10 text marketing tips for small businesses
Using text messaging as a marketing tool means you’re reaching people how they want to be reached: by text. And you’re doing so in the most personal way possible now that phone calls are becoming less and less common.
The personalized outreach you can do with text marketing is a huge benefit, especially as a small business. It gives you so many opportunities to have human interactions with potential and current customers.
To help you take on text marketing, here are 10 tips from Skipio’s own marketing team — a team that’s helped small businesses write thousands of messages that get more responses and lead to action.
1. Use text-in keywords to generate interest and leads
Let your texting platform work for you. Create and advertise keywords you want people to text in to receive more information about certain products or services. That way they only receive texts related to what they’re most interested in and you have a better chance of closing a sale.
By using this type of automated feature, you can reach out immediately and schedule other messages to go out at specific times. You save lots of time by scheduling messages in advance, and you’ll always know the last time you texted someone.
2. Send targeted messages only
Blast texting generic messages to large groups of contacts just makes more work for yourself and eats up a lot of your time. Though you might think it’s going to take you more time to send such specific messages to individuals and groups, that’s only kind of true.
It will take more time and work up front to prepare and tailor your messages… But you’re setting yourself up for better interactions, more sales, and repeat customers!
Generic, blanket-statement promotional messages don’t get nearly as many responses or actions. You have to spend more time and effort reaching out again and again. Ultimately, you’ll spend more time, money, and effort talking to and trying to get the wrong customers to buy.
And it makes sense, right? Prospects care about different things than current customers. And even current customers will respond better to different offers, content, and even language. How you text each group of people should reflect those needs.
3. Do regular cold lead outreach
Make it a part of your marketing routine to reach out to people who never became customers. That includes leads who never even heard from you in the first place or who were in conversations but no-showed, ghosted, or otherwise fell off the face of the planet.
It takes as many as 8 “touch points” to get a really good lead, so don’t write off cold leads. As you prioritize starting those conversations again, you might be surprised at the uptick in engagement and sales. Even just a little extra effort into marketing to your cold leads could make a huge difference for your small business.
4. Share valuable content
Content marketing isn’t just for email and you shouldn’t just hope that people will happen upon your content elsewhere online. Most people watch videos on their phones these days anyway, so it’s only obvious that you text content to them directly.
And as long as your blog is optimized well for mobile, which it definitely should be, texting out links to the latest news, updates, or tips is a breeze.
This doesn’t mean you text everyone every time you publish a new post or make a new video (remember the importance of targeted messages), but when you’ve got a great piece of content, send it to the audience of contacts you made it for. Make sure they see it and ask them to take some sort of action because of it.
5. Carefully time when you send marketing text messages
The cadence of text marketing is not the same cadence you use with email marketing.
Sending multiple marketing emails in a week, or even multiple in a day, isn’t unusual or unheard of. Some companies even have a lot of success doing this. But text is not email. You need to carefully figure out the number of marketing texts you can send in a week or you’ll be getting so many “STOP” requests your head will spin.
There’s of course no magic number of how many texts you send throughout the month. However, many small businesses or sole proprietors see solid success when they start out by sending one text a week to each of their different groups.
Remember also that the literal time of day affects how well your texts will be received. You can get away with sending emails at odd hours, but people aren’t likely to turn off their text notifications or ignore new messages. So unless you run a unique business where people want to be texted outside of business hours, don’t go wild with your scheduling.
6. Take advantage of holidays
Your holiday marketing doesn’t stop when it comes to text messaging. The speed at which you can send out a deal or offer and get responses is unmatched with text. We’ve seen Skipio users generate thousands and thousands of dollars in a day or two by sending holiday marketing promotions with our platform.
So look at upcoming holidays, pick one that suits your business and customers, and create an offer they won’t want to miss. To learn exactly how to do this, check out our short Holiday Texting Strategy Guide. For holidays big and small, you can make a huge impact with just a few texts and a great offer.
7. Create urgency
Special offers and limited-time deals matter. And with how quickly people can respond to texts, it really makes a lot of sense to use time-sensitive language when marketing to leads and customers.
This goes right along with your holiday promotions. Give people time parameters for responding or limit offers to a certain number of people.
Not every text you send should force people into a time crunch. They’ll quickly get tired of that and see right through what you’re trying to do. But an occasional limited-time offer texted to your prospects or customers is sometimes just what they need to make a purchase.
8. Turn it into 2-way communication
Really good text marketing encourages conversations. And as a small business, you’re in the unique position of really showing people who’s on the other end. Always ask questions and find out what your customers want to see and what would be most valuable to them.
At some point you will undoubtedly have a message that you want to send to all of your customers at once. But don’t do it! Because if you’ve written a really great message, sending it to everyone at one time means you’ll be overwhelmed with responses and won’t be able to respond in a timely manner. That will create a memorable customer experience but not for the right reasons.
Split up the list of contacts you want to send it to and over the course of a few days, send it out to small groups. That way there’s the best chance for real back-and-forth interactions to happen.
9. Worry more about your response times than having the “perfect” offer
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to create offers your customers and potential customers can’t refuse. But your execution of that offer within your text marketing strategy matters more than the offer itself. Because if you’re not ready to answer questions and reply to texts, what does that say to a prospective or current customer?
And you might not be able to have as competitive of offers as larger businesses. So beat them at the customer experience instead. Show the people you’re messaging that it’s not a bot on the other end but a real human person who wants to help.
10. Schedule outreach at specific intervals to save time
Your marketing messages should not just be written and sent when you’re thinking about it in the moment. That’s going to drain your time and resources really fast, and you’re going to forget. It’s just inevitable.
Use a business texting platform that helps you schedule messages to send at specific points in time that you choose. Again, this will be more time that you have to spend up front planning out marketing messages. But the time you save in the long term is far greater.
Because by automating these messages, you don’t have to remember to follow up or send a reminder because the system will do it for you. The mental effort alone that you save by scheduling messages in advance frees you up to handle so many other important parts of your business.
Start your text marketing for free
It costs you absolutely zero dollars to start implementing a text marketing strategy with Skipio. Our free plan gives you everything you need to do every single thing mentioned in this post.
From keyword campaigns to scheduled messages that drip out over time, Skipio makes sure that you never forget to follow up.
Plus, get even more help using Skipio in your business when you sign up and get access to the Resource Center. This database includes pre-written messaging templates, how-to articles and guides, and anything else you’d want to know about texting your leads and customers.