Bars and nightclubs were some of the first businesses to integrate text messaging into their marketing mix. Chances are if you’re in the nightlife industry you’ve already tried text messaging or know some competitors who currently text their patrons. The nature of the nightlife industry is a perfect fit for text message marketing. So how do you get the most out of your 160 characters?
No matter what type of business you’re promoting it’s important to remember two things. First: text message marketing is permission based. Second: you’re throwing away money if you send messages to people who don’t want to hear from you. So what does that mean in practice? There are three ways for your patrons to ‘opt in’ to receive messages from you:
- Text your keyword to our long code. Two things happen when your patrons do this – we add them to your text messaging list and send them an automatic response that you’ve specified. You can try this right now by texting JOES to 760-670-3130.
- Import existing opted-in contacts using our contact uploader. If you’ve been manually collecting phone numbers from your patrons you can upload a spreadsheet or just paste those numbers into our form. We’ll automatically weed out duplicates.
- Entering a phone number into a web widget. Every Group Texting customer can generate custom widgets to add to their website, email blasts and Facebook Page. All a patron (or potential patron!) needs to do is enter their phone number and we’ll automatically add them to your text messaging list.
So how do you get people to join your list? Options two and three should be pretty clear. What about keywords? We recommend advertising your keyword throughout your venue (table tents, signs, a sticker on the front door, etc.). Second, whatever marketing you currently do – from your website to print advertisements – add your keyword. Chances are your patrons have their phone nearby at all times; allow them to opt in to your text messaging list wherever they are.
What should you text to your patrons? This is a question we’re asked all the time at Group Texting. We’re not a marketing agency but we do know what works well for most bars and nightclubs. You have 160 characters. Get the most out of them:
- Make your patrons feel special. How do you do that? Incentivize. Why should someone join your text messaging list? Your goal is to drive more feet through the door. Give people a reason to visit your venue with text coupons for things like drink discounts or line-jumping privileges. Your patrons might not want to slap a coupon down on the bar; let them pull out their phone to show your text message to a server or a bouncer. This applies to your call-to-action wherever you promote your Keyword as well.
- Run your marketing campaigns at the right time. Would you want to receive a text message at 6am? If you won’t have access to a computer when you want your messages to go out we’ve got solutions for that. When you login to grouptexting.com and compose a message you can schedule when we send it to your list. Need to send a last minute message? Our Send-From-Phone feature allows you to send us a text which we’ll send to your contacts.
- Segment your contact lists. Group Texting allows you to create as many groups as you like. Any contact can belong to multiple groups. For example, you could segment your VIPs into their own group. If you have a large staff import their numbers and store them in their own group. If you find yourself short staff you can quickly text your Bartenders group to see if anyone can pick up a shift.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Just like everything else you do to promote your bar or nightclub your imagination is the limit. Hopefully this post has gotten you thinking about what you can do with text message marketing and how Group Texting allows you to do it. Want to learn more? It’s free to sign up and there are no credit cards or obligations needed to give Group Texting a spin. Check out Group Texting now.