Sms advertising, also called text message marketing is one of the easiest and cheapest things a small business owner can do to promote their business.
NOTE: This article can also be found at the new Mad Progress Marketing website. Click Here to visit.
The cost to get started is well… in some cases zero dollars. There are companies such as Moto Message that will let you start an sms advertising campaign for free. You can use their service for a month, sign no contract, and try the service out. If you follow proper protocols, (like using their 30 day get started guide), you more than likely will be amazed at how a simple business promotion utilizing the power of text message marketing can increase the amount of (paying) customers coming through your doors.
When looking around for a good company to host your text messaging campaigns and other sms business promotions, you will find that nearly every one of them has real easy to use texting dashboards. The interfaces are usually very simple, and some of these companies have people that will set up and run the business promotions for you. Most business owners have one of their computer savvy employees do it, or use a service like Mad Progress Marketing to handle their text message advertising promotions.
There are other companies you can use like Boost Contact that have some initial up front fees, but they will do most everything for you if you want. Boost also has some other great services included in their text marketing package. One of the best bonuses that you get with them is a ‘mobile website’.
Whatever company you sign up with be sure that they provide you with the marketing tools and materials that you can use to let your customers know how to sign up to receive your mobile coupons. Don’t let the ‘mobile coupons’ thing scare you. At this point in time (mid-2011) most of the mobile coupons that people receive from their local businesses are just a standard text with the information. As more and more people acquire ‘smart phones’ that will change somewhat, but you can be sure that the top companies that are providing text message marketing services for local businesses will have the ability to change and adapt with the times.
The marketing materials that you want to have access to from your company are things as simple as a poster or posters that you can hang on the door of your business and/or the camera ready ad copy that you can download, print out yourself, or send to your local printer. This would be things like tent cards or small flyers for your staff to hand out to customers. See the SMS Promotions article on this site for some ideas of what to look for.
With just a little bit of effort on your part, and proper instruction to your employees, you can quickly have a list of 100 200 or more of your customers that have signed up to receive your mobile coupons or sms advertising text messages.
You can then send out a weekly text blast to everyone on your list letting them know of your special. Some of the most popular promotions that customers respond to include 2 for 1 offers, and/or something for free such as a free dessert with a meal purchase.
Sometimes I see business owners get dismayed when they don’t get much of a response to their text message advertising promotions, but this is only because either their list is not big enough yet, or they are not offering enough value to the customers to get them to come into the store, whether it is a restaurant, pub, grocery store, or any other kind of business.
So just remember that when running an sms promotion or text message marketing campaign where you send out coupons via text messaging to your customers on your list, be sure that you are offering them enough value that they will want to use your text coupons the next time they visit your business.