It’s well known that getting a new customer costs 4 to 10 times what it costs to keep an existing customer. Where you fall in that broad range will depend on your industry and market.
But SMS can cost you next to nothing to get new customers, if you just add a few things to your current marketing.
Add the opt in information to your existing ads. This can work in all media:
Yes, you’ll have to submit new copy (it might change your print cost some I suppose depending how you do it), but overall you’re simply giving the people who see the add another option to connect with you – just like a phone number or website address. For example, someone hears your radio ad and likes what you’re offering. But they can’t, or don’t want to, come down to your store at the moment. Instead they can use your opt in information from the ad, and get access to the deal online, or a coupon they can use when they do get to your store in the future.
Another way to acquire new customers to your SMS campaign is social media. You’re already tweeting, posting, and uploading videos right? Just share your opt in information over these channels in a fun, creative, or provocative way to get the message shared and exposed to new people. Your current customers who see the posts will share them, exposing you to new not-yet customers.
Once you get someone new on your opt in list, they’ll receive your other promotions too. This increases the chance they’ll become an actual buying customer.
The main thing to remember is people like to feel like they are getting something in return for their mobile number. Make that offer, contest, or sweepstake good enough and new people will sign up.
As a personal example here, I can tell you I drive or walk past businesses all the time and think “One of these days I’ve got to stop in there”. For whatever reason, I just don’t go when I’m in the area. Maybe I don’t have the time, or I can’t find a parking space, or I’m just too tired to deal with traffic.
But if I see a sign out front that offers a great deal if I text a keyword to a number, then I’m likely to do that (unless I’m driving of course, but then I’ll have one of my kids do it for me if they’re in the car – never text and drive!).
This works online too. I’ll see ads for something that looks interesting, but I don’t want to get distracted or click away from what I’m doing. But I’d take a second to text for the deal and see what happens. After all, I can always opt out right?
I’ll repeat the most important aspect of this discussion just so it’s clear. People want to get something good in exchange for their mobile number. Make your opt in appealing and it will work to get new customers.