SMS Text Messaging for Hair & Beauty Businesses: Made Simple
June 09, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsSalon.Textalert.com, an easy-to-use online service enabling hair and beauty businesses to send promotional and marketing text messages to customers, launched today at www.salon.textalert.com.
Salon.textalert.com is the world’s first SMS marketing solution specially designed with the needs of hair and beauty practitioners in mind.
Having collected customer’s mobile phone numbers, salon owners simply enter the message, input the numbers of their customers into an online address book, and click ‘send’.
Salon.Textalert can send messages to all their customers, or ‘filter’ their address book according to such criteria as the name of the customer’s stylist, or whether the customer is male or female.
The service operates on a pre-paid credits system and there are no sign-up or subscription charges. No additional software is required to use the system, which can be accessed from any internet connected PC.
Marketing via SMS has traditionally been the domain of large organisations. CEO David New said “hair and beauty salons whole livelihood depends on loyalty. Text messaging is the most exciting loyalty tool and marketing channel available at the moment – it is more effective than direct mail and traditional advertising, and far more memorable than email. And it’s costs much less.
Pre-launch customer Joe Mills, owner of prominent style-leading Soho salon ‘The Lounge’ said “We use it in a couple of different ways. We turn away far fewer appointments by promoting quiet times during the week, which spreads the workload. We also use it to promote parties we do once every few months”
“We set out to demystify SMS marketing for small and mid size businesses. We’ve made it so simple that no prior knowledge is required and new users can be up and running in just two minutes! We also offer more complex features that allow filtering and targeting but there’s no need to learn how to use them right away,” said Sarah Hodkinson, Marketing Director of Textalert.
The applications are countless but popular examples include:
• Informational : cancelling batches of customer appointments when stylist absent through illness
• Promotional – product or service discount coupons delivered by SMS
• Marketing – new salon products and services
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Mobile Marketing enjoys the highest recall rate of any advertising/marketing medium
Research has shown that there is a 71-96% recall rate to mobile marketing campaigns (MMA 2002) and that 23% of people will show or forward a marketing message to a friend or colleague (Enpocket Insight Report 2003).
Textalert’s service sends to over 500 mobile networks in 170 countries.
There are 1.52 billion mobile phone users worldwide. Out of the 135 billion SMS messages sent worldwide in March 2004, 2.1 billion were sent in the UK alone.
Textalert & SMS Spam
Textalert stressed that the system was specifically for marketing to an existing customer base, for CRM or as a means of driving loyalty, and not for advertising.
Textalert.com provides help and information for businesses on how to go about collecting their customer’s numbers, and their responsibilities. Users are required to include contact information on each text message they send, to facilitate customers wishing to ‘unsubscribe’. Therefore unsolicited mobile ‘spam’ was not an issue.
Prices are pay-per-use and there are no additional or hidden fees. Prices start at around £0.08 / €0.14 / US$0.17 per message, for low volumes. Discounts up to 50% are available at higher volumes.