It’s Time to Embrace Text-Based Marketing with Norman Happ, Ep #30

It’s Time to Embrace Text-Based Marketing with Norman Happ, Ep #30

Mark Raffan

What can text-based marketing do for businesses? How are open rates different in text-based marketing versus email marketing? What purpose do they serve? This conversation with Norman Happ—the CEO of EZ Texting—opened my eyes to things I never thought text marketing could accomplish. Don’t miss this episode!

Norman Happ was a marketing executive at Intuit and was previously the SVP of Sales and Partnerships at Evernote. Norman is now the CEO of EZ Texting. EZ Texting has been in the text marketing space for 10+ years and has served over 160,000 customers over the years.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:03] 3 Actionable Tactics + Strategies
  • [2:58] The right tool for the right job
  • [5:44] Clear, concise, and legal content
  • [8:17] Engage with your customers in a new way
  • [9:48] How automation works with texting
  • [13:24] The timing of your message is important
  • [16:32] Short-code or long-code messaging?
  • [18:10] Who needs text-based marketing?
  • [22:14] Text marketing for B2B
  • [24:25] How do you get started?
  • [28:39] How to connect with Norman Happ

Is email the right tool for the job?

People default to email for mass marketing. But is that the right approach? Should you consider text instead? Norman points out that email has been a diminishingly effective tool over the last 20 years. Only 23% of messages are read via email. Using “the right tool” entails making sure you select something based on your message and call-to-action.

Text marketing is wonderful if you have a call-to-action, but you also must be cognizant about how often you’re texting customers or prospects. It has upward of 98% open rates across all demographics. Most people have zero unread texts.

So why isn’t text marketing more common? It’s a scary space for a lot of businesses because it does flow over regulated airwaves. There is a compliance component to text marketing. If you dive in solo, you’re exposing yourself to TCPA and other regulatory violations.

Clear + concise content

The messaging formats for text and email are dramatically different. Many businesses try to translate the email approach and formatting to text. Before you know it, what should be a simple text has morphed into a multi-paragraph text with no benefit.

Norm emphasizes that you must understand how to craft a crisp and concise message. Once you do that, you have to implement a clear call-to-action. Of course, there are informative messages such as “School is closed today” or “We are now offering curbside pickup.” But you usually have texts that are more promotional where you need to provoke a call to action.

How do you construct a call-to-action? Norm found that just using the word “click” in a call-to-action drives the click-through rate up 50% (versus just using a URL).

Text is similar to Twitter. You don’t want to have to read nine different tweets to get the gist of someone’s message. Everyone has gotten an email that is 9.5 paragraphs and gets dropped in spam and deleted. You have to be thoughtful and crisp and understand the objective you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to notify and inform? Or drive action?

The protection that EZ Texting offers

Norman notes that brands must be conscious of using the right tool for the job. If you abuse the privilege that you’re getting, you’ll start getting blocked. EZ Texting has AI that will predict the opt-out rate for a campaign based on the content of the message. They’re trying to coach customers effectively, so they don’t end up in the spam box.

As a company, EZ Texting takes its job seriously on the legal front. They want their customers to stay out of trouble. There’s a list of topics you must avoid abbreviated to SHAFT: Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. They’re on the no-go list. If you touch on them, alarm bells go off at the FTC, and you get calls from carriers.

They educate their customers and help them understand what the barriers are. EZ Texting also filters their messages before they’re sent out. They help you protect your brand.

A lot of text marketing is new to brands. They may not understand the language they’re using. Small businesses are trying to run a successful business, and they need good marketing to do that. It’s not like they’re marketing gurus. EZ Texting’s goal is to help these people look like a marketing guru when presenting to prospects and customers.

Is the timing of a text message important? What is the difference between short-code and long-code messaging? Who needs text-based marketing? Norman answers ALL of these questions and so much more in this episode of Content Callout. Don’t miss it!

If you’re ready to figure out if text-based marketing will work for you, head on over to EZ Texting!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Norman Happ

Connect With the Content Callout Team

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Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.