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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?

January 02, 2016

Attract People to Your Nightclub with Text Marketing

Nightclubs and private functions were made for each other. However, in order for you to count your party a success, you need party goers to add your club to their itineraries early. There is no shortage of options when it comes to venues, so getting people to line up at your club might require more creative methods than you've used in the past. Gone are the days of passing out flyers and hoping people show up. Here are some ways you can start the New Year out right and attract people to your nightclub with text marketing.

Start 2016 with the best New Year's party in town.

Texts Establish a Personal Relationship

One of the greatest benefits of text marketing is the ability to establish a more personal relationship with your guests. Rather than taking the chance they'll see a flyer somewhere, you can notify your SMS program subscribers about your event directly. Even if you send the same message to everyone, receiving the text on a smartphone feels much more personal than hearing an ad on the radio. Plus, it gives your guests the feeling of having an exclusive "in" to your club.

Word of Mouth at its Best

Considering nearly 100 percent of all texts are opened and read, you have a much better chance of gaining the attention of partiers through text marketing than by any other type of invitation. Make sure when you send out your text, you encourage the recipients to share the invite with loved ones. In order to reach more people even faster, you can provide an incentive, such as a promotional offer or bonus to those who pass the message along. There isn't any faster or easier way to spread the news about your event than by encouraging the receiver to forward your message or tell a friend about your club.

Include Special Promotions and Perks

There are a number of special promotions and perks you can include in your text marketing to make sure people are lined up to get into your club this year. Consider offering discounted VIP service and special drink offers. Further, try promotions such as asking the recipient to show the text at the door before 11PM for free admission. If guests are at the club by 11:00, there's a good chance they'll stay and celebrate until long after midnight.

Text marketing can make your club the #1 spot in 2016

Provide Instant Drink Specials and Bonuses

In this world where instant gratification can go a long way, consider providing instant drink specials and bonuses in your text marketing that guests can benefit from right away. If they know they can qualify for a free drink simply by texting the keyword or forwarding the offer to their friends, they can help spread the news of your party and may be more likely to show up at your club for future events.

Are you ready to get the party started at your nightclub? Try ClubTexting for free today!

December 23, 2015

Show This Text: A Powerful Call To Action for Your Mass Texting Campaign

Your call to action determines whether or not you get the engagement that you want from your marketing efforts. A strong call to action motivates your customers to click, buy, or otherwise interact with your company. Mass texting campaigns require a powerful call to action just like any other marketing effort. With only 160 characters, it can be difficult to find the perfect CTA for your text messages. One powerful choice for companies that have a physical location is "show this text."

The Power Behind Show this Text

People have their phones with them, making it easy to show a coupon.

When you send out an offer or discount to your mass texting subscribers, you may assume that they will inherently know to show the text to redeem the offer. However, if you do not specify that the offer only applies for those who show the text, then they may not realize that it is a special discount, or they may delete the text and then get frustrated when they are unable to redeem the offer. By specifically stating "show this text," it dictates to the customer exactly what you want them to do. It also helps to impart that they're receiving an exclusive deal, rather than a general announcement. This feeling of exclusivity increases their motivation to actually redeem the text.

Show this text is also a CTA that everyone can do, even those who do not have a smartphone with Internet capabilities. Although two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, it's still limiting when you send a text with a call to action that requires clicking a website link.

Convenient and Easy

Mass texting is a powerful marketing tool for many reasons. Texts have a high open rate and conversion rate. Additionally, almost everyone owns an SMS-enabled mobile phone. People also carry their phones with them everywhere, with 80 percent of smartphone users only letting them leave their side for about two hours per day. This means subscribers can receive the text even if they do not have Internet access or are on the go. It also means that they do not have to remember to print out a coupon or bring something with them to redeem an offer in your store; instead, they just need their phones.

Be Prepared

Your sales staff needs to be ready to accept coupons and other discounts via text.

If you send out a special offer such as a discount or coupon, exclusive access, or some other benefit and ask people to show the text, it is your responsibility to be ready to honor it. If your staff members or volunteers are unaware of the campaign, then it could lead to confusion and poor customer service. This will mitigate any positive effects of the campaign.

Show this text is a powerful call to action for your mass texting campaign because it is simple and imparts a clear order. To further increase the efficacy of your CTA, it is beneficial to create a sense of urgency and evoke emotion with your messages. Ready to see the power behind "Show this text"? Try ClubTexting for free today.

December 22, 2015

The Best 6 SMS Marketing Messages to Boost Your Real Estate Business

Although the real estate market has improved over the past few years, it remains a tough, competitive environment for agents. One way to stand out from the rest is to incorporate SMS marketing. SMS is an excellent way to keep in contact with your current clients, as well as prospective and former clients. If you are looking for ways to use SMS beyond sending individual texts as a way to boost your business, then try creating a message from one of the following categories.

Instant Property Alerts

Text clients as soon as a hot property hits the market.

Nearly everyone owns some type of mobile phone, and half of the population doesn't ever turn their cell phones off. This is one of the big reasons why people open text messages within just a few minutes of receipt.

Because texting is such an immediate communication channel, it is the best way to send property alerts to current and prospective clients. As soon as you hear of any hot new properties or a price cut on an attractive house, you can instantly send a notification to prospective buyers before others have a chance to get in the game. Your clients can also text you back their interest, setting things in motion right away and minimizing the risk of losing out to another interested party.

Market Updates

Another type of message that's interesting to your subscribers is market updates. This can include highlights of the latest properties on the market, as well as home price trends. It is possible to break down your subscribers by neighborhood or other geographic area to send targeted market updates, in addition to or in lieu of general updates.

Appointment Reminders

As a real estate agent, your calendar quickly becomes full as you take clients house hunting and work on offers. One missed appointment has the potential to throw your day off course. With SMS marketing, you can send out appointment reminders to reduce the number of missed and forgotten appointments. This not only provides a valuable service to your clients, but it also keeps your schedule on track.

House Hunting Tips

Current and prospective clients appreciate learning industry secrets, and you can use your SMS marketing program to send out house hunting tips to your subscribers. You only have 160 characters, so your tip can be something short and simple. If you have more to say, include a link to a blog post in your text message.

Tips for Selling Property

As a real estate agent, you not only help people find homes, but you most likely also help them to sell them. Your SMS marketing program provides a platform to send out tips on how to get the most money when selling property. It is easy to divide your subscribers into separate groups so that prospective sellers receive one set of tips and prospective buyers receive another set.

Special Offers

Partner with a maid service and offer exclusive discounts for your text subscribers.

One way to attract new business is to send out exclusive deals via text to thank clients for choosing you. This could be a free appraisal, free house cleaning, discounts on a partner moving company, and other related services that your clients would want. These additional services set you apart from the competition, and if they are only available to your text messages subscribers, they become even more powerful.

Incorporating SMS marketing can help to boost your real estate business in many ways. Before you start texting clients, it is important that you get their permission, which you can easily do when they sign up for your texting service. You can also attract prospective buyers to your list by advertising your campaign on your property listings. As people drive by, they can see your ad and opt into your campaign to learn more about the property and get the latest updates. Contact us today to see how texting can help your business.

December 20, 2015

How to Leverage Mass Texting to Capture Email Addresses

Text messaging has become one of the fastest growing marketing channels, but many companies still rely on email marketing as a way to communicate with customers. Although mass texting works well as a standalone marketing tool, it can also complement your email marketing efforts. With the right plan in place, it is simple to leverage your texting program to capture email address and grow your subscriber list.

A Texting Call to Action

Get creative with your CTA to increase engagement.

Asking potential customers to sign up for a email list or send an email message does not necessarily make the best call to action. People may not be in front of a computer or have their email handy when they walk by a poster or billboard, see a TV ad, or read a print ad in a magazine or newspaper. However, they will have their cell phone on them and can instantly text to join your mass texting program. You will capture many more subscribers using an SMS-based call to action as opposed to an email CTA, helping you to grow your list of potential customers with whom to communicate.

Ask Your Subscribers to Text Their Email

Once you have your mass texting program underway, it is time to send a text that asks subscribers to opt-in to your email marketing campaign. You can create an auto-response as part of the initial sign up that also asks for their email address, or you can send out a text at a later time. Your subscribers can text in their emails, which are then automatically included in your customer data so that they receive your marketing emails too. Many text message platforms integrate with the popular email marketing platforms, making it even easier to integrate the two.

Promote Your Email Campaign to Your Mass Texting List

Instead of asking your mobile subscribers to text in their email address, it is possible to simply promote your email campaign via mass texting. Although you do not want to overwhelm your followers with cross-promotional texts, it is beneficial to occasionally let them know of other ways to stay in touch with your company and receive discounts. In a text, you can provide information on how to sign up for your email campaign, as well as why it is beneficial to do so.

Provide Value

In order to get people to sign up for not one but two different campaigns, it is important that you illustrate their value for potential subscribers. Even if you only use your mass texting as a way to capture email, you need to first offer some type of value. The most common way to do this is to simply provide an exclusive offer or discount for joining.

Offer your customers something for opting in.

If you do plan to run two campaigns, it is even more important that you offer deals exclusive to each medium. You do not want your text message subscribers to opt out because they feel they receive the same exact information from your emails, and vice versa. Instead, they should want to be part of both lists because they receive valuable information and offers from both platforms.

The customers who have signed up for your mass texting campaign are already engaged with your company and want to receive communication from you. This makes it more likely they will want to sign up to engage with your business via email as well. By smartly integrating the two, you can use your texting program to capture emails to have another way to communicate with your customers. Contact us to get started with a mass texting campaign.

December 19, 2015

The Top 5 Ways to Use Group Texting to Boost Holiday Business

The holidays are just around the corner, and for many businesses, this time period represents the bulk of their sales for the entire year. The highest average monthly retail sales tend to be in November and December as people hit the holiday sales and buy presents. Having a good holiday season is important for the health of your business. By using group texting, you can engage with your potential customers and boost your holiday business.

Santa's not the only one who can send out holiday greetings and gifts through text.

Text to Win Contests

One way to get into the holiday spirit and engage your customers is to run a holiday-themed text to win contest. This type of contest is simple to run and easy for your customers to enter. If you offer an attractive grand prize or something small just for entering, such as a special coupon, then people will be more likely to participate and subscribe to your SMS marketing list for future campaigns. Once they have the coupon, they will be motivated to shop for gifts in your store or business.

Special Sales

Sales and discounts drive the holiday shopping, which is why Black Friday deals start earlier and earlier every year. You can take advantage of people's desire to save big in the holiday season by sending out special sales that are exclusive to your text message subscribers. In the weeks leading up to the holiday shopping period, it is beneficial to promote your group texting program, promising special exclusive sales and deals for subscribers.

Last Minute Discounts

Group texting is an immediate marketing channel. Most people open their texts within just a few minutes of receipt, which makes it the perfect forum for sending out last minute discounts and flash sales. It is best to send out your message a few hours before the sale begins to ensure people have time to prepare. The more limited-time the offer, the more motivated people will be to take action right away.

After Christmas Sales

The holiday season does not have to end once Christmas passes. Many smart shoppers wait for the after Christmas sales to do their shopping to take advantage of better deals. With group texting, you can promote your after Christmas sales and boost business by offering an exclusive coupon.

Create a Marketing CTA Related to Your Texting Program

When your team develops your holiday marketing flyers, incorporate a text CTA.

One way to extend the reach of your holiday marketing efforts is to include information about your group texting program in your call to action on your marketing collateral. A short CTA easily fits on posters, flyers, television ads, print ads, and more, because you simply need to include a keyword and short code. Not only will this help you attract more business around the holidays, it will also help to grow your mobile subscriber list.

There are many other ways to incorporate group texting into your holiday marketing strategy. A creative campaign can help you get the attention of last-minute shoppers and boost your business during this important season. Ready to run your holiday campaign? Try ClubTexting for free today!

December 18, 2015

7 Tips for Marketing Multiple Locations Using Mass Text Messaging

Businesses that have multiple locations don't have to always use the same mass text messaging campaign for all their stores. With a few simple actions, you can easily create multiple text marketing campaigns for each of your store locations, or you can text subscribers about all your locations. The following tips will help you to get the most out of your text marketing program at each of your stores.

To Use Multiple Keywords or Not

If your business has several locations, you may benefit from multiple keywords.

Using multiple keywords is an easy way to set up individual campaigns for each of your store locations. However, it's important to keep in mind that this doesn't work for every business. Generally, if you have multiple locations in one small geographical location, it may not be in your best interest to run multiple campaigns. Your customers can easily get confused if they are receiving unique offers for different stores within close proximity.

Businesses that have locations further apart benefit the most from using multiple keywords. Using your keywords, you can tailor your campaign to target offers for customers in one general area.

Be Wary of Text Frequency -- Schedule Smartly

It is important that you do not overwhelm customers with text messages, as they may become frustrated. When you have multiple campaigns running for each store location, you run the risk of sending a customer more texts than they want to receive. While most customers will sign up to receive offers from their closest store location, some may sign up for multiple campaigns. Recent data suggests the ideal frequency for marketing texts is around two to four per month. Therefore, it is important that you schedule your campaigns smartly so that offers don't all go out at the same time.

Make Coupon Redemption Easy

Make it easy for customers to redeem coupons across locations.

People are motivated by offers and coupons. But if you offer a coupon for one location and it is not accepted at another, you run the risk of frustrating your customers. Therefore, it is best to send out coupons that are valid at all store locations, even if you are running multiple mass text messaging campaigns for your different stores.

Choosing Keywords for Cross-Promotional Advertising

One thing to keep in mind when running multiple campaigns is your advertising. Generally, your television and radio ads are already targeted for the specific geographical region, so it should not be difficult to include a special keyword for each of your stores. But it may be more of a challenge to market your mobile program via your website and social media profiles. If you have geographical-specific sites, then it is easier. Otherwise, you may have to just list the different keywords for each region or store location and allow customers to choose which one to sign up for.

Monitor Your Campaigns Smartly

Keep track of your customers and campaigns so that you avoid duplication.

When you have multiple keywords, the organization and management of your mass text messaging campaign becomes more difficult. You have to ensure that you have the right subscribers listed under the right campaign. Additionally, you want to continually see how many people sign up for more than one campaign so that you can adequately schedule your posts. It is also important to ensure your campaigns remain unique for each location while also benefiting your overall business. Once you have a strong foundation built for monitoring your different campaigns, it will be easier to ensure they run smoothly.

Although having multiple keywords, one for each of your locations, may seem like a great idea, it is not for everyone. However, many companies with multiple locations find it beneficial to organize their marketing campaigns per location, and having special keywords for each location helps you stay organized. Ready to see how you can use text marketing to advertise multiple store locations? Try ClubTexting for free.

December 17, 2015

How to Drive Business to Your Cafe with Mass Text Messaging

To compete with other cafes, especially the large national chains, you need to stand out from the crowd. Mass text messaging offers an ideal way to do this. It is relatively inexpensive and the open and conversion rates for marketing texts are high. The following ideas should help you start driving more business to your cafe with an SMS program.

The Perfect CTA

Include a CTA about your texting campaign in TV ads to increase your opt in rate.

If you want to encourage customers to opt-in to your text marketing campaign, start with a call to action related to your program. You can include a keyword and short code or long code on your print ads, television ads, radio ads, and digital ads. That way, no matter where your customers are, when they see or hear your ad, they can sign up for your texting campaign instantly.

Offers and Deals

People love to save money, so one of the best ways to drive business is to offer special deals via text message. Routinely sending out valuable offers for food or beverage items at your cafe can help turn one-time or occasional customers into loyal customers.

Take Advantage of Perfect Advertising Spaces

Use the space in your own cafe to promote your program.

You don't need to spend a lot to advertise your text marketing campaign; you can take advantage of spaces you already own in your shop. For instance, you can advertise on your menus, napkins, napkin holders, table cloths, cups, and anywhere else that you also have your logo. Just add two simple lines of text with your keyword and short code and other pertinent information. To increase opt-ins, consider offering a special deal for signing up that can be redeemed that day.

Text to Win, Polls, and Surveys

Get creative with your text messages to engage with your cafe customers. Polls and surveys help you to discover what your customers want from your business so that you meet -- and even exceed -- their expectations. You can also develop a text to win contest, offering your customers a special grand prize, such as free coffee for a month. Text to win contests are easy to run, easy for customers to enter, and can help generate interest in your business and drive sales, especially if you include a small prize for entering, such as one free coffee or a special discount.

Loyalty Program

Reward the loyalty of your text message subscribers with occasional special deals.

Your mass text messaging program can be used to support (or in lieu of) a card membership loyalty program. It is easy to segment your text message subscribers into groups. For example, you can track your customers' purchasing data and send exclusive offers to those who spend a certain amount at your cafe to thank them for their loyalty. This helps your business all around, since 82 percent of customers shop more frequently with businesses that offer loyalty reward programs.

Mass text messaging is a simple way to engage with customers and drive business. Because it has a significant impact and a relatively low cost, it is a marketing channel that helps level the playing field for smaller cafes interested in competing with larger chains. Contact us to get started on your first campaign.

December 04, 2015

Why Integrating your Text Message and Social Media Marketing Makes Sense

Do your social media followers know that you're using text messaging to engage with customers? If not, it is time to tell them! Your social media followers already have a positive opinion of your company and want to remain in contact. That makes them the perfect target audience for your text marketing campaign. Integrating your social media and SMS marketing campaigns provides you many benefits, helping to capitalize on the lucrative advantages of both mediums.

Target an Attentive Audience

Your followers and subscribers already have a positive relationship with you.

Social media followers and text message subscribers are attentive audiences for your marketing efforts. They have already indicated an interest in your business. They generally have a positive feeling toward your company and plan to visit it in the future. This means they may also be willing to sign up to communicate with you in another way, whether that is email newsletters, social media following, or text message marketing. You can promote your text message program to your social media followers and vice versa to expand the reach of both efforts.

Increase Customer Engagement

Having a large number of followers on social media may seem like the ideal goal, but the real prize is having a significant amount of engaged followers. These are the people that interact with your posts -- commenting, liking, or sharing with their followers. You may have hundreds, thousands, or even millions of followers, but if they do not engage with your posts, then you have gained little.

You can increase the level of interaction by integrating your social media and text marketing campaigns. For instance, you can run a text to win competition, asking your followers to text a particular keyword for the chance to win. Alternatively, you can use your text marketing list to promote your social media campaigns and get people to actively engage online. For example, you can text your subscribers and ask them to like and share a post for a chance to win something.

Similar but Different Messages

Your social media and text message offers should be unique to the particular medium.

Integrating your social media and text marketing campaigns helps you to grow your reach and engage with customers. However, it is important that you still maintain the two channels as unique marketing forums. In order to benefit from both, your customers must want to sign up for both. This means that they need to see the value in following you on social media and signing up to receive text messages.

You can create unique value by sending similar but different messages through the various channels. It is also helpful to offer different categories of messages across the different channels. For example, you could reserve your mobile program for offers and your social media accounts for news or tips. This provides you with extra space to reach the same people without over-saturating them with messages from one source.

A strong marketing plan integrates multiple marketing channels so that you benefit from their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. If you haven't integrated your mobile program with your social media, it may be time to start. Contact us today to get started!

December 02, 2015

The Top 5 Reasons to Add Texting to Your Customer Service Program

Good customer service is vital to your company's success. People shop with their emotions, and poor customer service is one of the top reasons they choose to go to another business. There are many different tools you can use to build a strong customer service program. One cost-effective option is to use a texting service to improve communication with your customers. Some companies hesitate to incorporate texting into their customer service program, but they are missing out on the following benefits.

It Is The Popular Option For Customer Service

Many customers would rather text than speak to an agent on the phone.

Recent data shows that a large portion of customers, 64 percent, would rather use text messages than make a call to communicate customer service issues. That percentage increases to 77 percent for those between the ages of 18 and 34. By offering a communication channel that people want, you already set yourself up for a more favorable customer service experience, which in turn results in a more positive feeling towards your company. Your texting service can also serve as a two-way communication channel so that your customer service agents can hold a conversation with a customer.

It is Easily Accessible from Anywhere

The beauty of texting is that customers can communicate wherever they are. If they have an issue with your products or services or need information about a transaction or appointment, they can do so instantaneously. Most people have their phones with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As soon as the thought occurs to them, they can contact you, even if they are in the middle of something. Furthermore, if they do have to wait on a response, they are not tied to a phone or computer. They can go to work, exercise, watch TV, play with their family, or go out with friends without the fear of missing the response.

You Can Set up Auto-Responses

With a texting service, you can easily set up auto-responses to help your customer receive the information they need. Although not all inquiries or other customer service issues can be handled this way, answers to frequently asked questions can be sent via auto-response. This helps you to automatically respond to the issue quickly.

Relieve Customers of Frustrating Wait Times

One of the most frustrating aspects of customer service is waiting on hold. By using a texting service, you can reduce customer wait times. Instead of sitting on hold for several minutes, your customers can text and receive a response almost right away. Even if it takes your agents awhile to be able to contact them with the information, the customers are free to go about their business while waiting. This helps alleviate customer frustration. If customers experience issues but receive excellent customer service, they may be more willing to continue to shop with you.

Customers Read Texts

People actually read their texts.

Another reason that you should incorporate texting to your customer service program is that customers actually read text messages. Text messages have a whopping 98 percent open rate, and the vast majority of texts are opened within mere minutes. This allows you to feel confident that your customers are receiving your messages.

Text messaging may not be the customer service channel of choice for every customer, but a large majority would prefer to have it as an option. By using texts to communicate with your customers, you can improve your customer service program and boost your business. If you're ready to get started, try ClubTexting for free today.