Recently at Brattle we’ve been working on a new project involving text message marketing. I’m really psyched about it, but there’s no way I would have learned about how useful and easy it is without working here. So I decided to do a little experiment. I went on a mission to discover how easy or difficult it is for someone to begin a text message marketing campaign for their business.
For the sake of the experiment, let’s say I own a chocolate shop in a small college town in Oregon. I have been trying to find a way to reach the college kids in town and increase younger traffic to my store. So I tried creating a Facebook group and a MySpace page, and told everyone who joined the group that they could come to the store for a free truffle. A fair amount of people joined, but hardly anyone came in to redeem their truffle.
So I need a way to more effectively communicate with college students. I know Obama used texting to tell people his VP choice, and he has a lot of young supporters, so maybe texting is a good solution.
My first resource is of course Google. I search for “text message promotion for my business.” I got a pretty wide variety of results: how to use texts in your nightclub, how radio stations are using texting, how to save on a texting package from Verizon. Not what I was hoping for. I did however read an interesting question and answer about the effectiveness of text marketing, and found it encouraging given my goal to increase younger traffic to my store.
Next I searched for “text message marketing.” The Wikipedia page popped up, so I read through it – informative, as per usual.
My next step was to start clicking on websites of businesses to explore what promotional and marketing options were available. Most of the sites seemed to offer the same capabilities, so I narrowed it down to a few that described promotions that would work best for my store and websites that were entertaining and easy to understand and navigate.
Finally I was at the last stage in my mission: which company should I pick to start a text message marketing campaign? I would have liked to pick it based on a recommendation from a fellow business owner, but I don’t know anyone else getting involved with this technology. And there aren’t many reviews on these businesses because they’re all relatively new. So I created my own criteria: I’m pretty un-tech savvy, so I want an organization with great customer service so I can ask lots of questions. And I want a business with experience, with notable established clients, so I can see they’re not going to scam me. Lastly, my candy store is not exactly booming right now, so I want to get the most bang for my buck as possible.
Only a few of the sites gave prices. Most of them requested I email them my information and said they would get back to me. But I’d rather just call and talk to a person. So I called a couple of the companies and talked to some associates. The first business I called sent me directly to a recording explaining that all their associates were helping other clients or customers and so I should leave a message and someone would get back to me. That’s not the kind of customer service I’m looking for in a business though, so I didn’t even leave my information. Other places I had to dial two separate numbers to talk to tech/customer support and sales for pricing information. The company I enjoyed the most brought me to someone who answered after few rings and answered all my questions in layman’s terms. However, after doing some research after our conversation, it turned out she wasn’t giving me completely accurate information about the technology.
Thus ended my mission. I would say I was left unsatisfied and disappointed. Thankfully, we’re working to combat all of these issues in our new company, Signal SMS. Signal SMS is a new text message marketing resource for any business or organization that wants to promote their brand, broaden their customer contacts, or increase revenue.
We want to be sure Signal SMS meets all the demands that I, as an interested business owner, set. We will have excellent customer service. All of our departments are in-house, which means you won’t have to dial a separate number to reach sales or tech services. And unless it’s outside business hours, (and sometimes even when it is) someone will take your call. No need to leave a message and wait around for us to return your call. As for building a notable and reliable name for the company, there are already several contracts in the works with a variety of local and national publications, restaurants, real estate companies, health care providers, and more. As soon as these agreements are finalized, we will be proud to publicize who we are working with.
To end, I truly do encourage you to do some of your own research as you’re exploring the possibilities for your company. But I must also highly suggest checking out www.SignalSMS.com and/or calling us directly at (617) 229-7210. We’ll give you the helpful service you want combined with the honest answers you deserve.