I remember the days before cell phones. Remember when you needed to wait until your friend returned home from the beach, or from thier cross-town visit with Aunt Bernice?
Those days are long gone!
It seems everyone has cell phones these days. Everyone from six and seven year olds all the way to 90 year old grannies! Some of you may be shaking your heads and thinking, “What is this world coming to? We made it without cell phones, why can’t they?!?”
Every time you make that statement or think that thought you are wasting your time. Things are NOT going to reverse, and people won’t return those cell phones. So … accept it! 🙂
As business people we need to recognize the tremendous opportunity we are presented with. With the emergence of text messaging, we now have an opportunity to reach our prospective customers with messages at the exact moment they are looking to buy.
The following are five steps you can use to effectively market your business with the use of text messaging. For the purpose of this article I’ll use a restaurant as an example.
Step One – Create a Diner’s Club
Humans are born with a NEED to belong. If you look around you’ll see the most successful companies focus on this need and fill it. That’s why there are loyalty programs, frequent flyer programs, buying clubs, and an association for any possible niche in the world. The bottom line is people are natural joiners so give them a way to JOIN and become affiliated with your business.
Step Two – Create an Offer
Don’t be naive and think that just because you started a “Diner’s Club” that everyone will simply join. Keep in mind that along with emerging technology comes more information than anyone can possibly consume. This is making your customers think a bit longer about what they sign up for and if there isn’t something valuable for them, they simply won’t join.
Make sure that you specify exactly what they will get. Will they get a “buy one get one” offer, or a free desert upon joining? Will they also get a free dinner on their birthday, and a dinner for two on their anniversary? Will they get “Diner’s Club Members ONLY” special discounts throughout the month?
The what isn’t as important as the value. Your objective is to motivate them to send a text message to your special number which will automatically enroll them in your “Cell Phone Mailing List,” so make sure the offer is something you feel has a great enough value that you would sign up for it yourself.
Step Three – Advertise Your Club
Once you’ve created your club, and created an irresistible offer, it’s time to let your customers know about it. Whether you create table tents, send a mailing to your “snail mail” list, send out an email blast, or have a contest among your waitstaff where you reward the person who gains the most new members for the month. Just make sure you have a solid advertising plan to get the word out.
Step Four – Send Updates … Not SPAM
Once you’ve followed the previous three steps and have built up your membership base, it’s time to send out your updates. Make sure you don’t ruin all the hard work you’ve done by spamming your list. Make sure the updates you send out have valuable offers that are irresistible to your members.
The best way to utilize this list is to send out offers on slower days of the week. If you happen to live in a climate that has very snowy days, send out an offer where your “Club Members” receive a FREE dinner if they come in that evening. The nice thing is people don’t normally eat alone. They’ll probably bring someone with them and it may be their entire family.
Step Five – Engage Your Members
As your membership base grows it will be important to engage your members with contests, and by sending out other useful or entertaining information. Maybe it’s a joke of the week, a quote of the month, or an occasional link to a funny article you’ve read. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it engages and entertains your members.
They’ll appreciate it if they receive information from you that isn’t ONLY asking them to spend money.
The more technology advances, the more opportunities we’ll have to engage our customers EVERYWHERE! It’s important as business owners and marketers to stay on top of technology and take advantage of these incredible opportunities.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, if you use your imagination you can come up with ways to market your business with text messaging. Just be creative and you will put yourself and your company in a position to win.