Friday, December 8, 2017

As a small business owner, brand awareness and visibility are top priorities as they help you build your customer base and get the word out about your products. Customer engagement is also key as you grow to help you keep current paying customers and encourage them to spread the word to others.

All three of these strategies (brand awareness, increased visibility and customer engagement) are critical to growing your small business. And SMS polling is one strategy that fosters all three without making a huge dent in your marketing budget. 

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Why SMS polling?

SMS polling provides you with valuable customer information to help you create products and marketing campaigns that generate more interest. Polling your target market also gives you insights you can use to improve existing products.

For example, let’s say you own a local coffee shop and you are running a holiday promotion to get more foot traffic. Your goal for your promotion is to create new coffee combinations that appeal to your customers. Set up a poll and ask them specific questions like, “Which holiday coffee drink would you be excited to try?” Then, list the coffee drink names and let them reply with their picks. By using SMS polling to dig deeper into your audience’s interests, you can set up promotional campaigns that will generate better conversions than if you were to blindly advertise. 

Customers also share media they value and find interesting. Your poll could be the subject of a conversation that participants share with others. This is one way to build your text message database and increase brand awareness.

Why is SMS polling so effective?

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Your customers will want to get involved in your polls and offer feedback. People love the spotlight and offering their opinions will make them feel important. Your customers will also feel that their opinions matter to you, which will foster deeper connections with them, another side benefit to SMS polling.

SMS polling is also easy to set up and launch using a texting service. Simply create a custom message and send to all of your contacts simultaneously. Text message marketing is also a highly effective strategy because text messages have a 95% open rate. Typical open rates for emails hover around 17-25%, so text messages outperform other strategies and increase visibility. 

SMS polling tips

A simple, but often overlooked SMS polling strategy tip is to get clear on the focus of your campaign before you launch it. Are you running a promotion? Improving a product? Getting feedback on an existing product? Be specific about your goals, so you know the right questions to ask. Your questions should lead to answers that provide information you can use to improve your business.

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Though text messages have a high open rate, your customers still may not participate if they do not know how your poll will benefit them. Provide an incentive for answering your poll questions, and avoid questions focused on how your poll will benefit you. For example, in the earlier coffee shop example, offer a discount on your new coffee drink when it launches for people who reply. Keep the focus solely on your customers. If you do need to ask what customers think about you or your products, provide an incentive and word the message, so recipients know their answers will benefit them.

To create effective SMS polls that engage your audience and build awareness, work with a reputable texting service. A texting service will also provide you with analytics data so you can see which polls performed the best and how many of your contacts answered. If you want to get started with CallFire’s industry-leading texting service, sign up for a free account here.


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