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Become more productive and boost the impact of your marketing efforts with Brad Batesole's weekly marketing tips on everything from social media to digital advertising to techniques and tools. Every week you'll find a new and immediately actionable tip to help you build your community, track engagement, measure analytics, generate brand awareness, or help you accomplish other marketing goals. In addition to sharing from his bank of experience, Brad will answer questions submitted by lynda.com members. Send your question directly to him via firstname.lastname@example.org and you might just see it in a future episode! Tune in every week to keep your marketing efforts fresh.
- Hi, and welcome to another episode of Weekly Marketing Tips. I'm Brad Batesole, and this week I'd like to talk about getting started with text message marketing. Now, there are a lot of tools out there that provide you with the ability to build-out text messaging lists, and distribute your content. I've done a fair amount of research, and I think eztexting.com has the best bang for the buck, especially if you're new to these types of campaigns. Eztexting.com is a fairly simple, web-based text messaging service.
You'll create a Keyword, such as your business name, which people can use to join your text list. So let's say you own a dry-cleaning business called EcoClean. You'd register the keyword EcoClean with eztexting and then tell customers to text the word ecoclean to 313131 to join your list. 313131 is a mobile short code number, and that's provided by ez texting. You may have encountered mobile short codes with other retailers.
Now when a customer sends the text of the short code with that keyword, they're added to a list. And you can then send a text message to that list they've joined, and they'll receive it on their mobile device. Eztexting makes it easy for users to subscribe and unsubscribe. What's great is you can also create multiple Keywords, or variations on your Keywords. Perhaps you'd make EcoClean coupons, and EcoClean News, as two possible groups. One will distribute coupons, the other important updates on your business.
And this is just scratching the surface. As you dive into the platform, you'll find a set of advanced SMS marketing features if you need them. Now today, I'm going to walk you through signing up and launching your first campaign. This will be a very brief tour, so feel free to check out the Support Center, at eztexting.com/help. Here you can read all sorts of docs, faqs, find chat and even watch a few webinars, if you're interested. Now before we dive too deep, let's take a closer look at their pricing model, so you're aware of the costs.
Here at the top I'll choose Pricing, and we can review those options. The FREE plan includes what they call a Demo Keyword, and it's typically something very obscure that you wouldn't want to actually be using in your marketing. If you're going to manually add members to your list, then that might be the thing for you. But for those of you that want to control your Keyword, and have a branded experience, the option on the far right is a good deal. You'll pay $25 a month to rent a keyword, and then five cents per message. If you don't send a lot of messages, it's a pretty good deal.
Now keep this in mind, each text is equal to one message to one phone number. So if you were to send a message to 10 people, it would count as 10 texts. Take a look at the plans here to decide if any of them are worth it for you. And I've personally found, that their pricing model is pretty good for what you get. Now, while we're on this page, I'm going to sign up for the PAY & GO plan, so you can see how this works. To get started, I'll fill out the information here on the screen, and then I'll choose START FOR FREE.
Alright, now after you've signed up, they're going to send you a text message with an activation code, so be sure you enter that there, and then choose Activate. Now once you get started, you'll be offered the opportunity to take a tour, I'm gonna choose No Thanks, and walk you through it myself. Now here on the left-hand side is all of the navigation options. You can Send Text and Messages, Send a Voice Message, Schedule, Buy Credits, and here you can view your Inbox. Now, text messaging is two ways, so your customers can respond to your text messages and you'll see all of those responses in your Inbox.
But the first place we wanna start, is with your Keywords, so I'll choose the Keywords option, and then add a key word. First thing we need to do is check the availability of the Keyword that you want. Earlier, we talked about EcoClean, so let's see if that's available. It is, indeed. And it's letting you know that all Keyword rentals are billed at $25 per month. So what you need to do here is then fill in your billing information to register that Keyword. Now if you picked a plan that isn't pay as you go, you'll have however many Keywords available to you, as you selected.
Once you have your keyword, anytime a customer sends a message to 313131, using your Keyword, they're going to show up in your Contacts. And you'll see that, here on the left-hand side, under Browse Contacts. Now it's also in this section that you can Add a Contact manually, Mass Upload a Contacts by uploading a spreadsheet, and you can also Unsubscribe any Contacts manually as well. To Add a Contact manually, you'll choose Add a Contact and enter in their phone number.
I'll add in a phone number, and choose a name for the customer as well. You can also assign them to a Group. And your Groups are how you're going to organize your lists. So all of your contacts are going to show up in your Contacts. But then you can assign them each to Groups. Now, if you have a Keyword, then that's going to be a Group, or you can also have those multiple Keywords that we talked about earlier, which will be differentiated Groups. In this case, I'll add them to the Test Group, and choose Save.
So now, this phone number, which is mine, is now added to the Group, Test. And if I wanted to send a message, I could then go in the top left corner, and choose Send Text & MMS Message, and then the first thing I'm gonna do is choose the Group I'd like to send it to. So I can choose Test, and there it shows 1, and that number 1 indicates to me that Group has one member. We can also manually add phone numbers, provide a subject, choose the type of message, and then type it in here.
You'll also see how many characters are remaining, just below the message window. If you'd like, you can schedule the delivery, or choose Advanced Messaging Features, which allow you to add your username, personalize it, and so on and so forth. And then you'll choose Continue, and follow the prompts to distribute that text. Now they also have a Web Widget, which you'll find here on the left-hand side, with the link Web Widget. If you'd like, you can add a Widget to your website, which will allow people to sign up for text messaging directly from your site.
So they don't even have to send a text to join the list. You'll pick the Widget type, whether it's Hosted, Embeddable or Facebook, give it a name, and then you can choose the icon, select if they can pick the groups that they're joining, and then you'll need to assign what groups they're going to join. So in this case I could say, "I want anyone "who signs up on this widget, to go into the Keyword group, pick the fields that are required, and then you'll choose PREVIEW WIDGET or CREATE WIDGET. If we choose PREVIEW WIDGET, we can see that we forgot to fill out some fields, so I'll add Maximum Messages, choose PREVIEW WIDGET and here's what it looks like.
So they can put their phone number, their name, and then choose Join Now, and they'll automatically be added to that group. Now this is just a quick tour of the basics. I recommend that you feel free to explore and test eztexting.com on your own. I simply wanted to give you an idea of how quick it is, and simple, to get started with your text message marketing. Thanks again for checking in this week. As always, I'd love to hear from you. So let me know what you thought about this week's episode. Are you thinking about using text messages in your marketing? Let me know on Twitter, via @bradbatesole.
I'll see you next week.
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