6  Ways Small Business Retailers Can Use Text Message Marketing

Published: Apr 12, 2018

As a small business owner, you likely wear many hats. Marketing your business locally can be especially challenging given time and budget constraints. On top of that, the world of mobile marketing is moving so fast. In a recent RetailMeNot study, 54% of retailers said the mobile marketing technology evolves too quickly for their company to keep pace.

Man texting on smart phone while shopping for groceries

Mobile marketing technology doesn’t have to be complicated. The “humble” text message is simple, powerful and easily accessible by just about everyone with a mobile phone (even if your customers don’t have a smart phone!). Whether your goal is to drive traffic to your store or capture leads for your business, text message marketing can help move your business forward. Unlike email and social media posts, 98% of text messages are opened and read within minutes.

So how can you use text messaging for your small business?

Replace Your Handwritten Email Sign-Up Form

You know that guest book you have at the register where you ask customers for their emails? Get rid of it. In its place, add a sign asking people to join your VIP text list to be first to hear of upcoming sales or to receive mobile coupons. You can also ask people to submit their email address so you get both email and mobile phone number into your database.

text message marketing

(Source: TextMarks)

Capture More Leads

Promote a text call-to-action like “Text MYLAWFIRM to 41411” for a free consultation on all your marketing materials, signage,  or local radio spot. Texting provides a simple way for your prospects to take action on their own and get information from you. You can notified the minute the lead comes in and followup with them to close the sale.

Run a Text-to-Win Contest

One of the best ways to generate leads and drive engagement is to run a contest or raffle. Offer one of your products to the first 50 people who text your SMS keyword. Or, ask potential customers what is on their wish list from your store and do a random draw of anyone who texts in to see who wins it.

Promote Your Social Media Pages

Social media can be one of your most powerful tools when targeting local customers. It is one of the first places you can go to engage customers in your business, promote your products and services, and offer discounts and giveaways. When you use social media correctly, you are building a relationship with your customers and promoting your business. Send text messages out to your SMS subscriber list asking people to follow and like you on your social media sites.

Recruit Employees

Text messaging allows you to get information immediately into the hands of your potential employees. Promote your job openings by placing your text call-to-action in your window, in your ad or wherever you market. Once someone texts in they can get a link back to your job application page. Or, do some initial screening and use automated texts to ask qualifying questions.

Improve Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation can hinder your local marketing. Up to 50% of customers who look for a local business online will visit that establishment the same day. However, if you have negative reviews and little information online, they are less likely to visit. Spend time responding to reviews, text incentives to current customers who write reviews, and build up your website. After closing a sale and while you have the customer in front of you, just ask them to text an easy to remember word and receive a link to the site where you would like them to leave you a review.

Author: Melani Deyto, Director of Marketing at TextMarks, a SMS text messaging service for marketing and lead generation. www.textmarks.com

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