First, meet Murphy.
Murphy – like most people – has a cell phone. He works at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. Since Murphy doesn’t like sitting in a vehicle during rush-hour traffic, he takes the bus to and from work. Many businesses inside his building close for the day around 5 p.m. And so begins happy hour (or dinner time – whichever comes first. Murphy is usually good with either.).
The ability to let Murphy know you have an amazing “networking special” on an Old Fashioned made with his favorite blended whiskey and handcrafted bitters is priceless. Well, it’s at least as valuable as Murphy coming into your establishment and perhaps bringing a colleague or two.
Murphy found out about the special at about 4:15 p.m. thanks to a quick text from one of his favorite nearby restaurants. He gets about one text per week so he doesn’t feel bombarded with deals.
The restaurant sent the message to customers who use a specific bus line so it was a great fit for everyone on the list. How did they know about their customers’ transportation habits? Simple. There was a question on the program enrollment form inquiring whether or not the member uses XYZ Line. Just like that, the restaurant had a special contact group where they can send specific promos and they turned their slowest night of the week into an after work hot spot.
An increasing number of restaurants and retailers are now taking advantage of smart phone usage to boost in-store traffic and sales. Mobile banner ads are often times pricey, but there is an alternative: text messaging.
It’s been said that about 98 percent of text messages are opened. This is the main reason for a predicted surge of small businesses incorporating text messaging into their 2014 marketing strategy.
But there are other reasons, too.
Text messaging is reliable. You don’t have to worry about spam or other email filters blocking precious promos and updates from your customers eyes.
It’s cheap! At about 5 cents (or less) a text, why wouldn’t you send an actionable promotion to a customer? If you think that sounds like too much of an investment, think about how much you spent on that last print ad.
Also, you can send targeted promos to customers – just like Murphy – who opt in for this service.
You see, everyone wins. Murphy gets his homemade bitters and you make dollars you wouldn’t have otherwise.
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