When it comes to planning a health event, one of the most important and challenging tasks is promotion. There are numerous strategies you can use to boost attendance, but text messaging offers many benefits over other communication channels, including higher open rates and faster response times.
So, where do you start? When developing your text message marketing campaign, it’s important to not only grab the attention of your audience, but send them text reminders and updates so that they are excited to attend.
Here are 5 SMS messaging strategies that your organization can use to increase attendance at your next health event:
1. A Good Hook Goes A Long Way
With text messaging, you only have 160 characters to make an impactful impression. That’s why it’s important to provide a compelling hook that draws users in and makes them want to learn more and get excited about your event.
When developing a hook, consider the following questions that subscribers might have about your event:
- What is the theme of the event? For instance, if your event is focused on healthy eating, incorporate messaging that promotes this theme. Accomplish this by sending MMS messages with pictures of your nutritious foods, recipes, and fitness regimens.
- Why should they attend? Think about your target audience and be as specific as possible. What will they get out of the event? Emphasize the benefits as well as any free resources or merchandise they will receive.
- Who is speaking? Let your audience know if you've invited someone notable in the industry or community to speak at your event.
- How do you register? Don’t forget to tell viewers how they can register for your event. Include a link to the registration page in your text message or allow them to quickly RSVP by texting in a mobile keyword or responding to your invite with a Yes or No. With a 45% response rate compared to email’s 6%, texting will give you the most accurate headcount to expect at your event.
By highlighting some of these questions in your texts, you can start to build excitement in the days and weeks leading up the event.
2. Send Personalized Messages To Maximize Engagement
One way to increase engagement with your SMS marketing campaigns is by personalizing your texts for each subscriber. Use the reader’s first name and tailor the message so it appeals to their unique needs and interests. About 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones, so sending information through text will maximize engagement with your event. A personalized text grabs their attention, provides captivating information, and displays how your event simply can’t afford to be missed.
As the event gets closer, send targeted SMS messages from colleagues who have already built a connection with the subscriber. For instance, if the user has already developed a relationship with your community coordinator, send the message from this individual. People are more likely to open, read, and care about messages that come from individuals they already have rapport with. Studies frequently support this, with new prospects engaging at a 20% rate, whereas existing customers engage at a 70% rate.
3. Target The Right Audience
Just like in email or direct mail marketing, segmenting your audience is important in text message marketing. This allows you to effectively reach the right people in your subscriber list. By contacting the people who will most likely be interested in attending your event, you can ensure that you’re using your marketing budget to its full potential. Text messaging is also a great way to send surveys to your attendees, allowing you to get better feedback and engage them through fun quizzes.
There are a number of ways that you can filter your audience. If the event is local, you may only want to target people living in or around the event area. After sending the prospecting text message, you can then segment out the subscribers who have already registered, so that you avoid sending irrelevant messages. Using SMS marketing, you can also send a final alert to those who have read the message but not yet registered.
4. Send Out Multi-Channel Reminders
About a week before the event, use text messaging to send out automated reminders. Text marketing automation guarantees your reminders are sent to the right person, at the right time, and with the right message. By scheduling your texts in advance and having them delivered when you want them seen, you’ll maximize read and response rate. It’s also a great way to send attendees things like schedules or give them parking information, which is something that everyone appreciates.
For those who have not yet registered, you can add a sense of urgency and give more reasons as to why they should attend. For instance, you might send out countdown messages that tell those who have read your messages how many days they have left to sign up. These SMS reminders prove to be effective for reminding attendees, because 98% of all text messages are read.
While text is the most reliable and effective method, combining your message distribution with multiple channels can maximize event awareness and attendance. Relying on a single channel for reminding your subscribers of your health event may increase the chance of missing out on opportunities for connecting with potential attendees. Sophisticated SMS services, like Trumpia, offer a multi-channel feature which enables your reminders to be shared on all communication channels simultaneously, such as email, text, voice broadcast, MMS, and social media.
You can also use SMS messages to communicate the logistics of the event. You might send out a text letting those who have registered know where they should park or pick up their event materials. If there is any unusual traffic or construction taking place during the event day, text messages are also a great way to communicate this situational and time-sensitive information to your audience.
5. Advertise The Key Benefits Of Your Next Events
If you want more people to attend your event, it’s important that you advertise your health event effectively. Messages that show the benefits of your event will have much higher reach and will show your audience the value of attending your event, leading to more signups. Most successful health events have an educational component, opportunities for your organization to make meaningful connections with attendees, and actionable takeaways that people can start using right away to improve their health.
Once your organization has planned these key components of your event, you can then advertise these highlights through text message. For example, if you are going to give tips on how to create a meal plan, you might decide to hand out free meal planning templates at the event. You can then send out a text blast leading up to the event to let readers know that they won’t want to miss the meal planning sheets you’ll be handing out at the event.
Getting people to your health event may seem like an uphill battle, but an SMS service can help you overcome the hurdles of attracting attendees. To produce the most effective health event promotional strategy, click here for more texting tips.