Five ways every business can get started with text marketing

One way to grab the attention of potential customers early is to create a mobile programme before your even start up, says Holly Barber.

When you launch a new business, you need to have a strong marketing campaign in place to create interest in your company and ensure you have a solid pool of potential customers before you even open your doors. One way to grab the attention of potential customers early is to create a mobile programme before your official start day.

It can be helpful to have a strong mobile marketing programme in place before you open and text marketing can help smaller business compete with larger companies. It is a budget-friendly approach to marketing, and it is simple to launch a campaign.

According to the Total Retail Survey by PwC, smartphone sales have grown from 13.9 percent to 20.4 percent, and most consumers expect more technology to be available. By jumping on board and having a solid mobile program in place, you can help yourself stand out from the competition from the get-go. As a start-up, the idea of investing more time and money into marketing before you’ve started can be frightening, however, it’s simple and really effective to get up and running on mobile with a responsive website and an awesome text message marketing strategy.

What is text message marketing?

SMS marketing utilises text messages as a way to engage with customers and potential customers. There are many ways to include it in your marketing campaign, including as a stand-alone approach and as a complementary campaign to your other marketing efforts. For example, you can include a keyword to text on your billboards, website, and other advertisements to initiate the engagement of customers.

Text message marketing has become popular because of its many benefits. It is an immediate channel, with over 90 per cent of people opening up your message within three minutes. Additionally, it has a near 100 per cent open rate. Offer redemption rates are also higher, as compared with other forms of marketing. These and other benefits make it invaluable to both new and small businesses.

Start collecting data

If you want to share exciting news and updates about your business, you’ll need to start collecting contacts as soon as possible so customers can share your journey with you right from the start. A SMS keyword on a shortcode is a great way to do this, not only can you promote this everywhere, you can also collect mobile numbers and email addresses using just one text keyword.

Launch a competition

As a brand new business, you’ll want to keep prospective customers interested straight away. Launching a competition will help to raise awareness of your product or service and help you to collect lots of interested contacts before you’ve opened your doors. You could run this either with a web form that collects customers information including their mobile numbers, or you can use a SMS keyword and ask customers to text in to enter.

Raise excitement with customers

In the months, weeks and days leading up to your new business launch, it’s a great idea to start to raise excitement with customers. You could send out an exclusive money off voucher or discount code via SMS which can be spent once you’ve launched, this will start to build excitement around your brand before you’ve opened and boost sales and interest as soon as you do.

Send timely reminders and updates

Due to the instant nature of SMS, it is the perfect communication tool to send out updates and reminders, especially if they are time-bound. With, almost instant, high open rates text messages are a perfect communication tool to shout about something last minute or send updates on your opening day. Once you’ve opened, you could take advantage of this by sending out last minute sale notifications or reminders to customers.

Immediate customer engagement

SMS is not only instant and available to your customers 24/7, it is also a really personal way of reaching out to customers using a tool they know and love. You can use handy merge tags to include personalisation in large campaigns so that each message received is personal to the recipient, but composing it takes no longer than sending a message on your own phone.

One of the best benefits of text marketing for the small business is that it’s inexpensive to run a strong campaign. The messages themselves only cost a few pennies, and many text services make sure the pricing is flexible so there’s no need to make big commitments from the get go. Additionally, there are no design costs associated with developing the messages, as messages are simply 160-characters of text. You can also piggyback on your other marketing efforts to promote your campaign or use your own store, website, and social media accounts to let your customers know about the campaign at a relatively low cost to you.

Building a mobile programme for your business can help you get off to a strong start before you open your doors. Mobile can help you connect with potential customers as you are getting your new business up and going, and cultivate those relationships over time.

Holly Barber is marketing manager at FireText.

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