some key reasons that engaged customers are the ideal ones to get. This includes:

  • They become loyal customers.
  • Patron a business more often.
  • Spend more money.
  • Cost less in advertising money.

One way to enhance engagement [WENDY, PUT LINK TO HUB HERE] is to implement an SMS marketing campaign. There are a few key ways that texting boosts your engagement numbers.





Interaction Texting is a great way to continually interact with your customers.
Positive experiences Texting facilitates positive experiences both in person and via text.
Personal touch Your campaign is a key way to create a personalized campaign.
Drip campaigns Integrate your texting campaign into your drip campaigns for enhanced interaction.
Customer service Many people prefer to use texting as an avenue for handling customer service issues.


Interaction

One key way that SMS marketing increases your customer engagement is simply that it provides an avenue for interaction beyond that within the walls of your business. Furthermore, it is the ideal place to facilitate a more intimate connection with customers. This is because of the relationship consumers have with their cell phones.

People carry their phones with them throughout the day, rarely leaving them outside of arm's reach. Additionally, they continually check their phones throughout the day, with the average text being opened within minutes of receipt. Only about one percent of text messages are spam, which means that people still view each message as important. All of this adds up to provide the perfect place to create a positive interaction with your customers to enhance engagement.

Create Positive Experiences

Another component of customer engagement is to create positive experiences for shoppers. Text message marketing provides a viable avenue to do just that. Provide locations throughout your store where people can text a keyword to find out additional information about a particular area. Offer customers with targeted coupons on a regular basis, which makes consumers feel as though they continually get a deal every time they visit your location.


Every message should provide content that brings joy to your customers.

There are many other ways to send messages to customers that facilitate a positive experience:

  • VIP access
  • Exclusive information
  • Presale tickets to events
  • Contests and games

When customers continually receive messages they view as valuable from you, this enhances their feelings about your company. This correlates to increased engagement, which will help you to become their preferred location to visit.

Personalization

An important component of engagement is personalization. It is easy to include this in your SMS marketing program in order to increase the efficacy of the campaign. The first is to include your subscribers' names in each text, which can be done through most texting platforms.

The other way is to develop targeted messages to each group on your list. You can create the message content on what the subscriber might find interesting based on:

  • Demographics
  • Behavior patterns
  • Surveys
  • Data mined from other campaigns, such as email and social media
  • Market research

There are plenty of places to find information about your subscribers in order to develop the right type of messages. The more targeted a message, the larger impact it has. This, in turn, increases the positive response, affecting your customer engagement.

Drip Campaigns

SMS marketing also plays a role as part of a drip campaign or other integrated marketing effort. This provides you with several points with which to interact with potential customers:

  • Call to action in a wide-reaching ad
  • Coupons to motivate first-time customers
  • Information answering questions
  • Customer service
  • Personalized messages to loyal customers

With each point in the chain, you have a chance to create a positive experience. This provides several instances in which consumers interact with your company and leave feeling good about your company. Together, this ultimately leaves them more engaged, increasing the chance they will continue to patron you.

Customer Service


With customer service via text, people can handle issues from anywhere.

One of the most important ways to utilize your SMS marketing program to enhance customer engagement is to use it as a customer service tool. A majority of consumers prefer texting for customer service issues rather than other channels, including the phone or online chatting. With your texting program, set up a keyword that consumers can text to you when they have an issue. Then, your customer service department can answer, providing assistance. People like this because they can handle it anywhere without feeling as though they need to interrupt their day.

In addition to handling issues, it is also beneficial to set up your texting program to handle other components of customer service, including:

  • Transactional messages
  • Appointment or event reminders

Your texting campaign does not need to become the sole way to provide customer service; however, by offering it as one channel with which consumers can connect with you, you will make it easier for them to handle any problems. This, in turn, will turn any negative experiences into more positive ones, ultimately enhancing your customer engagement.

Texting is an immediate and intimate channel. As such, it has the capacity to be utilized in a variety of ways that ultimately create a more positive experience thanks to better interactions with your customers.

Ready to start building your customer engagement? Try ClubTexting for free and start creating positive interactions with your customers.

 

January 23, 2017

Expert Interview Series: Gavin Ingham, Speaker and Author, On Sales and Mental Toughness



Gavin Ingham is Europe's leading speaker on sales and mental toughness. He helps people to "be more, do more, and have more" in their business and their lives. Gavin recently sat down with us to explain his concept of mental toughness and how he communicates that message to salespeople and business executives.

Briefly tell us about your background. Why did you decide to become a motivational speaker and coach?

My first big challenge in life came when my father died in a car accident when I was just 13. Having been a top student destined for a career in law, I stopped paying attention at school and focused on how I could use my communication and negotiation skills to ensure that I could get away with doing as little work as possible.

Realizing that I was responsible for my own success or failure and can take control of my own emotions, I put what I had learned into practice to become a European sales award winner in my first full year selling. Utilizing mental toughness strategies that I had learned over the years, I was quickly promoted to team leader and then to sales manager before being headhunted to set up the sales division of a startup organization.

During this time I studied extensively in sales, motivation, communication, and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). It was through this study and working in these roles that I began to realize the power of the individual over external events and circumstances, and where I started to develop the mental toughness techniques, strategies, and approaches that I share in my motivational keynote talks and books today. In 2001, inspired by a lifelong passion for self-improvement and success thinking, I decided to set up my own business as a speaker, author, and coach.

What are some of the common roadblocks and challenges that are faced by the people and organizations to whom you speak?

Though every person and every organization are different, there are some common challenges:

    • Everybody is busy.

 

    • Companies expect more, clients expect more, managers expect more.

 

    • Increased competition.

 

    • A scarcity mentality.

 

    • Not taking responsibility for anything.

 

    • Not setting big enough goals.

 

    • Underestimating what needs doing

 

    • Not having a plan.

 

    • Not knowing what is important to them

 

  • Not doing the right stuff.

"Mental toughness" has been a buzzword or catchphrase for a long time. What does that concept mean to you?

If you Google mental toughness, it is described as "a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education, and the workplace." Certainly in the U.S., mental toughness is a very common phrase ... but mostly in sports and sales.

When I speak to people, a lot of people think that mental toughness is about doing really hard stuff under massive adversity and achieving extraordinary results in one singular area. I don't see mental toughness that way.

Mental toughness is having the strength to make the right decision and take the right action (at the right time) for you. That might be deciding to be a singularly-minded professional sports person, a worldwide international top salesperson, or a ruthless lawyer. But it could just as easily be having the mental toughness to organize your life so that you get to spend more time with your children and your wife because they're important to you, or to balance your life so that you can keep your eye on your health, or to ask a difficult question in a coaching scenario with one of your team members. In short, mental toughness is about having the strength to do what is right for you. But it does not have to be extreme or extraordinary; it is about doing what is right. And that could be very "ordinary" indeed.

In your "mental toughness program," how do you go about teaching and building mental toughness in executives and business leaders?

The basic concepts of my mental toughness program are fairly straightforward, but different people engage at different levels.

On the most basic level, I speak at a lot of conferences introducing people to the core concepts of mental toughness, giving examples that would be relevant to them, and getting them to ask themselves questions that challenge them to be more, do more, and have more. I help them feel more motivated and confident and give them simple actions they can take to achieve more.

At the next level, I work more closely with smaller groups helping them to really look inside themselves at what is important to them, set huge goals, and break those down into actions. I then help them to develop the beliefs, the attitudes, and the accountability that they need to get the results that they want.

At the most life changing level, I help people make quantum leaps in their businesses and in their lives through one-to-one executive coaching. I work with CEOs and MDs and help them to achieve extraordinary results.

How can a person leverage mental toughness to help improve or turn around a struggling or failing club or organization?

Most organizations and people fail because they do the wrong things. It really is as simple as that. Sometimes this is because they don't know what to do. Sometimes this is because they don't care. And sometimes this is because they know what to do but they just don't do it, either because they can't be bothered or they can't hold themselves to the task.

Whether an individual or an organization, the first step of any change program is to work out what is important to you, to create goals around your objectives, and then to work out exactly what you need to do. Oftentimes, the answer to the question is only one or two things that if done consistently would utterly change your life or your business.

It really is quite simple, although most people require help with getting themselves into the right state and developing the beliefs and the accountability necessary to stay on track.

For someone like you who is skilled at communicating with people face-to-face, what is important to keep in mind when trying to effectively communicate with someone via text message?

I think my best piece of advice is, be careful. I know the younger generation believes that texting is the new form of communication, but even for them there is something missing. Texting can be so easily misconstrued. Something which you are meant to be taken one way can be taken another way.

It is also worth noting that the level of influence, engagement, and emotion in text messages is often missing or misconstrued. To improve communication over text, what you need to do is really consider how the other person might misread your text - and to do this before you send it. You also need to ask yourself whether text really is the most appropriate and effective form of communication for your needs.

I obviously use text messages, social media, and email, but I often pick the phone up, too. In fact, I pick the phone up when others are expecting a text because I believe that's the most impactful way of making that communication and ensuring that my message was received the way I wanted it to be.

What advice would you give to young professionals about developing mental toughness so that they can be successful in their careers?

Work out what is important to you. Hold on to your dreams. Work out what you need to do to move towards those dreams. Take action, take massive action, and take even more massive action. Never stop until you get where you want to be. Find people who are already doing what you're doing and model what they do. Adopt the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of those people.

Don't listen to people giving advice who haven't achieved what you want to achieve. Remember that even though most advice is well-meaning, it does not matter what the intent was if it knocks you off track.

If you want to achieve something, you probably can if you want it enough. Set your goals bigger than anybody else ever would for you, and then go for it. Life is a journey. Enjoy it.

Want more information about ClubTexting? Contact us today!

January 20, 2017

The Case for SMS Marketing Campaigns

Although it might seem as though SMS marketing is a relatively new marketing channel, it has actually existed since the early 2000s. From its onset, many have seen the potential of the medium, yet just as many remain wary of it.


SMS marketing is an effective way to bring in customers.

In the past few decades, a lot has changed in marketing, including the changing emphasis on mobile marketing. What was once used by a few brave leaders is now becoming commonplace. However, there remains some who are still unsure whether it is something worth adopting or simply a passing fad. Some myths remain so entrenched that it is difficult to know the reality surrounding this highly-effective medium. By reviewing a few of these misconceptions, you will discover why so many have adopted it.

A Short History Lesson

Back in the early 2000s, Adage wrote an article about the promise of using SMS for marketing purposes. During this time period, texting was just starting to become widely popular, especially in Asian and European markets. Between 2001 and 2002, there was a surge of over 150 billion more texts sent per year, and in 2003, the first few commercial SMS services started to emerge.

The promise of this new marketing channel was obvious. It was seen as a way to be personal and directly communicate with individuals. Some major brands, including Nike and Coke, became early adopters. However, this marketing forum also saw a huge obstacle due to many carriers, and users, viewing it as spam or a passing fad. It ultimately took a back seat to some of the other marketing channels, such as email and social media.

Many of the benefits -- and concerns -- surrounding text message marketing still stand 15 years after the publication of this article. Despite the Adage writer seeing the benefits of this medium so many years ago, companies still hesitate to adopt it today. If this is you, there is no reason to continue to wait to see whether or not people will adopt SMS marketing. It is a highly relevant marketing channel with many people wanting to communicate with businesses through it. Not convinced? The following should help.




Percent of messages that are spam 1 percent
Conversion rate 32 percent
Open rate 98 percent
Time to read Under three minutes
Consumers who wish to communicate via text with businesses 70 percent
Number of consumers who wish to have SMS customer support 52 percent
Engagement rate 8x that of email


Myth 1: People Interact with Companies on Computers

With the growing importance of the internet, it is essential to have a web presence, including email and websites. In today's market, taking this presence into the mobile space is becoming more important than ever. More people interact with businesses or go online on their mobile devices than a computer, with mobile internet usage making up 70 percent of usage. The numbers are set to only increase, with the number of people preferring to access the internet via a mobile device rather than a computer expected to jump by 28 percent. This makes mobile marketing a priority for businesses, especially since people are looking for a mobile-first solution to their shopping needs.

Another reason SMS marketing has such power: people carry their phones with them everywhere. A significant portion of people who own a cell phone never have it out of reach, and they will check it multiple times per day. When they receive a text message, they open it within just a few minutes. Because more and more people also shop on their phones, they can easily take action on a text coupon by clicking to link and complete a sale.

Myth 2: Customers Do Not Want to Receive Texts from Businesses

A very prominent myth about SMS marketing that still reigns supreme is that customers do not wish to have businesses contact them via texting. However, that is not the case. Around 75 percent of consumers want businesses to communicate with them via text rather than targeted internet ads. In addition to receiving messages from the business, many consumers wish to interact with businesses via text, especially for customer service.


Customers do want to hear from you through text message.

There are many benefits to choosing to interact with consumers via texting. For one, it builds a more intimate relationship with consumers. You are texting with them in the same channel that they typically reserve just for their family and friends. Additionally, spam takes up just 1 percent of messages, so consumers will view each individual message as important.

Additionally, texting is a permission-based medium, which means that you are only communicating with those who wish to hear from your business. This makes the message have that much greater of an impact. When you market to people who already have a positive experience with your company, then they are more likely to take the intended action. This leads to SMS marketing having some of the highest numbers for conversion rates and engagement rate.

Texting has a strong engagement with customers, which helps you to build your business. Many people now shop based on their experiences and engagement with a company, rather than based on price and other factors. By using texting to engage with customers, you will be able to retain them and increase your number of loyal customers.

Myth 3: Only Young People Text

Millennials and Gen Z'ers are famous for their love of texting and mobile devices. This makes SMS marketing an ideal channel for marketing to younger consumers. In fact, 60 percent of Millennials prefer two-way texting, and more than 83 percent open their texts within 90 seconds. However, this is generally an underused medium, as only 60 percent of Millennials receive five or less marketing messages from businesses, and a full 20 percent do not receive any.


It is not just young people who text.

However, Millennials and Gen Z'ers are not the only ones who text, and thereby not the only ones who can benefit from this marketing tools. Baby Boomers and older also text in high numbers. Out of smartphone owners:

  • 100 percent of 18-29 year olds text
  • 98 percent of those aged 30-49 text
  • 92 percent of those over the age of 50 tex

. As you can see, implementing a text program will not eliminate your ability to target older demographics.

Myth 4: Other Marketing Channels Are Better

Many companies simply focus on other marketing channels, feeling that adding SMS marketing does not make sense. They feel that digital marketing, SEO, blogging, social media, and traditional advertisements go a lot further than texting. However, time and time again, SMS marketing has shown it reigns supreme:

These are just a few of the key statistics showing the power that texting has over other marketing channels. Additionally, more than two-thirds of subscribers to mobile marketing have made a purchase due to a relevant message.

SMS marketing is a cost-effective marketing solution that packs a punch. That does not mean it should be your only marketing channel. It works best as an integrated part of a comprehensive marketing campaign that utilizes multi-channels, including:

  • Social media
  • Websites
  • SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Radio and TV ads
  • Print ads
  • In-store promotions
  • Email newsletters

Every marketing channel has its strengths and weaknesses. However, you would be remiss to reject SMS marketing just because you feel that some of the other marketing channels are better.

Myth 5: It's a Passing Fad

Texting has not yet reached its peak as a marketing channel. It is expected to continue to grow and become an even more vital component of marketing. In the coming years, more automation and chat bots with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence will emerge and integrate with SMS marketing and messaging chat apps. The marketing channel is expected to continue to grow, with no end in sight. Therefore, there is no reason to simply not adopt it, thinking that it is simply a trend that will quickly go away.


Get your team together and start working on a plan for your program.

Now is the perfect time to add texting to your marketing strategy if you have been hesitant. It is continually increasing in its efficacy, and customers are primed to opt-in. Despite its many advantages, few businesses have adopted it, meaning that customers are not overcome by messages. This helps you to cut through the mess and compete, even with the larger corporations that might have more money for marketing and advertising.

SMS marketing has been around for 15 years, and it will be around for decades to come. Rather than believing the myths that continue to circulate around the medium, take advantage of the lucrative benefits of the medium and add it to your marketing campaign today. Get started by trying ClubTexting for free.

January 09, 2017

How to Know Your Target Audience for Your Texting Campaign

For a dynamite SMS marketing campaign, it is essential to create something that is specific, targeted and personalized. Overly generic messages do not have the same impact as messages that resonate with the recipient. If you really want to see your conversion numbers soar, then it is important to create a message that means something to the customer <>. To do this, you first need to determine who the audience is. Whether you have one or several target audiences, a similar process provides invaluable information about your subscribers.

For many marketers, it is beneficial to create a persona that represents their ideal target audience. This persona has the basic habits, behavior patterns, personality, characteristics, demographics and other features of the ideal customer. It is typically based on a conglomeration of actual customers. To create this persona, there is certain information you need to know. Even if you do not actually create a symbolic customer, the same information informs your marketing efforts.

Research


Take some time to research your customers to determine the best target audience.

The first place to begin discovering your target audience is through research. First and foremost, you will conduct market research. If you do not have the resources to perform your own market research, it is possible to purchase data from market research firms and larger businesses.

Additionally, take the time to review the information you have about your own customers. This should include data across all the channels with which you interact with customers, including:

  • Shopping metrics
  • Buying habits
  • Demographics
  • Website visitors
  • Social media followers
  • Email newsletter followers
  • SMS marketing subscribers
  • Members

Each of these areas has the potential to provide you with invaluable information about your own customers. From this data, you have the foundation on which to choose your few key personas to create. Once you have this, you can continue to imbue them with some of the information that you see continually appear when you look through your data.

You might start by looking at key pieces of data and their relationship to other data. For example, you can start with females between 20 and 35. Then, you can see what information you have for that demographic to then add in other characteristics and buying habits. The market research you conduct or purchase will further add certain elements to the personas.

It is important to remember that the target audience for one marketing channel might be different than that of the other. Therefore, your texting campaign might require some additional research to what you already have. However, you also might find that you have the same personas on several channels because customers within that demographic and behavior pattern interact with you across multiple channels.

Conduct Surveys

Although research is a key place to determine your target audience, it is also important to actually talk with your customers. The way to do this is to ask them to conduct surveys. Then, you have the chance to learn additional information about certain groups of customers and what they expect from your company and SMS marketing program.

You might find that certain customers are not as open to texts as others, which means that you would be wasting some of your resources in trying to get them to sign up. Instead, you can focus on the groups that are most open to texting, making it easier to receive all the lucrative benefits of the medium. Direct communication provides invaluable insight into not only who your target audience is, but also what they want from you.

Look to the Competition

Another place to glean information on your potential target audience for your texting campaign is to look to see who your competition is targeting. This information can be used in two ways. For one, you might decide to target the same audience as your competition, or you might choose to focus on another area that might be left alone by the competition. You can fulfill a gap in the market, something that many smaller companies do in order to compete with larger firms.

No matter how you use the data you receive, looking at who your competition targets with their texting campaigns will help you narrow down your own target audience. Of course, it is possible that your major competition is not using SMS marketing, but you can still find some helpful information. You see what audiences they target with their other marketing efforts, and this provides insight into what demographics they see as the main pool of customers.

Understand the Value of Your Goods and Services to Your Customers


Consider what your customers expect and want from your company.

The final key piece for understanding your target audience is to look at the value of your goods and services to customers, or your unique sales proposition. See not only who buys your products, but also how they buy and why. What need do your goods and services fulfill for customers? This gives you a richer idea of how to market to your target audience because you know how to best speak to them and reach them in this place of need.

You might find that different audiences see different value in your goods or services. If this is the case, then it is important to alter your marketing message to these different audiences. Even a short-form content like SMS marketing needs to create messages that resonate with the audience and how they interact with your company <>.

By taking the time to fully understand your target audience, you will be able to create a stronger texting campaign that helps you reach your goals. It is also easier to create content that converts and provides you with the impressive rates for which texting is famous.

Contact us to learn more about discovering your target audience.