20 Promotional Offers To Generate More Customer Leads

October 9th, 2018

 

New customers are skeptical.

They research for different solutions online.

From that bunch they reduce their options down to 2 or 3.

They look for reviews and best prices.

They talk with their friends and ask for their opinions etc.

All of this happens before you even hear from them.

But sometimes even after all of this groundwork when it comes time to buy a lot of them will still find it hard to pull the trigger.

Using special offers are a useful way to get these types of customers over the line and into your SMS list.

Below I’ve listed 20 proven promotional ideas that you can use as inspiration for driving more customers into your SMS list.

 

  1. Buy One, Get One Free

In order to pull this strategy off you need to have good margins or understand the lifetime value of your customer. This is really a 50% off offer but the allure of “free” will always out-pull 50% off.

You’ll see this offer a lot with TV infomercials “buy this heat proof mesh glove and receive another one free!”

This is a good way to move old stock.

 

  1. Competitions And Giveaways

Competitions can drive a large volume of leads quickly that can create an amazing flood of sales with SMS campaigns, on the flip-side if you don’t have the right game plan you’ll have a list of time wasters and tire kickers.

The secret to making competitions work is ensuring that you give away your product as opposed to something unrelated.

By basing the competition around your own product you’ll attract people who are genuinely interested in solving a problem that your product solves.

 

  1. Free Delivery

While working in ecommerce we would use all types of offers but the one that seemed to work the best (even though the savings weren’t as good as our other offers) was offering free delivery.

Free shipping is always a great option and people will often choose you over a competitor even if you’re shipping cost are a few dollars.

 

  1. SMS Gift Vouchers

The best thing about gift vouchers is that it is a potential double whammy.

You get ‘Person A’ who opted in for the gift voucher (follow up with them for mother’s day, xmas, valentine’s day etc.) plus when ‘Person B’ comes in to redeem that voucher you can capture their mobile number as well to give them special offers.

 

  1. Standard Discounts

For the most part it’s best to use another strategy because discounting almost always leads to a drop in your product or service’s value.

This is ok to do once every 6 months for example.

 

  1. Free Information

Information is a fantastic way to generate leads because it gives you a chance to set up the sale and prepare the prospect so that when they are ready to purchase you can make them an offer.

One great way to increase the perceived value of information is to offer information or even solve a smaller part of the bigger problem.

If you sell resume creation services you might give away an in-depth guide on how to answer the top 10 toughest interview questions for specific industries so that when that person gets an interview they can feel confident but in order to get the interview they need to have the right resume and cover letter which is what you sell.

 

  1. Free Workshops

Similar to the above but the main difference is that you’re asking for a higher commitment.

This means that the quality of prospect is higher which further improves your ability to convert these people into paying customers and clients.

 

  1. Student or Pensioner Discounts

Demographic-based offers a good way to foster more loyalty within these groups especially the elderly.

 

  1. Free [X] If You Buy Before [Date]

This is an incentivised deadline-driven offer.

Deadlines are probably one of humankind’s greatest inventions because it’s so easy for most of us to procrastinate and ‘put it off’ until tomorrow which is on good for us.

This is especially useful if you’re selling products that may not be sexy but may be a necessity like car tires, for example, then it’s likely that the buyer will put this off for as long as possible before making that purchase.

Offering a valuable incentive not only if they act within a specific timeframe is a good way to create action.

 

  1. Free Trials/Try Before You Buy

Ever wonder why food companies plonk those tiny food kiosks inside supermarkets merrily giving away free food?

These companies know that people tend to be creatures of habit which makes it tough to move them to try new things because people really don’t like change.

Letting someone try your product for free helps them see for themselves how valuable the product is and once they’ve tried it you can make another special offer to buy your product.

 

  1. Free [X] When You Buy [Y]

This is a premium-based offer which works amazingly well if the bonus is valuable.

The secret to making this work is to have the bonus appear more valuable than the primary product.

Remember the toys you used to get with cereals?

Remember when magazine subscriptions came along with free gifts? For example, a dinosaur magazine series would have a piece of a dinosaur with each issue.

This is heavily used in TV infomercials as well.

People will often buy the primary product just to get the free premium!

 

12. Loyalty Points

Rewarding customers for spending with your business is a well-trodden strategy and is great for business owners who understand the vital importance of repeat business.

 

  1. Package Deals

Package deals are fantastic because it’s designed entirely around building value as opposed to discounting which is about eroding value.

A great way to use packages is to understand the end goal of the customer.

If they want to lose 10 kilos over the next 3 months you could offer them personal training sessions or you could offer them a complete weight loss solution package:

  • 3x personal training sessions per week for 3 months
  • Nutrition coach to keep you on track
  • 90 day nutritional weight loss plan
  • Weekly shopping list
  • Delicious recipes
  • 90 day supply of your best fat burning supplement
  • Training videos

And pull it all together for a reduced price.

Even though we’re reducing the overall price this does not damage the value of these products and services in fact, once they begin to get results they will likely continue to use some of these after the 3 month period which would not have happened had we just offered them personal training sessions.

 

  1. Make A Guarantee

Perfect for higher priced products and services.

The trick to making guarantees work is to go into the specifics of how the customer can go about getting their money back should they not like the product.

Most businesses will place a guarantee sticker on their site and leave it at that.

But savvy businesses will detail the guarantee for example:

Not happy with our smoothie blenders?

Acme’s 90 Day Smoothie Promise

If you don’t feel amazing after creating healthy and nutritious smoothies with our blenders if our blenders do not make the smoothest, velvety texture then simply ask for a refund. Send us an email with your order code and Becky (our customer specialist) will personally handle your request for you and let you know when your money will be placed back into your account.

 

  1. Risk Reversal

This is the money-back guarantee on steroids – extra confidence is needed here.

A risk reversal means that you’ll not only give the person their money back but you will also offer something else like pay for shipping or give them $100 for wasting their time etc.

The goal is to take the risk entirely off the buyer and shoulder the risk yourself.

This works well because before a person buys they have a lot objections and anxiety so the risk reversal relieves them of this problem.

 

  1. Better Payment Terms

Often times what stands in the way of getting the sale or losing a sale can come down to simply providing friendlier payment terms.

If you currently only have a full price option let people pay off your product in installments.

If you currently offer 12 months interest-free, offer 24 or 36 months interest-free.

Make buying your product a low-risk endeavor.

 

  1. Legacy offer

A customer pays a one-off price (or it could be reduced monthly rates) and they get your product or service for life at that price.

Health clubs typically use this to generate revenue early new members will pay a one-time $400 fee and they get lifetime access for free after that.

 

  1. Free Consultation

On the surface this is may not seem like a high value offer but to the right people and to the right pain point it definitely can be.

By offering specific information around a highly valuable area of interest this can be all that is required to move a person to opt-in to your SMS list.

Stay away from saying “free consultation” instead go into more detail about what the consultation will cover so that the prospect can fully understand the value being delivered.

 

  1. Price Match

Not a favourite of mine since it is price-focused but if you’re a large company selling commoditised items (you’re selling the same brands as your competitors) then this can work well.

Ultimately this is a value-destroyer.

 

  1. Exclusive Offer

Used to target specific segments of your market for example making a VIP offer for your higher spenders or enticing your middle of the road spenders to become VIP members with a special offer etc.

 

 

5 Tips For Creating Sales Content For Your Fitness Business

September 20th, 2018

How do you develop fitness content marketing that actually sells?

The fitness industry is an insanely competitive battleground.

I get it.

Content creation can be a real pain to produce.

You have a product to promote and sell.

You spend hours tapping out words on your keyboard producing beautiful content and then…

Not much happens.

You may hear the company directors saying content marketing is a waste of time.

Don’t listen to them.

A well thought out content strategy (when used correctly) is an incredibly effective pre-selling tool.

In this article I’m going to give you 5 of my best tips to help you improve your own content so you can generate more sales and leads for your health club!

Let’s dive in…

 

#1: Curiosity Is The Precursor To ALL Sales

Mess this up and you’re done.

Have you ever done cold calling or one-to-one selling?

Ask any sales pro and they’ll tell you that the first step to selling is curiosity that is, using a specific combination of words that gets the prospect to say “tell me more…”

If someone is not curious about what you have to say it doesn’t matter how great your solution is they’re not listening to you.

When I was cold calling I used to spend most of my time coming up with openers because if I didn’t get them interested the sale was gone right there and then.

Same is true for your content.

Regardless of whether you’re writing a social media post, article, video, email or even an SMS try to create curiosity and avoid the generic.

For example:

Someone searches for a topic on “how to lose weight”.

They click on an article that looks interesting and it starts with “if you want to lose weight then first you need to eat the right foods…”

Wow…I thought I needed to keep eating potato chips!

Unless the reader has only just now made contact with the human race chances are they already know that they need to eat healthy.

Instead, start with something that piques their curiosity, for example:

Question: Are you burning fat OR storing fat at this very moment?

As you’re reading this you’re either in fat storing mode or fat burning mode.

Did you know that most people (contrary to mainstream nutritional advice) are accidentally spending most of the day storing fat instead of burning it?

In this article, I’ll show you my number 1 bio-hacking tip that guarantees 24/7 fat burning.

Basically, I’m going to tell that person that they need to make healthy choices but my goal is to approach it from a different angle so it feels like new information.

 

 

Tip 1: March Against Conventional Wisdom

Last year I accidentally lost 13 kilos in just over 8 weeks without training and by overeating (5,000 to 6,000 calories per day).

According to conventional wisdom, I was eating over two times the number of calories for a person my size, I didn’t plan to lose weight, I just decided to start eating natural foods and the weight kept falling off.

People don’t want to hear the same old information, they want to hear new information especially if it is counter to what the mainstream masses are preaching.

 

Tip 2: Target Specific Problems

People are looking to solve very specific problems and so when you address these you achieve a few things:

  1. Create curiosity
  2. Create demand
  3. Differentiate yourself because few (if any) others are talking about it

People don’t want to “get fit” they want to prepare for their first half marathon and get in the top 10 – if your article was titled:

“How to prepare for your first half marathon (…and actually place top 10)”

Do you think you would have piqued their curiosity?

 

Tip 3: Create Open Loops (Teasing)

In a few moments I’m going to share with you my 3 step process to help even your worst performing fitness consultant close sales in one singe call but before I do I want to discuss how to best clean gym equipment…

Would you keep reading to learn the 3 step sales process? That’s an open loop.

News anchors will say: “after the break we show you raw footage of a man fighting a grizzly bear and the hilarious ending…”

If you want to know more you going to have to stay tuned.

 

Summary:

  • If you haven’t created curiosity you’ve lost the sale – curiosity is the first step of the sales process.
  • Challenge yourself to present different ideas and attack problems from different angles to create curiosity.

 

 

#2: Write Epic Content

Unfortunately for us slow typers Google now prefers that your content be longer in word count.

The reasoning is that long form content has a better chance of helping the reader get a satisfactory answer to their question.

This means you need to write articles at least 1200-1500 words in length.

Yes, there are articles around 300 – 500 words that have #1 position in Google but these are far and few between.

Infographics also do very well although I’d advise writing at least 500 words to accompany the graphic to give Google more keywords to work with.

Remember this:

Great content is at its core: helpful.

Focus on making your content super helpful to the reader.

The more helpful your content the more people will read, share and comment which tells Google your stuff is google and will then start to move you up the ranks hopefully to position 1.

Here’s Neil Patel’s post on Why 3000+ Word Blog Posts Get More Traffic (A Data Driven Answer)

Don’t think it’s worth it? Here’s how Mailshake Spent 6 Months Building One Piece of Content. Now It’s Driving 6 Figures in Sales.

Summary:

  • Google likes long 1500+ articles so it’s best to keep your articles at least within that range.
  • It’s not enough to have along article it must also be incredibly valuable i.e. helpful to the reader.

 

 

#3: Useful, But Incomplete

When it comes to creating content that generates leads you only want to solve part of the bigger problem.

Think of it this way:

At a restaurant you are served an entre the job of that entre is to stimulate your appetite and to prepare your pallet for the main course.

Your content needs to work in a similar fashion.

In the example below we follow 3 steps:

  1. What are we selling?
  2. What is the main offer/benefit we are presenting?
  3. What content do we need to produce?

We always start with the offer then move backwards from there so our content has a clear direction.

This is about “completing a story”.

The reader begins the story with the content but it’s the solution that completes the story for them.

 

What you want to sell The Offer Content
Nutrition Plans Nutrition Plans For Diabetics 3 dangerous ingredients hidden in everyday food that are making diabetics sicker
Personal Trainer 12 Week Personal Training For Men Over 40 That Want To Build More Muscle 40+ Males! Try This Routine To Build Muscle Like A 20 Year Old
Spin Class Spin Class For Rapid Fat Loss 5 Reasons Why Cycling Is HUGE For Fat Loss

 

Case studies are also a very good way to achieve ‘helpful but incomplete’ content.

Not only does it provide proof and progress but it shows the reader what the world will be like once they become a member of your gym.

 

Summary:

  • Start from your service and work backwards to your content so everything lines up perfectly.
  • Your content begins the story but the reader needs your solution to complete the story.

 

 

#4: Help The Reader Experience An Epiphany

Remember when you had an amazing insight about something or you solved a complex problem?

We call this the AHA! Moment or having an epiphany.

Did you know that when you have one of these “AHA! Moments” your brain makes brand new neural connections.

That “new idea” is actually making physical changes inside your brain!

If you can help a reader come to an epiphany you make it easier to sell your solution.

This is why the best copywriters on the planet spend most of their time coming up with the “the big idea” because they know that big ideas create big sales.

Here are a few tips you can use:

Tip 1: Become a connector of dots

Great ideas come from connecting dots.

If you can find a connection between seemingly unconnected worlds it can make for an interesting idea.

Here’s an example:

This single, weird piece of advice from a poor person can make you insanely rich.

How can a poor person help you become insanely rich?

Rich and poor are opposing worlds and because of this it’s more interesting than something like “how to become rich”.

Read blogs from different industries.

Listen to people and ask more questions.

Watch things you wouldn’t normally watch.

You kind of need to be a renaissance to make this work.

 

Tip 2: Listen in on sales calls

Often times the greatest ideas come from your customers.

Jump on sales calls with your sales team or interview them yourself.

Listen to the questions they’re asking.

Listen to how they describe their problems and the result they want.

By compiling this information you may see a recurring insight that no one has addressed before.

 

Tip 3: Collect great headlines and marketing campaigns

Turn off your ad blocker and start watching ads.

If you see what that you like, take a screen shot and try to work out what you liked about it.

Click on it and go to their sales page and see how they’re positioning their solution.

Collect interesting ads, go through funnels, join email lists from different industries to see what angles they use for their customers.

By compiling an advertising swipe file it’ a great way to take an idea and convert it over into your industry.

 

Summary:

  • Big ideas create epiphanies inside the reader’s mind.
  • Epiphanies completely reframe the problem and also your solution making selling a lot easier.
  • When a person has an epiphany, they see their problem under a completely new light.

 

 

#5: Create ‘A Greased Slide’

Legendary copywriter John Carlton used a phrase that he called ‘the greased slide’.

It means that once a person begins reading your content they can’t stop until they get to the end.

One critical way to pull this off is by formatting your page so that it’s effortless to read.

Let me give you a quick example:

Which would you rather read?

THIS?

Remember when you had an amazing insight about something? Did you know that when you have one of the “AHA! Moments” your brain is making new neural connections. That “thought” is making physical changes inside your body! If you can help a reader come to an epiphany you make it easier to sell your solution. This is why the best copywriters on the planet spend most of their time coming up with the “the big idea” because they know that big ideas create big sales. Here’s an easy way to create an epiphany: Speak to the surface problem that the reader is facing. Solve that problem for them BUT introduce a deeper problem that if they can’t resolve will forever prevent them from losing weight. Present the new solution.

 

OR THIS?

Remember when you had an amazing insight about something?

Did you know that when you have one of the “AHA! Moments” your brain is making new neural connections.

That “thought” is making physical changes inside your body!

If you can help a reader come to an epiphany you make it easier to sell your solution.

This is why the best copywriters on the planet spend most of their time coming up with the “the big idea” because they know that big ideas create big sales.

Here’s an easy way to create an epiphany:

 1. Speak to the surface problem that the reader is facing.

2. Solve that problem for them BUT introduce a deeper problem that if they can’t resolve will forever prevent them from losing weight.

3. Present the new solution.

Same words, different format.

By organising your words, sentences and paragraphs in an easy to read way you make it easy for the reader to consume the article.

Here are a few formatting tips:

  • Use short paragraphs – I rarely go over 3 sentences.
  • Use short punchy sentences or even use one word sentences.
  • Edit out filler words.
  • Avoid insider jargon.
  • Use ellipses (…) to break up sentences.
  • Avoid needless repetition.
  • Write like you’re speaking to one person.
  • Write in a way that a 12 year old could understand.
  • Choose short words over big words.
  • Use subheads that tell a story so skim readers understand what’s going on.

 

Summary:

  • If the article looks too difficult to read then they won’t bother reading it.
  • Formatting is designed to make it easier on the brain and eyes of the reader.

 

Integrating sales-focused content into your overall marketing strategy is incredibly important in terms of growing your fitness brand.

Start implementing the ideas in this article and see what happens.

9 Must-Know Mobile Marketing Facts For Business Owners

September 13th, 2018

Mobile is BIG.

According to statsitica.com 19.7 million Australian’s own mobile phones.

Google has now become mobile-first which means that it cares more about mobile users than computer users.

Adopting a mobile marketing strategy is now an essential part of any customer growth strategy and should soon begin to make up the bulk of your advertising spend.

Do you ever wish that you had jumped on SEO sooner to get that top search position?

Mobile presents a similar opportunity.

Businesses are typically slow to switch gears so building out a mobile-first strategy means savvy business owners can make those first big moves and snap up mobile customers using various channels whether it be SMS marketing, push notifications, email, geo-fencing etc.

Here’s a great infographic that demonstrates how mobile is being used in business:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infographic source: entrepreneur.com

 

 

 

 

 

3 SMS Marketing Tricks That Boost Sales

August 9th, 2018

When looking for SMS marketing advice you’re typically fed boring “insights” like:

  • Keep it short (obviously)
  • Don’t use text speak
  • Give details
  • Use a call to action

If you’re reading this post then I’m sure you don’t need someone telling you to keep your text message short.

Instead, you may be looking for some ideas that have you thinking a little differently about how to use SMS.

That’s the purpose of this post.

Let’s get started.

 

1. Use AIDA To Write High Performing SMS Messages

Get good at writing copy and you can make as much money as you like, the world of SMS is driven by words so it’s worth becoming proficient at writing good SMS copy.

The good news about sales copy is that they all use proven frameworks all that is required is to fill in the blanks, kind of like blockbuster movies (e.g. hero’s journey structure) or music chorus, verse, chorus, verse etc.

There are dozens of battle-tested sales frameworks that you can use to improve the response to your SMS promotions but the one I’ve found works best for SMS copy is the AIDA formula.

AIDA – Attention + Interest + Desire + Action

Attention: SMS already has attention built-in but using the recipient’s name is also a nice way to get them to open the message.

Interest: Your SMS should have something of high relevance to that particular person, hopefully you’ve segmented your list so you’re not sending out the same message to everyone – you can find this in our SMS Marketing Guide.

Desire: Connect what you are offering to an existing desire of that person. For example, if they want to lose weight [desire] for summer and you’re a restaurant then you may offer tasty, low-carb dishes. You may also include a special limited time offer.

Action: Tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Here’s an example of a real estate agent informing a potential buyer about a new opportunity:

Hey Julie, I have a client who needs to sell their home priced at under market value.  I have 1 buyer who is interested. Reply if you’re keen to discuss. Jack.

Attention: Hey Julie,

Interest/Desire: I have a client who needs to sell their home [interest] priced at under market value [built-in equity].

Action: I have 2 other buyers interested. Reply if you’re keen to discuss.

 

 

2. Marketing Based SMS vs. Sales Based SMS?

With SMS you need to use the appropriate messaging for the job to maximise performance.

There are two types of SMS that you’re likely to send:

  1. Marketing Based SMS
  2. Sales Based SMS

 

What’s the difference?

It’s my estimation that companies spend 90%+ of the time sending sales based messages.

This is when you send a text asking for the recipient to buy something.

These are also referred to as promotional SMS’s.

A marketing based SMS is used to pre-sell or warm-up a customer before sending out a promotion to them.

 

How do you decide which one to use?

This is depends on the awareness level of your subscriber, are they:

  • Aware of the specific product or service you are selling?
  • Aware of the price of that product or service?
  • Aware of the value of that product or service?

If the answer is yes, then the task is easy, you’re going to use a sales based SMS message which simply means telling them:

  1. What you’ve got
  2. How to get it
  3. Special offer (if any)

 

How would you use a marketing based SMS?

  • Are you launching a new product or event?
  • Do you have products or services that people don’t buy because they either aren’t aware of them or don’t understand the value of that solution?

In this case you would go with SMS marketing because you most likely need to warm people up and get them excited about the new offer.

 

Quick tips for producing an SMS marketing message:

  1. Use a two-step process i.e. SMS to article which goes into more depth about what’s happening.
  2. Engage emotionally and intellectually.
  3. Connect to their existing desires.

Here’s an example for a health club manager who wants to prime their members for an upcoming employee coming to their gym:

She’s coming! An expert in metabolic nutrition for fast body transformation is joining our gym! Check out her most recent client case studies website.com.au/fbt

  • Who’s coming?
  • What is “metabolic nutrition”?
  • How have they helped their recent clients?

If the subscriber has never heard of metabolic nutrition before then they’re going to want to know more about what that is.

We also connect this new idea of metabolic nutrition to their desires (fast weight loss).

We have a message that is both emotionally engaging and intellectually interesting.

Then once they click through to the article they will learn more about it and you would of course have them opt-in to this list to get a heads up on when this nutritionist is available to take bookings.

 

 

3. Use SMS In High Impact Areas

SMS has a special ability that no other marketing tool has.

It is able to leverage one of today’s most precious currencies that companies spend a lot of money to get their hands on.

What is this currency?

Attention.

Paris Hilton was known for charging nightclubs $100,000 just for her to show up for an hour…and they were excited to pay it.

Here’s why…

Paris Hilton (at that time) had the world’s attention and she was able to pass that attention on to the nightclub turning it into the new “it” spot which drove media, paparazzi etc. which in turn temporarily had people queuing up around the block for hours to get in.

This is the power of attention.

This is why SMS is has become so popular with savvy marketers who understand the importance of being able to:

Get the attention of anyone in seconds and channel that attention on to an offer.

Think about areas inside your business where you can use that attention to help improve a specific goal.

Here are a few examples:

 

Increase Attendance Rates

Good for when you have a sales presentation, webinar or some other event where you want maximum attendance you can send out an SMS either the day before if it’s a live event or a few minutes before if it’s a webinar.

I used this for a company I worked with to ensure the highest number of people showed up to our training event.

Since we had a 20 person limit and each person was potentially worth $2,500 we wanted to use SMS to guarantee the recipient didn’t miss out.

 

SMS Remarketing

Abandoned carts are a massive pain point for online retailers in fact in 2017 the average online retailer could expect to see up to 78.65% of people loading up their shopping cart and then ditching it!

If your store is generating $100,000 in sales it’s missing out on another $78,650 in potential revenue

If you could recover 10-20% of those missed carts that would be more than worth it.

Online retailers will typically use ad retargeting and email but the weapon of choice is SMS in fact SMS is considered 400% more effective than email 99% by ecommerce store owners.

 

Reduce Missed Appointments

If you have clients that need to book in with you to receive a service then you know how frustrating and also how expensive it is when a person doesn’t show up for their appointment.

It’s a double whammy.

You don’t get the revenue from the client but you still need to pay that hour to your employees.

Sending an SMS the day before reminds that client of the appointment and gives them the opportunity to cancel ahead of time allowing you to cover that space with another client.

 

Increase Client Retention

Losing a client sucks but most don’t know the damaging effect of losing clients can be here’s a graphic from groovehq that points out the revenue upside retaining a small percentage of clients.

There are plenty of areas inside your business processes where you can use SMS to grab attention and drive a specific action.

While sending an email will likely get overlooked, sending an SMS virtually guarantees that your message will get read and give you one last opportunity to re-connect and bring them back on board.

 

Summary

SMS is more than just a powerful promotional tool it can be woven throughout your sales, marketing, team and client processes.

Use SMS for high-impact areas where you need to drive a result.

Follow sales copy best practices when using customer or prospect focused messaging to improve the overall success of your campaigns and think about the level of awareness your customer or prospect has before sending that SMS.

Ready to start using SMS to drive more results? It’s free and we’ll even give you a few free text messages to send! Sign up here.

 

6 SMS Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

August 7th, 2018

Home buying comes with a long sales cycle often times starting with the home buyer doing a ton of research before your even see them which is real estate SMS marketing is an effective selling tool.

The goal with SMS is to begin a conversation as early as possible into the buying process so you can build a relationship, learn what the home buyer is looking for, educate and position yourself as a trusted adviser and help them find the home that they want faster.

 

Why SMS?

SMS marketing is an inbound marketing strategy which means people are coming to you because they are interested in what you have as opposed to outbound marketing where you send advertising out to people who haven’t asked to see it.

Here’s a handy graphic from MOZ to help you see the difference between outbound vs. inbound marketing.

For the sake of simplicity inbound marketing will generally drive more qualified leads since they feel like they have found you (through an article, downloadable resource or through search etc.) rather than you finding them which makes a huge difference in terms of strategic positioning.

 

1. Create A Buyer Persona

With any marketing approach it helps to know what motivates specific types of customers if you’ve been in real estate for a while you’ll know the specific types of buyers.

Here are the basic steps:

Name each home buyer persona

List out their demographics:

  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Single, defacto, married, divorced
  • Kids
  • Income etc.

List out each persona’s buying concerns:

  • Not being close to work
  • Not knowing what to look for in a home
  • Not knowing what questions to ask the real estate agent
  • Where are the best areas to buy etc.

List out their wants and desires:

  • Walking distance to work
  • Affordable
  • Be able to have friends and family stay etc.

While there will be a lot of crossover between the different personas there should be 2-3 very specific concerns or motivators that separate them.

For example:

You have a persona “Patty” who is a first home buyer who is using this property to buy into a much larger home 10 years from now.

Patty is primarily interested in buying into an area that in the next 10 years will become a hot spot for affluent young professionals due to new café’s and restaurants and new apartments planned for development meaning Patty can get maximum resale value for her next upgrade.

You could create free report outlining the next big areas in the city and give that away to people when they opt-in to your SMS marketing list.

Now you can call that person to find out if they found the report valuable, if they’re currently looking and what areas etc.

Now you have a list of potential buyers who you can reach out to as soon as you have a suitable listing.

By understanding the specific concerns and motivations of each buyer you can set up more effective marketing campaigns overall not just with SMS.

 

2. Promote Your SMS Campaign

SMS is essentially a list building marketing tool and works in exactly the same way as email marketing in the sense that in order for it to work you have to get people on to your SMS list through promotion.

As with any purchase home buyers are going to be attracted to anything that is related to home buying including:

  • “For Sales” signs.
  • Financing offers
  • Real estate websites
  • Search (Google, YouTube, Bing etc.)
  • Search ads
  • Real estate magazines and newspapers etc.

You want to place your SMS campaign on as many marketing channels as possible to start driving leads at a very minimum they should be on your website.

“Text ‘REPORT’ to 12345 and see what homes like yours are selling for in your area.

 

3. Generate Leads 24/7

One of the absolute best ways to generate a consistent flow of leads is by creating valuable articles that answer specific questions and offer great advice.

Why?

Keep in mind that long before a person starts showing up to open homes that are searching for answers to questions on Google, YouTube, Bing etc.

This allows them to find you early in the buying process giving you a head start on your competition.

Here’s how to do it:

Find longer tail keywords that have less competition and create an article that has more information and value than everyone else’s.

For example: “what first time home buyers should know” is a specific long tail keyword that would make an excellent guide and lead generation content piece.

Tips:

  1. Select a keyword with little competition (get this plugin)
  2. Do a search for that search term.
  3. Open up the top 10 search results on the first page.
  4. Take a word count for each page and make your article longer (use this tool).
  5. Note down the topics they all cover and cover them better.
  6. Reach out to other websites who educate on home buying but are not direct competitors and ask them to link to your article.

If your article offers more value and has more sites linking back to it chances are you’ll get on to the first page of search results.

Promote your SMS campaign inside your article

At the end or even throughout the article you can promote your SMS campaign which can offer them more information related to that subject they should know all they need to do is opt-in.

 

4. Collect Leads

Grabbing someone’s email address is ok but having someone opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign means that you have their mobile number allowing you to get a direct line of communication to build a relationship.

Here’s how to do it:

Create a number of contact lists – each contact list needs to build a list based on certain criteria for example you may have a contact list named Sydney – Alexandria which collects the mobile numbers of people who are interested in properties in Alexandria.

Create offer – this is the thing that compels a person to opt-in to your list. “Text ‘REPORT’ to 12345 to find more properties like this on in Alexandria.

Placement – using the suburbs example, you would place your offer on For Sale signs in Alexandria so whenever someone opts-in they are automatically placed into the “Sydney – Alexandria” SMS contact group.

That’s all there is to it, your list will now begin to fill up with potential leads.

 

5. Select Messaging Schedule

Once people are on your list you don’t want them to get cold so you’ll need to set up a SMS schedule that delivers information relevant to that list.

The best scheduling is between 12pm and 6pm weekdays and only 1 per fortnight or 1 per month any more frequent and people will start unsubscribing, any longer and people may forget they opted-in and unsubscribe and/or send complaints.

 

6. Follow Sound Sales Copywriting Principles

A standard SMS message is limited to only 160 characters which means that you need to pack a lot of persuasion into a short time in order to get a person to reply or click on a link inside your message.

Mastering sales copy is arguably the most valuable skill in marketing so it’s best to learn it as soon as you can copyblogger have lots of fantastic resources available to learn the basics of sales copywriting.

There are dozens of different copywriting formula’s you can use but the one that is most common is the good old AIDA formula (Attention + Interest + Desire + Action) which I’m sure you’re familiar with.

Here’s a quick example of how you can quickly use AIDA to move a person to take an action:

Attention: Hey Sara

Interest: found a seller In Alexandria

Desire: the owner needs to sell it quickly and at below market price. Closed door offer.

Action: Reply if you want more information. Jack

Once Sara replies back you can give her a quick call to discuss.

 

Summary

SMS is a power tool for real estate for generating leads at different stages in this article I focused on the importance of inserting yourself into the conversation during the early stages to connect and gain top of mind.

This pre-emptive approach allows you to:

  1. Build rapport early
  2. Position yourself as a trusted expert
  3. Educate the buyer in a way that makes it easier to sell

Most agents will wait for the later stages but by then you would already have a lot working in your favour and while this doesn’t guarantee a home buyer won’t go with another agent it does give you a greater advantage.

To get more SMS marketing tips see our 2018 SMS marketing guide or to sign up for a free SMS account here.

Are You Making These 13 SMS Marketing Mistakes?

July 27th, 2018

Are You Making These 13 SMS Marketing Mistakes?

 

In this article we’ll take a look at 13 SMS marketing mistakes that businesses and marketers make including:

  1. Not knowing Your Customer Avatar
  2. Failing To Build A Responsive List Of Eager Customers Plus The Homer Simpson Test
  3. Not Mapping A Customer Buying Path
  4. Not Creating Subscriber Buckets
  5. Locking Yourself Inside The 160 Character Prison
  6. Thinking SMS Is Email
  7. Making Subscribers Feel Trapped
  8. Creating A Disconnected Mobile Experience
  9. Not integrating SMS Into Your Marketing System
  10. Not Fencing Off Your SMS Subscribers
  11. Not Cutting The Fat From Your List
  12. Opening The Door To Lawsuits
  13. Ignoring The Truth & Missing Out On Massive Conversions

 

 1. Not Knowing Your Customer Avatar

Why is a customer avatar important?

In short: A customer avatar makes selling easier.

Let me quickly explain:

Think of your best friend or someone you know intimately well.

How easy is it for you to persuade them to do something?

Chances are you’re able to influence them because you know their what makes them tick.

  • You know how to make them laugh.
  • You know their fears, frustrations, challenges and their wants, aspirations and desires.
  • You know their existing beliefs.
  • You know their family and background.
  • You know what they do for a living.
  • You have a rough idea of how much they earn per year.

Knowing this much about a person allows you to connect.

 

What is a customer avatar?

A customer avatar is a fictional character that represents a section of your market.

Think of an avatar like a container that houses all of the information above (beliefs, fears, frustrations, aspirations, family, income etc.)

How much easier is it for you to influence and attract this type of person to your SMS list, provide targeted offers that get accepted and deliver valuable information?

 

Step 1: Interview your best customers by phone and/or survey them (doing a combination of both is ideal)

The biggest question you want to find the answer to is their single biggest challenge as it relates to {whatever it is they’re trying to achieve}.

For example: if they’re a sales manager then you want to find out from them what their single greatest challenge is as it relates to growing sales.

In addition to that you want to find out what their current reality looks like and the problems that exist inside of it and what their desired outcome is.

If you’re selling smaller items like chocolates then these questions are obviously a little too heavy so you’d want to find out why they chose you and get into a general conversation around what they like, don’t like etc.

 

Step 2: Give the customer avatar a name

Think of a name that would suite that particular persona.

 

Step 3: Get it down on paper

Now bring that avatar to life by printing out a piece of paper filled with that information along with a photo (can be a stock image or swiped from the internet this is only for your personal use).

Let’s imagine that my avatar’s name is Sandy, before I begin to brainstorm my SMS campaign I will ask questions like:

  • “What does Sandy need to get her one step closer to her desired goal?” (as it relates to your solution)
  • “What information does Sandy need from me to make better buying decisions?”
  • “What offer would make Sandy want to forward my SMS on to her friends or at least brag to her friends about?”

The idea is to build an SMS campaign that speaks to her world and offers value into it as opposed to making offers because you really need to sell some stuff today.

Think from your customer avatars perspective first and you give your SMS campaigns a huge advantage over your competitors!

 

 2. Failing To Build A Responsive List Of Eager Customers

Building a strong SMS list comes with obvious benefits the most important is generating action on demand whether that be:

  • Downloads
  • Opt-ins
  • Purchases
  • Attendance (to an event etc.)
  • Reviews & feedback

 

The success of an SMS campaign hinges on two main elements:

  1. Highly engaged and responsive subscribers (Avatar + Intelligent Segmentation)
  2. Big list (Aggressive Promotion)

In that order.

I’d rather have 100 highly engaged and responsive customers than 10,000 that ignore me.

 

Step 1: Customer Avatar

The first step to creating a strong subscriber list is to know your customer.

How well do you know your various customer segments?

Here’s a test to find out:

 

The Homer Simpson Test

Do you know more about Homer Simpson’s life than you do your customer?

Or think about one of your favourite TV shows – do you know more about that character’s life than your customer’s?

If you know more about Homer Simpson (or favourite TV character) than your customer then it’s a #Fail.

Since you read the first tip hopefully you understand the importance of knowing your customer.

Next…

 

Step 2: Highly Relevant Value Proposition

Once you have a good idea of your customer’s world then you need to create a compelling value proposition.

A compelling value proposition makes it a no-brainer to join your list eagerly waiting for your SMS promotions.

Come up with as many offers as you can that would be highly magnetic to your Customer Avatar.

Think about their current frustrations, fears, worries, wants, desires and aspirations.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking:

 

Are you a personal trainer or a consultant?

Think about the specific, tangible end goal of your client

If you could break up the journey into stages or steps, how many steps would it take for them to achieve their goal?

Perhaps you could give them the first step free?

 

Are you a beauty salon owner?

What end result does your avatar desire?

What services and products does your avatar need in order to achieve that result?

  • Build a package offer around that and give it name that mirrors that aspiration or…
  • Create a strong offer for the first service or product and then send out a sequence of SMS messages over the next few months promoting the other services.

The goal is to offer highly relevant value that either helps them move away from frustration or displeasure and towards their wants and desires.

 

Step 3: Select the top offer

Out of all the ideas you came up with pick one that you think is the strongest.

 

Step 4: Craft your offer

Write out a few different versions of your promotion.

This is not an SMS, this is an ad that you would place inside and email or on your website etc. to drive people onto your SMS list.

Here’s an example:

Text “GoddessAfter30” to 1234 and I’ll help you lose at least 5 kilos in 30 days with my Goddess After 30 Package which includes 4 PT sessions (valued at $320) 2x nutrition coaching calls (Value $100) and my step-by-step 30 day eating blueprint that my current goddesses have used to lose at least 5 kilos (value $47) all for only $97.

Ends March 30. I’m only accepting 20 clients for this package.

Text now to grab this offer!

Let’s break the offer down:

  1. The keyword and package name reflects the aspiration which is looking amazing after 30.
  2. The “5 kilos in 30 days” is a specific, tangible goal.
  3. The PT session is a tangible offer which carries high value by itself.
  4. The coaching calls and eating plan are a nice added bonus.
  5. The $97 price tag seems small in comparison to the total value
  6. Ends March 30 and a limit of 20 clients adds 2 levels of urgency and scarcity.
  7. Simple call to action at the end.

Obviously there is not a lot of money to be gained here on the offer but this is designed to help the personal trainer acquire new personal training clients.

You may test just the personal training sessions first and the diet plan or come up with a completely different promotion but the important thing is that you start testing which brings us to step 5…

 

Step 5: Promote

Now you have your offer it’s time to promote that offer everywhere you can.

  • Email list
  • Website
  • Sandwich board
  • Window
  • Chalk on the pavement

This needs to be an all-out campaign to get people on the list.

Now you should be building your list up with highly qualified customers, clients and leads.

Next it’s a good idea to start thinking about what products you need to be moving those customers into next.

Which leads us to our next tip…

 

 3. Not Mapping Ahead (Promotional Calendar)

Planning out your future promotions is incredibly helpful because it shows you visually how all of your marketing is working together.

They also help you to:

 

  1. Map out the buying path for your customers

This means if they purchased Product A then what should Product B be and then Product C etc.

Challenge yourself to line up products for your avatar that they would really benefit from.

You would also have your testing hypothesis locked into this calendar as well.

 

  1. They give you clarity

Promotional calendars are great because they help you map out the next 90, 180 or 365 days.

This relieves you from having to “come up with the next SMS campaign”.

This doesn’t mean that you have to stick rigidly to the plan because things do change but it allows you to tie all of your marketing together to achieve company goals.

If you’re a restaurant with a seasonal menu then you will most likely have at least a 90 day scope to create promotions and information leading up to the next season.

If you have an eCommerce store which is FMCG then you may not know what is happening even next month so it is definitely tougher to create a promotional calendar.

Either way, set aside a few days to really map out the products you’d like to send to your customers.

The time needed will depend on the complexity of your product or service and how far into the future you can plan.

 

 4. Not Creating Subscriber Buckets

Easily one of the major mistakes most businesses make with SMS.

This one is probably responsible for a lot of unsubscribes that happen.

In Tip 2 I said that the goal was to create a highly relevant value proposition.

Segmentation takes care of this for you.

Segmenting means that you’re grouping like-minded people together.

With online SMS platforms you can create countless contact groups.

If I’m a marketing agency I may have my different marketing segments set up like this:

  1. Bob The Builder
  2. Patty The Personal Trainer
  3. Lenny The Lawyer

Each of these segments have very unique needs and use very different language so I need to adjust my messaging to match that.

But there are other ways to segment for example by product:

Using our personal training example, we can groups for the following:

  • Female clients over 40
  • Goddess over 30 clients
  • Long distance running clients
  • Muscle building clients
  • CrossFit clients
  • Trial clients

To take it a step further you can drill down in to each of these groups for example:

  • CrossFit Women
  • CrossFit Men
  • CrossFit Mixed
  • CrossFit Beginner Mixed

You can also segment based on the stage of the journey the client is on since you wouldn’t want to be sending advanced concepts/offers to a beginner and vice versa.

Wherever it makes sense for you to segment do so.

 

To recap:

Segmentation helps you to:

  1. Keep your message super relevant
  2. Reduce your costs by not sending to people who would never respond
  3. Increase retention by sending targeted messaging that is valuable
  4. Increase ROI by reducing spend and increasing response

 

 5. Locking Yourself Inside The 160 Character Prison

A lot of SMS marketing sites tell you “use brevity”, “be concise” etc.

And that is true.

You never want to waste words for SMS or any other marketing channel.

But the reason they’re saying this is that they’re trying to tell you that you only have a precious 160 characters to work with.

This is not entirely the case.

It’s actually not a hard character limit like Twitter.

You can actually use long-form SMS messages which give you 400+ characters.

Keep in mind that these do cost more.

If you write a message that is 320 characters it would cost you 2 SMS messages because 160×2=320.

And so on.

Most of the time you will only need 160 characters.

But there are some occasions where it’s worth it to spend a little extra.

For example, if you’re putting together a customer win-back campaign you may want need to use more characters to find out why they left and make an offer including the call to action.

It adds up quick.

We have clients that routinely go over the 160 character limit because the promotion requires it.

 

 6. Thinking SMS Is Email

SMS is often compared to email because the mechanics are the same.

  1. Build a list
  2. Send content to that list

SMS is however more of a precision tool.

Its power comes from knowing with almost 100% certainty that your message will get seen and read – so it is best used for important, high value work.

Think of a surgeon using a scalpel.

Email is more of a blunt instrument that requires a high volume approach where you bludgeon your list to death.

Email subscribers are more tolerant of this type of communication because your message is going to a place that honestly isn’t that personal to them – their email inbox.

Your SMS message on the other hand is going to a very personal space – their mobile phone.

Keep the volume low when doing promotional campaigns most businesses will do roughly one per week 1 (at most 2) per week.

 

 7. Making Subscribers Feel Trapped

Just like with email it’s important to provide an opt-out option for your subscribers this is important for 3 good reasons:

Good reason 1: It is the law – people have to be able to unsubscribe from your messages.

Every country has different laws regarding SMS communications so it’s important to learn what they are first before you start sending out promotions.

Good reason 2: Gives the subscriber peace of mind.

People feel a lot more at ease when they know they can stop receiving messages from you so include this in all of your messages.

Good reason 3: You want remove anyone from your list that is no longer interested in what you have to offer.

Since each SMS costs money you don’t want to be spending money on people who would never buy from you.

People who remove themselves is good but you also want to see who hasn’t responded to your promotions in a while so you can remove them.

 

 8. Creating A Disconnected Mobile Experience

Are you linking to a landing page from your SMS?

It’s unlikely that the person will go to their PC and type in the url to see your landing page.

They will stay on their device which means that the site needs to be mobile-friendly.

What does this mean?

Here are just 4 areas to check:

 

Loads quickly (less than seconds preferably)

Studies show that mobile users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

That is pretty brutal but mobile is a fast channel.

Here’s a site that can tell you how fast your site loads.

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

 

Looks good on mobile.

Have you ever been on a website using your mobile and you constantly have to zoom out and scroll left to right to see all of the content?

This creates a tricky and frustrating experience for the user.

 

Don’t lose the scent

To follow on from the earlier personal training example, if you’re promoting the Goddess After 30 personal training program then make sure that the headline mirrors that.

This is called “keeping the scent”.

If they land on a page that is maybe just the home page where you talk about your credentials and no instant mention of the offer then the user has lost the scent and will most likely bounce from that page.

 

Call to action

Make sure there is a crystal clear action that you want the person to take.

  • Purchase a product
  • Sign up for an event or webinar
  • Download a report
  • Jump on a waiting list

Whatever it is, make sure that you state what you want the user to do next and have a form or order button right there.

 

 9. Not integrating SMS Into Your Marketing System

We often treat each marketing channel like it’s an island.

The truth is that your marketing is (or should be) one system that is interwoven.

When you send an SMS promotion that requires your subscriber to go to a specific landing page what happens to those that don’t follow through on that promotion?

You can’t send them another SMS.

But you can retarget them with ads.

Businesses typically have an email list and an SMS list which rarely ever work together.

If you just sent out an important newsletter or catalogue why not send an SMS out to let people know that you just released an important email that they need to open?

Hi Mike, we’ve just sent out an important newsletter that I think would help you improve sales. Let me know if you haven’t received it. Jeff.

Find ways to integrate SMS into the overarching marketing strategy and you’ll bolster your results!

 

 10. Not Fencing Off Your SMS Subscribers

This one almost seems opposite to the last tip where the go was to integrate.

The goal here is to segregate.

“Fencing off” means that you’re sending exclusive offers only to your SMS list.

The goal here is to reduce unsubscription rates.

When people know that they can only receive special information or offers on the SMS channel they’ll be a lot less likely to unsubscribe from that list.

 

 11. Not Cutting The Fat From Your List

Over time our lists can get quite bloated.

What I mean is that we are holding on to subscribers that are no longer responding to our messages.

It’s a good idea to prune off people who haven’t purchased in a while.

List pruning helps to reduce costs?

For example if you’re a hair salon males will get their hair cut every 2-4 weeks females every 4-6 weeks so if someone hasn’t rebooked or purchased product in 3 months it could be a good time to remove them.

When is a good time to prune a subscriber?

It depends on your product.

You can place a time limit on it perhaps 6 month blocks.

Another indicator is ROI.

If you have 5,000 subscribers which costs 6 cents per SMS that equals $300 per campaign.

If you’re making $300 in return with a profit of $120 then this list needs to be reviewed.

If you’re campaigns aren’t bringing in a lot more return than they should then chances are also that you’re not doing Tip 1 & Tip 2 & Tip 7.

But they may buy from me at some point?

In this case you could be proactive and ask them if they would like to be removed from your list.

Hi Sandy, I noticed you haven’t purchased from us in a while. Would you like me to keep sending you offers? Reply “YES” to stay or “NO” to unsubscribe. Kim.

Or something similar.

If they don’t respond or reply “no” then you can safely remove them from your list and replace them with actual buyers.

 

 12. Opening The Door To Lawsuits

No SMS mistakes list would be complete without this one.

I want to share with you something that most people won’t tell you about permission as it relates to SMS.

Here’s how most businesses get permission from people.

Text ‘keyword’ to ‘number’ and get 30% off X.

In this example you don’t actually have permission to text these people beyond giving them the special.

If you want to continue to send them offers the subscriber has to agree to that otherwise you can get into trouble depending on the laws surrounding SMS in your country.

In the promotional offer you are going to have to mention that in addition to getting this special offer you will occasionally send them more great offers and that they can opt-out at any point.

You could also mention it in the confirmation SMS after they have sent the special keyword to you.

Hi Kim, thanks for redeeming your voucher! Just show this SMS to our team code #12095. Text “morespecials” to receive offers like this in the future.

Nice and easy and keeps you clear of legal issues.

 

 13. Ignoring The Truth & Missing Out On Massive Conversions

What is the truth?

The truth is not what we think it is, it is what the market believes it is.

We often think our customers are more sophisticated than what they really are.

We say things like “no one would buy that, it’s too expensive!” or “my customers wouldn’t go for that!”

If you don’t intimately know your customers and haven’t tested these theories out then you are just sharing an uneducated opinion.

This is not grounded in reality.

In order to uncover the truth you need to test your assumptions in the only place that matters…

The marketplace.

Testing always begins with “what if…”

“What if we split our list up and sent the same offer but at different times 12pm to one list and 6pm to the other list?”

“What if we tested percentages vs. hard numbers for example: 50% off vs. $30 off?”

“What if we used an excited tone of voice vs. a more natural tone?”

Testing is just a game of data and the list is your laboratory.

Through many tests you slowly begin to see what works and potentially carry that across other marketing channels.

Anything can be tested but offers would be the main element.

Other areas of testing could be:

  • Time of day
  • Salutation vs. no salutation
  • Long form SMS vs. short
  • Tone of voice
  • Offers
  • Hooks and angles

The reason why testing is no important is that it reveals the truth about what works and what doesn’t

It rescues us from our assumptions.

The truth is we are not our customers so we need to use testing to find out what they respond to and what they don’t.

 

Summary

The secret to successful SMS marketing is to create good habits and set a strong foundation.

Even though we covered a lot of mistakes if you spend most of your time:

  1. Knowing who you’re talking to (Avatar)
  2. Build a big list (Promotion + Strong Value Proposition)
  3. Stay relevant (Segmentation)
  4. Finding the truth (Testing)

You’re well ahead of the competition and will be creating a powerful business asset.

If you want to learn more about SMS marketing check out our SMS Marketing Guide and our 16 Pro SMS Marketing Tips article!

 

 

 

Steal These 37 Text Messaging Templates For Your Business

July 25th, 2018

What does the most effective, eyeball-grabbing SMS look like?

The good news is that SMS messages by their very nature are eyeball-grabbing since it is delivered to the mobile phone which creates instant curiosity for the recipient.

But what makes them effective comes largely down to:

  1. Who you are sending the message to and…
  2. What you are offering

SMS is not a “blasting” channel where you send a generic offer to everysingle…person on your list.

It is a direct marketing channel where you send a very specific offer or message to a very specific group of people and most of the time you are asking for a specific action.

SMS is also incredibly versatile and can be used in multiple areas inside various processes.

In this article I’ll give different ways people are using SMS including the basic format for each including:

  1. SMS Marketing
  2. Customer Reactivation
  3. Customer Reviews
  4. Lead Generation
  5. Appointment Reminder Template
  6. Notifications, Updates & Alerts
  7. Delivery Reminders
  8. Cancellation Management
  9. Payment Reminders
  10. Service Feedback
  11. Contests
  12. Team Communications

 

Steal These 37 Text Messaging Templates For Your Business

SMS Marketing Templates

SMS is the weapon of choice for businesses that like to run promotional activities and is arguably the most effective channel when it comes to driving buyer traffic towards targeted offers.

Special Offers

Send special offers to targeted lists to who your offer would be highly magnetic.

For example, if you’re a hair salon and you’ve got a 30% off deal on eyelash tinting then you may not want to send this text to the men on your SMS list.

 

SMS format:

{Special offer} + {Urgency} + {Location/How to redeem} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Valerios Pasta House is giving away a free $30 voucher with every table booking. This week only. 22 Hutt Street, Sydney. Call 02XXXXXXX to book your table.

 

Loyalty Programme

Repeat business is where real business growth comes from and creating a club around buying is a popular way to foster back end sales.

 

SMS format:

{Loyalty Programme Name} + {Programme benefits) + {How to join} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Join our SMS 13 Club and get weekly travel deals plus 13% discount on any holiday package you book with us. Text: SMS13 to 0421 123 456.

 

Special Events

For an event to be successful it needs high volume traffic (either online or offline) for PR reasons and of course it needs to generate revenue and brand awareness for various businesses promoting product at the event.

If you’re an event organiser then you will need to generate the leads and also sending out SMS reminders as the event draws near.

This is also a great time to send special VIP offers to make pre-sales.

If you’re a business owner at the event then send out your own promotions to drive people directly to your booth.

If you don’t have mobile subscribers (shaking head slowly) then simply set up an SMS lead generation campaign to start collecting potential buyers you can learn how to do that with our 2018 Guide To SMS Marketing.

 

SMS format:

{Event name} + {Enticing benefits} + {Location/Date} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Text ‘TGWE’ to 04XXXXXXX and get free wedding goodies and special offers at The Great Wedding Event on 11 September 2019! Get your tickets here bit.ly/2O9vDFP.

 

Event Reminders

Every event no matter how small must have reminders leading up to (and post-event) to maximise show up rates to increase overall sales or desired actions.

The reminder SMS is straight forward but it’s worth reminding the recipient of the benefits if possible.

 

SMS format:

{Event name} + {Start time} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Hi Mike, the ‘How To 10x Your eCommerce Store’ webinar is live in 10 minutes! Here is your access url bit.ly/2O9vDFP. See you there!

 

SMS To Website Traffic

A good way to let the search engines know that your website exists is to drive traffic to it.

If you’re revamping an old site then what some marketers will do is get their audience to enter in a specific search term into Google and have them click on your link specifically.

This has been known to increase rankings.

With any announcement look for ways to make it worth the person’s time to investigate.

Never underestimate how hard it is to get a person to do what you want them to do.

This could be a special offer, a limited time product range, new products etc.

 

SMS format:

{Announcement} + {Special offer/New product/Limited stock} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

We’re live! Visit our new website and see our new range of muscle growth supplements. Join our newsletter and receive a $10 voucher. www.mystore.com.au

 

Invitation to Subscribe

Getting subscribers is the name of the game for any business that has long term goals for growth.

Building SMS lists allows you to capture highly qualified buyers or at the very least capture people who may not be ready to buy right now but will be shortly with a little nurturing.

That said, SMS isn’t the only channel you should be using.

It’s also a good idea to move people from one channel to another for example having your SMS subscribers directed to your email.

The benefits to email are no character limits, images and a high tolerance for message frequency.

 

SMS format:

{Subscription Name} + {Special offer} + {Scarcity/Urgency} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Get 50%+ off our overstock range of women’s shoes when you subscribe to our VIP list. Invite only. Pass this SMS on to friends www.mystore.com/vip-deals

 

Customer Reactivation

Reactivating a customer who is trending out

This type of SMS is sent out when you notice that a customer, client or member seems to be steering away from your business.

The goal of this SMS is to avoid losing them altogether and reengaging them with your product/service again.

If you’re going to send and offer then make sure you give it a cut-off date and if you like you can make it conditional, they need to call your front desk to activate it – this means your team can ask a few questions to make sure everything is ok with your service.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for texting} + {Time sensitive offer} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

We haven’t seen you in the gym lately? Here’s a $70 voucher to use for any of our services. Call our team on 04XXXXXXXX by November 18 to activate it!

You haven’t rebooked with us in a while. Did we do something wrong? Rebook with us before November 18 and get 20% of your usual cut and colour.

 

Reactivating an inactive customer

When customers go inactive they can be quite hard to win back.

This requires a strong offer that should be very difficult to refuse.

 

SMS format:

{Reason or texting} + {Killer offer} + {Urgency} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

The below is a long-form text message which costs twice as much to send but spending an extra couple of cents to win back a valuable customer should be a no-brainer.

Hi Frank, we’re sorry to see you leave and apologise if we have under-delivered in anyway. We were hoping you might give us another chance by offering you this $200 voucher for any of our gym services including a 90 day meal plan (value $99). Call us on 04XXXXXXXX before November 18 to redeem your voucher.

 

Short version:

Hi Frank, sorry to see you leave. Can we win you back? Please accept this $200 voucher including 90 day meal plan. Call us on 04XXXXXXXX by 18/11/18 to redeem.

 

 

Customer Reviews

Some industries live and die by word of mouth and so it is worth using as many ways to generate positive reviews as possible.

 

SMS format:

{Acknowledgement of purchase/Ineraction} + {Ask for review} + {Link to review page}

 

Example:

Thanks for dining with us at Valerios, if you enjoyed your experience would you mind giving us a quick review online? Link here bit.ly/2O9vDFP

 

 

Lead Generation

Generating highly-qualified leads that are close to making a purchasing decision are the best kind of leads you can get and SMS is perfect tool for the job.

Consumers are incredibly protective of handing out their personal mobile number so when they do they tend to have a higher level of interest in what you have.

 

SMS Advertisement:

In order to generate leads you will need to create an ad that gets people who are thinking about selling their home to put their hand up and ask for information.

Once you have their mobile phone then have your consultants give them a quick courtesy call to further qualify them to find out how serious they are about selling.

 

Important Note: with this campaign you do NOT have permission to continue to send them text messages after you have delivered them the report.

 

Advertisement elements:

{Qualifier} + {Call To Action}

Example:

Curious to know how much your property is worth in the Hills area? Text ‘HILLSREPORT’ to 04XXXXXXXX and we’ll send you our current sales and market report.

 

SMS format:

{Confirm their request} + {Link to download}

 

Example of confirmation SMS:

Thanks for requesting your Hills Valuation Report. Please click on this link to download www.mysite.com/hillsreport

 

Ongoing SMS communication:

If you want to send them ongoing information then send this SMS right after you send them the confirmation SMS above:

Interested in receiving market updates and houses sold in your area? Text ‘HILLSUPDATES’ to 04XXXXXXXX.

 

 

Appointment Reminder Templates

The job of this SMS is to reduce no-shows and allow your team enough time to fill that vacant spot should the customer need to reschedule.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {Time & Date} + {Option To Call/Text Back}

 

SMS examples:

Recruitment Agencies

London Trust have invited you to interview with their senior team on Friday 9:00am, 18 November. If you need to change the time please let me know.

 

Hair Salons

Hair appointment reminder: tomorrow at 9:15am with Emma. Any questions call us on 04XXXXXXXX

 

Dental Clinics

Dental appointment reminder: March 7, 9:00am with Dr. Bell. Any questions feel free to call us on 04XXXXXXXX

 

Property Manager

Property inspection reminder: Hi Mark, Kelly from Hill Realty will be viewing the property Thursday, March 7, 12:00pm. Any questions call us on 04XXXXXXXX.

 

Banks

Home loan appointment reminder with Highland Bank Trust: March 7, 9:15am, 23 Jordan Ave. Your account manager is Dana White. Any questions please call 04XXXXXXXX

 

 

Notifications, Updates And Alerts

Notifications and alerts are an excellent addition to the customer service process and are easily templated.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {What to do next}

 

Bank Delivery Notices

Your new bank card is ready for pickup at our South Dunedin branch, 23 Forbury Road. Want us to deliver to another branch call us on 04XXXXXXXX

 

Flight Reminder

Flight NZ0702 boarding begins in 30 minutes please make your way to Gate 13. Enjoy your flight, AIR NZ.

 

Flight Updates

Flight NZ0702 has been delayed by 1 hour. Questions regarding this flight or connecting flights? Please call Air NZ on 04XXXXXXXX. Sorry for any inconvenience.

 

Children Travelling Alone On Flights:

Ruby has now boarded flight NZ0702 to Sydney and is with our flight attendants.

Hi Mark, Ruby has now arrived in Sydney and has been collected by Sandy Jenkins.

 

Delivery Notifications for Packages

Your package DN-5555124 has been successfully delivered to 5 Ingram Street, Kensington. Post Couriers.

 

 

Delivery Reminder

One of the big headaches for courier services is delivering a package and having nobody there to sign off which is an incredible waste of time as these add up throughout the day.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {Confirm date/time} + {Reschedule option}

 

Example:

Your new lounge suite has been dispatched. Order #DN-555333. ETA 12-1:00pm 7 March. If there is no one home please call 04XXXXXXXX to arrange suitable time.

 

 

Cancellation Management

Cancellations are going to happen so it’s best to have contingencies in place either someone else on the team can provide the service or rebook with the same person with a possible offer.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {Solution/special offer} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Hi Kim, Emma has had to cancel your appointment for tomorrow due to illness. Bec is available. Please call 04XXXXXXXX to confirm with Bec or rebook with Emma.

Hi Sandy, Emma has had to cancel your appointment tomorrow at 9:15am due to illness. Please call 04XXXXXXXX to rebook and we’ll send you a $20 voucher.

 

Booking And Payment Confirmations

Payment confirmations are designed to close of the sale. It lets the customer know that you have received the order and if possible what they can do next.

 

SMS format:

{Purchase confirmation} + {Date/Time/What happens next} + {Contact details}

 

Examples:

Hotel Booking Confirmation

Welcome Sandy! Your room has been booked for March 7, 2019 at The Hills Resort. Any questions about your booking please call us on 04XXXXXXXX.

 

Online Purchase Confirmation

Thank you for your purchase. Order #321435 will be dispatched today. ETA Thursday, March 7 12pm-1pm. Please call us on 04XXXXXXXX if you will not be home.

 

 

Payment Reminders

Email is not an ideal method of contact when it comes to recovering money. SMS allows you to know with certainty that the recipient received the notification so that they can make sure the funds are available for the next debit or that they know how to resolve any problems.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {Date/Amount due etc.} + {Call to action}

 

Examples:

Upcoming direct debit

Hi Will, your direct debit of $276 will be deducted from your account on Thursday, 18 November. Please call us on 04XXXXXXXX if you are unable to make payment.

 

Missed payment notification

Payment failed notice: Your monthly payment of $276 was unsuccessful. Please call 04XXXXXXXX to make that payment to avoid fees or to adjust payment plan.

 

Defaulted Loan Reminder

Hi Mark, your loan is now in default. Call us on 04XXXXXXXX so we can help you get back on track or pay the outstanding balance and receive a 20% discount.

 

 

 

Service Feedback

Feedback is essential for customer centric businesses and is not always possible to do over the phone or even on your site.

You can have people send you feedback right from inside the SMS.

Alternatively you can send them to a short online survey.

 

SMS format:

{Thanks for purchasing} + {Ask for feedback/Send to survey}

 

Example:

Hi Sandy, how would you rate our service today? 1=bad, 2=not good, 3=average, 4=great, 5=excellent. Thanks for your feedback!

Thanks for your purchase! Could you please let us know how we could improve by filling out a short survey? It would mean a lot. Here’s the link: bit.ly/2O9vDFP

 

 

Contest

A great way to re-engage your SMS list is to hold competitions – this means they’re more likely to stick to your list.

Contests are also good for generating new leads, just make sure that the competition involves your products or services because giving away unrelated prizes will bring in freebie seekers who would have no intention of purchasing from you after the event.

 

SMS format:

{Offer} + {Urgency} + {Call to action}

 

Example:

Text ‘MAXCART’ to 04XXXXXXXX and win the chance to fill up your shopping cart up for free at our store. Offer ends November 18. Winners drawn November 28.

Travel Italy for FREE! Text ‘ItalyDream’ to 04XXXXXXXX and go in the draw to win a 4 week, all-expenses paid trip around Italy! Offer ends November 18.

 

 

Team Communications

In more corporate settings email is used to keep teams up to date on what’s going on but if you have team members that are on the floor or who are mobile with no email access then SMS is perfect.

 

SMS format:

{Reason for text} + {Deadline/Reschedule/Gift} + {Call to action}

 

Examples:

Rosters

Late night shifts available December 1 – 23. Reply if you’re keen to grab some shifts.

 

Meeting Cancelled

Leadership team meeting cancelled for this Thursday. Rescheduled for next Thursday 18 November.

 

Team Milestones

Happy 1-year Keith! Show this SMS to the team at Café Rue and they’ll give you a free dinner for two up to the value of $150. Enjoy!

 

New Job Roles

New email specialist role now available forward on to friends who may be interested. Go to this url: www.mysite.com/emailrole to see learn more about the role.

 

Summary

Due to the explosive growth in mobile, this is now the number one way to communicate with team mates, consumers, friends and family.

Think of SMS like a fine scalpel which is used for more precision high value work like generating leads, assisting conversions, or winning back a customer.

The examples above demonstrate high impact areas where SMS exceeds over and above other communication channels.

 

 

 

 

4 SMS Solutions To Recover Lost Sales Revenue

July 23rd, 2018

SMS Solutions To Recover Lost Sales Revenue

When you’re tasked with generating more sales revenue, the first thing most companies will do is start spending more money on marketing, train their sales teams and arm them with the newest pitch materials.

Or worse, starting cutting “costs.”

What they don’t tend to do is look for growth potential that already exists inside the business that can be leveraged into more revenue.

By optimising processes that already exist inside your business you can generate more revenue with less work, less expense and typically bring about more revenue and profit than investing in a new marketing roll-out.

In this article you’ll learn how SMS specifically can be used to help increase organic revenue inside your business.

 

 

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Online retail suffers from a lot of revenue waste and amongst the largest are abandoned carts.

Did you know that the average online retailers suffer from an average abandoned cart rate of 69.23%!

60% of those abandoned carts are triggered by extra costs (shipping, tax, fees etc.) check it out below:

Abandoned carts are a substantial revenue killer and is definitely worthwhile implementing an abandoned cart recovery campaign.

Put together an automated abandoned cart SMS that goes out 1-3 hours after the cart was abandoned you may want to test including an time sensitive offer (maybe reducing the number one reason for abandoned carts by including free shipping, free tax or waiving additional fees.)

The above statistic of 69.23% is an average so what you need to do is find out what your abandoned cart percentage is per month – just look back  on the previous 90 – 180 days to get a running average.

This will give you an idea of how many abandoned carts you’re receiving as well as the dollar amount (opportunity) lost.

 

 

Appointment Recovery

Do you book appointments?

For Hair Salons or businesses that generate revenue with client appointments understand the frustration that no-shows can cause, they hurt you in at least two ways:

  1. Missed revenue from the client
  2. Dead time – you still have to pay your employee

If you have too many of these double costs happening regularly you’re losing out on a lot of money.

Now a lot of businesses will charge the customer a cancellation fee which actually does a lot of damage to the relationship between the client and the business.

A better option is to pre-empt this and build a system that can dramatically reduce no-shows from happening.

All you need to do is find out from the client whether they are going to make it in or not?

Calling clients on the phone is often times not a practical inside a busy salon.

Instead, after you’ve booked a client in schedule in a text message reminder 24 -48 hours out from the actual date.

Then forget about it.

Check your computer for any cancellations and then find bookings to replace them.

How much are no-shows worth right now to your business?

  1. Measure how many no-shows you get every month including staff costs. This tangible dollar amount will give you a number to start optimising and converting into more revenue.
  2. Put an SMS system in place dedicated to reducing this number.

Why SMS?

  • It’s guaranteed to get seen by the client and will allow them to respond quickly with either a yes or no that they will be there.
  • If no, you have time to fill that appointment with another client.
  • Because SMS is so cheap even if you manage to quickly replace 1 no-show with another client your investment is returned thousands of times over.

 

 

Convert More Web Visitors

It is said that at any given moment in time only 3% of the market are financially and emotionally ready to buy.

Inside that other 97% there are people who are:

Close to buying but an additional push or need specific information

Aware they have a problem and have narrowed down their search to a handful of providers.

Researching for information on their problem

Aware they have a problem and trying to learn more about it

Not looking

Unaware of an existing problem or maybe they are aware but the problem isn’t severe enough for them to look for information about it.

This means that you will lose nearly 97%+ of the visitors that land on your site and maybe convert 1-3%

What if you could convert more of those visitors on your site to sales?

Ecommerce store Bohemian Guitars found a way to do just that.

They inserted an SMS function into their website that allowed website visitors to ask questions and get recommendations on their products.

This little tweak increased their sales 98%!

Who else wants to almost double their sales?

Just by inserting a human into the sales process you can guide web visitors toward completing their purchase.

 

 

 

Reactivation Campaigns

Health clubs or any business that relies heavily on client retention knows how expensive it is to replace a lost client.

It is often said that acquiring a new customer is 5 times (or whatever the actual number is) more expensive than selling back to an old one.

When you lose a client you’re losing more business than you think.

  • You’re losing repeat business.
  • You’re losing higher frequency of purchases (good customers tend to spend more frequently).
  • You’re losing higher volume of purchases (repeat customers spend more on average than a new customer).
  • You’re losing recommendations to their networks.
  • That client now offers all of the above to your competition!

 

Reactivation Campaigns

There are two areas where you will need to monitor:

  1. Clients who are disengaging with your business
  2. Clients who have left your business (inactive)

 

Clients who are disengaging with your business

Ideally, you’ll want to find clients who have not completely left your business.

You’ll want to find clients who seem to be “trending out” of your business which could mean that they’re spending less with you or perhaps coming in less frequently.

In other words they are not following a typical customer pattern.

If you’re able to pull this information from your CRM or other software send them out a friendly email with an offer to try and get them back into the normal zone again.

 

Clients who have left your business

Strong offer: Same idea as above but you’ll need to send them a stronger offer since it is a lot harder to get a client back once they’ve left.

Survey: if you can’t win them back, try to get information. Ask if they would complete a short survey to help you improve. Takers for this are generally low but it depends on the relationship you had with them.

 

Summary

With SMS you are able to use one of the most direct communication tools on the market and for only a few cents generate more revenue for your business.

If you’d like to test out the effectiveness of SMS you can start with just $7.95 and receive 100 SMS.

 

How To Send Texts Internationally From Australia

July 11th, 2018

How To Send Texts Internationally From Australia

Text messaging is quick,easy and is still one of the most popular ways for people to connect with one another around the globe and a common question that is asked is how to actually make sure your SMS is received by the intended recipient.

In this article we’ll look at:

  1. How to send a text message internationally.
  2. How much does it cost to send an international text.
  3. The 2 main SMS platforms available (mobile vs. online SMS).
  4. The dark side of free SMS websites

 

How to send a text overseas

Sending an SMS from Australia to anywhere in the world is very easy and follows the same rules as making a phone call overseas.

Texting internationally is broken down into 4 parts:

  1. Exit code (that takes the SMS out of Australia)
  2. Country code
  3. Mobile network number
  4. Recipient’s unique number

For example if I am living in Australian and I wish to text someone in New Zealand I would key in 0011 64 21 1234567

Let’s break this down:

  • 0011 = The exit code to take your SMS out of Australia
  • 64 = Country code
  • 21 = The mobile network in New Zealand
  • 1234567 = The recipients mobile number

 

How much does it cost to send an international SMS?

The price for sending an international text message varies but here are some guidelines:

  • Mobile (texting to top tier countries) = Free – 20 cents
  • Mobile (other countries with standard SMS) = 20 cents
  • Mobile (global roaming) = 50 cents
  • Online SMS Provider (all countries or global roaming with standard SMS) = 2 – 8 cents

Let’s take a look at the current SMS platforms available:

  1. Mobile
  2. Online SMS

 

Mobile SMS

The costs for sending SMS with your phone will obviously depend entirely on your provider and the rate plan that you are currently on.

Most plans (including some pre-paid) will allow you to send unlimited texts to specific countries which makes it a solid option, some of the most common countries that you may be able to text free to include:

  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • UK
  • USA

If you are texting to any of other 200+ countries then you’ll incur texting charges typically 20 cents per standard 160 character text message.

 

Sending SMS While Abroad

What about if you’re planning a trip overseas is mobile texting a good option?

One of the downsides to mobile when travelling abroad is that you activate a service called ‘global roaming’ which means you will incur additional fees regardless of whether you text inside the country you are currently in or outside.

If you’re only going to be sending the odd SMS here and there then this won’t be a problem.

If you’re sending a few texts per day then this will quickly add up so keep this in mind.

 

Advantages

  • Everything is on your phone, the interface is familiar.
  • You don’t need to be online; all you need is cell phone coverage.
  • Unlimited SMS if you’re texting to the free countries provided on your plan.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive if texting outside of the free country zones.
  • Can only send texts if you are in cell phone coverage or are connected to an overseas provider if travelling overseas.
  • If overseas global roaming will make texting more expensive.

 

Online SMS Providers

Sending text messages online from your computer has been a popular option for international texting and works in the same way but with a few additional features such as:

• Receive replies to your mobile phone or email address.
• Scheduling or setting recurring reminders (great for birthdays).
• Let’s you know when it’s been delivered.
• Create multiple contact groups (family, friends, wedding party, customers, work etc.)
• Send SMS from any email platform (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc.)

The other benefit is being able to type out messages and get them sent off very quickly.

 

How much does online SMS cost?

This will depend on the provider you choose but you’re looking at anywhere from .0795 (7.9 cents) down to .05 (5 cents) per SMS.
Generally speaking, the higher the SMS package the cheaper the price per SMS.

 

Are their international roaming charges with online SMS?

Since the SMS are being sent from Australia (regardless of where you are) there are no roaming fees.

Whatever SMS package you’re on is the rate you’ll pay.

 

Advantages

  • No need for cell phone coverage which means you can be in fairly remote areas and still have the ability to send a text.
  • Speed: you can send out texts from your keyboard.
  • It’s 400%+ cheaper than mobile texting.
  • You can send messages from your email, mobile phone or any device that has an internet connection.
  • If overseas, no need to sign up to a mobile service provider just log in to your account on your mobile phone or computer.

Disadvantages

  • You need to have Wi-Fi coverage.
  • If you’re using a laptop it can become a hassle pulling it out when you want to text.

 

The Dark Side Of Free SMS Websites

Being able to send free SMS’s to anyone can definitely be an enticing idea and it’s something that I haven’t found much about online and because of this it’s definitely worth mentioning since people will often look for free online texting options which is perfectly okay as long as you are aware of the potential risks.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

 

How are websites able to offer free SMS?

Free SMS websites still need to pay for each SMS they send which means that they need to find different ways to monetise their sites.

Free SMS sites will typically rely on these 3 main monetization strategies:

1. Display ads (website ads)
2. In-SMS Advertising (messages sent inside the SMS)
3. Selling your data (not good)

Let’s take a quick look at each:

 

Display Advertising

This is when the company displays advertising on the website.

This is the most harmless of the 3 tactics and is really more of an annoyance than anything.

How they get paid

They get paid whenever a person see’s those ads (ad impressions) and/or clicks on them.

 

In-SMS Advertising

This is when they drop an ad inside the SMS message.

This is only an ad that the recipient can see.

This could be anything including adult, gambling, money making, offers or just the promoting SMS website itself.

How they get paid

If the recipient clicks on that link or if they click on that link and take a specific action (sign up for something or make a purchase.

 

Information Collection

This is easily the most concerning as it involves you handing over your private information and potentially having it on-sold to a 3rd party.

How they get paid

There are companies and even individuals who are willing to pay good money for private information.

This information can be for “legitimate” companies who may want your information to sell legitimate services but there is also the business or person who will use this information for more sinister reasons.

 

Summary

  • If you want to send text messages internationally you need to enter the exit code + country code + mobile network number + recipient’s number.
  • Texting overseas from your mobile is great because you may have be able to get unlimited texts to specific countries.
  • If your mobile plan doesn’t support those countries and you’re planning on sending SMS messages quite frequently then consider looking at an online SMS service.

 

Want to send cheap SMS messages overseas from your computer?

5 Ways SMS Marketing Helps Small Businesses Win

June 29th, 2018

Up until the late 90’s consumers congregated across limited channels typically TV, radio, newspaper so it was fairly easy to get to them but today the market is fragmented, it’s a mess, consumers hangout on search, social media, email, websites/blogs, news sites, YouTube and now mobile which spreads the marketing budget even thinner.

But even with all of the new ways to advertise a lot of the same marketing issues are present:

  • Which of my marketing is actually working?
  • Which advertising will give me the highest response rates?
  • How can I market to consumers with less competitive threat?
  • What is next big marketing trend I need to pay attention to?

In this post I’ll share with you how SMS marketing intrinsically answers these problems to help you achieve higher response rates, reduces competition, tells you which campaign is working and helps you take advantage of the biggest marketing trend…mobile.

 

I don’t know what marketing is actually working…

“Half of my marketing is working; I just don’t know which half…”

This is a classic joke in business but when I speak to business owners this still rings true!

If you don’t have a luxury of an open marketing budget then the majority of your efforts should be focused on advertising that can be accurately measured for ROI.

How does SMS make it easy to track?

Finding out if your SMS marketing has worked or not is fairly straightforward and organic, for example just by sending out a standard promotional offer that requests a reply gives you trackable data:

Text “50off” to 89898 to get 50% off your next hearing check this month only.

This campaign will show you the exact number of leads generated and by combining actual sales volume tells you how successful that specific campaign was.

 

Low engagement and response rates

Getting your marketing seen and then acted upon is crucial in marketing, even with the best offer and creative, low engagement rates can sink a campaign.

Email is one of the primary marketing tools uses by businesses to help generate leads, build awareness around new offerings and improve sales but email marketers are constantly trying to find ways to improve their open and click through rates.

Typically they’ll achieve around 20% and if they have a hyper-responsive list they achieve around 40% – that’s not bad for email in fact, I’ve achieved 22% and 41% for two different companies and no matter what I tried I couldn’t break those percentages.

What about click through rates?

The typical click through rate for an email campaign sits at around 4.2%.

I used to be an email marketing specialist and I can tell you that the time and effort it takes to design, create content and testing to make sure all of the elements are working properly just to achieve those response rates is sickening.

This is why you need to have a large email list to make it worth it.

How does SMS measure up?

When you compare email marketing to SMS marketing the response rates aren’t even close, there is an ocean of difference between the two channels.

SMS on the other hand offers open rates of around 97% and a click-through rates of up to 19%.

It gets better.

On average, it takes a person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but it only takes 90 seconds for them to respond to a text message.

When you receive an SMS there’s more urgency to see who it was that sent you a message so you’re always going to have people open up your messages shortly after your campaign goes out.

Too much competition

Pay-Per Click
PPC costs are largely dependent on what your competition is willing to pay. If your competition have deeper pockets they could increase bid prices across the board making everyone pay more.

Search Engines
Google & Bing only have 10 positions available with competitors fighting hard to get on that first page search results.

Email Marketing
Email is free to send which means that your customer’s inbox is inundated with countless emails from direct and indirect competition.

Banner Advertising
Banner ads are everywhere and people have become so used to them they unconsciously filter them out (banner blindness) making repetition key. To win here you need to spend more money for more impressions and/or get into premium spots that capture more attention from website visitors.

Social Media Marketing
Social media is similar to email in that people are getting hit with new updates every other second. In order gain special attention here you need to re-post frequently and/or create loads of content.

There’s a lot of noise out there and for small business it’s tough to compete.

How does SMS combat competition?

Bulk SMS is one of the last level playing grounds where small business can outmanoeuvre big business for only a few cents per SMS.

• Everyone pays the same amount of money and gets the same 160 character limit.
• There are no “premium spots” to purchase for those who have deeper pockets.
• There is no ranking algorithm where your competition skips the line.

Consumers are careful about subscribing to SMS lists since it is a more personal private channel than email for example, so if you do get a subscriber you will not have a lot (if any) competition to deal with.

 

Getting past spam filters and ad blockers

One of the big headaches as a marketer is removing key elements of a campaign for fear of it being rejected by an ad network, thrown into the trash by spam filters.

Today’s consumer also has ad blocker software on their browser so that all of that work won’t even get seen by some.

How does SMS get around spam filters and ad blocking technology?

The good news is that there are no ad-blockers, SPAM filters or ad networks governing your ad copy which means when you send 500 SMS messages then 500 will be delivered.

Keep in mind that there are of course SPAM laws you need to be aware of which are different in each country these are typically getting explicit permission to market to them (like email) and having a way for people to unsubscribe.

 

Keeping up with marketing trends

Smartphone usage is growing rapidly with 85% of adult’s in the UK using smartphones in 2017 up 33% from 2012.

This steep growth curve means companies now have to adjust to new mobile advertising technology if they want to monetise it effectively.

But most small and mid-sized business owners haven’t got the time or resources to keep up to date on emerging mobile technology.

How does SMS measure up?

SMS technology on the other hand is almost 30 years old and is becoming even more relevant for business (due to consumer mobile usage) and has almost zero learning curve – if you’ve ever texted another person then you have 90% of what it takes to run an SMS marketing campaign.

This means that you can sign-up and start generating leads on day 1.

Not only does SMS work with the latest smartphones it still works with standard mobile phones that can only call and text.

Text messaging only requires that your customer have mobile phone coverage.

 

What makes SMS one of the highest response channels in marketing?

Consumers bounce from dozens of different channels including search (SEO, AdWords, Bing etc.), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.) to traditional media (TV, radio etc.) and as a marketer the goal is to find out which channels to go after.

Today, consumers use their mobile phones for search, social and traditional media making mobile the dominant channel.

By using business SMS you can go right to their inbox no ad blockers or search rankings to deal with and because it’s a highly personal channel your response rates are higher making SMS arguably the highest response marketing tool available to business.

If you’d like to learn more about SMS marketing then check our SMS Marketing Guide and SMS Marketing Tips.