6 text marketing campaign ideas for small businesses

If you were to walk down a crowded city street, chances are that every person you would see over the age of twelve has a smartphone. Communication is easier now than it ever was, and because the technology is so accessible, even the smallest businesses can take advantage of the opportunity to utilize mobile marketing.

1. Use Texts to Welcome Feedback and Involve Customers

Many small businesses see great results when they utilize text message campaigns to either create polls, or run contests. People love spouting off their opinions, and they also love winning free stuff. When you choose to offer these things via text, you’re making it easier for your customers to get in on the game. All they have to do is pull out their phones.

2. Start a Useful Podcast

Podcasts have become an overwhelmingly successful form of broadcast media, and almost anyone can start their own. Try podcasting live a few times a month, talking with guests relevant to your industry and providing information your customers would love to hear about your niche. Incorporate texts by allowing your listeners to text in during the podcast. Answer their questions and share their insightful messages on-air.

3. Get Your Own App

It’s easy to find an app developer these days, and there’s one for every budget. Many small businesses create dedicated apps that offer ordering options and show current coupons. Your app can be used to generate business, but also to improve your dedication to your customers. If your customers have questions or need help, allow them to submit these queries through the app. Then, provide them with assistance via text message.

4. Create an Exclusive Loyalty Program

Rather than holding sales or events that are open to the general public, keep things limited to the in-crowd. Loyalty programs and insider sales make your customers feel valued, and these sales turn out to be more profitable if they’re directed toward repeat customers instead of the general public. Send out text message alerts about pop-up sales or exclusive offers you’re currently providing. Customers will be able to present their text message in-store to receive the special pricing or unique bonus.

5. Use Texts as Reminders

Let’s be honest: nobody really likes sales calls. You don’t like when salespeople intrude into your life with a phone call, and neither do your customers. Rather than badgering them via phone call, or sending them an email that they’ll mark as spam, send them a useful text message. It’s a great way to get a dialogue going in a flexible format, and it may save time. For example, sending a text to remind a customer of an appointment is substantially quicker than scheduling an entire phone call just to relay a single piece of information.

6. Give Real-Time Updates via Text

This is a great option for businesses that provide a service, or businesses that ship things out to their customer. Sending them a quick text message with a package tracking number, or showing them photos of the progress you’ve made on their project will keep them engaged. People like being informed, and if you take a few seconds to shoot them a text about what’s going on, they’ll appreciate you for it.

There’s no shame in the text messaging game. It’s less intrusive than other methods of marketing, and it has the potential to be just as effective when used correctly.


With a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

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10 commandments of texting

Are there right or wrong ways to go about texting? My opinion is yes, just as there are right or wrong ways to go about writing an email or starting a conversation face-to-face.

For example, you wouldn’t (typically) just run up to someone and shout in their face. Likewise, there are good and bad ways to go about texting.

After reading a post from PopSugar regarding this very topic, I decided to come up with my own “Ten Commandments” of texting. (Note: this is not an exhaustive list, nor or the “commandments” in any particular order.)

  1. Thou shalt not be overly informal when texting thy boss.

Depending on your relationship with your supervisor, you might not even want to text them at all. For supervisors that do encourage texting, my advice is this: be careful. Unless your boss is your best friend, you do not want to text him or her the same way you text your buddies. You certainly don’t want to come across in a bad light.

  1. Thou shalt introduce thyself when texting someone for the first time.

We’ve all received that awkward text from someone with no name attached to the number. Then we have to respond with an awkward “Who is this?” or something of that nature. And finally, we have to wait until they respond back before the original message makes sense. This whole awkward exchange can be avoided if we remember to say who we are when texting someone for the first time.

  1. Thou shalt not send a text saying only “hey.”

I don’t know about everybody else, but once I got out of junior high (ok, maybe the first couple years of high school) I started to get turned off when people would start a conversation with just “hey.” We all have busy lives and would like you to get to the point. I mean, there are definitely worse things a person could do, but it just seems like a wasted message.

  1. Thou shalt not text anything that thou wouldn’t say in person.

This is so important. Many people seem to use text messaging as a shield to say things they would never dare say in person. Before you hit “Send” on that text, ask yourself, “Would I say this to them in person?” If the answer is no, delete everything you just typed.

  1. Thou shalt not text at inappropriate hours of the night.

A lot of people don’t put their phones on silent at night in case there’s some kind of emergency. Imagine how obnoxious it then is to jerk awake at 3 in the morning at the sound of your phone only to find that IT WAS JUST A DOG PICTURE SENT BY YOUR CRAZY NEIGHBOR WHO GETS UP AT 3 TO WORK OUT EVERY MORNING!!! Definitely not an emergency. (Note: this didn’t actually happen, but the illustration still stands.)

  1. Thou shalt double-check the recipient of thy message before sending it out.

In the texting world, there is nothing more awkward than sending a message to the wrong person by accident. Now, if you’re careful about the kinds of messages you send (see commandment #4) then this may not matter as much; however, even if you follow commandment #4, there are certain messages you send to certain people (your spouse, for example) that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see… I’ll just leave it there.

  1. Thou shalt not over-analyze thy messages.

Please please please don’t obsess over how many exclamation points a person used in a recent message they sent you, or why they used that particular emoji, or why they put a period at the end of their “sure” (was that an excited “sure,” a reluctant “sure,” or an indifferent “sure”?). You save yourself a lot of stress by not worrying about it. And if something really is bothering you and you can’t shake it, why not just ask the person point blank rather than stressing yourself about it?

  1. Thou shalt exercise restraint and discernment before sending messages.

Before you send your messages, read your message over and THINK. Is this message wise to send? Will it be helpful, or potentially hurtful? Will this come back to haunt me? Am I losing my cool in the heat of the moment? Sometimes, especially during high-stress situations, it might be best to give yourself a few minutes before you actually hit “Send.” Don’t send any message you might regret.

  1. Thou shalt proofread before sending messages.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: please make sure you re-read your message before sending it to make sure you correct any obvious errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. This really can help a lot of the miscommunication that occurs in texting.

  1. Thou shalt speak in person or on the phone if miscommunication is occurring via texting.

If you and your message recipient are really struggling to have a conversation, sometimes the best thing to do is just call them, or set up a time to speak in person. Some things are just difficult to communicate over texting, and some people are better at texting than others. Many times frustration can be averted by simply picking up the phone instead of typing on it.

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Why try a mass messaging system

Is texting still relevant? Is it still prominent, or is it going out of style? Why would you sign up for a mass messaging system?

The truth is that texting is alive, well, and growing. More and more organizations are taking advantage of the power of texting as they recognize that it is the best way to reach people.

We look at our phones 150 times a day”

The above is a quote from Ryan Leslie, and although I don’t know if it’s scientifically accurate, it’s still an astonishing thought! We have our phones on us almost all the time, and we look at our phones constantly.

This is why texting is such a significant way to reach out to people. More than any other method of communication you can be confident that recipients will read your message.

86% of time on the phone is spent texting

It used to be that all you did on your cell phone was calling or texting. Nowadays you can do anything from playing games to checking Facebook, but according to Fortune.com 86% percent of time on the phone still involves texting. That’s a huge percentage!

Texting is not going out of style anytime soon. It is a primary means of communication for young and old alike.

Texting really is the future”

Also from the Fortune.com video, this quote emphasizes how important texting really is to the future of organizations attempting to connect with their audience. Organizations are reaching people through texting in new and useful ways, such as allowing fans to interact with their favorite singer or running contests among customers. Texting’s usage is growing across the world, and its potential is overwhelming.

You’ll miss out on an important avenue of communication if you ignore the potential of texting. Don’t miss out on the awesome opportunity!

If you would like to try out text alerts for free, sign up for a mass messaging system here

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13 new iphone texting features

Apple is rolling out its new iPhone update this coming fall and some of the features they’re introducing are quite interesting! Will this new update change how iPhone users use text messaging?

Here are 13 new iPhone texting features that you need to be aware of.

  1. Using your finger to hand-write messages

With the new update, users will be able to hand-write a message with their finger.

  1. Drawing on pictures and videos

Related to feature #1, users can use their finger to draw or write a message on images or videos that they send.

  1. Accessing the camera from within Messages

Eliminating the steps of having to exit out of the messaging app to access your camera, the new update will allow users to access the camera directly within the app.

  1. Using third-party apps from within Messages

In addition to integrating the camera into Messages, the update will include the ability to use third-party apps such as photo editing apps or apps that would allow you to transfer money to your contact.

  1. Writing messages with “invisible ink”

The “invisible ink” feature will give users the option to send a message or image that is blurred over or scrambled. The recipient can read the message or view the image by swiping.

  1. Scheduling semi-automatically

When making plans via Messages, the user’s data can be automatically collected so that the iPhone can easily add date, time, and location into your calendar.

  1. Replacing words with emoji by tapping

The Messages app will be able to automatically detect certain words that could be replaced, and the user simply needs to tap on the word to transform it into the appropriate emoji.

  1. Connecting with Apple Music to share songs

The user will be able to easily share songs with the message recipient directly from within the Messages app.

  1. Editing messages with visual effects

The ability to add visual effects to messages, such as making the message bubble larger or smaller for a particular message, will be included in the update.

  1. Editing effects in the background

On top of being able to create visual effects for the text of a message, the user will be able to add visual effects (such as fireworks) to the background of some messages.

  1. Sending “rich links”

Links shared via text messaging will include an image related to the link, as well as a description of the content within the link.

  1. Sharing current location

The user will be able to share their specific location with recipients by inserting a map pin on their message.

  1. Replying to messages quickly via Tapback

The Tapback feature allows the user to quickly reply back to a message by tapping an icon from a list.

What do you think of these new iPhone texting features? What features would you like to see included, and what features could you do without?

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how text messages are saving lives

Texting has now been around for so many years that you’d think it would start getting outdated. But actually, in many ways texting is at its prime. Texting is proving itself to be useful enough to contribute in saving people’s lives in new and innovative ways!

Texting 911

One way that text messages are saving lives is through the ability to text emergency services.

The capability to text 911 during an emergency is something that is being added in counties across the country. This kind of feature can be vital in situations when calling is difficult or impossible.

Rodney Buchanan, dispatch director for Vanderburgh County in Indiana, points out that a service like this can especially benefit people with special needs such as “the deaf, the hard of hearing, those with speech impairments, physical impairments.”

Bucanan also discusses how their county’s implementation of the ability for residents to text 911 has already helped kidnapped victims to be rescued, even though the feature was implemented only recently.

Though calling 911 is still the preferred means, the potential for texting to help in certain situations cannot be ignored.

Health Follow-ups

A second way that text messages are saving lives is through health follow-ups. Healthcare providers and other organizations are beginning to see the value in checking in with patients via text messaging.

Studies such as the one described here describe positive results of using text reminders to help patients keep up on their prescribed health activities, such as at-risk patients regularly monitoring their blood pressure.

The result? People actually follow through on what they’re supposed to be doing at home.

This concept is being applied in other countries as well, such as Sierra Leone and Ghana. The goal is to get patients to take their medication or to practice other healthy habits at home, and the outcome thus far has been largely successful!


These unique ways in which people are taking advantage of text messaging technology are an encouraging reminder of how vital texting is to our current society. It is awesome to see technology being put to good use.

And the life-saving doesn’t stop there, I’m sure. The potential is wonderful and limitless.

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6 Ways Churches Improve Ministry with Text Alerts

Many churches have a problem. They need an efficient way to communicate with their members. Mail can be too slow. Email inboxes get so cluttered that people don’t read their messages. Not everyone has a social media account, and those that do have one don’t read every post that shows up on their feed. This problem is why Mobile Text Alerts was created—to be a resource allowing you to communicate to multiple people in a convenient and effective way.

With Mobile Text Alerts, you can affordably send UNLIMITED text messages to anyone who wants to receive them. As a church leader, you can organize your members into groups so that you can send text messages that are specific to a particular group (such as “College Group,” “Women’s Ministries,” or “Praise Band”). You can easily get feedback from your congregation as they can text a reply to your message and the reply will show up in your Mobile Text Alerts control panel.

When you send out text alerts, your messages can be sent immediately, or you can schedule them to be sent out at a specific day and time—you can even schedule it so that messages repeat daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or yearly, as needed. Our “Phone Alerts” feature can be added on to allow you to send out mass pre-recorded voice messages, for those members who don’t use text messaging.

Churches across the country are discovering the potential for utilizing text alerts to communicate with their congregation. Here are some of the practical ways that churches improve ministry with text alerts.


1. Canceling Service

You look outside and the snow is falling so thick that you can barely see anything. You watch the news and hear the weathermen going on about how many inches of snow are predicted and telling everyone to stay warm. You watch all of this and you wonder about your upcoming events and whether or not you should cancel.

Anyone who lives in an area that has cold winters can probably relate in some way to this scenario. And for churchgoers, it can be very frustrating not to know if service is canceled, or to show up in the morning only to find that they are the only ones there! With Mobile Text Alerts, it is easy for church leaders to just type in a message, hit send, and within minutes most if not all of your congregation will be aware as to whether or not service is canceled.

Sending a simple message such as, “Service is still on for tomorrow at 10:00” or “Service is canceled tomorrow morning due to the snow” can save a lot of confusion and hassle.


2. Youth Group

Many youth group leaders struggle with how to best connect with the youth in their church. Teenagers can often be forgetful, irresponsible, and overall just not very good at communication. But one thing that teenagers do understand is texting. It seems as if teens are always on their phones texting one person or another. Youth pastors and leaders understand this, and so many youth pastors are finding that texting is an effective way to reach out to the church’s youth and help get them involved.

How can text alerts help churches improve ministry with youth?  Text alerts are useful in reminding forgetful teens of upcoming events. Often teens aren’t involved simply because events might slip their minds. They don’t always write things down and don’t always prioritize like they should. For that reason, sometimes sending out a simple reminder to your teens can really help increase involvement. (This is true of any group, whether teens or adults, but is especially true of youth groups!) Keep reminding them about the upcoming Bible study or the summer missions trip and they will be much more likely to participate. You could even ask for a response, and your teens can reply from their phones to let you know if they are planning on going.

Accountability is just as important for teens as it is for adults. As a youth pastor, you can use text alerts to gently keep your teens accountable throughout the week. Remind them about lessons learned in youth group (“Don’t forget to keep Jesus at the forefront of your mind today!”) or about prayer requests (“Please keep Tim and his family in your prayers today as he goes into surgery this afternoon”). Send them encouraging Bible verses. Doing all of this can really help them feel connected and could have a great impact on their spiritual lives.


3. Children’s Ministry

Many churches have wonderful, thriving children’s ministries. Nurseries, pre-K programs, Sunday school classes, summer camps, Vacation Bible Schools—there is often a lot going on with children at church. But with all the activities and programs going on, workers and parents can get overwhelmed. This is where text alerts can be useful in helping churches improve ministry in regards to children.

With Mobile Text Alerts, parents can sign up to receive texts about their children’s events and activities. Receiving these texts can help parents stay organized so that they can understand when and where their child should be. For example, parents will appreciate knowing details about the upcoming summer camps—costs, dates, what time they should drop their children off, when they should pick their children up, and other pertinent information. These kinds of updates help eliminate confusion and keep communication open as parents can reply to the texts.

Children’s ministry workers and volunteers also benefit from receiving text alerts. With Vacation Bible School, for example, there can be dozens upon dozens of volunteers—sometimes even a hundred or more. Coordinating all of these workers can be extremely daunting. Sending out text alerts about times, dates, issues, and other important information can help keep everyone on the same page in the midst of all the crazy activity.


4. General Updates and Reminders

Not only can people involved in youth group or children’s ministry benefit, churches improve ministry in general by sending text alerts. All aspects of church ministry—whether it’s women’s, men’s, singles, elderly, or music ministry—are in need of updates and reminders of church activities and happenings. The women will appreciate having information about the upcoming weekend retreat easily accessible from their phone. The men will like to know about the dates for the men’s breakfasts over the next few months. Rehearsal time for the musicians has changed to 6:00 on Wednesdays. The church potluck has been rescheduled to the following Saturday. So many dates, times, details, and activities!

People like having this information on their phones for easy reference. Your members will be much more likely to attend and be involved if they are being reminded often. And when you as a church leader use text alerts, you don’t have to scramble to try to communicate when there are last-minute changes. All that you have to do is type in a message and send it to a particular group.

In addition to reminders about events and activities, you can send reminders and follow ups on sermon lessons or event topics. You can keep the messages fresh in your congregation’s mind by asking simple questions such as, “How are you showing the fruit of the Spirit this week?” or by sending a gentle reminder such as, “Don’t forget to give thanks in ALL circumstances.” Not only do these messages offer gentle accountability throughout the week but they also serve to help your congregation retain the lessons learned.


5. Prayer and Service Needs

Perhaps your church has a telephone prayer chain so that when someone has a prayer request that they want made known to the whole congregation, the request can be communicated from phone call to phone call. Maybe your church also has an email prayer list, so that a member’s prayer request can be communicated via email. But now there is an even easier and more efficient way to let people know about prayer requests.

Text alerts can be used to make a prayer request known to your congregation in an instant. This can be especially useful if some kind of emergency comes up that someone wants immediate prayer for. A church member can have a large number of people in the congregation praying in just a short amount of time.

The same concept can apply toward communicating service needs. You can let members in your college group know if there is an elderly member of your congregation who needs her grass mowed. If someone is going through chemo treatments, you can coordinate volunteers to bring meals to help the family. There are always prayer and service needs within the body of Christ, and text alerts help to communicate those needs. And the ability to organize your members into groups for your text alerts makes the service even more useful.


6. Bible Verse of the Day

The “Bible Verse of the Day” is another popular way that text alerts help churches improve ministry. Church members can sign up to receive daily Bible verses from you, so that your members can get daily encouragement from God’s Word. If you want, you can even coordinate this with your Sunday sermons so that the daily verses coincide with what is taught from the pulpit. Some churches are finding it useful to use text alerts to help their members daily with getting through a Read-the-Bible-in-a-Year plan.


If you are still unsure about how churches improve ministry with text alerts, you can get set up with a free trial account at https://mobile-text-alerts.com/signup to just try it out. There is no time limit to your trial, so you can test out the service for as long as you like. Feel free to contact us at contact@mobile-text-alerts.com if you have any questions!

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You can change various features of your account from your “Settings” page. This tutorial will walk you through the different aspects that you can edit.

Settings navigation

Account Settings

The first aspect of the “Settings” page is “Account Settings”:

Account settings

This page allows you to change general settings for your account.

From here you can change your keyword. Changing your keyword will change the word that people can text in to be added as subscribers to your text alerts. You can also use your keyword as your username to log in to your account. (Note: This will also change the URL for your sign-up page). Be sure to click “Save” when you are done to save your changes.

You can also change your password by clicking the “Change Password” button. You will be asked to type out your old password and enter your new password.

Control Panel Settings

The next part of the “Settings” page is “Control Panel Settings”:

Control panel settings

From here you can change settings regarding sending messages on your account.

The first setting you can change is your timezone. Setting your account to the correct timezone is critical to ensure that your scheduled messages go out at the right time. It also ensures that your Sent Messages Report reflects the correct time your messages were sent.

If your location does not participate in Daylight Savings Time, you can switch the “Use Daylight Savings Time” option to “Off.”

Lastly, if you would like your text messages to be sent to your subscribers’ email addresses in addition to their phone numbers, you can set the “Send Messages to Emails and Phones” option to “On.”

Click “Save” to save any changes that you make.

Sign-up Settings

The final set of options you can change are the “Sign-up Settings”:

Sign-up settings

These options affect the sign-up process for your subscribers.

In the Welcome Message box, enter the auto-response message your subscribers will receive when they sign up to receive your alerts. They will receive this message if they text in to sign up or if they sign up via your sign-up page.

Enter your organization name in the box provided. This name will show up on your sign-up page.

If you would would like to give your subscribers the option to enter their email addresses on your sign-up page, you can set the “Enable Email Addresses” option to “On.”

Click “Save” to save any changes that you make.

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4 ways text alerts help transit systems

Text alerts help transit systems be better organized.

Transit systems can be complicated and ever-changing. People who rely on these systems become extremely agitated when their bus is unexpectedly delayed or canceled, or when there is some other unexpected change. Likewise, transit workers can get lost and confused in a mess of miscommunication.

Here are 4 ways that text alerts improve transit systems’ organization.

  1. Changes in transit schedule

Often a change needs to be made in the regular schedule. Sometimes these changes are temporary, and sometimes they are permanent. Either way, how do you get the word out to make sure everyone is aware of the changes? In this day and age, text alerts are the quickest and most convenient way.

  1. Delays

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, there will be delays. Whether it’s due to winter weather, vehicle issues, or some other reason, delays will happen. Sending a quick text alert will make sure people know about these delays so they can be aware and possibly even plan ahead or adjust their schedule.

  1. Route detours

Is there road construction that hinders the normal bus route? Expecting traffic due to a special event? Some transit systems use text alerts to inform people about any changes in bus routes or planned detours. This information again helps riders know how to plan and keeps confusion at a minimum.

  1. Cancellations

The reality is that sometimes part of the transit system needs to be shut down because of bad weather or not enough drivers or a multitude of other reasons. If people are unaware of these types of cancellations, their whole day’s schedule can be thrown off. Use text alerts to keep people in the loop.

These are just a few examples of how transit systems use text alerts to communicate effectively. Never before has there been such a quick and easy way to keep passengers (and workers) updated!

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10 Reasons Why Text Marketing is a No-Brainer

If you have not jumped on the text marketing bandwagon yet, you should. The fact that everyone is in to texting right now is self-evident. It’s very rare to meet someone who doesn’t text these days. (Even the elderly are testing the waters when it comes to this convenient method of communication!) With that in mind, text marketing is a no-brainer.

Still need convincing? Here are 10 reasons why you should invest in text marketing.

The first 3 reasons come from BetaNews:

  1. Eight out of every ten people in the world own a smartphone
  2. In America, each person spends nearly three hours out of every day using their mobile devices
  3. Mobile use has grown 76% in recent years

Business.com provides some other great reasons:

  1. Texting is a quick and easy way to communicate a call to action
  2. People usually read their text messages within 1.5 minutes of receiving them
  3. Text messages have a higher read rate than email or social media

Text marketing is especially effective toward the youth of today:

  1. Texting is the language of the new generation
  2. The American Psychological Association claims that on average, a student can concentrate on schoolwork only 6 minutes before being interrupted by texts or social media
  3. The use of texting is so prominent that “text language” is becoming the norm


  1. Texting has proven to be very influential in people’s decision-making – for example, when it comes to quitting smoking

There are so many uses for texting that it’s impossible to put all the reasons for text marketing down in a succinct list. The possibilities are endless! And text marketing is now quite affordable. All the components of a successful tool: convenient, inexpensive, and effective.

Definitely a no-brainer!


Feel free to try out a free test account of our text alert services here.

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Check out our video tutorial on the basics of sending a message through your Mobile Text Alerts Control Panel!

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