I keep talking about the power of SMS text marketing, so that is why today I believe we need to discuss how to more effectively use SMS text marketing in your business. There is a wide array of applications, so please keep in mind that this will only be an overview of what you can do with SMS text marketing.

sms text marketingWhat is SMS Text Marketing?

Before we get too far into this discussion, however, I want to address what SMS text marketing is for those who might be new to the subject.

SMS text marketing is when you market mainly consumers via cell phones. There are a few applications that I will discuss for B2B markets tomorrow; however, this conversation will focus primarily on how to market small businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers.

SMS Text Marketing Example

For example, let’s say you own a restaurant called the Food Here Now Eatery (FHNE). To my knowledge this is a non-existent business.  FHNE has been open for about two years now, and they have a few regulars who come to the eatery, but are in need of additional customers.

How do they do this?

They contact a company, such as Smart At The Start (Oh Yeah! This is a service we offer.) They find out that one of the ways they can attract more business is to use their current clientele to expand.

How do they do this?

Well, they start telling the customers who visit their eatery that they will receive a Food Here Burger free by texting to “Food Here Now Eatery” to XYZ number and also if they come in next time with someone new, they will get an order of Here Now Fries for free for them and also any friend who signs up. The great thing with text message marketing is that it provides a digital list that you can check in with a computer. Set up a spreadsheet or use CRM technology to track this information.

One note: Make sure you have an action for the current clients to do when they are at the eatery. Maybe have them take a three-question survey or recommend someone on the spot.  Maybe you start a punch card list for regulars. You can use this later for specials and incentives.

(UPDATE 6/27/12: Make sure you are can-spam compliant. If you are not then your challenges with finding business will not mean anything. Thanks David!)

FHNE does this for one month. At the end of the month, they have 100 people who have entered the list that were returning customers and 50 people who are new customers.

What can they do now with this list?

With the information they have gathered from the survey, they determine that a number of their customers stay up really late. Since FHNE closes at 10 p.m., they decide to test out a late night schedule on Friday and Saturday to gain more of the late night crowd.

How do they do that? They put out a special to their text message list that if their customers come between 10 p.m. and midnight on Friday and Saturday and spend at least $30, they get a free order of Food Here Nachos!

You find out over the next four weeks that an additional 250 customers came to FHNE Friday and Saturday nights. Out of those customers, you were able to add another 50 subscribers to your text messages.

While this is a hypothetical example, keep in mind that businesses are taking advantage of ideas like this right now to drive in traffic.

Though it might take a little while to pick up steam, the possibilities from having a larger list of customers are huge. Even bigger is the fact that according to recent statistics, 98% of all cell phone users check their text messages versus the 10% average open rates in email.

SMS Text Message Marketing Power

Where is the power in text message marketing? First, you have a list of 100 original customers that you can market to regularly in order to make them repeat clients. Second, you added between the first special and the late night schedule an additional 100 patrons.

If that is not powerful enough, then imagine what 200 people can do to spread the word on your business. Also keep in mind that while this is the beginning of your mobile marketing, it is not necessarily the end all, be all. There are a number of different ways to do an SMS text messaging campaign. Tomorrow, we will focus on an SMS text message marketing campaign that works for businesses.