Text Message Marketing: Explained

what is text message marketing?

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Text message marketing is as simple as it sounds. It involves sending text messages (SMS) to existing/potential customers to promote your business. This medium of marketing presents many opportunities: 

  • You can deliver marketing straight to consumers’ pockets.
  • You can develop close customer relationships with two-way conversations.
  • Or, if you don’t have the resources to respond, you could send mass texts that still feel a lot more personalised than a social media post or email.

Texting isn’t just a way to chat with friends, It’s also a powerful mobile marketing tool for small businesses.

How Does Text Message Marketing Work? 

Firstly, your business needs to build up a data database of subscribers. A subscriber is a customer, prospect or person, that has opted-in to receive marketing messages from you, specifically in this instance – SMS messages. 

Once you have a list of subscribers that have opted-in to receive communications from you – find yourself a text messaging service (or Unaro, of course). These services simplify the whole process whilst offering automation to your campaigns. You can organise your data lists and analyse the performance of your SMS campaigns.

Marketing Preferences

When collecting data, it’s important to ensure that all marketing preferences are collected accurately and are kept up-to-date. For example, if they only opt-in to receive Text and Emails, this means you can not contact them by Telephone or with Direct Mail. Also remember your contact list should be able to unsubscribe at any time.

Frequency Of Messages

There’s no better feeling than getting great results from a marketing campaign. However, try to be conscious of how many texts you’re sending to your subscribers – as over-sending can lead to subscribers feeling harassed. This means losing any potential business from those who unsubscribe from your marketing.

Benefits Of Text Message Marketing For Small Businesses

Many businesses focus on online marketing channels, such as social media and emails, but by also promoting your brand through smaller text messaging campaigns, you can reach customers in a unique way on a high traffic channel (their mobile). The two biggest benefits of SMS marketing are: 

  • Deliver marketing straight to customers pockets
  • High marketing engagement

Text message marketing receives an average open rate of 98% – while the open rate for email marketing averages just 21%. The beauty of a text is that it’s short and to the point, making that message easy to absorb and refer back to.

Subscribers are actively engaged while reading texts, so if you include a relevant link with a call-to-action, your subscribers are more likely to interact with your business – resulting in increased bookings, repeat business and growing loyalty. 65% of consumers feel more positively about a business that texts compared to those that don’t. Texting is a personal yet casual communication method, meaning subscribers who opt-in and receive relevant content are more likely to actually engage.

6 Ways To Use SMS Marketing

SMS marketing campaigns can be versatile. Despite the limited character space (160), a single text message can be a powerful way to convey a marketing message. Here are 5 ways to utilise SMS for your business, using the hospitality sector as an example….

1. Seasonal Events.

These are a great way for all businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, to make additional revenue. Over the course of the year there are lots of seasonal events such as:  Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, All of the UK Bank holidays, Halloween, and of course the whole of the Christmas festive season – all of which are a great opportunity to not only celebrate, but also grow your business. Sending SMS to regular customers letting them know when bookings are being taken and with a taster of what to expect is a great way to push additional bookings.

2. Product Launches.

Introducing something new to your business is an exciting time and a great excuse to get a marketing message out to entice people to come and experience this new introduction. It could be a new menu launch, could be a new range of wines, a new entertainment evening or even a whole new dining experience with a guest chef. Sending a message with a sense of urgency or limited spaces is a great way to communicate how good this new offering is.

3. Offers.

We know it’s difficult to fill your venue to capacity every single night of the week. So why not concentrate on one particular night and run an offer. This could be targeted at those subscribers that are less frequent visitors to your business. Messaging them with an offer could be a great way to re-introduce your business back to them and show them what they’re missing. Offers like 2 dine for £30, free dessert with any two course meal, 25% off your bill or something like a free bottle of wine with orders over £50 – all these give people an excuse to go out.

4. Birthdays.

Everybody loves to receive a Birthday message, why not automate a message to send a Birthday greeting, as well as a free offer to be used within a time frame. Free Slice of Cake, Glass of Champagne, Slice of Pizza, it could be anything. Just make the subscribers feel valued to come and claim their free offering. The idea is to try and create a relationship with your customer base (there’s also a high chance they will buy additional products whilst in your premises).

5. Reviews.

Why not use the charm of an SMS to ask your most loyal customer if they’d be so kind to drop you a review. Dropping an invitation link in the text will make it easier for them to do whilst they’ve got their mobile in hand. You could always incentivise this with a freebie or a money-off offer on their next visit. Growing your online reviews will increase your visibility when people are looking for businesses like yours. The more positive reviews you have,the more of an edge you will have on your competitors.

6. Reminders and Confirmations.

A simple and effective use of SMS is to send reminders and confirmations of bookings. Putting these in place will help with the efficiency of the business, as well as giving a better, more organised customer experience. Knowing exactly who is due at what time and who hasn’t been confirmed will allow you to take additional bookings or service walk-in trade with availability. Simple solutions to maximising your capacity, opportunity, and enhancing customer experience.  

Text Message Marketing Software

As part of the Unaro product suite, the ability to create, build and send SMS campaigns directly from one secure online portal has never been easier. Get in touch today for a no-obligation demonstration of Unaro and how it can turn your broadband connection into a free guest WiFi service and marketing automation suite TODAY.

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