No it's NOT just for the guys with big TV budgets! Anyone can run a text-in competition – and for pennies, not thousands.
Not only that, you can run a text-in campaign just about anywhere that you hope to engage with your existing or potential audience – website, Facebook page, Linked In profile, newspaper, print publication, flier, poster, banner or your truck!!!
You will almost certainly have seen the typical TV text-in competition – something along the lines of:
“To enter our competition to win XYZ, text your name, state and email to 9999 999 999”.
When you text in, a response immediately comes back to your mobile phone – something along the lines of:
“Thanks for entering our competition and winners will be notified by text message on X date.”
What the advertiser receives is a list of mobile numbers together with the information that has been requested – in this case, name, state and email, but of course it can include any other information relevant for your business or organisation.
So how does an auto response system actually work?
Part 1. The text-in number
This number is rented from the auto response system provider. You should be able to rent a number on a monthly basis for short campaigns, or at a reduced cost over a longer period of time.
Part 2. The wording used to promote the campaign – online and/or on printed materials
This can be the simple version given above, or you can include a text-in CODE or KEYWORD.
This is particularly relevant if you are running multiple competitions, or if you are a marketing company running campaigns for multiple customers.
“To enter our competition to win a fabulous weekend away, text GETAWAY and then your name and suburb to 9999 999 999.”
To enter our competition to win an Audi A3 Convertible, text CAR and then your name and email to 8888 888 888.”
And just a quick warning as I’m writing this. When you’re using codes or keywords, always consider the spell checker on people’s mobile phones. Make sure your code or keyword is something that won’t easily be corrected otherwise your potential customer will strike an error message and may well decide not to proceed.
Part 3. The information you want the person to text into the system
This will depend on:
1. what information you need – name, email, suburb, state, demographic info etc
2. if you are running multiple competitions, what codes or keywords to use
It’s entirely up to you what you ask for, however, as with ALL things text messaging, keep it quick and easy for the best results.
When someone texts in, their message is automatically collected in a dedicated list in the response manager system ready for you to access and follow up with.
Part 4. The response to be automatically texted back
This wording is uploaded into the system, and when a request is texted in, the system automatically sends your response out.
It’s totally up to you, but again, keep it short and to the point, and DO consider including a direct link to a landing page if that’s useful – your website is obvious, but this can also be a link to a relevant video clip – anything that will increase engagement with your recipient.
Part 5. Follow up
Into their respective lists in the system will fall the mobile number and whatever other pieces of information that you have asked for, ready for your attention and future follow up.
Text-In Competitions are quick and easy to create, with literally no lead-time beyond placing the wording that tells people what to do - they’re a VERY inexpensive and highly-effective lead generation tool for any businesses to explore.
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For a free 30-minute strategy session to discuss how text messaging can blow your ROI out of the water and improve your Customer Engagement, email me firstname.lastname@example.org