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The 411 on SMB TXT Msging

Over the course of marketing’s evolution, Fortune 500 companies have been the hunters and small businesses have been the gatherers. While large corporations have had access to the tools needed to lead the pack and bring in big wins, small businesses have had to thrive on their limited resources. But as technology progressed, so did marketing for companies of all sizes. The dawn of text messaging helped level the playing field and aided small businesses in attracting new prey.

“Many years ago it was all about email and phone calls. Now, if someone leaves me a voicemail, I never check it,” says James Citron, CEO and co-founder of MMS mobile marketing platform provider Mogreet. “If they text me, I get the message immediately.”

According to Nielsen’s February 2013 report, “The Mobile Consumer: A Global Snapshot,” U.S. mobile post-paid and contract users receive and send an average of 764.2 every month. Paul Hollowell, founder of LUX Tanning Spa in Dallas, Texas, decided to take advantage of the SMS- and MMS-addicted population by implementing Mogreet Express, a new Mogreet tool designed to better serve SMBs, after going through a career metamorphosis himself.

Hollowell first became introduced to Mogreet while serving as the director of marketing for retailer Charlotte Russe. At LUX, Hollowell continues to send campaign images, videos, and deals via MMS, even with a much tighter marketing budget.

“Because I’m a small business, my resources are significantly constrained, as opposed to my prior history enjoying the significant resources of a national retailer,” Hollowell says. “I found that text messaging was one of the ways that I could leverage my resources and use a single creative for multiple, different campaigns.”

Text message marketing’s opt-in nature and ability to show brand preference are two major components of SMS and MMS’s charm, Citron says. He also notes that text message marketing includes feature phone users, who make up 38% of the U.S. mobile market according to the same Nielsen report, who are often left out of the mobile marketing action.

As with email, Hollowell compiles and segments text messaging lists and sends out specific, targeted deals. To help avoid any surprise messages, LUX sends out two text messages a month, he says.

While Hollowell admits that that LUX also communicates with customers via email and social, he says that the spa leverages these channels differently. Generally, LUX uses email as a “one-to-one communication device” between customers and spa specialists and text messaging as a “one-to-many communication device” to drive in-store traffic quickly.

To help drive in-store traffic over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, for example, LUX sent out a text message the week prior reminding customers to get a base tan in preparation for the sunny, 70-degree Texas weather. The message also contained a value upgrade. Hollowell says the message helped increase traffic by 30%.

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