You may have read lots about SMS marketing and you may be thinking ‘why didn’t I start this years ago’. But then you ask yourself the question, ‘where do I start?’
At FireText, we experience that, for many businesses, this can sometimes seem like the most challenging part – so you’re not alone. In reality, getting started is much easier than you think – in fact, it takes just two steps.
Lucy the mechanic…
For example, Lucy is a mechanic who runs an independent garage. She would like to start using SMS marketing to get more cars in the garage and grow her business but she doesn’t know where to start.
She has not yet decided on the content of her text marketing and does not know how to go about asking customers for their mobile numbers.
Step one: Decide on text marketing content
Before you begin collecting numbers it is important to plan what content you will send out in your messages.
What information can be used to add value to customers in your SMS marketing? Read the following questions and see if any apply to your business?
• What do your customers buy from you, does every customer buy the same thing?
• How often do customers buy your products/services, do some buy more frequently than others?
• Are there any common problems that your customers encounter?
• Do seasonal trends affect a range of your products/services?
What did Lucy do?
Lucy identified that a common problem her customers encounter is that they are forgetful with many forgetting to MOT their car on time. She then identified that she can add value to customers by reminding them near the time when their service and/or MOT is due.
In response, Lucy decided to start collecting the following data:
• Mobile Number
• First Name
• Last Name
• Next Service Date
• Next MOT Date
• Car Model
Step two: Collecting your data for SMS marketing
There are a number of ways to start collecting data as follows:
1. Just ask – Don’t be afraid!
The best place to start is by asking your customers – just make sure you have a reason. For example, at the point of transaction, simply ask if they would like to receive special offers via text.
2. Website opt-ins
If you run a website where you collect the details of your customer, e.g. a bookings website, including a simple tick box saying:
‘I would like to receive the occasional special offers via SMS’
This is essentially the online version of asking at the point of transaction as described in point one.
3. Do you have the data already?
You’ll be surprised at what data already exists in your organisation. Whether you have a sophisticated CRM database or an excel spreadsheet, have a look at what existing information could be used to add value to your customers.
4. SMS keywords
Keywords are a fantastic tool for growing your SMS marketing list. You can advertise a keyword relevant to your business on 82228 allowing customers to opt in to receive offers.
E.g. a restaurant could advertise ‘Text LUNCH followed by your name to 82228 to receive our Friday lunchtime offers’.
Keywords can be placed on any promotional material like posters, billboards – even beermats and enable your customers to easily opt-in to receive your texts.
How Lucy collected her SMS marketing data
For Lucy, the solution was closer to home than she realised. She simply started noting when each car was next due for service and MOT without even asking her customers – she now just had to match this information alongside mobile numbers.
When it came to asking customers for a mobile number Lucy no longer felt nervous because she has a great reason; to add value and remind them when their car needs to visit the garage again.
Customers will now be willing to give Lucy this information and Lucy will benefit from increased loyalty and repeat business.
Over to you…
Are you ready to start collecting data for your SMS marketing? As illustrated, it’s not always about collecting new data, it can sometimes be a case of bringing the right data together.
Have a think about the desired content of your messages; what would add value to your customers and what data do you need to achieve this? What would be the most suitable method of data collection? – This varies for all businesses so do what you feel is right.
If you need help collecting customer data or if you are interested in using the FireText platform then call 01326 620000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org