Texting: The Killer Application in your Offline Marketing Arsenal
Times have changed. We think virtual first and then physical. That’s true where marketing is concerned too- we usually focus first on digital marketing. You may be overlooking other channels that are even more effective than what’s thought of as traditional offline channels. Online and offline marketing need to work together, for best results. Texting has the personal touch of offline communication with the convenience of technology.
Why texting works
Online marketing, as the name suggests, requires your audience to be online. What if they’re not? What if they have a slow data connection? What if they don’t have a smartphone? You can still get your message across in these situations, with texting.
5 reasons why you should combine texting with other offline marketing channels
Texting will stimulate your offline marketing. Here’s how.
1. Reduce no-shows at events
As a marketer, you want to get the most out of all the channels available to you. Let’s take events, for instance. They’re important for networking, brand building, and lead generation. You start publicizing your participation in an event week in advance. You set up meetings with potential partners, customers, and dormant leads who finally seem ready to take the plunge.
Only…when it’s the day of the event, many of them don’t show up. They might have forgotten about the appointment, changed their minds or their plans. They’re apologetic when you call, but now you have a free slot and it’s too late to fill it up.
A well-timed text reminder, automated from your CRM, would have done the trick. You could have sent them a week, a day, and an hour in advance to reduce your no-shows significantly. Let’s face it if you’d sent an email, but they’re at the event, chances are it wouldn’t get read in time. But a text will. It takes 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email, but just 90 seconds to respond to a text, according to CTIA.
2. Engage viewers and listeners
If you’re advertising in your neighborhood with billboards or on the local radio or TV channel, make it easy for leads to contact you for more information. Remembering a long toll-free number for calling is tough and noting it down requires effort that takes away from the experience.
Instead, you could mention a shortcode (a 5-6 digit virtual number on which you can receive texts). With this, you can convert a one-way mass communication channel like TV into a two-way channel, where your lead can reply to your communication in moments.
Enticing your viewers with an irresistible offer is a sure shot way of getting them to engage with you. For instance, a burger chain put up a billboard ad where they offered a free burger to those texting a keyword to their shortcode. Here’s what they advertised-
Get a free burger! Just text BURGER to 36343.
It was also easy for the chain to measure the campaign results, compared to measuring the performance of their other marketing channels, like TV and radio. They simply totaled the number of texts they received with the keyword.
They then went one step further. They asked viewers to text the keyword and their name. On an interactive billboard, they displayed the names of the people who had texted them. This way, they used the immediacy of texting, for instant gratification, like Coke did in the Share a Coke campaign. Consumers today are impatient- they are reluctant to wait for contest results to be announced, often months down the line.
3. Generate excitement in store
It’s easy to run a contest via texting. You can use keywords to give options for answers. A cafe ran this promotion at their shop at the mall on a weekend.
Today’s Contest- Who invented coffee? Text 1 for Arabs or 2 for Indians to 39304 to win a free cup of coffee. All participants get a discount code.
People could just whip out their phone and text the option number they choose. An auto acknowledgment message with a consolation coupon code could be redeemed instantly by those who answered incorrectly. Winners were publicly awarded, drumming up more interest in participating in similar campaigns.
4. Get more responses to direct mail
Texting can even give that old classic, direct marketing, a new spin. An accessories supplier sent an Ipad cover as a gift to potential big-ticket dormant leads. To get a chance to win an Ipad, they had to text the company to set up an appointment. Here’s what their direct mailer said-
Text MEET <YOURNAME> <DATE> in DDMMYY format to 49494 and you could win an Ipad!
5. Increase options and redemptions
You can also have a text loyalty program. Advertise it prominently and offer an incentive, so new customers are motivated to sign up for it. Rather than getting them to fill out forms, you can gradually get data by texting them a question a week about what products they would like to see in your store, for example.
Also, it’s convenient for customers to redeem mobile coupons, as they will carry their phone with them wherever they go. You can set up workflows in your CRM to send discount codes to inactive customers, for instance, to encourage them to visit your store again.
67% of online research is driven by offline media channels like TV, according to Jupiter Research. Offline marketing is key to getting an edge over your competition. Texting will ensure you develop a lasting relationship with both leads and customers.
Are you a marketer who wants to know more about texting? Read Messaging is the New Conversation for Marketing for starters.
About the Author
Nupur Maskara is a Content Manager at SMS-Magic. She continuously interacts with clients to understand how they use texting for marketing, sales, and service. Nupur enjoys texting for both business and pleasure.