5 Reasons You Should be Starting SMS Marketing This Holiday Season!


Considering that the new iphone X is $1000 and people are gobbling it up or have plans to as soon as they are eligible for an upgrade, as a business owner it is really time to consider the best way to reach customers per their mobile device.

If just one customer is willing to spend that amount on this device, (It is more than an actual 50 inch HD smart TV), shouldn’t businesses be turning to a mobile first focus on their marketing?  Let’s dig into this for just a minute.

First, make sure you have a mobile responsive website. Look up your website on your own phone. Google is ranking depending on this alone! If you have to scroll left and right to see your website on your phone,  it is definitely time to upgrade. Next, if you can’t tap to call your business you are annoying anyone who wants to reach out to you, trust me.  Thirdly, if you are not responding to your reviews and also have your listing on all 300 major listing websites, you are definitely going to come in last when people search on your phone for your services and products. These things alone define a great mobile user experience and that is what Google is looking for. 

So, how do you reach customers and prospects on mobile after they have found you and  maybe even have been to your business? You need a good follow up strategy. That is where SMS Text  Marketing comes in.  The most widely used app on any smartphone is the text messaging app. It is universal.  Look at your phone right now and see how many unopened emails you have. Next look at how many unopened text messages. If your phone is sitting in front of you during a business meeting, and of course you have it on silent, a text message pops up on your phone, it is now an involuntary reflex to look at the message. That is probably why Forbes says text messages have a 99% read rate.

Why should you use it for your business and start this holiday season?

  1. Setup is instant. You can really sign up for a  bulk sms texting program and start in 2-3 days by using signage, web and social promotion,  along with a strong call to action.  For example:   “Text to win an iPhone X”, (Can you imagine the signups you would get?) “Text to win a $100 Gift Card” , or “Join our Mobile VIP club and get 50% Off One Item”.  Any of these will work and when you are busy with Black Friday traffic and Small Business and Cyber Saturday, signage, website and social promotion of this will give you a big bang up of signups! Got lines?Give them something to do and sign up as they are probably on their phone anyway.
  2. Instant and affordable Loyalty Program.  now  you have a list to remarket to with 99% instant reach in minutes. I dare you to tell me what is better than that? no pints cards, apps to download. Simple.
  3.  Boost your slow times.  Now you have a way to send out an instant incentive with any limitations you want instantly. You can immediately send messages throughout the shopping and dining season. When things slow down you can create your own “VIP Only Flash Sale” and you will get a higher response rate than email or social  where people may not see it for days.
  4. Make your customers feel you! Sending them thanks and praise, and making them feel special with a simple text, add a link or image to dress it up. This results in brand loyalty, and there is no downside to that.
  5. You can boost reviews and social reach, just insert a link and ask! Review sites cannot detect this and you will get a great boost in rankings in return!

Any questions?  Contact me here:

Shannon Panaro

Mobile Marketing Maven


What Does Express Written Consent Mean?

If you are a business owner or marketer,  here is a great video to help you understand the legal ways for customers to OPT in to text messages from businesses.

Just because you have phone numbers from your customers does not mean you have express written consent for you to send them text messages and be autodialed.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What if every business who has your phone number started texting you! Make sure you are not violating Federal Compliance, wasting your investment,  and setting yourself up for a lawsuit!

Seek out companies who are 100% compliant.  Some companies will say they can upload lists, but eventually,  you will get caught. It is very easy to grow a massive list from your raving fans! Find an expert and work with them on a Mobile Strategy, that s safe and works!

Tatango is an industry thought leader for Text Marketing.  https://youtu.be/Dob9vzZRxL4


It’s hard to keep up with all the promotional holidays!

Here is my number one tool to keep my clients engaging with their customers and not miss promotional opportunities to send them a text message!  Just click on the calendar above and follow the instructions in the article. You will have a ready calendar on your mobile or desktop calendar every day!  Here are some awesome examples of fun messages you can send to your customers resulting in extra visits.


Still think your customers may not like text messages? Let me ask you a question, would you rather text two words in and get personal VIP messages from your favorite business a few times per month, or download an app, write down your email address, or fill out some form to get a card that will get lost? Text messages are the #1 preferred way to communicate for customers. The sooner you start building your list, the sooner you will get improved sales and visits! I recently asked my social following if they would like text offers from their favorite businesses. Here is what I found, they enthusiastically wanted them!! Not sure if your customers will? Simply ask them via social media! Maybe your restaurant was even mentioned here! It is very simple. The reason I offer it to businesses is it is the MOST affordable way to instantly reach the MOST customers for businesses. EVERYONE texts! 15 years of media I can sell anything and this is what I choose. It is simply the best.


Restaurant Week… Getting them back

Buffalo, NY has been named America’s Favorite City  in 2016 according to Travel and Leisure Magazine. A large part of this theory is the resurgence of restaurants that has happened over the last few years. Just a search for restaurants on Yelp near Buffalo turns up over 3411 results. According to Neilson, Buffalo, NY has a DMA of 585,350. Population according to New Census Bureau  estimates,  the population of the Buffalo metro area, which includes Erie and Niagara counties, is 1,135,230 as of last July 1. How do each of those 3411 restaurants, reach the people in their city and get them in the door?

This week is Restaurant week in Buffalo, NY. 218 local restaurants are feverishly participating to attract new customers and show their stuff. They all feature a fixed menu at a few different price points and are listed by area on the local restaurant week website. It is estimated that there is an 8 million dollar impact on the local economy during that week. That is incredible!

But what about after that?

The most efficient way to reach these customers again is by offering them the option to get VIP text alerts. The customers opt in by text message after being invited by the server taking their food order and a  small tasteful handout with the info. Everyone at the table joins in return for an enter to win or money off now incentive. They text a vanity keyword for the particular business to a shortcode, which enters them instantly into a database, from which the owner has a dashboard and can send them out on the spot offers, events, birthday/anniversary offers directly by text. the customer can opt out any time, simply by replying stop. But they won’t, if they love that business.

Why haven’t ALL restaurants implemented this as their main mobile marketing strategy?

  1. They don’t know how easy and inexpensive it is.
  2. They think customers won’t sign up.
  3. They rely too heavily on social media likes and views, which don’t necessarily convert to sales.

Not only can they retain more regular customers this way and reward them for their loyalty and extra visits bringing friends, they can use this method in all of their media assets. For example, all current outbound  advertising to capture new mobile subscribers, saving the need to spend on advertising as much down the road.

“Customer acquisition cost is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. The study also states that the customer retention rate can increase profits by 25-95%. Another statistic indicates the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as compared to the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” The  Restaurant Times

Just capturing 10%  of that 8 million dollar impact can result in millions over the rest of the year. $800,000 times just 2 visits is  $1.6 million. How many of those restaurants used text marketing. Maybe 5 that I could find.

So, if you are a restaurant owner, it’s to late to get started with this now for Local  Restaurant Week, but imagine if you can start as soon as in two weeks capturing each and every customer who enters your doorway, attends your food festival, receives your takeout and catering? Even if you only capture 10% the stats above greatly increase your chance of securing loyalty, visits and your customers bringing their friends back to your business again and again.

This is the results of signups of just one local Buffalo client the last three months. They are blowing away their organic facebook reach of 10% already.


For more information on pricing and how it works, click here and get educated about the easiest way, the #1 fastest way on the planet to reach customers and get more visits.

Shannon Panaro

Regional Partner, National Sales Development


How to get free text marketing for life!

planetYour customers are already getting texts from businesses. Why not yours?

Just ask my 17 year old daughter, or the suburban professional women you know, and even men who like tools. Chipotle, Lord & Taylor all the way to Harbor Freight Tools. If you need to reach your customers instantly, away from the drama of social media and want to provide them some easy VIP love, read on!

The top five reasons why consumers opt in to a brand’s text messages are:

– coupons or deals (77%)

– personal alerts (50%)

– being in the loop (48%)

– more meaningful content (33%)

– no need to visit a physical location/website/app for information (31%).

74% of respondents report an improved overall impression of businesses that interact with them via text messaging.

MY FAVORITE: Only 17% of respondents consider SMS messages sent by companies to be intrusive. This figure is significantly higher among those who are not opted in to receive texts from a brand, with 52% saying they’re disruptive. We only provide opt-in texting:)

Customers also stated that SMS services helped them to ‘feel like they are cared about’ and ‘feel in control’ of the services they received. (source)

Proof Customers Love this on a Local Level!

This merchant who I have worked with for 2 years just has an amazing story.

I reminded them to send out a picture of their heart shaped pizza, they sent it out at 2:00 on Valentines Day.

this is what they sent:

They offered NO DISCOUNT. Sold out of dough at 8:00. I know, as my daughter works there, and said it was crazy! She said according to her bewildered Manager, it was dead on Valentine’s day last year! So I chided the owner:)

This is one of many reasons why how your customers will love this!!! It is worth every penny of $3.00 per day. with the new freer4life program only available through Sentext Solutions, You actually can reduce your monthly investment by 25% with just 1 referral, and 25% each for the next 3! Yes you can get this awesome tool for free with the new free4LIFE promotion! Click here to see how it works!You will see live local customers success stories and examples!!!

Shannon Panaro

Regional Partner, National Sales Development



Text Marketing for Franchises

Pretty brunette sending a text

There is no doubt about it. Text Messaging is the #1 fastest way to reach your customers with the most instant impact. If you can reach your customers instantly, where they look on average over 150 times per day, on the face of their mobile phone, why wouldn’t you?

As a Franchisee, your Corporate could be way behind the curve on this technology and you could be missing out until they catch up. If you have the autonomy to market locally, this may be the glorious answer you have been looking for.

Are they still pushing an app? Do you have local control over the incentives pushed out? Do they speak to your local community with your own local language? There is one universal app already on everyone’s phone, the texting app. No one deletes it. Many articles in the past few years quote that 70-90 percent of apps are deleted after just one use. Storage, bugs, impatience are all reasons for this. Everyone already knows how to text. It is natural and succinct.

With texts having a 98% read rate, you really have no choice but to investigate as a business owner. There is no other media available that has that astounding percentage.

Compare this to the recently reported 10% social reach and 20% email in multiple resources. It is a no-brainer.

If you want, try out Text Marketing in just 1 location and move to your other locations once you have achieved results you are happy with. It does take time to get new subscribers, but once you have them, you can reach them again and again with enticing offers and announcements. There are a couple main ways to gather subscribers, and the best being a Keyword Campaign that people can simply text into from wherever they see it. This is why kiosk, POS or type in programs have a huge short coming. How does one join your text club from an advertisement in their local newspaper or mailer? Not to mention the clunky equipment that may take up space and use your business wireless data.

You can also utilize Keywords just like Promo Codes to build lists for individual locations and media campaigns. For instance, you can have a separate keyword per location to track participation by customers and promoting by staff. You can also use a particular keyword for each advertising campaign you do, so you can track how that media performs. For instance “Text PIZZA to 11111 to get free small fries today!” (example). This would be displayed on signage, digital menus, handouts, table tents, window clings etc. You would also have this campaign on your local media.

The Key Part is to persistently and consistently build your list as quickly as possible.  you can start sending messages right away, your customers will be surprised and delighted and tell their friends to join. You can add links to anything, social media, videos, online ordering, delivery services, your website etc. It is best to have your customers invited at point of purchase each and every time. Make it part of your employees required job to ask them simply, “Have you joined our VIP Mobile club yet?”

Send out fun short messages with offers and events 1-2 times per week  and keep them consistent. Customers see the text, and bring them to your business just like a mobile coupon. You can track these offers with your POS system. Keep your redemption periods short. You can easily send 1-2 messages with up to 140 characters in each. The right platform will ensure you are TCPA compliant and allow customers to opt out with each message.

If your Corporate is using this already, consider if you would like a local consultant to help you have your own control. Sentext Solutions is a company already working with Major franchises but gives you a dedicated Rep locally or Senior Rep remotely if you wish. This way you have a dedicated go to person to help you launch and optimize your results. If you use a marketing agency, and this has not been offered to you yet, do not be afraid to work with a text marketing rep separately and have them consult on how your marketing agency can help. Chances are your marketing agency is not up to speed on this, and may not feel comfortable with it. It is an inexpensive platform, so also may not be attractive to them if they are paid commission on media buys. If they are on board and looking to get you the best results possible, they can be an invaluable asset on how to best leverage this tool.

Here are some added benefits, you can send surveys, ask for reviews, have a birthday club, text 2 win, send reminders, pre-schedule messages, recurring broadcasts and link to anything digital. One thing is for sure, the sooner you start, the sooner your list will be built and you can start reaching your customers instantly.

Shannon Panaro, Regional Partner
Sentext Solutions


Considering Text Marketing?


When I approach a business about this tool…

They are immediately skeptical for the most part. They are mostly afraid I am just trying to sell advertising. I don’t. To me, advertising is paying to reach someone else’s audience. With this tool, you are building your own audience that you can reach time and time again. To me it is the ultimate power tool to reach your audience and have complete control doing so! If you implement text marketing in your current media assets, you will be capturing customers mobile numbers that they are opting in for voluntarily!

When you have thousands you can reach by text one or 2 times per week in minutes with a time sensitive  VIP offer, won’t that save you, on your “advertising” budget down the road? You can link to any social, website, video that you want. It is so dynamic in such a simplistic way.

What is surprising, is that when I ask business owners if they currently get text messages from any businesses, 90% of them do! Whether it is from a big brand store, their bank/credit card, doctor or car dealership…  they are already using it. So why wouldn’t their customers?  Please visit my business website to learn more about how this can work for your business. sentextsolutions.com

When choosing a service to use, if a rep reaches out to you in person, go ahead and ask them about pricing, value of services, and how many messages you can send without added fees. If you are searching online, be very cautious. I believe you need a personal consultant with one on one time to help you with this to ensure success. You need a human being that can brainstorm and give you the very best ways to be successful soonest!

You would be surprised on how inexpensive it is. The platform I provide for instance has flexible pricing, but 98% of my customers choose an unlimited plan for $99.00 a month. You can utilize up to 20,000 messages per month, with unlimited artwork design, keywords, and get a personal local consultant. I did a cost comparison with some of the companies you pull up first on google, and this is what I found with what was available online.


When considering what you pay for direct mail, social media, digital and print… you can start not building your list with some creative incentives and start saving on your media spend a lot sooner.

Shannon Panaro

Marketing Textpert





Top 5 Fears Restaurant Owners Have about Text Marketing:DEBUNKED

1. They are afraid “customers won’t want text updates”. (They opt in for them from their phone and give permission. They can opt out any time simply by texting the word “stop”)
2. “What if they all opt out?” (With the correct campaign strategy and implementation less than 5% opt out as an industry average)
3. “I already have email lists, why should I start over” (Email open rate is 20% text is 98%… Do the math) If you have an email list of 2000, but only 20% open rate, you really have an email list of 400 which you can build a text club of in one month, in come cases, one week!)
4. “I invest in social media.”(It is impossible to reach all of your fans at once in minutes like text. Organic social reach is time consuming and reaches 10-20%)
5. “It’s probably too expensive.”(Expensive is paying for and investing time in tools that don’t work and don’t directly result in trackable sales!) Is the cost of one cup of coffee a day too expensive to have a direct line of communication w
ith your hungriest fans no matter what social ap they use? Check out more info on my page here:) Sentext Solutions Northeast. Let’s meet and talk about your 2016 mobile marketing strategy!

Better Understanding of Yelp Restaurant Marketing for Owners


Better Understanding Yelp Restaurant Marketing For Owners

1. Love it or hate it, understand what advertising on yelp actually means

2. What to all these numbers mean?

3. What is the bottom line? What am I getting for my money?

Hello, My name is Shannon Panaro and I have been helping hundreds of restaurants and other small businesses get customers in the door for 8 years, with digital and social media marketing. I want to write a short article about my personal knowledge of yelp and how there is a better way to get customers back again and again.



Photo: http://cyneats.com/why-business-owners-hate-yelp-and-consumers-love-it/

1. Love it or hate it, understand what advertising on yelp actually means

I talk to about 50 restaurant owners per month. Mostly they hate yelp, it stresses them out, it keeps them awake, and the telemarketers call them non-stop. Since I administer a few yelp account’s for my clients, I often get calls to advertise. I ask all kinds of questions and this is where I get my knowledge from.

1. They start out by telling you, you are currently getting x amount of leads from your free listing. Now knowing you currently are not on your computer, because that is the last place you want to spend your time, they throw out some pretty big numbers. Let’s look at what those actually mean.


This means out of almost 7000 “views” and 1476 “leads” 135 called your business in one year. In marketing conversions, this sucks. Your only alternative is to pay to get more views to get more leads, to get more “calls”. This is about a 1.75% conversion. The revenue calculator asks you to use “leads”, but “calls” are the only true number we can use. Should you invest in conversions that low? Next, let’s take a look at the cost.

2. What to all these numbers mean? A true conversion rate is what a business owner should use to determine where to spend marketing dollars. When I ask business owners, how many customers or what return they get per month from a certain advertising medium. They rarely know. This means if you spend $5000 on marketing and you get 100 customers, each of those customers is costing you $50.00 to get in the door one time. What they spend on that is your ROI, return on investment. So if those 100 customers spend $50.00 each, you break even. Anything over and above that is your profit. So if those 100 customers you spent $50.00 to get in the door come in one time and your average check is $100.00, then your return is $5000 minus your food cost, 30% on average. So you made $3500.00 on a $5000 investment to get that customer in the door one time. So the next question is what does yelp cost and what will your return be?

yelp spend

So the $250.00 per month will get you an extra 284 clicks, but how many calls? Ask the telemarketer that! This is a $3000 per year for the minimum, to increase your clicks. Add onto that a $2.50 per day to increase the promised 38% increase in leads to which there will be a 1.75% conversions to CALLS.

1. First option for $3000.00 This will add 3408 clicks per year. And 1.75% of that is 59 more CALLS. So you would be paying $3000 for 59 calls to your restaurant.

2. To pay to remove competitor ads, from your page, which show up when people initially search anyway, to increase your leads 38% another $912.00 for a 1.75% conversion of 1.75% for 15 CALLS. How many calls from yelp turn into visits? Who knows.

3. What is the bottom line? What am I getting for my money? So if you did the minimum program for yelp to reach a customer one time, you would be spending $3000 to get 59 customers assuming those calls turn into visits. This basically puts your reviews on other competitors pages. And guess what. I asked the telemarketer, “What reviews are chosen? For instance could a bad review be part of your advertisement?” And bless the guy for being honest, he said “technically, yes”. $3000.00 to get 59 customers in the door, is a cost of $50.00 per customer assuming they come alone minus your cost of food of course ($35.00). If they spend an extra $50, is a $1,130 profit for your 3000 investment.

In closing, don’t be fooled. There are better ways. For the last 5 months I have been introducing a new tool to Restaurant owners that blows away the conversions you would get from any other digital or social media. In advertising you are always paying to reach someone else’s audience. Business owners have become addicted to “views” and “likes” and “shares” and “opens”. All that matters is that you have a tool to get the people who come back in the door to come back more often to increase your sales. There is one fast, inexpensive way to do that, where once you acquire this customer as a VIP subscriber you can reach them within minutes of sending out a one or two sentence promotion that takes 5 minutes to create. You don’t need an Agency, or a Social Media Manager. This tool has a 98% seen within 3 minutes rate and a 23% conversion rate. The cost can be less than $3.00 per day. The cost remains the same no matter how many subscribers you get.


That is the smart tool to invest in your business. If you look back at the charts for yelp, it says 72% found on MOBILE. Why would you not want to be able to reach your customers by mobile when they look at their phones 150 times per day before they ever go on yelp?

Have I given you enough of a reason to call me for an appt to learn more ?

Shannon Panaro



20 recent articles about SMS Marketing


Mainly, I am making this as my own resource as people constantly ask me questions about this and that. But I feel other’s need to see the amount of content coming out by independent news sources at this time!

  1. Using Text to Boost Holiday Sales for Your Small Business
  2. Mashable: 11 consumer trends that will change the way you do business in the next 5 years
  3. Quick, easy and cost-effective: how SMS marketing is cutting through the clutter
  4. Take Autumn By Storm with SMS Marketing
  5. Is your business’s SMS marketing program hitting its target?
  6. Forget Spotify – Musicians Turn To Email Marketing For Revenue
  7. Five Big Fat Lies About SMS Marketing That You Probably Believe
  8. Is your marketing toolkit missing SMS?
  9. Column: Why SMS Marketing is crucial for your business
  10. The Observer The humble text message: Perfectly designed for mobile marketing
  11. SocialTimes The Big Marketing Opportunity in Mobile Messaging (Infographic)
  12. The Role Of SMS In Digital Marketing
  13. Digital Journal Grow Your Retail Business with these 10 Text Messaging Service Best Practices
  14. What every business needs to know about SMS short codes
  15. PR Web (press release) Slicktext.com Releases SMS Marketing Compliance Guide
  16. 45 Texting Statistics That Prove Businesses Need to Take SMS Seriously
  17. The Key to a Successful Texting Program Is You
  18. Is SMS the Future for New Business Marketers?
  19. Give Life to Your SMS Marketing Strategy
  20. 100 Examples of Brands Using Text Message Marketing