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March 24, 2016

Expert Interview Series: Roger Wu of Cooperatize on Best Practices for Using Sponsored Content



Roger Wu is a co-founder of Cooperatize, the leading platform for brands to buy sponsored content. We recently checked in with Roger to learn more about best practices for using sponsored content. Here's what he had to say:

What is sponsored content? What sets it apart from other marketing/web content?

Sponsored content is an article or story written by the publisher in their voice, while integrating your product or brand into it. The publisher guarantees a certain amount of traffic to the story at a higher rate than banner advertisements, which covers not only their content production but also their distribution costs.

Sponsored content is different from traditional content in a variety of ways.

  • First, the publisher guarantees a minimum number of impressions, whereby the story acts like an advertisement. If the story exceeds this minimum, it acts as "PR" or earned media.

 

  • Secondly, it should not impact your search engine optimization since the anchor tags are flagged as "no follow."

 

  • Third, it is clearly marked as sponsored or advertisement per the rules of the FTC.



Why are brands turning to sponsored content to build an audience?

There are a variety of reasons why brands are turning to sponsored content:

  • Influencer and social media marketing are hot; people trust local celebrities or "influencers." Brands see influencer marketing as a more cost effective way to reach their target audiences since influencers are not as expensive as celebrities and have a more targeted audience set. Sponsored content gives influencers the ability to create longer form content to showcase their thoughts.

 

  • We now live in the world of infinite content. Everyone is a publisher. Everyone is creating content. If something is not promoted, most likely it will not be seen. The ROI on an organic mention is more likely to be worse off than ever. Sponsored content, with its guaranteed distribution, helps brands to cut through the noise and ensure that prospects now know their story.

 

  • Ad block has rendered display advertising as futile. With the rise of social networks and content marketing, sponsored content plays into these new trends.



What brands do you think are using sponsored content most effectively? What can we learn from them?

The obvious simple answer is Netflix. They've run sponsored content effectively with The Atlantic about strong first ladies in conjunction with "House of Cards" to reach their politically savvy audience. Sponsored content for "Orange is the New Black" ran in the more liberal minded New York Times about how the experience of women incarcerated differs from that of men. Finally, an article about the economics of Pablo Escobar and the drug trade ran in the Wall Street Journal in conjunction with "Narcos."

Each of these articles tell a story and while Netflix is in the business of brokering stories to your home, they created a story that was relevant to the given audience.

Furthermore, none of these stories asked for the business. There was never a "Subscribe to Netflix" button or some other call to action about a subscription. If there were, the campaigns most likely would have failed. We now know that these great shows are only available on Netflix and even if we didn't, a quick Google search would yield that information.

Brands need to understand that the value of a good story is not a click thru, but rather mindshare; in our new on demand economy we can get anything we want, the key is to have enough mindshare when the time is right to buy that product. Click-thrus are a false short-term metric that is being measured at the expense of the more valuable long-term metric of story recall and brand building.

What are some best practices for creating a marketing strategy using sponsored content?

  • Create publisher guidelines that fit your marketing goals but also give the publisher some creativity. You want them to tap into their creative juices, but if they feel too constrained they'll end up writing another "5 great things ... " article.

 

  • Make sure you enforce the impression count and ask what constitutes an impression. Some provide basic metrics, like a publisher's Twitter followers and monthly unique visitors. While big numbers might look impressive, we need to remember that a tweet is on average seen by 1 to 2 percent of followers and about 1 to 2 percent of those followers engage; monthly unique visitors which many get confused with a magazine's circulation, is an aggregate metric from ALL stories, and more likely than not, 95 percent of a publishers online traffic comes from 5 percent of their articles. As a marketer you don't necessarily care about this, you want their audience to see the article that was written and created about you.

 

  • Use data to make better content. While publishers will get you the requisite number of views, you need to look at what stories are resonating with your audience. Look at the engagement on each story: if people are not responding to it in terms of reading it all the way, maybe it's the wrong message. Content marketing is not as easy to tweak as AdWords, but you can still use data to figure out the most effective stories.

 

  • Tying content into the rest of your marketing is highly effective. We've found that content marketing and sponsored content in conjunction with retargeting display advertising leads to better brand recall and conversion.



What about dos and don'ts for writing sponsored content? How can we keep readers engaged?

  • Do adjust for factual accuracy. If your product doesn't do X, Y, and Z and the publisher says that it does, let the publisher know that it doesn't.

 

  • Do provide guidelines for what you are looking for. It's hard for a publisher to guess what you want.

 

  • Do allow for some leeway in creating content. Just because you paid for it, you shouldn't want to force your hand. The publisher knows their audience best and is the storyteller.

 

  • Don't try and adjust for editorial. For example, if a writer says "I liked that product" don't ask them to say "I really liked that product."

 

  • Don't ask for an advertorial. There's a reason why those didn't work. Audiences don't want to read about why your product is the best; rather they want to know how it integrates into the rest of their lives.



What are the biggest mistakes you see brands making when it comes to sponsored content? How can we avoid making them?

In addition to some of the don'ts listed above, a lot of brands try to work directly with influencers. I wouldn't suggest that, as there's a reason why platforms like Cooperatize exist. By going direct, it's similar to buying a car off Craigslist, versus buying a car on eBay, which ensures reputation.

Furthermore, we are fully compliant and up to date with Google and the FTC. Platforms ensure that brands are compliant, as it's not recommended to try and cheat the Google algorithm or skirt around the U.S. government's rules.

From a pricing perspective, brands need to move off the CPM anchor of display advertising. Sponsored content not only encompasses content creation but also distribution. To put this into perspective, tools like Outbrain and Taboola charge up to $2 per click to content (that is already created) as opposed to display advertising charging $2 per thousand impressions.

What are your favorite tools for promoting sponsored content? What doesn't seem to work as well?

Facebook and Twitter are still the kings when it comes to paid distribution. The targeting is very specific, which will allow you to get quality views at a lower price. Publishers that have a sponsored content carousel on their home page is also a great tool. StumbleUpon is a nice way to get organic visitors to your content. Lastly, we sometimes use Outbrain and Taboola, although we've noticed that the reader quality is not as high.

What is the future for sponsored content?

We truly believe that sponsored content is the future of monetization for publishers. As long as publishers provide real metrics and continue to promote and make their content high quality, we see this as overtaking the economics of display advertising in the coming years.

Connect with Roger on Twitter.

Try ClubTexting for free today.

March 22, 2016

7 Ways to Promote Your Easter Specials with SMS Marketing

Easter is a popular time for businesses to run specials. Promotion plays a valuable role in driving business, and these specials provide another activity to add to your marketing and advertising campaigns. One invaluable tool to help promote your Easter specials is SMS marketing. If you are unsure how to use this marketing channel to promote your Easter specials and increase business, try one or more of the following message types.

Call to Action


Add a text CTA to attract more customers to your business.

One of the best ways to use SMS marketing to promote your business and Easter specials is as a call to action in your advertisements and marketing collateral. It is easy to include a keyword and short code on your flyers, print ads, billboards, TV and radio spots, and digital marketing platforms as a way for potential leads to get more information. For an even larger impact, offer people a reward in the form of a coupon for joining your texting program.

Daily Deals

Texting is a powerful marketing channel, but it is best used at a frequency of about one or two times per week. However, during special marketing campaigns, you could turn it into a platform for daily deals. This should be a special campaign for which customers sign up to receive an exclusive daily deals for your business during a specific period of time, such as the week leading up to Easter.

Easter Egg Hunt


Kids don't have to be the only ones to get an Easter treat!

A popular game on Easter is the Easter egg hunt for children. With your SMS marketing campaign, you can get parents and other adults involved in their own digital Easter egg hunt. You can ask customers to find special keywords and text them to you to receive a special discount or another prize. You could even have a "golden egg" keyword that is the grand prize of the game. It is possible to put the keywords up around town on your advertisements or on various pages of your website.

Text to Win

If you do not want to create an Easter egg hunt, you can still run a game for your customers and potential customers through a "Text to Win" campaign. For this game, customers text a certain keyword to enter a contest. At the end of the contest, you give out one or more prizes. To increase the numbers playing your game, it is best to reward everyone who plays with a small prize, such as a 20 percent off coupon or free shipping.

Refer a Friend

Word of mouth is a powerful way to increase your business and bring in more customers. One way to inspire your current customers to share information about your company with their friends is to run a "Refer a Friend" campaign. You can use your SMS marketing platform to do this by asking your subscribers to forward a text to their friends. Reward both the customer and the friend with a coupon or discount.

Limited Time Offers

Limited time offers have a strong impact on whether or not people take action and make a purchase. SMS has strong potential for running special flash sales or discounts that last for only a few hours, because most people read their texts within a few minutes of receipt.

Exclusive Deals


Send your subscribers ways to save even more on your specials.

Easter is a holiday for which many people purchase gifts for their friends and family members, so they may be looking for ways to save some money on their purchases. You can use this incentive to send your text marketing subscribers exclusive deals that help them to save even more money on your Easter specials. Your customers and potential customers will be motivated to take action if you provide them with a great deal on the items or services for which they were looking or on items they did not even realize they needed.

It is possible to take advantage of the Easter holiday to attract visitors to your business. Many of these SMS marketing campaigns can help you to promote your Easter specials. Plus, they can help with any other sales and specials you have in the future.

Ready to see how texting can help your Easter campaign? Try ClubTexting for free.

March 21, 2016

Increase Your Fitness Center's Membership Numbers with SMS Marketing

There are many features of a fitness center that attract people to choose it for their workouts. This could be the equipment, types of classes, fitness instructors, support, and more. Before people can choose a certain location over the competition, they first have to know about it and its various amenities. SMS marketing provides clubs with a promotional tool that can help attract more members. If you are unsure how to take advantage of this beneficial marketing channel, then try one of the following strategies.

Attract New Clients


Bring in more members by adding a text call to action on your ads

It is easy to add texting as a call to action to your already-existing promotional marketing material, including flyers, emails, print ads, radio or TV spots, and more. You can add a keyword and shortcode or number for people text to get more information. More than half of consumers have their phones within arms reach at all times, which means they can quickly and easily take action and text, no matter where are when they see your ad. Once they have signed up, you can continue to engage with them and encourage them to visit your center.

Offers and Discounts

Offers and discounts provide motivation to get potential clients to start their exercise program. You can reward people who sign up for your SMS marketing program with a special, exclusive offer, such as a free day pass or a discount on a monthly membership or class package. The overall value is the main reasons that consumers choose to patronize a particular business over another. When it comes to taking action on a mobile offer, the value proposition is a significant driver for why people choose to take action.

VIP Program

Your SMS marketing program should not be just about attracting new members to your fitness center. It also works as a great medium for communicating with current members. It is possible to create groups out of your subscribers based on their demographics, behaviors, and status as a member. One group could be VIP members, to whom you can send special rewards. This may be exclusive offers and deals, such as a free personal trainer session, or it can be access to purchase or win special VIP gear.

Communicate with Members

Customer satisfaction is key to maintaining your membership numbers. Although there will always be some members who leave your gym for reasons beyond your control, there are some things you can do to keep your members happy so they continue to come back and even bring along friends. SMS marketing provides a way to communicate with your clients. This could be to remind them about classes, especially those who have already signed up for one. It is also possible to send out schedule changes, even if they are last minute. Most text messages are opened within just a few minutes, making it the ideal communication channel for last minute messages.

Keep Your Members Motivated to Come Back


You can send tips and motivation to your members that they can read anywhere

There is much more than just customer service, offers, and deals for which you can use your text message service. It is may be used as a way to motivate your members and support them in their fitness goals. You could create a digital personal trainer that sends out texts to clients to keep them on their path. You might send out simple, motivational messages or generally helpful information, such as nutrition and fitness tips. If you have personal trainers or nutritionists who work in your fitness center, they can also use your mass texting program to communicate with their clients to keep motivating them to continue on their fitness journey.

With the right SMS marketing strategy in place, it is possible to increase your new membership numbers while also helping to retain your current members. This versatile medium can be used to promote your club while also helping to support your current members achieve their fitness goals.

Ready to see how it can help your fitness center increase membership? Try ClubTexting for free.

March 18, 2016

Does Text Message Marketing Work with B2B Marketing?

Text message marketing is a powerful tool to engage with customers. Many businesses that deal exclusively in B2B marketing do not feel as though it could benefit them the same as it does those who work directly with the consumer.

The truth is that texts can help B2B marketing just as much, if not more, than B2C marketing. Even though you are marketing towards a company, there remains a person or persons that makes the decisions with which you do business, and texting can work better than email to communicate with and market to these business professionals.

Business Professionals Rely on their Phones


Business professionals keep their phones nearby at all times

Over the past decades, cell phones have changed how people interact. Across the board, there has been an increase in adoption of cell phones, with around 90 percent of Americans owning some type of cell phones, of which 64 percent are smartphones. Among business professionals, about 97 percent keep their phones within three feet at all time, and they look at it around 150 times per day. Text message marketing takes advantage of this situation to contact potential clients no matter where the person is.

Less Competition

Many of these business professionals may check their emails through their phones, but there is often a large number of emails in their inbox. This intense competition could make it easy for a potential customer to overlook your email. Fewer companies have adopted text message marketing, which significantly reduces the number of competing texts your business contacts will receive. This helps you to stand out from the competition, helping to increase the chance that your message is received and businesses will choose you over the competition.

High Engagement Rates

Text message marketing has high engagement rates across industries. The average click-through rate for texting is 19 percent compared to roughly 4.2 percent for email. Additionally, around 98 percent of text messages are read compared to only 20 percent of emails. It does better than social media as well, with roughly 12 percent of Facebook posts and 29 percent of Tweets read by consumers. You have the chance to really grab the attention of potential customers and get them to see why they should choose your company. Your contact person at the business with whom you do or wish to do business will react similarly to the standard consumer when it comes to interacting with text messages.

Two-Way Communication


Your client can contact you via text to ask a question during a meeting

Customer service is an important component of any business, including those that deal in B2B marketing. One way to improve your customer service is to offer an easy and seamless way for businesses to contact you with questions or issues. Text message marketing can easily be used as a two-way communication method for customer service use. Your business contact can text you about an issue no matter where he or she is, including if they are in transit to see one of their clients or customers. A majority of consumers prefer to discuss customer service issues through text messages, and business contacts will want the same.

The benefits of text message marketing do not just apply to companies that deal directly with consumers; businesses that offer goods or services to other businesses can also take advantage of this effective marketing channel. It provides a way to communicate with your potential clients in an engaging way to improve their impression of your brand.

If you are unsure whether or not it can help your company, contact us to discuss yoru situation.

March 16, 2016

Should You Automate Your SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing platforms offer the opportunity to send live texts as well as scheduled texts. There is also a way to integrate it with your automation marketing to ensure that your clients receive certain messages at ideal points throughout the year. As a marketer, you may be wondering whether or not to set up automated messages for your text messages. Automation has its drawbacks as well as its benefits, so it works best in some situations and not in others.

Advantages of Automation


It is possible to set up your texting program to work automatically

There are numerous benefits of automated marketing campaigns. Automation is an efficient way to send messages. It sets up a simple way to create, track, and monitor messages. Your routine marketing messages are sent out when needed, simplifying the process and allowing personnel to focus on other aspects of the marketing campaign. When you rely on automation services to create and send the messages, it reduces the risk of human error or oversight. This helps you to engage consumers while predicting their needs and behavior patterns, which in turn leads to better customer retention.

Disadvantages of Automation

Many people feel as though automation leads to a de-personalization and generic marketing campaign. However, the opposite is true. It actually allows you to better personalize your relationship with customers and potential customers, especially as you will have more data from which to track and analyze each consumer.

Another downside that many marketers see when considering automation is that automation software programs tend to be expensive. This may be true, but this type of marketing has a relatively high return on investment, especially as it helps to streamline your work and improve customer retention. In terms of SMS marketing, much of the automation process is already a part of the platform, making it a cost-effective solution. However, you often have the option to integrate your text message data with your automation program or other customer tracking software for a more comprehensive view of your followers.

When to Use It

Marketing automation and creating automatic text messages for your SMS marketing campaign is slightly different. Most text message campaigns are inherently automatic, especially for the opt-in message. An example is a confirmation message when a customer texts you the opt-in keyword or a special discount or reward when they text you a designated keyword.

Once your customer is on your list, there are other ways to incorporate automation into your text message campaign beyond just scheduling them. You can send out special birthday texts, anniversary messages, and more. Some text platforms also make it easy to take the concept of automation marketing to create personalized drip campaigns based on when your customers signed up for the campaign or other data.

When to Avoid It


There are times where your marketing team needs to send out a special text

Utilizing concepts of marketing automation or integrating your SMS marketing campaign with your larger automation program works well for business in a variety of industries. Although you have set up your automated messages, you may want to supplement them with live messages that you create. This gives a little more life to your campaign, especially as you can take advantage of current events. Text messages are opened within a few minutes of receipt, so they make for the perfect marketing channel for last minute messages. This includes developing a flash sale, discounts for services or goods to drive business on a slow day, and other ways to get people to respond right away. These types of messages cannot be automated (yet), but rely on a savvy marketer seeing potential for business in a particular situation.

Marketing automation and SMS marketing go well together. It is a way to create personalized messages while streamlining your entire campaign. However, there are times where you do not want to rely on this type of marketing, so it is important to remember to also take advantage of the unique benefits text message marketing can provide beyond being a part of an automatic marketing strategy.

Contact us to discuss automating your text message program.

March 14, 2016

Thought Leader Series: 4 Fundraiser Promotions Using Mass Texting


Lorena Brockman is a blogger for JennsBlahBlahBlog.com and has notable know-how in blogging, marketing and sales, and has been deemed "Greatest Auntie Ever" by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company's blog at JennsBlahBlahBlog.com.

Entertainment venues such as yours are turning to mass text messaging to stay connected. They use text messages to promote special deals and events as well as day-to-day happenings.

Another way businesses get more customers through the door is by hosting fundraisers. Following are four fundraising ideas to promote using mass text messaging.



1. Ladies' Night

Everyone has been to a ladies' night somewhere: half-price drinks, no cover, and other specials for females only. Younger people are the target audience for these events, and mass text messaging is the more effective option, as younger crowds are more likely to check their phones than any other kind of media.

With this fundraiser, an organization like the Domestic Violence Project, Inc. would benefit from the event. The nightclub could auction off dates with different fellas that ladies (or men) can bid on. Those proceeds would go to the selected organization. Promoting your ladies' night specials and the cause that will benefit from the evening with mass text messaging will bring people from all walks of life to raise money for a great cause.

2. Puppy Party

Halloween is only once a year, but people can dress up any time. At a Puppy Party, everyone arrives dressed as a puppy (or kitty), or with painted faces. If customers are wearing the proper attire, they can bypass the line and join the party, free of charge. On the other hand, you could require a can of dog food or a kitten toy as an entrance fee. Specialty drinks and a contest for the cutest puppy costume are great ways to raise money for local animal shelters or larger organizations such as the ASPCA. Use SMS marketing to promote the event and spread word about the good it will do.

3. Karoakids

Almost everyone loves karaoke. Why not use it to help kids battling a childhood disease? Host a fundraiser by holding a karaoke contest. Participation would require admission fees, which would be donated. Through a sing-off, the winner is decided by the crowd. Promoting this type of event with mass text messaging will reach tons of people, some of whom will forward the info on to their buddies. Want bonus points? Announce that the winner of the Karoakids contest will perform live for the children at the hospital!

4. Hungry for Fun

Homeless and hungry families are a big problem in the U.S. In 2010, 16.4 million children - that's one in four kids - didn't know when their next meal would come. Host your own food drive to bring some relief. Invite customers via text message to a special night of drinks and music. Attendees can receive free admission if they bring a non-perishable food item or a personal care item. Advertise drinks specials, live entertainment, and the fundraiser via SMS marketing, and emphasize that the proceeds and donated items will be given to a local shelter.

Mass text messaging is a great way to promote a nightclub or bar. It's especially effective when the message is about a fundraiser and a cause. Fundraisers such as the above are a great springboard to get people in the door, and text message marketing is sure to bring prospective and loyal customers alike together to support a cause.

Ready to get started with your own SMS marketing campaign? Try ClubTexting for free!

February 22, 2016

Boost Your Limousine Business with Text Message Marketing

Although the majority of people in America own cars, there are plenty of times where they may choose to hire a limousine. Your customers may have several options for these services, making your marketing approach that much more important to help you compete. One way to boost your business and stand out from the crowd is to use text message marketing as a part of your overall advertising strategy.

How to Use Text Message Marketing


Adding texting to your marketing plan can increase your limo business.

SMS marketing is an easy tool to integrate into your marketing strategy. However, it is a permission-based medium. This means that you first have to compile a list of subscribers to whom you text. This can be built by promoting your texting campaign through other marketing platforms, including print ads, social media, your website, and TV or radio ads. People may opt-in by texting a designated keyword to your dedicated short code or number. Once you have their information and permission, it is possible to send them text messages, both promotional and service-orientated, to improve customer engagement and your limo business.

Booking Reminders

It is popular to book a limousine or other special car service for special events, such as the prom, a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday, or other celebrations. Often, weeks, or even months, of planning go into the event to ensure that everything works out perfectly. Despite the planning, it is possible for your customers to forget details about the service, including the date and/or time of pickup. Text message marketing offers an easy way to send reminders. This reduces the risk of someone not being ready for the limo and your driver having to wait, as well as reducing the number of last-minute cancellations. Texts have an incredibly high open rate, so you can be almost certain that your message will be read.

Exclusive Offers and Deals

Most people only think to hire a limo or car service for very special events, but any date night or celebration can become a special one if the price is right. You might send your text message marketing subscribers exclusive offers and deals to motivate them to sign up for additional services. This works very well in cities where you may offer car services beyond just limousines to get around the city. People may choose your service rather than taxis or public transportation when they plan to go drinking or otherwise do not wish to drive themselves.

Special Services

If your limousine company occasionally offers special services, you can text your subscribers to give them the first chance to sign up. This could work well if you add a luxury or classic car to your lineup or plan to start offering Champagne and strawberries or other luxury items to enhance the experience for customers. It may be beneficial to offer exclusive deals or special services to you VIPs as well. It is possible to divide up your subscriber list into groups, then target special offers and deals just to those who are your VIPs. You could also use this service to promote special package deals, such as wine tours of local vineyards or other tours of the area for locals and visitors alike.

The Perfect CTA for Your Marketing


People can text you from anywhere and can be reached anywhere.

A call to action (CTA) is an essential component of any marketing campaign. Finding the right one can make or break your efforts. Texting can be used in conjunction with any marketing collateral as a way for your potential customers to take action.

People carry their phones with them anywhere, so no matter where they see or hear your ad, they will be able to take action right away. It is also a simple action, since they only need to text a keyword rather than fill out a form online or remember to call your company. As such, a highly effective CTA, this will help your marketing strategy to have a better overall success rate which, in turn, boosts your business.

Text message marketing is a cost-effective way to help boost your business. By sending messages to your customers, you can remain in communication and increase the likelihood they will choose you when they are in need of a limousine or other car service.

If you are ready to see how it can help your limo business, try ClubTexting for free.

February 19, 2016

7 Reasons Mass Text Messaging is a Perfect Tool for Your Biking Club

Many bicyclists join a biking club for long rides because it ensures their safety while also providing a community and support for getting through the ride. There is also an important social aspect to bike clubs, with many rides ending with breakfast, lunch, or possibly drinks. When it's just a couple of friends out for a ride, it can be easy to manage, but once you try to organize a bike club, you require more tools to ensure that everyone receives relevant communication from the club. One tool that can help you organize your bike club members is mass text messaging.

People Carry Their Phones Everywhere


There is a high possibility that members always have their phones, even on a ride.

Cell phones may only be a few decades old, but society has become incredibly dependent on them. A high percentage of people carry their phone with them anywhere, and many never let it out of their reach. This means that it is highly probably that your members also take their phones with them on a ride, because it gives them a way to reach out in case they run into a problem on the road. People have their phones with them almost all the time, so you can feel confident that they will receive any texts.

Texts Are Open and Read Within Minutes

You should know that texts have an almost 100 percent open rate, often within a few minutes of receipt. This makes texting the perfect means for conveying last-minute information and emergency alerts. If inclement weather causes a cancellation for a ride, you can contact everyone in a flash and feel confident that they know about it. Any other last-minute changes, such as a change in location or time, can likewise be sent with a high chance of actually being read.

Cost-Effective

Whether or not your bike club has a membership fee, there is a good chance that you have minimal funds for the club. This means that you are always looking out for inexpensive ways to communicate with your members. Mass text messaging is a relatively low-cost method, often costing just a few cents per text. Most text message services do not charge a base price, but simply charge you for the texts sent.

Two-Way Communication

Mass text messaging is not just a way to send messages to your members, it's also a way they can communicate with you. This makes it easy to get an RSVP for an event. Texting has a higher engagement rate than email and other digital methods of communication. Plus, it is possible to use it to get people's preferences for the next social meetup or location for the next ride.

Create Many Groups

If you have a large biking club, you might have several levels of membership. Some may come only sporadically, while others will be at every event. Some may be interested only in short rides, while others may only come only if the mileage is over a certain amount. You can group these individuals by their preferences and send messages targeted by them. This reduces the number of messages people receive that are not relevant to them.

Simple to Manage

Mass text messaging is an easy-to-manage communication medium. Most services have an online platform with which you input and arrange contacts. You can compose your message and send it right away or schedule it for a later date and time. It is possible to send messages using your phone, perfect for when you are already heading toward the meetup and realize that you need to tell your club members something, such as a delay or change of location.

Highly Accessible


Smartphone or not, your members can receive a text message.

Mass text messaging is a highly accessible communication method. It is often seen as simply a Millennial form of communication, but it has become a popular form of communication for all age groups. Almost all cell phone users have an SMS-enabled phone compared to around 64 percent that have a smartphone. That means that you can more efficiently communicate with those who may not have the ability to go online if they are not at a place where they have email access.

You may be able to handle communication without signing up for any type of email or texting service when your biking club has fewer than 10 people. However, once it grows, it is important that you set up an efficient way to communicate with all members. Mass text messaging offers a perfect tool for ensuring everyone receives the information most relevant to them, even when it involves last-minute changes.

Contact us to discuss implemeting texting for your group.

February 18, 2016

Keep Your Scout Troop in Contact with Group Texting

Scout leaders teach their recruits how to get by in everyday life without relying on technology. As useful as these skills are, they don't mean that the leaders themselves have to avoid gadgets altogether when performing their duties.

The role carries a lot of responsibilities, from ensuring all children are kept safe from harm to making sure they don't get lost in the woods. In order to carry out these tasks effectively, it helps to have every extra tool at your disposal, ready to be put to use in whatever situation commands them.

Now there aren't many scout leaders who'll head off on an expedition without their mobile phones close at hand at all times. In fact, there aren't many who will go anywhere without them. Yet of all the ways to use them, there is one which enables leaders to communicate with the troops, organize all operations and keep everyone updated at all times. It's also a method that many are yet to adopt. Here's why more scout leaders should earn their badge in group texting.


Sadly, not a single mobile in sight.

Breaking News and Emergency Updates

Important events can happen in an instant, and letting an entire group of kids plus their parents know what's going on is not always easy.

Whether it's as low key as tomorrow's fundraising event being cancelled or as ludicrous as a bear roaming the forest near camp, emergency announcements will crop up every now and again that a scout leader needs to ensure everyone is informed about.

This is where group texting comes into its own. With most people keeping their mobiles virtually attached to them at all times, group text messages are often read within minutes by the vast majority who receive them. It is the quickest, most reliable way to guarantee that large numbers of people will know what's happening at all times.

Mobilize the Troops

It may be an unscheduled meeting, a last-minute field trip or an impromptu fundraiser. Whatever the occasion, sometimes events are arranged with little advance notice, and getting people to come along is never easy when most don't even know they're occurring.

This is where a text message marketing service can come in handy. Able to reach countless people in an instant -- and with messages that by their very nature are concise and easy to digest -- an SMS texting service can help mobilize as many as possible in a short time frame.

Keep Customers in the Loop

Being a scout leader has many similarities with being a businessperson, one of which is actually having to run profitable schemes every now and again.

With selling cookies as the classic example, scouts man their own fundraising projects occasionally to raise money for their activities. Therefore, not only can group texting be used to keep them and their parents in the loop, but it can be used for their customers as well, who will be happy to hear when the next batch of cookies has arrived.


You couldn't leave anyone waiting for these, could you?

More Reliable than Kids

It seems horrible to say it as the scouts are built on the belief that children have the potential to exceed all expectations, but in reality they aren't always the most reliable message carriers.

Some leave notes lying around, others forget to pass on important information and the rest are often inconsistent at best. As a result, many parents end up not knowing what's happening in upcoming weeks, leaving them either clueless as to their child's activities or calling the scout leader for updates, wasting their time.

With group texting, you can skip the middle kid and send messages straight to their parents, guaranteeing that every piece of information reaches its intended recipient.

Improve Your Troop Today

With so many ways that text marketing can help make a scout leader's role run a lot smoother, it's a wonder more haven't taken advantage of this method so far. If you'd like to give it a go for yourself, then try ClubTexting for free and add another badge to your chest.

February 17, 2016

The State of SMS Marketing in 2016

With the start of the New Year, it is time to check into the state of SMS marketing for 2016. The past few years, many companies have found implementing text message marketing campaigns brought them additional business. The effectiveness of this marketing channel is in no way diminishing, as the following statistics demonstrate.

More Inclusive Medium


Not everyone has a smartphone, but most people have SMS-enabled phones.

SMS marketing can be used to target a wide range of people, including those who do not have smartphones. Globally, there are 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers, which means that one-half of the world's population now has a mobile phone, compared to one in five people just a decade ago. Mobile adoption is expected to continue to grow -- an estimated three-fifths of the population will have a mobile subscription by 2020. Although smartphone adoption continues to increase, a significant number of mobile phone users simply have an SMS enabled mobile.

People Still Want to Receive SMS from Businesses

Consumers still appreciate receiving marketing messages via text. Over half of consumers believe that businesses could -- and should -- text more often. The majority of subscribers choose to opt-in to a campaign for coupons or deals, although almost half also enjoy receiving personal alerts or simply remaining aware of what is happening with a business. Three-quarters of consumers leave with a better feeling about a company after interacting with them through text message. Only a very small percentage of those feel as though SMS messages from companies are disruptive or intrusive.

Mobile Phones Remain Valuable

One reason that SMS marketing is successful is that people have their phones close to hand at all times. This remains true, especially for Millennials. About 87 percent of Millennials never let their phones leave their side, and about 80 percent reach for it first thing in the morning. They continue to want more ways to utilize their smartphones for connecting with businesses, and they believe it is important that a business incorporates mobile-friendly marketing and websites.

Millennials have a reputation for having a strong relationship with their phones, but older generations also are becoming more and more dependent on mobile phones. Compared to the 97 percent of Americans aged 18-29 who text message, 75 percent of 50-64-year-olds also do so. Although there is a drop in text messaging, it remains a significant number.

Gain Insight Into Your Customers


Your text message program can help you to learn more about your customers.

SMS marketing has provided an effective way for businesses to interact with customers and gain insight into their wants and needs. Many companies have successfully jumped on board, such as Macy's and Starbucks. In 2016, it remains a versatile medium: users have the ability to send out transactional messages, provide customer service, promote new or existing services or products, share deals and discounts, and find out customer opinions through surveys and/or polls.

SMS marketing remains a strong force in 2016, yet only about a quarter of marketers utilize it. If you have been hesitating to begin a campaign, then there's no better time than now to get started.

Ready to see how SMS marketing can help you? Try ClubTexting for free today!