Using Text Messaging in your Lead Generation

Recently I found myself in a conversation about how businesses attempt to find solid leads. WARNING, if you don't want to learn how to get first-rate leads, leave this blog now. And if you do, then you're in luck.

Below are a few techniques I suggested in my recent conversation that can help you find extra leads, add sales and make more connections.  At the end of the day, all your doing is utilizing the fact that most people now own and widely use a smartphone. An increased usage in mobile has taken many businesses by surprise - but not intelligent businesses like yours!

Email Newsletter via Text Message

For those of you who already have an email newsletter, you know that the more subscribers you get, the better. Not many people think much about when is the best time to sign people up, which is when they’re most enthusiastic. If you force them to wait and remember to sign up at some other time, chances are they won't do so.

Simple Two Step Solution

  • A simple text-message auto responder
  • A signup webpage, ideally one as mobile-friendly as possible

How It Works?

You simply ask people to text  a single word to a five-digit number. For example, suppose your company is a Wellness Centre. In your marketing, seminars and ads, invite people to text the word “LIFE” to the five-digit number (this is known as a short code - shorter than the regular, 10 digit phone number). 

When the potential customers text the keyword, they instantly get delivered a reply that contains a URL and your call to action. Here's an example, “ Begin to move well, feel well and be well - Start Now:” Be sure this link leads to your mobile-friendly website.
Now step two happens: Host a signup page that is easy to read and use on any mobile phone. Keep in mind that the text needs to be easy to read (no zooming), and not require a lot of typing (try two fields), and clearly communicates both the benefit and signup.

Text Your Existing Mailing List

A powerful tool, that many just aren't using. Instead of gathering email addresses, collect prospects phone numbers, and their permission to get texts from you. Think about it, how long does it take your potential client to open an email when it hits their inbox? In comparison, think about how long it takes before they open a text message from the time they receive it. 

I'll even put myself out there and say there is a near-perfect open rate on text messages - The majority of marketing emails aren't even read (I'm sure there's been a study). On the other hand you can expect a very high open rate for text messages. Can't get much better than that!
"But you need confirmed opt-ins", argued the poeple I was having this conversation with.   Well yes you do, but, the time it takes for people to log into their emails and confirm, those customers may have already changed their minds. And with text messages, people tend to confirm instantly, in the moment they’re most enthusiastic. 
Let me be clear, there is an obvious downside of Texting Campaigns - You can only do so much with 160 characters of plain text. It’s never going to be anywhere near what you can do with rich HTML emails. So you will have to weigh the tradeoffs yourselves, based on your campaign and the audience. Also, keep in mind texting is a more personal. Everyone hates email spam, just imagine what can happen if you go overbaord in texting. Be extra thoughtful of your list and you'll be a star.

Try Using QR Codes

Make it easy for your people to take action! If you have an email list already, throw up a QR Code in your next newsletter that points to your signup form and see how it works.

Create Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages 

For most of the above, you’ll need to set up a webpage form usable on mobile phones.  You can't test all phones, but try the moist widely used phones - iPhone, Android and the newer Blackberry devices.

Pick One, Try It and Measure

If you’re doing a speak or seminar, you might be chomping at the bit to use all of these tactics at the same time. DON'T! It's best to test these tehm in different talks, and keep the one that work and get you the best results. 

If you already have a text message subscription campaign, try promoting it in your seminar or talk. If you don’t, iconsider it. Text message marketing provides new opportunities for you and your business that are lacking in email marketing.
Finally, try including a QR Code and a SMS-call-to-action on a poster, business card, store-front display, flyer or brochure. This should get your higher response rates.  Remember, focus on one at a time. Once you have the feel comfortable, try adding another. But always measure and test, so you can tell what’s the best for the time and money you invest. - Get texting!!! 
Has your business used a texting campaign, have you seen higher response rates - or did you not see a benefit? Let us know in the comments below or @ message us on Twitter



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