Driving on the turnpike today, I encountered as all of us do each day, several folks who insist on driving slow in the fast lane. And as I sat in my car driving I asked myself, “are you FREAKIN’ kidding me with this?” on the inside. On the outside, I was more perplexed as to why people still drive 60 MPH in a fast lane on a busy highway.

Likewise, why do we still use email marketing to reach the masses, when we know it may not be the optimal solution for generating new customers? Over the last almost 20 years, email blasts have been the favorite child of marketers to try and drum up new business and prospects for their companies. I remember back in the day (early 2000’s), when you could send out a good email outreach to a few thousand folks and get literally 100’s of responses and suddenly a normal selling month turned into a great month. So much so that sales reps would be knocking on my door asking when the next blast would be. Sadly, those days are dead.

The proliferation of these cold emails including those from Prince Farquar, the billionaire who has a favor to ask and just needs to have your banking info for a $1,000,000 assistance fee to deposit into your account, has ruined it for all of us.

Focusing on retail specifically and brick & mortar locations, there is a need to find a new concept in marketing outreach, because I truly believe with CAN/SPAM, GDPR and other strong regulations, email has become or is close to becoming extinct as a marketing tool. So, then what is the new frontier that is going to take over and become the new email marketing for 2018 and forward? If you ask me, I believe that it’s trending towards and is now, mobile and text messaging! Certainly, it too has rules and legalities that must be followed, but MMS and SMS are certainly the newest way to drive clients and business to your retail locations!

‘A simple text message to your 100% opt-in customer base sends 250 paying customers to your location and BOOM! you just generated $12,500 in new revenue for the day.’

But how do you get your customers into a 100% opt-in “Club”?

Using a digital kiosk (a fancy word for an iPad), and greeting your customers with a message that says something like, “Join Our VIP Text Club to Receive Special Promotions and Discounts” is a start. When they enter their mobile number, they will then be subscribed into your 100% opt-in marketing database. Using a prepackaged software that captures all this info and then allows you to build mobile coupons or incentives that you can text out weekly or monthly makes this easy.

Imagine this… text messaging has shown to convert up to 25% of those contacted. So, imagine you have a marketing database of 1,000 folks. Each customer on average spends $50 when they visit your store. A simple text message to your 100% opt-in customer base sends 250 paying customers to your location and BOOM! you just generated $12,500 in new revenue for the day (250 customers X $50 avg spend).

Let’s say you’re a minor league soccer or baseball franchise trying to drive more attendance. Getting anyone who has ever attended a game on your VIP Text Club allows you to remind them of upcoming games and even better, lets them utilize a coupon for $2.00 off a hot dog and beverage combo when they show the mobile coupon you just sent them. Pizzerias, Gas Stations, Restaurants, Super Markets and many other industries that have foot traffic can benefit from this.

Software like SimpliSmarter (www.simplismarter.com), is an excellent way to get started. Even the hottest new industry, medicinal cannabis has a solution to drive patients to their dispensaries using Sprout (www.sprout.online) in a similar manner.

Both these platforms are easy to use and allow for minimal effort to grow your 100% opt-in database using everything from digital kiosks, to business cards, print advertising, and even billboards for promotion enticing folks to join your text clubs.

If you haven’t tried text messaging, give it a try. Contact either of the above solutions depending on your vertical focus and get a trial and venture into the new frontier!

Good luck and I wish you much success!