By: TapOnIt’s Founder + CEO, Katie Castillo-Wilson
With the state of uncertainty that our current economy is in, it’s vital for brands to focus on building and engaging their first-party databases. When the economy shifts and the future is unstable, the marketing budget is the first expense line that tends to get cut. Why?! We know that brands need to be seen and heard to stay top of mind with their audiences. That’s why there is such a focus on building social media following. Unfortunately, when it’s time to tighten the belt, the ad budget is usually the easiest to adjust. So what can a brand do to ensure its marketing budget drives efficient and long-term value?
There are really only three ways to grow a business:
- Get new customers.
- Get existing customers to buy more frequently.
- Get existing customers to spend more at each visit.
Getting new customers is the most expensive form of business growth, so the low-hanging fruit is to retain current customers and get them to spend more. To be clear, I’m not saying that brands should stop focusing on new customer acquisition. That would be a terrible plan, as customer attrition would lead to the business eventually dying. Instead, I suggest we focus on building a deeper relationship with our customers to influence their engagement with our brands. The best influencer for a brand is someone happy with and loyal to the company. Turn your current customers into raving fans, and they’ll help bring in new customers.
How can you go about doing that?
Reach your customers where they spend their time: on their phones. A recent Statista reports that Americans spend over 4 hours daily on their phones. Unfortunately, the average person receives over 100 emails per day, robo/spam calls have drastically reduced the likelihood of someone answering a call from a number they don’t recognize, and an algorithm controls the visibility and engagement a brand receives on social media. So, the most efficient way to cut through the noise and reach your current customers is a text message.
If you still need to start building a database of your customer’s cell phone numbers with permission to send them text messages, don’t worry. It’s never too late. There are many ways to start building and continue to grow a permission-based, first-party database of your customer’s cell phone numbers that you can text with. And there is a range of platforms available to help you do that. As you can probably imagine, TapOnIt’s text message marketing and communications platform is my favorite:) Many of the tactics you have used in the past to build your email databases and social media following can be used to build your text database. Check out our blog, which has many ideas on building, growing, and engaging your customers via text.
Many brands that use text to communicate with their customers only send messages when there are special offers or something is on sale. Those are great things to make people aware of, but you can use your text campaigns to communicate much more. The same content you send via email, post on social media, and feature in your business and on your website can be sent via text. Sending content via text is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers. The more engaging the content, the more likely they will click through to your site or stop by your business. If it’s really awesome, they will share it with their friends giving you the opportunity to win a new customer.
Afraid of being intrusive? Remember the people that sign up to be in your text message database did so because they want to hear from your brand! If they don’t want to hear from you, they can easily reply STOP. So don’t be afraid to send campaigns and work to deepen that relationship.
Doing these things can strengthen the loyalty of your customers to your brand so that when they are trying to decide where to spend their money, they pick you every time. And loyal customers become influencers for your brand, which means that you’re checking the boxes of all three ways to grow your business and helping to stay alive and thrive through what could be a rocky period in our economy.