Thanks again for the birthday wishes! I felt very special and celebrated, due almost entirely to the fact that I have an amazing husband who thought of absolutely everything I would like. Lucky me! I also super appreciate the calls, texts, emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts. THANK YOU!!! That was awesome. I feel super special and not at all depressed about my Milestone Birthday.
Today I will attempt to make you laugh by showing you a series of completely random texts I got from a wine store that is using texting as a marketing tool. This is not the same wine store I mentioned last week—this ANOTHER wine store that I tried before I realized that Costco on the east coast sells wine. I’m not exactly picking on this wine store because I do think it’s good when small businesses make ANY effort toward marketing (many of them don’t), but this one is so random and funny, I thought it belonged on here. You'll notice that I cleverly used my advanced knowledge of PhotoShop to hide the name of the wine store so it doesn't look like I'm picking on them.
First of all, I didn’t ask to be opted in to SMS/ text message marketing, from this store so I found it super random one day to just receive this text:
HEY THERE FROM (wine store), A LIMITED AMOUNT OF BRECA OLD VINE 100% GARNACHA IS IN, ALSO THE EMPLOYEE PICK FAVORITE LANDER JENKINS
As I mentioned, I didn’t opt in for this advertising, so I’m wondering—what if this message had been sent to a non-cell type phone? How much time do they spend removing people from this list? This seems like a strange way to build your client base, to say the least. Also, I think they might actually be violating an FCC ruling by using my personal phone number to market to me.
Another thing that’s funny about this message (and all of the ones that came after it) is its strange grammatical structure, almost as if someone drank too much wine before composing it. It’s all caps, has very little punctuation, and seems to trail off without finishing its thought. It almost seems like I am being drunk-texted by this wine store, does it not?
TODAY IS THE DAY (wine store) GRAND TASTING SUPPORTING WILDLIFE FROM 1-5 PM
Supporting wildlife? What? What does wine have to do with wildlife? Also, I am unlikely to drive to a wine store to attend a tasting at one in the afternoon, because then I will have to drive home. Shouldn’t this text mention bringing a designated driver to accompany me to this tasting? Perhaps that person will also be interested in supporting wildlife, thus killing two birds with one stone (but not really, since birds are wildlife).
Here’s the other weird thing about these texts—they come at completely random times during the day, NONE of which are times when I am even thinking about buying wine, which I usually do after work or on the weekends. I don’t spend time during the regular workday thinking about wine, and if I did, I suppose that would make me a wino, and winos are unlikely to have cellphones that could be used for this kind of marketing campaign. This is a marketing fait accompli, people.
To recap so far—these texts are unsolicited, have poor grammar, and arrive at random, inappropriate times during the day. This is the opposite of a successful text campaign. This is now a campaign that is making me laugh at the wine store and not want to go there.
GOOD MORNING (wine store) IS FEATURING U’CUMPARE NERO D’AVOLA FOR WINE OF THE WEEK. SMOOTH RUBY RED AND BALANCED WITH SUPPLE TANNIS. BACARDI TASTING TODAY
This one reads like a World War II news dispatch. “Smooth ruby red and balanced, STOP. Bacardi tasting today, STOP.”
Is now a good time to mention that this wine store obviously knows nothing about me, since I don’t like Bacardi at all? When you’re marketing, a good idea is to segment your list into “People who are likely to buy certain things,” then market to those people. This all caps, random-times, shotgun approach is not accomplishing that.
This strangeness got even more strange when I finally went to the store and asked them to take me off the list (no, in case you’re wondering, texting “STOP IT,” or “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE” was not successful), and the wine store did not know how to do this. This means they hired an actual marketing company to do this, which is even worse because marketing companies should know not to do all the things I just mentioned. Because I own a marketing company, I am now embarrassed for whomever is sending these texts.
GOOD MORNING! WE NOW HAVE A LIMITED SUPPLY OF BOURBON FROM THE LOCAL DISTILLERY. BATCH
Again—huh? You’ll notice that the text INCLUDES the words “Good Morning,” so they know that this text is being sent out at 9am. Who buys bourbon at 9am?
I don’t want to criticize without offering something productive, so I will say that if you have a small business and you know you should be doing some marketing but you don’t really know what to do, I think you should take one of your lower-level employees (like a receptionist or assistant) and have them take either this class or this class, then have them do your social media/ email type marketing during non-productive times. I have found that an in-house employee, even if you have to train them up a little on grammar and tools, is a more cost-effective advocate for your business than a marketing company who is probably costing you too much and is texting me about sales on bourbon at nine in the morning. Neither of these courses are mine, but I have taken both of them, and they are definitely worth the money. Note: these courses are both geared toward consultants who are trying to learn new methods and work with more clients, but I actually think small business people should take the time to look into this kind of stuff, because it saves time and money (and costly mistakes like the one I’ve described above). That’s my two cents. Take it or leave it, or GO BUY SOME BOURBON AT NINE AM. Whatever you’d like.