There are two main philosophies or strategies when it comes to text message marketing: drive customers NOW!, and drive customers for a longer duration than “now”. We’ll discuss both of these, their pluses and minuses, and when it’s appropriate to use one or the other (or both).
1) The Flash Promotion Text Message Marketing Strategy
When you think of text message marketing, this is what you probably think of. Broadcast a text to 1,000 people, 900+ will see it within a few minutes, and 10 to 20% will act on it. A restaurant may, on a slow night, text something like:
Instant Promotion @ Joe’s: Free Appetizer AND Dessert or Drink from 4:30 to 8:30 this evening.
The idea behind this kind of post is to bring in customers on the spot. Tuesdays are slow nights, and you want them to perform more like a Saturday, so you push the magic button and entice extra customers. A tanning salon might text:
Lunch-hour special. Buy one tan, get one free – from 11am to 2pm.
This message is designed to get someone to act, and it’s fairly effective, especially when you’ve got a database of hundreds of people in your texting “VIP” program (and if you’ve followed our advice, you do 🙂 )
The upside is obvious: Instant customers! The downside is that 1) these texts “expire” pretty quickly (i.e., people won’t come in after that time is up), and because they have such a short window of usability, it can be tempting to want to do them more often than once per week – but that can be dangerous.
Being able to text your customers is a privileged – and if you abuse it, they’ll revoke it. Period. You want to do you best to avoid more than one or two texts per week (and lean towards 1, not two, to be safe.).
2) The Slow Burn Text Marketing Strategy
So how do you solve the dilemma of the short-lived window of the “Flash” promotion text message? With a slow-burner that doesn’t expire. Consider this text:
All this week, VIP’s get a free beverage and 1/2 priced desserts/appetizers with meal!
Notice the difference? This one goes through the end of the week (a nebulous time that most people will assume includes up to Sunday evening). A chiropractor could use the following message:
This week: Come in for an adjustment, get a 30 minute massage/acupuncture session on the house!
These messages are very appealing, and while they will still usually get a large, initial reaction, it will continue to smoulder all week long – and come Friday afternoon, after a long, hard week, with that neck pain starting to flare up, it could provide the tipping point to bring in even more clients all week long, rather than simply on the day it was sent.
So which text messaging style is best? Well, it may seem like a no-brain-er to some, always use a slow burn, since it seems to last longer . . . but not so fast.
The problem with the slow burn is that it doesn’t prompt as much immediate action (usually).
So How Do You Know Which One To Use?
The answer here is kind-of a know brainer…
Try them both! Then, see what works. Tweak it and try again. And don’t be afraid to use both. Some clients have had great success sending out a week-long promotion on Monday, and then a daily “flash promotion” on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If you’ve tried either or both of these before, share what worked (or what didn’t) below!