Marketing, especially for small to medium size businesses used to be a lot simpler. There weren’t nearly as many options as there are today. Most of the marketing methods used in the past are still available. For example, magazine advertisements, billboards, networking groups, trade shows, radio, TV to name a few.
Add to those marketing methods all of the new methods brought about by the explosion in the online (Internet) marketplace, social media and mobile technology and today’s business owner can be overwhelmed by the options. Online marketing methods fall into these categories: Display Advertising, Search Engine Marketing (with its related Search Engine Optimization), Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and Content Marketing.
Mobile marketing brings some additional categories of its own: SMS Marketing, MMS Marketing, In-game Marketing, Mobile Web Marketing, QR Code Marketing and others.
Not only are there many more marketing options, they are inherently embedded in technology that can confuse and frighten many business owners. They also bring with them a new set of terminology to learn. Terms like “Pay per Click (aka Cost per Click)”, “Cost per Action”, “Cost per Mille (aka Cost per Thousand Impressions)”, AdWords and AdSense among others.
Another dynamic to marketing in the online world is where to place your advertisements. There are opportunities to place ads on sites that do not charge any fees for the placement. These would include sites like Craigslist, Backpage and Kijiji to name a few. Some sites also provide business owners with the opportunity to offer coupons to attract business. Sites such as Google Places, Kudzu and Manta fall into this category. Many sites provide the opportunity for paid advertising. When considering paid advertisements, the business owner may also have to determine whether they will use a flat fee payment method or a bidding method. The bidding methods usually involve a bid amount, a maximum daily spend and a total budget.
So, back to the question posed in the heading of the article – should online texting be in your marketing arsenal. Of the technologies and methodologies described above, online texting is by far the simplest to implement and at the same can provide a very cost effective marketing solution.
Cell phone usage has exploded across the world. There are four members in my family and guess how many cell phones we have – you got it, four. In addition, I can’t remember the last time I saw my seventeen year old daughter talk on her phone but she is constantly texting. But, what makes online texting an effective marketing tool for a business owner? Here are several aspects to consider.
First, ease of set up. There are several vendors such as Greenwave and Yeptext that provide this service to businesses. Marketing campaigns are set up by simply creating a simple text message, scheduling the date and time to send or send immediately and selecting the group of customers to send to if that option is being used.
Second, you are marketing to a very targeted audience. This is due to the fact that customers have to provide you their contact information before you can send them text messages. The vendor that you select will allow you to select a keyword and they will provide a short phone number. Customers desiring to receive your text messages will text the keyword to the number you provide and their cell phone number is then captured for you.
Lastly, this is a very cost effective method of marketing. This is true for two reasons. One is that the open rates on text messages are very high (in the 90% range). The second is that the cost for each message can be as low five cents per recipient.
As a result, online texting can be a great way to reward your loyal customers with specials and at the same time drive repeat business to your front door.