Tuesday, December 30, 2014

With New Year around the corner, brick-and-mortar businesses are dusting off their festive playbooks and prepping their stores for the annual post-holiday sales. In the interim, consumers are scouting their favorite stores with hopes of scoring amazing deals on the products they’ve been eyeing. While retail sales have grown 3.8 percent YOY (according to the latest US Census report from November 2014) businesses are still looking for creative ways to bring eager shoppers into their stores. 


Many savvy retailers, both big and small, have leaned on text message marketing to accomplish just that. The Couch Tomato, a fast-casual restaurant in Philadelphia, PA, found that text message marketing added a $1,050 bump in single day sales. And, with a 95 percent open rate, it’s clear that text messaging is a powerful tool. However, some consumers are skeptical about sharing their mobile number altogether. 


As a business, it’s your job to not only make consumers feel comfortable opting-in to receive these messages, but also encourage them to subscribe to your text messaging campaigns.


Here’s how you can use text message marketing to your advantage in 2015:


Actually Have Your Customers’ Backs

Make it very clear in your terms of service that you will not share consumer data with third parties. If you’re trying to foster a deeper relationship with a customer, you have no reason to engage in activities that would sever the relationship. Be sure to let your customers know this.


Make Everyone A VIP

All consumers love insider deals. Engaged customers opt-in to receive special promotions, announcements and rewards on their favorite brands. Make every customer feel like your best with unique and frequent offers in exchange for their loyalty.


Educate Customers

Place promotional material at the register and have sales staff clarify how often customers can expect to receive text messages, and then make sure that each message fulfills your promise by bringing value to the customer. Read: No spam, please. You’ll need to inform consumers about which shortcode or longcode (the caller ID of the text) the promotions will be coming from, and encourage them to save that number as the secondary contact number for that business. Educating your customers will help build a trusting and long lasting relationship.


Send A Confirmation

After a customer has opted-in, send him or her an immediate text message, confirming that they have properly opted-in. They will understand that they are on the list for special promotions, and become familiar with what future messages will look like so that they can keep an eye out for them.


Offer A Way Out

Part of convincing your customers to opt-in is reassuring them that there’s an easy way out. Provide accessible opt out information so the customer understands how to unsubscribe.


To ensure a successful text message marketing campaign, you need to keep in mind the reciprocal nature of a successful relationship. Text message marketing between businesses and consumers is a two-way street. You can look forward to a strong start to the year with proper implementation of a text message-marketing plan. Best of luck in 2015!