Local Mobile Marketing with text messages isn’t really a fad or a phase. It’s a natural progression of marketing tools. Some people don’t like text message marketing, but for the most part, it’s easy to avoid getting what you don’t want. Your customers won’t give your their phone number or check the box for “text messages” if they don’t want them.
Recently I used a text message coupon to get $1.00 a burrito at the local Mexican restaurant. When I signed up to be on their marketing list, they asked if I wanted to get text messages or e-mail, I thought I’d try text messages out. Why not? I like eating at the restaurant, and always appreciate a discount.
So how can small businesses start local mobile marketing without paying an arm and a leg, without hiring some IT person or programmer or an online company to run it? Simply put, how can small businesses do it easily, for next to no money?
[stextbox id=”warning”]The answer is simple AND free. [/stextbox]
There are two quick ways to get a text messaging campaign going. (I suppose there are 121 ways, but why wade through the other 119 when these work just fine?)
The first one is Twitter. Imagine that! Twitter is that micro-blogging site millions of people use for social marketing efforts, everyday. Well, it just so happens Twitter has a secret little tool that you can use in your marketing efforts. It works like this:
- Set up a Twitter account with a relevant, useful name. If you’re a Tex-mex restaurant, something like TexMexFreebies would be great!
- Once that’s complete, you can begin your marketing efforts. Wherever you plan to market your SMS Text service, tell people to text the word “TexMexFreebies” (your Twitter username) to 40404, and let them know they’ll then be subscribed to get discounts, deals, etc. . .
- Then when you have a deal to announce to your customer base, log-in to your Twitter account and “tweet” (ie post the message). Once it is posted, all your subscribers will get it on their phone. Don’t send out more than you told them you would, or they’ll begin to dislike you immensely.
- You can’t use pictures this way, or html, but do you really need a graphic to say “$1.oo off?”
- Rinse and Repeat.
The second way t do local mobile marketing is with e-maill. Mobile phone companies have special e-mail addresses that go directly to the users phone. For example, if you have a Verizon Phone and your number is 515-555-6543, then an e-mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will be delivered as a text to that person’s phone. Set that up as a group in your e-mail system and you can send an email/text to your audience whenever you want. Just make sure to get their phone number and their mobile carrier information when they sign up on your list. With a little skill you can use pictures this way.
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Mobile Text Phone Numbers by Carrier
Alltel – @message.alltel.com
AT&T – @mms.att.net
Nextel – @messaging.nextel.net
Spring – @messaging.sprintpcs.com
Suncom – @tms.suncom.com
T-Mobile – @tmomail.net
Voicestream – @voicestream.net
Verizon – @vtext.com or @vzwpix.com (for photos and video)
That’s not the only way you can reach your customers’ mobile phones. Check out my posts about doing that with Foursquare Marketing, also make sure you’re registered with Google Maps and keep up with Facebook Places to see what they’re rolling out.
If you register for my Free Notes below, I go into a bit more depth and introduce some new ways to market to your customers with their mobile phone. I invite you to sign up and check it out.