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You already know text messages are a great way to market to your customers and improve your brand loyalty, but what about using them to help maximize your other marketing channels?

Most businesses are surprised to learn just how easy it is to increase the effectiveness of their marketing simply by adding mass texts to their strategy.

That’s why today we’ll be discussing five specific tactics to stretch your marketing budget further using a business SMS.

Tackle each one and you’ll not only improve your engagement rates across the board, you’ll also increase conversions and sales without breaking a sweat.

In fact, the first tactic on our list is one anyone on your team can start doing today.

Text Alerts Drive Traffic to Your Social Platforms

If you’re struggling to get your customers to notice your social media platforms, text alerts may be the solution to your problems.

See, most brands end up burying a “Follow Us on Social” link at the bottom of their emails or tucked away somewhere on their homepage.

While it doesn’t hurt to have those, there are so many other factors competing for your reader’s attention that your social links end up taking a backseat.

To change this, consider sending a separate mass text with a link to your social platforms to your list of customers.

If you need a few ideas to get started, try sharing one of the following via text:

  • Are you about to go live on Facebook? Let your subscribers know so they can tune in on time.
  • Running a holiday giveaway on Instagram? Send a link with short instructions on how your customers can enter to win.
  • Or do you just want to remind people to follow you on Twitter? Find one of your best Twitter posts and share it in your text along with a link to your page.

Texts like these create a great hook that captures your subscriber’s attention. They also help guide them right to your social platforms.

This strategy also works well for driving traffic to specific social posts.

Your users may not have time to look at their social apps every day, which could cause them to miss some of your best posts.

A friendly text reminder can fix this. Text alerts ensure that your subscribers always see your messages even in their crowded social feeds.

In this same way, texts can also help maximize the exposure of any media you create.

Maximize the Exposure of Your Media

Let’s face it. Creating content — whether that’s YouTube videos, social posts, or blog articles — is not cheap.

And aside from the monetary aspect, creating original content is also super time consuming.

That’s why it pays to get the most out of your media.

If only half of your subscribers see or share your content, was it worth the time and money you spent creating it?

When you have a business SMS plan, you’ll always be able to maximize your content’s exposure.

Have an awesome infographic you want to go viral on social media?

Send it to your subscribers as a mass text first and include a shareable link so they can easily pass it along to their friends and post it to their social media platforms.

Do you currently run ads on your YouTube channel?

Turn those into a (much) smaller gif that you can send to your list via text.

This helps increase your ad’s exposure and can easily double or triple your reach.

Don’t be afraid to reuse your content by also firing it off as an MMS. It’s actually highly encouraged.

If you’ve already spent a fortune on a campaign, there’s no sense in wasting it by only using it once.

Fortunately, most content will work well as an MMS with only a small amount of tweaking needed. It’s a perfect, cost-effective way to gain extra mileage from your content.

Up next, I’ll show you how text messages can also help your business create a sense of urgency.

Use Texts to Create Urgency for Your Subscribers

Whether you’re running a contest or a limited-time offer, it can be tough to make sure enough people see your message before time runs out.

You can fix this common issue using mass texts and by sending text reminders.

In your initial texts about your giveaway, send your list of subscribers the details along with how much time they have left to enter. This should include the end date and when the clock officially stops (11:59 PST, for example).

From there, you’ll want to set up text reminders (you can do this using a business SMS plan) to create urgency as the end date approaches.

Depending on when your first text was sent, taper the rest of the reminder schedule to look something like this:

In the last month of the campaign:

  • Send one text per week for the first two weeks of the month
  • For the third week, send two reminders: one at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday) and one towards the end (Wednesday or Thursday)
  • On the fourth week, your texts should go out at the beginning of the week, two days after that, and every day leading up to the date.

You’ll also find that, by doing this and sending text reminders, you’ll also improve your customer service.

Especially when it comes to limited quantities, a limited time offer, or a special sale, your customers will appreciate the friendly reminder that a deal or supplies are about to end or run out.

Keep in mind, with all of your reminders and general texts, make sure your messages are short and sweet so that the focus remains on driving your subscribers right to your landing page or social media channel.

Anything else will just be a distraction.

Another way to eliminate distractions is to remove as many additional steps as possible for your customers. One way to do this is to use a text-to-win strategy.

Text to Win Campaigns Can Help Increase Engagement

Instead of texting your customers and letting them know they have to visit your social media platform or a landing page to enter into your contest, you can eliminate this added step with a text-to-win strategy.

By removing this extra hurdle for your customers, you’ll increase conversions naturally.

This time, work backwards from what I mentioned earlier by promoting your giveaway on social media and asking your customers to text you a certain code at a certain time.

You could prompt your followers to submit an answer to a question, send you a photo of them using or wearing your product, or any other creative ideas you can come up with.

Once your followers text over their entry, you can make it interactive by sending a personalized text message back.

With this text, thank your customers for entering your contest and let them know if they’re the lucky winner. For those who didn’t win, try sending them a coupon for playing along and being a good sport.

To keep things really interesting and engaging, try sending these customers another exciting challenge to tackle or giveaway to enter to keep their momentum going.

Get Your Subscribers to Focus on One Call to Action

Anytime you need your subscribers to take one specific action, consider using mass texts to do that.

Text alerts are short, direct, and hard to ignore. That’s why they’re a perfect place to add a call to action that actually gets noticed.

If you want your subscribers to sign up for your next event or virtual summit, send them a text with a short teaser of information and a link to learn more.

Even though you’re sending your subscribers away from the actual SMS itself, you’re motivating them to take action and that will give you the engagement boost you’re looking for.

However, be cautious not to overuse texts here. You shouldn’t send your subscribers too many alerts or they’ll become overwhelmed and desensitized to your texts.

Keep your relationship strong by only texting your list for important things.

This simple point helps to increase the likelihood that your texts are noticed and that your customers truly take action.

Use a Business SMS to Increase Your Marketing Efforts

By using a business SMS in conjunction with your other marketing channels, you’ll increase the effectiveness of all your efforts at the same time — and for very little increase to your budget.

It’s a fine balance, but when you get text alerts right, you’ll be over the moon with your newfound engagement rates.

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Raise your hand if you text regularly.

While I can’t physically see you, I’d bet that your hand was up, even if it was only virtually.

Now I want you to raise your hand if you text your customers regularly.

I’m going out on another limb here, but I’m guessing your hand probably isn’t up this time.

You may be thinking, Why would I text my customers?

And the answer is: Why wouldn’t you text your customers?

While texting may not be your first go-to communication method, you’ll quickly see why this should be the case after today’s article.

We’re diving into how text alerts can help your business improve its communication and customer service while also helping you build your brand loyalty and increase sales.

To start out, we’ll jump right into how text messages are a much better way to reach your customers.

#1: You’ll Have a Better Chance of Reaching Your Customers

There are few things as frustrating as when you’re trying to reach your customers and you just keep missing them.

Whether you’re playing phone tag or the email equivalent, you end up spending more time than you have trying to get your messages noticed and heard (or read).

But the problem may not lie with your busy customers or with you for that matter.

The real issue could be the communication methods you’ve been using.

See, with email, you’re competing with hundreds of other messages for your customer’s attention.

And while you may be used to calling your customers, that may not be their preferred way of communicating.

As we touched on in this article, “76% of people are more likely to read a message sooner if it’s an SMS/text message.”

And the stats back this up: Text messages boast the highest open rates (98-99%) and beat out every other communication channel (email comes in around 20% for the record).

So what does all this mean for you?

It means you have a better chance of actually reaching your customers when you take a detour from using emails and phone calls and start using text alerts.

One of the reasons why mass text alerts work so well is due to this next point.

#2: Text Alerts Are an Easier Way to Stay in Touch

Most people would admit that texting is easy.

You choose a contact. Write a short message. And hit send.

Since they’re short in nature, they don’t require too much thought. The whole point is to get quick communication out — that’s it.

Plus, there’s only so many things you can do with a text.

You can reply, click a link inside if there is one, or delete it.

This lack of options is another reason why texts are so easy to use — they don’t take up too much of our mental energy or time.

You can probably read a text message and type out a reply within a few seconds.

Thanks to these reasons, it’s easy to see why 81% of Americans admit they’re serial texters.

That’s why it pays to communicate with your customers using a method that’s easy for both parties involved.

Why not stay in touch using the simplest way possible?

By doing so, you’ll also help to build a better relationship with your customer, as you’ll see next.

#3: They Also Help You Foster a Personal Relationship With Your Customers

While mass texts are technically a one-to-many ratio, they don’t feel that way.

Instead, they feel more like a one-on-one conversation that’s more personal.

Unlike a group text, your recipients see a message from you without seeing who else received one with mass texts.

Plus, by using things like personalization and user-specific messages — such as a birthday or anniversary text — you’ll deepen your relationship with your customers while also fostering brand loyalty.

#4: Text Alerts Can Also Help You Increase Brand Loyalty

Text messages can help you give your customers the VIP treatment they deserve.

Do this and you’ll create a tribe of loyal customers who can’t wait to see what you have going on next.

Tackling this step is easy too.

Try using any of the following strategies and you’ll be well on your way to increasing brand loyalty:

  1. Reward your customers for signing up for your text alerts. A small discount via text works perfect here.
  2. Send portions of your list exclusive deals. Nothing says VIP more than an exclusive offer. Throughout the year, send deals like these to your best customers and you’ll see an uptick in engagement and referrals.
  3. Reach out with weekly specials. Weekly deals entice your customers to come back again, which is why texts like these work so well.
  4. Offer a BOGO where your customers bring in a friend to receive a discount. This helps you maximize both your brand loyalty and new customer outreach.

On top of improving your brand loyalty, mass texts can also help you increase your sales. Let’s discuss this point next.

#5: You Can Use Them for Cross Promoting Products

Text messages can be a great place to cross promote your products.

Just like with emails or your website, you can suggest related products or supplemental ones to your customers via text.

Anytime they make a purchase, thank them for their business and include a link to a related or supplemental product.

Oftentimes, customers simply don’t realize all that you have to offer. By showing them a recommended product, you’ll increase your chances of a second (or third) purchase.

The next tactic on our list is one that many businesses aren’t utilizing — and that’s a costly mistake.

#6: Generate Leads or Offer Your Customers Support

A click-to-call link is one that allows your customers to click the phone number listed on your website from their mobile device and trigger a popup to appear with the ability to call you right from your website.

This simple line of code eliminates a few extra steps for your customers.

Instead of having to remember or copy your number, they can use it right away with one click of a button.

You can now take this a step further and instead of triggering a popup to call, you can trigger a click-to-text. That sends users straight to their text messages instead of opening the phone functionality.

(Image Source)

Here, your customers can reach out for assistance or drop their contact information.

This helps you provide customer support immediately and is also a great channel to generate leads.

Thanks to the speed of text messages, both can be done in less than a few minutes.

Another action that can be done just as fast is sending follow ups.

#7: Send Follow Ups Faster

Another way to improve communication with your customers is to reduce or eliminate the time it takes you to respond to them.

With text alerts, you can do just that.

This time, you can send follow ups right away via text.

So when your customers reach out for customer support or when a lead comes in, you can send a reply letting them know you received their message and will be in contact shortly.

Improve Your Communication & Increase Sales Today

Now that you see why your business needs text alerts, you’re probably experiencing major FOMO from not using them.

After all, texts are fast, easy to use, and preferred by 76% of customers surveyed.

Not only that, they can help you improve both your sales and customer service as you saw today.

Plus, by building a deeper relationship with your customers, you’ll also see an increase in your brand loyalty too.

If you’re ready to start taking advantage of these perks for your business, click here to get started with text alerts today.

 

From Neil Patel Digital

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Do you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle trying to get your customers to notice your messages in their busy social feeds or crowded inboxes?

Despite your best efforts to post on social media and email your customers, you’re still seeing low engagement rates on your posts and open rates that are well below what you’d like.

Fortunately, today’s article will shed some light on this all too common frustration.

As it turns out, there are 6 reasons why your messages could be getting lost in the shuffle — and we’ll tackle all of them today.

You’ll also learn an alternative solution to help you bypass these issues and connect with your audience.

So let’s get started with the first problem on our list, which is actually a fairly simple fix to get right.

#1: You’re Sending and Posting at the Wrong Time

No matter how great your post or email, if you’re sending them to your target audience at the wrong time, you’ll never see the engagement rates you’re looking for.

See, while it may be convenient for you to send during a specific time, if your target audience is too busy in that time frame, your messages will go unnoticed and your hard work will be wasted.

To combat this, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think: What times are they free during their day?

If you’re targeting parents, early morning and afternoon messages can easily get lost to more important tasks like taking the kids to school and carpooling to after school activities.

But you also don’t want to catch your audience too late or they’ll be busy preparing dinner and winding down for the day.

You may find that sending messages during a typical lunch hour works best here to capture your specific audience’s attention.

This time also works well for audiences in an office setting since it’s usually a free period for them too.

So rather than sending out a message right when you create it, consider scheduling your messages to launch at just the right time.

Keep in mind, narrowing down the optimal time to send your message is only half the battle. You should also consider which days you’re sending messages and sharing posts too.

#2: You’re Not Sending Them on the Right Day

The beginning of the week is just too hectic for most people. They’re usually recovering from the weekend and jumping right into a busy week.

That makes sending your messages during this time a not-so-great idea.

Generally, you’re better off sending messages during the middle part of the week (think: Tuesday to Thursday) instead of Monday. Friday is also a day commonly associated with low engagement rates since people tend to check out and look forward to the weekend by then.

But even this can change depending on your business.

For example, if you’re holding an event or sale over the weekend, you may want to send a message on both Thursday and Friday to nudge people to your next event.

By doubling up on timely reminders, you’ll ensure that people don’t forget about your message or your upcoming event.

So imagine your target audience and consider how their week unfolds. Then make sure to account for special messages for specific events.

Even still, you may run into this next problem.

#3: You’re Trying Too Hard to Break Through the Noise

Have you ever noticed that whenever you post something on the social media platforms connected to your business, you see lower engagement rates than when you post on your personal ones?

This time, it’s not you.

Facebook and other social platforms are trying to get you to buy ads with them.

So if their algorithm detects a business promotion, they’re going to give your post less weight in your audience’s social feed.

This means your audience won’t see your messages as planned and they’ll get buried under funny memes and silly cat videos.

Fortunately, there’s a better solution: using an online SMS service, as I’ll show you later in today’s article.

But before I dive into that, you may need to own up to a problem many face that, unfortunately, an online SMS service won’t be able to help you with.

#4: Your Communication is Inconsistent at Best

Think back to the last time you posted something or sent an email out to your audience. How long ago was that?

What about the time before that?

And the one before that?

If your answers are spotty, this is the first area you need to tackle.

See, your audience craves consistency. They want to know when they’ll hear from you each week and they’ll come to expect to hear from you at the same time.

But that’s only if you can keep your posting consistent.

If you’re lacking in this department, you’ll be stuck in an endless cycle of waking up your subscribers and hoping they remember why they subscribed to your messages in the first place.

Inconsistent communication makes it so much harder to get your messages across.

On the flipside, when you create consistency, your audience will keep an eye out for your messages specifically. That small shift in behavior will drastically improve how many subscribers read and engage with your messages.

Then again, if your messages are guilty of this next issue, consistency will only go so far.

#5: Your Messages are Too Long

Most of us are short on time and your target audience is no exception. This makes sifting through long, wordy messages virtually impossible.

Your messages need to be strategic and succinct. And this advice goes for both social media and email.

Try to optimize each of your messages so they only include the most important points first and then supporting ones with additional details to follow.

A better solution, as you’ll see towards the end of this article, is to use an online SMS service to send out a short message that captures your subscriber’s attention. Then, you can link them to your additional details for more.

One reason why this works so well is because text messages bypass the growing problem with social media algorithms, as I’ll discuss next.

#6: Social Algorithms Are Constantly Changing

You’ve probably noticed that both search and social media algorithms are constantly changing. And that’s because both channels are heavily pushing users to purchase ads to boost their posts.

This means that it’s that much harder to get your posts noticed organically.

On top of that, Facebook added a separate Explore Feed that most people don’t even know exists, as we discussed in this article.

Thanks to this feature, your posts may be going to a feed no one is even using. And if that’s happening, obviously no one is going to see your messages either.

Luckily, there’s a way to get around all of this.

Instead of worrying about how the next algorithm update will impact your business, an online SMS service will ensure your messages always get delivered.

Here’s What to Do Instead: Use an Online SMS Service

An online SMS service gives you the ability to communicate with your customers using text messages.

As I touched on in this article, text messages are a great communication method since:

  • They’re fast. Your message is usually delivered within seconds.
  • They have the strongest open rates. Most users see open rates as high as 99%.
  • They don’t require an internet connection. Even if your subscriber’s WiFi signal is low, they can still receive your texts.
  • There’s no learning curve. Over 81% of Americans are texters,” and most people prefer them over other forms of communication.

When you compare email and social media outreach, text messages have far less in the way of competition for your customer’s attention.

The good news: Your messages have a much better chance of standing out, getting opened, and being read.

You can also schedule your text messages to launch at specific times. Find the most convenient day and time for your target audience and you’ll place your messages right where they’ll get noticed best.

SMS messaging services will also provide you with a link report that can show you how many clicks your link received. This makes it easy to figure out what’s working for your audience.

And, because text messages are short and sweet, you’ll have a higher chance of your subscribers actually reading your entire message.

If you need to add additional information, simply include a link with a call to action at the bottom of your text and send your subscribers to your homepage, a landing page, or a Facebook event page. A simple: “Click here for more info” should do the trick.

You can also set up reminder texts that send gentle nudges to your customers as your sale or special event approaches. This ensures that your brand stays top of mind for them even as their schedules start to fill up.

Thanks to text messages, you won’t need to fight your way through cluttered social feeds or jam-packed inboxes ever again. Your messages and posts will stand out and command the attention they deserve.

To get started with an online SMS service today, check out this page.

 

By Neil Patel Digital

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9

Consumers today are bombarded with dozens of restaurants to choose from, which means the challenge becomes trying to keep your diners loyal to your restaurant.

One of the most important ways to do that is offering delicious, mouth-watering food that your restaurant patrons won’t soon forget. The type that people crave for days and snap photos of to upload on Instagram.

On top of that, you need a solid team in place. One that’s attentive and provides the best customer service possible.

These ingredients combined in the perfect ratio will ensure your customers come back for more.

But what happens when you already have those down pat?

How else can you increase your chances of becoming the go-to restaurant in your neighborhood?

Many restaurants pack the house when they start using text message marketing.

Follow this route and you’ll capture your customer’s attention, build a stronger relationship with them, and increase your chances of earning precious word-of-mouth referrals.

Think the secret to achieving this is as closely guarded as your grandma’s mac and cheese recipe?

Think again.

Today we’ll show you how to use text message marketing to boost and improve your restaurant’s brand loyalty in a few easy steps.

Before we jump in, let’s first go over why this marketing channel works so well for restaurants.

How Text Message Marketing Will Change Your Business

As we talked about in this article, text message marketing is not as complicated as it sounds. It simply means you’ll be sending text messages to your list of customers to keep them interested in what’s going on at your restaurant.

Instead of only bombarding your list of customers with deals, you’ll start to build a relationship with them.

Since text messages are considered a 1-on-1 communication method, it’s important that the relationship aspect is prominent and clear to your recipients.

We’ll help you build a relationship with your subscribers using text messages today if that’s new ground for your restaurant.

Tackle these 5 strategies and you’ll be well on your way to creating loyal customers who can’t wait to see what your restaurant’s cooking up next.

But before you start sending messages to your customers, you’ll need them to sign up to receive them first. And that may require you to sweeten the pot a bit.

#1: Reward Your New Subscribers with Freebies for Signing Up

If you want your customers to sign up for your text alerts, you need to give them a good reason to do so.

That’s where offering a freebie or sending an enticing new subscriber discount comes in handy.

When new customers sign up, they should automatically receive a welcome text message that acts as a coupon for a freebie or discount.

In the case of a restaurant, send your customers a free appetizer, dessert, or premium side dish and you’ll increase your chances of getting those customers back in for a second visit.

This simple step ensures that your newly-subscribed customer comes right back to your restaurant for another meal.

Texas Roadhouse used this exact strategy and “acquired 60,000 subscribers to its mobile database in one year via a variety of loyalty call-to-actions,” one of which includes offering a free appetizer to those who join the database, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.

Another way to get your customers back in the door is sending a mass text to an exclusive list and offering only those subscribers a special deal, as we’ll see next.

#2: Send Portions of Your List Exclusive Deals

Exclusivity makes people feel special, which motivates them to take action.

This same logic holds true with text message marketing for your restaurant.

By sending a few of your subscribers exclusive discounts, they’ll feel appreciated and more connected to your brand. They’ll feel so many warm and fuzzies for your brand you’ll improve brand loyalty overnight.

When customers see that you’re taking time to make them feel special, they’ll feel more inclined to stop by your restaurant when their tummies grumble.

And when you combine this tactic with the next one on our list, you’ll see engagement rates that consistently improve each month, which further builds your brand loyalty.

#3: Personalize Those Deals & You’ll See An Uptick in Engagement

On top of using exclusivity, you should also personalize your deals to make them even more enticing to your subscribers.

This could be as simple as keeping track of subscribers’ birthdays and offering them a free or discounted birthday gift. Who doesn’t like a restaurant that offers subscribers a free slice of birthday cake?

Or it could include offering promotions based on your subscribers’ preferences.

If your customers want to receive coupons for bottles of wine, for example, they could sign up for your “Wine Deals” group. This way they only receive promotions they are actually interested in rather than cluttering their inbox with deals they don’t care about.

The more you can personalize your deals, the more likely they’ll be used.

Another way to keep your subscribers interested and engaged is to send them your weekly specials via text. We’ll show you how to do that next.

#4: Send Out Your Weekly Specials

When it comes to building your restaurant’s brand loyalty, it pays to keep your subscribers interested in what you have to offer. So keep your subscribers in the loop by giving them recurring messages.

One way to do that is to send out texts related to your restaurant’s weekly specials.

These texts should include enticing offers (more on this next), a glimpse into what’s on the menu, or seasonal items you’re highlighting.

By doing this, you’ll not only stay top of mind with your customers, you’ll also have them counting down the minutes until they can actually eat what you’re teasing them with.

To sweeten this deal further, send a BOGO offer with your weekly specials.

#5: Offer a BOGO Deal

Buy one, get one deals are always enticing. So how can your restaurant use them to increase your brand loyalty?

Instead of offering a plain ol’ BOGO, send your customers one where the deal involves bringing a friend.

The benefit of this route is two-fold.

Your deal will strengthen your original customer’s relationship with your restaurant and it will also help spread your brand’s awareness to your customer’s friend.

While you may take a small hit on the freebie entree, you’ll certainly reap the investment by essentially doubling your brand loyalty. Consider that extra friend a new customer who’ll happily recommend your restaurant to their entire network of potential diners. #NotTooShabby

With these 5 strategies under your belt, you’re ready to tackle this all-too important method of marketing ASAP.

Use Text Message Marketing to Improve Your Restaurant’s Brand Loyalty Today

To get started, find an SMS sending service that’s affordable and reliable.

When you partner with an SMS marketing expert, you’ll be ready to entice your customers with offers they won’t be able to refuse.

Keep in mind, you can’t just add your customers to your text alert mailing list — they must opt-in by law. That’s why it’s crucial to add an irresistible offer to sweeten the deal and motivate them to sign up.

After they’ve been added to your list, you’ll need to keep your subscribers engaged and interested in what’s going on at your restaurant. Use weekly special texts to do just that.

From there, send your loyal subscribers exclusive deals every so often to get them to visit your restaurant more frequently.

BOGO friend deals work well here. These can help bring in more traffic and increase your brand awareness with just one visit.

Keep rotating these tactics with your new and potential subscribers to uncover the deals and texts that resonate with them the most. Then you’ll be well on your way to improving your restaurant’s brand loyalty in no time.

And when that happens, you’ll soon become the favorite go-to restaurant in town.

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Photo Credit: Meditations, Pixabay

If you’re considering starting a new business, or even if you’ve recently taken the plunge, you need to ensure you make the best decisions for your future business. From creating a business plan to building a business website to choosing your location, every decision you make will either fuel or hinder the growth of your new business. Be sure you have a solid plan in place for each step in getting your business up and running.

The Business Plan and Website Building

Researchers and experts agree that making a business plan is well worth the effort. One study found that entrepreneurs who wrote a business plan were two and a half times more likely to actually go into business. For further motivation to create a business plan, consider that you’ll likely need one in order to receive funding from outside sources. When writing your plan, aim for 20 to 40 pages in length.

Creating a website for your future business is not only a great idea, it’s also a necessity, especially for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and any businesses selling products or services. Even if you aren’t selling anything online, you still need a solid website. According to Forbes, your website should “serve as an extension of your business card, with information about you, your business, and services offered.” The most important job of your website is to give you credibility.

Location, Location, Location

Remember that location is immensely important, especially if you’re going into the retail or consumer service industries, such as restaurants, dry cleaning, rentals, etc. While the choice of location isn’t as crucial if your business is mostly online, it’s still important. You’ll need to consider how your location will affect rent costs, shipping costs, taxes, and more.

Look for a location with traffic generators that draw people to the area. Traffic generators include other retailers, industrial or office parks, colleges, and hospital complexes. Also, consider a location that has a high concentration of your niche market. When you’re making a website, be sure to include your location so your customers can easily find you.

You’ll also want to look at where your competitors are located. Although your first instinct may be to avoid being near competitors, it’s best to be as close to your biggest competitor as possible. “By being in close proximity to your competitors, you can benefit from their marketing efforts,” says Entrepreneur.

Location also applies to the digital space as well. Look at your website domain name and see if there are similar names in use. Do you have a social media presence? How do you communicate with your client base. Do you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SMS Messaging or Email? These digital traffic generators can be crucial to your branding and aid in defining your differences with your competitors.

Staying Afloat Financially

Although it can be tempting to pour everything into your business to help it grow, you really need to keep personal and company finances separate to ensure that you save money for yourself and don’t lose all of your money in the business. Also, separating the two will protect you from liability if any legal issues were to arise or corporate debts were to occur. Additionally, your business should be incorporated as a distinct legal entity with its own finances. If you fail to do this, debts the business suffers may be paid out of your own pocket.

When setting your salary, don’t shortchange yourself. Many entrepreneurs underpay themselves significantly, but this is a risky choice. “Not only does it put your personal finances in jeopardy, it also creates a misleading picture of your company’s finances,” warns Inc.com. Research the appropriate pay for someone in your role, industry, and area, and pay yourself fittingly. You need to be able to cover your basic expenses, as well as set money aside for savings. Paying yourself appropriately not only allows you to factor in how much capital you will need to finance your business long-term, but it also prevents you from needing to drastically change the cost structure in the future.

One final tip is to adequately save money before you start a new business. Even if you pay yourself well, it’s likely to be less in the beginning, and you don’t want that to affect your life outside of work. Starting your own business comes with inherent risks, but it can pay off big time; you’re the boss, you’re doing something you love, and you have the opportunity to reap substantial rewards when your business turns into a success. Ensure your business is a success by starting off on the right foot and properly planning for all steps in the process.

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Mobile is huge. You don’t need me to tell you that. In fact, you just need to go out to a restaurant and look at how often people check their phones. One of the most insightful examples of the proliferation of mobile comes to us from a surprising source – the Vatican.

It often takes a few facts and stats to help us to visualise just how large a trend is, which is why we’ve done the hard work for you. Still not convinced about mobile? Here are ten facts about it that will blow your mind – and encourage you to change it.

1. There are 1.9 billion smartphone users in the world

That’s right – over a third of the world’s population owns a smartphone. In fact, in many developing countries, the computing revolution bypassed PCs altogether, with people in rural communities connecting to the internet for the first time through a smartphone.

 

2. SMS is the fastest growing marketing channel in the UK

SMS messages might be an old technology, but that doesn’t mean that they’re no longer relevant. By the end of 2016, 37.2 million Brits had opted in to receive communications from companies via SMS, and that’s set to increase to 48.7 million by 2020. Better still, it has a high response rate, making SMS marketing a no brainer for many people.

 

3. 68% of people check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up

This fact comes to us via Google Micro-Moments, and it’s already a couple of years out of date, so the true figure is likely to be much higher. Anecdotally, most people admit to checking their phone the second they wake up – quite often because they also use it as an alarm clock.

 

4. 78% of consumers made a purchase on their device in 2016

This impressive stat from The Financial Brand shows just how commonplace mobile shopping is becoming. It’s easy to tell yourself that people aren’t using their devices to go shopping – but unfortunately, it’s also incorrect.  

 

5. 21% of smartphone owners use ad blockers

That’s over 400 million people who are using ad blockers on mobile devices. That means that if you’re trying to reach people through mobile ads, you could be out of luck. That’s why more and more people are focusing instead on creating high-quality content that people actually want to consume.

 

6. Local searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall

According to Search Engine Land, local mobile searches are growing faster than mobile search as a whole, with a third of all mobile searchers looking for local information. This is good news for small businesses – and shows that people often find them through a simple search on their mobile device.

 

7. 53% of visitors abandon a mobile page if it takes more than three seconds to load

Research from DoubleClick proved what most of us suspected – people don’t stick around if a website takes too long to load. That’s why it’s imperative to make sure that your website loads as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

8. 86% of smartphones use Android

Granted, Android devices are cheaper and this is a global statistic, but it’s a great reminder that not everybody uses an iPhone. Mobile marketers need to remember to consider the huge proliferation of devices that Android opens up – and not just to assume that everyone is using an iPhone.

 

9. 69% of digital media time is on mobile

comScore’s 2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus report found that media consumption is growing – and that a large amount of that consumption takes place on mobile devices. It’s an important reminder that if you’re creating content for social media followers, you’ll need to make sure that it’s designed to look great on mobile devices.

 

10. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile or tablet

In October 2016, mobile and tablet internet usage eclipsed desktop usage for the first time in history. According to Stat Counter, mobile and tablet accounted for 51.3% of all traffic, with desktop traffic accounting for 48.7%. There’s no doubt about it – mobile is on the rise, and it’s set to continue in the coming years.

 

 

Conclusion

As a businessman, it’s your job to reach your customers in a way that suits them. And yes – you’re still a businessman if you’re working for a church or a non-profit.

Mobile marketing is a fantastic way to reach people at a time and a place that suits them, and it allows you to personalise your messaging too. So whether you’re using SMS messages and mobile social networks  or whether you’re building dedicated apps and microsites, you’re in luck.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in mobile marketing. What are you waiting for?

 

Author Bio


Laura Buckler is a writer at Essay Scholaradvisor and social media marketer with vast experience in digital marketing and content writing. Laura can usually be found within three feet of a mobile device.

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More and more people are using mobile devices to browse the internet. In 2016, mobile device searches overtook desktop computer searches for the first time ever. This should be a major wake up call for businesses yet to embrace the mobile revolution.

Websites and online marketing materials need to be adapted to mobile device formats. This doesn’t just improve user experience of your website. It’s also likely to improve your Google ranking and allow you to take advantage of the fact that 70% of mobile searches lead to fairly immediate action. People searching on mobile devices do so with greater intent than those on desktop computers so making sure your marketing efforts reach these people seems like a sensible way to improve conversions.

So what mobile marketing strategies should be on your radar in 2017? Here’s a list of handy tips to improve your mobile engagement.

Make Your Website Mobile Responsive

There’s really no excuse in 2017 for not having a fully mobile responsive website. This means layout and content that adapts to all mobile and tablet computer formats. You should work on your mobile user experience so potential customers aren’t bombarded with unnecessary information and poorly aligned visuals. And you need to test every update to your different website formats on the devices for which they’re intended. This way you get a real sense of how the website works for each and every customer.

Adapt Your Content

Your content and headings will display differently depending on the device through which they’re viewed. As a result, you should adapt your content marketing strategy for each device, bearing in mind the length of title that fits to the screen, the amount of text that users usually read on each device and the fact that mobile users are much more likely to be in the midst of a micro-moment. This means they’re looking to do, go, know or buy with pretty immediate effect. Solve these micro-moment problems with your content and you are much likely to convert your reader into a customer.

Use SMS Marketing

Sending an SMS can have an immediate impact on your target audience. An incredible 95% of customers who have opted in to receive SMS marketing, open and read mobile messages within three minutes. You can set up an SMS marketing campaign with an external company who will manage all of the technical aspects of the job.

Create an App

Some company directors question the usefulness of an app when they already have a mobile responsive website. However, these people are missing out on the incredible list of benefits an app can offer. Apps can help you build a closer relationship with customers, create a direct marketing channel, build your brand image and provide convenient solutions for those using your services or products. The technology now exists to alert customers to sales as they walk past your store, to conduct loyalty rewards based on customer app engagement and even to alert store assistants to the name of a customer as they walk through the door. It seems the possibilities for engagement and personalization of customer experience are going to be endless.

 

No modern marketing strategy is complete without a thorough dissection of the mobile landscape and content dedicated specifically to mobile users. Don’t get left behind. Update your approach and make the most of the ever-burgeoning mobile market.

 

Amelia Dermott

Amelia Dermott is a passionate writer and self-proclaimed Internet addict. Having experience in business and IT administration, she likes to write about technology and self-development topics. She’s also part of the team at Bizdb.co.nz.

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9

Sales requires customers, and customers need great offers. In 2015, United States smartphone penetration existed at 75 percent, reinvigorating old ideologies surrounding the mobile phenomenon. Now, most American adults have a smartphone—and they’re engaging strong-willed business gurus ready to make a change.

Mobile networking dominates modern communication, and both B2B and B2C realms have been reconfigured to exist upon the marketer’s crafted strategies. Now, the consumer’s communication is in their pocket, both phone-based and as an Internet resource. Sales-minded professionals are urged to keep a lookout for the following five mobile marketing strategies—and you should, too.

Strategy One: Drive Conversion with Mobile Media

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Imbue your mobile marketing strategies with mobile media. Videos viewable on mobile devices can be uploaded, shared, sourced and rated. While some platforms may restrict mobile use, most video formats are accessible via the smartphone’s design.

Video marketing, itself, is powerful. 92 percent of mobile video viewers share their media with others. Similarly, marketers including video media in an email experience a 200 to 300-percent click-through rate increase. Your mobile site, email campaign, social media presence and even SMS platform should harness mobile video. Just be sure to make sure all videos are viewable on different smartphone, mobile and tablet devices.

Strategy Two: Create with Respect to Wearable Technology

Wearable technology will be the next sales-driving utility. Because of its rising popularity, big-time providers are drafting location-based plans, in-store offers and integrated marketing solution plans. Sure, customers might not rely on wearables to complete purchases, but they’re using them to get into the store.

Wrist-watch computers bring brands closer to the consumer. They help market, promote and assist with notification pushes. At the end of the day, few end-games compete with one prioritizing consumer engagement when sales are considered.

Strategy Three: Make Calling Simple

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Mobile marketing strategies thrive upon instant access, and studies find consumers unable to call a company quickly are:

  • 47 percent more likely to explore other brands.
  • 47 percent more likely to feel frustrated and annoyed.
  • 33 percent less likely to return to the brand.

Incoming calls directly increase sales, and your mobile marketing plan should prioritize them. To boost incoming calls, become listed in local directories such as Bing, Google and Yelp. Additionally, use a vanity phone number, as they increase clicks by as much as 33 percent. Make your contact number clickable, and use obvious, bold click-to-call buttons on your mobile website platform.

Strategy Four: Implement a QR Code Program

QR code programs have become popular for a reason. They offer instantly accessible deals, and they’re highly customizable to the consumer. Learning about QR codes helps, as does fortifying a strategy alongside their inclusion.

Your QR code should be made via a code generator. A lot exist, and many have industry-specific offers. Once you’ve settled on one, create and link your platform. Test, analyze the data and test again. You’ll be surprised by the amount of traffic your QR code platform receives. Don’t neglect the unique QR schemes abroad, either. Install QR codes where consumer traffic occurs. Put them online, on apps, on your brick-and-mortar store windows and at registers.

Strategy Five: Implement An Automated Messaging Strategy

mobile-marketing-strategies-3

Mobile-based messages boost sales, too. They increase retention, promote important offers, optimize strategies for success and deliver much-needed long-form content.

When crafting a mobile messaging strategy, design messages with fingers in mind. Implement every possible information tidbit into the white areas, and avoid “link crowding.” While SMS should be your go-to communication platform, marketing automation messages should be your go-to retention, communication and offers platform.

Implement pictures, and link back to your campaign’s other faces. Of course, feature a call-to-action, and make sure readers are constantly aware of the message’s intentions. Each message can, and should, be streamlined for skimming. Too often, mobile marketers miss out on sales leads because of a neglected message format. Your messages should be virtually packed with information, but they shouldn’t seem “tossed together.”

As your mobile marketing strategies evolve, your brand’s accessibility points will change. Understandably, the consumer is always growing—as is surrounding mobile technology. Study the business climate, and be ready for change. If you are, you’ll drive sales, boost conversions and experience success.

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay

Sophorn is an inbound marketing specialist helping businesses build intelligent inbound marketing gameplans that places their customers front and center.

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Best URL Shorteners

Text message marketing is all the rage right now. Plenty of businesses are investing in this unexpected marketing channel – and that’s because text messages work. In this day and age, consumers treat smartphones as extensions of themselves and always keep them within reach. Mobile interactions are very personal and easily boost consumer engagement with the brand or product.

Another critical feature of SMS marketing is its immediacy. All it takes is hearing the beep of a notification and a quick glance at the screen to get the message. One study suggests a smashing 98% open rate for texts. And that’s not the end of it. More than a third of recipients positively responds to calls-to-action included in these messages.

One way to add instant value to your SMS marketing messages is including a URL to specific online content, for instance a landing page for your new product. That’s where you should consider shortening your URL.

There are at least a few benefits of shortening your URLs for SMS marketing (we’ll get to a list of the best URL shorteners a bit later).

1. You gain extra space

Adding a long URL reduces the number of characters available for your message. Since an SMS can contain up to 160 characters, every single one counts a lot. You need to make the most out of this space and shortening your URL is an excellent idea.

With a URL shortening tool, you can limit your URL to 12 characters to gain back lots of valuable space for your marketing messaging and successfully persuade recipients to follow your calls-to-action.

2. Speed of response

SMS marketing is characterized by a really fast response rate – you can practically trace the response to your messaging as it unfolds. Doing this, you’ll be able to make quick decisions and boost your click-through results.

A shortened URL can be moved from the top to the middle and bottom of the message – experiment with its structure and count in other factors to develop a strategy that works for your target.

3. Improved reporting

Adding a shortened URL to your message, you’ll be able to develop an individual code for each message sent to an individual number. This is of immense value for reporting – you can easily see who opens your messages and clicks through to the targeted URL. Most analytics tools will also show you how they’re accessing this URL too.

4. Boost in campaign agility

With a wealth of tracking data at your disposal, you’ll be able to closely monitor your campaign and retarget it in a matter of minutes. If your click-through rates are lower than expected, analyze possible reasons for that and experiment with different message formats. If they are high, you’ll have solid proof that your message resonates with your target.

5. This type of marketing has a future

Since technology develops at an increasing pace, it’s hard for businesses to stay on the leading edge of innovation. Still, it’s clear that we’re moving towards solutions that allow brands to interact with consumers on a personal level. Personalization of marketing messaging is a strong trend and brands are likely to capitalize on SMS marketing with its connection to the online world via smart shortened URLs.

Best URL Shorteners

Now that you know that shortening your URLs is a good idea, here are some of the best URL shorteners to help you tailor your SMS marketing campaign to make the most from it.

All these tools allow you to track the number of recipients who click on the link and are compatible with both iOS and Android.

Use them to shorten your URLs and deliver SMS marketing messaging that resonates with your audience and boasts a high click-through rate, helping your brand to grow in its niche.

Guest Author Bio:

James Pointon is a blogger and a customer consultant working at OpenAgent – Australian experts in the real estate industry. James is particularly interested in new ways of reaching and retaining customers. Follow him at LinkedIn.

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