It’s easy to optimize advertising for text conversations when you have a clear value, like getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, and clients are able to text your business phone number, a vanity 800 number (like 800-655-LOAN) or a short code (313-99) to start a conversation with an automated texting robot.
You may currently advertise in these ways: adding your phone number to your Instagram bio, a banner on your website, business cards, videos and social media posts. Now, imagine these saying “call OR text” or “text me to get pre-qualified.” The same strategy works for more traditional advertising: direct mailers, commercials, anything.
There are many other to advertise and organic ways that you can drive traffic to SMS, some that you are already doing to share your business phone number.
Here are 6 ways to advertise and drive traffic to SMS
1. Add "Text" to your Instagram Bio
Adding a your phone number or text buttons to your social profiles is a free, instant way to drive traffic to SMS. By adding a "Text" button to your Instagram business profile (shown above), leads can tap the button and immediately kick off a conversation, no need to go to a landing page.
What I love most about advertising SMS CTAs with social and display ads is that you can put the phone number or short code on the ad. This means, a user can act immediately when they see the ad (and text you), or they can click the ad and go to your landing page, so you have twice the likelihood of conversion, and if someone starts a conversation with your bot based on seeing it, you don't even have to pay for that! There are many local SubReddits like "Atlanta" that see a lot of daily traffic from users in a specific area, and it is rare to see geo-local ads on this platform, so the CPA is often lower than Facebook.
Don't underestimate the power of free or inexpensive advertising. If your service is typically marketed on Craigslist, like real estate or mortgage, loan or credit services, cleaning business, financial service, or anything someone may go to Craigslist for, you can add your phone number to your ad and the listing with "text only" as your preferred contact method. The audience will be happy to find out if they qualify for your service via text without needing to talk to a human when you use an automated texting robot.
In the past, it’s been difficult to measure the awareness of traditional media (billboards, commercials, radio). With SMS short codes, you can add attribution to your ads with keywords like “WOW” “JOE” or “NYC.” Using a text call to action on a billboard isn't just genius, it's measurable. Whether it's old-school billboards or digital companies like Blip (upload your art & spend as little as $5 a day with no contracts), add attribution and capture leads in your target neighborhoods at the same time. This could be you 😎🤯
5. Direct Mailers
Similar to billboards, direct mail is very popular, but it has been difficult to measure in the past. By adding a QR code to your mailers, you can activate potential customers right away via text, no need to visit your website or call in. They have nothing to lose! When paired with a special offer or call-to-action (like "scan to get a free consultation" or "scan to get pre-qualified"), the customer is incentivized to act, and you can even make the experience more personalized, like automatically knowing their closest gym location by including a unique keyword on the ad like "HOLLYWOOD."
6. Business Cards
Adding a text call to action on a business card makes it actionable. You may meet someone and forget why you wanted to email or call them, but with a clear message on your business card, text "keyword (law)" to "call to action (file a claim)" your potential customers will know exactly what to expect when they reach out.
*Bonus* Add “call OR text” anywhere your phone number appears! It’s simple to take advantage of any digital or traditional type of advertising, and engage in a text conversation with potential customers on channels you’re already using. Your email signature, a bus stop bench, even a TV commercial - the opportunities to text-enable your business and start qualifying leads over SMS are endless.