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


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





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