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41 posts categorized "Retail"

January 12, 2015

Email and Texting: Your Marketing 1-2 Punch


Text message marketing can be used to share time sensitive information with potential customers.

Many businesses experience success by engaging with consumers through multiple channels. Thanks to technology, the options for connecting with your audience through your marketing efforts are almost endless. But email and texting are two of the most popular ways that brands interact with their customers. If you are interested in taking your marketing efforts up a notch in the coming year, you may want to consider adding these tools business marketing toolkit. Email and text marketing are effective, and if campaigns are done correctly, these particular channels complement each other quite well. Here's how you can create a marketing 1-2 punch with your email and text message marketing efforts.

Email Is One of the Most Trusted Forms of Communication

People have been communicating via email since the Internet's earliest days, so it makes sense that this channel would be among the most trusted forms of communication. Many consumers prefer to interact with brands via email. Recent data suggests that 64 percent of email users report being receptive to business marketing messages in their inboxes, and 50 percent say that they prefer to receive email notifications about special promotions from companies. Despite being a trusted form of communication, it's worth noting that email open rates tend to be low as compared with text message open rates.

Open Rates for Text Messages Are Higher Than Email

One of the biggest benefits of using text message marketing in addition to your email campaigns is that open rates for text messages tend to be much higher than email. If a customer opts in to receive text communications from your business, open rates for messages may be as high as 98 percent. Email open rates average just 20 percent, but that's not to say the channel isn't effective. Think of it this way, if your subscription list has 10000 members; your email has the potential to reach 2000 people. By the same token, you may be able to reach 9800 of those subscribers via text.

Email and Text Message Marketing Are Complementary

Many businesses choose to use email and text message marketing in conjunction with one another because they are complementary tools. The two channels allow for vastly different types of communication. Email can be used as an ongoing tool to share evergreen information about your business in an effort to build customer loyalty, while texts can be used to transmit time sensitive data about things like flash deals, special promotions, and appointment reminders. Email messages don't convey the same sense of urgency that text message communications carry, and the information that you share with your customers will likely vary.


Email is a tried and true means of cultivating ongoing business relationships with customers.

If you're interested in reaching a new audience or improving customer loyalty this year, consider using email and text message marketing to share information with potential patrons. Email is a tried and true form of communication which can be used to build ongoing relationships with your customers, and a well-crafted text message campaign can be used to pique their interest around time-sensitive deals and promotions. Start improving your marketing initiatives for the coming year, and try ClubTexting for free today!

January 09, 2015

Why Your Text Message Marketing Efforts Might Get Rejected


An effective text message marketing campaign can help you reach more customers.

Have you ever opted out of a text message marketing campaign? Chances are you have. Perhaps you opted out of receiving communications from another business because the messages came too frequently, or maybe the content simply wasn't relevant for you. If you are thinking about using text messaging to reach new customers for your business, it's important to learn from others' mistakes in order to increase your conversion rates. Here are three of the most common reasons that consumers reject text message marketing campaigns.

The content isn't relevant or helpful to them

One of the major reasons why potential customers opt out of text message marketing campaigns is because the content simply isn't relevant or helpful. Businesses may make the unfortunate mistake of targeting the wrong audience or excluding incentives from their text campaigns. It's important to remember that consumers are more likely to opt-in to campaigns that provide them with a special discount or incentive in exchange for their subscription. Taking the time to do some research ahead of your campaign can help you effectively target the right audience and come up with an enticing offer that your potential customers simply cannot refuse.

They are receiving too many messages

Message frequency is an important consideration with any text message marketing campaign. If you send too few messages, your campaign may not be as effective as it could be because your brand is unlikely to stand out among potential customers. Alternatively, if you distribute messages too frequently, recipients may become annoyed and choose to opt out of your campaign. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that every message you send creates value for your audience. Sometimes that means getting creative to come up with content that's helpful. Other times it means scaling back a little to exclude content which lacks substance.

The tone is inappropriate

Many potential customers choose to opt out of text message campaigns because of message tone. When it comes to text message marketing, your tone should be professional yet conversational. While you want to keep communications somewhat light, it's a good idea to avoid humor and colloquialisms when addressing potential customers. Coming across as too informal in your communications can cause your audience to reject your text message marketing campaign. Before you launch your campaign, think about how you'd speak with a customer on the phone and use that information as a guideline to develop a more effective text message marketing effort.


Maximize the return of your text message marketing campaigns by paying attention to message relevancy, frequency, and tone.

As with anything else in life, some marketing campaigns are more effective than others. Whether you're just getting started with text message marketing or simply want to improve your conversions, there are a number of things to think about. Potential customers may reject text message marketing campaigns if the content isn't relevant or helpful to them, if messages are sent too frequently, and if the tone is inappropriate. Use this information to help improve conversion rates on your next text marketing effort. If you're interested in reaching new customers via mobile, try ClubTexting for free today!

January 05, 2015

6 Ways to Reach Online Shoppers in 2015

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According to recent research from selz.com, online sales during the first quarter of 2014 were up 13% compared to the same period in 2013, and mobile ecommerce was up an impressive 35%. If anything like that growth happens again this year, 2015 looks set to be a record-breaking year for cyber shopping.

Knowing the numbers and taking advantage of them, however, are two different things. If you’ve never thought about sending a group sms message, or even considered how to go about encouraging people to opt in to a group sms text list, this year is a good time to look into the advantages of doing so. If you want to avoid getting left in the dust during 2015, check out some of these ideas for engaging digital shoppers this year: 

 

1) Dynamic Advertising

Canny fashion retailers are creating marketing campaigns which allow consumers to click through ads to gain access to the latest clothing collections. This may include browsing a brand’s entire catalog, viewing prices and watching embedded videos, but the only limitations to dynamic ads are your imagination. Dynamic clothing catalogs are also capable of automatically updating with new offers, so there’s no need to constantly adjust the interface. You can even include a link within the ads to encourage viewers to sign up for future group sms message alerts. These ads provide consumers with a window on your brand’s ethos, as well as an easy-to-use online shopping option. 

 

2) Apps

Mobile apps are an incredibly powerful tool for retailers, as more and more digital consumers rely on a good app to engage with brands. Good examples in the retail world include Victoria’s Secret, H&M and Kohl’s.

 

3) Sweepstakes

Running a sweepstakes on social media is a good way to keep consumers engaged in between shopping. Most people check their social media almost as often as they check their text messages; used in tandem with sending group sms messages to those who have opted in, a sweepstakes can keep the conversation going long after people have stopped thinking about your products. Plus, it’ll encourage more people to sign up for future group SMS message alerts. After all, who doesn’t want free stuff or big discounts?

 

4) Gift Guides

Online gift guides work brilliantly as a supplement to catalogs because so many people use their mobile devices to browse products prior to shopping. An attractive gift guide is one of the better uses of the oft-maligned QR code, so consider adding a QR code to your print ads, sending customers directly to a gift guide.

 

5) Content-Powered Commerce

Forrester Research coined the phrase ‘Two-Site Syndrome’ to describe a tendency for brands to use one site for engaging content - videos, industry information etc - and another to host the product catalog. The trouble with this approach is that it creates a disjointed user experience. So while it might seem easier to split your marketing content from your commercial interface, it’s better in the long run to create an integrated, one-site solution, where social media and blog posts serve the function of driving consumers to your catalog.

 

6) Geo-Targeting Technology

A retailer may wish to connect their online presence with their physical location via location-targeting tactics such as offering time-limited discount deals directly to mobile devices the moment it enters a retail store, or to customers who live (or travel) within a certain distance of the retailer. You can even send SMS to groups of people with the same shopping habits as soon as they find themselves nearby. Used in conjunction with mobile coupons and other text messaging strategies, geo-targeting promises to be one of the most powerful tools in the marketers arsenal this year. 

 

 

 

December 19, 2014

Customer Loyalty and the Art of Text Marketing


Text message marketing is an effective way to improve customer loyalty. Photo credit: Bantam10

Effective text message marketing is both an art and a science. It's all about grabbing the attention of potential customers with engaging, well-timed messages. If done well, text marketing can help you connect with a broader audience and build brand loyalty over time. One of the most effective approaches to text message marketing is communicating with repeat customers to keep them coming back to your business over time. If you are interested in using text messaging as a tool to improve customer loyalty, here's what you need to know.

Text Message Loyalty Programs Add Value

According to recent data, 90% of customers who participated in a mobile loyalty program felt that it was valuable, and two-thirds of those involved purchased something as a direct result of a text promotion they received. The bottom line is that well-crafted mobile loyalty programs truly add value for customers. They can also help drive sales for your business. If you are thinking about using text message marketing to engage with repeat customers, it's a win-win from both a customer and business perspective.

Messages Can Easily be Personalized

One of the emerging trends in mobile marketing is personalization. The idea is that potential customers will be more likely to take direct action if a marketing communication is highly relevant to them. Differently businesses choose to customize campaigns in different ways. Some may rely on location data to deliver messages that are geographically relevant, others might focus on timing.

A key benefit of a mobile loyalty program is that text message marketing communications can be personalized fairly easily based on key metrics like location and purchase history. Many businesses choose to customize their text communications using data about past purchases. For example, if a customer comes into your restaurant frequently and orders the same appetizer, you might consider sending them a text that offers a free app with their next meal purchase. Tailoring your text message marketing campaigns to your audience can help increase their effectiveness, and keep your customers coming back for more.


Text marketing programs are valuable for businesses and customers. Photo credit: Cubmundo

Spread the Word About Your Text Message Marketing Program

If you are interested using text message marketing to transmit relevant offers to repeat customers, it's important to spread the word about your program. Advertise your text message marketing initiative prominently via popular social networking sites, on your website, and in-store. Raising awareness about your program will increase customer sign-ups. Alternatively, you can also choose to reach your customers via mass text to encourage them to enroll in your loyalty program.

Text message marketing can serve multiple purposes for your business. Not only can you use texting as a tool to reach a new audience, you can also use it to cultivate connections with your existing customers. Many businesses are building customer loyalty and driving sales with well-crafted text messages directed at repeat customers. If you're interested in exploring text message marketing for your business, there's no better time than now to get started. Try ClubTexting for free today - you won't be disappointed!

Author Bio: Jess Shepard is a writer who enjoys researching and writing about marketing, small business, and entrepreneurship.

December 05, 2014

Four Tips for Effective Text Message Marketing


Text message marketing is a great way to connect with customers.

Texting is big business. Recent data estimates that US mobile users in the 18 to 24 age demographic send an average of 67 text messages per day. Text message marketing represents an important opportunity for brands interested in reaching younger audiences. If you're thinking of adding texting to your enterprise marketing toolkit, there are several approaches you can take to develop an effective campaign. Here are five tips for making your next text message marketing campaign a success.

Create an Offer They Cannot Refuse

Few people can resist a good deal. If you want to improve foot traffic to your business, consider developing an offer that your customers simply cannot refuse. For example, you may want to offer returning customers a free drink or appetizer or exclusive VIP privileges for an evening. Take a look at past print and social media campaigns to determine which deals were most appealing to customers, and use that information to develop offers for upcoming text campaigns.

Make It a Limited Time Offer

Another effective way to get a good return on your text message marketing efforts is to create a sense of urgency for your customers. Consider putting a time table on your offer to improve campaign conversions. Making your offer valid for one night or one weekend only will entice more customers to take advantage of the good deal.

Craft a Clear Call to Action

Providing an attractive limited time offer may not be enough to get customers through the door. It's also important to have an effective call to action for your text message marketing campaign. A call to action provides customers with directions on how to take advantage of the deal your business is providing. Examples of effective calls to action might include, "Show this offer to your server to redeem your free drink" or "Present this deal at the door for VIP access."


Present your customers with a text message offer they cannot refuse.

Provide Your Business Name

While it may seem like a simple step, clarifying that the text message is from your brand is an important part of the process. Provide your business name in the first message to your customers to eliminate any possible confusion. This serves two purposes. Not only does it clarify things for your target audience, it also helps minimize any possible frustration among your customers. Always keep in mind that there are few things more frustrating than receiving an anonymous text message from a business.

If you're interested in driving foot traffic to your business, text message marketing is a great way to do it. Whether you're just launching your first campaign or you have considerable experience using mobile marketing to reach your customers, there are a few steps you can take to make your next text message marketing effort more effective. Creating an offer your customers can't refuse, making it a limited time deal, writing an effective call to action, and clarifying that the message they're receiving is from your brand can help improve your campaign conversions. Try ClubTexting for free to connect with more customers today!

Author Bio: Jess Shepard is a content writer who enjoys researching and writing about marketing, small business, and entrepreneurship.

December 02, 2014

Why Your Text Messages Need a Call to Action


An effective call to action can help make your text marketing campaign a success.

Open rates for text message marketing campaigns hovered around 98 percent in 2014. If your company hasn't starting using text marketing to connect with customers, you could be missing out on an important opportunity. Here are a few tips for businesses that are interested in getting started with text message marketing and here's why having an effective call to action is a critical step towards campaign success.

Crafting a successful campaign starts with an opt-in
The first step towards crafting a successful text message marketing effort is getting potential subscribers to opt-in to receive communications from your business. Businesses need to provide customers with an opt-in option in accordance with anti-spam regulations. The most common question among companies that are just getting started with text marketing is: how do I get my customers to opt in? There are a few different approaches you can take.

Crafting effective calls to action
Whether you're new to text marketing and you want to grow your subscriber list or you're a veteran text marketer that's simply interested in increasing customer opt-ins, an enticing call to action is the key to success. As you're thinking about your call to action, it's important to remember that consumers are inundated with marketing messages via email, mail, and the Internet. In order to get potential subscribers to opt-in for text communications, the language you use in your call to action needs to be irresistible and convey value. Here are some examples of effective calls to action that you can use as inspiration.


Potential subscribers are more likely to opt-in if your call to action is compelling.

Good CTAs create a sense of urgency
A limited-time opt-in offer creates a sense of urgency. Setting a designated amount of time for a deal can increase the likelihood that potential subscribers will opt-in to receive communications from your company. For example, a business might use the following limited-time call to action in order to increase their subscription rates.

 

  • Text "okay" to 123-456-7890 within the next 24 hours to receive a special deal.
  • Text "yes" to 123-456-7890 by midnight to receive an instant 30% discount.



Effective CTAs offer unique benefits to customers
The best calls to action offer unique benefits like discounts, coupons, or free products and services for customers who opt-in. After all, it's incredibly difficult to resist a good deal! Examples of calls to action that offer special benefits for customers include the following.

 

  • Send a text to 123-456-7890 to receive a 15% off discount for preferred customers.
  • Text "yes" to 123-456-7890 for your exclusive Black Friday discount.



Keep calls to action clear and concise
You have limited time to make a connection with a potential subscriber. To increase your opt-in rates, it's important to keep your calls to action concise. Providing simple instructions and illustrating benefits clearly can help improve your business campaigns.

Text marketing is an effective way to reach new customers. If you're thinking about adding text messages to your business marketing toolkit, there are a few important things to remember. First, your goal is to get customers to opt-in. To do this, you need to create compelling calls to action that entice customers to participate in your campaign. Creating urgency and providing benefits can help increase your opt-in rates. To learn more about why text marketing is so effective, see this blog post from ClubTexting.com.

Jess Shepard is a content writer who enjoys researching and writing about marketing, small business, and entrepreneurship.

November 25, 2014

The Proof is in the Numbers: Why Text Message Marketing Works

There's no getting around it: Americans are addicted to their cell phones. It's hard to walk around a busy sidewalk without bumping into somebody with their nose buried into their phone. Walking around without a cell phone is likely to bring nervous, cold sweats and a desire to return to the safety of home quickly.

The good news is that this presents a terrific opportunity for businesses to use text message marketing to reach an over-increasing audience. Before delving into the implications of this epidemic, let's take a look at some statistics:

The Numbers Don't Lie

The statistics about cell phones in America are startling. Recent research found that in the United States, an estimated 90% of adults own a cell phone, and an estimated 58% own a smartphone.

Here are some additional statistics about cell phone use in America:

 

    • 2 out of 3 people check their phones for messages even when they don't receive a notification.

 

    • 29% of owners say they couldn't live without their cell phone.

 

    • 98% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 own a cell phone, and 97% of Americans aged between 30-49 own one.

 

    • 34% of Americans use their phones as their primary internet device.

 



Could these statistics just prove that Americans are addicted to technology in general? Possibly, but there is still a larger opportunity in text message marketing than other methods. Compared to the 90% of Americans with a cell phone, only 83.8% of American families have a computer in their home as of the 2013 census.

It's clear that cell phones are a major part of our daily life, and it's our duty as marketers to take advantage of that.


No matter how much we wish they did, numbers never lie!

Text Messages Are Perfect For Our Brains

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, located in the U.S. Library of Medicine, found that the average human's attention span has dropped 33% between 2000 and 2013. This leaves us with an average attention span of only 8 seconds.

Text messages fit this new mentality perfectly. A text message can be easily opened, scanned, processed, and deleted. Email messages or other, lengthier marketing materials take more effort and are more likely to be ignored. By taking advantage of our increasing need to process information quickly, you will find that less can be more.


Text messages are like perfect little appetizers for your brain!

Nobody Reads Emails

Not only are we dependent on our cell phones, but we trust our text messages much more. MailChimp conducted a survey on email open rate by industry, and found that rates varied from a 13.2% open rate (daily deals and e-coupons) to 30.71% (hobbies). The majority of open rates fell between 20% and 25%.

Consider, however, what happens when you receive a text message. It's usually opened right away, and read before it's deleted. There's no spam filter blocking your messages and making it difficult to reach your targets. In fact, it's estimated that a text message's read rate is 98%!

It's clear that there is significant opportunity for text message marketing. If you want to give it a try for your business, we'll give you the chance to do so for free! Sign up for your free trial by clicking here!

November 23, 2014

3 Lessons Learned From Starbucks' SMS Marketing

Starbucks is one of the most popular brands in the United States, but did you know that they're also an innovator when it comes to SMS marketing? Starbucks was one of the first companies to fully embrace mobile applications, and they continued their mobile focus by launching several successful SMS marketing campaigns.

Here are three lessons that you can learn from the success of Starbucks:

SMS Helps Increase Brand Loyalty

Major companies are investing in mobile marketing efforts, such as SMS, to help boost their brand loyalty. By closely tying in SMS marketing to mobile apps, loyalty memberships and exclusive perks, customers will have more reasons to choose your brand and return repeatedly.

After Starbucks SMS marketing push, they found that their mobile sales had increased a whopping 75% over last year. In addition, they found that twice as many customers were using their mobile app for payments (ten million people total). Because of the SMS campaign, these customers are now more fully integrated with Starbucks, and much more likely to continue returning to them.


SMS marketing campaigns sometimes feel like they're printing money!

It Helps You Stay Relevant

One of the most difficult challenges marketers face is staying relevant in an increasingly agile world. Marketing campaigns can be outdated before they go live, but SMS marketing is instant. Starbucks was able to take advantage of this by launching an extremely successful campaign for iced coffee drinks throughout the summer. They offered coupon codes, happy hours, and random deals throughout the summer. They added to the campaign by adding humorous, surprising touches, like a picture of a cat in outer space.

Starbucks has also had great success with their 12 Days of Christmas promotion where they offered a different gift for sale each week. Some of the most popular items they offered included refillable coffee mugs that could be used throughout the next month of January. By offering deals to drive the Starbucks brand for Christmas gifts, they were also able to incentivize the recipients of the gifts to return often the next month- turning them into customers, as well!

SMS Marketing Works Hand-In-Hand With Social Media

One of the reasons that Starbucks' SMS campaigns are successful is their terrific integration with social media. Starbucks uses their online presence to drive traffic to SMS, and vice-versa. This provides a great opportunity to grow your social media presence while also focusing on customer loyalty and sales!

This is how Starbucks was able to leverage their social media presence:

 

    • Offering incentives. Many of the opt-in forms posted by Starbucks promised gifts, coupons, or other promotions. Incentives have been proven to drive email subscriptions, so it isn't surprising that it would help boost SMS subscriptions, too.

 

    • Using media to stand out. Starbucks was able to grab attention by posting Facebook pictures of frappuncinos with faces in them, and tweeting pictures of dogs with coffee on a beach. The pictures were relevant, humorous, and demanded attention.

 

    • Drove awareness. Throughout their summer campaign, Starbucks continued to send out social media messages, which continued to get shared, favorited, and commented on. Their tight, relevant marketing message reached enough people to have a significant effect on mobile sales and app signups.

 




Social media is an SMS marketer's greatest ally!

Do you think you have what it takes to match Starbucks success? Give it a try for free by taking advantage of our free trial here!

November 15, 2014

4 Times Mass Text Messaging Beats Email

While some companies choose to utilize email as a means of communicating with potential and current customers, many more are finding that mass texting is a better option. Mass text messaging services offer many benefits and make for easy communication. Here are four times when mass texting easily beats emailing.

Last Minute Schedule Change

If you're holding an event and have a last-minute schedule change, you want to make sure that as many people as possible are informed. Some businesses may choose to email these changes, but not everyone may see the email in time! With the use of mass text messaging, you can get the changes sent to everyone's phones right away.

Since so many people have cell phones with them at all times, they will be very likely to see a text message pop up on their phone and get the location, time, or date change instantly.


If you need to alert individuals of a schedule change as soon as possible, texting is the way to go!


Fast Responses Needed

There may come a time when you need an answer quickly. Whether you're asking for someone to come help at an event or you're polling your customers to learn their opinion, you will likely want to get results fast. With text messaging, this is possible.

Think about how many times you've likely sent out important emails in the past only to get responses day later or no response at all. With texting, you're making it easier for individuals to communicate with you quickly so that you get the information that you need.

Last Minute Deals and Offers

At some point, you may decide to offer a special deal or discount to potential customers. This is a great way to get more people through your doors and increase sales during a slower time of year. With the use of text messaging, you can reach potential customers more quickly.

An email message may sit in their inboxes for a long time or it may never even get read. A text message, on the other hand, is easy to look at. You can include a code or secret message in order to entice people to take advantage of the deal once in the checkout line.


Share a great deal with text message marketing.


Add Subscribers Instantly

With text message marketing, it's pretty easy to add new subscribers. If you're a restaurant for example, you can place signs at each table offering a percentage discount to individuals who subscribe to the text messaging club. You can provide a code number for individuals to text and they will be instantly added to the subscription service once they send a message.

This is a great way to get more potential customers interested in your marketing messages more easily. With email, it's more difficult to have messages sent automatically to new subscribers.

As you can see, mass text messaging is often the best way to communicate. You can reach a large number of people quickly and are more likely to have your message be read.

Ready to see the difference? Try ClubTexting for free.

October 31, 2014

3 Ways Small Business Can Tap Into The Power of Text Message Marketing

If you haven't considered SMS marketing for your business, take a look at the following statistics. Among 18 to 44-year olds who have smartphones, 79 percent have them with them 22 hours a day. Not all mobile phones are smartphones, of course, but 81 percent of mobile customers use SMS messaging. That's a huge market, and as you can see, it's not just for teenagers. If you want to tap into this market, keep reading for three ways you can use text message marketing in your business.


Smartphone users almost always have their devices on hand. SMS marketing is a great way to reach these highly connected users.

1. Use text messages for time-sensitive communications.

If you're having a slow day and want to offer customers a discount for stopping by, text messaging is the perfect way to get that message to your customers. Of course, with time sensitive messages, you want to give your customers enough time to take advantage of the offer. If you plan to offer half off milkshakes from 6 pm - 8 pm, for instance, your message should be sent early in the day so customers can plan accordingly.

2. Use SMS marketing programs to reward loyal customers.

People value their phone privacy. If a customer has given you his or her mobile number - a number that allows you to reach the customer any time, day or night - you can bet that person is a loyal customer. So, with that in mind, you should make your text messages meaningful, valuable and timely. Don't interrupt dinnertime, for instance, with a text message. And don't send SMS messages for every little promotion you offer - save it for big discounts, free upgrades and other VIP offers.

3. Use text messages to remind customers of appointments.

If your business is service-based, SMS reminders are a convenient, non-intrusive way to remind patients and clients of their appointments. These services are popular with dentists, stylists and other professionals that operate on a tight schedule. Offering text appointment reminders is a great way to build your SMS marketing list, too.


Offering appointment reminders is a great way to build your text message marketing list.

Before you jump into text message marketing, keep these things in mind:

• Establish a relationship with clients first. Text message marketing doesn't work well for cold leads.
• Provide social login options to make it easy for customers to log in and interact with your site when clicking a link from a text message.
• Use SMS marketing in conjunction with your campaigns across social media, email and your website for the greatest effectiveness.

Remember, text messages are a communication medium that people consider extremely important. Users open 98 percent of their SMS messages, and most are opened in three minutes or less. Provide value and engage your customers, and you'll have a happy and effective SMS marketing list.