Category Archives: SMS Marketing

Pre-Christmas smartphone spending increasing by over 40%

We all know the last quarter of the year is where the retailers usually make the lion share of their sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday is quickly followed by the Christmas festivities – making it a Golden Quarter for retail where they can often sink or swim.

For many years now, marketing, tech and business experts have been saying that this year is the year of the mobile, and the truth is, it has been for the last decade or so. The mobile has changed the way we shop, communicate and live. It is now the preferred device for many things, from shopping to banking, and the list of the tasks you can complete on a mobile is endless.

Now the smartphone is really motoring on and leaving its competition of the desktop and tablet, far far behind. In the UK, the number of people using their smartphones to make purchases in the build up to Christmas has increased by 44% compared to 2017 (Source: Ve).

In 2017, 39% of Black Friday sales came through the mobile phone, making it the dominant preferred choice of the shopper over desktops and tablets (Source: IMRG). Ve’s Global report has predicted an over 50% rise in mobile sales for the Black Friday 2018 weekend.

Mobile now registers more sessions than both desktop and tablets combined (Source: Ve Global)

“UK retailers are beginning to meet the mobile-first expectations of the modern online shopper and in good time, given the continued demise of the desktop PC and even the tablet – all of which are fading towards irrelevance as the mobile experience improves”
David Marrinan-Hayes, CEO at Ve.

There really doesn’t seem to be any slowing down in the unstoppable juggernaut that is the mobile phone. However it is still not too late to start your mobile marketing journey, and here at Text Marketer we can help you construct the perfect mobile experience for your customers.

Our online platform Message Box, has all the tools and features that any retailer or marketer would need, from sending large mobile marketing campaigns and URL links, to analytics, SMS surveys and beautiful bespoke image based SMS Web Pages.

So sign up today and let us help you make the most of this mobile shopping revolution.

Black Friday 2018 SMS Sale – 20% Free SMS

The Super Bowl of sales is now upon us, and you know what that means . . . The Text Marketer Black Friday sale is here!

Year on year Black Friday gets bigger and bigger, with more people purchasing, more retailers offering a Black Friday sale, and ultimately more money being spent.

This year is no different, we have predicted that the UK will spend a whopping £9.2 Billion over the four day Black Friday weekend. And to help you, we have put together a post on when the best time is to send your Black Friday SMS campaign, with one extremely popular day being a few days before Black Friday – read more here.

With the increase in popularity and consumer spend, that means you are going to need more SMS to tell your customers about your amazing Black Friday sale. And with Text Marketer, more SMS doesn’t mean spending more money.

Introducing our Black Friday 20% Free SMS credits offer.

Any purchase over 1,000 credits between Monday 12th November – Cyber Monday 26th November will receive an extra 20% SMS credits for free!

So by purchasing more SMS credits, we will give you more SMS completely free, it really is that simple.

To claim, forward your invoice to support@textmarketer.co.uk with the header BLACKFRIDAY – the offer CANNOT be used with any existing offer or discount, but can be used multiple times during the period.

Please see our T&Cs for more information (Section 14 – 14.1)

Black Friday 2018 – everything you need to know to succeed this Black Friday

There is no bigger retail event in the year than Black Friday. It trumps all spring and summer sales, makes Christmas look tiny and is far superior to any January sale – it is simply the biggest and best event of the year.

Every year retailers try and top their competitors with a bigger and more creative offer, but you don’t need to create the most elaborate offer to triumph on Black Friday. All you need is for your offer to be seen by as many of your customers as possible – it really is that simple.

There is no point having the best offer if it is only going to be displayed on your website. You need to shout about it from the roof tops, promote it through multiple marketing channels, social media, email, in your shop, on the radio, on TV, but most importantly and by far the most effective, via SMS.

Not only do your customers want to receive offers from you via SMS, but SMS is the perfect way to get your message straight into your customers pocket, knowing that your text message, unlike email, will be read almost instantly with 90% of all text messages read within 3 minutes.

Even though SMS is such a powerful marketing tool, it can still go wrong, especially if you don’t send your message at the right time. Sending a text message to your customers at 9pm on Black Friday, even if it is a catchy message with an amazing offer, will get you very little response, by that time the majority of your customers have already seen other offers and have made their main Black Friday purchases.

It is vital you send your Black Friday campaign at the right time of day. To help you get the most out of SMS, we have put together a guide on the best time to send your Black Friday SMS campaigns, which you can read in full here.

Handy Black Friday tips
Copy Amazon – Well don’t just copy Amazon, but they do Black Friday very well every year. They have timed Black Friday deals and don’t just have one big offer, they break it down, adding a timer and unique offers to different products. This gives consumers a sense of urgency that the particular offer they are looking at, will soon end and never be shown again.

Remind customers – Remind customers that you have your sale is still on. First send all your customers an initial text message as soon as your Black Friday sale has started, then again on Black Friday itself and again the day before your deal finishes. By contacting customers at different times may promote them into a second or even third purchase, and for those who didn’t make a purchase, it will give them a gentle nudge of your amazing deals.

If you aren’t ready for Black Friday this year, what are you waiting for, sign up for a free account now and start sending your customers text messages in minutes. Or for those who already use SMS marketing but don’t really believe in the whole Black Friday hype, have a read of our amazing stats below. We are sure once you have finished, you will be a believer.

Black Friday 2018 infographic

The best time to send your Black Friday SMS marketing campaigns

Every business across the globe is gearing up for Black Friday, it is without doubt the biggest and best retail period of the year. Last year the UK were thought to have spent a whopping £8 Billion over the 4 day weekend, and this year an incredible we are predicting it will hit £9.2 Billion.

One reason Black Friday continues to grow year on year, is the mighty mobile phone of course. The mobile phone once again topped desktop last year with 66% of website traffic over the Black Friday 2017 weekend coming through a mobile device (Source: Salmon).

With SMS having an open rate of 98% and 90% of those messages being read within 3 minutes, there is no better way to tell your customers your Black Friday sale has started than sending them a text message. SMS boasts a superior click through rate, consumers are more likely to click your link and browse your products when sent a text message as well.

Here at Text Marketer we want your Black Friday sales to be the absolute best they can be, and one way we can help you is by telling you when to send your Black Friday SMS campaigns. We are going to look into the data and find the most popular times and even days that businesses send their marketing messages on.

Between 12pm – 1pm UK sales reached a peak of 976 transactions per second (Source: Expandly)

Before we give you the most popular times and days to send your SMS campaigns, we would always suggest that you send a bulk SMS message to your customers as soon as your Black Friday sale starts. Argos said that just 4 hours after they launched their Black Friday campaign last year, they had more than 2 million visitors to their website.

“These early record-breaking figures show that savvy shoppers are keen to bag themselves a bargain in the run-up to Christmas” – John Rogers, Argos Chief Executive

Consumers are waiting for your Black Friday sale to start, eager to save money and buy as much as they can, so why not tell them about it and get your sales rolling from the first minute.

Text Marketer stats
In the lead up to Black Friday we see a huge increase of messages go through our system, with the day itself seeing a 137% increase in messages being sent compared to the average Friday. Cyber Monday also sees an increase of 33% when compared to an average Monday.

It is not just Black Friday and Cyber Monday that there is an influx of messages going through our system. The day before Black Friday we see an increase of 65% compared to the average Thursday, with message volumes increasing as it gets closer to Black Friday, the week of Black Friday sees an increase of 49% compared to the week prior, and that week is 11% bigger than the week before that.

As Black Friday approaches daily message volume snowballs as retailers are starting their Black Friday offers.

Text Marketer retailer sending on Black Friday

Best time to send leading up to Black Friday
As we have said, Black Friday is no longer a one-day event and can last weeks and even the whole of November. Sending your Black Friday SMS campaign will mainly rely on when your Black Friday sale starts, if like Amazon, you start your sale the week before Black Friday, then as soon as your sale is live, you should inform all your customers with a simple SMS message.

This being said we have looked at the data and picked the more popular days in the lead up to Black Friday.

Tuesday of Black Friday week – Surprisingly there is an 81% increase in messages being sent on the Tuesday before Black Friday compared to a standard Tuesday. The week of Black Friday is a popular time to start a sale, it gives retailers time to promote the sale and consumers enough time decide and purchase something they like.

Day before Black Friday – The day before Black Friday is a huge day for retailers and a huge day for text messaging. Very much like the Boxing day sales, over the past few years consumers look for online sales on Christmas day instead of waiting for Boxing day, it is the same with Black Friday, consumers are looking at items they can buy the day before.

The best time to send your SMS campaign the day before Black Friday is either the morning or evening, with retailers wanting to get their message in early, or soon after consumers have left work.

Day before Black Friday sends

Best time to send on Black Friday
The morning is the best time to send your SMS campaigns with 82% of messages being sent between 7:00am – 12:00pm, this is because retailers want to get their Black Friday offer in front of consumers before their competitors.

In fact, the 5 most popular hours during the whole of Black Friday are all in the morning, with only 6% of messages being sent in the evening (6:00pm – 12:00pm).

Times to send on Black Friday

Best time to send on Cyber Monday
Before 10am is the best time send a text message to customers about your Cyber Monday sale, with 55% of messages being sent before 10am on Cyber Monday. Very few messages go out during the afternoon, with only 9% of messages going out during 12:00pm – 5:00pm and hardly any go out after 8:00pm.

Time to send on Cyber Monday

Sending your message at the right time can be the difference between a successful Black Friday sale and one that never really takes off. Make sure you think about when your customers would like to receive your messages, too early in the morning and people aren’t ready to buy, too late and they have already made their purchases.

We would also advice that you send a reminder message to customers letting them know about your sale on Black Friday itself, with 58% of retailers sending a message before Black Friday then again on the day itself.

Don’t be scared of sending out a few messages about your deals and offers, during this Black Friday period, customers are actively looking for the best deals and offers and will want to hear about them.

If you would like to speak to someone from our expert team who can advice you on best practice, then please call us on 0117 205 0202 or if you haven’t got an SMS account, then sign up for one now and get your Black Friday campaign off to a bang with SMS.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 predictions

Over the past few years, we have had a dabble at predicting the sales figures for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and over the past few years we have been pretty close.

We predicted that for the four-day Black Friday weekend in 2016, including Cyber Monday, UK consumers would spend £4.7 Billion, with the actual figure hitting £5.8 Billion. So last year we had another go at trying to predict it again, this time predicting that UK shoppers would spend a staggering £8.7 Billion over the four day weekend, with the actual spending figure for 2017 coming in at around £8 Billion.

First year we were slightly under, second year slightly over, but as we were pretty close both times we have decided to predict the UK spend again, 3rd time lucky we hope.

But before we tell you the magic number you have all come here for, firstly have a read of these amazing stats to help you get excited for the big Black Friday sales . . .

UK consumers spent a huge 515% more online than the average Friday in 2017 – Cyber Monday nearly doubled that (Source: Ingenico)

91% of UK retailers had a Black Friday promotion in 2017 (Source: SaleCycle)

In November 2017 the average weekly spend online for retailer was £1.2 billion – this is an increase of 10.2% compared with November 2016 (Source: Office for National Statistics)

Black Friday is no longer a one-day sales bonanza, millions of businesses start earlier, with Amazon historically starting their Black Friday sales 2 weeks in advance. It is now a 6-day sales festival, with the 6 busiest shopping days of 2017 being between Wednesday 22nd and Monday 27th November 2017 (Source: Ingenico).

Because it is the biggest and best sales opportunity for retailers, every year expert’s analysis consumer trends and sales, they look at the latest gadgets, what has been popular over the past months to try and predict what Black Friday will bring that year.

We are predicting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 that UK consumers will spend . . .

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 predictions

With the spend looking very likely that it will once again hit new records, we would advise that you start planning your marketing campaigns early, start collecting your data now and formulating a plan to engage with your customers and get the most out of Black Friday this year.

If you haven’t already got an SMS account, make sure you don’t miss out on millions of shoppers looking for great deals and sign up with an account today and start your Black Friday campaign the right way, with 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 support@textmarketer.co.uk 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 support@textmarketer.co.uk 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!