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How to Use SMS Text Marketing for Your Franchise

What’s the one thing you never leave home without? Your wallet? Your keys? If you’re like many people these days, you’re less likely to forget to grab your phone than any other essentials. That makes SMS text marketing an effective way to reach customers. Texts offer an opportunity to share about your business and keep your brand front of mind.

In the world of marketing, franchises will identify a couple of key points to consider when developing their approach.

  • The potential and value of a franchise are largely based on the reputation of the brand. It is crucial for a franchisee to work to align with and maintain their brand’s reputation in the market in order to keep their own value high.
  • There is a responsibility on the brand (franchisor) to create a profitable brand and replicable business model to pass on to their franchisees. This empowers franchises to take actionable steps in their marketing strategy and ensures they’re aligned with the overall brand vision.

More than simply developing the brand and strategy and leaving franchisees to fend for themselves, franchisors must also support their efforts to ensure mutual success.

The Rise of SMS Text Marketing

Traditional marketing methods are not dead: billboards, posters on the subway, leaflets in the mail. All of these are still used by businesses around the world. The reality, though, is that the world is going digital, and even the most eye-catching poster won’t catch the eye that is – as they so often are – buried in their phone.

Printed brand strategies have their place, but they’re untraceable, making it challenging in this modern era to see just how effective they are. That’s where digital marketing steps in, to offer a similar experience online. Social media ads, direct marketing newsletters, and remarketing tactics can capture the attention of potential clients, but digital users are becoming immune to these as well.

In comes SMS text marketing. This approach allows for more direct contact with your customers, delivering your promotions, announcements, and other information straight into their pockets. Don’t think of SMS as simply a vehicle for pushy sales. This method can be used for a variety of ways to keep in contact with your clients, add value to your brand or services, and solidify your relationship with your customer.

Aside from sharing promotions to bring customers back in, SMS can be used for customer service, soliciting online reviews and feedback, internal communication within your franchise, and more. In this article, we’ll cover some ways SMS can benefit your franchise business.

Related: Bulk SMS Marketing is Changing the Game

One thing to note: You need to make sure your CTA clearly specifies that consumers must express their written consent in order to receive automated marketing messages. As mentioned above, let them know that they are not required to agree to receiving texts in order to buy anything from you.

Marketing Outreach

That little red number is glaring at you from the corner of your text messaging icon. The number signaling that there’s a message left unread. How long can you leave it there without opening it to see what it is?

For most of us, that tolerance is not long. In fact, 60% of consumers open and read texts within 1-5 minutes of receiving them. In 2021, 67 million Americans redeemed coupons using their mobile device. It’s clear there’s a receptive audience for SMS text promotions.

While the email marketing channel has become saturated, there is still space to draw attention in the SMS marketing arena. Only 21% of businesses are using SMS for their brand loyalty program, which is one niche for SMS promotions. Asking your customer to sign up for a loyalty program in return for exclusive offers and advance notice on new products or sales is a great way to encourage sign-ups.

Whether franchises act independently or work as a part of the overall brand strategy, localized promotions and events can bring customers through the door (even if that door is your website address). By sending text messages to invite customers for discounts or special shopping events, you reach them directly, swiftly, and give them a reason to return. Make sure your SMS marketing messages are clear and to the point, with a distinct call to action.

Online Reviews and Feedback

Effective marketing strategies bring in new customers, retrieve ones who may have been lost, and even help to retain those you have. Once you’ve attracted happy customers, they can help you with another layer of your marketing approach.

Word of mouth has long been proven to be one of the most effective ways to draw new customers in. In the digital age, this principle expands to online reviews as well. No matter how many claims you make about the value of your product or service, the opinion of your past customers proves to be a deciding factor.

A recent survey showed that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Don’t simply hope for your brand to come up in conversation at a weekend barbecue to leverage personal recommendations. Ask your customers to leave you an online review.

After your customer has completed a purchase, send a follow-up message. A simple SMS like “We’d love your feedback on your recent experience” with a link to your preferred platform (Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook, etc.) is easy and effective.

Customer Service

Not directly related to marketing but still vitally important to retaining happy customers is your level of customer service. Many franchises are leveraging SMS to increase their customer service capability, using text for things such as responding to questions, sending appointment reminders, and alerting customers to changes to services.

SMS customer service is a valuable tool. Proactive communication and offering customers an accessible contact channel increases their satisfaction and increases retention. Even better news: you don’t need to ditch your CRM. In fact, SMS can add even more business value to the system you already have in place.

With SMS text messaging integrations, you can transform your CRM into an even more powerful tool for supporting your customers. With direct integration of your text messaging platform, you can send and receive text messages from within your CRM platform.

Integrating with your CRM means you can monitor response times and grant different levels of access to the text messages you send across departments and the organization. Multiple agents will be able to participate in the same conversation, allowing for a seamless experience. This integration also allows for a more comprehensive reporting opportunity, so you can truly understand the needs of your customers.

Related: Salesforce SMS Text Messaging Integration

Internal Communications

So, you’ve used SMS text marketing to reach new customers, solicit online feedback, and provide customer service. There are yet more ways that franchisees can leverage SMS to ensure their workflows are smooth, and they’re ready to offer their customers the best they’ve got. SMS can be applied to internal communications.

Many franchises still rely on email for internal communications and for connecting with their franchisor. This can be an inefficient means of communicating, particularly when it comes to passing time-sensitive information or making mission-critical requests.

Franchisors can ensure franchisees are informed of the latest branding strategies and information using SMS. Text messages are a personal and effective way to communicate to multiple franchises. Franchisors can use these messages to share messages from the leadership team, announcements of changes in policies or offerings, send a text message newsletter, provide tips and advisory information, and even to create a direct SMS lifeline for the moments when a franchise owner needs support.

From marketing outreach and ongoing communications to internal workflows and collaboration, SMS can support a franchise business in finding and retaining customers. No matter the size of your business, TrueDialog’s enterprise-grade SMS texting software can help take your business to the next level. We make business text effortless through seamless integrations, comprehensive reporting, and features that suit your business needs. Sign up for a free trial.

Disclaimer: Please note that this advice is for informational purposes only and is neither intended as nor should be substituted for consultation with appropriate legal counsel and/or your organization’s regulatory compliance team.