With 6 billion text messages sent daily in the U.S. alone, texting has become an unofficial national pastime. Luckily for your manufacturing and technology related business, texts have evolved from facilitating small talk into a viable marketing strategy.
Text message or SMS (short message service) marketing is highly effective because customers and prospects opt-in to receive texts from businesses. This creates the perception among subscribers that companies are providing a welcome service rather than marketing to them. In addition, approximately 95 percent of text messages are opened and read, a significantly higher open rate than any other form of marketing. This provides businesses with a rare guarantee that their marketing messages will be received.
Integrating text message marketing into an overall marketing plan is relatively inexpensive and straightforward. Businesses can register for a five or six digit short code or choose to share one with another company. The short code should then be promoted across all marketing strategies – from websites, social media accounts, and signage to marketing collateral, direct mailers, and print, radio, and television ads.
Prospective customers opt-in by texting a message to the short code to receive information about the business and its products or services. Sign-on incentives like discounts, coupons, product giveaways, and contests are quite effective at garnering subscribers.
SMS programs assist businesses with capturing phone numbers (and any other data voluntarily provided by subscribers) to build and maintain customer databases. Services like EZ Texting and Mobivity make opt-in texting affordable for small and medium-sized businesses. Trumpia is an SMS service that even allows users to select how they want to be contacted – be it by text, social media, or email.
With a solid subscriber list in place, businesses can text sales notifications, announcements about new products and services, and other customer-focused news on a regular basis. While it isn’t wise to bombard subscribers with daily texts unless you indicate that frequency in your advertising, restaurants have found success in sending text alerts about their daily specials.
Alternatively, service providers often use texts to remind customers about upcoming appointments. Messages can also be tailored to individual customer groups, like boutique customers who only purchase accessories or technology patrons, who get tech support but not products. This allows for targeted marketing efforts to specific aspects of a business that needs a sales boost, while also connecting with customers about their interests.
When messaging subscribers, remember to be succinct – texts are limited to 160 characters – and lead with your offer to attract attention. Also, resist the temptation to use abbreviated texts (e.g., “This $ale will B gr8!”). Patrons of all age groups appreciate a more professional approach.
Lastly, always provide the option for subscribers to opt-out of your text message list. This demonstrates respect for your customers and their privacy, and when utilized by subscribers, assists you in maintaining an accurate customer list. Don’t continue to hide behind your website or your successful direct mail campaign, show those around you a new side of the manufacturing and technology industry.
The unique customer interaction and precise campaign measurement that result from text message marketing make it a winning strategy. When integrated into an overall marketing campaign, texting has proven to build customer trust, loyalty, and significant business revenue. ____________________________________________________________________