A Marketing Tool That Builds Relationships, Even In A COVID World | Small Biz Marketing Specialist
A Marketing Tool That Builds Relationships, Even In A COVID World

A Marketing Tool That Builds Relationships, Even In A COVID World

Transactions get refunded, relationships don’t. How can you build a business based on relationships in a COVID world? “Small Business Stacey” shares a tool that helps you do that.  #ASmallBizLife #WhereMarketingMeetTechnology

NOTE: The number referenced in the video and transcript is incorrect. The number to text to the free resource has been changed. Text SMALLBIZ to (918) 248-6020.

Episode Transcript

Stacey: Hey everybody, Small Business Stacey. In this age of COVID-19 you’ve repeatedly heard me say that customers refund transactions, they don’t refund relationships. Customers refund transactions, they don’t refund relationships. So how can you as a small business owner, build a business that leverages and builds on those relationships? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today.

My guest is Matt Morfopoulos from RespondFlow. And today we’re talking about text marketing. Welcome, Matt, how are you?

Matt: Doing good, Stacey, how you doing? Good to be here.

Stacey: Well, you’re sitting there on the beach, so I’m a little bit jealous.

Matt: I mean, gotta be hopeful. Maybe I can be in Hawaii in a week or two fingers crossed.

Stacey: Aloha spirit. Amen. Alright. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your company does.

Matt: Yeah, totally, Stacey. So my name’s Matt, and I’m the Chief Growth Officer and co-founder of RespondFlow. We’re one of the top text messaging marketing platforms on the market right now. In a couple of words, we are one of the easiest to use for small businesses, as well as one of the top SMS text message platforms. A little bit about my background. I actually started out doing big brand-building with big events for Audi, Microsoft and the like. But then I really found the true love for small business marketing and startup marketing.

Then through my university and going through my entrepreneurship program I started building out some startups. RespondFlow was kind of brought out of that. And so right now we’re helping a lot of small businesses and mid-sized businesses get through this COVID crisis. Right now there’s a really big need to build relationships. And like Stacey wonderfully said, people love relationships. They’ll stick by you, especially when customers are at their worst. So if you stick by them and keep fostering those relationships, you’re able to really capitalize on it when the market is good and when business is good. And so, we found that text messaging is one of the best ways to reach our customers and we stand by that.

Stacey: Great. So what exactly is text marketing? Cause I know many people in my community this is a new term for them.

Matt: So text message marketing is just the same way you use emails to market to your customers. If you’re familiar with MailChimp or ConstantContact, it’s that same methodology of building a list and nurturing that list and so that you can remarket it or at least retarget them with specific emails, but you’re doing with text messaging. And what we found through a lot of our customers is that by using a text message, you get the point across actually 98% of people when they get a text message, read it within the first three minutes and then about 45% act on it, meaning that people are more likely to engage with you over text message and even email right now.

Stacey: I would agree with that. I’m finding that everybody is very open to a conversation right now because they’re stuck in their house, their phone isn’t ringing, and everybody is always on their phone. So when a text message comes in, boom, they’re going to read it, engage and react to it.

Matt: Totally.

Stacey: So do you have examples of how this has been used in other industries? I know I focus on, let’s say, people in the food and beverage industry, do you have an example that you could share on how to do text marketing for them?

Matt: Totally. So something that we’ve done that’s been super fun is we did a couple of live streams with a couple of bars, restaurants and, boutique food restaurants. So basically what we did was that we did a big live stream where we invited artist musicians. We showed people how to cook certain meals or make coffee beverages. We showed them how to be kind of at-home baristas. And so we kind of did a whole donation-based live stream. So it allowed their customers to support them in their time of need, to support the arts, to support them, and to donate for that kind of high-level content. So using that kind of methodology, we’ve actually raised $11,000 from one night for one bar, and we’re continuously doing it. We actually have one stream with the Flaming Lips next, so that’ll be really exciting.

Really for you guys, it would be more of if you have gift cards or you want to sell credits to your restaurant for when you are coming back from this COVID incident, that’s a really great use case. If you had a way to purchase it online, you could just send a quick text with a link. People are more likely to buy off of the text message because there’s less involved than downloading an app. They don’t have to go to a website and navigate through it. It goes directly to the place that you want them to purchase. Then another big one right now, which a lot of you guys are probably facing is ordering. People are picking up meals, especially where I’m at in Oklahoma City. There’s a big need for a pickup, but the problem is that calling in it’s kind of a big hassle and it’s also a big hassle for you guys to, to answer all of those calls. And so what we’ve been doing is allowing our customers to text an order. So you just create a quick form. You send it to your customers through a text message and that gives customers a really quick way just to order, especially on repeat so that they can easily get the food or beverage that they really love from you even during this really tough crisis.

Stacey: Those are a lot of good examples there, Matt. So what about retail? Retail has been very detrimentally impacted by COVID-19. Could they benefit from doing text message marketing?

Matt: Oh, totally. The same deal. So the same thing with the gift cards. It really depends because if your business is closed down completely, the gift cards are your best bet. If for retail, especially building relationships nowadays, because especially with e-commerce and a lot of these bigger players like Amazon coming to the front, I mean, relationships are your bread and butter. I know I was over a couple of buddies place and they have their local places they go to not because they love the products. Like even if you do have the best products, but they’ll go places because they like the people behind the businesses. And so the best way for you guys to foster those relationships is to build out your community. So what’s kind of interesting about text message marketing compared to email marketing, is that emails nowadays, if you’ve ever seen a quick email from a business, it feels very like poster board.

It’s like it’s talking at somebody, whereas a text message it’s personalized. It feels like it’s coming from a real person. So you, as the business owner is sending your customers, text messages makes them feel like, hey, they’re communicating to me and I can really understand the people behind the business. Especially nowadays building that relationship now means that they’ll doubly trust you and be more loyal to you when they have more money and when your business can open up again. And so just creating content to help people out with their time of need is really important.

Stacey: Absolutely. And this is where small business shines, right? Cause you alluded to it, it’s the people behind the business who makes it what it is. And I know that communities are really rallying behind their local and small businesses. They really want us.

So let’s look at one other type of example, let’s say like a home-based business, a plumber and electrician, a carpet cleaner, a home cleaner could they benefit from text message marketing?

A Marketing Tool That Builds Relationships, Even In A COVID World

Matt: Oh, totally. Actually one of our customers, their name is Hyde Helper. They’re basically not a maid service, they are helpers. And so they kind of do this whole model where they’re at home cleaning. They’re like a task rabbit, but a more curated experience. They’re using us for our reputation management. It’s kind of important for their brands and their a prime example of how this can be used. So relationships, especially when you’re letting someone into your home, trusting them and having that one on one conversation that so I know when you’re coming in, I know when you’re leaving. I know that if I’ve never done business with you, that letting you into my home, isn’t going to be a bad thing. And so reputation management if you have customers and you’re going to understand what do they think of you give them a quick survey, a feedback survey and create a point system may be one to 10. If they rank your service from seven to 10, that they love you so much, then you can automate a text message to them that says, hey, we super appreciate your business.

We’re so glad you’ve been happy with us. Can you leave us a Google review or a Yelp review, but then for the people who may be scored a little bit lower and they said, hey, I haven’t had a great experience with you. That’s a really great opportunity for this to shine for you to go and automate a text message back to them and say, I know you haven’t had the best experience. How can I help you?  My name’s Matt, I’m the owner of this business and I really want to make sure that I’m taking care of you. So on both ends, you’re creating brand advocates for your business and making it so that new customers will trust you. But then for the people who may be detractors, or maybe didn’t have the greatest experience and might go to another competitor, this is a great time for you to make it up for them and show that you really do care about them. And my experience working with small businesses, or any kind of business, is that the ones who’ve had a rough experience, or aren’t really sure about you to begin with, if you can convert them into an advocate and show them you really care, they’re loyal to you forever.

Stacey: Absolutely. It kind of ties in with the N in my ACTION Marketing System, which I talk about in my book, Small Business Marketing Made EZ. The N is for nurture right? Building those relationships. Because again, you don’t want the transactions in the door, out the door. You want to build relationships. So, Matt, thank you. You’ve given us so many great examples from just building a relationship to making money, to then getting reviews and building your reputation management. So the small business owners in the community out there are probably thinking, this is great, but you know, where do I start? Like, what should a business owner think about if they want to get started in text marketing?

Matt: To prepare for this video we actually created a quick guide for small businesses. Everything, a small business needs to know about text marketing, how they can get started, what are the best practices for you. The way we’ve set this up is you can text us a text, smallbiz to our own response number, which is (918) 248-6020. So again, just text smallbiz  to (918) 248-6020 and we’ll send you an automated text message with your guide. From there you can text us back and forth and we’re happy to answer any questions you guys have.

Awesome. So there you go. You can try this out, try for free before you buy, right. That’s a great marketing strategy and see how it works. And Matt, I know you were so giving of your time and just, you’re such a great resource. How can people get in touch with you to learn more about text marketing for their business?

Matt: Right. So, always have to plug the website for a RespondFlow. So it’s just www.respondflow.com. You see the copy on my shirt. But then you can also reach me on LinkedIn, on Twitter at Matt Matt Morfopoulos, big long name, M O R F O P O U L O S. If you just DM or send me a quick message, I’m always happy to answer any questions.

Stacey: Awesome. Any last words of advice for small business owners wanting to use text marketing?

Matt: It’s all about the relationship and make sure that you understand your superpower, because if you understand your superpowers and who you are, then your customers will flock to you, and just the right ones will.

Stacey: All of you, you really are true superheroes. Thanks for all you do, right, everybody. This is Small Business, Stacey, your Small Biz Marketing Specialist here to help you get your Marketing into Action by learning how to use and leverage the power of text marketing, so you can become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz.

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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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