These days SMS Marketing is being used by many businesses to add an extra to the bow of their marketing plan. SMS Marketing has a huge number of advocates who believe that it is the absolute best way to engage with your customers. There are, however, detractors who do not believe in the effectiveness of SMS marketing and argue that it has little effect on your return on investment. If you are considering applying SMS marketing into your business then you must understand the fundamentals of how it works and the arguments of the sides. To help you, this article will explain the steps you need to take in order to effectively implement SMS marketing.
1. Understand How SMS Marketing Works
SMS marketing is fundamentally very easy to understand. Businesses send out a text message to customers offering a special price on a product, promoting a hot new deal, or giving some useful information. This kind of marketing was popularized in the first decade of this century and those of us who had a phone during the 2000s will remember receiving SMS marketing text messages every day. This is done through the use of SMS API technology. The folks at Messente told us that API stands for application program interface and SMS APIs enable you to integrate SMS messages into your communications. One example of this being used to give information is the text message that you receive that tells you when your Uber has arrived. This text is sent out by an SMS API immediately upon the driver's arrival. Whilst this is no doubt useful, during the 2000s, many of the SMS marketing texts that were sent to us were entirely unrequested and were not useful at all. These days, however, that has totally changed as a great number of rules have been introduced.
2. Make Sure You Don't Break the Rules
If you were around in the 2000s, you may or may not have noticed that you no longer receive marketing messages by text, and that is because, during those years, SMS marketing was totally unregulated. Nowadays however, SMS marketing is strictly regulated and it is only permitted if a customer has given their permission to be sent promotional text messages. If you intend to implement SMS marketing into your business, it is very important that you are aware of these rules and take the necessary steps to ensure that you don't incur any penalties because they can be very harsh. Currently in the USA, if you are found to have been in breach of the SMS marketing guidelines then you will be charged $500 for each text message that is deemed to have broken the rules. SMS marketing campaigns usually send out hundreds and thousands of texts so it is not a situation that you want to put yourself or your business in.
3. Understand the Benefits of SMS Marketing
The main benefit of SMS marketing is that it is such an effective way to reach out to customers. SMS is the single most popular form of communication so there is a huge potential audience for your SMS marketing campaign to reach out to. Furthermore, text messages have a significantly higher open rate than any other form of communication like emails or letters. Almost 100% of text messages are opened and almost 50% are responded to. Unlike email inboxes, SMS inboxes have no filter which identifies spam, so customers are guaranteed to receive and, in almost all cases, read any text message that you send to them. Everybody knows how to use SMS so it is a great way to communicate with your customers. If you want to apply SMS marketing into your business, identify the best texts to send in order to maximize the potential of your SMS marketing campaign. Some people believe that the regulations that have been placed on SMS marketing mean that it is impossible to reach out to customers, but champions of SMS marketing counter that the regulations actually give SMS a legitimacy that email marketing doesn't have. We are so used to receiving spam emails that we often regard most of our emails as spam and won't even open them. As SMS marketing texts are not sent out arbitrarily like this, customers are far more likely to take them seriously.
There are some fantastic benefits that are totally exclusive to SMS marketing. If you are planning to apply SMS marketing strategies into your business then it is very important that you understand exactly how it works, what the regulations are, and what benefits you should expect. Follow this guide and you will be able to utilize SMS marketing effectively.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.