A carefully executed text program is a great way to reach your customers directly and immediately. If you're offering a special promotion or any sort of time-sensitive deal or information, texting is the single most efficient way of making contact. The first step to creating a successful text marketing program is to compel your customers to opt-in to the texting service. This may seem tricky at first, but there are several proven and highly effective strategies that you can follow:
1. Be Transparent
Make the benefits of your text program clear to your customers. Let them know that they'll get special promotions or early-bird deals that are only available to members on the program's list.
Similarly, be direct on how often their phone will be receiving messages. Your customers might be worried that they'll be texted too often, so make it clear that they'll receive “one or two messages a week”. Alternatively, let them decide how often they want to be contacted when they sign up for the program.
2. Offer an Urgent Incentive
Encourage your customers to opt-in by offering them an immediate bonus. Some options are:
- When they make a purchase at your store, the cashier will offer to take 10% off their purchase if they sign up for the program and use a discount code.
- Similarly, offer them a high-value incentive like a time sensitive “two for one” code for their next purchase. This will both serve as an encouragement to sign up for the text program and it will also motivate them to visit your store again soon.
3. Maximize the Potential of Your Advertising Space
Place signs strategically throughout your brick and mortar store in locations where every customer is sure to see them: a bright sign in the store window, a stand-up advertisement by the entrance when they walk in, and a smaller flier right at eye-level in the checkout aisle.
Take advantage of digital signage and place prompts in several locations on your website. When your customer makes an order online, include a sign-up message for the text program on the confirmation page. Also include an explanation of how the program works and its benefits when you send them a follow-up email. There are several easy to use and stylish HTML opt-in widgets that you can add to your site to make signing up quick and simple.
4. Use Social Media
Create a keyword for your text program and advertise it through your website's Facebook, Twitter, or other networking pages. You can also extend this beyond your own company by promoting on social pages where people may have similar interests to what you offer. For instance, if you run a small bed and breakfast, use your keywords on travel agencies and local tourism pages.
5. Use Your Email or Preferred Customer Lists
If you're just launching your text program, start with advertising it to your existing customer base. Send out a promotion explaining what the program does and how and where they can sign up for it. This method will be very effective because you're targeting customers whom you already know will be interested in your products. If you have any personal data on them (age, gender, shopping preferences, etc.), you can customize the benefits of the program to specifically appeal to their interests.