Category Archives: SMS Marketing

Halloween & Bonfire Night – why this extended holiday is great for businesses

Grab your mask, sweetie bag, and pumpkin spiced latte, it’s our favourite scary time of the year again, Halloween! That’s right, Halloween has already crept up on us, and if we aren’t careful Bonfire Night will fly by as well.

Us brits may not celebrate Halloween in the same way as our overseas cousins in American, but the Halloween holidays are undoubtedly not to be missed by retailers across the UK. It is a great opportunity to start your sales early with the following months including Black Friday, Christmas and January sales.

Every year Halloween grows in popularity, with sales of sweets, scary outfits and probably bed sheets (they make great ghost outfits). So we wanted to help you get your juices flowing with some scarily good facts and ideas of how you could incorporate Halloween into your marketing plan.

If you store isn’t selling Halloween costumes, or directly promoting Halloween, it doesn’t mean you can’t jump on the proverbial “ghost ship” and make some sales out of it. A simple SMS to your customers prompting a Halloween sale could be enough.

“Don’t like dressing up for Halloween? Don’t worry, we have great outfits that you can wear all year round with a huge 30% off & next day delivery www.link.com”

And Halloween isn’t just for retailers, restaurants can use this holiday to their advantage as well. Why not send a text message to customers who don’t want their door constantly being knocked on and just want some peace and quiet over the Halloween period.

“Don’t be tricked this Halloween and have a nice quiet night at Ed’s Bistro instead. Book a table between the 29th and 31st and get a free dessert www.link.com”

Once Halloween is over and people have finally stopped dressing up as witches and ghouls, the next big sales opportunity is less than a week after, Bonfire Night! This can be used as an extension to your Halloween sale.

With millions of people throwing Bonfire parties, and in need of food, drink, warm clothes, and of course fireworks, the lead up to Bonfire Night is the perfect time to squeeze in a few extra sales.

Bonfire night 18 stats

Remember people need warm clothes when out watching the fireworks, and those who are hosting the event will need food and drinks. Two great reasons to send your customers an SMS prior to the event.

“Don’t freeze this Bonfire Night and wrap up warm with our big fluffy coats reduced by up to £50 www.link.com”

“Get you snacks and drinks ordered and delivered ready for Bonfire Night and save 20% on your total shopping www.link.com”

So make sure you have incorporated both Halloween and Bonfire Night into your marketing plan, and by sending customers an SMS message, you know that your message will be read.

Halloween & Bonfire infographic

Why Email to SMS is still a popular communication channel for businesses

Email to SMS is like your old sturdy car. Yes, it may not be as glamorous as online SMS platforms, and some people think it is outdated, but the outcome is exactly the same. Your car takes you from A to B and your SMS goes straight to the recipients’ mobile phone in just a few seconds.

Email to SMS is so simple, you add the recipient, type your email, then click send, seconds later the recipient receives your email message as a text message on their mobile phone.

As the famous saying goes . . . “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

We have a brilliant online SMS platform Message Box, that has loads of handy features, from seeing who clicked your URL link, to being able to add a free SMS Web Page to your text message, where you can include images and extra text all for free, and much much more. We love Message Box and we always hear great things about it from our customers.

Even with all those great comments and more, we also recognise that some businesses don’t need, or even want all the amazing features that Message Box has. This is why we have our equally easy to use Email to SMS gateway.

Like the name suggests you can send an email that converts into an SMS. It is still extremely popular way to communicate with customers, especially if you need to have a conversation with them easily.

Customer quote: “So easy to use, I love responding from email it’s so much quicker”

Email to SMS can be used to send individual messages or bulk messages, both being delivered in seconds. It can be used for;

Appointment reminders – Get a list of people who have an appointment with you the following day and send them a message reminding them about it.

Website chat – Add a txtUs number to your website and get people to text you with their queries, you can then reply by email and see the conversation thread.

Marketing and sales messages – You can send mass marketing and sales messages from your email account, increasing sales and engaging with customers at the same time.

Delivery notifications – If you are a small retailer, sending personalised delivery notifications is a great way of keeping customer informed and happy about your service.

Four great ways to use Email to SMS, but why in this modern age is it still so popular amongst businesses? Well there are 3 major reasons as to why businesses are still coming on board and asking for Email to SMS.

Simple to use
We understand that employees already have a huge amount of marketing platforms that they need to login on, and with Email to SMS all you need is your email account. And like everything in Text Marketer, we have made our Email to SMS gateway extremely easy to use, with 3 very easy ways of setting it up and using it, all can be found here.

But in simple terms, all you need to do is enter the customers mobile number in the ‘To’ box followed by @textmarketer.biz, type your message, enter ## at the end (this is so your email footer is not included) and hit send. See we told you it was simple.

Multiple users
With email to SMS you can have as many users as you like sending and receiving text messages through email. Because it is all through the employee’s email address, what it means is with each email account, comes a potential new SMS user.

This gives businesses a way of allowing users to connect with customers on a personal level. As with a text message, 98% are read and 90% are read within 3 minutes, sending a text message instead of an email vastly increases the chance your message will be read and your required action completed.

Easy conversation tracking
Email to SMS allows you to have a conversation with your customers, and just like an email, you can see the thread of conversation between you and the customer. This is great as you can use Email to SMS as a chat option on your website, meaning consumers won’t have to wait around on the phone for hours before talking to someone. They simply send a text and wait for your reply, then have a full conversation with you.

Both your employee and recipient now have a full thread of the conversation if you ever need to go back and check it.

 

If you are interested in using Email to SMS for your business, then sign up for a free SMS account and our expert team can help you set it up and have you up and running in no time.

Why MMS is dead and has been for some time

The first SMS message was sent in 1992 and read “Merry Christmas”. Since then SMS has been on a meteoric rise, going from strength to strength and now used by millions of people and businesses across the world.

MMS came along 9 years later, with the first MMS capable phone being the Sony Ericsson T68i in December 2001 and the first MMS message being sent shortly after.

MMS was a great idea at the time, you could send pictures, attachments and more to your friends through your mobile phone. But it was not to last, when OTT messaging like WhatsApp was developed. Since then MMS has never really recovered.

This issue with MMS is that it costs a lot more than SMS. Currently sending an SMS to your friends and family will cost you anywhere between 10p-14p, unless it is included within your monthly subscription then it is free. MMS on the other hand can cost up to 4 times as much and can be around 45p a message, and even if you have unlimited text messages on your mobile phone contract, this will still cost you 45p.

The story is the same with business SMS providers. Some SMS providers offer MMS at 34p where sending a normal SMS would only cost around 3.3p. That means if you are send a message to 1,000 people, sending it as an MMS would cost you an extra £307.

What is worse is that not everyone has an MMS capable phone, with nearly 30% of all people in the UK not owning smartphone, and therefore cannot receive MMS. That means if you do send an MMS message to your customers, then potentially 30% of them won’t be able to receive it – that is a huge missed opportunity.

So why do some SMS providers still offer this dated solution? Well to be honest we don’t know, but we have taken a stab in the dark and thought of 2 reasons:

1. It makes it look like they have loads to offer, with extra features to their platform.
2. Because it costs their customers 3 times as much, meaning a bigger profit margin – more money for them, less for you.

Both not great reasons, and both not really beneficial to businesses or the end user.

Some businesses still use MMS because it is all they know, but what would you say if there was a way that you could send pictures, links, and more to your customers at no extra cost?

Other option to MMS
As we said above MMS was a great idea, with a huge emphasis on was. As technology has rapidly evolved, MMS has stood still, with other features have overtaken it, one of these being SMS Web Pages.

SMS Web Pages lets businesses create their very own landing page, filled with images, extra text, downloadable links and all for no extra cost. Like all Text Marketer products, it is so simple to use, and it only has a 5-step guide from start to finish.

MMS vs SMS Web Pages

SMS Web Pages is a great feature that all businesses can take advantage of, but as we developed SMS Web Pages to enhance SMS and give customers a better experience, SMS itself is also evolving to give businesses and customers an even better experience.

The future of SMS
SMS has been around for years and will continue to be around for years to come. SMS has continued to get stronger and stronger, and with technology rapidly evolving, SMS must also evolve . . . introducing RCS.

RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, it will allow people and businesses to send richer messages to customers. Allowing customers to interact with the SMS message, making their lives easier.

RCS will be coming out this year, but as a lot of new technology, it will take some time for it to really take off. Only the new Android phones will be RCS enabled and until Apple say yes to it, it will be some time before Apple users can use it too.

 

With SMS Web Pages giving businesses and users the same experience as MMS, and with RCS soon to be out, why do businesses still use MMS?

If you would like to talk about any mobile marketing options for you business then do get in touch on 0117 989 5139.

Why more is always better in the SMS game

“Please sir, I want some more” – a very well know saying said by a little boy. And the reason it is so famous? Is not because the book sold millions of copies, or the fact the movie was a huge hit, no, no, no, the reason is, because more is always better – well that is how we like to see it anyway.

Back in 2011 there were around 13 billion text messages being sent daily, this increased to 18.7 billion in 2014, and further increased to 22 billion messages being sent every day in 2017 (Source: Domo). That is a huge increase of 1.8 billion messages every year.

And people said SMS was just a fad. . . The people have spoken, and it appears not.

As you can see SMS is still growing, and at some rate too. With new innovative businesses, wanting to easily connect with their customers, starting every day, these number will only continue to grow.

SMS can be used in businesses in various ways and not just for sending a mass sales alert to customers, yes this is one of the more popular ways that businesses use SMS, but there are tonnes more ways – read them all here.

Now onto why ‘more is always better’ – well who wouldn’t want more money, more customers, more reviews, more website hits, more, more, more. So to get more [insert what you want here], you will in most cases, have to do more work. But not in SMS marketing, no SMS marketing is so simple that doing more doesn’t mean doing mean doing more work.

SMS marketing is simple and low cost, so doing more is so easy. Then how do you get more from SMS without the extra workload? Well we are glad you asked.

Buy more credits
Make sure you buy as many credits as possible, especially if there is a deal on. The best way to save money when using SMS marketing is buy credits when there is a sale or offer on.

Or if there isn’t a sale on, just buy more credits. Our credit prices are broken down into packages, so if you buy more credits at once, the price per SMS is less.

Text Marketer SMS Prices

As you can see from our pricing above, if you go from the first bracket, 1 – 10,000 to 10,001 – 24,999 you will save 0.3p per message. Now this may not sound like a lot, but it all adds up.

What you need to do, is work out your yearly usage, and purchase that many at a time. If you are using 5,000 SMS credits a month, instead of buying 5,000 SMS credits each month, instead buy 60,000 credits at once and you price per SMS goes from 3.3p to 2.8p. This would equate to a saving of over £300.

Remember credits don’t expire on live accounts, so buy in bulk and save money.

Send to more customers
It may not be the most in-depth piece of information you will ever be given, but sending to more customers at once will get you a better return. This is for 2 reasons;

1. More of your customers will see your message, and therefore more people will take up your offer. Sending to 10 customers, means a maximum of 10 of your customers making a purchase, or doing your required action. Sending to 1,000 customers, means 1,000 people can take action or purchase from you.

2. Word of mouth, or is this case, word of SMS. The more of your customers who see your message, the more people you have a chance to influence who may tell their friends about your sale. They can even simply forward your message onto their friends and family.

If each customer tells 2 friends, and those 2 friends tell 2 more friends, and so forth and so forth, then without any extra spend on your behalf, your marketing reach will increase massively.

Word of mouth

Send multiple times
Don’t just send your message once, set a reminder message to go out. We see a huge uplift in responses from a reminder message going out, this is because people might read the message, then forget to do anything about it. A little reminder message a week or so later or a few days before your sale is about to end, is a great way to get those extra sales.

You could even segment your data and send a more targeted message. One message to those that didn’t click your link offering them an extra incentive, and another to those who did, reminding them the sale is still on.

Include more information – but not in the message
Whatever the content of you text message is, include as much information as possible – but not in the actual message. We have a great feature called SMS Web Pages, that allows you to include extra text and images without increase your character count.

This means your message can be under 160 characters, costing you only 1 SMS credit, and still include as much information as you require.

 

All you need to remember is what little Oliver Twist said, just be brave and always go for more.

What the latest Ofcom marketing report says about mobile phones

According to the latest Ofcom report, we absolutely love our mobile phones, not exactly like we needed a report to tell us that. We can’t go a few minutes without checking them. There is even a name for the fear of being without your mobile phone, Nomophobia – don’t believe us, Google it.

46% of adults said the media device they would miss the most was their mobile phone (Source: Ofcom)

According to TouchPoints research; “62% of people say they could not live without their mobile phone (rising to 78% among 25-34s), 55% never turned their mobile phone off (also highest among 25-34s, at 71%) and half (50%) felt they needed to have their mobile phone with them at all times.”

Since the iPhone was released in 2007, smartphones have rapidly improved and we don’t just use our phones for texting or making phone calls anymore, we can now do almost everything with them. We can easily shop online, unlock your car, and much more.

Smartphones are now more popular than desktops and our smartphone usage has now overtaken desktop usage in homes across the UK.

So why is our love for our mobile phone so good for businesses?

Well the main reason is because it is so easy to get in contact with customers on. Seeing as our mobile phone doesn’t leave our side, day or night, there is no better way to communicate with customers than sending them a text message.

The number of calls made on mobile phones has fallen and comparing text marketing to email marketing, text marketing comes out on top 99 times out of 100. It has been a constant winner since it was first introduced.

75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS (Source: Digital Marketing Magazine)

Your customers want to receive text messages from you and with SMS having a 98% open rate and with 90% of messages being read within 3 minutes, SMS almost guarantees that your message is read. SMS also has a huge response rate, almost 8 times higher than email. All this hugely increases the chance of a purchase or your required action taking place.

Below we have added an infographic to show you how much we love our mobile phone and why more and more businesses are now seeing the importance of including the mighty mobile phone in their marketing plans.

Mobile phone love infographic

When should you go over 1 message when sending a text message

SMS stands for Short Message Service, with the huge emphasise being put onto the ‘short’ part. SMS is meant to be quick and to the point. No one wants to receive a text message where you have to scroll down to read the entire thing. Yes, mobile phone screens are getting bigger, but seeing a huge text puts people off even starting to read it.

1 text message is equal to 160 characters, and 9 times out of 10, this is more than enough to get your message across. If you do need to include more information you could always send a link to your website, or even better include a mobile landing page where you can include extra information and a couple of enticing images.

Different message lengths all depend on what your required call to action is. Do you want someone to make a purchase or are you just giving them some information?

When selling something, you want to get to the point as quickly as possible, make it clear what you are selling without boring people with the details, and have a clear call to action at the end of the message. But on the other hand, if you need to tell a group of people a lot of information that they will need to access easily, then having all this information in a text message is a good idea.

The question is – when should you go over 1 message part into a double, triple, or even 4-part messages? Is it even necessary or is it just a waste of time and money?

When 1 message is enough
As we said above, 1 message is normally more than enough, with 160 character you can include a compelling opening line, a small amount of information and a clear call to action.

75% of all text messages that go out through the Text Marketer platform are 1-part messages

Single messages are best used for small updates, sales and marketing messages, delivery notifications, and reminders. These tend to only need a small amount of information and if more info is required, a link to a website or landing page can be added.

Also, if you are sending the same message to 100,000 customers, then ensuring that the content is within a single message will save you a lot of money.

Doubling up to 2 messages
A double message can be great if there is no way you can reduce the content into a single message and you have some important bits of important you need to include. 2-part messages can still be used in a sales or marketing message as they don’t look too big and can quickly be read, digested, and acted upon.

20% of all text messages that go out through the Text Marketer platform are 2-part messages

As long as you keep the message simple with only 1 call to action, then including a bit more information about your sale, event, or whatever you are promoting, a double message can be a good idea.

We would advise if you were to use a 2-part message, to not try and cram in everything, only include 3 or 4 extra bits of information. For example, if you have a sale on, include the offer, a time limit, a few things the customer could buy, what the user needs to do to get the sale, and then a link to your website at the end.

Going Neapolitan with a 3-part message
3-part messages are used more for communication and are rarely sent in bulk to thousands of customers at the same time. These types of messages tend to be unique messages sent to single people, either using them as a conversation, or updating people with some information.

4% of all text messages that go out through the Text Marketer platform are 3-part messages

Let’s say that you have an employee who works offsite, and you need to get some important information to them quickly. Sending them a text message with all this information in, that they can easily read without having to click or do anything else to find out more, is great as you know the message will be read and not missed unlike sending an email.

What the different parts look like

Different part messages

We would never recommend going over 3-part messages as a 4-part message, you can see the 4-part message above, it goes way over 1 screen size and is just too long for SMS.

If you are unsure about whether you need a 1, 2 or 3-part message, or are struggling to reduce your message down into a single message, then please give us a call and our handy team of experts can help you. We would also recommend that you test between message lengths, as sometime a 2-part message can work better than a single message.

Remember sending more than 1 message part will incur extra costs and will take you more time to create and check the message as well.

Example SMS Web Pages for retailers

Vincent van Gough, Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo… These great artists never had any trouble creating masterpieces. It comes as natural to them as sending SMS does to us. But sadly, we can’t all be artists who with a flick of a brush, create a masterpiece.

Sometimes creativity doesn’t come as naturally to some as it does to others, and for those who aren’t a grandmaster artist, or don’t have someone in your office who is a creative genius, we know it can be hard to think of brilliant eye-catching designs.

With our SMS Web Pages feature you can create a bespoke landing page, include big bright images, extra text and a call to action. All to entice your customer to buy or take action.

When creating an SMS Web Page there are few things you need to think about and include on your page, very much like an SMS, and without these key things it will fail to entice your customers.

Now for those of you who struggle to come up with ideas or just struggle to visualise their ideas, below we have added a couple of example SMS Web Pages just for retailers. Hopefully these will give you some ideas and help you to create your very own bespoke landing page and entice your customers to buy from you.

Sell a product
The best way to sell a product is visually. Have you ever seen a pizza on TV and all you want that evening is a pizza? So by including a couple of images of the item you are trying to sell, a little description of it, and call to action where they can buy it, you will get a great return.

Sell a product landing page

Promote a sale
Whether it’s a summer sale, winter sale, Black Friday sale, or just a flash sale, SMS Web Pages is perfect for promoting your sale. Simply add details of your sale, a nice big image and a call to action, send this to all your customers at the beginning and towards the end of the sale.

Promote a sale landing page

We hope these examples have helped you create a great landing page. But if you would just prefer one of our design team to create you your very own SMS Web Page, please get in contact with us and we can give you a bespoke quote.

How small businesses can squeeze every penny out of SMS

Being a small business is hard, money is very tight and it takes time to establish and get a firm foothold in the market. It is imperative that small businesses keep a firm grip on their spending, don’t go crazy and blow all their budget at once, and to be able to track exactly where it is going, and what they are getting out of it.

Spending £1,000 on some leaflets, may seem like a good idea, but there is no way of knowing if it will work, and no real way to track the return of investment, so this is probably not the best idea to grow and get new customers for small businesses.

But being able to spend anywhere from £10 to £300 on something that you can easily track, will bring back a great return, and is easy to do, is something that all small businesses should do.

In steps the mighty SMS.

SMS is low cost, you are able to track exactly who clicked your URL in your message, how many people received the message, who went onto purchase, along with loads of other great things SMS marketing can do.

Those stats alone should get your mouth watering for SMS, but this post isn’t about telling you how amazing SMS is, we have other blogs for that advantages of sending SMS online and what SMS can do for your business. This blog is about helping you save every penny when using SMS marketing.

We have outlined 5 ways that all small businesses should do when using SMS marketing to save money.

1. Make the most out of the special offers and price breaks
Make sure that you make the most of any introductory offers. For example, Text Marketer run a Double Credits offer for all new customers, so buying 1,000 credits will get you 1,000 free, but buying the full 10,000 credits will get you 10,000 free credits! So stock up on them!

Also make sure that you take full advantage of any sales or offers. Over the past few years, Text Marketer have done Spring Sales, Summer Sales, Black Friday Sale, Flash Sales, the list goes on. So buying your credits when a sale is on will help you save a bit of money.

Finally, most SMS providers offer price breaks when you purchase more credits, like most businesses, the more you buy, the cheaper the credits are. So instead of buying 6,000 SMS credits at 3.3p, why not buy 12,000 SMS credits at 3p. You would be saving money on the price per credit and the extra credits can then sit on your account and you can use them throughout the year.

2. Track who is active and remove customers
What’s the point of sending to customers who haven’t engaged with you in over a year. Removing customers who have not clicked your link, been in contact with you, or done any of your required actions before sending another bulk marketing message will save you money.

Have a look at your past few sends, maybe 6 or so over the past few months, and see which of your customers have not clicked your link on any of those occasions. You could then put all these customers into their own contact group and send to these less frequently, checking each time if anyone has engaged with you and moving them back across to the main group if they have.

3. Don’t go over 1 message
Why spend double or even triple the amount when you don’t need to? By simply shortening your message and ensuring that it is only a single message will save you money. Sending a 2, 3, or even 4-part message will increase your costs.

If you really need to include a lot of information in the text, then why not include a mobile landing page. This can have as much information as you desire and include a couple of enticing images as well.

4. Do it yourself and keep it simple
Text marketing is so simple, or at least it should be anyway. Don’t be fooled by providers offering over the top prices for amazing features and managing it all for you. Sending a text message to your customers is swift and simple. If you just want to keep it simple and cost effective, then all you need is the ability to upload your contacts, type the message, and click send.

5. See what works for you
Test, test, and test again. All businesses are different, and sending a certain message at a certain time might work for them, but it may not work for you.

Make sure you test different times to send with different offers in. This way you will be able to track and see what works best for you, meaning your SMS campaigns in the future will be optimised and bring you the best returns.

We have already done a load of research on when the best time is to send, so if you are a retailer, click here to see the best times to send. Or if you work in the food industry, click here to see when the best time is for you to send your SMS campaigns.

 

If you are a small business and need any advice on SMS marketing, then please don’t hesitate to give us a call and one of our expert team will be able to advice you.

If haven’t started your SMS journey yet, why not sign up for a free account and get 10 free credits to test with.

 

Flash Sale! Get 10% Free SMS credits for limited time only!

We all love Summer. Nice sunshine, BBQ’s and drinks with friends and family – what is not to like! However one thing that we all like just as much as Summer, is a SALE!!

And here at Text Marketer, every now and again we like to offer a little sale to our fantastic customers.

So to help make your Summer even better, we thought we would put on a very quick Flash Sale! Whether you have some big campaigns lined up or whether you want to just take advantage of our sale and stockpile some free credits for the future – now is the perfect time to buy!

Purchase 1,000 credits or more and we will add an extra 10% of free SMS credits to your account. Offer ends Friday 31st August – so be quick!

It’s simple… The more credits you buy… The more free ones we give you!

To claim, forward your invoice to [email protected] with the header FLASH – the offer CANNOT be used with any existing offer or discount, but it can be used multiple times during the period.

Cruise Club UK sailing to success with SMS marketing and SMS Web Pages

Cruise Club UK are an independent cruise travel agent with over 30 years of experience offering impartial expertise. Customers can find the best possible cruises at the best possible prices. From cultural cities of the Mediterranean, to the beautiful sandy white beaches of the Caribbean – they really do have it all when it comes to cruises.

We all know marketing can be tricky, how do you get your brand and message out there to the customers that matter?

Well Cruise Club UK have found a very effective way in SMS marketing, helping them making more sales and communicate with their customers, quickly, effectively and conveniently.

They have been using SMS marketing and Text Marketer for several years now, sending out regular SMS campaigns to their customers. However recently they have been using our new SMS feature SMS Web Pages, and we got up with them to ask them a few questions…

What do you use SMS Web Pages for?
“To promote specific offers that are time sensitive and have a short shelf life and provide extra information to customers so that the lead quality is better when they contact the sales team.”

How does SMS marketing compare to other marketing channels?
“It’s much quicker – provides an immediate response”

How did your SMS Web Pages campaign compare to a normal SMS campaign?
“Better conversion from the leads generated as customers had more info. Ie. Full range of dates and available airports etc. On a text you can be limited on the info you can include and customers can be turned off when it doesn’t meet there expectation.”

What were your main reasons for choosing an SMS Web Page campaign over a normal SMS campaign?
“To provide more info and a richer experience with images. Images can be great to tempt and tease customers in”

What were your results from your SMS Web Pages campaign? Click rate? Sales? Any Stats and figures you could share?
“We sent out an SMS Web Pages World Cup themed campaign recently, and got 21% click through rate and 28 bookings pretty much instantly! Which is amazing for holidays as they are not exactly a quick easy impulse purchase item.”

Would you recommend it to other businesses?
“Yes it’s amazing and works brilliant for us – but I wouldn’t recommend it to my competitors!”

So if you would like to give SMS marketing a try for your business, sign up here for free now. Or gives us a call and we can discuss how SMS marketing can help your business.

3 ways businesses are using custom fields to make their text messages stand out from the crowd

With a 98% open rate and 90% of text messages being read within 3 minutes, there is no wonder why more businesses are now using SMS than ever before. This is great for businesses and consumers alike as it allows businesses to interact with their customers and make sales, and their customers get updates and amazing offers sent straight to their mobile phone – a win, win.

But with more businesses using SMS and sending great offers, it can be hard to make your message stand out above everyone else’s. There are a load of little tips and tricks that you can do to make your message better and stand out.

We have found however, one of these tips to be higher up the list of importance, and a very simple one to implement. Using custom fields.

Custom fields are a great way to make your message stand out and make your customer feel special. By this we mean including your customers name in the message, or other personal information, to make the message more personal and less of a bulk message that was sent to thousands.

Personalised messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. (Source: Aberdeen: Market Intelligence Company)

There are hundreds of things that you can put into a custom field to make your SMS message unique:
– Name
– Email
– Location
– Age
– Previous purchase
– Favourite order
– Pets names

The list could go on and on . . .

With the countless possibilities that custom fields give businesses, below we have gone into more detail on 3 of the most popular ways that custom fields are used in business text messaging.

Make it personal with your customers name
The number one way that businesses are using custom fields is to include the customers first name. A very simple solution to change what looks like mass message that thousands of people are getting, to a completely unique message that makes it feel like it was sent to them and no one else, making the recipient feel special and cared about.

Bulk appointment reminders
SMS appointment reminders are fantastic way to reduce miss appointments. The NHS have recently started using SMS to reduce missed appointments with great results.

Figures have suggested that more than twelve million GP appointments are missed each year in the UK, costing in excess of £162 million per year (Source: NHS England)

Now your businesses may not be as big as the NHS, but that stat alone shows you how missed appointments can cause huge costs to your business.

By simply uploading all your appointments at the end of the week, for all your customers that have an appointment the following week, include the date, time, who they are seeing, and any other relevant information you feel they need, you can send a bulk text message and include all this information in one go. Making it quick and easy.

Bulk unique offers
The third most popular way is to send bulk personalised offers to different customers. Some of your customers may spend more money with you that others, so you would of course want to reward them with bigger discounts and special offers.

You can easily do this by including different promo codes and offers in the custom fields section. This is a great way to send thousands of messages at the same time all with different offers on, with your most loyal customers getting 40% off, and 20% off to those customers who don’t spend as much.

Using custom fields in Message Box
To add a custom field in our online messaging platform Message Box you simply need to add these customer fields into your excel spreadsheet, along with the customers mobile number and then upload into your Message Box account.

Excel custom field

Once have created and saved your excel spreadsheet, login to your Message Box account and click the ‘Manages Contacts’ button on your homepage. From here add a new group by clicking ‘New’ under the ‘Groups’ tab at the top of the page, then name your group and click enter.

A pop-up box will appear where you can import your excel spreadsheet. Select your excel spreadsheet and click ‘OK’. Here you will be able to drag and drop the custom fields around to match your data.

You will now have all your contacts and their custom fields in that contact group.

Now to be able to send a message with these custom fields in, go to your homepage and click ‘Send SMS’. Click the ‘To’ button and select the group you wish to send the message to. In the ‘Message’ box area, type your message and use the ‘Fields’ drop down box to add any custom fields you would like.

Check the message is correct and click send.

Custom fields with Message Box

Custom fields are a great and easy way to make your customers feel special. So, if you don’t have a Message Box account, why not sign up now and get 10 free credits and start sending your customers personalised messages today.

5 tips for the best text to win campaign

You are walking in your high street and walk past a shop where you see a sign saying you could win a holiday worth £1,000 in big bold writing and all you have to do is text the word HOLIDAY to 88802. It takes you 10 seconds to whip out your phone and send a text. 10 seconds later you receive a message thanking you for entering the competition – it’s that simple.

Who wouldn’t want to win a holiday worth £1,000, or maybe a life time supply of sweets, or those last pair of tickets to a festival? Winning is always a great feeling, especially when it takes no effort at all.

As soon as businesses found out the power of the mighty mobile phone, they jumped on the idea of text to win competitions and they took off like a rocket.

So here 5 top tips to ensure your text to win campaign soars to victory.

Easy to enter
Keep your word short and simple, something that people will recognise and be able to spell easily. Don’t select two words together, as by selecting 2 or more words, would mean the auto correct on the phone would constantly keep trying to change it or split the words up.

Pick a simple word that people can easily text to enter like; WIN, HOLIDAY, MEAL, CAR etc.

Clear instructions
Don’t have all the instruction in a tiny font that only a pixie with a magnifying glass could read. Keep your instructions clear, to the point, and if you need to include a lot of information, send people to your website for more information. There they can spend time reading all the instructions and Ts & Cs if they want to.

Be creative
Make your text to win idea stand out, try and be creative, inspire and engage customers with your business.

Frijj did a great campaign where you could ‘Win Warren’ – yes that’s right, you could win Warren. They were giving you a chance to win Warren where he would come round your house and do anything you wanted him to. A great fun idea that received thousands of entries.

Why not try and tie it in with an event, like the World Cup, Olympics, Super Bowl, Glastonbury etc. Or have you got something that you can offer that no one else can? Maybe you know someone famous or can offer something unique?

Keep customer updated
Once someone has text you, reply back with an automated text message response. You could tell them when the competition ends and when the winner will be announced. You could even include a link to your website for more information or just to get people onto your website.

Text to win 2

Promote
Now you have set up a great text to win competition, all you need to do now is promote it. There are lots of different marketing channels you can promote on, some are more effective than others, and some will cost more than others. If you are strapped for cash why not just post it around social media, put a banner on your website or include an image and some text in your email footer.

If you want to promote to a wider audience and don’t mind spending some money try promoting it the TV, radio, billboards, around your shop, and if you sell a product with packaging, why not include it on your packaging.

Also don’t forget your existing customers, send them a text message with the details of the competition in and how they can enter.

 

If you think a text to win competition is something you would be interested in, then set up a free account today. Every account comes with a free keyword and some free credits for you to test with.

All in one text marketing guide for restaurants and takeaways

Restaurants and takeaways listen up – we have put together a very special, all in one, text marketing guide just for you. Below we have created 3 unique blogs, along with a downloadable guide, that will give you everything you need to send a perfect text marketing campaigns.

The 3 blogs below include the best time for you to send, a couple of do’s and don’ts of text marketing, as well as a whole load of example messages. So along with the guide that you can download and take away with you at the bottom of the page, everything is one click away.

The best time to send marketing text messages for restaurants and takeaways
Here you will find the best time in the day to send your customers marketing messages about booking a table and ordering food. We have broken it down into the best days in the week and at the weekend, and included when specifically, in these days is the best time send. Read here

 

Restaurant and takeaway dos and don’ts of text marketing
Here you can read all the do’s and don’ts for restaurants and takeaways when preparing and sending out an SMS campaign. From simple things like checking your spelling, to more vital things that if you ignore could end in a fine, like including an opt-out option. Read here

Food industry dos

 

Example marketing text messages for restaurants and takeaways
Split into 3 groups, we have given you over 20 example SMS messages that you can copy and put straight into your SMS campaign. Broken down into marketing messages, delivery and notifications, and personalised messages, all the content for your various messages can be found here. Read more

Example text messages food

 

All in one guide
We have even gone one step further and taken all the best bits from the 3 blogs above, added some extra helpful bits of information, and put it all together into this handy guide. Read here

All in one sms marketing guide

If you have any questions about text marketing, or anything you are unsure of, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us either by phone, 0117 205 0202 or by email at [email protected] and one of our expert team will be able to advice you.

What is SMS marketing software?

What is SMS marketing software?
Annoyingly we are always coming up with and hearing new and confusing jargon, what happened to good old Ronseal ‘Does exactly what is says on the tin’. Sometimes we just want to hear and read things in plain, simple English.

So first things first, what exactly is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing is the perfect modern way to communicate with your customers. Sending them a text message via their mobile phone. For more details on exactly what SMS marketing is please read here.

And so onto what exactly SMS marketing software is…

SMS marketing software is what enables you to be able to text your customers in big bulk business marketing sends. So unlike using your mobile phone, you would log into an online application or website, this would then allow you to upload your contacts in bulk, create the message, and then send and analysis your results. For example, the equivalent for an emailing software would be Mailchimp, this allows you to login and send emails to customers.

Of course, SMS marketing software differs from company to company, and like any product or service some are better than others, some are more basic, where some are filled with helpful and insightful SMS marketing tools to help enhance your mobile marketing messages for a better response.

Message Box – SMS marketing software
Message Box is an online SMS Marketing Platform that enables you to send big bulk business SMS marketing messages, without the need to download or install any complicated software.

It’s jammed packed full of great free SMS marketing tools, to ensure you get the best responses possible from your mobile marketing exploits.

Send big bulk SMS marketing campaigns
Message Box is extremely powerful. It allows you to send massive mobile marketing sends in the single click of a button. 10 thousand, 15 thousand, 50 thousand, 100 thousand, 500 thousand – whatever the number is of your recipients, Message Box can handle the send. All routes are Direct Tier 1 UK Networks so no messages leave the UK and are delivered in seconds.

There are also more than one way to send your mobile marketing messages, schedule send for a particular time or date, automated sends or spread sends over a certain amount of time.

Message campaign analytics
Check the success of your mobile marketing campaigns by seeing how many were delivered, responses and how many people click your links.

Send SMS surveys
Create and send your own SMS surveys. Export all your data and responses

Purchase credits online
You can simply purchase credits online, whenever you want. Add them and pay for them – in a click of a button

Easily upload and manage contacts
Upload all your contacts and store them in different contact groups to send more relevant SMS marketing campaigns.

SMS web pages
Create and send bespoke mobile landing pages, filled with your own beautiful images and written text.

 

So if you want to tryout SMS marketing platform, Message Box – then please sign up for your mobile marketing account here for free! No contracts to sign or minimum

World Cup Double Credit Giveaway – get 10 thousand free credits!

We love football. And we love the World Cup. Throughout the footballing season we have plenty of joshing and joking around our football teams highs and lows, but nothing quite compares to that of a mass sporting global event, like the World Cup.

Here at Text Marketer towers, we have plenty of Nationalities represented, however our strongest followings will obviously be the (not so) MIGHTY England, and our European friends, Portugal. However we are all particularly upset that our favourite orange colour buddies, Holland haven’t made the cut!

But anyway… Such a huge global event watched by millions and millions all over the world, is an advertisers and marketeers dream! So many ideas and possibilities to promote and sell your brand and products, it can be difficult to know where to start…

Well of course SMS is the perfect marketing channel to contact your customers on, it’s instant, and your customers will definitely read your message whatever they are doing or whoever they are watching. So make sure you get your campaigns planned and messages scheduled up to send over the World Cup is vital.

And with all this in mind, like Maradona did 1986, we thought we would give you a little helping hand and do an offer of our own, to help you maximise your sales and send plenty of messages out.

Any new customer who signs up with Text Marketer during the World Cup, will be eligible to receive 10 thousand free credits in our double credits deal…

Any first purchase by a new customer between 1,000 and 10,000 credits – will get DOUBLED!!! So buy 10 thousand credits and we will give you another 10 thousand for free!!!

It’s an amazing offer, and an amazing sporting event… So make sure you and your business enjoy it as much as everyone else will. Sign up here for free now! 

How effective is SMS marketing?

A very common question that surrounds SMS marketing is it’s effectiveness and response rates. There are whispering rumours and stories from marketeers, business owners and businesses alike, that you can achieve wondrous, dreamland response numbers from your SMS marketing campaigns.

Well we are here to say that some of those stories you have heard may not have been just myths… You really can achieve amazing dreamland results from SMS marketing.

So let’s take a look at some industry stats around SMS marketing repose rates.

SMS marketing response rates
– 98% open rate (Source: Gartner)
– 45% response rate (Source: Gartner)
– 95% of all texts are read within 3 minutes (Source: Forbes)
– 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS (Source: Digital Marketing Magazine)
Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers (Source: eMarketer)
– 50% of those surveyed who received an SMS from retailers, made a purchase as a result (Source: Marketing Charts)
Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who are not sent a text message (Source: OneReach)

So you can pretty much guarantee that every message you send out is going to be read by your customers – which means that SMS marketing is incredibly powerful, and goes someway to explain those whispering rumours you have been hearing about it.

Obviously like every marketing channel, there are no real cemented guarantees, responses and success can differ from campaign to campaign, and there are various things that can affect the response rate of an SMS marketing campaign.

Opening line
Go with something short and sweet and attention grabbing.

Content/message length
Keep it short and sweet and use words and phrases like hurry, quick, offer ends soon – to add some emergency to your message.

Tell them who you are
Make sure you say who you are and set your Sender ID to your business name.

Send an offer
Send an enticing deal or offer and be sure to let them know how to claim and purchase.

Include a website link
Let them click and go straight to your website

Make sure it’s relevant
Make sure you are sending the message to your customers who might be interested. Segment your customer database, men, women etc. So you are sending relevant messages.

Time of your message
Make sure you are sending the message at an appropriate time so people can respond – click here for more details on message timings

 

Now you know how effective SMS marketing is and what you need to do to run a great SMS campaign.

And why not give SMS marketing a try today, it’s free to sign up and with our prices it’s incredibly low cost. And who knows your SMS marketing campaign might go down in marketing response rate history.

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is a marketing channel, much like email marketing, that allows businesses to message customers with marketing messages through SMS, or more commonly known, text messaging.

These marketing messages can vary from promotional messages, product launches, new lines, sales, offers and more.

In the modern business world there are lots of ways to market and advertise your business, and SMS marketing is another one of those ways. However, it can do much more than that…

SMS marketing is the perfect modern way to communicate with your customers.

In this modern fast paced world, people want to communicate in a way that suits them, a nice quick, convenient way that fits with their lifestyle. And that is exactly why SMS marketing is now so popular amongst customers and businesses.

Positives for customers
We all love our mobile phones. They never leave our side, they are our new trusty best friend that we take everywhere with us. They not only capture our everyday life, but they also help us through it. Our mobile phones is the Swiss army knives of human life, they let us take photos, set alarms, check our bank balance, make payments, listen to music, read books, watch films, turn our heating on… This list could go on and on. But basically, SMS marketing is the perfect way for us to communicate, it’s instant, quick and convenient.

Positives for businesses
It’s quick, easy and convenient for businesses too. They can send out large bulk SMS messages all at once in the click of a button. They can then track who clicked their links and see who has unsubscribed from their messages.

– 98% of all text messages get read (Source: Gartner)
– 95% of all texts are read within 3 minutes (Source: Forbes)

Which means businesses love SMS marketing because they can virtually guarantee that their messages will get read instantly!

What businesses use SMS marketing for
There are lots of ways businesses are using SMS marketing, whether that be through an SMS API  or an online SMS Web Platform.

– A new product or service
– Sale or offers
– Notifications
– Delivery updates
– Appointment reminders
– Important news
– Customer Service
– Support

Basically SMS marketing can help businesses with anything and everything!

Now you know what SMS marketing is, have a read about hoe effective it is here.

So if you want to give SMS marketing a try with your business, then sign up here for free, no contracts to sign or minimum terms. Just simple low-cost SMS marketing.

Important News Post GDPR: Keep calm and carry on sending!

Guess what? GDPR is in full swing and the world is still turning, the sun hasn’t fallen out of the sky, and businesses are still sending mobile marketing messages!

After an exhausting barrage of GDPR news, views, and implied threats, all seems fine and dandy; what was all the fuss about?

In the build up to the Millennium the shop shelves were scarce of food, as people were scared into thinking that our computers would not be able to cope and would fail at the midnight gong.

The scaremongering for GDPR felt very similar. “You can’t send emails or mobile marketing messages anymore otherwise you will get a 20 million pound fine!”

But here we are weeks after the new GDPR rules, and business goes on. And so do emails and mobile marketing messages. Just as it did on 1st January 2000, life and business has gone on.

The important thing to remember with the new GDPR rules is that they were not aimed at genuine, honest, legitimate businesses, who treat and honour their customers and their data with care and respect every single day, and have done for years. The GDPR rules are not a revolution, they build on the existing data protection laws that many businesses already complied with.

It was aimed at the spammy, dodgy and careless businesses that have annoyed all of us everyday with their constant spam emails, messages and phone calls. You know the ones.

Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, some businesses/individuals have seen GDPR as a money maker and have scared perfectly legitimate businesses into complete despair and panic database deletion, when they actually had nothing to worry about.

Of course there are things that you need to follow and get into place for GDPR (read our guide here) but as long as your business has a legitimate interest for why it’s sending that email or mobile message, then it’s very likely that you are compliant.

Even the ICO have made several statements telling businesses not to panic…

“We’re not out to get people and it’s not all about fines. Although it is enforced, we’re not going to go and start fining all the small organisations… We pride ourselves on being a fair and proportionate regulator and this will continue under the GDPR.”
Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner

So… have your appropriate systems in place. And then keep calm and carry on sending.

World Cup Free SMS Sale!!

The football World Cup frenzy is upon us and the excitement levels are at full whack… Players, wannabe players, managers, wannabe managers, kids, men, women, anyone and everyone is excited to see how their country’s tournament plays out – none more so than the businesses and marketeers…

Any massive global sporting event is a business money making dream, and the World Cup is no different. Spirits and moods are high, drinks and good times roll, especially if the sun decides to put his hat on!

Now and during the whole World Cup, is a great time to start sending out those mobile marketing messages… And with that in mind we thought we would run a little fun offer and join in on all the World Cup fun!

So the offer goes a little something like this…

As long as England are still in the World Cup, we will give you an extra 10% free SMS credits on any purchase over 1,000 credits. The offer starts on the 14th June 2018 and ends when England are either knocked out, or win the World Cup – we all know which we would rather!!

The more credits you buy, the more free credits you will get. Unfortunately England don’t have a great track record in these sorts of competitions, so you better be quick as the offer could end rather quickly!!

To claim, forward your invoice to [email protected] with the header ENGLAND – the offer CANNOT be used with any existing offer or discount, but it can be used multiple times during the period.

Mobile marketing helps Dynamic Supplements achieve a record day

Dynamic Supplements are an online sports nutrition retailer supplying thousands of people across the whole of the UK. They are dedicated to supplying their customers with the right supplements and nutrition to suit individual needs.

Dynamic Supplements have only recently started using mobile marketing to communicate with their customers, and only a couple of days after one of their campaigns, we got a message from them thanking us for a great system and helping them achieve a record day.

Of course, we got straight back in contact with them and managed to grab a couple of minutes and have a chat about their experience with mobile marketing.

What do you use mobile marketing for?
“A more personal and speedy interaction with our customers. We do the majority of customer service through their mobile phones as we get instant responses therefore it was the next logical step to move into mobile marketing.”

What were your results? Did it go well? Have you got any stats you could share with us? 
“We’ve done a few campaigns using Text Marketer so far and after every send we always see an immediate up-turn in sales. Our latest campaign coincided with our strongest sales day ever, and we can only assume our SMS campaign had a huge part to play in this – thanks”

Were you pleased/impressed with your results? Would you recommend it?
“We’ve been hugely impressed, we had good faith that it would work as we know our customers interact via mobile happily and we’re glad to say we’ve been proved right so far! We would recommend mobile marketing to any business – but don’t become spammy!”

How did it compare to other marketing channels you use?
“We’ve used it mainly for promotional activity thus far whereas other channels we use more widely – we’re planning on doing some more informational campaigns in the future via SMS which we are really looking forward to as we know the engagement levels will be high.”

 

We would like to thank Dynamic Supplements for their time and if you want to be like Dynamic Supplements and hit your sales records, why not sign up with a free account and start messaging your customer today.