Text Blast (SMS)

If you recall, I was considering doing a call blast when I 1st re-opened, but the advertiser on this site “wussed out” and was unable to provide tele# & I had none at that time…

I’ve since cracked the old POS DB & scrounged about 4K of tele#…

Came across a service @ group2call.com that has a variety of message options…

Pretty simple interface & @ .06/completed message, quite affordable…

I blasted a 100 or so of the old list yesterday - no measurable response…

Blasted another few hundred 2nite & got about 6 responses!!!

Will continue to balst both lists, with a different message & then use service to thank customers & use a bounce-back offer

I think it will work well in my college market…

Only major problem I have I can’t always tell if captured tele# is a cell or not - I may just voice blast the local area code #'s

Also an option for the end caller to opt out…

Getting called with an automated message bothers me alot, the only response you would get from me would be a call to have my number removed.

I think you’re legally in the clear doing this because you have an established business relationship with the people you are texting - so the Do Not Call rules don’t apply.

But I don’t know… I’d be ticked if I received an unsolicited text message from a company for advertising purposes. I don’t have an unlimited text plan because I don’t use it much, so your ad is going to cost me money.

I’ve been having a lot of success with SMS marketing, but it’s an opt-in system.

I also would be pissed if I got a text from a pizza place advertising a special. Each text costs me money and I don’t use them outgoing or incoming. But then again, I have no website and still take checks so I am stuck many years in the past, while your target audience probably is not.

Paul - your market is similar to mine…I used to use a prepaid cell plan until last year…many/most college kids (my daughter/son included) send 100’s of texts each week!

I, too, was a bit concerned about some negative feedback, as we all get junk mail & spam, but the response so far has been quite positive!

Several said "I got this text for an XL pizza…)

I spent approx. $6 today & generated over $100 in new/repeat/lazy customer sales…I reckon I’ll get some residual as well…

Marketing is all over the board these days…Paul has his SmartCar, Royster has his magnets, Nick/Dave have his promo postcards/letters…

All of these “offend” some of our potential &/or current customers, but times are changing…

I can easily spend $100 on postage every day to attract new customers, but I spend six cents to get a repeat sale…

This works well in my market, whereas direct mail/postcards might fail hitting the students…

I’m going to keep this as a small part of my overall marketing plan - in addition to mailing out magnets…I really think the benefit will be thanking recent customers & using it as a means of “bounce-back”, once they see a message once, they might be more susceptable to others that are not so “in your face” offers…

I can “touch” my customer base of 5K+/- for just $300/month…yes, I’ll tick off some & perhaps loose some, but I can “smooth over” those that complain and remove them from the list, but as I strive to reach the college population of 55K, six cents is indeed an investment…

How do you measure a response - do you say "mention the TXT for (some deal)?

I was responding to “I may just voice blast the local area code #'s”. This does fall under the do not call list, even though it is an established business relationship you can only use the number for 18 months if the number is on the list. This also makes you a telemarketer, so you have to register as a telemarketer with the DNC registry and check the do not call list every 31 days. This is ONLY for landlines.

If you are just randomly texting customers without them opting in, just because you can tell by the number that it is a cell phone you are breaking the law. You can be fined $1500 per violation.

B. Federal Law
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) also takes a hard line on calls to wireless devices. The TCPA prohibits marketers from using automatic dialing systems or an artificial or prerecorded voice to make calls to wireless devices (including cell phones, pagers, and any other device for which the called party pays). These calls are prohibited regardless of whether a marketer has an existing business relationship (EBR) with the called party.
The FCC’s rules also apply to:
• Calls to consumer AND business numbers;
• Calls made for ANY purpose, whether or not a solicitation is involved, including sales, transactional, polling, and survey calls; and
• Calls made by for-profit AND nonprofit organizations.
As mentioned, there is NO Existing Business Relationship (EBR) exemption.
The FCC treats text messages and short message service (SMS) messages sent to a wireless phone number the same as calls subject to the TCPA and its implementing rules. Such messages include “phone-to-phone” text messaging and SMS messages sent to a two-way pager. Thus, unless you have prior express consent or it is an emergency, it is illegal to use an automatic dialing system to send text or SMS messages to cell phones and other wireless devices.
FCC rules also prohibit sending unwanted text message solicitations to a wireless phone if the wireless phone number is listed on the national DNC registry.

all the SMS or Voice Broadcasts are washed thru the DNC list…

My mistake - in reading the FAQ’s, they don’t wash the calls against the DNC - might be a short-term problem…

I’ll have to work on the whole thing a bit further - thanks all for the input!

In case anyone else is thinking about using the same company, they do not check if the numbers are on the no call list. Also unless your customers opt-in, or check off on it on a form of some kind, sending them text messages or automated voice messages to a cell phone is illegal even if they are not on the no call list. That company can also charge you $10 per call that you made with them if they find out you are making calls without consent.

PizzaTXT.com has two ways of addressing privacy issues. The first is adding your text number to all of your promo material and having customers text TO REQUEST your coupon. You can give them the ‘opt in’ option at this stage and then build up your list of agreed recipients of your text blasts. In faCT, because of the seriousness of those fines we do a ‘double opt in’ that asks them to confirm their opt in. There are guidelines on the CTIA website but the bottom line is you dont want anyone coming in and telling you that your texts are annoying them!

I went to a marketing seminar a while ago where Catchwind (http://www.catchwind.com/services/services.php), a mobile/SMS marketing company presented their product. It seemed pretty safe because they had strong opt-in/opt-out procedures but they seemed to have a good deal of success with their clients. There was an online interface that let you see everyone on your list and helped to set up your campaigns. Also, they helped getting those special codes - for example 7/11 stores have 711711.

I just received my first text spam from a local car dealership which ticked me off. Like others, I’m on a limited plan as I don’t sit at a Starbuck’s and text all afternoon so it costs me money. Maybe I would be less offended if it came from some place I frequented??? I absolutely hate salesman calling my phone so I have to assume I would feel the same about getting it via text.

Interesting that you have not received a complaint. Anyone opt out?

I have a card out front that people can fill out to receive emails and mailings. There is also a box to check to receive text messages. Since December I “think” just one person has checked that text box.

I can’t see myself going that route (at least as a pioneer) but I am very much interested in hearing how others are doing with it.

lets look a it this way has anyone here ever ordered or responded in a favorable action to a text solicitation?
I know I havent.
2 things we are trying,

  1. CHA-CHA, its where you text a question to cha cha and you get an answer, its .25 each time someone gets your coupon…you get to choose your coupon that goes out and they text them when ever they ask about any food.
    Just started , I dont know how its going to work but the sales guy is a longtime highschool friend I thought I would give him a try and there is no contract (a little like moving targets you pick how many and you pre pay) no future commitment if it doesnt work
  2. Twitter, they opt in and most get sent to there cell, so far so good

Although many have “chastised” me for using text msging, it has been a real boon 2 my business…I’ve had 1 complaint and about 6 DNC requests, for an additional 50 sales 4 about 500 texts sent…but I’m in a college town…

I think your demo is perfect for this…most of us that said it was a bad idea doesn’t mean its bad for you…we just have applied it to our customer base and it wouldn’t work…this is something Brad R. should try

This is the same kind of close mindedness that I was getting when I told my Mom in 1991 that she needed to get an email address.

Sure, your market might not be ready. Be ready for when they are though.

Change, or get out of the way of those who are.

A friend of mine has just (Thursday) done his first sms blast. He sent just over 2000 messages on Thursday and had 91 redemptions by the close of business on Friday night (this is across 3 stores he owns). That’s just over 4% redemption in 2 days!

His demographics are nowhere near my but I keep hearing people saying how successful this kind of service can be.

Needless to say I’ll be looking to start this next week.

But you also have to measure how many folks you drive away…Then the “net” gain can be measured…In my promotional products business I used to do fax marketing but discovered I was alienating previous clients…So even though I was making new sales I was loosing repeat business from existing clients…And the faxing became counter productive…

Why would you drive anyone away?

Every SMS marketing solution I’ve seen is opt-on only. If someone has opted in, why would they be mad?

And every message you send also contains opt-out instructions - like “reply stop to stop”.

I don’t think there is anyone doing mass SMS to every phone number, etc. Not even sure how that could be done, but either way it would cost an absolute fortune to do that and you would probably be sending to people who are not even in your area. That doesn’t make any sense.

(guess I should have read the original post, which does talk about spamming people without opt-in. Not only is that illegal, I’d think it is a waste of many message, as I said above. Opt-in SMS is the only way to go IMO, both from a legal point of view and a business point of view. I’d be really pissed if I had to pay 20 cents because someone sent me a text message without my permission, and I didn’t have a text plan on my phone.)

I’d be interested how anyone can measure how many people this kind of exercise will ‘driver away’.

I’m a realist though and I fully accept and understand that this can be said for any form of marketing. Push ‘too hard’ and someone will get p***ed off. I’ve had leaflets that we’ve door hung sent back with rude comments. I’ve had people scream at me down the phone to remove me from the mailing list and I think we are fairly good with our marketing strategy. As long as its done professionally, not too often and has an opt out at every stage then I can’t see what the issue is.

I asked my firend what the opt out level was on this and he said minimal. He spoke to one customer himself who rang to ask to be taken off the list, he apologised and offered the guy a free side next time for the inconvenience and said the customer seemed pleasantly surprised at the response he got.