by Don Kyle
Imagine what it would be like to be able send special personalized messages directly to the mobile devices of your customers who already have told you that they want hear about your specials and contests! Well, this can be achieved through SMS (Short Message Service) Marketing.
Just what is SMS? SMS is most commonly known as “text messaging” using your mobile devices. It is one of the most common ways people communicate with each other today. There are more than 4 billion mobile phones around the world, and more than 86% of Americans own mobile phones. As you can see, text messaging is extremely prevalent today.
Many companies that offer SMS marketing programs to businesses allow you access to an Internet-based dashboard. This tool allows you to manage your SMS marketing campaigns very effectively.
There are many advantages of permission-based advertising using SMS, specifically text messaging for mobile devices. Some of the key advantages include:
- Build a base of loyal customers (subscribers) for your business who have given you permission to send them text messages whenever you want to send a special offer directly to their mobile devices.
- Create multiple opt-in lists of subscribers based on different key words utilized for your campaigns, e.g., Daily Specials, Special Promotions, Contests and Awards, Closeout Specials, Charitable Fundraisers, etc.
- Select subscribers within specified lists and send them offers immediately in order to create a “smart mob” of instant customers. This is great way to sell excess inventory or simply create business during slow times.
- Schedule messages you want to send to selected subscribers at pre-determined dates and times.
- Subscribers have the option to opt out of your lists at any time.
It is important to keep in mind that your subscribers have told you that they want to hear about your specials, contests, etc. In other words, they have given you permission to advertise your promotions directly to them.
Examples of SMS Marketing Campaigns
Scheduled Offers: Your business historically has been very slow on Tuesday afternoons between 2 and 5 p.m. Therefore, you schedule a message to be sent at 1 p.m. each Tuesday with a special offer that will be good only between 2 and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays. All of sudden, people who ordinarily would not think of coming to your business at these times have a reason to come. You have just generated additional revenues for your business.
Excess Inventory: Your restaurant has an excess quantity of a certain food item that will spoil if not sold by the end of the day. You send a special message to selected subscribers, letting them know that you are offering a ½ off on that menu item, today only, between 1 p.m. and close. Your excess inventory can now be sold and you have made money on the food items that otherwise would have been discarded at a total loss.
New Items: You want to run a special promotion on a new item you just began offering to your customers. As a benefit of being a subscriber, you send a special introductory offer to your subscribers at a discounted price to create a fan base for your new item.
Contests and Fundraisers: You decide to run a special contest to reward your subscribers or to raise money for a charity. Using your “contest” list, you ask these subscribers to text the [Keyword Used for Your Contest] to your SMS Short Code. You then select one or more winners at a specified time(s) and reward them with gift(s). Alternatively, you state that you will contribute [XX]% of every subscriber’s purchase who takes advantage of this special offer to a particular charity, school, or cause. You can ask members of the beneficiary organization to help promote your contests by recruiting new subscribers. Examples of such organizations are the Humane Society, High School Sports Team, Scouts, etc.
Please feel free to submit questions about your business to me and I will address them in future columns.
Don Kyle is the CEO and Founder of Small Bizz MBA, a company which assists businesses with their marketing, branding and advertising needs. (404) 580-6331, email@example.com