Got a new text message customer using it in a way I never thought of.

22 replies
A couple of weeks ago I met a guy at a networking meeting who was interested in my text message services. But he wasn't interested in it for the normal reasons such as restaurants or bars pitching coupons. He's using it to keep people updated.

Let me explain.

This guy works for a company in the real estate business and they oversee a lot of stuff that goes into a home's closing. They work with real estate agents, appraisers, home inspectors, closing companies, etc.

One txt message example is that he's going to use our appointment reminder service to send out a text to all of the appraisers to tell them which homes they need to appraise for the day as well as the times.

That's just one example. They'll be using it for other internal reasons as well. The best thing is that they're a nationwide company and they'll most likely be sending out hundreds of texts per day. Ca Ching.

So if you're selling SMS services, start thinking of other ideas on why businesses should use you.

Since landing this client, I'm going to start contacting large service providors such as plumbers that have a lot of employees on the road. Tell them that in the morning they can use the appointment reminder to send texts to all of their plumbers telling what house they need to go to and at what time. Or, send text messages two hours before their next appointment to make sure they're running on time.

I'm sure there's other creative ideas you can think of as well.

Mike
#customer #message #text #thought
  • Profile picture of the author Tarsha
    Congrats 512. That's Austin right? I live in Dallas.

    I love what you said about looking for clients outside of industries looking to advertise to customers. It seems like the opportunities for SMS are endless. Churches are another group I plan to target. My church actually had us whip out our phones and sign up at a service one day, but I never receive any messages from them. Not sure who's running their campaign.

    Anywhoo, I just prepared all of my marketing materials and will get them printed and bound at Kinkos soon. In addition to cold calls, I need to attend some networking events. I know I should at least be able to snag a client or two.

    Thanks for sharing. It's always encouraging to read positive results.
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    • Profile picture of the author 512 Designs
      Originally Posted by Tarsha View Post

      Congrats 512. That's Austin right? I live in Dallas.

      I need to attend some networking events.
      Naw. 512 is actually a model for a Ferrari. I actually 328 but that domain name was already taken :confused:

      As for networking, I'm all over that. So far I belong to two networking groups and will soon be joining the Chamber. I'd rather be face to face with clients instead of making cold calls.

      One networking member is an advertising sales rep for a local magazine that has....hold your hat....local business advertisers. So I'm trying to work out a deal with her so she can get my foot in the door with these businesses and I can sell my services to them myself with her leading the way

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author lint631
    Very cool I'm going to have to try to contact a few real estate agents I know. Most professional services could use the scheduling part of SMS.

    @Tarsha - Check out gotprint for printing marketing material. Way cheaper and the quality is super awesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Mike,

    Quick question. Who did you end up going with as your text service provider? Am trying to get settled with someone to move forward.

    Also, great work. Glad to see things are going well.

    Thanks,

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanmckinney
      Originally Posted by globalpro View Post

      Mike,

      Quick question. Who did you end up going with as your text service provider? Am trying to get settled with someone to move forward.

      Also, great work. Glad to see things are going well.

      Thanks,

      John

      I did a lot of research, and I went complete white label with Avid Mobile. They talk about scalability, and that is what we are after with our SMS component.

      It is installed on my domain, my brand, my platform, I can sell re-sell (say the apartment building owner) the platform, so he can have his own, or I can just manage for a monthly cost.

      Since I signed up last month, I receive 15K in free text a month, and the more text I send the cheaper it gets.. i.e. when I have 10 resellers and 50 clients, I will be paying pennies on the pennies per text
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      • Profile picture of the author lint631
        @ryanmckinney Hey that's a great idea about the schools. That could be a huge market. I worked for a NY State company and most jobs had to get bidders so I could see that as a possible problem. Although that was only for bigger jobs.

        Anyway keep us informed! I'd like to see how it goes.
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        • Profile picture of the author ryanmckinney
          Originally Posted by lint631 View Post

          @ryanmckinney Hey that's a great idea about the schools. That could be a huge market. I worked for a NY State company and most jobs had to get bidders so I could see that as a possible problem. Although that was only for bigger jobs.

          Anyway keep us informed! I'd like to see how it goes.

          Yeah definitely, I gave a friend that is a DJ with a large following a vcard (virtual business card basically an SMS plan where the keyword is just your name and it auto replies with your information and you can follow up), so one of his followers told him that his friend who is a high school principal wants to talk about this, and I had never thought of that!

          School of 2200 kids, 2 parents, 4400 blast every time they want to get in touch.. but if you think about it, it is smart for the school to do that!

          We are figuring ways to apply SMS to anything and everything, not just "a vip club for bars or restaurants".

          Even my grandfather (mid 60's) is texting me and is signed up on SMS coupons! But he really likes coupons (who doesn't) , and he actually doesn't mind texting. IT freaked me out the first time.

          Ryan
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          • Profile picture of the author lint631
            Originally Posted by ryanmckinney View Post

            Yeah definitely, I gave a friend that is a DJ with a large following a vcard (virtual business card basically an SMS plan where the keyword is just your name and it auto replies with your information and you can follow up), so one of his followers told him that his friend who is a high school principal wants to talk about this, and I had never thought of that!

            School of 2200 kids, 2 parents, 4400 blast every time they want to get in touch.. but if you think about it, it is smart for the school to do that!

            We are figuring ways to apply SMS to anything and everything, not just "a vip club for bars or restaurants".

            Even my grandfather (mid 60's) is texting me and is signed up on SMS coupons! But he really likes coupons (who doesn't) , and he actually doesn't mind texting. IT freaked me out the first time.

            Ryan
            That could turn into a really nice profit. It's the same idea as a church SMS campaign. They have so many followers and would send out thousands of text per month. I know a few teachers and will see if they are willing to talk to their principles. Would be a good way to get my foot in the door. I will report back if it works.
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            • Profile picture of the author 512 Designs
              Ok. Here's 3 ideas off the top of my head for schools using text messages.

              1. Text message for school closings because of snow.
              2. Once a week text message that sends student (or parent) to a mobile website showing the week's lunch selections.
              3. Once a month text message that sends student (or parent) to a mobile site showing the month's activities.

              Mike
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              • Profile picture of the author sitefurnace
                Where I live in the UK there is quite a large pub scene where live music takes place. You could go into each pub, buy a drink and start chatting to the landlord. Tell him that he could build his list and then advertise all of the live acts every week along with all the other stuff.

                Now get a list of all the live acts due to appear and then speak to them. Tell them that halfway through their set and at the end they could announce "Text fan to 1234" and get notifications of upcoming gigs / new songs released.

                Now get their itinerary and contact all the pubs/clubs on their upcomming tour!

                If you always introduced yourself mentioning a band that was going to be playing at their establishment it would be a good icebreaker and you could have a ever growing list of customers.

                One other little thing that could be added is this: Try to get every customer that you set up to advertises your sms service to their list say once a month. Ask them to send a text saying:

                "Do you run a business? Could you benefit from reaching your customers with a text like this? If so go to this link"

                A kind of viral effect!
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              • Profile picture of the author rainingproblems
                Originally Posted by 512 Designs View Post

                Ok. Here's 3 ideas off the top of my head for schools using text messages.

                1. Text message for school closings because of snow.
                2. Once a week text message that sends student (or parent) to a mobile website showing the week's lunch selections.
                3. Once a month text message that sends student (or parent) to a mobile site showing the month's activities.

                Mike
                With most schools, you'll be going through the local board of ed...and if you get chosen, you wouldn't just be providing to one school, but all the schoiols under their jurisdiction....anyone know how you can get through to a board of ed?
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                • Profile picture of the author PokerFace350
                  Originally Posted by rainingproblems View Post

                  With most schools, you'll be going through the local board of ed...and if you get chosen, you wouldn't just be providing to one school, but all the schoiols under their jurisdiction....anyone know how you can get through to a board of ed?
                  High school sounds promising, and I wonder if having that in our portfolios would open up doors to serving local universities! I work at my school's Information Resource Technology Service Desk (long-winded I know), where we provide tech workshops to students. The problem is, we have trouble filling the workshops with bodies. I proposed to my supervisor a social media strategy and sms campaign along with QR codes to fill these workshops up. After 5 check ins to facebook, students will get a voucher for $5 in free prints at the school printers. What does everyone think about this idea?
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                  • Profile picture of the author rainingproblems
                    Originally Posted by PokerFace350 View Post

                    High school sounds promising, and I wonder if having that in our portfolios would open up doors to serving local universities! I work at my school's Information Resource Technology Service Desk (long-winded I know), where we provide tech workshops to students. The problem is, we have trouble filling the workshops with bodies. I proposed to my supervisor a social media strategy and sms campaign along with QR codes to fill these workshops up. After 5 check ins to facebook, students will get a voucher for $5 in free prints at the school printers. What does everyone think about this idea?
                    I think the problem with pitching it to high schools is that school policy does not allow students to have cell phones in schools. For the major part, anything to do with mobile on a school level beneath university would be geared towards parents and not students
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      • Profile picture of the author PokerFace350
        Originally Posted by ryanmckinney View Post

        I did a lot of research, and I went complete white label with Avid Mobile. They talk about scalability, and that is what we are after with our SMS component.

        It is installed on my domain, my brand, my platform, I can sell re-sell (say the apartment building owner) the platform, so he can have his own, or I can just manage for a monthly cost.

        Since I signed up last month, I receive 15K in free text a month, and the more text I send the cheaper it gets.. i.e. when I have 10 resellers and 50 clients, I will be paying pennies on the pennies per text

        Ryan, you're a brilliant man! I'm going to implement this in my own startup.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmckinney
    SMS can be used in so many ways, you can almost apply it to anything.

    I have a school principal of a very large high school interested and the owner of a large amount of apartment buildings interested. These two could be huge.

    High school: remind parents of time off; school closures for emergencies (imagine a school being able to instantly reach out to 4K parents?); reminders of school functions/dances/games ..

    Building owner: Venues his building holds for his residences, reminders of water outages, referral program set up



    Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
      Originally Posted by ryanmckinney View Post

      SMS can be used in so many ways, you can almost apply it to anything.

      I have a school principal of a very large high school interested and the owner of a large amount of apartment buildings interested. These two could be huge.

      High school: remind parents of time off; school closures for emergencies (imagine a school being able to instantly reach out to 4K parents?); reminders of school functions/dances/games ..

      Building owner: Venues his building holds for his residences, reminders of water outages, referral program set up



      Ryan
      After a recent power outage fiasco with no one knowing if school was on or off, I pitched my kid's school principal on a system whereby he could send out a text from his phone to parents and students when emergencies like that came up. he liked the idea, but then passed it on to the admin office and I never heard anything back. Be prepared for levels of bueracracy with schools.

      I have also setup similar dedicated systems (using Twilio) for apartment managers and senior living management to send timely texts from their cell phones to all residents and/or their family members.

      Our site for apartments and senior living facilities is at Text Messaging | For Multifamily and Senior Living Facilities

      If you just go niche by niche you can come up with all sorts of cool uses for SMS. What I like about Twilio and Openvbx is the ability to customize to each niche with very specific functionality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Online Bliss
    My first SMS client was and still is involved with Estate Auctions.
    Usually the regulars get a chance to view items a day before the
    auction starts. This is critical because some make a living doing this.
    The potential buyers can't wait to get the text message.

    I simply sold my service by stating that:
    Their cellphone is attached to them at all times.
    Their computers are not.

    She used to contact them by email.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnotes
    There are so many B2B opportunities using SMS that it hurts my head. That's the only limit to this stuff, your mind!
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    • Profile picture of the author freeburd
      Originally Posted by chrisnotes View Post

      There are so many B2B opportunities using SMS that it hurts my head. That's the only limit to this stuff, your mind!
      What is the fastest way to start SMS? Thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author badlimey
        Originally Posted by freeburd View Post

        What is the fastest way to start SMS? Thanks.
        I can tell you this. Multi Channel marketing is the new vehicle to success. Linkbuilding, content marketing, onpage SEO etc is old school and a waste of time. It is all apart of the Google Myth, which I will be sharing here shortly.

        Here's the opportunity, look at platforms like Trumpia. SIgnalHQ, Limewire, etc and while they look great to marketers they are often overwhelming to your average 49 year old Small Business owner who employs less than 5 people and barely has enough time to run his business as it is.

        That's why Google is spending huge globs of money trying to get businesses online by offering free websites and now Mobile SItes for free. Because of this long lasting Myth that you have to be on page of Google to make money, hundreds of thousands of businesses are abandoning the web.

        Because so many like err 99% of them have extracted no measurable value from the Internet they are going to be naturally suspicious of "new" things like mobile marketing. It has to be sold.

        Start with a simple offering like Octomobi for websites and Tatango for SMS. Educate yourself on the differences between the different platforms. A guy here called Hypetext is as knowledgeable as anyone I have met in this arena.

        I can tell you this, it has been a long time since the Internet has been a level playing field, mobile makes it just that.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Awesome, thank you for sharing this.

    Opportunities with mobile marketing are really endless!
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  • Profile picture of the author badlimey
    Yep, instead of looking at mobile/SMS/MMS etc as a marketing vehicle you can package is as a cost saver too. Show them how to use it not just for marketing but to improve efficiency and thus productivity which in turn equates to more revenue.
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