Strategies for text message marketing

Q: How can I use text message marketing?
A: I have a client who runs TV commercials. His commercials are pulling very well and he actually gets them dirt cheap. He’s been doing them for years. We’re always testing different calls to action and ways to respond in his commercials. The latest test, which will roll out shortly, will be adding a call to action to have the viewer “Text In” to get a killer special.What do we know? We know that most people watch TV with their phones next to them.We know his target market has a high concentration of smartphone users. This fact plays in perfectly to what we do next.After prospects text in, they are added to a text marketing list, then we have permission to follow up at any time (although I recommend not more than once per week to a text list, and maybe even less).What we program into the text reply is a link to a mobile site. It can be a landing page or a full mobile site optimized for the small screen. It has easy navigation and has a different set of principles at work. (We are all going to need a mobile site eventually – the sooner, the better.)On the mobile site, we make another offer to the prospect. To get this next offer, the prospect needs to enter his or her name and email address. Now you have his or her mobile number, email address and name. This is a great start to leading them down the path of doing business with you.Mobile menusA real estate agent can have a text-in offer included on ads or on the MLS sheets. The reply can link to a mobile catalog of listings with virtual tours. The prospective buyer appreciates how this agent is on the cutting edge. Any potential seller would see the value as well.Restaurants are a slam dunk. What are the main challenges they face? Frequency and competition. People eat out, but there are so many choices it’s hard for a restaurant to turn a high percentage of their customers into regulars. But with weekly or bi-weekly text and email deals, a restaurant can keep top-of-mind awareness. Restaurant owners can send links to their “mobile menu” with a click-to-call function.Mobile technology gives you a ton of great opportunities to stand out in the crowd and reach your customers and prospects. It’s just a matter of taking action.Mike Dolpies, a business owner, author, speaker and Internet marketing consultant, can be reached at 603-286-4864 or