In this video I will show you how to forward your Gmail emails to your mobile phone as SMS text messages.
With our online SMS sign-up forms, you can collect the mobile phone numbers of all your website visitors. Once you have embedded the form on your website or blog, your mobile marketing database will start to grow. All of the contacts collected will also be automatically inserted into the group you have chosen. Later, you can send a group text message to everyone who has signed up with only a few clicks.
Here is an example of what you can embed on your website or blog. You can test the sign-up process. You can easily change any element, including the color, theme, fonts, or size.
You can access the forms under My Services -> Forms.
There are going to be quite a few screenshots in this post, all of them taken from the TextMagic control panel. As such, you might find things a bit easier if you actually have your control panel open while you read and explore the tools as we discuss them. If you don’t yet have a TextMagic account, you can create one using the links on our homepage (remember it’s free to sign up – you don’t have to pay for anything until you purchase credits to send messages).
OK, so we’re going to send a marketing message to a list of recipients I’ve created. Because I want to use this list more than once without having to re-enter the numbers every time, I’ve created a group called “example marketing list”. I can see it in my group manager, which I get to by clicking the “groups” link in the left hand nav of my TextMagic control panel or the top nav of one of the contacts pages:
You’ll notice that to the right of the name of each group are three links. “Send” is a quick way of sending an SMS to everyone in the group – handy if you need to get out a message in a hurry, in response to fast-moving events. “Delete” is obvious. “Edit” allows you to rename the group, edit its description and, crucially, add and remove numbers from it.
(Top tip: it’s useful to give your groups meaningful names and descriptions: “Mac users aged 25 to 30″ is more useful than “List 1″. Why? Because if you’re smart about your SMS marketing you’ll have a number of groups, tightly defined by market segment. It’s useful to be able to tell them apart.)
What happens if you click “Send”? You get taken automatically to the main message sending screen, which will look a bit like this (with my annotations):
You’ll see that the system has automatically inserted the name of your group, in square brackets, into the recipients box. You could have done this manually if you came to the screen another way, and you can also insert more groups (in square brackets) or individual numbers (not bracketed) – remember to separate them with commas.
Now it’s time to write our message. We can write a single, simple message from scratch, with no personalisation. That’s what I’ve done here: “Hello – be sure to check out TextMagic.com!”. However, that’s not very interesting and not very flexible, especially if you’re running a large number of simultaneous SMS marketing campaigns and you need to target different audiences very precisely.
The “template” and “tag” options, shown in the top right of the screenshot above, help us manage things more effectively. You can use the template tool to choose from a number of templates that you have pre-designed and stored in the system (visit the “templates” link in the left-hand nav to see how it works). Tagging is even smarter, as you can see here:
As you’ve probably figured out, you can use tags to send a personalised message to each member of the group. When the tag variable is inserted, it looks like this:
(Note that if you’re using tag information when sending to members of a group, the members also have to be listed separately, with their name data, in your “contacts” list and attached to groups from there – they’ll show up on the group’s edit page. You can enter mobile numbers directly into groups from the edit page, but you can’t insert name data this way.)
OK, so we’ve learned how to plan and set up a campaign, source lists, manage groups and create targeted, personalised messages by segment. But a good SMS marketing campaign is a two-way conversation: in the next post we’ll look at how you can use TextMagic to let your customers contact you via text message.