Archive for the ‘bulk-sms’ Category

5 Creative Ways To Use Online SMS To Grow Your Business

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

 

Want to make your marketing a lot more effective?

Here’s the secret, find the right people at the right time using the right delivery mechanism (marketing channel).

With 82% of Australians tethered to their phones, and 82.1% of us actively opening text messages combined with the fact that a person who subscribes to your mobile list is already pre-interested and pre-motivated to buy what you have, Online SMS helps you nail all 3 basic requirements further increasing the performance of your marketing campaign.

Here are 5 ways to squeeze more juice out of your SMS marketing campaigns and become the hero of your company.

 

#1. Highly Targeted, Irresistible Offers

When it comes to SMS relevancy is vital.

The less relevant your text messages are, the less people will stay on your list and ultimately the less sales you’ll generate, irrelevancy creates a death spiral.

Luckily, SMS allows you to segment your lists into any kind of category you like whether it’s past purchases, interests, demographics, geographic location, whatever.

This segmentation allows you to engineer intelligent, highly relevant offers that have a high chance of generating sales.

 

#2. Crack Open New Opportunities

While segmentation gives you a fairly strong understanding of what your customers already like you never know if there are new opportunities to explore.

By sending out an SMS asking for opinions, feedback, and even what goals they’re trying to achieve you can tighten up your existing offers or even test new ideas to drive more value.

 

#3. Double Or Triple Your Email Open Rates

Let’s face it. Even though email marketing is one of the best marketing channels out there it has to be said that the open and response rates are laughable.

Using SMS to promote important email campaigns is an incredibly effective strategy, just a quick heads up like this works perfect…

”Hi Mike, did you catch our latest newsletter on our upcoming free energy product? It’s set to disrupt the big energy companies? It’s in your email inbox, Jake.”

Believe me, Mike’s going to open that email and instead of that 20% open rate you love so much you can now expect to double or triple that response.

You’ll be the hero at your next marketing meeting for sure!

 

#4. Turn Your SMS List Into A VIP Only Nightclub

People love to feel like they’re part of something special, like they’re part of an insider’s club.

The mistake most businesses make with SMS is that they treat it as an extension of their email program sending the same old offers.

Instead create information and offers that are exclusive to SMS subscribers only.

It’s also important to remind your SMS subscribers that these offers are only available through SMS and that they can invite their friends to join your SMS VIP subscription to get more people on your list.

For extra points place a limit on the number of people who can join your SMS club. This added layer of scarcity will add more value to your subscription while reducing unsubscribe rates.

 

#5. SMS Is Conversational

Another common mistake with marketers and businesses is that all of their offers seem to be disjointed, unconnected.

If you think about a text conversation you have with a friend you’ll find that it is made up of smaller related texts which build into an overarching conversation:

Person A: Hey what are you up to this weekend?

Person B: Got a family lunch, you free after that?

Persona A: Absolutely.

That’s a functional normal conversation, each text related to the last.

Instead we’re sending texts that resemble a crazy person conversation:

Person A: What are you up to this weekend?

Person B: Got a family lunch, you free after that?

Person A: Have a good sleep?

Person B: Wha?

Person A: What’s your favourite colour again?

Send offers and information that is related to the last offer and even refer back to the previous text message:

“Jack, last week I sent you a 50% off code for our blazers, thought you might also like 20% off our Egyptian cotton shirts, they’re amazing! Jill.”

Do you link every text together?

Of course not, just like in a real conversation with a friend you have short conversations on a specific topic and then you both move onto a completely different topic.

Try the same thing with your SMS messages and you’ll see that your sales will go up as well as your engagement.

 

Ready To Put Some Of These Ideas To The Test?
Click Here To Get Started With A Free Account!

 

 

 

 

SMS Marketing Services: 10 Super Power Features You Need In 2019

Friday, January 18th, 2019

SMS Marketing Services: 10 Super Power Features You Need In 2019

 

SMS Marketing Services:
10 Super Power Features You Need In 2019

 

 

1. Bulk Text Messaging

While there are some customers who send the odd single text here or there, the majority of customers will use an SMS service to reach dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people on their mobile devices to send promotions, special events, reminders, news and updates.

 

2. Auto Opt-Out

If you’re going to send out a mass text campaign it is essential that you include an opt-out with every SMS message for at least 3 reasons:

  1. It’s a legal requirement to have a functional unsubscribe option on every SMS.
  2. It places the recipient’s mind at ease because they know that if they want they can unsubscribe from your list.
  3. Having people opt-out keeps your SMS list clean and healthy.

 

3. Keyword Sign Ups

A keyword sign-up means that a person can opt-in to your list using a phrase like “VIP” and they will be automatically added to a specific contact group for you to send future campaigns to.

This helps you keep track of what campaigns people have opted into and what offers you should send them.

 

4. Text Message Scheduling

Another essential part of any7 good text messaging campaign is having the ability to automate.

Marketers will schedule in their text message promotions to coincide with their other marketing channels.

Medical centers will set up a text reminder for patients to let them know about an upcoming appointment.

Businesses will set up recurring SMS messages to go out to their customers to remind them about monthly payments that are scheduled to come out.

 

5. 2-Way Texting

2-way texting allows you to have a back and forth conversation with the recipient of your SMS.

Most of the time texting campaigns are a one-way message designed to update and information about a promotion or offer.

But sometimes you may require feedback to initiate a next step whether that be to have a salesperson call you or to book your place at an event for example.

Other times you may just want to have a conversation with one other person.

 

6. Multi-User Support

Having one central SMS account with the ability to have an unlimited number of users with their own logins and passwords has been an essential feature for a lot of our customers.

This is especially useful for franchisors and multi-location businesses who had different teams who need to send texts to specific geo-locations and internal teams.

Just set up an account and plug it into the primary account and you’re all set to go!

 

7. Recurring Messages

Recurring SMS messages were another useful feature in 2018 with managers, associations and businesses primarily using it to send out regular text messages to their contacts.

These are perfect for when the message doesn’t change very often but still important to send out regularly without you having to manually send it out yourself.

For example, businesses that used payment plans were able to reduce their defaults simply by automating their reminders letting customers know when they were going to direct debit their account.

 

8. SMS Integrations

Chances are you already use specific software programs and prefer to use their interface because you know it inside and out.

SMS integration means that you can plug SMS capabilities into that software so you can engage your contacts while keeping the familiarity of the software interface.

 

9. Long-Form Text Messaging

A lot of people think that they have to squeeze their message into 160 characters.

It’s not true, in fact with 160.com.au our customers have been utilising long-form messaging for their marketing campaigns.

This means that you can use up to 450 characters and have the recipient receive that as one single message.

Keep in mind that it costs more credits to do this see below:

 

 

10. List Segmentation

This is primarily used by our agency customers running SMS marketing campaigns simply because they understand the power of list segmentation and how much more sales and revenue you can generate with it.

If you’re a business your customers will buy your product for different reasons or may be located in different geo-locations or are only interested in specific products or services.

Not only that but if either of these groups receive messages that are not high-relevant to their needs then your SMS messages start to become an annoyance.

Relevancy is super-critical with SMS more so than any other channel and it’s for this reason it’s a good idea to group people based on common traits.

For example, if you own a hair salon at the very least you would keep your female and male clientele in separate lists since few men are interested in a free blow-wave.

If you a club manager at a gym not everyone wants to lose weight, some people want to gain weight so you would never send weight gain offers to the weight loss group.

Find out the best way to segment your customers so that you’re only sending the most relevant promotions, offers and updates that they would love to see.

 

 

 

 

 

Bulk Texting To Coordinate Special Events

Friday, January 18th, 2019

 

Bulk Texting To Coordinate Special Events

 

Bulk Texting To Coordinate Special Events

 

Special events have loads of moving parts and require strong attention to the smallest of details.

As part of the events team, it’s your job to make sure that those details are planned out and executed as planned.

The number one skill here is clear communication with teams (insourced and outsourced) and guests.

Bulk texting is often used by top events teams to help with scheduling, organising teams and keeping guests updated so there are no surprises.

Here Are 4 Ways That Savvy Event Coordinators Use Bulk Texting

 

 

Guest Orientation

The best way to have a successful event is to ensure that your guests know exactly where to go and what to do.

With bulk text messaging you know that they’re going to see your message making it a great channel to make sure they know what to do and what to expect on the big day.

Booking attendance in advance

One of the first tasks is to get as many pre-bookings or at least RSVP’s as possible to give you an idea of how many seats are left to fill.

It’s incredibly time-consuming manually calling around to get people booked in plus studies show that most people would rather receive an SMS to a phone call.

Send out a bulk text that sends the recipient to a landing page to booking in their event or simply have them reply back so your team can update the attendance sheets.

A smart thing to ensure you get maximum uptake is to offer an incentive to those who act fast by giving them:

  • Better seats
  • Backstage VIP access
  • Better pricing etc.

Make sure you place a time-limit on this, however.

Reminder texts

3-5 days out from the event send out a text reminder to update guests on any need-to-know information like scheduling, what to bring, parking etc. the purpose of this text is to remind and also get them focused and excited about your upcoming event.

 

 

 

Bulk Texting For Internal Communication

Bulk texting is also a reliable tool for keeping the entire team on the same page with what’s going on. While phone calls are more acceptable with teams, when it comes to sudden updates that need quick attention, sending out a quick text is ideal.

Organising different teams

One of the major challenges for even coordinators is knowing exactly where everyone is at any given point in time and also being able to react to sudden changes quickly.

One of the most useful bulk messaging tools here is list segmentation.

If you’re working with 4 different teams then set up 4 different contact groups so that there’s no chance of a team getting the wrong instructions which can be a nightmare to undo.

Team leaders can also send replies back to you making it easy to stay on top of everything.

 

 

 

Engaging Guests During The Event

While you should avoid bombarding your guest with SMS messages you still should maximise this opportunity by carefully selecting ways to sell or pre-sell future events, products and services.

Lead capture for post selling opportunities

Make sure that you’re using this time to capture leads by placing different SMS offers or contests around the event.

When people opt-in to these lists they’re automatically placed into various customer segments for your team to follow up on later with an SMS marketing campaign.

This allows you to create sales after the event as well.

Emergencies And Important Updates

There will be times when an unexpected emergency arises where you need to reach everyone collectively.

Response time is critical for any emergency and by sending out a quick bulk SMS message to guests and teams, helps to quickly get things under control as best as possible.

 

 

After The Event

The event was a hit but events should be connected to an overall strategy designed to build brands, generate sales or build awareness around issues.

By collecting everyone’s mobile details at the event you’re able to keep that momentum going and focus it onto the next event, take polls, send an text marketing campaign pointing to relevant products and services.

Send out a bulk SMS out to all attendees to thank them for coming and make an offer to set up the next step in the strategy.

 

 

 

17 Powerful SMS Marketing Tips [2019 Update]

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

 

17 Powerful SMS Marketing Tips [2019 Update]

SMS is an incredibly reliable channel in terms of getting attention from customers and driving sales but with these SMS marketing tips, you’ll be able to kick it up a notch.

 

1. Making Selling Easy By Understanding Why Your Customers Buy

If you’re looking to drive more sales from your bulk SMS marketing campaigns it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the different types of customers who would be interested in your product or service.

We call these buyer personas.

They are a fictional representation of a real customer segment.

Here is an example of a buyer persona:

 

Below is another example:

 

 

These two buyer personas have different needs, desires and pain points which means that you can’t send them the same SMS otherwise you lower your relevancy to either recipient which results in unsubscribes or even complaints and of course fewer sales.

By understanding why that buyer persona buys from you it helps with offer creation, easier conversions, higher spend and a longer customer cycle.

Relevancy is essential in SMS marketing.

 

2. Increasing Relevancy (And Sales) With Smart Segmenting

With SMS marketing the ultimate goal is to increase your ROI and there any many ways to do this but the best way is to make sure that you SMS campaigns are tightly relevant to the person you are sending it to.

This is achieved through segmentation which just means placing your contacts into specific contact groups or folders.

For example, if you run a health club and you have a contact group named “Weight Loss Subscribers” then you’re not going to make the mistake of sending them an SMS campaign promoting weight gain supplements.

There are many different ways to segment but here are 5 to get you started.

 

1. Geographic Location

If you’re a nation-wide or international company then sending location-based SMS campaigns are incredibly effective, for example:

  • Schedule time-based SMS messages to hit different time zones
  • Send region-specific SMS promotions
  • Promote live webinars
  • Send an SMS that shows customers where the nearest store location is
  • Send location specific content using the person’s location in the actual text message

 

2. Past Purchase Behaviour

Group items – if a male purchased a suite then you could add them to the suites group and promote ties, shirts, pants and complete suites.

Consumables these customers may need reminders for replacement, refilling or renewal.

 

3. Spending Patterns

Segmenting based on proven past behaviour is a sound strategy since people don’t really change that much so you can have a high level of confidence that your campaigns will hit the mark.

One of these behaviours is a person’s spending patterns.

You could organise them into the following groups:

VIP Customers – this group tends to buy in the upper price range or purchase large quantities and will typically have a high disposable income.

Discount shoppers – this group are more active when you have great deals going on.

Price Conscious – this group will purchase low-end items and may purchase less frequently so an SMS campaign with specials on lower priced items would be a good fit.

 

4. Purchase Frequency

Brand Loyalists – these customers are consistently buying your products, these people are likely brand loyalists and obviously love your products. Send an SMS once per month and perhaps reward them with a special offer only available to them.

‘Just In Time’ customers – these people tend to only buy when they absolutely need to, so their purchase frequency is a lot lower. Send them a time-sensitive special offers to entice them back.

Hot customers – these people are (for now) “hot” and will typically spend a lot more than the average customer during a short window and then suddenly fall away. Send this group fo people a time-sensitive special offer to re-engage and elongate their spending cycle. As a general rule the longer it has been since a customer purchased the better the offer you’ll need to use.

 

5. Personal Interests

Another powerful way to get full engagement and prime purchasing behaviour is to send offers that are directly in-line with the customer’s interests.

If you run a health club there will be dozens of different reasons why a person would join for example:

  • Build muscle
  • Lose weight
  • Get fitter
  • CrossFit
  • Improve overall health
  • Sports specific training (running, rugby, powerlifting etc.)
  • Bodybuilding

Segmenting your SMS groups makes absolute sense and makes your promotions easy to put together.

 

3. Get Your Timing Right

SMS is a high-speed marketing channel where recipients will read your message within the first 3 minutes which means if you want to book out all of your tables for your restaurant then send out an SMS later in the afternoon. The best times to send SMS messages are during work hours.

 

4. When Done Right, SMS Is Not Spamming

SMS scares a lot of business owners because they associate it with SPAM that is, receiving an unwanted offer from someone you do not know.

This is the definition of SPAMMING.

Professional bulk SMS marketing services follow 1 basic rule:

#1 Rule: Send highly-valuable, relevant offers to people who have given you explicit consent to receive SMS promotions and communications for you.

 

5. Generate A Flood Of Hungry Subscribers With An NBO (No-Brainer Offer)

In email they say “the money is in the list” and the same is even truer with SMS.

The more subscribers you have the more money you make so the goal is to get as many qualified people onto your lists as possible and an NBO is a great strategy to use here.

 

What is an NBO?

An NBO is more than a special offer, it’s a strategic offer designed to increase or decrease a key area of your business.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club has a $1 month offer where you get sent a new razor every month for $1 per month – that’s an NBO for men who can’t be bothered buying new razors all of the time.

BUT once you join the club for $1 you soon see the additional goodies they have available like face creams, gels, more expensive razors, brushes etc.

Key metric: Increase subscriber numbers

NBO: $1 monthly razor

The Dollar Shave Club is fine with breaking even with their NBO because they know that a good percentage of those people will buy more products and become profitable long term subscribers which dramatically increases their overall sales revenues.

 

Using An NBO To Drive More Subscribers

Similarly, by adopting the mindset of aggressively acquiring new subscribers you can send out weekly or monthly offers and drive some serious sales back to your business.

For example, a brand manager for a wine retailer here in Sydney, Australia were are able to outperform their email marketing sales volume by 300% by adding SMS to their marketing strategy!

That’s 3 times more sales just by using SMS but keep in mind you still need to match the offer to the right customer segment group.

 

Different types of NBO’s

Bundling

This is when you take a bunch of products or services and package them up into one deal. Typically this is matched to the specific audience they’re targeting.

  • Friendly payment terms: If you’re selling an expensive item you’re going to get a lot more customers by making it easy for them to buy. Offer extended payment terms, make the first 6 payments at 50%, make the first payment $1 etc. get creative.
  • Risk reversal guarantee: A risk-reversal offer is a strong guarantee that places all of the risk on the shoulder of the business which removes friction from the buying process for the customer.
  • For example, a guarantee might be: “Get 100% of your money back if you’re not satisfied”, whereas a risk-reversal offer would be: “Get 200% of your money back if you’re not satisfied.”
  • Risk reversal takes courage but the pay-off is huge.
  • Results in advance: Pay 50% up front and only pay the remainder when you’ve achieved your goal.
  • Pre-order discounts: Reduce the price only for people who pre-order.
  • Limited-time offer: Special off with a hard deadline.
  • Loss leader: If you’re selling a consumable then you would sell the first product at cost or even less.

 

6. Tell Them Who You Are, Don’t Leave Them Guessing

In some social settings, it can be advantageous to leave your audience guessing but it’s a terrible idea when it comes to SMS.

The last thing you want is to send out an SMS campaign and have your recipients having to guess who you are it really creates a lot of friction and for those who can’t figure out who you are that’s a lost sale.

Always state your brand name in the SMS.

Also, depending on the relationship you have with your subscribers it may make sense to personalise your SMS messages.

Most SMS providers will have a merge feature where you would input a short-code (i.e. #first name#) and the system will automatically populate this field for you.

For example, by adding in this short-code #first name# it will pull the first name of the recipient from the contact list into the SMS if there is no name it will use a fall-back term like “Hi there”.

Hi #first name#, Milligan’s has a 90% Off Special on knitted Santa jumpers go to www.santajumpers.com.au see you there!

 

7. Tell Them What To Do By Including A Call To Action

It’s only a small thing but adding a direct and clear call to action inside your SMS makes a huge impact on response rates from your SMS campaigns.

If you have an online sale, tell them to go to the web address and include the link and any other instructions.

If you want them to go to your store or trade show event give them the address.

 

8. Have Mobile Friendly Website Pages

If you’re looking to push people through to a website it’s best if that website looks good on mobile devices.

While you’ll still get people who will complete the desired outcome a lot of them will drop off which will increase the cost of the overall campaign.

The main factors are:

  1. Page speed

When people are on their mobile phones they expect pages to load quickly, in fact, Google found that 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. That’s half of your traffic gone and potential sales. Want to know how fast your page loads? Head over to this site to find out.

  1. Readability

People should be able to read your text without having to zoom or dragon their screen around to see everything on your site.

  1. Clarity

Make sure everything is very simple and clear so the visitor knows exactly what to do without having to think too much.

 

9. Be Polite And Include An Opt-Out In Every Message

Having an opt-out for SMS is vital because it’s such a personal marketing channel.

The last thing you want is to treat your subscribers like they’re caged animals with no hope of ever being released from promotional campaigns.

By having an opt-out option on your text messages it creates a sense of relief in the subscriber and shows that you’re a professional.

 

10. It’s Ok To Go Past 160 Characters

Most of your campaigns should be able to fit inside 160 characters but there will be times where you will need to go beyond that text limit.

Let’s say you need to type out a message that requires 300 characters just type out your message and when you send it out it’ll be stitched together into one long SMS message on the recipient’s side.

 

11. Don’t Text Too Often

Email and online SMS platforms share a lot in common but one major difference is message frequency.

People are ok with receiving daily emails from trusted and valuable sources but rarely will this ever be the case with SMS.

SMS requires a little more finesse since mobile users have a low tolerance for businesses that are constantly blasting their phone with SMS promotions. The only excpetion to this is if the person has joined your list knowing that you will text them frequently.

The typical frequency cap is 1 SMS per week but our clients will typically send one SMS per fortnight ot even once per month. I wouldn’t recommend texting less than that just in case a person forgets they subscribed to your list.

Either way you want to ensure that every time you message them that you have something good to talk about.

If you want to send more then you’d need to state this clearly on the opt-in form before they subscribe.

 

12. Promote Your Offer

Just like with email you need to promote your SMS offer in order to get subscribers so take note of all of the places where potential or new customers are engaging with you and look to insert your SMS promotion into that channel.

Typical places to promote your SMS channel are:

  • Website
  • Email newsletters
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Direct mail
  • Sandwich board
  • Point of sale
  • Storefront
  • Banner ads
  • Relevant blog content
  • Packaging (e.g. pizza box)
  • Receipts
  • Pamphlets

 

13. Track Performance

A lot of marketers especially want to track everything and that’s fine but most business owners I talk to can’t really be bothered with it and when it comes to SMS it’s ok if you don’t want to track.

BUT as your list grows it does become important because guesswork can cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in revenue if you’re not sure what makes your subscribers buy.

My advice is to keep it as simple as possible, the big trap you can fall into is spending half your day pouring over spreadsheets of data – don’t do this.

If you’re adding a link to your SMS message then add a tracking tag (like this one) and then shorten that link using this tool so you can see inside your Google analytics which traffic came from where.

 

14. Here Are 10 Metrics That You May Want To Track:

  1. List growth rate (subscription rate): How many people are joining your lists daily, weekly, monthly, annually?
  2. Unsubscribe Rate: How many unsubscribes do you get daily, weekly, monthly, annually? Know what your baseline numbers are here so you can see how different campaigns affect those numbers.
  3. Join/Unsubscribe Ratio: Ratios are a great way to see what is happening at a glance. During the month of January how many people joined X list vs. how many people unsubscribed?
  4. Attribution: What marketing channels are contributing to your list growth? Also, if possible, uncover which marketing channels are delivering you the best quality opt-ins.
  5. List Size: Is your list size growing, shrinking or staying the same?
  6. List value: Knowing what your list is worth to your company is essential, it could be an invaluable asset worth $1,000’s or $10,000’s per year or more.
  7. Revenue Per Subscriber: Another good metric to be aware of is your revenue per subscriber. If the revenue value of each subscriber is dropping then it could mean you have too many unresponsive subscribers on your list and that you need to do some house cleaning (removing people who are unresponsive to your SMS’s)
  8. Conversion rate: Always a good metric to know. Of the people who responded to your SMS message how many of them converted into a sale?
  9. Response rate: How many people are responding to your offers?
  10. SMS Lifecycle: How long do people stay on your list before unsubscribing? If you can double that lifecycle you double your sales revenue.

 

15. Reduce Unsubscribe Rates With These 3 Tricks

One of your main goals is to reduce unsubscribe rates which can be high if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Here are 3 great strategies to reduce unsubscribe rates:

 

1. Insider Information & Exclusive Offers

Secret insider information invites and offers elevate our status, it taps into that superiority.

You: “Wow! Where did you get those shoes, they’re not available until next season!!”

Friend: “I’m part of a special club.”

How bad do you want to join that club? And if you are able to join how reluctant are you to want to leave?

 

2. Make It Harder For People To Subscribe

This may seem to go against the rule of getting as many people onto your list as possible but it’s not.

People don’t value what is free.

People value things that are hard to attain.

By having restrictions or hoops that people have to jump through instantly creates tension and curiosity around joining your SMS list.

This creates massive word of mouth which in turn accelerates subscriber numbers.

 

3. Invite Only

This one takes patience but works in the same way as the above strategy because it creates instant exclusivity and by giving each new person only 3 invites to share (for example) it means that you can grow your subscriber numbers exponentially.

 

16. Use SMS To Boost Other Channels

Don’t use SMS in isolation use it to power up your other marketing channels.

For example if you have an important newsletter going out send everyone an SMS asking if they’d received it.

This instantly increases your email open rates.

The same is true for other channels including:

  • Webinars
  • Product launches
  • Opening nights
  • Special events
  • Trade show traffic
  • Cart recovery

I recommend using this strategy sparingly throughout the year.

 

17. Be Aware Of SMS Marketing Policies

To ensure you’re following SMS marketing best practices it’s important that you or your marketing team are aware of the laws around SMS.

While there aren’t a lot of policies to keep in mind the fines for not following them can be severe so it’s important to understand what you can and cannot do.

The 3 main rules you must abide by are:

  1. Consent: You must ensure that every single subscriber in your list has given you explicit consent to send them SMS promotions.
  2. Identification: Tell the subscriber who you are inside the message.
  3. Unsubscribe option: Having an opt-out option clearly available.

References:

2003 SPAM Act (SMS Marketing Australia)

ACMA

 

Send SMS From Email With Email To SMS

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Email to SMS: how to send SMS by email

 

What is email to SMS?

Email to SMS uses SMS gateway technology to let you send a standard email as a text message to any mobile phone. Since it is using an online SMS service you can send both personal and business purposes allowing you to send 1 or 1,000’s of text messages. There’s no confusing integration process, software to install or learning curve required, once you’ve created your SMS account you can now fire up your favourite email program and start sending SMS messages!

 

Why use email to SMS?

Integrates into your personal or company email

The best thing about using this technology is that there is not software integration required, simply open up your email client whether it’s cloud-based (Gmail, Yahoo etc.) software (Outlook, Mozilla etc.) or part of your CRM (Hubspot, Salesforce etc.)

As long as you have the “To” and “Subject” line fields you can send an SMS.

 

Email and SMS under one roof

If you’re an email power-user or spend a lot of time communicating with people from your email platform then it makes sense to keep everything on that same interface.

To create a more efficient workspace this feature means that you don’t need to be switching back and forth between two areas.

 

High open rates

One of the great challenges with email, especially when sending bulk messages is that some will get blocked by SPAM filters and accidentally ignored by the recipient.

On average only 20.81% of email messages get opened.

Compare that to 98% open rates with SMS.

By converting your email message into an SMS you get the familiarity of email and the open rate of SMS making it the perfect tool to communication with customers, parents or patients.

 

Choose where you want replies to go

You can have all of you replies go to mobile (if you want to handle the replies personally) or to email (if you want to have your team handle them) it’s up to you.

 

Give access to anyone

Anyone on your team can use this feature all they need is the account password or you can set them up as a sub-account so they can send SMS messages from their own SMS account.

 

Use a familiar interface

One of the problems with having a new platform is learning the features and nuances of how to use it effectively.

Email to SMS is a speedy option especially if you are giving access to team members since all you need to do is give them the format for the “to:” and “subject lines:” fields and they will be sending messages in minutes since they will already be familiar with the email platform.

 

Long form SMS messages

It can be a little tough squeezing a detailed message into 160 characters (stand SMS message limit) but with long-form messaging you can expand that message to 450 characters which stitches together multiple SMS messages into one SMS on the recipients end.

 

International or local texts

Just like email you can send your SMS to other countries as long as that country has mobile carrier providers set up.

 

How does it work?

Sending an SMS from your email client

Sending an SMS from email is easy, first make sure you set up your SMS account.

On open up your email program and enter the following:

To field: recipient’s mobile number @ 160.com.au

Subject line: your mobile number including the ‘61’ @ your account password

Example:

0412345678@160.com.au

61487654321@shoewarehouse

Then simply type out your email, hit “send” and our system will automatically convert it into an SMS and send it off to the recipient.

 

Can I get replies sent back to my email?

To field: recipient’s mobile number including the ‘(61)’ @ 160.com.au

Subject line: enter in an exclamation mark (!) then enter your mobile number @ your account password

Example:

0412345678@160.com.au

!61487654321@shoewarehouse

Then simply type out your email, hit “send” and our system will automatically convert it into an SMS and send it off to the recipient.

 

How to send a branded email to SMS message

To field: recipient’s mobile number @ 160.com.au

Subject line: then enter your mobile number including the ‘61’ with your brand name in brackets () @ your account password

Example:

0412345678@160.com.au

61487654321(shoewarehouse)@shoewarehouse

Then simply type out your email, hit “send” and our system will automatically convert it into an SMS and send it off to the recipient.

 

Bulk email to SMS

You’re not restricted to sending just one SMS message at a time, just like with email you can add all of the people you want to send a text message to and send out a bulk SMS.

 

2-Way email to SMS

2-Way technology means that you can send and receive SMS messages using your email software.

 

Delivery receipts

Delivery reports are an essential tool because they let you know who received your SMS and who didn’t.

 

Summary

Email to SMS is good feature for people who just want to send and receive text messages as well as people who are heavy email users who don’t want to be swapping from one platform to another, by having everything under the same roof you can combine the speed and familiarity of email and the performance of SMS at your fingertips.

 

 

SMS Marketing From Scratch In 7 steps

Friday, November 16th, 2018

SMS Marketing From Scratch In 7 steps

If you’ve sent a text message to more than one person before then the good news is that you have almost everything you need to set up an SMS marketing campaign.

The only additional skills required are setting up an SMS lead capture process (which is surprisingly simple) and of course, coming up with offers to drive ready-to-buy customers into your SMS list.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the 7 steps needed to put together your first SMS list so you can start generating revenue.

 

Step 1: Create a free account

The best thing about bulk SMS is that you only pay when you send text messages it’s completely free to start collecting leads but in order to do that you need to have an account and set everything up correctly.

Click here to create your free account.

 

Step 2: Send yourself a text message

Inside your account, you’ll see that you have free online SMS credits this is so you can get a feel for how it all works.

It is highly recommended that you send yourself an SMS and also someone else.

 

Step 3: Create segmented lists

One of the keys to successful SMS marketing is sending relevant promotions and information.

The way you do this is by creating separate contact groups.

There are plenty of ways to split up your SMS contact groups, for example:

Product based (retail store)

  • Computers
  • TV’s
  • Lounges
  • Kitchen

Interest based (diet supplement company)

  • Building muscle
  • Losing weight
  • Improving sports performance

 

Step 4: Create keywords & shortcodes

Once the groups have been created you’ll need to assign a unique keyword to that group.

This is important because that keyword tells the online SMS system where to place that lead or subscriber.

Keyword tips:

Make the keyword as short as possible, if you have a storewide 50% off special then it could be “STORE50” for example.

Shortcodes are a special short digit code or phone number that the person text’s the keyword back to, for example:

Text STORE50 to 12345 and get a special 50% coupon code to use for any online purchase!

“12345” is the shortcode in this example.

Once you’ve organised your keyword it’s time to create an irresistible offer.

 

Step 5: Create an irresistible offer for each group

There will be times where you’ll be running a special promotional offer which you can use to build your list the only problem is that if your promotion only runs for 48 hours then you only have 48 hours to build a list.

The best type of offers are more evergreen in nature this allows you to generate new leads and subscribers all year round while in addition to these you can use the limited time offer to give your contact groups an added boost in subscribers.

The most common promotion offers are:

  • Buy One, Get One Free
  • Free Delivery
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Standard Discounts (10% off etc.)
  • Free Workshops
  • Demographic-Based Discounts (student, elderly etc.)
  • Free ‘X’ If You Buy Before ‘Y’
  • Free Trials/Try Before You Buy
  • Free ‘X’ When You Buy ‘Y’
  • Package Deals
  • Better Payment Terms
  • Free reports and guides

 

Tips for creating great offers:

  • Make different offers for each contact group. Relevancy is incredibly important in the SMS world. The moment you send an offer that doesn’t solve a problem or help them move toward a desirable goal is the moment you start to become SPAM.
  • Make the offer irresistible. Think about the problem that they’re trying to solve or the goal they are trying to accomplish and then think how you could price it or package it up so that it would be almost impossible to not take up. Do keep in mind that you want to be able to sell to them in the future so you don’t want to give them everything and have nothing to promote later.
  • Look at what your competitors are offering on their websites and marketing materials. If they’ve been using an offer for a long time it would be worth modelling and innovating on.
  • Look at what unrelated industries are offering. Again, if they have longstanding offers then it’s worth seeing if you can borrow that same model and use it for yourself.
  • Test your evergreen offers. If you’re not sure which offer will work best then let the market tell you. Put together 3 offer options and promote each one for 30-60 days. This should give you enough data to make a decision.

 

Step 6: Promote your offer

Once you have your irresistible offer it’s time to get as many eyeballs on it as possible.

  • Email
  • Website
  • POS
  • OPL (other people’s customers)
  • Sandwich boards
  • Flyers and newspapers
  • In-store material
  • Signage
  • Social media
  • Online ads

 

Step 7: Send powerful follow up campaigns

The best part about building an SMS list of qualified leads and customers is that you can continue to generate sales on demand just by sending out a simple SMS campaign and because the open and response are so high with SMS you could expect to generate 2-3 times the volume of sales as your email campaigns.

 

4 Ways Solar Energy Companies Are Using SMS To Grow

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

4 Ways Solar Energy Companies Are Using SMS To Grow

 

Solar energy companies and SMS have always been quite close largely because it allows solar companies to not only generate quality sales leads but also manage customers after the sale.

In this article, I’ll cover how solar companies are using SMS marketing to grow their business.

 

1. Generating Solar Sales Leads With SMS Marketing

Lead generation is at the heart of any good customer acquisition strategy.

The goal with solar marketing is to ensure that you’re spending the majority of your time in front of people who are close to making a buying decision but all too often companies send leads to their salespeople that are just not ready for a sales conversation.

For example, email lead generation is good but generally speaking that lead is gathering information.

They’re in information seeking mode.

The power of email marketing is sending the subscriber information that is designed to educate and build demand for your specific solutions which then advances that person down the buying process to the point of being interested in having a sales conversation.

As you may have guessed this does require a little bit of marketing skill.

SMS lead generation works fundamentally in the same way as an email with the key difference being that the people who subscribe to that SMS list have a higher likelihood of openness to having a sales conversation about your solar energy solutions.

The reason for this is that they’re giving you their mobile number.

When they give you their personal mobile number they are expecting you to contact them via SMS or even by phone.

 

Setting Up Your SMS Lead Generation Machine

This is simply setting up the online SMS service so that it can collect the leads for you.

There are 3 parts:

  1. Contact Group

This is the place where your leads (mobile numbers) will be stored.

  1. Key Phrase

This is a short key phrase that identifies the offer.

  1. Short/Long Code

This is the phone number that they text the key phrase back to.

For example:

Let’s imagine that we’ve set up a contact group named “Solar December Leads” to collect lead information.

Next, we put our promotion together:

Text “SOLARDEC” to 04xxxxxxxx to see our December Solar Energy Deals. Up to 42% off solar system solutions during December only!

SOLARDEC is the key phrase and 04xxxxxxxx is the long code – a shortcode is a short version of the long code for example 9999.

When anyone texts SOLARDEC to 04xxxxxxxx our system will store that sales lead into the Solar December Leads contact group for you to follow up with.

 

 

Uploading Existing Leads

You may already have a spreadsheet full of mobile leads which is great because all you need to do is upload them and you can start sending out SMS messages right away.

 

Promote

Just like email, you’ll need to get this promotion in front of as many people as possible which means integrating this into your existing marketing channels which may include:

  • Website
  • Email newsletters
  • Direct mail
  • Social media
  • Signage
  • Showroom etc.

Now you will begin to get leads coming into your contact groups to follow up with.

 

2. Lead Follow Up

The money is in the follow up as they say.

The goal in this stage is to move them off the SMS channel and onto a phone call using a bulk SMS campaign.

Due to the nature of solar products buyers will be happy to discuss possible options.

You can use something like the following:

Thank you for your inquiry with ACME Solar solutions and our December offer.  Wondering if you’d be open to a quick 10 minute consultation to find out what you’re after – When would be the best time to call? Regards, Mike Acme Solar

If you get no response then follow up again 1-2 days later with a similar text message but with an urgency trigger.

Hi, just following up about your inquiry into our solar energy systems. Please note that our December offer is ending on the 31st.  Are you available this week for a quick 10 minute call to discuss exactly what you’re after and if we have the right solutions available? Regards, Mike ACME Solar.

Each day that goes by that lead gets colder so you need to get them on the phone as soon as possible

If you still receive no response then they could still be looking for options and not quite ready to commit to a direct phone call.

In this case, move them to a general leads contact group so you can follow up every month with a new promotion to get them onto a call.

 

3. Installation & Payment Reminders

Efficient communication between your company and the customer is critical to make the whole process smooth.

While calling is a good option, most of the time it’s not necessary or appropriate so a less intrusive, yet equally effective method is to shoot them a quick text.

For example, couriers use SMS for inform customers about deliver times and set up reminders which help in 2 ways:

  1. This reminds the customer of the delivery and gives them time to reply back with availability options.
  2. Helps the courier improve their efficiency by not wasting time showing up to the home with no one there to receive the goods.

In solar you can use SMS to confirm and remind the customer of installation times by using something like the following:

Hi Jill, a quick text to remind you that our ACME Solar team will begin installation on the 12/01/19. If you need to reschedule then this must be done by 31/12/18. Jack, Acme Solar.

Once you sign up a new customer and confirm the installation dates schedule your reminder or send this back to your admin person to organise.

This means you can forget about it and move on to the next task if the customer needs to reschedule you’ll get the notification and you can either reply or call them back to set a new date.

 

 

Payment Reminders

Chances are your customer’s are on a payment plan so you’d want to set up automated reminders letting the customer know when each payment is due to come out.

There’s nothing worse than a payment defaulting because it creates added costs for your company.

A simple text like the following is all that is needed:

Hi Jill, a friendly reminder to let you know that your next payment will be direct-debited from your account on 12/2/19. Kind regards, Jack at ACME Solar.

If a payment was unsuccessful you can send the following:

Hi Jill, yesterday’s payment was unsuccessful please reply to this text today to let me know when we can deduct the funds to get your account up to date and help you avoid penalties. Kind regards, Jack ACME Solar.

 

 

4. Team Communication

Internal communication amongst teams is essential for efficiency and customer management.

If the customer is unable to confirm an installation time then you can let your team know so that they can fill that day with another customer.

If the customer had a poor experience then it’s helpful to let your team know before calling the customer to discuss.

 

Summary

The common mistake many businesses make is they use SMS in only one area when in fact it should be integrated into any area of your business that requires immediate attention from your prospect or customer.

There are a lot of marketing tools that are more passive in nature like email marketing and social media etc. that are good for updating but people give higher priority to text messages than these other media so if what you need to say is urgent then SMS is ideal.

SMS has a 98% open rate making it very much a grab ‘em by the shirt-collar type of tool so is best used for mission-critical areas like:

  • Generating high-interest sales leads
  • Confirming installation times
  • Payment reminders and defaults
  • Handling customer complaints

 

Related articles:

How To Generate Leads With SMS Marketing (Step-By-Step Guide)

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

 

How To Generate Leads With SMS Marketing

 

Arguably, the greatest skill in the world of business is knowing how to generate a list of hungry buyers…from scratch that you can consistently follow up with to generate sales on demand.

Email marketing is one of my favourite lead generation strategies but when it comes to attracting qualified buyers and increased conversion rates it’s tough to beat SMS marketing.

Here is what Smart Insights had to say about the power of SMS:

  • Over 97% of text messages are read within the first four minutes.
  • 19% of people will click a link in an SMS campaign rather than just 4.2% for emails.
  • SMS campaigns receive average response rates of 30%, compared to 4% for emails.

In this short guide, you’ll learn the 4 key phases to building an SMS list of hungry buyers from scratch that will help you drive more leads, bookings and appointments into your business regardless of industry so you can ultimately generate sales on demand.

 

 The Secret To A Successful Bulk SMS Marketing Campaign

David Deutsch one of the most sought-after direct response copywriters in the world said that the best marketers obsess about their customer.

Turns out that the best marketers eat, sleep and breathe everything about the person they are trying to influence.

Makes sense.

The late Jim Camp, known as the most feared negotiator on the planet who routinely negotiated deals worth half a billion dollars had this interesting insight:

“You’re always safe as long as you’re in the other person’s world.”

As long as you’re talking about what the other person wants and the problems they are experiencing you are then able to guide them towards your solution.

In fact, if you look at any of the best advertisers, before they write a single word they will get a clear picture of who they are writing their advertising for.

Here’s the good news.

Since you’re the business owner or marketer for your product, chances are you already have a good idea of who your different customer types are.

But you may not have completely dimensionalised yet.

We do this by creating a Buyer Persona.

 

What Is A Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents an actual real customer segment.

For example, a personal trainer may help:

  • The skinny guy who wants to put on muscle.
  • The 40+ male who wants to get abs.
  • The woman who is 10 kilos overweight and wants to look amazing again.
  • The person who has suffered an injury and needs to rehabilitate and strengthen that specific area.
  • The person who secretly fears being dropped from their team and wants to become a high-performer in their sport.

It’s impossible to effectively appeal to every one of these people in one advertisement.

Each of these people has a unique problem and therefore desires a unique outcome.

How can you speak to the 40+ male who wants to get abs while also talking to the skinny who wants to build muscle? They may seem similar – they are not.

You can’t.

Yet, a lot of businesses try.

The result is poor marketing performance.

By developing a buyer persona for each person you will be able to use the right words, angles, hot buttons and offers that will be incredibly hard for them to ignore.

 

PHASE 1: Developing Your Buyer Persona

Below I’ve put together a list of questions to ask yourself about each customer group you serve.

You don’t need to have an answer for every single question you may be able to get away with basic demographics and what that person wants and still generate leads with SMS but I’ve included some other questions to get you thinking from different angles.

There are 3 basic areas to look at:

  1. Demographics
  2. Motivators
  3. Habits and beliefs

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

This helps you to understand their personal situation to give you an idea of potential solutions or bundles would be more appealing and also how you write to them so here are some questions…

  • Are they male or female?
  • Do they own a business?
  • Are they employed? What position?
  • How much do they earn per year?
  • Are they married with kids? Married with no kids? Single with kids? Single professional? De-facto?

 

MOTIVATORS

This helps you understand their internal motivators.

By knowing what motivates your buyer persona you can connect these to your solutions and build awareness around other solutions they may not have considered.

  • What goals does your buyer persona want to accomplish? (as it relates to your product or service)
  • What do they think is preventing them from achieving those goals? (personal life, education/experience, finances, emotions)
  • How does not solving that problem affect them? (personal life, education/experience, finances, emotions)
  • What undesirable symptoms are they experiencing as a result of those problems?
  • Is there a root problem that your persona is unaware of that is actually feeding those undesirable symptoms?
  • What have they tried in the past to solve their problem?
  • What wants and desires does your buyer persona have?
  • Who do they need to rationalise their buying decision to? (Boss? Significant other etc.)
  • What do they ultimately want to achieve by using your solution? (Promotion, admiration, better relationships etc.)

 

HABITS & BELIEFS

  • Where do they spend their time online? (ex. Which blogs do they read? Facebook groups etc.)
  • When they want to search for a solution like yours, what keywords do they type into Google or Bing?
  • What do they believe about the current problem they have? (What are the correct assumptions and what are the incorrect assumptions?)
  • What do they believe about the solution they think they need? (Are there any incorrect assumptions?)

Here are 3 examples of buyer personas:

 

 

 

 

START COLLECTING CUSTOMER INFORMATION

  1. Talk to your frontline team (sales reps, customer service, account managers etc.) to learn about the specific wants, needs, pains and desires of each buyer persona.
  2. Put all of this information on to a document, digital is ok but paper is better.
  3. Go to Google images and find a photo of a person that would represent your buyer persona.
  4. Give your persona a name

 

 

 

 

OFFERS 101

What would your buyer persona find irresistible?

Without a finely tuned offer, you’re not going to generate leads, period.

This is why building your persona is important, because it lets you know what offer is likely to appeal to that specific person.

First, what is an offer?

You’re offering something that is of value to another person.

 “You want a bottle of milk to make coffee? I have a bottle of milk, would you like it?”

That’s an offer.

Here’s a quick example:

If you’re a real estate agent and you want to generate a list of people who are currently thinking about putting their home on the market you can offer them an informational guide outlining how much properties are selling for in their location.

Informational type offers are great because they can be used in virtually any industry, especially if you’re selling products or services that require a customer to engage in research before buying.

 

FRONTEND VS. BACKEND OFFERS

The front end offer is the offer that gets people on to your list = lead/customer acquisition

The back end offer is what keeps people on your list = repeat sales generation

Before you craft your first offer you should think about what types of backend offers you’re going to promote to a new subscriber once they get on your list.

For example: will your front end offer be a trial and then your backend offer the full solution at a reduced price?

Or will your front end offer be your full solution and your back end offer complimentary to that solution?

It’s best to create a plan before you develop your first offer.

 

12 BASIC OFFER TYPES

Below I’ve listed 11 different offer types which are popular with SMS – you can see these in more detail on our blog post “20 Promotional Offers To Generate More Customer Leads

  1. Buy One, Get One Free
  2. Free Delivery
  3. Gift Vouchers
  4. Standard Discounts (10% off etc.)
  5. Free Workshops
  6. Demographic-Based Discounts (student, elderly etc.)
  7. Free ‘X’ If You Buy Before ‘Y’
  8. Free Trials/Try Before You Buy
  9. Free ‘X’ When You Buy ‘Y’
  10. Package Deals
  11. Better Payment Terms
  12. Free reports and guides

 

PHASE 2: CRAFTING AN IRRESISTIBLE SMS OFFER

Remember the story of Hansel & Gretal?

The witch who built that house made of candy really understood her target market.

As a child with an incredible sweet tooth, there would be nothing more magnificent than stumbling upon an entire house made of candy, right?

With that in mind, it’s time to craft an offer that would be very difficult for your buyer persona to ignore.

The key to crafting an irresistible offer comes down to having a clear understanding of the specific pain point that the prospective buyer is grappling with as well as the specific desired result that they ultimately want.

The offer needs to bridge the gap between those two worlds (full solution) or help a person take the first step toward their desired goal (trial or part of the solution).

Full solution example: If you’re a personal trainer and your buyer persona (typically) wants to lose 10 kilos in less than 90 days then that needs to be the offer (assuming you can fulfill on that promise).

Trial or part of solution example: Free 30 day weight loss meal plan.

 

What offers is your buyer persona currently being exposed to?

The more a person sees an offer the more de-sensitised they become to it.

The last thing you want to trigger is this response:

“Oh yeah, I’ve heard/seen/tried that before”

This will deaden the impact of your offer.

It’s critical to understand what is currently being offered so you can make a different offer.

The BEST strategy is to come up with a completely unique offer that your customer has never seen before.

 

Note down all of the existing offers on the market:

  • Can you make your offer better or even totally unique?
  • Can you make the payment plan more favourable?
  • Can you deliver a result faster?
  • Do you deliver the result in a new and interesting way?
  • Do you specialise in solving specific problems inside niches?

Once you have a rough idea of what your offer is it’s time to polish it up and run it through the 4U’s…

 

THE 4U’s

The 4U’s is a popular marketing framework that is used by many copywriters to take an ordinary offer and make it extraordinary.

The 4U’s stands for:

  1. Useful
  2. Urgency
  3. Unique
  4. Ultra-specific

For example:

Lose weight before summer hits with our Pre-Summer Fit Bootcamp. Text “SFIT” to XXXXXXXX and we’ll text you the details.

Let’s run this through the 4U framework:

New Mums! Lose 12 kilos in 2 months with our ‘New Mums Pre-Summer Fit Bootcamp’. Text “SFIT” to XXXXXXXX and we’ll text you the details. Only 40 spots available. Offer ends 30-09-2018.

  1. Is it useful?

We’re targeting new mums who are having trouble losing the baby weight and are keen to lose it before summer.

  1. Is there urgency?

40 spots only + offer ending 30-09-2018.

  1. Is it Unique?

The boot camp is targeted at new mums carrying baby weight so the workouts will be more specific so solving that problem, you could argue that it is unique in that sense.

  1. Is it ultra-specific?

12 kilos in 2 months tells the reader what result they can expect to achieve and in what timeframe.

Do you need to use all 4U’s?

No, at the very least you want 2 but preferably 3.

Now that you have your target customer in mind and the irresistible offer it’s time to build the lead capture system.

 

PHASE 3: SETTING UP YOUR LEAD CAPTURE SYSTEM WITH 160.COM.AU

Let me walk you through the mechanics of SMS lead capture.

The worst thing you do can in SMS marketing is piling everyone into the same contact group.

You know which buyer personas you want to target and now it’s time to set up different group segments so we keep each group separated.

 

USE SEGMENTATION TO IMPROVE CONVERSION RATES

In SMS we segment each persona by using what I call ‘Group Buckets’.

Group buckets are contact groups that pull in new subscribers based on the keyword a potential customer has texted to you.

For example:

Let’s say I am targeting personal trainers to help them grow their PT business’s and I create a ‘group bucket’ named “Personal Trainer Pete” (based on my buyer persona) and I link that contact group to the keyword ‘KB50’ – the offer my look like the following:

Text ‘KB50’ to XXXXXXXX and get 50% off my ‘2x Kettlebell Master Training Method’ that my students have used to double their personal training business in as little as 60 days.

When anyone texts the keyword ‘KB50’ they will be automatically added to the ‘Personal Trainer Pete’ contact group for me to follow up with at my leisure.

Let’s create our first Group Bucket:

STEP 1: once you’ve logged into your online SMS account you’ll see this screen:

 

 

STEP 2: Select I want to receive replies on “mobile number for communication groups” and click on the “contacts” button underneath.

 

 

STEP 3: In the “group name field” I’ll add in my buyer persona name, click the drop-down box and make sure “messaging group” is selected and click on the “apply changes” button.

 

 

STEP 4: Now that your new contact group bucket has been created we need to link a special keyword to that group. Click on the “0 records” link on the far right.

 

 

STEP 5: Enter in the special keyword you want to be associated with this account. Add your keyword into the “Keyword” field and then click the “update changes” button on the right.

 

 

STEP 6: I’ve entered in the keyword: “KB50” (screenshot below) for which I’ll use to give away Kettlebell Classes for 50% off for example.

Notice that there are instructions at the top that tell you how to use the keyword to get people to join your SMS list (see below).

In this example when someone texts KB50 to 61401463595 they are automatically added to the KB50 group bucket.

There are also instructions on how people can unsubscribe from your list also.

This will be different for every new group you create.

That’s it!

You have now created an SMS group so that whenever anyone texts your special keyword to the virtual mobile number provided they will be automatically added to this group.

 

 

 

 

PHASE 4: PROMOTION

All of the groundwork has been completed you now have:

  1. A good idea of your buyer persona
  2. What specific offer they would find irresistible
  3. Set up your lead capture machine

All you need to do now is fill it up with customer leads and we do this by promoting your offer.

The best place to start your promotional campaign is to leverage your existing marketing channels and then once you know you have a proven winner (an offer that generates a good number of leads predictably then you would look to moving into other channels.)

Assess your existing marketing channels:

  • Website: This new promotion should be used in high-traffic areas (i.e. your website homepage) and areas that are relevant to that promotion. For example, a general health website would likely cover different areas like yoga, gut health, nutrition, diets etc. so they would have different promotions running to capture these audiences so it would make sense to run a yoga promotion on any page or article that talks about that topic.
  • Blog content: Placing a promotion on your blog articles is a fantastic way to move the relationship ahead and gain a commitment.
  • Paid Ads: If you’re running paid ads then promoting your offer on this channel helps you reach people who haven’t yet made it to your site and who are more highly committed to a solution like yours.
  • Email/Newsletter: Since people are already happy to hear from you by subscribing to your list there will be a good number who would also be open to the idea of receiving SMS messages from you also. Just be sure that you create a special aura around becoming an SMS subscriber Moving people from one channel to another is a good way to extend your reach. Creating a special SMS group will likely improve your sales numbers due to the incredibly high open and response rates. Email and SMS marketing make a fantastic one-two punch so put them to work together.
  • Social Media: It goes without saying that your promotion should walk side-by-side with your social media marketing campaigns.
  • Influencers: Influencers can really give your promotion legs so it may be worth testing. Influencers that you do not have an existing relationship with will want to be compensated so it’s best you have a proven offer that works predictably there is also an opportunity to trade goods for influencer promotion.
  • Store POS: Point of sale is a good spot because you’re getting your promotion in front of proven buyers.
  • Sandwich Board/Signage: You’ll want to be fairly active with your SMS promotion and get it onto as many of your marketing channels as possible.

 

Where Are We?

  1. Phase 1: Developed a basic buyer persona
  2. Phase 2: Created a frontend offer and have prepared your backend offers
  3. Phase 3: Built our SMS lead capture system
  4. Phase 4: Made a list of promotional channels to integrate our SMS offer into

That’s it.

Once you begin to build up your list you will now have a growing group of targeted leads that you can send out bulk SMS marketing campaigns to generate sales literally on demand!

 

Ready To Try SMS Marketing?

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20 Promotional Offers To Generate More Customer Leads

Tuesday, 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 bulk SMS list.

Below I’ve listed 20 proven promotional ideas that you can use as inspiration for driving more hungry buyers into your online text messaging 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.

 

Now that you’re beginning to build up your SMS list, you can generate sales on demand by simply sending out SMS marketing campaigns.

 

5 Tips For Creating Sales Content For Your Fitness Business

Thursday, 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 had to do cold calling?

Ask any sales pro and they’ll tell you you that if the person on the other line is not curious about what you have to offer the call is over.

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.