This one follows nicely on from email. Before I go into text message marketing, it’s worth saying that both text and email are, of course, ways to market to people who are already in your database. Later, we’ll also go into lots of ways to market to the wider community.
One issue with email is the open rate. Have a look at the stats from an old Mailchimp email I sent (very old):
Actually those stats are pretty good for email – nearly a 50% open rate. But emails do end up in spam folders or just get deleted or never read.
Enter text messaging – they say that text messages have a 97% open rate. People usually look at texts as soon as they get them. So it’s a great way to get your message to people instantly in a way that makes them take notice.
Like email, you need to use a service to send out large numbers of texts. I don’t use our software for bulk texting as it would be too expensive.
The service I recommend is Mobivate. Starting at only 1.9p per text – they are international as well.
Without fail, I send one SMS through this service to our whole database of parents of 3-14 year olds before a tennis camp (all school holidays). Let’s look at the figures for that:
- Our database has 1500 children of this age, but that’s about 1100 parents as there are parents with 2 or 3 children.
- Last time I sent this SMS it cost £36 (about $45)
Actually £36 is the cost of one full-day tennis camp, so if just one of those parents books, the cost is covered. And considering that this is a ‘warm’ list of names – they are not strangers, they have attended before and in many cases want to come back – I can say with confidence that some of those people will book.
The process is really easy. You just upload your numbers from excel – and like many other methods in this series, after you’ve done it once, it is even quicker the next time because you have a template.
Once you have the systems in place, in one hour at most you can email and SMS your whole database (although you wouldn’t do both on the same day). Those may be the 2 biggest ways of marketing your programme!