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7 posts from June 2016

June 28, 2016

5 Tips for Creating a Dynamite Auto Response for Your SMS Marketing Program

When you create your SMS marketing program, one important tool will be your auto response messages. These are messages that are sent to your subscribers after they send a certain keyword to you. The most common one is a confirmation and a "thank you" for opting into the campaign, but you may find you have other uses for them. To increase the efficacy of these messages, it is important you include the right information in the right format. The following tips can help you to create dynamite auto response messages to increase the success of your text marketing campaign.

Keep it Short


Keep your auto response texts short to keep your customers happy

Text messages have a limit of 160 characters. Although some new smartphones may display longer texts as one message, they are still sent as separate texts divided into 160 characters. When you create a message longer than the standard length, you raise the chance of running into problems. It could be sent as more than one message in the wrong order, leading to confusion. It also might lead to additional charges to your customers, which will not be appreciated and could lead to increased opt-out rates. It also appears less professional than a shorter text. Text messaging is, by definition, a concise communication medium, so create responses that adhere to that. If you have more to say, includr a link to a web page with additional information.

Include A Signature

Even though the message is a response to an action taken by a current or prospective customer, there is no guarantee that he or she will remember to whom the short code of phone number belongs when the response is sent. Therefore, it is important that you always include sufficient space within the 160 characters to sign the message to make it clear with whom they are corresponding. This also makes it easier for customers to take action, such as redeeming a coupon.

Details on How to Unsubscribe

SMS marketing is a permission-based communication medium. By law, it is required that you not only get written permission from consumers that they wish to receive messages (which includes an opt-in text), but you also must regularly provide information on how to opt-out. This does not need to take too many of your precious characters, as all you need is to state something similar to "text STOP to opt out." It is also helpful to include other options, such as HELP for help, and more information, such as message and data rates may apply and a link to the further terms and conditions. You do not have to include these in every single one of your regular texts, as long as you do so regularly. However, if you are sending an auto-response from a particular keyword, it is beneficial to include these terms, since it may be the first time someone receives a message from you.

Send Valuable Content

When you send an automatic response to a keyword, it is important you include content of value to the customer. For confirmation auto responses, it is beneficial to provide some sort of reward for opting in, such as a coupon or other offer. For keywords other than your opt-in keyword, consider the reasons why people may choose to send that keyword to your program. Then, develop content that matches those reasons. For example, when the keyword is a question or other inquiry, include the answer in the response. Value of content is one of the most important aspects of any successful text message program. This should include all messages, including those that are part of an auto-response.

Don't Forget the Call to Action


Include a call to action to increase your conversion rates

No matter what type of response you send to your customers, it should always include some type of call to action. This increases your engagement and conversion rates. Whether this call to action is to buy, click, respond or something else, it provides clear instructions to your customers about what they need to do. Even if your auto response is in reply to a customer service inquiry that states that someone will get in touch with the customer soon, it should still include some type of action. This could be responding with another keyword to cancel the inquiry or a link to click for more information. A call to action increases the interaction between you and the customers, which, in turn, helps improve the success of your overall SMS marketing program.

SMS marketing has numerous benefits, including a high open and engagement rate. One key aspect of this marketing channel is its ability to send automatic messages in response to certain keywords. Taking the time to develop a very strong and clear response message helps improve your overall success rates.

Ready to set up your auto-response texts and start your SMS marketing program? Try ClubTexting for free.

June 27, 2016

5 Messages to Send Your Comedy Club Patrons for a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

Many businesses have adopted texting as a way to engage with customers to boost their business. Comedy clubs can benefit from the numerous advantages of SMS marketing, including a high open rate and engagement rate. If you are looking for ways to include this type of marketing in your comedy club, then you want to be sure you create the best content. The following messages are just a few ideas you can use to jump start a dynamite text marketing campaign.

Free Drink With Purchase


Offer patrons a free drink to get them in the door to buy more

Deals and discounts are always a popular option no matter what business you are in. For comedy clubs, getting people in the door to buy food and drinks can help to increase your business. Sending a message that offers a free drink with purchase provides your guests an incentive to come to your club. This can be the purchase of a meal, entry tickets, or a BOGO free drink special. Once your guests have one drink, they are more likely to order and pay for another drink, helping increase your revenue.

VIP Seating

Some comedy clubs have assigned seating, but most offer seating on a first come, first serve basis. For your SMS marketing subscribers, you can create a special seating area near the front of the stage. Upon showing the text message, your loyal subscribers have a chance to get VIP seating, even if they come later in the evening. This works well as a way to reward your most loyal customers. With your text marketing platform, you have the ability to group your subscribers based on their demographics and behavior patterns. One group can include your loyal customers to whom you send additional incentives and rewards beyond just VIP seating.

Discount Entry

Another highly popular offer to send through SMS marketing is a discount on the entry fee. Once you get people into your comedy club, you have other avenues of sales, including food and drinks. Most clubs make the bulk of their profits from drinks rather than entry tickets. This makes this type of coupon one of the best to send out. It minimizes the loss to your club due to the discount, and it is highly attractive to customers.

Event Reminders

SMS marketing is the perfect forum for sending out event reminders to your guests and potential guests. Around 98 percent of text messages are read. Most of the time that is within just a few minutes. This means that you can send reminders out the day of the show and feel confident that your subscribers saw the message. This helps increase attendance, since people will have less time to forget about the show. Event reminders also work well as customer service initiatives to remind those who pre-ordered tickets to their event so that they do not miss out.

Exclusive Pre-Sale Opportunities


When you have big names come to your club, offer your VIPs pre-sale tickets

Another message to send your comedy club patrons is a link to exclusive pre-sale opportunities to get tickets to shows. This works especially well for shows that are sure to sell out quickly. Your subscribers, especially your loyal members, can get a chance to get their tickets before you sell out so that they do not miss out. Although you can always offer pre-sale tickets through your text marketing campaign, you will see it work better when you use it for the big names heading to your club.

These are just a few examples of some messages you can send to your comedy club patrons to capitalize on the benefits of SMS marketing to increase your club's profits. When developing messages of your own, consider what your customers would most want from you. It is important that you concentrate on sending messages of value to your customers, and that those messages remain exclusive to the medium.

Ready to see how texting can help your comedy club increase its business? Try ClubTexting for free.

June 25, 2016

Can Group Texting Help Your Country Club's Business?

As a country club, you want to make sure that you create the best atmosphere and service for your current members so that they will want to retain their membership. Along with maintaining a strong renewal rate, you also want to find ways to attract new customers so that your club can grow. Group texting is one way that you can engage with current members and attract new ones to grow your business. There are many ways that group texting can help your business

More Successful Membership Drives


Increase the number of members at your club with text messaging

Group texting provides you with a powerful promotional tool to help your membership drives. It is easy to add to all your marketing and advertisement collateral. Simply include a keyword and short code with basic instructions for prospective members to text for more information. Text messaging is one of the most powerful calls to action, and it is versatile enough to work in any medium. Many people always have their phones with them, so no matter when, how, and where they see the ad, they can easily text for more information.

You can leverage the same benefits even with your current members to promote events, fundraisers, classes and other events at your club. On your promotional material, include information about your group texting program. Members can text for more information, which, in turn, increases the chance that they will join in.

Improve Customer Service

Customer service is an essential aspect of any successful country club. Your members expect the best. By offering group texting, you can provide it to them. Your texting program does not have to just be a one-way marketing channel. It works very well as a forum for members to contact you with questions and/or problems. A majority of consumers prefer using texting for customer service inquiries. Simply by offering it, you can improve your customer service ratings because you are available, no matter what method customers choose to use to contact you.

Remind Members About Important Information

Another way that group texting can help your country club business is by working as a communication channel for members. Those who opt-in to the program can be reminded about their reservations, appointments, classes and other events at your club. You can send out important membership information to your subscribers, such as emergency alerts, unforeseen closures, construction updates and more. Informed members are happy members, which increases the chance they will renew their membership for another year.

Event Invitations


Invite your members to events via text for a better turn out

Your group texting program also provides a channel to contact members and prospective members to invite them to events at your club. Text messages have a much higher open rate than other channels. For example, texts have a 98 percent open rate, while email marketing only has around a 22 percent open rate. By sending invitations through text, you increase the chance of members actually seeing the information. Additionally, they will never have to worry about mislaying the information, as they will always have it there on their phone. (Unless, of course, they mislay their phone, in which case their entire life will be over.)

Group texting has a high open rate and engagement rate, making it a powerful communication and marketing channel. You can capitalize on this in your country club by using it to promote your club, send out discounts to prospective and current members, and improve your customer service. This, in turn, boosts your business and helps you to provide the type of service you strive to give.

Contact us to learn more about how you can include text messaging in your comprehensive marketing strategy to increase membership to your country club.

June 23, 2016

5 Reasons to Use Group Texting for Your Youth Soccer League

Soccer has become a popular youth sport in America. As with any team sport, it is important to find efficient ways to communicate with team members, their parents, and fans. One way to do this is group texting. Mass text message services are not just for businesses or professional sports; community leagues and youth soccer teams can benefit from many of the same lucrative features as professional teams or businesses. If you are unsure whether or not to implement this cost-effective communication and marketing channel, the following reasons may help you to make up your mind.

Connect with Everyone


Texting helps you to connect with all families and players in your league

For your youth soccer league to run smoothly and efficiently, it is important that everyone receives the relevant information about their teams and/or the league. Therefore, you need to find an avenue of communication that reaches the widest audience possible: text messaging. In America, 90 percent of adults own a cell phone, of which, the vast majority is enabled for SMS messages, and roughly 81 percent text at least once per month. This is a much higher number than those who have a social media account or immediate access to the Internet, which is why it is the perfect medium for ensuring that everyone in your league receives necessary information.

Easily Keep Teams Organized

Another reason to incorporate group texting for your youth soccer league is that it helps you and your coaches keep the teams organized. It is possible to create groups out of your subscribers and send each group a targeted message. You can categorize your subscribers by the team, and then you and/or the coaches can send out team schedules, practice and game reminders, and other updates. This helps your league remained organized so that everything runs smoothly and the kids can focus on enjoying playing soccer.

Instantly Update Information

Most people carry their cell phones with them at all times and hardly ever keep them further than an arm's length away. Additionally, most text messages are open and read within three minutes of receipt. You can take advantage of this with group texting for your youth soccer league. You can send out last minute game or practice changes or cancellations or other updates. If there is any sort of weather emergency or some other unforeseen event, you can send out information instantly to the parents, players, coaches, referees, fans and anyone else on your texting subscriber list.

Get More Fan Involvement

A youth soccer league has the potential to get the entire community involved, not just the parents and players. One way to help with this is to implement a group texting program that includes your fans. You send out updates about games, as well as stats of certain players. Your community can remain updated on the activities of your league to make it easy for them to come out and support the players. When they receive a text message about a game, it will remind them to go cheer for their teams, increasing the number of non-family spectators in the crowd.

Improve Your Fundraising Programs


Texting can help you to increase the number of donations you receive

Some youth soccer programs heavily rely on fundraising to help fund the sport. Group texting assists you in raising money. You can text your subscribers information about how to donate money, including texting a direct link to your fundraising page. When you run a fundraising event, send out a text to your subscribers to remind them to come by and chip in. Also, use your texting program to recruit and organize volunteers to help run your fundraising campaigns or other events.

Integrating group texting to your communication for your youth soccer league can help to improve your communication and create a more efficient league. With the permission of your subscribers, you can send out updates and relevant information to keep everyone up to date on what is happening.

Ready to see how easy it is to keep your league organized? Try ClubTexting for free.

June 22, 2016

How to Get Yourself Out of a Text Message Marketing Rut

You launched your text message marketing program and saw an impressive response. For weeks and months, your subscriber numbers rapidly rose and you experienced high engagement rate numbers. Then, it started to slow down and eventually plateaued. Now, your program sees little gain, and you feel as though you are stuck in a rut. If this describes you, then do not fear. There are ways to get out of this marketing rut and, once again, see positive results from your campaign.

Review Your Current Campaign


Have your team review the analytics to see what worked--and what didn't

The first action to take to get yourself out of a text message marketing rut is to review your current campaign. Your analytics provide a wealth of information. See what types of messages had the most impact, and which had the least. See if the time you send your messages is inconvenient based on the open rates. Your opt-out rates may tell you if you send messages to frequently, or if the type of messages you send are inappropriate for the audience.

The analytics also show you where your program started to plateau or drop, which may provide you some insight into possible problems that may have developed. You might also find that you are not integrating your program with your other channels as well as you could.

Ask Yourself or Your Team Some Questions

Now that you have an idea of the intricacies of your current campaign, it is time to start asking yourself some questions to try to understand what changes need to be implemented. Think about what types of messages had the best response. Discount offers tend to be powerful messages, but people still respond differently to different discounts. Your analytics will shine a light on which type of discount had the greatest response, whether it was a particular percentage off, something for free, or a monetary discount. Your audience may prefer to get something free rather than getting $5 off.

Consider any popular products that you could better leverage to get improved results from your program. Ask yourself about your typical customer's demographics and behavior patterns, as well as that of your target audience. This helps you determine whether the messages you send have value to your subscribers. Evaluate your goals and see if they remain valid or need to change.

Do Some Market Research

When you find your program faltering, it may be time to do some additional market research. Even if you spent a lot of time looking into the behavior patterns, expectations, wants and demographics of your target audience before you began, it is important to do some additional research when you find yourself in a rut. Your intended audience may have changed, making the messages no longer have the same value. There might be another audience prime for targeting to get new subscribers to your list as well. You most likely will not have to do as much market research as you did at the start of your program, but you will find it helpful to spend at least some time re-evaluating the needs and wants of your customers.

Try Some New Message Types

You might review your program and not see any big problems or issues that could explain the change in the success of the program. It might be that your customers have simply become complacent or you have neared the saturation point for your current audience.

To shake things up, try out some new message types. If you always send out coupons or deals, try running a contest of some sort. Set up a group of your most loyal customers and offer them exclusive access to sales, such as the opportunity to buy the items at a discount before anyone else. Send out surveys or polls to increase interaction and gain insight into what your customers want. Even if you wish to only send out one type of messages, such as offers and deals, try out some new varieties on the offers, such as flash sales or limited time offers, to give it a fresh look.

Review Your CTAs


Find more effective CTAs that will increase customer engagement and conversion

One reason that your program may be faltering could be that your calls to action may not be strong enough. Perhaps you are using the wrong words or location within your message for the best efficacy. Or, your CTA might not be clear and concise. Create a sense of urgency so that your customers act now. This might mean that you need to send out offers with a shorter expiration date or utilize language that better motivates people to take action. It may take some trial and error to find new CTAs that work as you want them to. In the long run, it will be worth it to discover the best ones for your company to use.

You can get your company out of a text message marketing rut, but be prepared for it to take some time and effort. SMS marketing, like all marketing programs, changes and evolve over time. If you do not take action to keep it fresh and new, you will find that a once-successful program will start to falter. Instead of letting this happen, spend time evaluating your current program and finding ways to adjust it to meet the new needs of your customers to keep them happy and engaged.

Here comes the Call to Action. Wait for it . . . Contact us to learn more about the different campaigns you can run to keep your program fresh and exciting for your customers. Do it now! Not tomorrow. Now!

June 15, 2016

The 7 Worst Mistakes for SMS Marketing and How to Avoid Them

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for any marketing campaign. It has a high open rate, has a high engagement rate, and is liked by most customers. However, as with any medium, there is the potential for disaster. By knowing the most common mistakes companies make, you can learn to avoid them and improve the chances of your campaign's success. The following are the worst mistakes you can make, along with some simple tips on the best way to avoid making them for a more successful campaign.

Too Many Messages ... Or Too Few


Find the right frequency of messages to keep your subscribers happy and engaged

One of the easiest mistakes to make when you start an SMS marketing campaign is to use the wrong frequency at which you send messages. If you send them too frequently, such as every day, then your subscribers may feel bombarded with texts and decide to opt out. However, if you only use text marketing as a one-off marketing campaign, then you miss out on many of the advantages of the medium. To avoid both of these mistakes, you need to find a frequency that works well with your campaign by monitoring your analytics. Generally, the ideal frequency is between two and four texts per month.

Wrong Type of Message

Another common mistake is to send the wrong type of message to your consumers. One of the most important aspects of any successful campaign is that it offers something of value to the customers. If you send messages that your subscribers do not want to receive, then they will opt out in droves, and you will also have a hard time getting people to sign up. That is why it is important to undertake market research prior to starting your campaign and do some test runs before a larger launch of your program. This gives you the information you need to develop valuable content that your customers will actually want to receive.

Not Using Exclusive Content

SMS marketing works well as part of a multi-channel integrated marketing strategy. In this scenario, you will have several channels through which you communicate with your customers, such as email and social media. If you send the same message to your followers and subscribers on every medium, then you lose the chance to have the same customer signed up on multiple channels. To keep more text message subscribers, it is essential that you send out exclusive content to the medium. You also want to avoid sending out the same message every time. This reduces the motivation for your customers to take action because they know that they will receive the same coupon at a later date.

Not Getting Permission

The most detrimental mistake you can make in your SMS marketing campaign is to send messages to people for which you do not have permission. This not only potentially annoys and frustrates customers; it is also against the law. You must have written permission from your subscribers that they wish to receive the type of messages at the frequency you plan. To avoid this mistake, simply be clear about your program when people opt in, make it easy to opt out, and send out information to your subscribers any time you make changes to the frequency or other aspects of your program.

Using Abbreviations and Other Text Speech

When you only have 160 characters through which to create a message, it can be tempting to use abbreviations and text speech. However, this makes your text message appear unprofessional and might create confusion for some subscribers. Therefore, you want to always use the full words except for well-known abbreviations that would make sense in any marketing medium, such as the abbreviations for states.

Sending Messages at the Wrong Time

Another common mistake companies make when they first start out with an SMS marketing campaign is that they send out the messages at the wrong time. Texts are an interruption, so you want to be sure that it is a positive one for your customers. This means you should avoid sending messages at times that may be inconvenient, such as early in the morning, late at night and during rush hour. For some businesses, it may be best to avoid sending messages on the weekend as well.

Not Including a Call to Action


Include a CTA to motivate people to buy your products or services

When you send out a text message to your customers, it is important that it includes a call to action. If there is not a clear CTA, then your customers do not know what action you wish them to take, whether it is signing up for something, shopping for your products or using your services. You should have a CTA in your messages that is as prevalent and clear as the ones in your other marketing channels.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you will create a stronger, more successful SMS marketing program. Even when you take precautions against common issues, it may take some trial and error before you find the perfect set up for your SMS marketing campaign that best matches the wants and needs of your customers.

Are you ready to start a text message marketing campaign that avoids these common mistakes? If so, try ClubTexting for free. By the way - this is our Call to Action for you!

June 14, 2016

How to Use Text Message Marketing to Increase Your Hotel's Business

One important aspect of the hotel business is the customer experience. From the time your customer books until the day they return home, you want to ensure that your customers have a positive experience. One way to improve your customer service and offer more for your customers is to use text message marketing. There are several ways to integrate texting into your hotel's customer service and marketing initiatives to help increase your business and enhance your customers' stay at your hotel.

Concierge and Customer Service


Your guests can receive concierge services through text for added convenience

Customer service is an integral part of the hotel business, and text message marketing offers you another avenue through which to help your customers. A majority of consumers prefer using text messages for customer service inquiries and complaints, so it is beneficial to offer this service along with your other channels of communication so that people can choose the method to contact you that they prefer. With the right program in place, your guests can also text you when they need maid service, additional pillows or anything else to enhance their stay. You can use this to remind guests about their reservation and confirm any purchases or reservations, whether for rooms or in-house services, such as a spa appointment.

You can also integrate your concierge services with your texting program. People can text a particular number with a short code if they want to book in-house services, tours, events, or other activities. Your concierge can contact them to get the details and then confirm everything once it has been completed.

Easy Check In/Check Out

When people come to your hotel, they want a seamless transaction that is convenient to them. One way to offer this is check in and check out through your texting program. Even if you are not able to get them fully checked in or out through the texting app, it is possible to use it to expedite the process. Your guests can text you that they wish to check in, and you can get their details and let them know when the room is ready. Once they receive the text saying the room is complete, they come to your desk to get their keys for check in. A similar strategy can streamline the checkout process.

Targeted Messages

To take full advantage of the benefits that text message marketing offers, it is essential to group your subscribers and send targeted messages. You can send offers and discounts to previous customers and potential guests to get them to book a stay. For those who have reservations, you can send reminders and tips to enhance their stay. It is also important to create a special group for your most loyal guests and send them special, exclusive deals, discounts, and free gifts. You can target messages based on guest demographics and behavior. You send select messages to those who book for business trips and other messages to those who come on leisure trips to help both groups of guests get the most out of their stay.

Surveys and Polls

For your hotel to continue to offer the best customer service, it is important you know what your guests expect, need, and prefer. One way to discover this information is by sending surveys and polls to your text message marketing subscribers. Texting polls are the easiest way to get feedback. You simply have to ask a question and offer a few keywords from which your subscribers can choose an answer. They text you a keyword to vote, and the keyword with the most texts wins. You can follow this with a link to a longer survey for a more in-depth look at what your customers want. With this information, you can ensure that you continue to offer the best customer experience for your guests.

Offers and Other Promotion


Send your subscribers offers and deals to motivate them to book a new stay

Text message marketing has a powerful role in helping improve the overall guest experience, but it also can be used to market and promote your hotel to future guests. It acts as a powerful call to action that you can put on all your marketing material to increase the number of people to take any type of action. It also has a high open rate with most people taking action within minutes. This makes it the perfect avenue for sending out last-minute deals to try to fill your hotel during a slow period. You can also send out periodic deals to your subscribers to motivate them to book another stay with your hotel.

Text message marketing is a highly versatile tool that helps improve your hotel's business and enhance your guests' stay. You can use one or more of the above campaigns to help start your program and, eventually, you will see what works best with your hotel and its customers so that you continue to offer them exactly what they want and need.

Ready to use text messaging to help your hotel business? Try ClubTexting for free and see how it can enhance the customer experience.