As an electronic device that has been an integral part of our home entertainment systems for more than 100 years, radio deserves a curtain call for its ability to keep people glued to news and music stations. Because of its ongoing popularity, radio is a highly competitive market. How do you get your station to stand out?
The answer lies in text marketing for radio stations.
As its name suggests, text marketing involves sending promotional messages to subscribers’ phones. Smartphones are one of the most accessible technologies globally available. More than three-quarters of the world’s population owns at least one cell phone. Statistics demonstrate that weekly SMS messaging announcements sent to subscribers a half hour before a broadcast can boost ratings by up to 30%.
The question is not whether to build a texting platform for your radio station. Instead, the question is how to make text message marketing for radio stations work for you.
Reasons Why SMS Marketing Software Works for Radio Stations
Two of the best benefits of SMS marketing are that it’s affordable and can easily integrate into existing marketing strategies. After paying for a short code and service package from an SMS provider, radio stations can focus on growing their SMS subscriber list and using it to promote themselves. Text marketing can be used alongside email, television, and other traditional marketing mediums. In addition to these two benefits, SMS messaging also comes with several others.
Communicate in Real Time
When you run contests or ask for song requests, listener participation is integral. Communication delays can alienate your listeners and disrupt your studio schedule. SMS marketing for radio stations allows you and your listeners to communicate in real time. You immediately receive their messages when they text in, and they can immediately receive an answering text from your station. Real time communication is especially important when running events such as donation drives or text-to-win contests.
Attract More Listeners
Text marketing for radio stations represents an effective way to attract more listeners and grow your consumer base. From holding trivia contests to announcing upcoming local events, you can attract more listeners and make your station the go-to source for a genre of music, news, or even spiritual guidance. SMS can easily help you serve your listeners’ communities, which in turn strengthens their loyalty to your station.
Expand Your Reach
With SMS as an easy way to communicate with your growing base of listeners, you can expand your radio station’s reach. Current listeners represent a rich source of ideas to tap into the potential of future listeners. Using your station and SMS, you can ask for song ideas, arrange interviews with prominent guests, set up appearances at local events, partner with regional organizations for a good cause, and more. Listeners often can help you implement innovative entertainment suggestions that no other radio station is doing.
Increase Listener Loyalty
Grocery stores, hair salons, and even gardening centers have loyalty programs— so why shouldn’t you? You can turn you SMS subscriber list into a platform for rewarding station loyalty. Since SMS marketing requires subscriber consent, you already know the users who sign up for your texts are serious about devoting time to hear your station. Let them know you appreciate them by giving them access to exclusive content, sending out samples of items your station promotes, notifying them of a subscriber shout-out, or even entering them into subscriber-only contests.
How to Build an Effective Texting Platform
The first step for building an effective texting platform is to collaborate with a highly rated SMS marketing provider. Providers each offer different features and pricing packages, so choose the one that’s the right fit for you. Some stations might need global reach, while others rely on fast throughput. Find the company that can best addresses your marketing needs.
Select the Right Keywords
Keywords are the words your listeners type in to respond to your messages. Keywords can be regular words, a combination of letters and numbers, or even emojis that are universally recognized. Your radio station can use keywords for text-to-win contests, donation or blood drive pledges, event RSVPs, and more. For example, your radio station might tell listeners to text TOYS4TOTS to pledge a donation when running a holiday toy drive in collaboration with that organization. Keywords are a powerful way to connect with listeners.
Build Powerful SMS Campaigns
No contracts, no hidden fees, and no credit card information required to get started.
Use Auto Responses Well
Auto responses are most commonly used when a new subscriber signs up for your SMS list. These auto responses often include a welcome message, thank you offer, and important opt-in or opt-out information. However, auto responses can also be used in a variety of other situations. Your radio station can link auto responses to keywords so that users aren’t left waiting for a response. For example, subscribers who send in their best scary selfies for your station’s Halloween contest can be automatically thanked for their submission and sent a fun selfie in return from your radio hosts.
Grow Your SMS Subscriber List
You can never have enough SMS subscribers. By working diligently to increase the number of subscribers, you’ll be able to grow your listener base and expand your community reach. Though we’ve included some ways you can use text marketing in earlier sections, we’ve included a few more below to give you an extra edge:
- Promote your SMS program on social media
- Present SMS as a way to answer on-air calls to action
- Run contests exclusively for SMS subscribers
- Include opt-in information in your emails and newsletters
- App an opt-in widget to your station’s website
Send Incredible Offers
You may have already included an incredible offer in your thank you message to new subscribers. However, your work doesn’t stop there. All of your messages should contain valuable information and periodic offers to keep your listeners engaged. For a music station, this might mean giving away free concert tickets or VIP passes to a meet-and-greet. If you run a news station, consider giving away publication subscriptions or passes to related events or museums.
How to Optimize Text Message Marketing for Radio Stations
Now that you’ve leveraged text marketing and grown a substantial SMS subscriber list, it’s time to optimize your text message marketing. This is all about perfecting your promotions and connecting with your community. Partnering with well-respected organizations, big or small, is a great way to generate more interest in your radio station, as is becoming more active in your community. For example, use your SMS platform to promote live shows at a local bar or restaurant or have your station host its own live show at an upcoming event. To increase listener participation, request suggestions about what organizations to promote and partner with.
Run Text-to-Win Contests
You may already do this, but gauge how effective these contests are. Which garner more participation? Which have more social media interaction? Analyze and change your contests in response to feedback from listeners so that your contests and other special promotions are as effective as possible. In return, your loyal base of listeners will spread the word about your radio contest to people who may not have been interested before.
Include News and Notifications
Studies show more than 240 million Americans listen to at least one radio show each month. That is an impressive number that you can use to your advantage. Radio stations often include traffic reports and other useful information for listeners, but you can take this one step further. Between your regularly scheduled content, include emergency information and breaking news so that listeners don’t have to change the station. SMS subscribers can also receive such notifications via text, increasing your reach and boosting your credibility within the community.
Send VIP Invitations
Make your listeners feel special and utilize your loyalty program to invite them to special VIP or other subscriber-only events. You can send the invitations via SMS to all subscribers, subscribers who have been part of your SMS program for a certain time period, or filter the invitations by another criteria. Listeners can meet a band before a concert, attend a private Q&A session with a prominent politician, receive a private cooking lesson from a chef, and more.
Let Dash Notify Devise Your Texting Platform
With Dash Notify, you can send up to 200 messages per second to over 200 countries with our lightning-fast throughput and international coverage. Combined with our scalable features and analytics tracking, we’re sure we can meet the unique needs of your radio station. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create an extensive SMS marketing platform.