Text Marketing for Radio Stations

Thousands of locals are plugged into your radio station, so why not use SMS as a way to engage with your listeners? Text marketing is an excellent way to connect with your audience and creates an entirely new product to sell to advertisers.

text marketing and sms marketing for radio stations

We love seeing local radio stations maximize their reach and listener engagement with SMS marketing. Considering the high open rates, this marketing method also offers a huge advantage to their regular advertisers. Text messaging brings a modern touch to a traditional form of advertising. It combines the best of both worlds, and offers great results for both the station and the advertiser.

How Text Marketing Works

The Keyword

Step one? Pick a keyword that accurately represents your radio station or advertiser. This will be what people text to your shortcode (short phone number) to subscribe to your text messaging list. Make sure you keep it simple. Don't overdo it with complex words that listeners won't remember. We recommend making it a simple variation of your station name. If you're launching an SMS marketing program on behalf of an advertiser, it should be a simple version of their brand name.

For example, let's say you're the head of marketing at Kiss 101.7 FM. Instead of going with KISS1017FM, try KISS or KISSFM. The shorter, the better. This eliminates the complexity for subscribers trying to opt in.

The Auto Reply

The auto reply is the automated SMS response that is sent back to the person after they subscribe. The purpose of this message is to confirm their subscription and explain a bit more about what they can expect from the text program in the future.

Thanks for joining the Kiss 101.7's Mobile VIP club! Stay tuned for weekly offers from our awesome sponsers.

The Offer

Now, it's your responsibility to keep these new subscribers engaged. You can't fire out a text offer every six months, and just hope that they'll remember you or want to stay on your list. Without being obnoxious, make it a priority to keep regular contact by sending quality weekly or biweekly campaigns.

Sync up your text marketing efforts with your advertiser's initiatives. For example, let's say you've partnered with a local bowling alley and they want to run a cross promotion with your listeners.

You might say something like:

"Hey KISS fans! Marco's Bowling Alley is giving our listeners 3 games for the price of 1. Stop down tonight from 9-midnight and show this text to redeem the offer."

Example Scenario

As you very well know, radio stations depend on their sponsers and advertising partners. Without these thriving relationships, any station has a hard time staying afloat. What if you could offer an additional benefit to any business or organization that chose to advertise with your station? That's where text marketing comes in.

Kiss 101.7 FM was floundering. With the rise of social media, mobile marketing, and other digital options, radio advertising seemed like an added expense. Mark, their Advertising Account Manager was at his wit's end. If he couldn't start turning his local leads into regular monthly revenue, his job was at stake.

While Mark was taking his lunch at a local pizza joint one day, he noticed a sign that boasted their SMS marketing program. All the sudden, it hit him. With the kind of reach 101.7 had, why couldn't they use this marketing medium to their advantage? From that day forward, their radio personalities regularly featured text to join details on air. In just 30 days, they had gathered over 1,000 new opt ins.

This was then a bargaining chip and value proposition he could present to potential advertisers. Not only are they boasting their current radio reach, but they also had a list of highly engaged and qualified text subscribers, just waiting to hear about local deals. Their advertising revenue soared. Mark got promoted, the listeners got access to high value deals, and the sponsers were over the moon about the results.

How Will SMS Help Your Radio Station's Marketing?

Let's start off with three well known facts.

  • Over 90% of all text messages are opened and read within 5 minutes or less.
  • Radio stations amass thousands of local listeners.
  • Over 80% of consumers want to receive valuable offers from their favorite businesses.

This presents an eye-opening opportunity. You already have engaged listeners. Why not take it one step further, and turn these listeners into engaged marketing prospects?

Taking these 3 facts into consideration, text marketing can help your radio station do the following:

  • Reward your listeners with exclusive, high value offers.
  • Offer a value added proposition to your regular advertisers.
  • In turn, provide everyone with the best bang for their buck.

What do these benefits have in common? Every single one increases revenue.

Why Text Marketing?

Out of all other marketing solutions, what makes SMS perfect for radio stations?

  • Everyone gets texts.
  • The open rate is arguably the best observed in modern day marketing.
  • The average mobile phone owner looks at their device 150+ times a day.
  • It's extremely affordable.

These benefits just scratch the surface. Our platform also offers unparalleled customer support, user friendly features, and educational tools that empower you to succeed.

How to Get Started

1. Choose Your Keyword

As discussed above, your keyword needs to be short, sweet, and right to the point. Don't muddy up the opt in process with an over-complicated keyword. In addition to length, stay away from anything that could possibly be misspelled, or is point blank, just hard to remember.

2. Write Your Auto Reply

In your auto reply, make sure you're providing your subscribers with clear information about what types of messages they can expect to receive.

3. Grow Your List

Provide an irresistible opt in incentive. Make your offer so awesome, potential subscribers can't say no. Then, promote your list.

  • Post a text to join photo on Facebook.
  • Include opt in details in your next email newsletter.
  • Insert an opt in web form on your site.
  • Tout a text to join call to action on air.

4. Send Out Irresistible Offers

What do your listeners really want? In turn, what have you promised in exchange for the opt in? Make sure your text marketing campaigns align with the answers to both of these questions.

Remember, if your messages provide little to no actual value, subscribers will find it useless and unsubscribe. That means your texting efforts will totally be in vain. Avoid this by prioritizing high value promotions and regular engagement.

Sample Text Marketing Campaigns for Radio Stations

Local Deals

Brag on your favorite advertisers, and drive business to their establishments. This is a win win for you, the advertiser, and the subscriber.

For 101.7 listeners only! $5 off any dinner entree, tonight only at Pasta Prima. Show this text to redeem.

Emergency Alerts

Obviously, this isn't a scenario you'd hope for, but it's always good to prepare for any sort of local, regional, or national disaster. Emergency text alerts offer an unparalled sense of immediacy.

All Warren County residents are required to immediately evacuate county lines due to Hurricane Mary. More details to come.

Weekly Contests

Continually grow your list and reward current subscribers with weekly text to win contests.

Reply with KISS107 now to enter our weekly drawing for two tickets to see Bon Jovi this Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Here's What Customers Say

"Such a streamlined platform."

We switched to SlickText after working with another provider for over a year, and we're never looking back! Their dashboard is so user friendly, and you just can't match their easily accessible and personalized customer support.

Melanie S. - Rock 97.7 FM
"Our advertisers are happy, so we're not complaining!"

Radio advertising isn't as popular as it used to be. But being able to offer text blasts as a value added bonus...wow, it's totally piqued the interest of local businesses. We actually get inbound requests now, instead of having to chase down advertising leads. All thanks to text marketing!

Janet P. - Marketing Director at WNET

Helpful Text Marketing Resources for Radio Stations

Want to take your SMS marketing education to the next level? Check out these helpful resources below. They'll take you from beginner status to seasoned pro.

Final Thoughts

Ready to kickstart your text marketing efforts? We don't blame you. If you're still a little unsure, it's totally ok. Skim through some of the above resources, and learn more about why this tactic is a must have.

Don't ignore this opportunity. Hop on the texting bandwagon and sign up for your free plan today.

P.S. Not ready to sign up? Give us a call at 1.800.688.6290 or shoot us an email. We'll walk you through the entire process, and give you personalized recommendations.

Get started with text marketing
for your radio station today!

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