Is your Smartphone always within reach? Have you named your Smartphone? Do you text with your friends and family more than your talk with them? Are you reading this on that phone right now? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions and you have NOT taken advantage of the benefits of mobile marketing you really need to swipe down for the rest of this article.
Never Far From Our Phones
Even five years ago, text messaging was solely associated with teenagers tapping away with their thumbs about unrequited crushes and homework blues. Today, according to a report by mobile marketing firm Mogreet, 98% of all mobile consumers have access to text messaging and 95% of text messages are read within 5 minutes of their arrival. So why not use text message marketing to build a legitimate list of your establishment’s most rabid fans and instantly entice them to visit by offering valuable coupons or other offers. According to CMSText, another leading firm, redemption rates for text coupons run 10 to 30% on average – far higher than those of paper coupons.
How can you use this immediacy to your advantage? Think of a slow Tuesday night where many tables are free. Text a one-night ‘free appetizer’ offer to your customers and watch them stream through the front door. Overstocked on seafood? A quick text and it’s out the door and retained revenue. Last minute addition to your entertainment schedule? Let your customers know and watch them change their evening plans! The possibilities are almost limitless.
But What About Apps, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media
Tweets and status updates used to be a great way to reach customers, but with the monetization strategies in place at Twitter and Facebook you can no longer be guaranteed that your ‘free’ message will even be seen by your customers. If it does reach the recipient’s eyes, Mogreet says social clutter results in 71% of all tweets being ignored. These social platforms are useful when customers are seeking out information about your business, but now rarely have an impact when you are trying to get the word out quickly.
As for apps, Mogreet once again reminds us (via a fancy Infographic) of the massive filter that limits your customer base when using an app. Every company you encounter is asking you to install their app – which is usually just a copy of their website. While most Smartphone users have dozens of apps on their phones, typically they will only use a couple on a regular basis. Save your resources and beef up your mobile website alongside investing in a text messaging campaign.
More hints, tips and how to get started
Ready to start? First, find yourself a reputable mobile marketing company for the administrative and infrastructure functions. To keep text message marketing from becoming the next wasteland of spam-filled messages, a number of strict regulations and standards have been adopted by the mobile industry. Choose a company that uses Shortcodes – those 6 digit ‘text numbers’ that identify a specific sender.
Next, build your customer list through ethical means. Use opt-in systems to ensure your recipients want to receive your messages, and respect their decisions if they decide to leave. You can use incentives and instant offers to entice your customers to sign up right at their tables. Invest in some additional table tents (cheap plug, we sell them at Central) and explicitly spell out the value your customer will receive. Also, make sure your staff is enthusiastic about the concept. Finally, remember to stay on message and limit your communications to a reasonable number. Your customer should never receive more than one or two messages per week unless it is for an immediate or extra-ordinary valuable offer.
Remember, the more rabid customers that sign-up, then more customers you can reach which will increase your revenue potential. Just do it before your competition does!