July 26, 2017

The Complete Guide to Promoting Your Small Business with Texting


Staying current has never been more important for small businesses than it is today. As millions of consumers turn to Amazon for ease of ordering and delivery of such a wide variety of products, the worst thing a small business can do is be complacent.

Most entrepreneurs would do almost anything to avoid being considered obsolete or out of date.

That's among the reasons why it's so crucial for small business owners to leverage all the tools they have available. Sure, that includes email and social media and whatever other kinds of marketing is pertinent to a given industry. But if a marketing plan doesn't include text messaging these days, it's definitely missing a golden opportunity to not only stay current, but to stay in touch.

Text message marketing continues to flourish as one of the most cost-effective and result-driven methods to keep customers happy in almost any business. Here is what you need to know about using texting for business.

3 Steps for Texting for business:

Always have a plan

When it comes to thinking ahead, having a plan is simply a smart place to start. Research shows having a game plan on a daily basis helps with productivity in the office, so why not consider integrating a plan into your texting? Most of us are on our phones more frequently than we'd like to admit, so it makes for a fantastic way to keep in touch.

Aside from that, companies with a business plan are generally twice as likely to succeed as those without. So like any good list, the things you don't want to miss when using text message marketing is comprised of some pretty unforgettable steps:

    • Include the basics: When it comes to text message marketing, the alpha and omega include information about the company and a call-to-action. It's important to include clear instructions that allow the recipient to easily understand the message, including details like what to do, contact information and a website link.

    • Don't forget the details: Everything in between - like a personalized, engaging message that offers value, includes instructions, and incorporates power words - also matters. But making sure the message includes where it is coming from and ends with urging the recipient to participate is imperative. Examples of power words include words like you, free, instantly and new, which help grab the attention of the recipient. Remember, if you don't offer value, there will be no conversation, so be sure to incorporate an offer of some kind in the message.

Mind your don'ts

Like anything in marketing for your small business, knowing what to avoid doing is almost as necessary as knowing what to do. Some of the biggest mistakes you can make when using text messaging in your small business is being unclear.

That includes everything from using "text-speak" and abbreviations to littering your message with emoticons or too many exclamation points. Enthusiasm is a great thing, but find other ways to communicate it than by using strategies the user may deem unprofessional and cheap.

Mind your do's

When a text message plan is solid, it incorporates best practices that generate proven results.

Dividing your messages into recipient categories can help to more effectively personalize whatever you are trying to communicate. Not only that, but segmentation helps deliver only relevant texts to customers so you know you're reaching your target audience with each message.

Also, timing matters. Try not to send more than four text messages per month, and do so during working hours when you are more likely to reach someone than when they are home with their family or commuting. To see the full checklist for writing a marketing text, as well as do's and don'ts for text messaging, check out the infographic by TextMagic below.

Keep it in the real estate family

Text messaging is considered an easy, cost-effective must for small business marketing. When research shows an estimated 63 percent of people have their phones with them almost 100 percent of the time, it's just smart to put those statistics to work for your business.

An article by Entrepreneur goes as far as to call mobile marketing a "must or die" for real estate agents, saying it's an "inherently mobile industry" driving a "mobile-first approach."

What that means for real estate agents is simple: when more than a half billion homes are viewed on Zillow Mobile in the course of a month, text messaging seems like an obvious way to reach clients who are clearly already using technology for their home search.

Add to that that about 90 percent of realtors prefer to communicate through text messaging, and 29 percent of buyers prefer it as well, and you have an efficient model sure to make more customers happy.

An article on LinkedIn cited seven proven benefits for real estate agents who use SMS marketing, including reasons why text messages help real estate agents sell home faster, save money and interact more efficiently with their clients.

Text messaging allows realtors to get more leads on potential buyers, send property details and learn when clients are available.

That has been the case for family-owned Flyde Property, a company that has opted to formally integrate SMS marketing into its business model. They hired TextMagic to assist with their text message plan, and as a result found less man hours being spent attending unnecessary appointments, more people keeping appointments and a better service provided to their tenants and clients alike.

Why is that all so important? Because in any small business, things can change in the blink of an eye. And when that's the case, it seems like more than smart business to use one of the most reliable forms of communication.

In this fast-paced market when you have your customer's best interest in mind, it seems more like a necessity as part of the exceptional customer service you seek to provide.