May 19, 2020

Don't sidestep text messaging in your campaigns

Business
Canada
Marketing
Technology
Sarah Brooks
4 min
Don't sidestep text messaging in your campaigns

If you're a small business owner in Canada, by now you've probably heard of the importance of text message marketing, or SMS marketing.

SMS stands for 'short message service' and is a marketing strategy where you text your customers in order to bring in more business. There are many different ways to implement this strategy, to gain subscribers and to keep your customers coming back for more.

According to Big Fish Media, roughly 74 percent of Canadians have a mobile phone and 90 percent of those ages 18-34 use their phone for text messaging. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Macy's, Reece's, Starbucks and Coors Light all use some form of text message marketing in their campaigns.

Integration with Email Marketing

RECENT TOPIC: Is your marketing game a proven winner in the Canadian market?

Canadian companies might also integrate email marketing in with their strategy.

While emails can be effective, most wind up deleted. Texting, however, has a 100 percent open rate. On most mobile phones, text messages must be opened in order to be deleted. If your message is short, easy-to-read and to the point, the reader will see get your message even if they end up deleting it.

The article "The Absolute Importance of the Useful Text Message" discusses the importance of engaging with customers through texting.

While some businesses might be hesitant to get on board in fear of their messages being viewed as spam, there are proper ways to go about SMS marketing that give your business credibility and help your business gain customers, rather than scare them away.

Tips on SMS Marketing

RECENT TOPIC: What other retailers can learn from Canadian Tire's recent expansion

Among the things to remember with SMS marketing:

  • Keep your messages brief - People are most likely not going to read a lengthy text discussing every item you have in your store. Instead, keep the message brief and strictly get the point across. Macy's sends a text out to customers when they have their "One Day Only" sale alerting customers of the discount and when the sale is taking place. The text is always brief and to the point.
  • Offer your customers something - Sending a text to your customers with just your company name and the products you sell is a good way to get your message viewed as spam. Instead, offer your customers something - such as a discount or a free item. Most businesses run sales over holiday weekends. Text your customers a few days before the sales start to alert them of any deals or discounts.
  • Text at the right time - If you run a restaurant, for example, and are particularly slow right after lunch, you could text customers offering a discount between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Also, never text in the early morning hours or late evening hours, as most people would view that as a disturbance to their day regardless of the discount you offered.
  • Don't text too often -The industry you are in will affect how often you can text your customers. If you run a car dealership, for example, texting any more than once or twice a year might be viewed as a nuisance to customers since most people do not purchase cars every year. Department stores, restaurants and other shops that people frequent often are validating in texting customers once a week or perhaps even more. You'll have to test out a few strategies to see what works best for your business.

 

Ways to get people to opt-in to your text messaging services include offering a discount on the spot for signing up, sending out email and mail advertisements discussing your services or getting people to join through your social media pages.

Whether you've been in business for a while or you're a brand new start-up company, incorporate text messaging into your marketing plan.

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About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including social media, small businesses and personal finance.

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Jun 21, 2021

How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans

AWS
NASCAR
3 min
Customer obsession and working backwards from the customer is a mantra of Amazon Web Services (AWS), epitomizing its partnership with NASCAR

AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”

AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”

Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”

Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”

Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using  ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”

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