SMS Marketing for Multiple Locations

One of the most common questions I get at Tatango.com is why a business with multiple locations SHOULDN’T setup a text messaging campaign for each individual location. For those reading that are new to SMS marketing, I’m going to pretend you are the marketing director for the fictional company “Pizza Franchise USA” to help illustrate my point.

Below is what your text messaging campaign would look like if you setup a separate mobile keyword for each one of the six locations you manage. For example, Tim who visits Location #2 would text the word PIZZA2 to the phone number 68398 to receive text message promotions from location #2. Amanda on the other hand who visits location #5 would text the word PIZZA5 to the SMS shortcode 68398 to receive text message promotions from location #5.

Learn how to run a text messaging campaign for a business with multiple=

For your reference PIZZA1, PIZZA2, PIZZA3, PIZZA4 & PIZZA5 are all what we call in the industry mobile Keywords, which you will hear me refer to in the rest of the blog post.

As the marketing director for Pizza Franchise USA, you may be starting to question my judgement, as what I just presented above doesn’t look so bad. Before you make up your mind, let me explain my five reasons why this is a bad idea. Learn why any business with multiple locations should only have one text messaging campaign, not one for each location.

#1 Cross Polonation & Message Frequency – My advice is usually to send at maximum one text message promotion to your customers each week. If each customer is within driving distance of only one of your locations and subscribes to only one text messaging campaign, then you are good. In my personal experience though, businesses like Pizza Franchise USA have multiple locations within driving distance to my house, as you can see from my map below. If I visit each one of these five locations over time and subscribe to each of their text messaging campaigns, I’m now receiving five text message promotions from Pizza Franchise USA each week! That’s way too many text message promotions, even for me.

Learn how to run a text messaging campaign for a business with multiple=

#2 Redemption Confusion – Lets say location#5 has made a special order of pineapple/pepperoni pizza that  isn’t currently available at any of the other locations. To promote this new pizza, location #5 sends out a text message promotion to all of their customers. In my rush to try this new pizza, I forget to read the fine print and drive to the Pizza Franchise USA location closest to me, which is location #4. When I arrive I’m told by the manager that they don’t offer that kind of pizza and he won’t accept another store’s promotion.

#3 Advertising Confusion - If you’re running a text messaging campaign you will want to advertise it wherever your customer’s eyeballs are. Advertising in each location will be easy if you are using different mobile keywords because you will only have to display the mobile keyword that belongs to that specific location. What about everywhere else though? Most businesses have only one Facebook fan page, Twitter account and website that represents all of the different locations. If you are trying to run multiple text messaging campaigns for each location, this is what the advertising copy would look like on these different marketing channels:

To receive exclusive text message promotions from Pizza Franchise USA, first figure out what location is nearest to you . Once you’ve done that, text the mobile keyword that correlates with that specific location to the SMS shortcode 68398. Below are the various locations that we have and the mobile keywords associated with those locations.

  • Location #1 Mobile Keyword: PIZZA1
  • Location #2 Mobile Keyword: PIZZA2
  • Location #3 Mobile Keyword: PIZZA3
  • Location #4 Mobile Keyword: PIZZA4
  • Location #5 Mobile Keyword: PIZZA5

OR you run one campaign for all locations and it looks like this:

To receive exclusive text message promotions from Pizza Franchise USA text PIZZA to 68398.

I think we can all agree that the second option is a much better option for both the people that write your advertising copy and your customers that just want to receive your text message promotions.

#4 Management – As the marketing director, do you really have the time to manage six different SMS marketing campaigns? There are only so many hours in one day and one SMS marketing campaign takes significantly less time to manage than six. That’s science, you can’t argue with that.

#5 Word of Mouth – Your customers telling other potential customers about you new Pizza Franchise USA text messaging campaign will be a significant part of your subscriber growth. Customers will be much more likely to tell others about your campaign if it’s a simple subscription process. Making customers look up restaurant locations nearest to them, finding the mobile keyword and then appending the location number associated with that specific location is just a pain in the ass.

SMS marketing is one of the most simple pieces of technology out there, it’s only 160 characters and the same no matter what mobile phone or carrier you have. Don’t make it harder than it is by launching multiple text messaging campaigns for the same business. By doing this it only makes text messaging significantly more confusing than it should be.

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