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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.

November 09, 2016

Most Common Reasons Businesses Still Hesitate to Use SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a widely popular marketing channel that many companies have adopted to receive benefits such as higher conversion rates and better customer engagement. However, a significant number of businesses still hesitate to implement this channel. Much of this hesitation is based on myths and uncertainty rather than facts. The following are the most common reasons businesses baulk at adding SMS marketing to their campaigns--and the reasons they should not.

Too Expensive


Texting can fit into almost any marketing budget, and it has a high ROI.

Some companies are afraid to add texting to their marketing efforts because they simply feel it will not fit into their budget. Although money plays a significant role in decisions for businesses, especially those just starting or with little wiggle room in their budget, it should not be the reason to not add SMS marketing. This form of marketing is highly cost effective. Most platforms charge just pennies for the texts sent and received. It might also be possible to sign up for a monthly plan so you have a regular expense and need not worry about going over your budget. The low cost and high efficacy make it a highly cost-effective marketing tool.

Invasive and Annoying

Texting is a very intimate messaging system. It does not have the reputation of spam as email does, since only about one percent of texts sent worldwide considered spam. Plus, many people regularly use it for communicating with friends and family. It is also not as widely used as other marketing channels for businesses, despite more businesses signing up every year. Therefore, many companies hesitate to add it out of fear of intruding too much into their customers' lives.

However, the intimacy of the channel is one reason it is so highly effective. People who sign up want to receive messages from you, and many consumers wish to hear even more from their favorite brands through texting. About 75 percent prefer offers sent through texting than other avenues. You also cut through a lot of the clutter for a more direct message to a highly-engaged group of people, making for a more effective overall message.

Too Complicated

Another fear many marketers have regarding SMS marketing is that it is simply too complicated to add. However, that could not be further from the truth. Most mass text messaging platforms are user-friendly. Subscribers are added to the list automatically when they opt-in. It is also easy to upload a list of users who opted in from another source, such as your website or in-person sign ups. On the platform, you simply have to choose who receives the message, write out your message, and then send it right away or schedule it for a later time.

Only Millennials Use Texting


It is not just Millennials who text.

Companies that focus on older demographics, or wanting to be as inclusive as possible, often feel that SMS marketing is not worth using because it targets only Millennials. Millennials use texting and always have their cell phones with them, making them one of the best demographics to target with SMS. However, it is also highly effective for targeting other generations. About 92 percent of smartphone owners over the age of 50 use it to text. Many people in this generation will be just as eager to receive texts from you as their younger counterparts.

Every business has its own experience with SMS marketing, but the vast majority find it is highly effective and beneficial. It has a high engagement rate, high open rate, and is something customers want. There is no reason to hesitate due to myths and rumors that remain circulating. Instead, try it out for yourself to see if it something that you want to utilize for your business.

Contact us to learn more about why text message marketing can help your business.

October 28, 2016

How Bridge Clubs Can Use Group Texting to Improve Membership Numbers

Bridge might be an old game, but it remains a popular pastime. However, many bridge clubs find it is difficult to attract new members to join their numbers. One way to encourage people in your community to join your bridge club is to use group texting. This does not just help you attract the attention of Millennials, who are known for their texting ways. Out of smartphone owners over the age of 50, around 92 percent text. No matter the demographics of your bridge club, you can benefit from using texting.

Make It Easy for Interested Parties to Contact You


When someone sees an ad about your club, they can text you for more information.

Utilizing a club texting program makes it easy for interested parties to contact you for more information. No matter how you advertise your club, whether in church bulletins, bulletin boards at local cafes, flyers at social hot spots or anywhere else, it is simple to add a way for people to contact you. Add your number and a keyword. Then, when potential members see your advertisement, they simply have to text to find out more information. This is much more effective than leaving a phone number to call, an email to contact, or even a website to visit.

Remind Current and Potential Members About Events

Once you have people signed up for your club texting program, it is easy to send out reminders about upcoming events. Most texts are opened within just a few minutes of receipt, making it the perfect medium for reminders. You send out a text the day before an event, or even a few hours before, and feel confident members and potential members can see it.

Send Out Bridge Tips

Regular contact with your club texting subscribers helps to make them feel as though they are a part of your club, even if they have yet to fully join or are too busy to attend events. One way to remain in regular contact is to send out bridge tips. It is easy to segment your subscribers into different groups based on their skill level. Then, send out targeted tips that help them improve without fearing that you are sending information to those who already have surpassed a particular tip.

Take Questions

Club texting is not just about finding ways to send messages out to your members or potential members. It also works as a channel of communication to receive messages from your members. Many people prefer to send messages or other inquiries through text than calling. This also makes it easier on you to be available for your members throughout the day without having to have someone sitting right next the phone.

Poll Your Members on What They Want

For a successful bridge club, you should listen to your members and offer what they want. This includes those who are merely interested in joining but might not have come to any classes or tournaments. Find out more about what you can offer to increase attendance and membership through polls. Club texting polls are easy to run. Simply send out a question with a few keywords for each answer. Your subscribers text back their keyword of choice, and you know which one is the most popular.

Organize Tournaments and Classes

It is easy to segment your club texting subscriber list. This helps you to easily organize tournaments and classes. Send messages to different members based on whether they would be interested in a particular event. Create a group for your staff and/or volunteers who help to organize and host the events. Then, communicate with them to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Offer Discounts to Potential Members


Increase the number of people who join your classes with discounts.

Many young people might be interested in learning more about bridge, but sometimes classes can be expensive, leading to them deciding to learn from another source or just giving up. Offering a special deal might help increase the number who come to your classes. Perhaps, offer the first class free so they can see whether they actually enjoy the class. If that is not possible for the budget of your club, determine a percentage off that works well for your club while also being attractive to your students. Then, use the time during classes to motivate them to join the club

There are many ways bridge clubs can grow their members through using club texting. It is a highly versatile and effective marketing and communication method that is also cost effective, making it easy to fit into almost any budget. Once you have it, you can use it in many ways to communicate with your current members while also attracting new ones to keep your bridge club going for many more years.

Ready to see if texting can help organize your bridge club? Try ClubTexting for free.

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.

October 10, 2016

Why Your Small Business Needs to Adopt SMS Marketing

As a small business, you have to monitor your budget closely to ensure every penny comes with a strong return on investment. SMS marketing provides many benefits that are well worth the investment for any small business. It is a cost-effective solution that has high response rates. As an added benefit, it increases customer engagement, which, in turn, leads to more loyal customers. The following are just a few of the reasons why many small businesses are turning to this highly lucrative marketing channel.

Intimate


Texting helps you build a more intimate relationship with your customers.

One of the best reasons to adopt SMS marketing is that it is a more direct and intimate channel. Almost everyone owns an SMS-enabled phone. Of smartphone users, almost 100 percent use text messages. It is not just Millennials. Baby Boomers and older generations also consistently text. Additionally, texting is not as saturated by promotional messages as email or social media. This means that your text will arrive right next to texts that are mostly from friends and family members, making it possible for customers to unconsciously place you in the same category.

Fast Response

SMS marketing is the perfect medium when you need a fast response. Most people carry their phones with them everywhere and check it over a hundred times in a day. This means that they will see your message quickly and respond just as fast. In fact, the average response rate for texts is just 90 seconds, while the average response rate for email is 90 minutes. Which kind of response would you rather have?

Targeting More Engaged Customers

Text message marketing is an opt-in channel. This means that in order to send messages to your customers, they must sign up for the program. Although this leaves out a fair number of people, it does mean that you are working with more engaged customers at the baseline. Because they have signed up for your SMS marketing campaign, they already have a relationship with your company and wish to know more. This makes it easier to convert them into customers.

High Engagement

If you are looking for a marketing channel with a high engagement rate, then SMS marketing is the right channel for you. It has eight times the engagement rate, along with high click through rates and redemption rates. Customers not only read the texts; they also take action. This leads to a much higher return on your investment.

Stand Out From the Competition


With texting, it is easier to compete with the larger corporations.

As a small business, it is difficult at times to distinguish yourself from your competition, especially the larger corporations. Many large companies have yet to adopt text marketing because they have so many other advertising channels, which means your business stands out when you text.

When you have a small marketing budget, it is harder to develop marketing collateral that really stands out when you are trying to compete against brands with a significantly higher budget than you.

SMS marketing levels the playing field. It is a text-based marketing forum, which means you do not have to worry about developing expensive graphics. It is also short-form content since you only need 160 characters per text. This makes it much less expensive to run a strong texting campaign, especially when you also add in the cost of texting, which is often just pennies per text.

SMS marketing provides a cost-effective solution for small businesses to engage with customers and build their business. If you have not considered adding it to your marketing strategy, then it is time to do so and see how it can provide the boost you've been looking for.

Ready to see how texting will provide a boost to your business? Try ClubTexting for free and experience these benefits for yourself.

October 07, 2016

Aren't Your Employees Part of Your Club?

You have worked hard on your texting campaigns to ensure that you engage members and grow your club, and your analytics show your efforts are working.

However, you might be leaving out one very important group in your lists: your employees. When developing your mobile marketing campaigns, be sure to get your employees signed up as well. This makes it easy for you to take advantage of the advantages that text messages have to offer, including a higher open and response rate than email, to communicate with your employees just as you do with your members. It can improve communication among your employees and help them to provide better customer service.

Keep Employees Happy


Engaged employees are happier employees. Texting enhances engagement.

Text messages help you to engage with your employees on a regular basis, which in turn helps them to feel more emotionally invested in your club. Employees who are engaged are 87 percent less likely to move on to another club or company.

However, around 70 percent of workers in America are not engaged, and only 40 percent are aware of the goals, tactics, and strategies of a company. Often, this is due to a lack of communication. Running a texting campaign overcomes this issue.

It is best to have your employees in multiple groups in your subscriber list, including the general list serve, the employee group and a group based on their department. That way they receive the same messages as members, as well as pertinent messages for their job.

Regularly texting to employees facilitates more engaged and happier employees and helps to create a company culture in which employees want to be part of the company. As an added bonus, happy and engaged employees provide better service to club members.

Informed Employees Provide Better Customer Service

Sending your employees the same messages you send your members increases their ability to provide the highest quality customer service. If member-facing employees have no knowledge of your texting campaigns, then they are unable to answer any questions about it. They also might not be aware of any offers or promotions, thereby creating a frustrating situation when a club member tries to redeem one or otherwise act on the content in your text messages.

Taking time to train employees on all your traditional and mobile marketing efforts, as well as keeping them informed of any new information sent out to members, ensures they have all the information they need to provide the best service to your members.

Better Communication With Employees

Part of your texting campaigns should focus on necessary information for your employees. Send updates about any maintenance work being done. Use it for emergency alerts, such as severe weather or a fire in an area of the club. It is beneficial to use texting rather than email for your employee communications since it is much more likely they will actually read the message. Only about 20 to 30 percent of emails are opened, while 99 percent of texts are.

These messages do not always have to directly involve work; it is possible to use them to encourage social gatherings for employees or to celebrate victories, milestones, or employee achievements. For example, send out a text announcing the employee of the month winner or to alert employees that your club has reached a business goal.

Remind Employees About Events


Texting event reminders makes sure employees are adequately prepared.

Employees need to be reminded about events just like your customers. Send a text message out to your employees the day before or the day of a big event so that they have adequate time to finalize the preparation and provide the best experience possible for your members. This also increases the attendance of employees at non-mandatory work events, which in turn demonstrates to your members the dedication your staff has to the club.

There are many ways to utilize your mobile marketing services to communicate with your employees in addition to your members. It helps keep them informed and up to date with all content members receive, as well as provide an easy to use way to impart essential company information.

Ready to implement a texting program for your club? Try ClubTexting for free and see how it improves engagement with your members and your employees.

October 06, 2016

4 Ways to Use Texting to Boost Your Booster Club

School sports rely on fundraising through the booster club to finance many of their activities. Educational funding continually sees cuts, making any booster club financing that much more important. However, traditional fundraising such as selling candy or cookie dough does not always provide sufficient donations to bridge the gap, and neither does ticket sales to the games. Rather than utilizing sales campaigns that take most of the proceeds and require a lot of work on the part of the team, try using mobile texting to support your next fundraising campaign.

Increase Your Supporter List


Texting campaigns helps to bring in more community support for your team.

For your mobile texting program to have a significant impact, it is important that you increase the number of supporters for your booster club. People can sign up to receive texts from you, including fundraising campaigns and information about games and other events. Invite your students to share the information with their social network and promote it in the community as well. When you put up flyers and posters about any events you might have, whether fundraisers or games, include a keyword and number that people can text to opt into your booster club text campaigns.

This provides a way to get more of the community engaged with your team, which in turn leads to more opportunities for fundraising.

Boost Traditional Fundraising

Traditional fundraising still provides a great way to bring in much-needed funds to your school. Booster club text campaigns provide a way to support these fundraisers. Send out alerts to your subscribers when you have a bake sale, raffle, BBQ or car wash. Most texts are opened within just a few minutes of receipt, so they offer the perfect medium for reminding people about your fundraising events on the day or the day before to increase attendance.

Texts also have a high response rate and a high open rate. This is highly beneficial for when you are selling items, such as candy, cookie dough, candles, calendars or other items. Include a link to the web page through which people can buy the items. Your team members simply send a text message to their friends, family members and other people in their network. You also send a text out to your subscriber list to increase the number of people who purchase items during your fundraising campaigns.

Text to Donate

Texting campaigns also offer a way to simply ask for donations. You might be familiar with text to donate campaigns that many of the large non-profits, such as the Red Cross, run after a disaster to raise money. Your booster club can take advantage of the same programs.

However, many smaller organizations find that using mobile texting programs to send out a link to a web page for donations works much better. By sending out a web page you have designed, you have much more control over the process. Your supporters also have the chance to donate more money than the traditional text to donate campaigns, which often have a set amount such as $10 per text. It is an easy way to ask for donations from your supporters without having to sell anything.

Run Creative Campaigns


Use the power of texting to promote new and creative ways to fundraise.

Your texting campaigns also offer a venue for running creative fundraising campaigns. Your booster club can have people pay to have a friend or family member's house "attacked" with posters and other items promoting school spirit and support for your team. Your team members might provide gardening or cleaning services for a fee. Whatever type of campaign you wish to run, it is possible to promote the information through texting. Interested parties can simply text a keyword to your number to show they are interested. Then, you get in touch with them about the particulars and/or send them a link to your web page with more information.

Booster club text campaigns facilitate your fundraising efforts and help you to do much more than traditional campaigns allow. It is a cost-effective option that fits into most budgets, helping you to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign without taking away too many of your much-needed profits.

Contact us to learn more about how texting can be used for fundraising and other activities for your booster club.

October 05, 2016

Bring Business to Your Restaurant with These SMS Marketing Messages

There is a lot of competition among restaurants, so it is important to find ways to reach your potential customers and get them to choose you over the competition. One way to do so is SMS marketing, which has a high engagement rate and is very popular with customers. To take full advantage of this lucrative marketing channel, it is important to find the right messages that resonate with your clientele. If you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, try one or more of the following messages.

Happy Hour Specials


Increase attendance at your Happy Hour with a timely text message.

Happy Hour is a long-standing tradition in the restaurant and bar business. Promote your Happy Hour specials to your SMS marketing subscribers with a text. Text messages are typically opened within just a few minutes of receipt, so you can send the message just a few hours prior to the start of Happy Hour. This provides the idea to people to head to Happy Hour at the end of the workday without time for them to forget or decide upon another venue.

An example of this type of text message is

"Join us for Happy Hour today and get 2 for 1 drinks by showing this text."

Easy Deliver Options

When people are stuck at work all day unable to head to your restaurant for a meal or wish to remain at home for a nice relaxing day in, they will be interested in your delivery options. If your restaurant is equipped to handle delivery, remind your SMS marketing subscribers about your services. Provide a deal just for delivery or highlight your delivery menu. This works really well when sent right near lunch or dinner time to capitalize on an already hungry crowd.

This type of text might look like

"Enjoy a delicious meal without any work on your part with our delivery service. Call or click here to order and get 20 percent off."

You would just include your phone number or a link to your website if you have online ordering enabled. This makes it very easy for people to order as soon as they see the text.

Offers and Deals

Any offer or deal works well for your SMS marketing program. There are special times that it makes sense to promote, such as happy hour or lunchtime specials. However, you always want to provide value to your customers to retain them as subscribers. One way to do this is to send out exclusive coupons for your restaurant through your texting program. For extra motivation, include an expiration date on the coupon so that people feel motivated to take action right away.

An example of a strong coupon is

"After a long day at work, you deserve a treat. Enjoy a free dessert with an entrée purchase after 5 p.m. by showing this text. Deal expires on [date]."

New Menu Poll


Encourage customers to vote on new menu items through text.

Although many restaurants turn to SMS marketing for driving business through specials and coupons, this is only a small part of text message marketing. There are many ways to engage with customers through your texting program. One way to really get customers involved is through sending out a poll. The perfect time to do this is when you plan to make changes to your menu. Ask customers what they would prefer added and provide a few keywords with which they respond to vote. The keyword with the most texts wins. This helps you to continue to provide items on your menu that meet your customers' desires.

An example of this type of text is

"What dessert should we add to the menu? Click here to view the options and text the corresponding keyword to [shortcode] by [date] to vote."

Create a page on your website with pictures and descriptions of the options and the corresponding keyword. Alternatively, you could text something like

"Which type of pie should we add to the menu? Text apple, pumpkin, peach or key lime to vote."

These are just a few examples of texts you can send to your SMS marketing subscribers to drive business to your restaurant. A combination of coupons and offers with texts that engage the customers will help you to get repeat business and turn customers into loyal diners.

Ready to implement a texting program for your restaurant? Try ClubTexting for free to start taking advantage of this powerful marketing channel.

October 03, 2016

5 Ways Movie Theaters Can Use Text Message Marketing

The movie theater industry is in crisis with the advances to the home theater. In 2016, the film industry is expected to sell fewer movie tickets than it has in decades. In addition to just trying to get people into your seats, you also have to compete with other theaters. One way to increase customer loyalty and get customers to leave their house and come to your theater is text message marketing. This is a versatile marketing medium that provides a way to directly engage with customers.

Loyalty Rewards Program


Reward customers for coming back to see more movies at your theater.

There are many cinema chains and companies competing for the same customers. It is important to elicit customer loyalty. It is much easier -- and cheaper -- to market to and convert those who have already frequented your theater than brand new customers. Reward those who come back with a loyalty rewards program. It is possible to use your text message marketing program to do this. Group your subscribers by their behavior, including those who frequent your business. Then, text them special, exclusive VIP offers to get them to continue coming back.

It is also beneficial to use your SMS marketing program as your reward program. Anyone who signs up becomes a member of your movie club, receiving special discounts and valuable information about movies.

Deals on Movie Tickets and Concessions

Many people choose to watch movies at home rather than the theater as a way to save money, especially with the price of movie tickets increasing. Discounts and offers provide a strong motivator to get people into your theater. Promote your text message marketing program as a way for customers to receive exclusive deals on movie tickets and/or concessions. Then, text your customers with periodic deals and see your attendance numbers increase, helping your overall bottom line.

Keep Moviegoers Informed of New Releases

Not everyone is a cinephile, so they might not know what that a movie is coming out that they want to see in the theater. Your text message marketing program provides a way to keep your customers informed of all the latest movies released. Every week, send out a text highlighting the must-see movie or movies released that week, as well as a link to your website that details the other movies in the theater. Include a link to a trailer or other information about the movie as well to help them know why they need to see it.

However, it is important to remain within the 160-character limit for text messaging. That is where links provide benefits. An example text is

"Check out the trailer for [movie] to see why it will be what everyone is talking about on Monday. Don't miss out. See the showtimes for all movies."

Ticket Ordering

Another element to add to your texting program is an easy-to-use ticket ordering system, such as a link to your online ordering system. Add a limited-time offer to the text for even more motivation to act right away. It is also convenient for people to walk right up to the door of the theater and show their tickets right in their text message without having to print anything out.

This is easily added to another message you send out, including those already discussed. For example, send out a text message promoting a certain movie opening that weekend and include a discount just for that movie and a link to the online ordering system. For example,

"Catch [movie title] this weekend and save $2 on your ticket. Click here to order online and redeem this offer. Deal expires [date]."

Show Time Information


Make it easy for people to find out what time a movie is showing.

Another service to offer your text message marketing subscribers is an easy way to find information about show times. One way to do this is to create a group of subscribers who wish to have alerts about weekly show times. Then, create a message that highlights the most popular movie times and includes a link to the rest. Additionally, you can set it up for people to text you a keyword, such as SHOWTIMES, and receive an automated reply with a link to your page.

However, you can also offer even more personalized service. Each movie could have its own keyword and auto-response. For example, a person could text a keyword such as XMENTIMES to find out the show times for the latest X-Men movie. Each movie would have its own personal keyword for this purpose.

There are many other ways that you can provide customer service and other information for value to your movie theater customers through your text message marketing service. The most important thing is that you find something that meets the needs of your customers and inspires their loyalty.

Contact us to learn more about using texting messaging to attract customers to your theater.