Posted by Matthew Loop | 4 Comments
This blog post is the second of a two-part series where I wanted to do to provide some insight as to where marketing for chiropractors, entrepreneurs and other small businesses is heading this year and beyond. To view the previous post, click here. Based on a tremendous amount of market research and speaking with many marketing industry leaders, it’s become clear what the next big thing is. I firmly believe it’s SMS mobile marketing.
Here’s a Quick Re-Cap of Some Important Points
Mobile marketing, according to Wikipedia, is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.
Text messaging , synonymously referred to as SMS (short message service), has taken-off in massive proportions here in the United States in the past few years. Roughly 3.5 billion text messages are sent / received daily! To put it in perspective, that trumps the number of cellphone calls made and is a threefold leap from 2007. On a related note, the biggest increase occurred in people 30 years and older!
For the time being, SMS is relatively untapped, uncluttered and a spam-free mobile marketing medium. Also, it’s the only form of communication that many individuals are fastened to 24 hours / day. This perfectly explains why, in an era where email in-boxes fill with hundreds of never-opened messages from direct marketers, 97 % of all SMS mobile marketing messages are eventually opened, according to the latest cell-company research! In fact, 83% of those are opened within the first hour.
So, how do you begin?
I. Play by the Rules. Make sure you’re Legal and Compliant
SMS mobile marketing has far less spam than e-mail but it’s still there. I don’t suggest using companies that text to random phone numbers using auto-dialers. You’re text delivery rate would drop substantially. I’m not a legal expert either, but you’ll want to be careful not to fall into the category of text spam. The fines for blatant spam are very hefty. Not to mention, it will tarnish your brand and business image and that’s the last thing you want!
II. Here are a few Reputable SMS Mobile Marketing Solutions
Initially, you’ll want to decide just how much you’re looking to spend and what you expect of the text message marketing service you’re checking-out. An easy and inexpensive option for the average chiropractor or local small business owner is MobiQpons, which is an iPhone application with a super cool geo-locator that automatically sends folks coupons via text message when they are close to the participating small businesses.
Imagine implementing “virtual” coupons for your chiropractic office and as someone drives by your clinic, BAM… they get a text and an invitation to better health!
This makes me excited just thinking about the possibilities and ways this can be used I can pretty much assure you that no other doctor is using it in their chiropractic marketing at the present time.
Another service that can be used is called 8Coupons. They allow users of their service to receive texts the coupons they are seeking.
This style of marketing is gaining momentum and is about to explode this year and beyond. It’s great for small business owners like chiropractors, dentists, attorneys, realtors, etc… because the fee per day is minimal, literally a couple bucks. Unfortunately, these services don’t allow you to compile a list of the prospects cell numbers, which is a something that should be done for the most effective SMS mobile marketing.
The last option is the fully customized approach. DCMobileText.com specializes in this. It’s by far the MOST powerful and effective strategy. You’ll get a proprietary “short code” with the service. This is simply a 5-6 digit phone number that potential customers use then are placed in your SMS text message marketing follow-up sequence.
With this method, you’re able to build a list!
Remember, according to the stats, around 97% of people will open your message, as opposed to substantially lower open-rates (5-15%) that email usually garners.
One huge benefit of hiring DC Mobile Text is that you’re able to select a vanity code like TIGER (84437), and you can control the info you obtain from those that text.
III. Mobile marketing can be Integrated with Internet Marketing
If you know how to drive an avalanche of traffic to your website (like I teach on this blog and in my information products), you can amass a huge text marketing list from your website. To capture opt-ins from your website, you can use a simple service like DC Mobile Text. It allows you to add a subscribe box to your site or social network profile page so people can add themselves and get on-the-fly text message updates from you.
If you do offline advertising, you can do billboards, radio, TV, in-office sign-up forms and even newspapers to get people to take action so you can acquire more text subscribers. Trust me, with a 97% final open rate, YOU WANT AS MANY AS YOU CAN GET!
IV. Give Away Free Stuff and hold Contests
Let’s face it, people can be very particular about giving their cell number away because they don’t want to get spam or junk calls in return. Because of this reason, it’s important to lead with a gift or something value oriented in your campaigns. People love free things that improve the quality of their lives in one way or another so think in terms of the value you can provide someone. Reward the potential consumer with something just for being a part of your list or entering your contest.
V. Work-on Creating Long-Term Relationships
Don’t go about text message marketing the wrong way and try to get the quick one-time sale then get out. Short term thinking like this will backfire rather quickly. There should be a large focus on creating long-term relationships. Your initial contest and coupon offers can be used to amass a targeted database of potential customers / patients. Then, after you build liking and trust give-em a “call to action” they cannot refuse.
For example, if you have a chiropractic / massage office, offer a “free chair massage” the following day after the text for the first 10 people that show up between a certain time slot.
If you build your text list correctly (and remember the average open rate of over 90%), you might be surprised to find a line of potential new patients waiting out the door on your call to action day!
Eventually, you’ll want to even use text messaging for appointment reminders as well.
As you can see, SMS text message marketing for chiropractors and other entrepreneurs is a relatively untapped, but very powerful, medium to harness for your local business. We’ve only seen the beginning of how to drill into this potential new client / patient goldmine. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this blog post. Please leave a comment below to share with my other valued subscribers
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