Category Archives: SMS Marketing

Amazing things you can do with your mobile phone part 2

Back in 2016 we posted a blog showing you how powerful your mobile phone is. We showed you some of the amazing ways that you could use your mobile phone. From putting up a shelf, to finding out what famous person you look like – some ways more practical than others.

Just a few years down the line we have decided to look at what your mobile phone can do in 2018.

Technology has advanced rapidly in just a few years, getting more powerful and being more integrated in our lives now than ever. With our love for our mobile phone stronger than ever, we cannot go a few minutes without checking it.

On average people check their phones 150 times per day and spend 177 minutes using them (Device Atlas)

68% of phone users say they check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up (Device Atlas)

Below we have picked a couple our favourite ways that you can use your mobile phone, along with a few fun ways.

It would probably be easier to list the things you couldn’t do with a mobile phone . . . That is, if there is anything you can’t do with your phone now!

Control your home
Gone are the days where you get home after a long day at work to a freezing house. Now you can turn your heating on from work using your mobile phone. Some of the other things you can do to your house whilst at work or out walking are:

Lock your front door – That’s right, forgot to lock your front door? A simple tap on your phone and it’s locked. No more worrying if you have locked the front door.

See who is at your door – There are apps that allow you to remotely see who is at your door when you are not in. Meaning you can tell the mail carrier to leave your parcel next door.

Turn on your lights – You can now turn on your lights using your smartphone. This does require smart lightbulbs, but it does mean you don’t have to get out of bed to turn the light off.

Pay at the till
No longer do you have to carry a wallet around with cash and all your cards in. With the majority of shops now taking contactless payments, you can now pay with your smartphone. Just add your cards to your phone via an app, and then swipe your phone at the till. Meaning you can pay for your groceries or a new pair of shoes with a simple tap of your smartphone.

Virtual reality
Virtual reality has been around since the late 1900’s but it has really taken off in the past few years thanks to the power and capability of the smartphone. Now you can teleport to the movies, take a ride on a rollercoaster, or even relax on a sunny beach (weather not included) all using your mobile phone.

Alert you when your milk has gone off
Researches at MIT have developed a sensor that can be read by a smartphone. This can detect ammonia, cyclohexanone, hydrogen peroxide, and other gases. Meaning no longer do you have to pour yourself a glass of milk and get halfway through it before thinking something tastes odd.

Start your car
Just like you can do with your house, you can lock and unlock your car with your phone. And guess what, you can now start your engine with a simple tap on your smartphone. There is an app that can start your engine, heat up or cool down your car before getting in, and even locate where you have parked it.

Use your mobile phone on an airplane
Just 2 years ago you were not allowed to use your mobile phone on an airplane, something to do with the signal waves interrupting the planes computer and radio. Now most long-haul flights have built in WI-FI and they don’t mind you using your phone to watch movies or play games.

 

We already love our mobile phone more than anything else in the world, and with the sheer number of new things you can do on or with your mobile phone, we are sure that in only a matter of time, you will won’t need to carry anything else.

The Text Marketer Flash Sale! Get 10% extra free SMS credits

We like to think we go that extra mile in everything we do here at Text Marketer, we make sure our platform Message Box is packed full of amazing free features for you all, we keep our prices incredibly low and our level of customer service extremely high, helping you out in anyway we can…

And every now and again we like to offer you, our amazing customers an amazing deal.

On extremely rare occasions (and we mean extremely rare), the networks offer us reduced price on SMS credits for a very limited time. And instead of bouncing round our office and treating ourselves, we like to pass those savings on to you!

So for a very very limited time we can offer you a fantastic little Flash Sale…

Purchase 1,000 credits or more and we will add an extra 10% of free SMS credits to your account. Offer ends Monday 30th April – 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.

How to win back customers with SMS

Winning customers and collecting their data can be extremely time consuming and costly. Admittedly there is no better feeling in the world than winning a new customer, especially if it has taken what feels like an age to get them over the line.

But what happens if you spend all that time and resources winning them, they make their first purchase and that’s it, they have bought from you once, but they are gone, never to be seen again.

The key to ensuring your customers stay with you and don’t go wondering off to your competitors, is keeping them interacting with your brand, keep them popping onto your website and chatting with you on social media. Keep your brand at the forefront of their minds, and then when it comes to making a purchase, they will think of you first.

Unfortunately, it will never be possible to keep 100% of your customers, you may not have done anything wrong, but sometimes they will just go elsewhere. Now wouldn’t it be great if you could try and win these lost customers back easily and at a very low cost? Well with SMS and this simple plan you can do just that.

98% of all text messages are read and only 22% of emails are read

To win back customers you need to be able to get in contact with them. As text messages have a much higher open rate than email, SMS is the perfect way to rekindle with lost customers.

1. Give them an amazing offer with a time limit
Send them a personalised offer, but don’t just send them any old offer, make it an offer they won’t be able to resist. Don’t just offer them 10% of £15 off, make it too good to be missed, and set a time limit for it to claimed by. Remember you want these customers back, so sending them a normal offer won’t entice them enough.

This is probably the easiest way to win customers back, as the majority of people who go elsewhere will be because of price – they found what you were offering cheaper somewhere else.

2a. Send an even better offer to those who still didn’t purchase
A week after your initial offer has finished, send an even better offer to those that didn’t claim the offer the first time round.

This may only get a handful of more purchases, but we have found that sending a second message, or a reminder message, has a hugely positive effect.

2b. Send a second offer to those customers that bought
At the same time as you are sending the second offer to those who didn’t make a purchase the first time round, send a separate message to everyone who did claim the offer.

This offer can be one of two things. You can send another generic offer, just make sure it is not as good as the first, you want people to purchase from you not just because the offer is great, but because they like your products and can make a small saving at the same time.

The second option is a more personalised offer, this is in terms of what they purchased with your initial offer. Let’s say they bought a summer dress, why not send them an offer about swim suites. Or if they purchased a certain bit of software, send them a message about an add-on, or to another product you know other customers have purchased in the past along with the first one.

3. Follow up with a survey
Find out what your customers like or dislike. It’s important to know what you are good at and where you need to improve.

A great way to get people to answer a survey is by offering an incentive, so you could say, by answering the SMS survey they will be entered into a draw to win something, a holiday, iPad, box of chocolates –whatever prize you think would work the best for your customers and is in your budget.

4. Ask them to join your SMS loyalty program
The best way to keep customer on board and interacting with your brand is to use an SMS loyalty program. Just like signing up to an email newsletter, the customer signs up to receive VIP promotions via SMS.

Here you can inform people of new products, events, special offers and more, making the customer feel like a VIP and keeping your brand at the front of their mind.

 

We would suggest spreading these messages out over a 6-10 month period, you don’t want to overwhelm these lost customers by sending them multiple messages in a short period of time – this will easily turn them off and those who purchased from you will get annoyed, and those who didn’t, are unlikely to ever purchase from you again.

Always remember to include an opt-out option to all these messages. Nothing is worse than sending someone a message that they are never going to interact with, don’t want, and will eventually get annoyed with, meaning they will never come back to you ever again.

By following these 4 simple steps you will have engaged with lost customers, got them to purchase from you again, found out what they like you and dislike, and got them to sign up to loyalty program.

How veterinary practices are using SMS to communicate with their customers

Text messages are a cheap and effective way of communication with customers, they can be personalised, scheduled in advance and automated.

Those stats show how effective text marketing is and why businesses love it so. In this post we are going to show you how veterinary practices are using SMS to communicate with their customers.

Below we have added the 4 most popular ways that vets are using SMS. We have also included an example message for each section, to give you a better idea of how SMS works.

Appointment reminders
A huge proportion of text messages that we see go out from vets are appointment reminders. 98% of all text messages are opened, compared to email at just 20% – so if you send email reminders, 80% of those aren’t getting read.

Appointment no shows are always a big problem for many businesses, and this is the same for many veterinary practices across the UK. The NHS are currently using SMS for appointment reminders after they found they could save 162m a year using SMS as a reminder service. (Source: NHS England)

All it takes is a simple text message, which can be sent automatically or manually at the end of each day, reminding everyone of the time and date of the appointment.

Hi Bill, don’t forget your appointment tomorrow at 10.30am with Dr Smith, this is for Poppy’s annual check-up

Other reminders
Pet Insurance – Remind customers of their pet insurance renewal date, how much it will cost, and how they can renew, change, or cancel their insurance.
“Pet Insurance reminder – Your insurance is up for renewal on the 23/03/2018 and will cost you £123.11. To renew now follow the link www.link.co.uk”

Medication – Set up automated reminder messages of when a customer needs to collect their pets medication, or when the pets needs to get their jabs.
“Hi Sophie, your medication for Muffles is ready to collect. We are open from 8.00am till 7.00pm Monday to Friday”

Outstanding invoice – A text message can also be used to remind and collect outstanding payments. Remind your customer of the invoice and include a link or phone number they can call and pay on.
Don’t forget you still need to pay your invoice of £230 for the operation on Waddles. Please pay by the 30/04/2018 by calling us on 0123 456 7890 or follow the link www.link.co.uk.

Marketing
Marketing/sales messages don’t just work for fashion stores, any business that sells a product can use SMS to sell their products. Why not send a bulk SMS message to all your customers who own a rabbit, with a sale on hay, or a new toy you have got in just for rabbits.

You can segment your customer data and send unique offers based on the pets they have. Or send individual messages after someone has had a check-up or operation, offer them a product that would help their pets recovery.

“Huge sale for all rabbit lovers – get 30% of all bundles of hay and straw. Offer ends 25/03/2018 www.link.com”

Update customers
Keeping your customers up to date and informed about what you are doing is a great way to keep customers engaged. Are you closing over the Christmas period, or changing location?

You can also update customers with their order. Set up automated order messaging where they will get a text message when they have placed the order, the order is out for delivery and another one with the exact time and date of when it will be delivered.

Most major retailers have now implemented delivery text messages and have seen a huge increase of customer satisfaction.

“Hi Debbie, your order of the Mitchel’s Premier Dog Kennel has been dispatched and will be with you in the next 2-3 working days. We will send you another text message with delivery date and time in the next 24 hours”

 

If you are a veterinary practice and feel that you could use SMS to communicate with your customers, why not sign up with a free account today and trial the system. Every account comes with 10 free SMS credits to test, and with our amazing double credits offer, you can send text messages from as little as 1.65p per SMS.

If you have an ezvetpro account, you can integrate our SMS platform into their veterinary practice management software easily by following our integration guide.

Howarth Timber Building supplies – building success with SMS

Howarth Timber are much more than just timber. They are over 175 years worth of trading experience, knowledge and expertise. They are now the UK’s largest privately-owned timber company which can be dated back to the 1840’s! Once trading as a one man company, they have now grown into one of the leading lights in the forefront of their industry.

But not only do they lead the way in their timber and building supplies, they lead the way in the way their business markets themselves to their customers.

They market themselves through SMS which is the exact sort of forward thinking that has lead them to become one of the UK’s biggest and best timber specialists company. So we decided to grab a coffee with them and discuss their SMS ventures…

1 – What do you use mobile marketing for?
“We use mobile marketing to push our monthly promotions which are both in our branches and online. We also use it to make customer’s aware of any quick fire promotions, trade days and breakfast mornings. We have found it particularly helpful to make customers aware of any branch issues; e.g. if their phone lines are down or if there are roadworks outside a branch but the branch is open as usual.”

2 – Would you recommend it to other businesses?
“Definitely. We’ve had a brilliant response from mobile marketing and have found that people are more likely to react quickly when they receive an SMS.”

3 – How does it compare against other marketing channels you use?
“We tend to use mobile marketing as an extension to our newsletters. Both mediums have their own benefits and we’ll often link through from an SMS to one of the newsletters.”

4 – What were your results? Did it go well? Have you got any stats you could share with us?
“For example, we have garnered a good response from sending out SMS messages to make customers aware of training courses within our branches. People are able to react quickly and call the branch via the phone number included in the SMS and so we’ve found the list of attendees for these courses fill up quickly. Also the click through rates for URLs included in SMS messages are always high.”

5 – Have you got any tips for businesses who are new to SMS?
“Don’t overload recipients with too many SMS messages. It’s easily done but it’s more likely to force people to opt out than engage them.”

6 – And how have you found Text Marketer in service and our platform?
“Text Marketer has been incredibly easy to use and we’ve had a lot of support from our contact at TM as well which has been appreciated. Being able to have a unique ID and being able to schedule SMSs in are functionalities that we were particularly interested in. The website is user friendly and clean looking, I can’t sing it’s praises enough to be honest.”

So if you want to follow in the footsteps of Howarth Timber and see your business grow into an industry leader that lasts the test of time, why not sign up for your free mobile marketing account… And maybe in 175 years we could be doing a case study on your business!

Getting your customers to opt-in and collecting data

Collecting customer data has always been an important part of any business, being able to send your customers important news, sales and offers by email or text has always been a valued method of communication by every business.

With the new GDPR rules and regulations hot on everyone’s lips at the moment, opted-in customer data has just become even more valuable to businesses. So we thought we would take a look at how you can get your customers to opt-in.

Side note – all your existing customers data should already be opted-in. You will need to be able to provide proof that a customer has opted-in and explain to them clearly why you are taking their email address or mobile phone number. For more details please read of GDPR post here

In-store and social media promotion 
Get your customers to text you and opt-in. Tell them what they are signing up for and maybe give an incentive…

Get a tick box added to your sign up form or shopping cart
Ask for your customers mobile phone number in the sign up process or shopping cart checkout, and then at the end of the form/basket, have a tick box stating that they are allowing you to send them exclusive offers and news by text message.

Run a competition to get opt-ins
Sometimes the smallest of things can just feel a little too much effort for some people and they end up not bothering – but if there is a prize at the end then hey presto! So why not either run a competition asking your customers to opt-in and one lucky opt-in winner will win a prize (why not jazz it up by using a SMS Web Page).

Or you could offer every customer who opts-in a 10% off code – might seem like an outlay at the start but in the bigger picture, who will have a larger database of numbers that you can further market to in the future.

Add a Form-2-SMS section onto your website 
One of the easiest ways to get customers to opt-in is by placing an SMS Form-2-SMS section on your website. Simply have mobile phone number field and ask your customer to sign up to your exclusive marketing messages filled with great news and offers.

We have already got the code written for you – checkout our Form-2-SMS page here

Here are just some of the ways you can get your customers to opt-it and sign up for your marketing messages, there are plenty more ways and some are highlighted in this free eBook – How to collect your customers data.

Wow your customers with our amazing new SMS Web Pages

We are extremely excited about our latest service here at Text Marketer as we really do think, this is a huge game changer! A product that you and your customers will really, really, really love!

There has always been this war between email marketing and SMS marketing. People weigh up the positives and negatives and then look at their response rates etc. and generally they end up doing a bit of both. Email marketing of course has lovely images that can capture your customers imagination. However the open rate and response rates are so poor with email marketing that your customers are highly unlikely to even see your nice images.

Whereas SMS marketing is the complete opposite. You can almost guarantee every customer will see and read your message, pretty much instantly. However the message is purely text, so no nice images to entice in your customers to your products or services. Well we here at Text Marketer have basically combined the two… drum roll please…

Introducing SMS Web Pages
Get the amazing response and open rates that SMS has to offer, combined with a completely bespoke designed SMS Web Landing Page for you to wow your customers with.

And of course with everything Text Marketer, it’s simple and easy to use. Quick – nothing to download or install. And of course… Low Cost!

It’s so easy to use we have got it down to 6 easy steps until your customer has it on their mobile phone…

1 – Select your desired template
2 – Upload your images and write your text
3 – Change your background colour of your SMS Web Page
4 – Change font style, size or colour
5 – Add a call to action button
6 – Preview and press send – easy peasy lemon squeezie!!!

Here are a couple of screenshots to wet your appetite – but for a full instructional guide please click here.

SMS Web Pages

So why not start wow’ing your customers with our beautiful SMS Web Pages. Sign up today in minutes for free and with no contracts to sign – you would be a fool not to give it a go!

8 ways you can use SMS Web Pages

When we released SMS Web Pages we were so excited and eager to see what people thought of it, we could see the endless possibilities that it could be used for to enhance your business marketing plans. We knew you guys would love it, but not just because of how it would increase your response rates, but also how easy it is to use and how great they look!

In just a few weeks of it going live, it had amassed well over a hundred landing pages with a whole variety of pages and some great design work – you guys really are rather good.

We have already had some great comments passed onto our account managers and even a case study – This customer managed to amass 11,200 clicks thanks to SMS Web Pages.

Every day we seem to get more and more people creating and sending an SMS Web Page, with new ideas flooding in that not even we had thought of.

So to help those who may be a little stuck with what you can do with SMS Web Pages here are our top 8 ways that businesses can use SMS Web Pages and get more clicks, purchases, and ultimately happier customers.

1. Promote a new product or service
The first idea is the one we have seen the most and one of the main reasons we created it. SMS Web Pages is perfect for selling a new product. Nothing works better at selling a new Summer dress, or pair of football boots, than a nice sharp image of it.

You could have a big image of the dress at the top of the page, the price below, then two smaller images below with models wearing it, with a ‘Buy Me Now’ link at the bottom – simple but effective.

Or if you would prefer to give your customers some options, you could use the two smaller images to sell different products, maybe a pair of shoes and a hat, something similar but relevant to your initial image. This would give your customers options on what they like and by including separate links to these products they wouldn’t need to go onto your website and search for them, simply just click the image.

2. Promote an up and coming event
Have you got tickets to a festival you need to sell? Or simply just a night that you want customers to buy tickets for? By creating a simple landing page with a big image at the top of your festival or night club, a bit of information on when, where, who is playing, how much the tickets are and how they can buy the tickets, is a great way to sell out.

You could even include a little competition where people could click a link to win free tickets, or upgrade their tickets to VIP.

3. Give customers extra information
We know it can be hard to include all the information you want into one text, and sometime even four texts won’t give you enough. With SMS Web Pages you can add as much text as you want, with headers and sub headers – it is much cleaner to have all the information you need on a landing page than in a text.

We had one customer use it to inform their customers about the taxi fares over the festive period. When they would be running, the increased fare and how they could book a taxi either through their app, website or calling them.

4. Promote a sale
Spring Sale, Summer Sale, Black Friday Sale – any sale is perfect for SMS Web Pages. You could have a big title and image of what the sale is, a bit of a description of the sale and how to claim it, then maybe two more smaller images of example products customers could purchase at the sale price with links going directly to those products.

5. Use as a voucher
If you want people to come to your bar or restaurant on a certain night, maybe when it is quiet, send them an SMS with a voucher in where they could use it to get 20% off a meal or a free dessert by simply showing you the voucher at the end of their meal.

With some lovely images of your food, then a button at the bottom where people can book a table. Sending the message at the right time when people are hungry, will really get their mouths watering and your tables fully booked.

6. Sell a holiday
Nothing works better for wanting to go on holiday than seeing a nice, warm, sunny beach, with blue waves and a clear sky – see even just describing it sounds great.

With SMS Web Pages you can include a lovely big image of a sunny beach along with a description and price of the holiday. This will entice you customers to click the link, and get looking at holidays on your website.

7. Remind customers
Remind customers of their debts, MOT due date, dentist appointments and more. With a simple unique SMS message then a link to an SMS Web Page with details on what they need to do to repay the debt, or how to book an MOT appointment with a link to the corresponding page.

Images can enforce the message you are getting across whilst also allowing you to get more of the important text across too.

8. Promote a job role
SMS Web Page is a great way to promote a job or multiple jobs at the same time. By having your company logo at the top of the page, then the job title, location, wage, and job description below, you could include several jobs that are similar for people to browse.

This would mean you would be able to send this to a bigger batch of people, and because you are not just telling people about one job at a time, you are giving them a couple of options to pick from, there will be a higher chance of them getting in contact with you about one of the opportunities.

 

These are just 8 of the many ways that business can use SMS and we are sure that you have already thought of more exciting ways to use it.

If you haven’t already tried out our SMS Web Pages feature, sign up to a free account today and test it for yourself.

The quickest and easiest way to get your software sending SMS messages

“Jack of all trades, master of none”

Is a saying that gets banded about when you try and take on too much, when you try to do too many things and never quite master one thing. And when it comes to your software and platform, you want to put all your time and effort into making exactly what your customers are using your software for and master it.

But to improve your software and platform you might need to add bits and bobs that make your platform more complete, things that help your customers get the most out of it and ultimately give your software the edge against your competition.

And this is where Text Marketer can come in… Building an SMS solution is very complicated, very time consuming and very expensive – trust us, we know!! However with our amazing API, you can integrate our powerful SMS solution into your software and platform – quickly and easily!

No complicated things to learn, expensive highly technical developers to hire, message networks to price up and route… simply plugin in our gateway and let your customers send straight from your platform. Below are just some of the software providers we integrate with or supply SMS too – more details here

Now once the integration is in place there are two ways this can be managed…

We take care of all customer accounts and billing
So once your integration is put in place, you can direct your customers to Text Marketer to sign up for their free account. They will then receive their API account details that they will then just simply enter their details into your SMS section within your software.

Moving forward we bill them directly and we take care of everything for you. So nothing to worry about regarding SMS – we take care of it all and give you peace of mind without adding to your workload.

You handle the accounts and billing
Some software businesses choose to take care of the billing themselves as they want to hide the fact their SMS solution is coming from an external party, we have absolutely no problem with that. We charge your business a flat rate price per SMS depending on volumes, and you would then charge your customers for their SMS messages at a price you want.

Both ways are fine by us and both ways are a great, efficient, low cost way to provide your software and platform with an SMS solution that your customers will love, and giving you the edge against your competition.

If you would like to discuss integrating your software with our SMS solution please email [email protected]

What you need to know about GDPR when using mobile marketing

Now before we start it is important to note that, although we have had a huge team researching into GPDR and we are confident on the following interpretation, this article does not constitute as legal advice.

So let’s jump straight in at the deep end with the main two important questions on everyone’s lips at the moment, which are…

Can I still send customers text messages after the GDPR legislation comes into affect?
Yes. Yes you can continue to text your customers. 

Do I need to get my existing customers to re opt-in?
No. If you have been previously messaging your customers then you do not necessarily have to re-request their permission. However it’s very important that you read all the details below to make sure you are compliant with GDPR.

The basics of GDPR
The new rules and regulations of GDPR will come into full effect on the 25th May 2018. And one specific requirement reads: you must have a lawful basis in order to process personal data.

So what is meant by ‘processing personal data’?
“Processing… means obtaining, recording or holding the information or data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the information or data… it is difficult to think of anything an organisation might do with data that will not be processing.” (Source: ICO)

So your customer database, and any emails or text messages that you send to businesses or individuals with that database would be considered as ‘processing’.

So what is a ‘lawful basis’?
Well there are six available lawful bases for processing and not one is more important than the other, however it is effectively the justification you have for processing the data.

Gaining consent is one of those six which seems to be getting all the limelight. It is a key takeaway point however where your existing customers are concerned, it’s probably not the most appropriate.

Do you have to gain consent to communicate with your customers after GDPR?
Not necessarily no. We think that the two lawful bases that most businesses will fall under when processing data are, consent and legitimate interests.

Consent is obviously more clear, have they said you can contact them, yes or no. However legitimate interests is a more flexible lawful basis for processing data, ICO state, “ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.” (Source: ICO)

Any act of processing, sending an email or text message, needs to stack up against the 3 following questions:

1 – Do you have a legitimate interest for sending the message? This can include your own need to cross-sell other products / services or promote wider use of an already purchased item, for example

2 – Do you need to send the message in order to achieve those interests? If you could reasonably achieve the same result through other, less intrusive means (such as unprompted visits to your website), legitimate interests do not apply

3 – Have you balanced the act of sending the message against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms? This comes back to the early statement about reasonable expectations on their part.

These three steps make up the Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA), which you should complete ahead of the GDPR coming into effect. There is a detailed explanation and a template for completing the LIA from the Data Protection Network here.

What you need to know about the ePrivacy Regulation
The ePrivacy Regulation focuses on rules and regulations around electronic communications, email, SMS etc. However these rules will not be in place until 2019, and for now, you should continue to comply with the existing PECR legislation.

Here is a post by the Data Protection Network that provides you with a reminder of what the existing requirements are. But to summarise an important key point for you…

You can continue to use a soft opt-in to send email and texts – A soft opt-in applies when you have obtained an individual’s details as part of the sales process, where you’re only marketing your own products / services, and you provide an opt-out in every marketing communication.

So to round up and summarise for you…
Most businesses will be able to continue to contact their existing customer base without interruption using legitimate interests. Providing you have assessed and documented it as your lawful basis of processing via your privacy policy (eConsultancy offers some great advice on privacy policies).

However when contacting prospects or lapsed customers, the “existing customer relationship” that makes legitimate interests possible does not apply, and getting consent with them would be strongly recommended.

We hope all that helps and if you do have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

New auto credit top up feature – so you don’t have to lift a finger!

We are always working hard to find new features that will help improve our Message Box platform to either help you get better results from mobile marketing, or to make your mobile marketing experience easier – we are working harder, so you don’t have to!

Last month we introduced our amazing SMS Web Pages, and it seems to have not only gone down a storm with you guys, but also your customers too – see how Star Cars Birmingham got 11,200 clicks through their SMS Web Page campaign.

Then before that we added Tracked URLs – so you could all see exactly who has clicked your short URL links.

Now everything we create, develop and design for Message Box either has to improve it, new feature or tool, or make it easier. As we are committed to providing you with the UK’s leading mobile marketing platform.

Our latest Message Box update comes under the ‘making it easier’ umbrella. Say hello to our new Auto Credit Top Up tool…

With certain services you want them to just run smoothly, no hiccups or hurdles – just setup a payment plan and forget about it. You don’t want to continually raise invoices and speak to your finance team to get them paid… You could end up in a loss of service or just an unnecessary  waste of people’s time.

Well with our new Auto Credit Top Up feature, all those troubles are now a thing of the past! Simply login to Message Box and click on your account Financials in the top right dropdown menu.

You will then see all your latest transactions and subscriptions, and on the Subscriptions section you will see a ‘Configure Credit Top Up’ button on the right. Click that and the pop up below will appear.

You have an invoice alert setup at the top, where you can select how many credits you want to automatically be invoiced for and select at what trigger point you want it to be raised – so how many credits you have left in your account.

Then below, if you switch the Auto Top Up section to on, instead of just raising an invoice, it will also automatically be paid – so you never run out of credits!

Just one of the amazing tools and features in our Message Box platform that makes it the UK’s favourite mobile marketing platform.

Sign up here now for free and get 10,000 free SMS credits on your first purchase.

Form-2-SMS – the easiest way to get opt-ins

With the new GDPR rules coming into play soon, we have had many brands and businesses ask us ways that they can grab and collect their customers opted-in data easily and quickly. And our answer is yes, we have many different ways you can do this, but one way we think is particularly good, is our free Form-2-SMS product.

Form-2-SMS works in the exact same way as the ‘Sign up to our Newsletter’ fields that you see on websites, but instead of providing an email they are giving you their mobile number to sign up for your mobile marketing messages.

When 98% of all text messages get read and only 22% of emails – you are better off collecting their mobile phone number.

So first off you will need to sign up for your free Text Marketer mobile marketing account – then once you have done that, login to your Message Box account.

And at the top right of your screen you have your account details in your account profile dropdown. Select this and then you will then need to click the Form-2-SMS tab, and then you will be taken to the screen below.

You can have many Form-2-SMS fields on your website for different things, so in the name section put what the form will be related to. The Sender ID section is who the message will be from, most people put their business or brand name to let their customers know it’s them that is texting them.

Select add to group and the contact group name, this will automatically put the customer into your contact group.

The submit per IP section is to reduce any spamming of your field on your website. The number relates to how many times a single IP address can submit to that from per day.

Form-2-SMS

Then simply write the message you want to be sent out to every customer that signs up to your mobile messages via the form on your website – then simply click save.

To test your form, simply enter your mobile phone details and name, and click submit. You will then receive the message exactly how your customers will when the submit via the form.

Form-2-SMS

Then all you need to do is copy the code of the form and then paste onto your website – hey presto opted-in customers mobile phone numbers. Sit back and watch your list grow and grow. Remember to keep your message credits topped up as although the Form-2-SMS product is free you will still have to pay for the messages that it sends out.

9 of the biggest must read marketing stats for 2018

On the turn of the year we often all sit down and think about what the year holds for us, personally and work wise. And we think about where we want to be at the end of 2018, and think about what we have to do to get there. More sales? More customers? More staff? Bigger office? New car? New house?

Of course the main ingredient in getting there, is hard work. You are not going to get anywhere without that. However the saying goes ‘work smarter, not harder’. And when you sit down to plan your 2018 you need to make sure you are putting your hard work, time and effort into the right areas that can ultimately make the difference.

Marketing is a beautiful thing. It can bring great responses and an unbelievable return on your investment – improving your business to no end. Or it can be a wasteful drain on your time and money…

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted;
the trouble is I don’t know which half”
John Wanamaker (1838-1922)

Luckily now we have ways in which we can measure our marketing exploits and adventures. After periods of testing and experimenting, we can see what works and what doesn’t work for our business and customer base.

Now we know all the amazing things that SMS marketing can bring to you and your business – just take a look at some of our case studies here 

But we have spoken to the experts and researched around to hunt down 9 of the biggest must read stats to influence your 2018 marketing plans… So enjoy and please share around. And we all wish you luck for 2018 and hope that you get everything you deserve.

Embed this Infographic on your website:Text Marketer Bulk SMS Services

What is GDPR and how it affects your business

Oh no what is this I keep hearing about GDPR, it sounds scary and could destroy my business.

Well firstly don’t worry, make a cup of tea, sit down, and relax. It is nothing to worry about. It is simply a new regulation that will replace the Data Protection Act.

But just to ease your worries, we have put together this guide on what GDPR is, how it will affect you, how you can ensure you comply with it and what Text Marketer are doing to ensure we adhere to the new regulations.

1. What is GDPR?
GDPR is the EU General Data Protection Regulation which will replace the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 in the UK and the equivalent legislation across the EU Member States.

It will come into effect on the 25th May 2018 and a failure to meet the new regulations could result in a fine.

The reason behind the new regulations is to give EU citizens more privacy by updating the existing regulations so they reflect today’s world. What they have done is increase the term ‘personal data’ to include online information such as location, IP address, cookie and so forth.

2. How will it affect your business?
As long as you follow the guidelines there will be not problem and you can continue to trade as usual. But not abiding by the new regulations could mean a fine of up to €20m or 4% of annual turnover whichever is greater.

Within your business you will need to inform all employees about the new GDPR and how they should be more mindful with customers information.

3. What you can do to comply with it
To ensure you comply with the GDPR ensure that all personal data you keep on customers is in a safe and secure location. The best thing to do is have a read of the document created by the ico. with 12 steps on preparing for the GDPR which you can read here.

For SMS purposes there are a few things you need to ensure you are doing your side when sending an SMS message to your customers.

The people you contact need to have opted into your marketing messages. There are two ways this can be done.

1. The best way is where you have specifically requested their permission to send them SMS messages, this can be through a tick box on your website. For example, you could have a tick box saying ‘Please tick this box if you would like to receive exclusive offers and news’. They tick that and they have opted-in and you can send them your marketing messages.

2. The other way is where you have already acquired someone’s mobile number, either because they were a past customer or they contacted you to discuss a service or product. In this case you are allowed to send them an SMS message, but only about the product or service they purchased or talked about. So you can not send them a message about boats if what you spoke to them about was shoes.

It is good practice to keep a record on how you obtained the customers ‘acceptance’ into your SMS messages – this means if there is a complaint you can provide evidence easily.

You must ensure that customers can easily opt-out of your marketing messages – we provide a free opt-out code that you can add onto the end of your message, so no worries there.

4. What we are doing to ensure we comply
We are compliant with all the requirements of GDPR,  we do have a GDPR project underway which will modify a small number of internal processes to support compliance with the incoming regulation.

In terms of security Text Marketer only operate via Direct UK Network connections. No overseas or ‘grey’ routes are used. So all your info and messages are completely safe with Text Marketer.

If you require any more information about the GDPR and your business, or how we are ensuring that we comply with it fully, please email us at [email protected] and we will be glad to provide you with more information.

How to see who clicked your tracked URL link – an excel guide

By now we are sure you have seen and hopefully used our amazing tracked URL shorten feature, that allows you to see what number has clicked your short URL links, what date and time they clicked, how many times they clicked and what device they are on.

By seeing exactly who is clicking your links, you can see your most engaged customers, what links different customers have clicked on and work better, and send an appropriate follow up message to the corresponding contacts.

To be able to do all of this we have put together a quick 4 step guide that allows you to see which customer has clicked your link.

After you have created your contact group, added all the required fields in that you need for each customer, like the customers name, company, email address, and any custom fields you would like. Send your SMS campaign with your tracked URL link in, you can then follow the 4 simple steps below to see exactly which customer clicked your tracked URL using excel.

1. Download your contact group
Download the group you sent your messages to by going into ‘Managed Contacts’, selecting the group you sent your SMS campaign to and click the ‘Export’ button.

2. Download your tracked URL report
To download your tracked URL report, go to ‘Analytics’, then clicked the ‘Tracked URLs’ tab and using the drop-down boxes select the SMS campaign you sent the tracked URL in and click, ‘Download Report’ at the bottom of the page.

3. Download our Excel spreadsheet
Click here to download our Excel spreadsheet and save it to your computer.

4. Copy and paste
Copy your contacts from the download of your group (point 1) and paste these into the first tab named ‘Contacts’, on our Excel spreadsheet.

Now copy and paste your tracked URL report into the second tab on our Excel spreadsheet, named ‘Tracked URL Clicks’.

Finally copy the formula in cell ‘M2’ to the bottom of your contacts.

Those with an #N/A in the cell, are contacts who have not clicked the link and those with a number in, are how many times they have clicked it.

 

That’s it – you are done!

4 simple steps which will show you which contact clicked the link and how many times they clicked it, along with a more detailed report on the second tab with the user’s mobile phone operating system and date and time of their first click

You can now easily filter out those who have not clicked the link to send them a message again, or follow up to those who have clicked the link with a different text message.

Star Cars Birmingham get 11,200 clicks using SMS Web Pages

Star Cars Birmingham are a leading taxi firm based in Birmingham. They have a huge loyal customer base and use the latest technology along with great customer service to provide a great service.

Star Cars Birmingham wanted to text all its customer and inform them of their fares over the Christmas and New Year period, along with getting people to enter a competition where they could win a brand-new iPhone 8, and if possible get people to download their app on both Android and Apple store.

To get all of this into one text message would have been impossible, but lucky for them we had just released our brand-new feature SMS Web Pages into Message Box. SMS Web Pages allows customers to build a SMS landing page with multiple images and more text than they could get into one text message.

Star Cars saw a great opportunity to use our new SMS Web Pages tool to create a simple but effective SMS landing page that ticked all the boxes. And we managed to talk with Star Cars on how they found using the new feature and what results they got from it – here is what they said.

What did you like about the new feature?
“Everything – it was really simple to get to grips with, it took me less then 15 minutes to master it, adding various images, text and a call to action button.

I really like how when you create your page, you can then change the layout and all the images and text stay on the page, meaning I didn’t have to start again if I wanted a different layout.”

How does it compare to sending a normal SMS message?
“What I find a lot of the time is I can’t get all the information I need into one text message, probably because I want to put a lot of information in, but using this I found that I could add all the information I needed to the page, meaning I have more space in the actual text message to write something compelling.”

What were your results? Did it go well? Have you got any stats you could share with us?
“Yes, it went really well, we got a great response from it – much better than our email campaign we did.

We sent an email campaign out and only got 70 or so clicks, when we sent the text message out we got 11,200 clicks – so only slightly more than email!!!

We also saw a significant increase in downloads of our app on both the Apple store and the Android store – sorry I don’t know exactly how many.

On the actual SMS web page, we had over 550 people click the button to win the iPhone 8 and managed to capture around 200 emails address because of it.

We were also really busy over the Christmas and New Year period and can only assume this was aided by our SMS campaign.”

How have you found Text Marketer in service and our platform?
“We have been with Text Marketer for nearly a year now and we love the platform and service that we get. We have never had a problem with the system or when sending lots of single text messages out.

The platform is really easy to use, uploading contacts into different groups is so simple and sending a message takes about 2 minutes, if that.

We love the analytics section and use it regularly to see how our campaigns have gone down and which numbers are no longer active.

Basically, we love it – thanks for a great system.”

 

We would like to thank Star Cars Birmingham for their time and if you are in, or around Birmingham and need a taxi, then give them a call or visit their website.

Top 10 SMS marketing blogs of 2017

Wow, what a year that was – 2017 was a huge year for the mighty mobile phone and it looks like there is no stopping it as it continues to grow into 2018.

Back in November 2017, during the Black Friday week, the mobile phone outperformed the desktop computer and every other device used by consumers for online shopping, with a whopping 41% using a mobile phone compared to a desktop computer at 38%.

That is just one of the stats that shows how much mobile phones have grown and we hope that 2017 was as successful for you, as it was for the mobile phone – and hopefully, SMS gave a helping hand in that success.

Throughout 2017 we posted a load of helpful blogs, including handy guides, tips and examples, promoting our amazing deals, like our Black Friday 20% deal, all the way through to how SMS marketing can help businesses grow and make more money.

Below we have put together a list of our 10 most popular SMS posts from 2017, so have a look at what you guys have been reading over the year and either read them again or see what popular posts you may have missed.

1. Examples of SMS marketing messages
At the number 1 spot was our post back in February with example SMS messages and the different areas that these messages could be used in. With examples of marketing messages, booking appointments, taking payments and many more – this one took the top spot by storm.

Read the most popular blog post of 2017

 

2. 8 amazing Black Friday retail tips

For Black Friday this year we posted our 8 top tips on how to get the most out of Black Friday, and wow it looks like you took it on board because this year was the biggest Black Friday yet. With records being smashed left, right and center, and all with a big helping hand from the mobile phone and our blog of course.

Read the second most popular blog post of 2017

8-Amazing-Black-Friday-Tips-IM

 

3. The best time to send retail SMS marketing messages
Just sneaking into the top 3 was our research blog. We undertook a huge research project, looking at data from all different retailers to find out when the best times in the day, best days in the week and the different periods in the year retailers are sending SMS messages.

The findings were new and interesting to us and it also seems you guys liked it and hopefully took advantage of it.

Read the third most popular blog post of 2017

TM-Stat-popular-times

 

4. Our amazing analytics just got even better – with tracked URL clicks!
One of our new features we added into Message Box was the Tracked URL Shorten feature. And it had you guys rushing to your Message Box account and sending messages to your customers.

In case you missed it, our Tracked URL Shorten feature you can track exactly who clicked your URL link, what time the clicked it and if they clicked it multiple times – perfect for a follow-up call or message.

Read the fourth most popular blog post of 2017

amazing analytics

 

5. Email vs SMS marketing. Let the battle commence…
Back in 2015, we had a look at the facts and figures of SMS and email marketing and which came out on top. With 2 years having passed, we took another look at the figures to see if anything had changed – SMS was still number 1.

Read the fifth most popular blog post of 2017

Email vs SMS

 

6. Text Marketer brings you Message Box 2 – business mobile marketing made easy
Message Box is our online SMS platform and back in January we released a new fresh looking and easier to use version – and you loved it.

As soon as it was released it was a huge hit, with a simplified home screen, improved security, re-sizing to fit any screen/device and many more updates and upgrades, it has massively improved and helped customers send SMS messages, quicker and easier.

Read the sixth most popular blog post of 2017

Message Box 2

 

7. 7 amazing marketing stats for 2017
We predicted the mobile phone would rule in 2017 and we took our favourite 7 stats to showcase the power of the mobile phone and why businesses should be using it in 2017.

Read the seventh most popular blog post of 2017

7-Amazing-marketing-stats-2017

 

8. Cilento Designer Wear see big results from SMS marketing in-store and online
Nothing speaks more volume of how good a product or service is than a review. And in this case, a case study from the guys over at Cliento Designer Wear saw you guys flock to the page to read how they use SMS and what they get out of it.

Read the eighth most popular blog post of 2017

Cilento-IM

 

9. Example SMS marketing messages for retail
After the huge response we got from our post, that is ranked at number 1, Examples of SMS marketing messages, we decided to give you even more examples but this time specifically for retailers, with over 20 example SMS messages for different scenarios.

Read the ninth most popular blog post of 2017

Example-SMS-retail-messages

 

10. Valentine’s day 2017 stats
With love on the horizon, back in early February, we created a blog and an infographic with some fun stats on Valentine’s day. Who spends more, men or women? When do certain demographics look to purchase their loved ones a special gift, and much more.

Read the tenth most popular blog post of 2017

Valentines-Day-Stats-2017

 

Well, it is always nice to finish on a loving note, and we hoped all our 2017 blogs, and not just those above, have helped you in some way – and remember, keep an eye out for all our exciting blogs and updates in 2018.

Text Marketer’s Winter Wonder Sale – Get 10% Free SMS

It’s the time of year for a thick warm coat and an extra log on the fire… However it’s also a time for planning the new year and Winter Sales!!

So as it being the turn of the year and to try and help ease those January blues, we thought we would launch our very own Winter Sale.

Whether you have got big plans for 2018, a Winter Sale, new products to launch or have some extra money to spend before the end of the financial year… Now is the perfect time to stock up on some warming free SMS credits.

Any purchase of 1,000 credits or more between Monday 8th January – Wednesday 28th February will receive an extra 10% SMS credits for free!

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

Happy SMS’ing

Your instructional how to guide for SMS Web Pages

We are incredibly excited here about our wonderful new product SMS Web Pages – and glad to see already that so many of our customers are receiving great responses from their campaigns already!

Basically what SMS Web Pages allows you to do is, create a mobile web page full of your own beautiful images and text… And then send it out in a link to all your customers by text message, they simply click the link and hey presto! No expensive developers, designers, hosting platforms needed – just your standard free Text Marketer account!

And here we are going to show you really how easy it is to use…

Simply select your template from the top section, pictured below.

Select the picture area on the left, click the Image tab on the right-hand side section. Click the area and upload your image. Click the Edit tab above and select your image from the dropdown (you can store up to 10 images in any account for future use.)

Upload image

To change your heading simply click the are on the left, then write your headline in the text box provided. Change colour or font style to suit your preferences.

Changing header text & colour

You can then alter your call to action button to say what you want, select your button on the left. Then on the right type your button text, select the colour button and text colour. Increase or decrease the font size and select a different font style. Then add your URL destination for the button, your links should include the https:// at the start – so your link should look like this https://www.textmarketer.co.uk

Call to action

You can change the background colour of the page. Simply select the background colour and select a colour, or move a slider up or down to get a specific colour tone.

Change background colour

Now your content is all uploaded, you can still also flick through some other template views to see how it would look.

Changing layout

You can also see how your SMS Web Page would look on different devices by simply selecting the appropriate device from the drop downs below the templates.

Changing screen size

Now all you have to do is press send… Your SMS Web Pages Link will automatically be in the message box, so write the rest of your message, choose your recipients and select when you want to send it – and hey presto that’s your SMS Web Page campaign sent out!

Cos it’s the most mobileful time of the year – Xmas marketing tactics

The reindeer are getting ready, the elves are working overtime and the festive Christmas jumpers are getting sewn – it must be Christmas time!

When it comes to December and marketing your business, it can be hard to keep all the festive plates spinning with so much going on – Christmas parties, staff bonuses, holidays, presents and where are the in-laws going to sleep!?

Well, marketing your business certainly doesn’t have to be one of those on your list, as with mobile marketing and Text Marketer – you can plan and take care of December in minutes.

With everybody here, there and everywhere over December, mobile marketing is definitely the best way to contact/promote your business, services, products or sales to your customers. Your customers might not be at work or at home, but whatever they are doing, you can guarantee they will have their mobile with them.

Which is exactly why, 95% of businesses see the festive period as an opportunity to target their customers via their mobile. The mobile has grown and grown in its dominance of the marketing sector, with now so many people surfing the internet and purchasing through their mobile phone – it would be perhaps foolish to advertise to your customers on anything else.

Black Friday week 2017 – The mobile phone was the device most used by consumers for online shopping with a whopping 41%… overtaking desktop computers at 38%.

So it certainly looks like it is going to be the most mobileful time of the year – please sing in tune.

And with this in mind we have some festive Christmas tips for you… and not just about keeping the chocolate tin away from Dad.

Plan ahead
With staff taking days off, Christmas parties and weekends, plus the general workload – it usually gets very congested in December. However plan your days and using our schedule send tool, set your mobile marketing campaigns and sit back and relax. Friday’s are always a good day to send, so get some campaigns queued up and get the job ticked off your to-do list.

Don’t be afraid
This is the time of year of joy and happiness, but also a time of year of shopping and family activities. So people want to hear about your offers, or if you have something special on that the whole family would enjoy – whether it be a nice sit down meal, a pop-up ice rink or just a Christmas sale, don’t be afraid to let your customers know with a text message.

Don’t just sell sell sell
Send updates about their purchases and when they will be delivered, thank them for their purchases. Be human, show a nice human side to your business. Wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, offer a free cup of mulled wine… don’t just concentrate purely on selling to your customers, show some festive spirit and joy.

And last of all… have fun and a fanatic Christmas. From everyone here at Text Marketer – we wish you all a wonderful Christmas.