Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Is Your Small Business Ready for Mobile Customers?

How can your small business meet the demands of today’s technology-driven consumer? And how can you do it on a budget with a service that takes only minutes to learn?

SendTree is a group text messaging service that is not only extremely affordable; it’s easy to use. SendTree allows you to to send timely text messages to your customers with just the push of a button. Send sales reminders, mobile coupons, or special event notifications to your customers anytime, anywhere.

More than 91% of American adults now own a cell phone (Pew Internet Research). With more and more of your customers relying on their cell phones to stay connected, now is the time for small business owners to take advantage of mobile technology.

“Arguably, small-business owners are in a better position to use mobile for customer engagement,” according to Christopher M. Litster, a Senior Vice President at Constant Contact. 
For small-business owners, it’s all about connecting with customers as opposed to amassing fans and followers. Since they have a smaller customer base compared with big chains, they’re able to more actively engage them,"  Litster concludes. 

So the next time you have a big sales event to announce, or if you just need to entice your loyal patrons to stop in and shop, how are you going to do it?

You could go the traditional marketing route and run an (expensive) ad in the local paper, or share it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those would most likely be effective tactics to have in your marketing mix. But with SendTree, you can more directly reach the audience that has proven they are willing to buy from you — your actual customers.

"Cell Phone Ownership Hits 91% of Adults.Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 6 June 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.

Litster, Christopher M. "Why Mobile Marketing Is Made for Small Business.OPEN Forum. American Express, 4 
          Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Oct. 2014.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A New Way to Target Customers

What does it take to build a solid customer base in today’s high-tech world? 

For many business owners, it probably feels like between Facebook and Twitter you’ve got your bases covered. But reaching customers is about more than just a weekly website update. It’s about creating a connection.

SendTree, a group text messaging service, gives your business a new way to reach out to customers. By using SendTree, you can send personalized text messages, alerts, and notifications straight to people’s cell phones.
Meaghan Fitzgerald, the chief marketing officer of 23snaps, explains in Ritika Puri’s article, Three ways brick-and-mortar can leverage mobile, why it makes sense to implement a mobile platform into your business style:

“Mobile is a particularly powerful channel because it gives you real-time access to your customers, wherever they are ― in your store, or elsewhere.”

Most importantly, group text messaging is a direct way to encourage people to visit your store. You can share mobile coupons, sales announcements, and event notifications with just the push of a button.  

Humans are social creatures. This basic instinct has influenced the way we communicate with each other. It’s why people love text messaging, and the major explanation for why we continue to rely on text messaging to connect with the outside world. Texting is simple, fast, and convenient - why not use this logic to increase your marketing voice? 

Your customers see hundreds of advertisements everyday, so how can you make sure you’re staying connected with your audience? The trick to being heard has always been to meet your audience in the spaces they frequent most. Today, it’s no secret that space is mobile. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Introducing the Contact Manager

The SendTree Contact Manager is here to make organizing, managing, and updating your contact lists easier. It allows you to quickly and efficiently manage all your contacts and lists from one place. Whether you want to edit an individual contact, save a contact to multiple lists, or upload a list to a specific group, this guide will show you how to do all these things and more.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents 
A. Getting Started with the Contact Manager
B. Creating a New Contact
C. How to Edit an Individual Contact
D. Creating a New Group
E. Upload a List of Contacts to a Group
F. How to Assign One or More Contacts to a Group
G. Deleting a Group (does NOT delete your contacts)  
H. How to Delete and then Retrieve a Contact/Contacts
I. How to Download/Export a Group
J. Searching for a Contact

A. Getting Started with the Contact Manager

>> Before you can begin managing your contacts you’ll want to migrate your current contact list to the Contact Manager database. To get started:
  1. Sign in to your SendTree account here
  2. Select the down arrow beside the My account button. Select Manage contacts. (Or you can visit https://www.sendtree.com/contacts .)
  3. At first there is a message that reads, “You have no contacts yet!” No need to worry! All your contacts are still there. You just need to transfer the list by clicking “Yes, bring my recipients here!

  4. This process can take a couple minutes if you have thousands of contacts. You’ll receive an “All done” message when the migration is complete.

B. Creating a New Contact

>> Need to add an individual contact to the database? Easy! Begin by:
  1. Clicking the icon of the plus sign and person hovering over the Names category.
  2. Enter the contact’s name, phone number (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or email, the method by which you will contact this person (text, email, or voice), and then select Save.

C. How to Edit an Individual Contact

>> Editing or updating an individual contact’s information is simple. 
  1. Just hover over the specific aspect of the contact’s information you want to change and click the small pencil icon
    Pencil icon >> 

  2. Whenever you need to edit or update your contacts, just click the pencil icon and make the necessary changes. Your changes are saved when you leave the cell.

D. Creating a New Group

>> Organizing your contacts into groups will make it easier for you to send messages to specific people. Instead of tediously sorting though your contacts, you can organize contacts into manageable groups. 

  1. Pick a name for your group and type it in the “new group” space. Then click the “+” icon or press the Enter key to create the group. 
    • For example, for a group of volunteers you might choose a title like Volunteer Group
  2. The process is complete with the group appears in the list under All Contacts. Notice how the Volunteer Group we created appears in the screenshot below.

A quick note about groups

The "All Contacts", "Opt Out", and "Undeliverable" groups are always there and cannot be deleted. If a contact on your list decides to opt-out, they will automatically be placed into the Opt Out group. Likewise if a message cannot be delivered to a contact, they will automatically be placed in the Undeliverable group. SendTree will never attempt to send messages to contacts that are found in either of these two groups.

The All Contacts group is not really a group, but is literally all of your contacts. Keep in mind, you can have contacts that don't belong to any group. Those contacts will show up in your All Contacts list.

Putting a contact in the Opt Out group is permanent. You cannot remove a contact once it is in the Opt Out group. However, if the opted-out individual decides to opt in again, their action will remove them from the Opt Out group.

You can remove contacts from the Undeliverable group on an individual basis. A possible scenario is that their contact information needs to be corrected so that delivery will succeed next time. If you do correct the contact information, then remember to remove the contact from the Undeliverable group to allow future delivery.

E. Upload a List of Contacts to a Group

>> Do you have a CSV file to import into the Contact Manager? You can upload a list and merge it with a particular group by:
  1. Selecting the group you’d like to upload the list to. 
  2. Clicking the Upload button. 
  3. Select Choose File and locate the file you’d like to upload from your computer. Then click Upload.
    • Or you can click Cancel at the bottom of the screen to cancel the upload.

F. How to Assign One or More Contacts to a Group

>> There are two different ways to sort your contacts. Depending on how many contacts you are editing you can organize contacts in different ways.  

Option 1 (organizing just one contact at a time)
  1. Select the pencil icon under the Groups space beside the individual contact you’d like to assign to a new group. For example with Carla Dewitt >>
  2. Select the boxes for any group(s) you want the contact to be assigned to and click save changes when you’re finished. 

Option 2 (organizing one or more contacts at a time)
  1. Select the box beside the name of the contact(s) you want to assign to a new group. 
  2. Two new buttons will appear above your list of contacts. Click the third button and assign the contact(s) to groups that way. 
  3. Click save changes when you’re done. 

G. Deleting a Group (does NOT delete your contacts)  

>> SendTree’s Contact Manager allows you to delete a group without deleting your contacts. To delete a group:
  1. Hover over the  group you want to delete and click the small "X" beside it. 
  2. Select the red Delete button that appears. The group will be removed from the list, and your contacts will now be listed under All Contacts

H. How to Delete and then Retrieve a Contact/Contacts

>> Sometimes everyone needs a do-over. The Contact Manager can retrieve and return contacts you've deleted. 
    • An Important Note About Undoing a Deletion: The Contact Manager can only retrieve the contact(s) from your most recent deletion. If you delete two individual contacts at separate times, the Contact Manager can only recover the most recently deleted contact. Also -- the Contact Manager cannot retrieve contacts after you sign out of your SendTree account. 

How to Delete and then Retrieve a Contact/Contacts
  1. Check the contact(s) you want to delete and click the Trash Can symbol to delete. 
  2. A new button has replaced the Garbage Can symbol that says Undo Delete (#). 
    • The # in parentheses indicates how many contacts you just deleted.
  3. Click Undo Delete (#) to retrieve the contact(s).

I. How to Download/Export a Group

>> Need to download your contact lists? SendTree makes it easy for you to export your data.
  1. Select the Group you want to download. 
  2. Then click the Download button. You can retrieve this list from your downloads and drag the CSV file to your desktop.

J. Searching for a Contact

>> Having trouble finding a specific contact? You can easily locate a contact with the Contact Manger's search tool. 
  1. Start by selecting All Contacts from your list options. 
  2. Click the space in the the search tool bar and look up a contact by their name, phone number, or group

    • For example, if we were looking for an individual named Charles, we'd type “Charles” in the search bar, and press the Enter key. The Contact Manager will filter through all contacts who have the word “Charles” in their name and display the results in the list. 
    • You can also search by phone number, email, or contact type (TEXT, VOICE, EMAIL).

We think you’ll find that SendTree’s Contact Manager makes sorting, finding, and updating your recipient lists much easier. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Connecting with Voters this Election Campaign

How can I reach more voters? How can I ensure my voice is heard over all the other messages bombarding my audience? These are the kinds of questions lots of politicians are asking themselves this election cycle.

Why not use text messaging to engage your supporters? SendTree is a group text messaging service that allows you to share timely messages with your key audiences via text, email, or social media.

Group Text: A Successful Strategy for Obama

Back in 2008, Barack Obama collected a massive list of cell phone numbers when he promised to send a text message alert notifying supporters of his top pick for vice president (Huffington Post). 

Then during the following election cycle, as voting centers began re-opening; Obama sent a follow-up text message to this list, encouraging people to go vote. Obama had more than 1 million supporters to notify as a result of this successful mobile messaging campaign (Huffington Post).

According to Scott Goodstein, Obama’s social media specialist, one big reason this strategy was the obvious choice for engaging more voters was because of the way people respond to text messages. As Goodstein explains:  
"I see it as a way to tether your base voter to your organization… [People] may not be reading every piece of direct mail, they may not be reading every e-mail, but people are reading every single text message."

Integrate Text with Social Media

You can encourage people to opt-in and join your SendTree contact list by adding your SendTree phone number to yard signs and bumper stickers or including it in every broadcast or print advertisement. For example, you could say something like: Text “JOIN” to [SendTree Phone Number] to instantly opt-in!

Or you can take a more pro-active route and collect cell phone numbers at your next public event. Plus, you can sync up your SendTree account with your social media pages so that all messages automatically post to your Facebook and Twitter - it’s a great way to inundate your followers with relevant information.

Take Your Campaign to the Next Level with SendTree >> 

          The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 Oct. 2010. Web.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to Get More Customers To Your Grocery Store

What’s one way to entice more customers to shop at your grocery store? Coupons are great for increasing sales, but in our high-tech world you’ll want to reach customers in the spaces they frequent most. Today, that space is mobile. With group text messaging your business can send mobile coupons to customers anytime, anywhere. 

Easy and Cheap Marketing

A recent report by Nielsen, a global consumer analytics company, found that mobile coupons are most frequently redeemed at grocery stores. The great thing about SendTree, an inexpensive group text messaging service, is that you don’t need to hire an expensive graphic designer to get people to notice your ads. Text notifications are a simple, straightforward way to alert customers of deals. 

Any organization can benefit from sharing information via text.

Help Customers to Opt-In:

So how can you get your SendTree phone number into the hands of your customers? Your patrons can opt-in to receive news by texting "JOIN" to your SendTree phone number. We also recommend taking a more direct approach by: 
  • Listing SendTree information on the back of sales receipts telling customers to sign up to receive information about store promotions, sales and new arrivals.
  • During checkout, ask customers if they would like to receive 15 percent off their next purchase for joining SendTree.
  • Creating exclusive in-store or online events and offers such as after-hours preview parties or meet-and-greets with special guests only for SendTree participants to encourage users not to opt out.

Make Sure Your Voice is Heard   

Relying on traditional marketing tactics (like paper, commercial, and radio ads) are not only costly, but there is no guarantee your target audience will hear or see these advertisements. Sharing group texts with SendTree allows you to send alerts and notifications straight to your customers' cell phone. 

Still curious about what SendTree can do for you? 
Learn more techniques for your business here >>