The Ins and Outs of Text Marketing

 In CityGro Live

Text Marketing For Small Business Transcript

Welcome everyone to our first Facebook live here at CityGro HQ. My name’s Eric. I’ll be gone through the first Facebook live event that we have, so we’ll give it a few minutes people to join in and join in the facebook live session we have going on. Excited for those that are tuning in to this.


Let’s start with just kind of an overview on, on why we’re doing these. We’re going to start doing Facebook live events on a, on a pretty regular basis. Really the goal behind it is to provide valuable content strategies, just different ideas that you can implement at your business or with businesses you work with, all dealing with customer retention.


So excited to start. We started doing these types of events and have as many people tune in, tune in as we can. Our next one is actually next Tuesday, so Tuesday the 27th to 2:30 pm is when that one will be. So keep that on your calendars as well. If you want to tune into that next one. Our CEO is gonna, actually be going through that next week.


So for today, first Facebook live session, I’m just a general idea on what we’re going to talk about. We’re going to, I’m going to go over some ins and outs of text marketing, just broad overview on texting in general, all address some common concerns or misconceptions that people have about texting. Talk about some of the benefits and uh, and best practices that people use with texting at their businesses.


So kind of what spawned this just to get started. So I’ve been with the company for the past few years and within that time I’ve met with thousands of businesses about customer retention and text marketing and just talking to them about, general ideas there. And over the years I seem to get the same reoccurring concern or misconception when we talk about texting.



So I’ll ask people, you know, have you considered doing text marketing? Why or why not? And they’ll say, well, I don’t wanna spam my customers or I don’t want to be too intrusive. And then I say, well, what about the customers that want to receive those messages? And I say, well, once again, I don’t want to spend my customers. So I think that’s the first misconception people have about text marketing is they feel like texting means I’m just going to take a big list of every customer that’s ever come to my business, put it in a system, send a message to every single person. And fortunately, that’s not the way text marketing works.


Our texting is all consent-based, it’s all content driven. And so you’re not just spamming people without their, you know, their free will or without them giving you permission to send those types of messages.



So that’s the first thing I wanted to address is it, you know, really that misconception of, of texting really isn’t spam. It’s all consent driven. It’s people that want to receive those messages. It’s not just sending the same message to everybody regardless of what their interest level is. And we make sure it’s all consent driven and it’s getting to people that would like to receive those, those messages.


There’s actually tons of regulations in place. You have to have permission before you can send a message. And it, and so the people that sign up for those, they want to receive those messages, so it’s a perfect channel to, to go after if, if that’s what they want to receive. So why, why do text marketing? Why do businesses do text marketing? What are some of the main benefits to it? I actually, I, I found a pretty disturbing stat a few months back. It’s been awhile but found this stat said that more people in America on a cell phone than own a toothbrush, which, which is kind of disturbing, kind of disgusting actually. But what does that tell us? It tells us that people have cell phones. I think that’s pretty cool. All of us know that everyone has a cell phone and so it can be an effective channel to reach out to your customers via text message.


And some other stats that you might be interested in. Texting has a 98 percent read rate. You send out a text message. It’s almost every single person reads that text. It’s, it’s almost a hundred percent. Along those same lines, 90 percent of customers read it within the first 10 minutes, so it’s instantaneous. You send that out and once again, 90 percent of people have read that text within 10 minutes.



So the numbers are through the roof. It’s really the highest return rate, quickest response rate out of any channel that you can send, text it or that you can communicate with customers with, just some comparisons like email marketing for instance, email the average is 20 percent read rate or open rate, it takes an average two and a half days for someone to open an email. So I mean you can pair that with, once again, texting 98 percent return rate takes an average of 10 minutes extremely quick, extremely effective because of those, because of those numbers.


So those, those are just some general benefits and reasons people do text marketing. Once again, it’s one of the highest read rates. It’s higher than any other marketing channel that you could use, whether it’s social media, emails and mailers or postcards I’m texting is going to get the highest response off of those.



So how do you make texting effective? How do you make it work for your business? There’s a couple steps you’d have to take a first step before you do anything is you have to collect customer phone numbers. Once again, we don’t take any phone number. We have, we collect it from people that want text messages, so not only collecting it but also gathering consent or permission to send to send text messages to them.


Several ways you can do it. There’s, you know, numerous companies that companies that do it all over. Some of the tools that we have here at CityGro and for text marketing and collecting that data. And the most common one, this is more of like a,  traditional texting approach is SMS keywords. This is where people text in to subscribe. And so I’m sure you’ve seen it at restaurants or other businesses, you know, texts pizza to a number to get specials. You know, businesses will put up table tents or posters, just different signage to have people sign up and subscribe to the us for that. That’s kinda the traditional approach people just texted into sign up and you can do online forums, so put a form on your website or on your Facebook page, say sign up for texts deals and then people can go in and join that way as well.


One of the flagship products that we have at CityGro to collect data, we use a kiosk, a signup kiosk and basically it’s an ipad sits in the stands usually at your counter. And then if someone wants to get texts deals, they put in their phone number on that kiosk and a and subscribe to the text messages from that point. So once again, all consent driven, uh, you know, you’re getting permission along that, along those lines or during that process.



That’s how people are, are actually signing up and consenting to that. I guess you could as well just do like a clipboard. People write down their number, just whatever you’re doing, make sure that you’re getting that consent. And so whether it’s a checkbox or something that says, yeah, you can send me text messages, that’s the most important thing when it comes down to that and it’s really to your benefit to it. You don’t want to be that business that spams customers or business that just annoys customers with text messages. So make sure that consent is definitely in place there and best practices for texting. There’s several things you could do. The first thing that I would suggest is just know your purpose behind texting and it could be informative, it could be marketing related. So just know your purpose. And an example of informative messaging would be, hey, we’re close today because of the weather, you know, something like that.


Just giving a basic update with the business. If you’re doing a marketing related message, I always, always, always recommend have a call to action. So if you’re doing a special say, come in only valid today and show this text, receive your offer. Just give them something, the customer receiving that text, something to do with the message you’re sending. And a poor example, a while back, we had a client, they sent out a text, simply said, hey, happy breast cancer awareness day, and not that that’s, that’s a bad thing, but there was no call to action. And so they called us up and they said, hey, I sent this text, no one’s coming in off of it. So we looked at it and it said, Hey, happy breast cancer awareness day. There is no call to action. So make sure if you’re wanting to drive customers in because of marketing, make sure there’s some kind of call to action or something for the customer to do because of receiving that message and other things you can do with that.


Create urgency. So expiration dates only valid today until midnight. Different things like that one, one use per customer, you know, putting limits on it for different things to create urgency and create a need for people to come in and use it. The other suggestion I have is really just test it out and see what works. You know, the Nice thing here at CityGro, we do free trials, different things like that. There’s, you know, several things you can do to test it out and see what works for your business. It’s going to be different for everyone. There’s some general rules are, you know, best practices, but the nice thing with texting is you can test it and see like how many people come in off of it. You can test opt out rates, how many people are unsubscribing when you send them out and just kinda gauge success from there.


What we generally see is we don’t want an opt out rate higher than two percent. And so if you see more people are opting out then than the two percent, that’s a concern and maybe you need to switch up either how often you’re sending or what you’re sending and just, you know, follow some of those best practices there. The other thing is tracking redemption rates. A lot of this comes down to the business. I mean, if you’re a restaurant that, you know, the average ticket tickets, five bucks, you know, just gauge how many customers you need to get in off of a text to have it pay for itself. You know, some, some basic numbers. Let’s say it costs 30 bucks to send a text to a thousand people, you know, if you get six people and you’re breaking even if your cost is $5 per ticket, so, so just run those numbers and see what works for you.


You know, if you’re doing a high ticket item, maybe you may not have as high of redemption rates, but it takes less customers to use it to actually get an Roy and have, have text marketing pay for itself. Another example or best practices, do everything you can to make texting relevant to the customer. Here at CityGro, we help out without a lot. And here’s an example for if I go get a haircut today and then tomorrow I get a text saying, come in for a free haircut or a discounted haircut. That message just became irrelevant and became annoying. It became spam. And so make sure those messages are actually relevant to the customer. And like I said, here at CityGro, we do a lot to help with that. We have different tracking capabilities to make sure you’re getting the right message to the right customer at the right time and you know, making sure those messages are relevant to the customer.


And just some final thoughts, you know, a, a text message that costs only a few cents to send a lot less expensive than something like a postcard where you’re paying for postage and the card itself, it’s less expensive than other marketing channels. It’s a lot easier to keep those customers that have subscribed or get them to come back. Then constantly paying for new customers to come in. So those are some of the main reasons businesses use. Texting is, once again, it’s all consent or when people are signing up, they want to receive those messages from Your Business. And those are your customers that are going to come back when you send those messages out. And so really take advantage of texting, give it a try. If you haven’t used texting before, there’s no harm in testing it out because once again, the only people signing up are the ones that want to receive them.


So, you know, give it a test, try it out at your business, see if it works for you and see what works for you. I’m also love any feedback that you guys have from, you know, the experience you’ve had with text marketing or what’s worked for you.

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