You don’t have to be a big business to reap significant rewards with your SMS marketing campaign. Small retailers, restaurants, bars, services, schools, nonprofits and other small-scale enterprises have also been able to leverage their success through smart SMS marketing.

Maybe you’re not sure if an SMS campaign is worth the investment. If that’s the case, consider these stats released by SCORE. A full 60% of people use their smartphone in a store. 48% of mobile customers who visit a site that is not mobile-friendly felt that the company doesn’t care about their business. And what about the fact that mobile ads have a redemption rate 10 times higher than that of traditional coupons?

So, how can you harness the power of text marketing to make it work for you? Here are some tips from of small business who experienced big successes with text marketing and how they did it:

Promote your texting campaign across all mediums to generate more opt-ins

The more integrated your campaign, the more successful it will be. Talk about how to opt-in in every email that you send out and every flier you distribute. Include in-store signage about your SMS campaign and instructions on how to sign up. If you use radio or television advertising, mention how to opt-in on these mediums. This has been proven to boost opt-in numbers.

Take National Wholesale Liquidators, for example, who used all of these mediums to advertise their SMS campaign and ended up creating a customer database of 50,000. Likewise, Seattle Sun Tan built a customer database from zero to 4,774 in just one month after advertising across all media.

Bottom line: Successful SMS campaigns are built by integrating opt-in instructions across all advertising media.

Offer exclusive benefits

Since opting in to your text marketing program requires the customer to take extra steps and also to trust that you won’t spam or abuse their information, you have to give them some incentive for taking this leap. Marketers who offer exclusive deals for their mobile customers that aren’t available to other customers often see the most results.

Nimnicht Family Dealerships in Jackson Florida did a great exclusivity campaign by advertising that they would raffle away a new car to mobile customers. They gained 4,000 new opt-ins with this promotion. They then were able to leverage their new opt-ins by starting another promotional campaign aimed at customers who were looking to buy a new or used car. Of the new opt-ins, 9.25% were workable leads.

Their exclusive text-to-win campaign was a great way to generate new opt-ins and maintain the interest of current subscribers. Discounts, coupons and VIP access to events are other exclusive offers that can attract more opt-ins.

Bottom line: Show your customer the benefits of opting in.

Boost your profits with targeted texting

Text marketing can be a great tool to use to boost sales for poor-performing areas of your business. A great example of this is the texting campaign by Prospect Expert, an automotive repair and maintenance center in Canada who were experiencing a 30-40% cancel rate for their appointments. They adopted an SMS campaign that reminded customers of their appointments at scheduled intervals, boosting appointment rates by 60-80%.

Or in the case of Viking Cooking School, they used an SMS campaign to target low-enrollment classes. One $15 text filled 8 empty spots for a low-attendance class. At $79.00/student, that meant a revenue of $632.

Bottom line: You can aim your text marketing campaign to boost sales, attendance and performance in lagging areas.

Take advantage of SMS immediacy

One thing that marketers have to understand about texts is the art of timing. Texts, unlike email, are immediate. 90% of SMS texts are opened within 3 minutes of being received, as opposed to emails that can sit in an inbox for days or weeks without being opened. Therefore, you have to modify your strategy when working with text campaigns and leverage your texts to incorporate the last-minute nature of texting.

If you’re promoting an event on Friday, don’t send a text on Monday. People will forget all about it by then. Tao Nightclub in Las Vegas did a big texting push for an event, incorporating many different texting concepts including exclusivity and advertising across media. The last thing they did right was send their text the morning of the event to get an overwhelming turnout.

Bottom line: Timing is key in texting campaigns.

Any business, no matter their size, can make SMS work for them. From driving traffic to their stores, increasing attendance at events, improving online sales and coupon redemption and expanding their customer base, SMS can improve your profits and your business. Use these examples as lessons in how to make your mobile texting campaign work for your business.

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