Fill Your Bays with a Single Text
As more and more communication has moved online, marketing has followed suit. But web and email campaigns aren’t always the fastest and most reliable way to get in contact with customers.
According to Heather Myers, chief product officer at KUKUI, email open rates are at only around 25 percent over a span of 24 hours, whereas most text messages are read within three minutes, and have an open rate as high as 98 percent.
“Texting is a great way to reach everyone,” she explains, “because almost everyone has a cell phone.”
As a way to help shop owners connect quickly with their customers, KUKUI has released their Text Connect platform.
KUKUI has provided text capabilities years before Text Connect, including the ability to communicate service updates, as well as a way to request customers to leave reviews.
“Reviews are just as important as marketing,” says Myers, “they build trust.”
KUKUI's new platform now allows for shop owners to send specific messages to groups of select customers. Text Connect offers a way for owners to send coupons, deals, alerts, and other announcements to numerous individuals at once. These “text blasts” are able to reach multiple people in curated audiences, and prove to be a convenient way for customers to receive information.
Craft Deliberate Messages
Text marketing is similar to any other form of marketing, and the messages should follow a similar formatting. But one thing to keep in mind when crafting a marketing text is the length. Texting relies on a condensed message format and, in order to be most effective, should be short and sweet.
Short messages allow businesses to get straight to the point as quickly as possible—and the “point” of the text, should be the call to action (CTA). The CTA should be clear and concise, and work to reach the ultimate goal of the campaign. This goal could either be getting customers into the shop for an oil change in the next few days, or to direct them to your website to make a maintenance appointment.
Text messages instill a sense of urgency in each customer, and generally elicit an immediate response. Meaning, if the message is short and has a clear CTA, results should come quickly.
Fill Your Bays
Text marketing can act as a bay-filler, says Myers. But the ability to send multiple customers a text message at once, can be easily abused if one single message is sent to every customer in your database at the same time. If the text includes a specific timely call to action, an overflow of customers could come in, creating an issue.
Myers gives the example of sending out a text about discounted oil changes to fill appointment slots in the next few days. If this message is sent to your entire customer-base, there could be far too many customers at your shop in a short span of time, with only oil changes being performed.
Instead, specific audiences should be identified for each marketing text. To fill your shop’s bays on slow days, a message should be sent out to customers who haven't been into the shop for a while, and are probably due for maintenance. Then, a week or two later, the same text can be sent out to another set of customers.
Follow Legal Guidelines
One important factor to keep in mind before marketing to customers through text, is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA requires businesses to include an explicit opt-in before any text message marketing can take place, explains Myers.
This opt-in can be a pop-up on your website, a dedicated web page, or a checkbox on appointment forms. But in order to legally send text marketing messages to customers, they need to first give you permission.