Should You Try Text Message Marketing for Small Business?

By Raubi Perilli

      Jan 6, 2021     Solutions    

Small business doesn’t mean small marketing. Even with a relatively small marketing budget, you can leverage sophisticated marketing strategies that produce high returns. One of those powerful tactics is text message marketing for small business.  

On a first look, text message marketing might seem complicated and expensive, something reserved for larger businesses and franchises. And while it is a good tool for bigger brands, it can also be extremely effective and affordable for small businesses.  

Let’s look at why text marketing for small business is so powerful and how you can make it work for your local brand.

How Text Message Marketing for Small Business Works

Text message marketing is a tactic that involves collecting phone numbers from your customers and sending them targeted messages and promotions through text messaging.

Using your phone to text customers one by one or in a mass text is not the same as professional text message marketing. Professional (and legal) text message marketing involves using a software that manages contact information and sends mass messages, while always following legal requirements.  

To leverage text message marketing for small business, first you need to use text marketing software and begin to add phone numbers to build your database. Once you have contacts, you can create a variety of marketing campaigns or communication plans to stay in touch with your audience and drive interest in your small business.  

Related: 8 Questions to Ask When Choosing Text Marketing Software

Is Text Message Marketing Effective for Small Businesses?

Text marketing is an effective marketing strategy for small businesses because it is affordable and has a high return on investment (ROI).

There are costs associated with text marketing such as: platform fees, cost per message (typically between $0.01 to $0.05 per text), and cost per keyword (typically between $5 to $25 per keyword per month). These costs are relatively low compared with other marketing strategies, and text marketing can produce high returns on the small investment -- making text message marketing an extremely effective marketing tactic for small businesses.  

The average ROI of MyArea Network text marketing campaigns is about a 500% return.  

We have documented case studies from local brands using text marketing to produce high ROI. Read the full case studies to see how:  

  • A mid-level restaurant produced 350% ROI
  • A high-end restaurant produced 525% ROI
  • A steakhouse produced 600% ROI

Related: This Is Why Restaurants Miss Out By Not Using Text Marketing

The Benefits of Text Message Marketing

The high ROI on text message marketing is one of the primary reasons why this marketing strategy is so great for small businesses. But there are other benefits of using text marketing.  

  • Text marketing has high engagement rates. Ninety percent (90%) of text messages get read within three minutes of delivery, and 90% of text messages get read within three minutes of delivery (Forbes).
  • It’s easy for customers to sign up for text marketing. Customers can sign up anywhere at any time as long as they have their phone nearby. They can simply send a text to a unique number to join.
  • Text marketing ROI is easy to measure. Text marketing software can show you how many people open your messages and click your links. You can also use unique codes to measure coupon redemption and conversions, making it easy to measure the ROI of your text message marketing campaigns.

How to Get Start with Text Message Marketing for Small Business

Text message marketing for small business is relatively easy to get going. Take the following steps to begin using this tactic for your local brand.

#1) Choose a text marketing software.

As explained earlier, you need text marketing software to manage phone number opt-ins and send text messages. There are a variety of options of software, and the easiest way to get started is by signing up for mySuite from MyArea Network.

Our marketing suite provides access to text marketing software in addition to other local marketing tools. We recommend this option as it allows you to manage other local marketing campaigns (email and geofencing marketing) all from one local marketing platform.  

#2) Start to build your database.

You need contacts in your database to run text message marketing campaigns. So start by creating campaigns that build up your database. Customers can join your list by either using text-to-join phrases (where they text a phrase to a number). Or, you can create a landing page that invites audiences to enter their phone number.  

We recommend running a social media contest that invites audiences to enter their phone number for a chance to win a grand prize (as well as receive a smaller secondary prize). Contests are powerful because it gives customers a good reason to sign up. Plus, you can give a coupon as a secondary prize to everyone that enters, driving new customers to your local business even if they don’t win.  

Related: Text Marketing Lead Generation: 4 Steps to Build Your List

#3) Create marketing campaigns.

Once you have contacts in your text message marketing database, you can begin to create marketing campaigns that drive in new customers and bring existing customers back for repeat visits.  

A few examples of campaigns that you can run through text message marketing for small business include:  

  • Sharing deals and offers
  • Sending time-sensitive sale reminders
  • Offering pre-order and early-bird access
  • Sending appointment reminders with up-sell messaging
  • Sending reminders days before a big event
  • Sharing important updates about your business (new store hours, location change, etc.)

Related: How to Launch the Best Text Message Marketing Campaigns

#4) Review your data, adjust, and repeat.

Once you run a few campaigns, you can use your data to review what is working and what is not. Because text message marketing tracks valuable data about which messages receive the most engagement, you can see which campaigns are worth running again and which aren’t producing the return you’d like to see.

Related: Need Help Making Sense of Your Business Data and Analytics? We Can Help.

Get Started with Text Message Marketing for Small Business

Text marketing might sound like something reserved for big brands and large businesses. But, it is a powerful tool that small businesses can easily leverage to reach new and old customers and drive a high ROI. And, it’s not difficult to set up or implement.  

If you are ready to try text marketing for your small business, get started today. Sign up for mySuite by MyArea Network for free, and take the first step toward your first text marketing campaign.