10 Ways to Use Text Marketing WITHOUT Giving Away The Farm

 In Tips for Business Owners

As text marketing becomes more popular, and for many businesses the primary source of communication with customers, we often get asked what kind of messages can be sent without “giving away the farm.” Are there any ways to use a text club without always discounting? Not only is this a great question, but a great topic overall. We see thousands of successful text marketing campaigns carried out and created each year with little to no discount, and we’d love to share a few of them with you.

But first, let me quickly add a disclaimer: you should always stay true to the promise you gave customers when they first opted in to your text list. If you promised offers, you need to send offers. If you promised updates, send updates. Not only will this help you conform with text marketing regulations (see more here), but it will be the best subject for your messages.

Now, on to my top 10 ways to use text marketing WITHOUT giving away the farm:

    1. Event Reminders – One of the best ways to promote you business without using discounts is to let your customers know the special things your business is doing. This may include fun things for holidays, extended hours for special occasions and especially fun events you are hosting that involve or support the community. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your eyes and ears open to things going on around you (such as local sporting events, community celebrations, etc) and think of things you might do to support them.
    2. New products, flavors, etc. – Product releases are one of the best ways to promote your business without offering a discount. Let customers know about seasonal product changes or new products in general. If you want to get better results, segment your text list by interests indicators such as customers who recently made a purchase, purchased similar products, or even by the time of year that customers shop (useful for summer products, winter products, etc.).
    3. Reminders of specials you already offer – I realize this one is riding the line of “no discounts” since, in fact, you are offering a discount. But, you are promoting a discount that you already offer rather than creating a discount just for the text list. This might include daily specials, happy hours or any other special offer. Drive repeating offers home (such as BOGO Tuesday) by repeating the reminder multiple times until habits are formed.
    4. Restock notifications – This option is especially good if you have kept a list of people waiting to get the restocked item (easily done with the CityGro App for iPad). Simply use your text list to let people know when items have been restocked.
    5. “No line” texts – For some, walking into a business with no line is just as exciting as walking into a business with a killer discount and a line to go along with it. Some people enjoy the convenience of knowing they can get right up to the front. This works especially good for high-ticket items and professional services.
    6. How did we do?” campaigns – These campaigns are typically sent soon after a customer has left your store (automated, of course ) and will simply ask customers how their visit was. Customers who respond are much more likely to come back in, review your business on social media, or give you negative feedback that otherwise might have been posted online. You could even schedule follow-up campaigns based on specific reviews.
    7. “You’re almost there” texts – Rewards are great for people who make it to the end of the tunnel, but for the rest of us who get stuck in the middle, we may need an extra push. “You’re almost there” texts are used to let people know that they still have points at your business and that they shouldn’t give up now. This campaign could be coupled with an extra point on their next visit (within X hours), or even on its own to remind customers that their points haven’t been lost.
    8. Service reminders – Service reminders are perfect for businesses who have regularly scheduled maintenance such as beauty salons, auto care, health services, etc. Set up automatic reminders to be sent out after an appropriate amount of time has passed and remind them to schedule their next appointment. Don’t forget to include a phone number for one-tap dialing!
    9. Collaborations with other businesses – The idea here is to get customers in by offering discounted (or free) products without offering discounts on your products. The way you do this is by leveraging the value of the contact list you’ve built for a discount from a complimentary business around you. For example, perhaps you notice that customers are always going to the ice cream shop next door after they eat at your restaurant. You could approach the owner of the ice cream shop and let them know you have a large list of people that have opted in to get promotions from you, and that you’d be willing to promote their ice cream store if they would be willing to offer your customers a discount for the night. If they say yes, you can send a text to your customers letting them know that for a limited time they can take their receipt to the ice cream shop next door and get discounted dessert. You get to offer a discount but don’t take any hit and the ice cream store gets the promotion, win/win! Are there businesses with which you could collaborate?
    10. Enter to win – If you are looking to collect more data, the “Enter to Win” campaign might be for you. Place a link in your text using CityGro webforms to allow customers to complete more information for their chance to win! Obviously, you’ll end up giving away a prize, but for the potential data you could collect, it’s a trade most business owners are willing to do!
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