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192 posts categorized "Mobile Commerce"

February 09, 2016

How to Use Text Message Marketing to Organize Your Valentine's Day Event

It's almost time for Valentine's Day, which means that you only have a few weeks to organize your special holiday event. One invaluable tool to help you is text message marketing. It not only be used to promote your event, but it also provides a way to communicate with guests, volunteers and staff to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you are unsure how to get started with text message marketing, try one of the following approaches.

Promote Your Event


Use texts to spread the word about your Valentine's Day event

Effective text message marketing is a fantastic way to enhance your promotional capabilities. You can add a text-based call to action to your marketing collateral, which gives your prospective attendees an easy way to engage with your promotional materials. Add a keyword, phone number, and other information about your texting service to TV, radio, and print ads, as well as any flyers you hand out. Then, ask your customers to send a text to find out more information about your event or even RSVP.

Increase Attendance with Last Minute Reminders

Promotion with a SMS-based call to action is one of the first steps of getting people to your event. The second step is to use your text message marketing campaign to remind your subscribers about the event. People's schedules get busy, making it easy for them to forget about an event. The day before your event, you can send a reminder to those who have tickets and/or all subscribers to increase attendance. Texts have an almost 100 percent open rate and are read within a few minutes, so you can be sure your subscribers will see your reminder.

Poll Your Audience

As you create plans for your Valentine's Day event, you may start to wonder about what your audience will want. Use text messages to collect their input. You can send out a poll asking your customers what they would like to see, along with a few keywords that stand for each possible outcome. Then, your customers can text the keyword that best matches their preference, and the keyword with the most texts wins. Use text message polls to help you figure out a decoration theme, music, menu items, and more.

Organize Your Staff and Volunteers


Communicate with your staff via text to increase efficiency

Text message marketing does not just have to be about you interacting with your customers and guests; it also works as a way to interact with your event staff and volunteers. It is possible to create groups in your subscriber list, and send targeted messages. You will also be able to receive texts, allowing your staff members and volunteers to get in touch with you with any questions or problems. It is often much easier and faster to send a quick text than it is to email or call, making it a much more efficient way to communicate with your staff and volunteers to ensure a seamless event.

Text message marketing can help you spread the word about and organize your event. If your organization is planning a special Valentine's Day event, use a texting service to ensure it runs smoothly. Try ClubTexting for free to enhance your Valentine's Day event organization.

February 05, 2016

Expert Interview Series: Natascha Thomson About Mass Text Messaging Dos and Don'ts



Are you trying to market your brand to a mass audience?

What strategies have you tried? Did you know that you can send targeted messages via text - custom tailored for the person you're trying to reach?

Natascha Thomson is the CEO of MarketingXLerator, a marketing consultancy with a focus on social media. She consults with small and large clients including SAP, Polycom, SLAP Company, LookingGlass and HR Strategies.

She recently caught up with us to share her insight on the dos and don'ts of mass texting. Read on:

Define mass texting.

Mass texting simply means that a text message is sent by one entity to a group comprised of multiple individuals. The word "mass" in commercial use generally implies at least hundreds if not thousands of recipients. It also often carries a negative connotation as it conjures up the image of spam.

But spam messages are not defined by the size of the list of recipients but by a lack of targeting of the message to the individual recipient. Herein lies the challenge of mass anything: the message either has to be equally relevant to all recipients (homogenous audience) or individually customizable. Both are possible.

What are some dos for mass texting?

1. Know your audience. Messages need to be relevant and sent at the appropriate time(s) and frequency. Otherwise it's just spam.

2. Earn and nurture your audience's trust. Especially on mobile devices, consumers feel that you are making a very personal "connection" with them in their "real" ad hoc lives. Irrelevant messages make you seem like an intruder and recipients will quickly opt out.

3. ALWAYS have a Call-To-Action (CTA). Your text message has to make it crystal clear what's in it for the recipient. A typical CTA is to ask the recipient to send a keyword to opt in to your contact list. For in-store offers, the CTA could be "show this text for a discount."

4. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). This is the best strategy. In the brevity of 160 characters, use crisp, clear and unambiguous language and a simple CTA.

5. Measure and fine-tune. Define metrics that allow you to track your progress and fine-tune your texting and integrated marketing campaigns. Think big picture.

What are the "don'ts" for mass texting?

1. Be relevant. NEVER, and I mean NEVER, send a text message to somebody who is not clearly in your target audience for the message. Just because they opted in does not entitle you to send them irrelevant information.

2. Don't break the law. FCC rules protect consumers under the TCP and CAN-SPAM Acts. Commercial text messages can only be sent to a mobile device if the user has opted in, IN WRITING.

3. Never send anonymous messages. Make it clear in the message signature who you are and how to opt out.

4. Avoid abbreviations or lingo if you are not 100 percent sure your audience is familiar with them. Otherwise you might create confusion and frustration.

5. Don't be careless with your list. Protecting your clients' data and privacy needs to be your key concern. In the age of cyber crimes, hackers will exploit any security weakness, which can cost you customers, your reputation and revenue.

How can businesses use mass texts to their benefit?

Text messaging is just one avenue to reach a target audience, don't let it be your only one. Text messaging should be part of an integrated marketing strategy that also includes traditional online and offline channels like email and events, as well as social media.

Which integrated marketing strategy is right for you is strongly dependent on your objectives, your target audience, and your resources. Know your target audience intimately, including where and when they like to receive information and in what formats. The more relevant you can make your message, the bigger your chances for conversion and subsequent ROI.

Follow Natascha Thomson on Twitter.

Try ClubTexting for free.

January 27, 2016

6 Ways to Use SMS Marketing to Drive Your Food Truck Business

If you own a food truck business, it is important your clientele can find your truck no matter where you park. Many food trucks rely on social media to inform followers of their next location, but SMS marketing provides a better way to update customers on where you are. There are several ways to use text marketing to grow your business and ensure that your patrons always know where to find you.

Text Your Location


Let your customers know your current location through text.

One of the best things about this communication channel is that text messages have a high open rate, increasing the chance that your subscribers get your message. When you post your current location on your website or social media accounts, there is no guarantee that your customers will actually see the update. Alternatively, when you text your customers directly, they will be able to pick up your message quickly and make their lunch plans.

Specials

Your food truck may offer special menu items every day or simply do occasional promotions. Sharing your menu specials via text message can help to increase your business for the day. If you have several specials, then you can highlight one and include a link to your website that details the rest of the information in the text.

Offers and Discounts

It is also beneficial to use texting to share exclusive offers and discounts to your followers. These offers provide a little extra incentive to stop by for a bite. After all, everybody loves a good discount!

Turn Around a Slow Day with Last Minute Deals

Text messages are the perfect way to share last minute deals. If you're having a slow day, send out a text to your subscribers with a last minute deal that is only redeemable that day. If you time it well, you can reach them when they are deciding what to do for lunch. A limited time deal will motivate them to choose your food truck over the competition.

Contests and Scavenger Hunts

Another way to use SMS marketing to boost your food truck business is to develop contests and scavenger hunts. Text to win contests are easy to run and have the added benefit of growing your texting subscribers. You can promote your contest on print ads, your website and social media, and on your truck itself. Your customers can text a keyword for a chance to win something, such as gift cards, free meals, and more. It is best if everyone gets a small reward for entering.

As a mobile business, it is also possible to create a game out of letting people find you through a scavenger hunt. Although you do not want to make it too difficult, it can drive business and excitement by engaging your customers. If you choose to do this, consider providing a special incentive for customers who participate.

Polls and Other Feedback


Ask your customers to text you their feedback to help you improve your service.

You can also choose to receive feedback from your customer via text message. Many people prefer to handle customer service communication through text messages, but a lot of companies do not think to offer this service. Furthermore, it is easy to send out polls to your subscribers to gain invaluable insight. You simply have to send out a question along with two to four keywords. Your subscribers text back the keyword that matches their answer choice. Then, the keyword with the most texts is the winner. You can use polls to develop a new menu or decide where to park the next day.

SMS marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers and enhance engagement. Clever text message campaigns not only let them find your food truck; they also motivate them to choose you more often

Try ClubTexting for free to see how it can help you reach your customers.

January 25, 2016

5 Creative Text Marketing Messages to Increase Sales at Your Bakery

Starting and running a bakery seems simple enough -- create delicious treats with sweet, gooey frosting and watch the money roll in. However, no matter how yummy or sugary your baked goods, you have to open your doors and get the customers to your bakery if you want to share your pastries, bread, cupcakes, and other treats with the world. One quick and easy method to increase sales at your bakery is through creative text marketing messages.

Don't Forget National Donut Day

Effective text marketing is more than just blasting your subscribers with random text messages. Bakeries have an edge over other types of businesses simply because of the many holidays and events in which customers rely solely on baked goods. Make sure you are sending out text messages on the big dates but don't forget the holidays and events that aren't always as popular like Secretary's Day, Boss's Day, and of course, National Donut Day. Even if your particular bakery doesn't offer donuts, it doesn't hurt to give your customers an excuse to stop by for a treat.


Every day should be donut day.

Send Drool-Worthy Picture Messages

If the popularity of platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are any indication, people love pictures of food. In fact, the top Pinterest pins are often those including some type of exquisite dessert or baked good. When you send out your text messages, make sure you include a picture of the bakery's cake of the day, an assortment of pastries, or products that are brand new to your bakery. Just like the aroma of bread baking, picture messages can lead hungry customers directly to your bakery.

Skip Boring Messages and Opt for Text to Win and Exclusive Offers

While it's important to occasionally include special deals and discounts in your text marketing campaigns, make sure you aren't sending offers that are too easy to ignore. Unless it's during the holiday season, customers are unlikely to go out of their way for a 10 percent discount on a $2.00 pastry. However, if you can text an offer to win big or an offer that feels exclusive to the customer, you not only establish a more personal relationship, but there's a better chance he or she will stop in at your bakery.


Bring your BFF for a special treat.

Spread the Sugary Love and Bring a Friend

At first glance, it might seem difficult to involve others in personalized texting campaigns. However, you can encourage your customers to share and forward text messages in order to help spread the word. Further, consider text marketing campaigns asking customers to bring a friend with them to the bakery in exchange for a special treat or offer. This not only gets your customer to your bakery but can translate to new customers in the future.

Inspire Sharing in the Workplace

Let's face it. Everyone at work loves the person who brings in the donuts and the day just goes better if you start out with treats. When you send out your text messages, make sure you include offers for the workplace. Provide special deals for coworkers and employers, and before you know it you'll turn entire companies into fans of your baked goods.

You have an assortment of delicious baked goods, now you just need to get your customers to the bakery. Contact us to get started on a creative text marketing campaign for your bakery.

January 24, 2016

Attract Millennials to Your Nightclub with Text Message Marketing

Over the years, there has been a decline in Millennial patrons attending nightclubs. According to Insider magazine, the reasons for the decline range from increased technology for meeting people, overpriced drinks, and expensive cover charges. However, going out and spending time with friends over cocktails will always be a popular form of entertainment for partiers of any age. As an owner or marketer, you just have to use more creative methods to attract Millennials to your nightclub. One of the most effective ways to pack your dance floor again is through text message marketing.


Lead them directly to your doors.

Know Your Customers

You have to know your customers in order to effectively market to them. Millennials were born between the years of 1982 and 2004, and they make up approximately a quarter of the entire population. Because many Millennials have grown up with technology and smartphones, it can be difficult to reach them through traditional marketing methods such as magazine ads, radio spots, or direct mail. If you want to get the attention of Millennials (and get them to your nightclub) you need to take a more direct approach. Text message marketing lets you do this.

Provide Instant Interaction

Millennials aren't as willing to spend time looking at ads they aren't interested in. And, while it's important to include exclusive specials and discount offers in your text message marketing, it's good practice to create deals that this powerful customer segment can take advantage of immediately and redeem easily. Texting a Valentine's Day special the weekend before the holiday is infinitely more effective than posting flyers a month in advance.


Nightclubs are the best for selfies.

Allow Shareable Experiences

Make sure to also create shareable experiences to engage Millennials. Include rewards or perks for sharing the text online or interacting with your club on social media. Offer drink specials to those who share your texts with their friends or refer them to your list. When marketing to Millennials, the more people that can get involved, the better.

Include Fun Pictures and Images

Adding images or even just emojis to your text message marketing can go a long way in getting the attention of Millennials. Including photo opportunities is also a good strategy to increase engagement with this audience. After all, they are often referred to as the "selfie generation". Whether you request that your customers tag you on Instagram or use images in your texts, your text message marketing campaign must be not only fun but also fun to look at.

Exclusive and Personal Attention

Millennials often find more value in experiences and relationships than "things." Your text messages should make the recipient feel as though they have an exclusive connection to your nightclub. Avoid sending boring messages that scream, "We just want your money" and make your customer feel as though the offer or event has been designed exclusively for them. Also, make sure you avoid bombarding phones with too many messages. Millennials are particularly aware of spam and have no problem blocking you or asking to be unsubscribed from further notifications.

An effective text message marketing campaign can get Millennials through your nightclub door. Want more business? Try ClubTexting for free today!

January 20, 2016

Engage with Pet Owners through Mass Texting to Improve Your Pet Sitting Business

Pets are important and beloved members of many families. Pet owners in the US spend billions of dollars every year to ensure that their furry friends receive the best care possible. As a result, professional pet sitting businesses are becoming increasingly popular and lucrative. It takes a great deal of trust and faith to leave your beloved fur-babies in someone else's hands. Mass texting not only helps alleviate fears that families might have while you're caring for their pets, but can add value to your services and improve your pet sitting business.


Show pets having fun. But maybe not too much fun.

Text Updates from Pets

Whether you decide to attempt personalized texts sent directly from Fluffy or Spot, or just provide simple updates on a pet's daily activities, text messages can go a long way in comforting your clients while they are separated from their pets. Try to keep your messages upbeat. Consider sending fun updates with emojis rather than those that might cause the client to focus too much on how sad the pet is while they are away. While it's nice to be missed, you don't want your client feeling as though they are causing their pet any discomfort. You can also send fun videos and photos via text message which can help your client rest easily while they are away from home.

Reminders of Reservations and Other Appointments

Not every text you send has to be a promotion, nor should it be. Text message services also allow you to send reminders about upcoming reservations and other appointments. When your client receives a reminder of their pet sitting appointment, they can immediately add it to their calendar or notes on their phone, without interrupting their work day or other activities in which a phone call might be inconvenient.

Pet Sitting Discounts or Deals

Mass texting is especially ideal for sharing pet sitting discounts or deals throughout the year, especially during seasons when clients are looking for reliable pet sitting services. Text message campaigns with special promotions also provide a great opportunity to award referrals for forwarding or sharing the message with their friends and family members.


Everyone likes pet grooming tips.

Occasional Pet Care Tips

No matter the type of text message you send it's important you don't inundate your clients with too many messages and, of course, make sure you have permission to communicate with them this way in the first place. However, if you occasionally share pet care tips for house training or information on foods that are dangerous, your campaign can become an extremely helpful tool for your clients and their fur babies. For longer and more detailed messages, you can include a link to your website, allowing your clients an opportunity to read up on your pet care tips later if they choose.

In pet sitting businesses where establishing a trustworthy and dependable relationship with your clients is crucial to your success, mass texting can make a huge difference. Whether you send a text to help comfort clients while they are away or occasionally send important and helpful pet tips, text message marketing can benefit your business considerably. Get started with your first campaign and try ClubTexting for free today!

January 18, 2016

How to Use Text Marketing for Your Auto Repair Service

People have many businesses to choose from when they send their autos out for repair. To stand out from the competition, it is essential to provide better customer service and incorporate enhanced communication methods with your clients. Text marketing is an effective way for auto repair service shops to communicate with their customers in a way that also improves the customer's general impression of the overall service. If you are looking for ways to incorporate texting into your auto repair shop, following are some tips for getting started.

Appointment Reminders


Remind customers of their repair appointment through a simple text.

Many of your clients will make an appointment to get their auto serviced, including for non-emergency repairs such as oil changes or wheel alignment. As their schedule fills up, it can be easy for them to forget, especially if they made the appointment weeks or even months in advance. You can avoid this by offering appointment reminders through text message. This service is helpful for your customers and can reduce your number of no-shows.

Offers and Discounts

Offers and discounts are a mainstay for text marketing campaigns. You can advertise a special discount on a service for customers who subscribe to your mobile program. After a customer has subscribed, you can periodically send more offers, such as discounted oil changes with a full safety check inspection. It is also possible to create groups in your subscriber list so that you send a tailored discount to your subscribers. For example, keep track of when people are in need of an oil change and send them a special offer.

Tips on Auto Care

To retain your subscribers, it is important that you continue to offer them something of value through your text marketing messages. Although many people will appreciate any offers and discounts you send out, they are most effective if people actually need some type of repair or service. To maintain customer loyalty between visits, consider sending periodic tips on auto care. People will appreciate learning ways to extend the life of their car, and this will help them to continue to see your company in a positive light. When they do need service, they will think of you first.

Updates About Repairs

Another beneficial way to use your text marketing service is to send your clients updates about their repairs, especially when their automobile has to undergo extensive service that takes days. Providing these updates assures them that their car is not just sitting in your garage, forgotten. This also reduces the number of clients that will be calling you for updates, allowing your staff to concentrate more on other tasks.

General Customer Service


Incorporate texting into your customer service for increased satisfaction.

It is also possible to use your text marketing service for general customer service. Set up a two-way communication channel so that people can text you questions about their car or a repair. A majority of people prefer to communicate with customer service agents via text message, so by offering the service, you increase customer satisfaction.

Text marketing can serve many purposes for your auto repair shop. You can send special offers via text and use text messages to stay in touch and manage customer service inquiries. Try ClubTexting for free to see how it can help you boost business at your auto repair shop.

January 15, 2016

Expert Interview Series: Matt Sicotte About Creating a Mobile Website for Your Group, Club, or Organization



It's more critical than ever these days to have a mobile-friendly site as a majority of the population uses mobile devices to browse the internet rather than desktops or laptops, says Matt Sicotte, CEO of SimpleMobileSites.com.

We recently checked in with Matt to learn how organizations can make their sites more mobile friendly. Here's what he had to say:

What are the major differences between mobile and traditional websites?

The major differences are that a mobile website utilizes the functionality of the mobile device, such as "tap to call," "tap to text," "tap to map," as well as easier ways to make purchases with payment processing integration for certain banks and credit card companies.

How can organizations make their sites mobile friendly? What are some best practices?

There are many tools (software platforms) that will take an existing traditional website and create a mobile-friendly version that will redirect a mobile user, too, when viewed on a mobile device.

Make sure that when creating a mobile-friendly version of your website, you check to see that it works on most major mobile devices, as well as that it integrates seamlessly with the functionality of those devices, such as maps, SMS, messaging, payments and calling.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you observe on supposedly mobile-friendly sites?

1. Font sizing (difficult to read on a small screen)

2. The content from the traditional website is removed from the mobile version (lack of continuity between websites)

3. Functionality with the mobile device

4. Placement of crucial info, such as contact, location(s), hours of operation near the top of the mobile-friendly website on all pages

What are some of your biggest pet peeves when visiting a website via a mobile device?

That the most important information for a mobile user is NOT easily available, such as contact info, location(s), hours of operation. I suggest this info be near the top of the mobile-friendly version and available on all the pages of the website.

What are some of your favorite tools for making a site be more mobile-friendly?

DudaMobile has some really cools tools to help make an existing website mobile.

What brands or groups have been especially innovative on their mobile sites? What can we learn from them?

  • Panago.com has one of the most innovative and easiest ways to order food to be delivered to your door via your mobile device.

 

  • Monoprice.com and Vadara.ca utilize the power of easily being able to find contact info on their mobile-friendly website

 

  • Groupon.com makes it easy to browse and purchase via their mobile-friendly website.



Connect with SimpleMobileSites on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Share information across your organization quickly and efficiently. Try ClubTexting for free

January 08, 2016

When to Use Emojis in Your Text Message Marketing Campaign

What started out as simple combinations of punctuation marks has evolved into an entirely new language commonly known as emojis. While it may take some users a little longer before they can take messages with smileys and hand gesture icons seriously, there's no arguing that emojis are a method of communication that's here to stay.

When it comes to using emojis in business correspondence or text message marketing campaigns, there's a fine line between appearing as a sixth grader snickering behind a smart phone and a smart and trendy businessperson sharing a fun message. Here are some things to keep in mind if you're thinking of using emojis in your text message marketing efforts, to be sure you send the right message.


Use the right emojis for your text message marketing campaign.

Keep the Campaign Light

Emojis are cartoons by nature and work best if you remember to keep your message light and fun. If you really have to dig deep to find an appropriate emoji for your campaign, it's possible that your message is just too serious a topic for emojis. Party: yes. Funeral: definitely not. If you can't find an appropriate emoji to use in your text message marketing campaign, save them for another, more lively and ubeat marketing effort.

Avoid Using Too Many Emoji

If you've ever received a message full of emojis, you're likely familiar with how difficult it can be to decipher the message. Using too many emojis or sending messages that are only emojis can leave your recipients confused and wondering if a middle schooler has hacked your account. You want your message to be fun and hip, but you don't want your readers giving up and deleting it because they can't figure out what 25 slices of pizza and 15 pandas should mean.


Don't leave your customers confused.

Keep Messages Brief

Using emojis can help to keep your messages brief and engaging. For instance, if you plan to invite your guests to a sports-themed party at your pub, you can choose to share a brief message, plus the appropriate emojis related to sports and partying. This can help you stay within the 160 character limit for text messages, while keeping things fun and light -- the kind of feelings you want to convey if you're planning a party.

Send a Clear Message

It's important when considering emojis for your text message marketing campaign that you use the appropriate ones to convey clear messages. This might take some research if you're experimenting beyond the party hat and happy faced smiley but will be worth it when you don't have to answer replies asking what exactly your intention was when you sent the eggplant emoji. If there's a chance that your message might be misunderstood or taken the wrong way, you might want to reconsider whether you absolutely need to include an emoji in your text.

Whether or not you choose to use emojis in your marketing efforts depends upon the type of message you want to send to your customers. But one thing is for sure: emojis or not, text message marketing can help your business in a variety of ways. Are you ready to get started with your first campaign? Try ClubTexting for free today!

 

January 04, 2016

New to Group Texting? Learn the Golden Rules of the Medium

Text messaging is a great way to get your message out into the world, immediately. But marketing messages need a deft touch or they can send your customers rushing for the 'opt out' button. There are a number of important factors to consider when structuring your text messaging campaign. To avoid making a mistake, pay close attention to the following golden rules.


People love their phones - send great texts and become a part of that.

Get Permission

Nobody likes to receive messages they didn't opt-in for. Critical to running a successful text messaging campaign is to make sure that your audience actually wants to receive your messages. To do this, you need to acquire their permission before you start texting them. Potential subscribers can text you to opt-in or if your database is manually managed, you can obtain written consent. Getting permission is essential to your text marketing campaign. Failure to do so could result in legal ramifications, as well as damage your brand and annoy your customers.

Timing Is Everything

The frequency of your texts is important. Too many, and your customers get irritated. Too few, and they forget about your campaign altogether. Standard practice is to send between two and four messages per month.

Similarly, keep your texts within business hours. Respect people's privacy enough to leave them alone when their work day is done. There is the added benefit of people being more interested when they're active and up and about. Text marketing often requires immediate action to work well, and that's not going to happen if your subscribers have just been startled awake from a nice dream by a text message notification.

Vary your times depending on the product you're selling. For example: if you're marketing a meal at a restaurant, then just before lunchtime is the ideal time to send your texts.

Be Clear

Tell people what is going on, and don't take your time about it. The constraint of text campaigns that balances out their speed is that nobody really likes reading long text messages. So your best bet is to get right to the point, and make sure your call to action is strong.

Additionally, ensure that your terms and conditions are easily accessible and be clear about what your campaign is about, what is required and anything the customer should know. Use easy language and don't get wrapped up in the little things -- a clear sentence is often better than one with a bunch of fancy words.


Texting is an immediate and direct form of marketing.

Add Value

The service you are offering or the campaign you are promoting must do something for the customer. It must enrich their experience in some way. They've given you their permission to communicate with them via this channel, and they should get something good in return for that.

It's all good and well to try and sell a product via text, but if there is nothing about your message that engages with the customer, then you're just wasting characters. As Kern Lewis says for Forbes: "Be of use to your subscribers first."

In an age where there are very few people on the planet without a phone, it's not difficult to see how text message campaigns can help businesses expand their reach and grow their customer base. If you're interested in seeing what text message marketing can do for you, why not try ClubTexting for free?