a trillion… as in a Million Billions??? AND what to do about it

Last year, American’s cell phones transmitted a trillion text messages. A TRILLION. Take a million and muliply that by 1,000,000,000.  Like they say, a trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you’re talking Real Numbers…

It’s almost possible to dismiss this – truely – astronomical number as a LOT of  the argot that tends to run heavily to the layers of meaning in comments like: “supt?” “and “I was like OMFG.”

I say *almost* possible. For good or for bad, text messages (OK, technically’ SMS ‘messages) still grab people’s attention with an immediacy that’s breathtaking.

So, the question you need to be asking is, “How is my business reaching out to customers and clients with text messages?”

Here’s a dirt simple case study. Neighborhood Chinese restaurant had the misfortune of opening next to a *booming* inexpensive, friendly, inviting more-than-pizza-and-Ragu Italian restaurant. The food at the Chinese place is – fine – for what it is: easy, convenient Cantonese fare. Business started slowly and went down hill from there. Entrepreneur owner got the bug of an idea that he could collect the cell-numbers from some of his clients and in exchange for that bit of information, he sends out daily messages on limited-time menu options and dining coupons. NOT ONLY did he notice a 15% increase in revenue, he’s starting to get local newspaper attention – with articles along the lines of  “A New Wrinkle in Chinese Restaurants.”

Now, in fact, he did this one step smarter. He doesn’t send out 100 text messages each evening -he sends one Twitter message — because he took the time to ask his customers how they’d like to be notified.

This boils down to something that barely rises to the level of ‘hi tech.’ Each late afternoon, the restaurant owner types in one or two ultra-short Twitter messages (called “tweets”) , presses _send_ and off it goes – to everyone who’s asked to be contacted. Seconds later, a message as simple as “Won Tor rest’rnt special tonight: Shanghai Soup Dumplings – FREE for 1st 10 cust’mrs, 6$/plate-of-8 therafter. WON TOR – Your OakmoreGlenn place 510658321.”

A couple minutes of keypad typing and a significant revenue increase.

You’re doing this…. right?

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