A cell phone number is the most valuable piece of data you can have in today’s marketing landscape, even more than an email address, or home address.
Think about it, what are the three things that everyone takes with them when they walk out of their home – their keys, wallet and cell phone. All of these things you feel naked without.
Would it surprise you to know that more than 95% of the US population owns a cell phone, and with the unlimited texting plans available people are texting more than talking nowadays. This would explain why over 90% of people surveyed check incoming text messages within 1 minute of receiving them.
Everyone knows it is important to keep in touch with clients and customers, but there is a problem with the traditional way of marketing.
- Email – not always opened, spam filters are making it increasingly difficult to get emails read
- Regular mail and print ads – rising costs, difficult to measure response
- Newspapers – with most of the major papers having a online options readership is dying.
- Phone Book- uh…what’s that?
There are currently 64 million people in the US with smart phones, and almost everyone in Europe and Asian have a smart phone, they are usually a couple years ahead of us in adopting new technology.
Bango, a mobile analytics specialist, reported a 600% increase in traffic to mobile websites in the past 12 months.
This means that people are using their smart phones, like the i-phone and Droid, to connect to the internet, and browse websites. With the recent addition of tablets, like the i-pad, and Droid platform tablets, people are even more able to access the web in all its glory.
Here is how this applies to your business:
- If you have cell phone numbers of your clients, you should be communicating with them using text messages. They already gave you permission when they filled out their name and number on the form. (if they get annoyed of hearing from you, they can always unsubscribe by texting STOP)
- Remember, you only have 160 characters to make an impression, so keep it short, and to the point.
- Your website should be ‘mobile optimized’ since prospects will browse your website from their mobile phones
- You should engage with your prospects and clients on a regular basis, by having them vote on specific topics. You can also send them reminders of upcoming appointments if you run an offline business, such as a doctors office. This will decrease the cancellation rates of your practice.
- If your business is online, send them a quick text when a webinar is about to start, or if you are launching a new product, and it is about to go live.
To give you a better understanding of how mobile marketing works, it’s important to understand a few key terms. Let’s say your business name is “Squeaky Clean Car Wash”.
Now, if you ask a customer to text the word Squeaky to 65289 then it doesn’t matter if they text it in uppercase or lowercase, that is called the ‘mobile keyword’. The number 65289 is called the ‘short code’, which is provided to you by your text messaging provider platform.
Ideally you will want to find a system that allows you to send e-mail, text, and voice broadcast to your clients and prospects. There are a couple platforms out there that are pretty good, I happen to use a system called Monster Follow Up.
Every business owner should have between 3-5 mobile optimized keywords, to cover different services of your business. Once a prospect texts the mobile keyword to your short code, you immediately have their number in your data base, and can send them promotional messages, or inspiring texts of the day. This will show your prospect or client that you care, and that you want to stay in touch with them. Even sending a message that wishes them a good day, will increase your bottom line.
If you already have some of your clients phone numbers in an auto-responder system like A-Weber, you can take those numbers and put them in your texting platform. This will allow you to stay in touch with clients, and send them all sorts of messages, including greeting cards and customer incentives.
Text messages will allow you to save time and money and get IMMEDIATE responses from clients.
Another good way to get new clients is have a billboard or some kind of signage with your call to action on it. You want to make sure that you are using scarcity, and urgency in your message. For example:
“Text DIRTY to 65289 in the next 5 minutes to receive 50% off your car wash today only”
“ “Show a staff member at our facility this text today before 3:00pm to receive 25% off on any massage package”
“Hi Bob, be sure to check in today between 11am – 2pm and I’ll give you a free coffee mug”
Take control of your marketing ROI by using text messaging.