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November 21, 2016

Expert Interview Series: Niraj Ranjan of Hiver About Using Email to Improve Business Collaboration



Niraj Ranjan Rout is the founder of Hiver, an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. We recently spoke with Niraj about the prevalence of business collaboration and the current and future of email in the business setting.

What exactly does Hiver do for its customers?

Hiver is built primarily for collaboration around communication in general. It helps you and your team manage shared email accounts like support@mycompany.com, assign emails to each other, and see who is doing what.

To give you a simple illustration of how this might be of use, think about the publications you're pitching to on their email IDs, like tips@techcrunch.com. They would be receiving tons of pitches there, and they'd have a team to pick up articles and work on those. Hiver would help this team manage the tip@ email account efficiently and delegate tasks without confusion - without anything "falling through the cracks."

Is a tool like Hiver effective not just for companies, but also for clubs, civic organizations, and volunteer groups as well?

Yes indeed. Hiver is used by a lot of non-profits, educational institutions, and citizen bodies. In fact, two of the non-profits using Hiver are Pets for Patriots and Amani Children's Home. It fits right in wherever you have a group of people that you are collaborating with over email.

What are some of the main challenges that your customers are trying to grapple with?

Everyone loves to use email (though they do complain about it, sometimes), but using email in a group scenario can be very inefficient and tedious because you end up siloing tasks and information in individual inboxes.

For instance, it's extremely convenient to forward an email from a customer to someone in your team if you need help responding to the customer, but then it's extremely messy to keep track of all your forwards and awaited replies. That's where Hiver comes in. We make it extremely efficient to carry out collaboration and task management over email.

Why did you choose the Gmail platform as the centerpiece of your service offerings?

When we started out, Gmail/Google Apps was the most prominent cloud email offering. Also, most Gmail users use Gmail's web interface, and we as programmers loved the idea of modifying the Gmail interface with a browser extension to add more efficiency to how people use email.

We're now expanding beyond Gmail. Hiver for Exchange/Office-365 is releasing soon, and we're sure it'll do very well.

Has the rise of a virtual world and a telecommuting workforce led to an increase in demand for virtual collaboration tools like Hiver?

Absolutely! We have customers where the team does not see each other in person for weeks, and yet, they continue to work efficiently. This trend is on a strong rise; with communication tools improving so much, everyone is now questioning why they must spend hours daily driving or on a train.

Is Hiver a good tool to use to help manage or complement text message marketing, digital marketing, and/or social media marketing campaigns?

Hiver is great for managing your outreach, as well as handing off or delegating responses that you receive.

Some Internet observers think that email will gradually become obsolete in the future. Do you agree or disagree with that viewpoint?

There are two kinds of email in a business scenario: internal email within a company, and external email that comes in from people outside the company (like customers, vendors, sales leads, etc.). While internal email is under serious threat from tools like Slack, external email is definitely going to be around. Hiver is completely targeted on external email - that is, helping teams manage their customer and sales communication.

So to sum up, Email's personal use and use for internal communication in organizations are already seeing a decline, but email is going to stay strong in inter-organization scenarios - and that is what we're building on.

Need a convenient way to communicate with members of your club, group, or organization? Try ClubTexting for free today!

November 10, 2016

Expert Interview Series: Nilesh Patel of LeadSquared



Nilesh Patel is CEO of customer acquisition platform LeadSquared, who brings a decade of experience in sales and marketing to the team.

Here, Nilesh shares his insight on where companies struggle with lead generation and how they can improve their sales efforts. Read on:

Tell us about LeadSquared. What services do you offer?

LeadSquared is used by marketing and sales teams to capture, manage and nurture leads, and enhance sales for their businesses. It is a complete customer acquisition platform with lead capture automation, lead management, marketing automation, sales CRM and analytics to help businesses close more deals in less time. The software is being put to use by varied businesses like marketing agencies, IT businesses, real estate, education, financial services, tours and travel, health and wellness and more.

With LeadSquared, customers can find facts like selling velocity of the business, revenue performance by lead sources, products or sales person, view marketing and sales funnel and a lot more analytics, to fine tune and increase ROI from their marketing and sales efforts.

Businesses are using LeadSquared for:

    • Lead Capture Automation: Seamlessly capture leads from all sources - inbound email, online campaigns, phone calls, website, chat, lead generation websites and more.

 

    • Lead Distribution: Distribute leads based on city, product or any other rules to cut down the response time.

 

    • Marketing Automation: Engage and nurture leads using email and SMS campaigns, and trigger-based emails to make them sales ready, and create future opportunities.

 

    • Sales Acceleration: Focus on leads with the highest potential for conversion with automated lead engagement scoring technology.

 

    • Marketing and Sales Analytics: Access detailed marketing insights about the campaigns and sources driving qualified leads and revenue.

 

  • Mobile App: Manage leads on the go.



What's one of your favorite client success stories?

I would have to say, the Byju's Classes success story would be among my favorites.

"Byju's Classes" is a leader in test preparation segment, and they are completely changing learning in India. They also recently got funded by Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. They have been using LeadSquared to manage their marketing and sales for over two years now.

They generate hundreds of thousands of leads across online, chat, mobile app, phone and offline channels. LeadSquared has organized lead capture across all the channels. As a result, they achieved zero lead leakage and completely got rid of Excel sheets filled with leads lying on each desktop.

With a huge lead volume, it is a challenge for any business to respond quickly to every inquiry. LeadSquared's rule-based lead distribution engine helped Byju's automatically assign the leads to the relevant sales person, thereby, cutting down the response time drastically and improving the chances of winning.

Lead intelligence helped the sales people prioritize leads that are likely to close. The benefit is clear - the sales bandwidth is applied to maximize the revenue potential.

Using marketing automation, they engaged and nurtured leads to retain mindshare and convert some of them into sales opportunities and up-sell to existing customers. This resulted in increasing the ROI on marketing investments.

Finally, with analytics, it was seamless to monitor and measure sales and marketing performance.

What are the most common challenges small businesses face in generating leads?

In a nutshell, these are some of the most common challenges I think small business face in generating leads:

    • Not knowing where to invest when they begin because the marketing budgets are lean. It also is a result of not knowing where your audience is - whether it's online or offline or which specific online platforms are they present in.

 

    • Not getting the right talent with the knowhow of a lot of things. Small businesses cannot afford to hire big teams so they need really efficient individuals.

 

    • Randomness in collecting data from current channels, which doesn't give them the right picture for future investment.



What are the biggest mistakes you see businesses making when it comes to lead generation?

Firstly, not measuring their returns or results properly,

Secondly, concentrating too much on vanity metrics, instead of actually trying to understand whether they are contributing to the ROI goal.

Thirdly, investing in platforms or tools without actually knowing if it will help. Of course, you need to test and experiment to actually know whether something is working for you. But even then, you need to have some research or statistics in place, to take that forward.

How should small businesses approach lead generation today?

You need to find out where your audience is and then go after them. Investing in the rights tools and channels would really help.

Measure and analyze everything you do. If a specific channel or source hasn't worked for you repeatedly, it's time you moved on to something different. Small businesses don't have a huge budget, so they need to be wise about it.

What types of analytics are the most helpful/beneficial to study to improve lead generation and nurturing?

When it comes to analytics, lead source to lead conversion analytics is what I would look at. If leads are constantly coming in from a particular source but they haven't been converting to customers, then you know it's not working for you. Map the entire journey, from lead generation to lead conversion and see what all channels or mediums are working for you.

As far as lead nurturing goes, email analytics are very important. You are constantly sharing content, but do the subscribers find value in it, or are they even reading this content? If you are getting too many unsubscribes, then your emails are not working. Here's what you need to look at

    • If no one is opening your mails, there is a problem with the email subject line.

 

    • If people are opening your mails but not taking any action - there is a problem with the email content. Maybe they aren't compelling enough for people to take an action, or maybe the copy is weak. There could be multiple reasons for this.



You should also analyze the days of the week and specific timings when your emails have performed better than other days (and times).

What are the benefits of SMS marketing?

I think the key benefits are that SMSs are more accessible, personal, two-way and almost 100 percent deliverable. It's certainly a must-have for B2C businesses I would say.

In fact, nowadays, businesses are opting for WhatsApp and other such messaging platforms as well. The idea in both is to keep the message short and straightforward.

What are best practices for small businesses in using SMS marketing?

Segment your audience, as you would while sending emails. Automate SMSs based on user actions, instead of spamming everyone with every offer possible.

I'd suggest you keep it targeted. For starters, target based on demographics, gender and age. Something that is relevant to a 50 year old may not be relevant to someone in their 20s. So be wise about it and target accordingly.

What are the most exciting trends or innovations you're following in small business marketing today?

Hundreds of new businesses are getting registered in India every day. All of these are SMEs or micro businesses. Even before the business is formally launched, the Gen-Y SMEs are thinking marketing-first and are pro digital. Most of them will have a website from day one, communicate with customers on WhatsApp, and perhaps, spend on marketing to get discovered on the Internet.

Older SMEs had a certain way of doing business, but they are now gradually embracing the new reality and are willing to adapt systems and technologies to improve their business performance.

What's one piece of advice you find yourself repeating to clients over and over?

    • Reach the stage of product market fit as soon as possible.

 

    • Founders should always be selling - make it a regular routine to reach out to potential customers through email, phone, face to face or any other relevant forum.

 

    • Startups should raise money if they can. Cash is the lifeline of the business; use it wisely.

 

    • Do not focus on selling through partners; if you cannot sell partners can't sell either.


Contact ClubTexting today to see how SMS can help you reach your customers.

October 26, 2016

6 Ways that Advertising Agencies Benefit from Text Message Marketing

As an advertising or marketing agency, your priority is to increase awareness about the brands you serve. However, you do not want to forget about advertising for your own agency so that you continue to bring in more clients. This is also an unofficial way to demonstrate your skills to potential clients before they make initial contact with you.

Text message marketing has become increasingly popular marketing channel for businesses to use. It helps to attract new clients and maintain those you already have. Rather than just using it for your customers, be sure to include it in your own advertising to receive the following benefits.

Compete with Larger Agencies


Bring your advertising agency to the next level with SMS marketing

As a small boutique advertising or marketing agency, it is sometimes hard to compete with the large, well-known agencies that have a large advertising budget. Text message marketing levels the playing field. It is a text-based medium, so it requires no expensive graphics to look great. Plus, the cost to send and receive texts is minimal, often just cents per text. This makes it easy to fit it into almost any budget.

Many companies have yet to include SMS marketing in their services or marketing strategy, but people like it. By including it, you also stand out from the competition.

Demonstrate the Medium to Clients

By incorporating text message marketing into your own marketing strategy, you also have a chance to demonstrate its effectiveness to your clients and potential clients. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Run a great campaign, and it won't take much persuading to convince your clients to do likewise.

Add Another Component to Your Clients' Marketing Strategy

Text message marketing is just one of many marketing channels in today's market. It is easy for clients to start to feel overwhelmed by all their options, from traditional print ad marketing to digital marketing to mobile marketing. By including SMS marketing in your own advertising, you also will have the tools needed to add it to your clients' so that they can take advantage of the many benefits of the medium, such as a high open rate and a high engagement rate.

Send Instant Updates and Reminders

Texting is highly versatile, so it does not need to remain only in the realm of marketing. It also provides a beneficial way to communicate with your clients. Send them a reminder about a meeting or a campaign launch. Send tips to your clients about how to improve the aspects of the campaigns that they run.

Instantly update your clients about any changes to their program, including any problems you might have. Texts are typically opened within a few minutes, so you can feel confident that your client can see and respond right away, reducing the amount of time a problem inhibits the continuation of your client's program.

Improve Customer Service

Two-way communication helps to improve your customer service. A majority of consumers prefer to contact companies about customer service inquiries through text messages. They can text you at their leisure while knowing that you will take care of it. The smooth handling of the issue helps to improve their overall feeling towards your company, improving your retention rates and referral rates.

Have a Strong Call to Action


Potential clients can text from anywhere when they see your ad

Implanting a text message marketing program for your own agency also helps you to have a strong call to action on all your advertisement and marketing collateral. As you probably tell your clients often, you need to have something that inspires customers to take action right away. Providing a number and keyword to text for more information on bus ads, digital ads, radio ads, print ads, TV ads, and any other ads makes it easy for them to take action right away, increasing the number of leads you receive.

Do not miss out on the high open rates, redemption rates, and engagement rates associated with this medium.

Contact us to learn more about using text message marketing for your own agency, as well as for your clients.

October 12, 2016

Thinking of Ending Your Lackluster Text Message Marketing Campaign? Try This First

You started a text message marketing campaign full of hopes that it would provide the many promised benefits to your business. After putting in an extensive amount of time and effort, it does not appear to be working for you. If this sounds like you, you are probably tempted to just stop the campaign and switch your efforts -- and spending -- to something else. However, before you do this, there are some things you can do to turn around your campaign and get the results you want.

Do You Have a Realistic Expectation?


Have your team review your goals and expectations to see if they are realistic.

SMS marketing is a powerful medium, with high open rates and engagement rates. However, it is not a miracle worker. As with any marketing campaign, it takes effort and time to succeed. Therefore, take a quick look at your goals and expectations. Have you given sufficient time for the process to work? You most likely will not see high numbers overnight; most campaigns take a few months to really start to gain momentum.

Also take some time to review your business goals and what you hope to achieve with text message marketing. You might find that your efforts are not in line with your goals. It is also possible that you did not take the time to adequately create clear, defined objectives before you started the campaign. You would not be alone, as over half of marketers run a texting campaign without clear objectives. If this sounds like you, then take some time to develop clear objectives and create a strategy that will help you to meet those. Then, give your campaign some time to grow and meet your new expectations before you give up.

Find the Source of the Problem

Before packing in your text message marketing campaign, take some time to search for the root of the problem. Start by reviewing your metrics, especially the numbers that have made you feel as though it is time to give up. Perhaps your list is not growing or you have low redemption rates for your deals. Once you have narrowed down where your program is faltering, make changes that fix the correlating area of weakness.

For example, if your list is not growing, revamp your promotion strategy. Perhaps you need to promote your texting campaign on social media or add it to your print ads. It might be beneficial to start targeting a different set of customers. For those who feel they are not getting the response they want, consider whether or not the content matches what your customers want. You might also be sending the messages at an inopportune time or at an inconsistent frequency. There are several adjustments you can make to create a stronger campaign that will fix the problem and get you back to where you want to be.

Try a New Type of Message

There might not be any noticeable area in your text message marketing campaign that is the source of the poor response. It might simply be that your customers do not find value in the messages you send, or they might simply be fatigued by the same message every time. That is why it is important to switch up the content of your messages with every text, as well as provide exclusive content.

Take some time to develop and test some new types of message. For example, if you normally send out offers and deals, try sending out a poll or run a text-to-win content. Those who tend to rely on informational messages, try an exclusive flash sale or another offer. It might also help to try a few different messages and see how your customers respond to shape your campaign in the future.

Ask Your Customers What They Want


Ask your customers to review your program and provide some answers.

Another reason your campaign might be faltering is simply that it did not meet your customers' expectations. It is beneficial to take some time to see what your customers think before you completely just give up on texting. Ask your subscribers to fill out a survey to see what type of messages they wish to receive from you. It is also possible to simply send out a quick poll to see whether people are satisfied or not with your texting program. This not only helps you to know how to retool your lagging campaign, but it also provides a way to engage your customers and get them involved. You might also find that your campaign is actually doing much better than you previously thought.

It can feel disheartening to find your text message marketing campaign not succeeding or starting to falter. This leads many to simply stop and move on to another marketing strategy. However, do not give up. Instead, take some time to evaluate your efforts and make some changes to give your campaign another chance to succeed.

Contact us to learn more about what you can do to recharge a lackluster campaign.

September 08, 2016

5 Tips for Implementing Group Texting for Your Yacht Club

To successfully run your yacht club, it is imperative you provide your members excellent customer service. They expect only the best from you, and they will clarify it when you do not meet their expectations. It is up to you to continually attract new members, so your numbers remain active, and you reach your goals each year.

Implementing a group texting campaign provides you a way to promote your business and communicate with current, new and prospective members for enhanced customer service. The following will help you to create a strong foundation for your campaign so you will meet -- and exceed -- your goals.

Start with Your Goals


Consider what you hope to achieve for your yacht club with a texting campaign.

Before you do anything, it is imperative you develop goals for your program. It helps if you review your overall business goals. Perhaps you wish to increase membership by 20 percent this quarter. Maybe you need to increase sales or increase event participation. Your goals for both your yacht club business and the group texting campaign go a long way in determining what type of messages you send, and how you plan to promote your program.

Determine Your Audience

You should also determine your target audience for your group texting campaign. This might be prospective members or current members, or you might run simultaneous campaigns for both. It is beneficial to perform market research and learn more about the demographics and behavior patterns of your yacht club members. This will help you to create the right content for your followers, increasing the engagement and ultimately success of your campaign.

Create Content of Value

One of the most critical components of any successful group texting campaign is that you provide content of value to your subscribers. This could be discounts or offers on your services or information about member events. What is considered "value" depends on your clientele and members, and the services you offer. You might have to run a few test campaigns after your market research to see which content has the greatest impact. Regardless, take some time to determine what you and your members consider valuable, and what measures you plan to gauge the success of this content.

Develop a Schedule

For your group texting campaign to work, you must contact your yacht club members at the ideal frequency. You want to communicate with them enough, so they continue to take advantage of your offerings and engage with your club. However, you do not want to oversaturate them to where they disregard your messages or opt out of your service. Finding the right balance might take trial and error, but it is typically around two to four messages per month.

Segment Your Subscribers


Create groups for your subscribers and send targeted messages.

As a yacht club, you have to balance between providing service to your current members and try to attract additional members. Your group texting program provides a way to contact both, and you should send personalized, targeted messages to both categories. It is easy to segment your subscriber list, so you send only the relevant messages to each person. You can have multiple groups, and your members can be placed in more than one. Just be sure that you still only send members around two to four messages per month even if they are in more than one group.

The more time you spend researching your prospective members and determining what they want from a group texting program, and what goals you wish to reach, the better campaign you will create. This research helps you to build a strong foundation on which to build as your program commences and progresses.

Ready to see how texting can increase your yacht club membership numbers? Try ClubTexting for free.

July 19, 2016

SMS Marketing for eCommerce: What You Need to Know for a Successful Campaign

As an eCommerce business, you may be thinking that email is the best way to communicate with your customers. However, more and more people are shopping online straight from their phones. Plus, they carry their phones around with them everywhere, making it easy for them to act on any advertisements they may see. Therefore, a strong SMS marketing campaign has a role in boosting business for eCommerce retailers, just as it does for any business. Following are just a few tips to help implement your campaign to get the most out of all the lucrative benefits of the marketing medium.

Create a Coupon That Entices


You only have 160 characters to get people to take action and redeem your offer

SMS marketing provides a key way to send out coupons and other deals, but it takes more than just telling your customers about the deal to get them to take action. With a text message, you only have 160 characters, so you need to make them count. It is best to use strong, action verbs and motivating language to provide a sense of urgency.

In addition to working on the right verbiage, you also need to determine the right discount or offer to provide. It should be a balance between a deal for your clients and one that does not reduce your profit margin too much.

Integrate Your Campaigns

Although SMS marketing provides benefits even when used as a stand-alone marketing channel, you get even more of the benefits when used as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Text messages make for one of the best calls to action for any type pf advertisements, including print ads, flyers, billboards, television ads and radio spots. They also play a role in your digital ads, social media profiles, emails, and website. It does not take much to add a keyword and number to all your marketing collateral.

People carry their phones with them everywhere and rarely have them further than an arm's length away. As soon as they see the ad, they can take immediate action before they change their mind or forget. This strengthens the impact of your advertising campaign while barely increasing your expenditure.

Make It Easy to Shop


It is important to make it easy for people to shop right from their phones

More and more people use their cell phones in lieu of a personal computer, and mobile commerce makes up 30 percent of eCommerce business in the U.S. Even those who spend a lot of time on a computer still use their mobile phones for online shopping. As an eCommerce business, you want to be sure that you make it easy for your customers to shop on all platforms, including mobile platforms. With SMS marketing, you can send out digital coupons and make it easy for your customers to redeem them. Within the message, include a link for redemption that sends customers to your mobile shopping site so they can buy your products right there and then.

Don't Target Smartphones Only

Although you want to make it easy for customers to shop directly from the text message, you do not want to only target smartphones. The number of people who own a smartphone continually increases, with the current saturation at about 64 percent. Those who own an SMS enabled cell phone is much higher, at over 90 percent of the American adult population. Therefore, you have a chance to target a much wider audience if you create a message that also appeals to those who might not have a smartphone or shop online. You can do this by including an easy to follow way to redeem the coupon online even if they do not click on the link.

Take Advantage of Immediate Open Rates

One of the most lucrative benefits of SMS marketing is its extremely high open rate, which is at about 98 percent. Almost all of those are read within just a few minutes of receipt. This works well for businesses that wish to send out time-sensitive texts and promotions. Leverage this by sending special and exclusive flash sales and limited-time offers that are only good for that day only. People will be more motivated to take immediate action because the deal expires soon.

Provide Enhanced Transactional Messages and Other Customer Service


Let customers know their package is on the way

Text messages are a versatile component for your eCommerce business to use. Not only do they work as a way to send out coupons or provide an easy CTA, but they also work as an avenue for transactional and other customer service messages. When someone buys an item, send the receipt through text rather than email. Do the same when the package is sent and delivered. Due to the previously mentioned high open rate, you can feel confident that your customers remain well aware of the status of their purchase.

SMS marketing works well for any business, including eCommerce retailers. When you develop your strategy, be sure to create messages that are unique to the medium and provide something of value to your subscribers to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.

Ready to see how SMS marketing can boost your eCommerce business? Start your campaign today and try ClubTexting for free.

July 16, 2016

How SMS Marketing Helps to Increase Your Radio Station's Listeners

Whether you have a traditional radio station, Internet-based station or a satellite station, finding listeners remains key. Promotion and marketing provide you with ways to reach out to possible and current listeners to build a strong listener base. One beneficial and cost-effective marketing platform that can benefit your radio station is SMS marketing. With the right plan in place, you can increase the number of listeners so that your radio station remains relevant and boosts its business.

Engages Listeners


Your radio DJs can ask listeners to text in for requests to increase engagement

Radio remains a medium in which the relationship with the audience is key. Therefore, you want to have a way to communicate with your audience and make it easy for them to communicate with you. One way to do this is to use SMS marketing. Your audience can text in a live music request, vote via text for your current radio station poll, or otherwise join in with what is going on. Most people have their phones with them at all times, so it is easy for them to pick up their phone and vote whether or not they liked a particular song or text to participate in your latest contest. This boosts their engagement with your station, which, in turn, increases the chance they will choose to become a repeat listener, and may even become a loyal one.

Reminds People to Tune In

Once you have permission to text someone, you can send out reminders about your events. You only want to text your subscribers around two to four times per month, which is perfect for occasional reminders. Rather than reminding them about every single show, send out reminders about your special events, a new show you're starting, a contest you are running, and more. When someone receives a text about your radio station, they will be reminded to tune in, whether for the event or simply when they decide they want to have the radio on in the background.

Creates Excitement


Texting is the perfect CTA because people always have their phones with them.

To get people to tune into your radio station, it is important to get the word out about your programming and create excitement surrounding your events. There are numerous avenues for promotion, including print ads, billboards, bus ads, digital ads and social media posts. SMS marketing complements these marketing campaigns and helps them to succeed. You can add a texting call to action to increase the number of people who respond to your ads. Simply include a keyword and number to text on the bottom of your ads for more information or to enter a contest.

Because most people carry their cell phones with them everywhere, they can respond right away. Additionally, your campaign will catch on, building more excitement surrounding your event, programming or station as a whole. This leads to an increase in the number of listeners, boosting your station's overall business.

SMS marketing is a cost-effective marketing channel that has the power to boost your ratings and increase your radio station's business. To compete with the plethora of options people now have for radio programming, it is important to engage listeners, facilitate excitement and remain relevant. Texting can help you to do this without breaking your marketing budget.

Contact us to find out more about how to integrate SMS marketing into your strategy to augment your business.

July 13, 2016

X Ways to Attract Business for Your Bowling Alley with SMS Marketing

As a bowling alley owner, it is important that you find ways to attract new customers while also retaining your most loyal clientele. One method of communication that does both is SMS marketing. Use it to promote your events and bring in new business while also keeping your league members and other loyal customers informed of events and other pertinent information.

The following provide a few key ways to incorporate texting into your marketing strategy to increase business and reach your business goals.

Reward People for Signing Up


Offer a free game for those who join your text marketing program.

To attract and engage customers who occasionally visit your bowling alley and turn them into more regular patrons, it is important to remain in continual contact with them. One way to do this is to get them signed up for your SMS marketing program. By instantly rewarding them for doing so with a discount, such as a free game or free shoe rental, then they have motivation for opting in to your program.

If you advertise your text marketing program and offer an immediate discount in your bowling alley near the entrance and point of sale, then you motivate those looking to save money that night to sign up for the instant discount. Then, you have them on your list and continue to provide deals through regular messages that entice them to come in again.

Last Minute Deals

People carry their cell phones with them everywhere, which is just one reason that SMS marketing has an amazing 99 percent open rate with most texts read within just three minutes. Take advantage of this by sending out limited time offers and last minute deals. The time restrictions further motivate people to take action right away.

You can do this with scheduled deals that are part of your overall strategy, and you can also take advantage of this to turn around a slow night. When you feel that you want to boost your attendance on a particular night, send out a last-minute, limited-time deal to your subscribers. They will be more likely to choose you when they determine what to do that night with their friends and family members.

Promote Special Events

Although SMS marketing plays a key role in driving business through discounts and promotion, it also provides space to communicate with your customers. It is important that the messages you send to your customers always include something of value, which could be more than just a discount or offer. This includes information on your special events, such as nights where you offer cosmic bowling, karaoke, live music, or anything else. It is also beneficial to send messages that remind people of these events so they do not forget and miss out, and so you have a higher attendance for that night.

Drive Interest in League Bowling

A significant portion of your customers are already regulars, and some might also be part of league play. One way to do this is to target a particular group of clients with league promotion.

Text marketing makes it easy to group your members and send targeted messages. You use demographic and behavior pattern data to determine which clients are most likely to be interested in joining the league. Then, create messages that promote the league and possibly provide discounts for new members or teams to join. This helps drive your league membership, which, in turn, helps your overall business.

Create a Special VIP Group

You have the ability to create as many groups as you want out of your SMS marketing subscribers. You can use these groups to develop targeted messages that have a higher impact. One group that can be a key component of any texting program is a VIP group. In this group, include your most loyal customers. Then, send out exclusive deals, discounts, and other rewards to them. This could create interest and desire for customers to reach the level to become a VIP member and likewise receive these discounts and rewards. This, in turn, drives repeat business, which boosts your bottom line.

Text Call to Action


People can text from anywhere, which is why it is such a powerful CTA.

SMS marketing is not just about the messages you send to subscribers, although that is important. It is also about offering a simple call to action to add to all of your marketing and advertising ventures. You can simply add a keyword and short code to any ad, whether in print, online, or on TV. When people see the ad, they just pull out their phone and text a keyword to get more information about your bowling alley or to sign up to receive a discount. Texting has eight times the engagement rate of email and is one of the best calls to action from which to choose. This helps all of your marketing efforts have a stronger outcome.

Contact us to learn more about how to incorporate texting in your bowling alley marketing strategy.

July 04, 2016

5 Ways Text Message Marketing Boosts Your Karaoke Bar Business

Karaoke bars compete with nightclubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and comedy clubs for being the place to spend a fun evening. One way to attract customers to your bar is through text message marketing. Whether you have a dedicated karaoke bar or just special nights reserved for the event, your business can see a positive boost with the addition of texting. If you are hesitating to add this versatile marketing channel to your strategy, the following benefits of SMS marketing might be the thing to get you to act.

Increase the Success of Your Promotional Campaigns


Bring more people into your bar with stronger promotional campaigns

Adding the information about your text message marketing program to your advertisement and promotional materials increases the success of your campaign. People carry their cell phones with them everywhere, rarely having them outside of an arm's reach. This makes it very easy for them to see an ad, whether on TV, in a magazine, on a bus, on a billboard, or anywhere else, and take action in that same moment. They only have to grab their phone and text for more information. That is why texting is one of the best calls to action to use.

A High Engagement Rate

Text message marketing has eight times the engagement rate than email. One of the main reasons it has such a high engagement rate is due to the relationship people still have with texts. The perception remains more personal than email, so people are much more likely to check the messages right away. Plus, people are more selective in determining which campaigns to opt in to. This means that they will be more active and engaged because they already have a personal interest and investment in your company.

Perfect For Last Minute Deals

Because people still respond quickly to text message marketing, it is the perfect avenue for last minute deals. Over 98 percent of texts are opened, and a significant majority is read within just a few minutes. You can take advantage of this on a slow night. Once you feel that your club might need a boost that night, you can send out a text to your subscribers offering them something special, such as a discount on entry fees, food, beverages or something else. People will read the message and can respond right away, especially if they know that the offer is only good for that night.

Increase Foot Traffic

As a karaoke bar, it is important to find new customers every night. One way to do this is to have promotional flyers outside your venue to take advantage of the foot traffic passing by your bar. On these flyers, offer a discount that people can get that night if they text in. This will further motivate passersby to choose your venue for their night out over your competition.

Reach a Wider Audience


Most people have a cell phone, so your campaign can reach a wider audience

Around 90 percent of Americans own an SMS-enabled cell phone. This provides you with a very large audience of people with diverse demographics, background, and behavior patterns. Although you have to reserve your texts for those who actually opt in to your program, almost anyone is a potential subscriber. Not everyone has immediate access to email, social media, and other typical subscription programs. Therefore, you already are working with a larger pool of potential customers, and with the right promotion, you can capitalize on that to increase your opt ins and gain from the additional benefits of the program.

These are just a few of the lucrative benefits of utilizing a text message marketing program. With the right strategy in place, you can increase your karaoke bar's business. With text marketing's relatively low cost, you also gain the benefits without having to use too much of your marketing budget.

Ready to promote your karaoke bar's next event and increase business? 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!