Second of three parts.
Note: If you’re not familiar with some common text messaging abbreviations I’ve included below, please check out Webopedia.
My third and youngest son just started his freshman year in college. My wife and I are now empty nesters! OMG
He said to me, “Dad, don’t call me, I don’t like talking on the phone. Dad, don’t e-mail me, I don’t do emails. Text me, I’ll communicate with you and Mom by text.”
I decided to do a controlled experiment to see if what he said was true. I knew at some point my new college student would be in need of more cash or would soon request a care package from home. PDQ
It didn’t take long for me to receive a text from him on my iPhone that he needed more funds to purchase two more books that we didn’t get during our initial visit to the bookstore. NP
So on with the experiment. I called him, no response. I emailed, no response. I texted, and almost instantly got a response!
The profound impact of this new messaging technology has altered the way we interact and communicate with one another. The younger generations have embraced the new phone/texting medium, and in doing so have set the standards for this new revolutionary form of communication. What not so long ago was non-existent is now mainstream! T+
So I took classes on how to effectively communicate via e-mail. PBOOK
I worked hard learning how to write, design and structure websites. WWW
Now, I have to learn how to effectively communicate on my mobile phone! UGTBK
If we are going to use this new medium of the mobile phone, how do we utilize it most effectively as retailers? If generations are connected and use their mobile device to gather information on our businesses and our products and services, how do we use it to promote traffic in our showrooms and, most important, generate sales?
The answer is to communicate directly, instantly, to your customers and prospects.
Talk to your customers
SMS stands for Short Message Service, and it’s also commonly referred to as Text Messaging. It’s text only and lets you send messages that are no more than 160 characters.
MMS stands for Multimedia Message Service, which can include audio, video and pictures, and up to 1000 characters of text.
SMS has a higher open rate than emails. In fact, recipients open 95 percent of text messages within five minutes of receiving them. Compare that to emails that only have an open rate of just 5 percent. This is a huge indicator of trust: SMS recipients tend to trust their senders because the SPAM rate for text messages is below 10 percent. In other words, out of 10 text messages, only 1 is considered unsolicited.
As a business owner, you can use SMS marketing in two ways:
• Use it in direct marketing by sending a text message directly to your mobile subscriber list and make compelling offers to drive them to purchase.
• Use it to enhance other forms of marketing you already are doing. SMS marketing can enhance other advertising methods in two ways: by connecting traditional mass advertising media like TV, radio and print with your mobile-friendly website, social media accounts or apps; and by allowing you to build very detailed customer profiles.
A restaurant sent out an SMS to its customers who chose to opt into the restaurant’s loyalty program. On Friday at 10:30 a.m. and then again at 4 p.m., text messages went out to its customer mailing list. The offer was BOGO (Buy One Get One) drink specials between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
In addition, the restaurant chain sent out an MMS smart coupon with photography and text offering $4 appetizers (one per customer) to be redeemed during Happy Hour.
Needless to say, the bar and restaurant were packed that evening!
In another example, a hardware retailer ran a 30-second television advertisement. At the end of the commercial there appeared an offer for a free set of screwdrivers, redeemable two ways:
• If customers came into the store and signed up to be included in the store’s loyalty program, or
• Customers could simply text a number in the convenience of their living room and sign up right then and there. They could then pick up the giveaway at the store.
The response was overwhelming. Plus, once a customer signed up, a text message was sent out immediately that included a note of thanks and a coupon that offered 30 percent off a single purchase within three days. Again, the conversion rate was tremendous.
Using the mobile phone to employ effective marketing strategies that enhance your business is an exciting new way to produce measurable results.
Ed Borowsky is CEO of Monarch Advertising.
Ed Borowsky Blog
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