Fitting SMS Messaging into Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel

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Fitting SMS Messaging into Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel

If you asked a group of marketers where in the digital marketing sales funnel they would place text marketing services, nearly all would place it at the bottom, as part of their closing or sales phase. At first glance, it makes total sense. SMS marketing places an offer in front of a customer with an imminent call to action such as “Come in today for a 50% off,” or “Download our special offer now.” It doesn’t seem to fit higher up in the funnel.

What those marketers fail to realize, however, is that SMS is a highly effective communications tool at every stage of the buyer journey. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have a mobile marketing strategy for the rest of their funnel. Their lead generation is dominated by social media and SEO activities, while their lead nurturing activities tend to utilize email and landing pages. Very few have found ways to integrate one-on-one communications to develop leads and move those prospects through the funnel.    

It’s unfortunate, because SMS business solutions can help businesses of all sizes build awareness around their products and services, and then nurture those in the funnel toward sales. All it takes, as we’ll see below, is some creativity and a deeper understanding of both mobile uses and the way consumers use their devices.

Building Awareness | Stage 1 of your digital marketing sales funnel

The key to successful SMS marketing at the top of the funnel is to remember that you don’t need to be the one to send out the SMS. Using tools like social media posts, you can drive your prospects to text you. This not only connects you with interested prospects, but it also builds up your mobile number database, which you can utilize later in the funnel.

Getting prospects to text you does require some creativity. You’ll need to develop an irresistible offer that compels the prospect to reach out to you. Ideas can include offers for mobile coupons, contest entries, or free video downloads to individuals who send a text. Those prospects receive a response from your system fulfilling the offer as they begin their relationship with your business.

Nurturing your Prospects

Now that you’ve started to build a relationship with new prospects, it’s time to gently move them through your funnel. Research indicates that consumers don’t want to hear from a brand more than twice a month, so every two weeks you can reach out to them and deliver information of value that will help them to connect with your brand.

These interactions must be thought through carefully. While you may be delivering a whitepaper or ebook to most of your prospects in the nurture stage, your SMS prospects are exclusively on mobile devices, and should only receive mobile-friendly content. An eight-page whitepaper with a 12-point font is probably not ideal for a mobile-viewing experience. Neither is a large sized infographic. Content should skew toward videos or podcasts that can easily be consumed on a mobile device.

Integrating SMS Throughout the Digital marketing Sales Funnel

Clearly, SMS marketing services have a place at every stage in the marketing funnel. Sophisticated marketers looking for a tool with high open and engagement rates would do well to build the high-performing text message throughout their awareness and nurturing stages of their marketing programs.

 

 

SMS Marketing Plan for your Restaurant | 5 SMS Solutions

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Looking for an SMS Marketing Plan for your Restaurant? Here are 5 SMS Solutions Your Restaurant Can Use

We often don’t think of restaurants when we think about digital businesses or SMS use cases. After all, there is nothing more physical than a plate of spicy wings or a juicy, mouth-watering hamburger with a side of fries. Surprisingly, businesses like restaurants can gain tremendously from effective SMS tools. Here are three ways restaurants can use SMS tools.

SMS Marketing vs Twitter to Drive Lunchtime Traffic

There’s a big difference between sending out an SMS and sending out a Tweet. Say your restaurant has 1,000 followers on Twitter, and you send out a Tweet offering a lunch time special. Typically, that tweet is going to be seen by 2% of your followers, so roughly 20 people saw that tweet, and if you can get 5% of those people to take action, your tweet will bring in 1 person to your restaurant.

Let’s change channels for a moment now. Same restaurant, but instead of 1,000 followers on Twitter, you have 1,000 mobile phone numbers. Your lunchtime special SMS will typically be opened by 82% of your recipients, meaning 820 people received your message. If 5% of those people take action, you’ll have 44 people coming in for the lunch special.

Now, it’s important to remember that tweets are free and SMS messages are low cost, but the return on investment (ROI) is both significant and immediate. 

Lifecycle Celebration Promotional SMS Messages

If your restaurant has taken the time to build a customer database that includes anniversaries, birthdays, or other happy occasions, you can invite them through SMS to your establishment to celebrate. Your invitation can be a simple message asking if they’d like to reserve a table for their big day, or can include discount offers, free desserts, or even a glass of wine.  

SMS Communications for a Better Experience

It’s never enjoyable to wait for a table at a restaurant. Patrons are forced to stand outside the door, waiting for their name to be called. Cold or inclement weather can drive people away, and long lines outside your door might stop other from even trying to get a table.

Utilizing SMS messages to communicate with your customers alleviates the blockade in front of your door. Patrons get on a list and are alerted via SMS when their table is ready. This gives them the option to do some shopping, walk around, or even sit in their car as they wait for their table to be ready. It improves their entire evening’s experience and shows your customers that you respect their time.

Reservation Confirmation SMS Messaging Service

After taking a reservation, stay in touch with your customers and send them information they’ll need before they arrive. This can include things like a link with directions to the restaurant or directions to the closest available parking lot.

For late-arriving customers, you can use two-way SMS communication features to check on their status and confirm whether or not you need to hold the table.  

SMS Text Service for Ordering

If you’ve ever had customers tell your waitstaff that they received the wrong meal, SMS Text Service may be right for your establishment. Using digital menus, patrons can order the meal they want, and have their order delivered directly to the kitchen staff.

This is a win-win opportunity for everyone involved. First, your customers receive exactly what they requested, without risk that the waiter misunderstood them. Your kitchen staff receives a print out of each order, so they can easily understand what the customer ordered. Meanwhile, your waitstaff can focus on explaining the specials to customers, delivering meals to the tables, and ensuring that your diners are enjoying their visit to your restaurant.

MessageWhiz can create customized business SMS solutions for your restaurant or any other type of business. Contact us today and let the power of SMS marketing create efficiencies in your business.