3 Ways To Market With A Text Message

Texting may never be the strongest tool in terms of lead generation, but it can be an effective way to reach customers.
Founder, Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, LLC
December 07, 2011

Looking back over 2011, mobile marketing has been one of this year’s hottest topics. The use of text messaging has jumped through the roof, as well. People now use text messaging as basic one-on-one or group communication more frequently than actually picking up the phone and making a call. This behavior requires us to expand our thinking when it comes to mobile marketing in general.

SMS is not and may never be the strongest tool in terms of lead generation, but it is an effective and convenient way to reach customers and prospects seeking specific information. Don’t think of it as a tool for blasting your clients as you might with an e-mail list, but think of it as a way to provide your clients with answers they are actively seeking. Here are three innovative uses that come to mind.

Book service-based appointments

Imagine getting a text message from a residential service provider, such as a plumber or cleaning service, letting you know they will be arriving in 30 minutes.

How about a service such as your favorite salon, your dentist or even the most popular restaurants in your area using text messages to fill in empty appointment times or openings and also offer busy customers the ability to come right now if they are available.

You could also flip this around and send out a list of open times and let people pick one. A service like Mobivity is very easy to set up for this type of use.

Share your sales presentation instantly

Every time I speak to a group of any size, without fail, someone asks if I can share my slides. Instead of waiting for this question to arise, why not provide a simple solution right off the bat that will wow your audience?

I have started to set up a short code word for each event I speak at and I lead off my presentation with the invite to grab slides. I simply ask the audience to text “event name” to the code and they will receive a message that allows them to download the slides on the spot.

I’ve also used this approach to gather instant feedback on a presentation by asking participants to text their thoughts on the event to a short code. TxtWire is another simple service that is very small-business friendly

Poll audience from SMS

An invite for the audience to interact with your presentation and to display the results instantly is a definite way to keep attention levels high during a workshop or seminar.

The only problem is the little RF keypads and software that it takes to integrate polling with your slides can be fairly expensive.

A number of web-based technologies, such as Poll Everywhere, have cropped up of late making it very affordable to poll audiences by having them use SMS and their own mobile device.

You ask a question and then offer the responses via short code and watch the results populate your PowerPoint slide. For an event, this technology requires that there is a web connection available, but you can also use this in print or other environments to collect data.

Image credit: Ed Yourdon

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine. He is also the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.