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My OWN SMS Marketing Endeavor (You need to read this.)

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by csc1990, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    I've seen a couple threads around here about people trying to build an SMS business and they are documenting every step. Well, I am doing the same.

    I have already started working and am already growing my list. =)

    What I mean by growing my list is I am not selling a monthly service.

    No one seems to want that. They don't want to build their own list and deal with it. That's going to take time. They would rather have access to your pre-built list, send a mass text to local consumers and be done with it.

    Selling a mass text service sells like wildfire.

    Anyways, I am blogging about my venture. Check it out. =) You will definitely learn a lot and see what works/fails for me.



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    SEPTEMBER 28, 2011
    I have recently decided to start an SMS marketing business in the city that I live in. I am naming the business Wildfire SMS.

    I’ve done SEO for almost two years now and I’ve decided that I don’t wish to do it anymore.

    I am using a unique system to run my business. (Chad Wyatt’s SMS WordPress Plugin) Using this system my expenses are kept to a bare minimum. I will pay one cent per text and one dollar a month for my phone number.

    (The system I am using works through Twilio. I was also rewarded $30 worth of credits for texts just by adding $10 to my account.)

    The system I am using cost me $17. After adding $10 to my funds, having spent $10 on printing flyers to leave at businesses, and $17 for my first month of hosting and a domain name, I am currently in the hole about $54. But if that is all I end up spending before I make any money, I will be happy.

    I’ve looked into my competition. My only competitor in my town charges $6 per 100 texts. I figure he works through a reseller program like TXT180 or something. This means he pays 3¢ per text. I can beat his price and put him out of business. The only thing he has on me is the size of his list. Not a problem.

    I will be posting daily from my phone to update my readers about what I am doing, how I am doing it, and how it affects my business. I will try to keep it simple and to the point.

    My goal is not only to make profit by building this business, but to reach a steady $3,300 a month and keep it that way for a year. My financial goal in life is $36,000 a year after taxes.

    This is my story.





    OCTOBER 1, 2011
    I spend a lot of time at a smoothie bar here in town. I love the people and the atmosphere. It’s very upbeat. The establishment is half smoothie bar half health food store.

    The guys working the other day informed me that they were going to be doing a health program that they intended to get 1,000 people to sign up for by December. He said they just needed a way that was more reliable than email to contact them in mass.

    I immediately came home and drew up a simple brochure type thing in photoshop. Today at around 2pm I went to Staples and had the brochure printed and laminated.

    I don’t think it was very professional now that I think about it. It was more from a personal point of view rather than a business. But with the very cool and personal nature of the smoothie bar, I think it worked out well.

    I offered to give them service at a price that I’m not making any profit if they would promote my list in their store. Furthermore, the 1,000 people they are going to be adding to their list will belong to me as well. So I plan to cone out of the ordeal with 1,000+ subscribers on my list.

    So I will be giving them service at the price that it costs me in return for getting me plenty of subscribers. I want to get my list to 3,000 subscribers before I start marketing it to businesses without this affiliate program type ordeal.

    The terms also stated that they would receive 1¢ texts for 3 months after I reach 3,000 subscribers and they still push my list. Then they will get one monthly voucher for 1¢ texts for every month after that that they still promote me.

    Is this a lot to offer? Yes. Will I lose a lot of profit that I would have made off of this business by offering these perks? Yes. But they will be helping me build a big enough list that I will be able to approach every other business in town and sell my service. Between the smoothie bar and I, it’s a win win.

    I go back in Monday to seal the deal with the owner.




    OCTOBER 2, 2011


    I’ve decided to change the name of my business today. Instead of Wildfire SMS I will be dubbing business “Green M.” I’ve also decided that down the road I may offer internet marketing services such as SEO and local search. As much as I hate it, haha.


    In changing the name I came up with a new info brochure. (But I can't post it here or link to it.)




    OCTOBER 3, 2011
    Well, this morning I came to the realization that I will be in the hole a little more than I expected.

    I wasn't considering that each subscriber costs me 2¢. (1¢ for texting in to subscribe and 1¢ to send out the thank you for subscribing text.) It's still not bad and it's not going to hurt me that much, it's just something I hadn't considered before.

    My 3,000 subscriber goal will cost me $60 bucks just to have them subscribe. But I'm willing to pay that because after one blast they will be paid for. Until then, though, I'm just going more into loss every day. But not enough to matter, really.

    I'm not sure if I am going to be able to go up to the health food store today to seal the deal. I've got other things going on in my personal life... like my real job!

    Nonetheless; I will go tomorrow if all else fails.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  2. Sampler

    Sampler Senior Member

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    Nice,

    I've had a similar idea in the Clubbing niche as a promoter. Get a list of people who like to go to clubs and tell them which club to go to. Did it with a FB page as well, something you can help use to build your list anyway.
     
  3. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    Could you give me any more detail? I'm not fully understanding exactly what you would do, how you would profit, and how it would help with my list?
     
  4. kboxer7

    kboxer7 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Post your blog/journal entries here bro...

    As a side note, this might be a good venture. Being able to show tangible results and ROI from "single SMS/text blasts" may even encourage your clients to opt into a monthly plan to make it more cost effective.

    AND...even if they don't you are building your own list (make sure to get emails) that you can continually market to with mobile offers, etc...as long as you don't spam them all the time :D
     
  5. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    I am going to be posting the updates in the OP.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  6. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    I will start posting my updates in the OP.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  7. kingfuzz

    kingfuzz Junior Member

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    Nice journey man can't wait to read more
     
  8. truelux

    truelux Regular Member

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    thanks for this thread! Just what I needed. Will also be reading daily
     
  9. jimmytalibs

    jimmytalibs Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    IM, Entrepreneur
    Keep it up man, you will one day grow rich out of that!
     
  10. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    I'm considering doing some black hat to grow my business easier and faster. What do you guys think? Should I do it? There's no risk in my black hat idea. All positives, no downfall.
     
  11. Checkmate

    Checkmate Elite Member

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    Awesome, this is exactly what I'm starting today using the same system.

    But I'm going with the monthly payment system. There's a thread on another forum that would help (not sure if this is where you got the idea) if you haven't seen it PM me and I'll PM you it.
     
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  12. cronini

    cronini Junior Member

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    how exactly are you building your list?

    Best of luck!
     
  13. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    I don't spend much time on any other forum!

    Well, that's where the black hat comes in.

    I am going to be giving the businesses a month or two of free service, but using the WP plugin, I own the list, even if they build it, and they just have permission to use it. =) So the business I am currently working with has the intention to have 1,000 subscribers by December. They become mine whether the business continues service and starts paying or not.
     
  14. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    OCTOBER 4th, 2011
    So I made my way up to the smoothie bar yesterday to see the owner and seal the deal. Unfortunately, he was out and wouldn’t be back until today. (Today being the 4th of October, although it’s only 2am.)

    I had accidentally let my hosting expire, which meant that my lists and SMS service were down. So I looked in my Paypal, the only place I have any money, and I had $7.82… It was going to cost $7.99 to renew.

    I called Godaddy billing support and tried to persuade him to give me a discount. Finally I just looked up a coupon code on Google and gave it to him and saved over $2. So now my service is back up.

    I’m going to go ahead and set up the list for the health food store before I go to speak with the owner tomorrow. I want to be able to display exactly how it will work, and I also think he will be impressed at how prepared I will be by having his list already set up, haha.

    Godspeed.




    OCTOBER 4th, 2011
    I went up and spoke to the owner. He said they would most likely not be interested in a blast service because he has seen what kind of results it brings and he doesn't think they are staffed well enough and could handle that kind of business.

    Although, I wasn't even offering a blast service. I was offering them a build-your-own-list kind of service. So he really couldn't grasp the idea of what I was offering to them, so I ended up working it out with an assistant manager who knew more about it, etc. He spoke to the owner and we all three sat down in the office and I answered questions.

    The owner asked things like:

    What do we get out of it?
    How does it work?
    How do we build a list?
    Etc.

    I really needed them to use my service so I ended up offering them two months of free service because at first they seemed as though they didn't want to spend money. I guess I didn't come off as very professional so it seemed sketchy. So we settled on 2 months of free service. One month to build and one month to try it.

    I will be out of pocket quite a bit here, but it's an investment.

    If they are happy with the service at the end of two months, they will go monthly and I may even have them sign on to a contract. If so, I will charge $89.99/month and 4¢ per text. If they send over 2,000 texts, it will only be 3¢ and over 5,000 it will be 2¢. I know that pricing system will make me lose some possible profit, but it's incentive for them to send more, get better results, and want to use my service more and longer.

    My plan is to make $100ish/month per client that I sell my monthly service to. This will be steady and supplemental to the income I will make from my blasting service.

    I gave them their number and told them how it's going to work. Tomorrow, once I have set up their user backend, I will show them how to use it.





    OCTOBER 5th, 2011
    I made a new flyer and printed it off at Staples on glossy paper so it looked really professional. It told them their log in information and how to use the dashboard to send SMS offers. On this flyer I had my new company name on there. I like it a lot! It looks really nice.

    I took the flyer up to the smoothie bar and dropped it off.
     
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  15. mungus

    mungus Regular Member

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    well done buddy, this is an inspiring read, i'm gonna follow this.Rep given for havin such a strong attitude to just keep plowing on!
     
  16. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    Yessir! I have nothing and have never had anything in this life and I think this can be my way out. It's easy as hell, you don't have to be a professional or have a degree/certification to do this, and it pays well if you can sell it.

    Cards played right = the financial freedom I seek. Until something or someone better comes along and puts me out of business!

    As stated, I can live comfortably on just a modest amount of money each month, which fuels me even more knowing that my goal is not out of reach.

    I hope to conquer this small city and then spread out. =)
     
  17. csc1990

    csc1990 Registered Member

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    OCTOBER 15, 2010

    I went up to the smoothie bar yesterday to talk to the guy.

    We are going about adding subscribers in an odd way. We thought about it and we figured the opt-in rate would be much better if we had them write their numbers down on an opt-in paper in the store instead of asking them to text-to-subscribe and them saying they'll do it later or forget it. So he has been collecting subscriber's numbers on a sheet of paper. He had already started doing this about a week or two before I began his service on the 5th, but I think he already has about 250-400 people.

    I am going to have to go in Monday morning and log into my dashboard and manually add ALL of them. This is going to suck, but it's okay. Satisfying this business is essential to my success.

    If they are satisfied I get my first paying (possibly contracted) client, statistics, referrals, etc. If I really black hat it then I also get all of their subscribers to my list, but I'm going back and forth on that idea. I don't know if I will black hat it or not.




    OCTOBER 16, 2011


    I am spending all day today trying to make a good flyer. I have a list of 15 businesses that I want to approach tomorrow with my service. I'm really having a hard time with the fliers because everything I make ends up being VERY wordy and a little harsh on the eyes. My design skills are good, I'd say. My work is very neat and professional. It's just the lack of images and too many words.

    If anyone wants to help me out with ideas or how I should do the flyer, send me a PM!
     
  18. 420lounge

    420lounge Power Member

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    look into getting a landing page freelancer to help you. I would stick with the first company first before going to others. the fact that you almost couldnt pay your hosting and it got shut off means you need to be careful. look into getting more funds together for emergencies when things go wrong
     
  19. Checkmate

    Checkmate Elite Member

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    I have PM'd you example of my flyer I have yet to run into a business owner that doesn't understand it.
     
  20. beamillionaire

    beamillionaire Registered Member

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    Its almost coming up to a month now. How is it going OP?