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5 Text Message Marketing Best Practices To Connect With Your Guests

Guest communication can take many forms, such as email marketing and text messaging. While the former is tried and true, guests are over four times more likely to open and respond to an SMS message than an email.

Text message marketing is one of the quickest ways to connect with your campers or boaters, maximize your profits, and improve the guest experience — all in one fell swoop.

Let's explore text message marketing best practices and the benefits of implementing them into your campground, RV park, or marina operations.


Benefits of Text Messaging Marketing for Your Property


SMS message marketing is both preferred by guests and more effective in getting them to respond or take action. Text messages have an average open rate of 98%, while 33% of those who receive a call to action (CTA) through text respond to it. Email marketing, on the other hand, has a much lower average open rate of 20%.

The best part is, you can pair both forms of marketing rather than using one or the other, maximizing your reach and marketing effectiveness for your property. 


When To Use Mobile Messaging


Depending on where each visitor is at in the reservation process, there are specific times where it makes the most sense to send text messages. ​​


Before Guests Arrive

As your guest’s reservation approaches, you can send them general updates, reminders, or welcome texts, such as directions, access codes, and check-in links. 


During Their Stay

If they are already at your property, you can send them announcements like weather updates, hours for amenities and services, and support hours.


After They Leave

Leverage promotional texts and offers for special events, stay extensions, discounts, upcoming events, and review requests to encourage repeat business

In fact, seventy-five percent of people say they would be happy to receive a promotional offer via text messaging. 

Send them a text politely requesting a review if they had a positive experience, or asking for what could have been better at your campground, RV park, or marina to best cultivate positive relationships with your guests.


5 Text Message Marketing Best Practices


It’s important to also understand the text message marketing best practices to evolve your outdoor property. Here are five practices to keep in mind for SMS message marketing to attract the most boaters or campers.


1. Send Messages to Subscribers Only

Text messages are a much more direct way to connect with your guests than email. As a result, you need to be more aware of who you’re texting and why. 

For example, messaging those who have not expressed consent is not only illegal, but it can also result in unengaged recipients who are unlikely to convert. 

On the other hand, messaging your subscribers allows you to connect with your prospective or existing guests by offering personalized special offers based on their history with you. That’s why it’s incredibly important to send your SMS messages to those who have opted in to receive messages.

If you have a reservation management system, you can simplify the process by letting guests have the option to opt in or opt out of receiving text message communications when they create an online reservation.


2. Include Important Info in Your Messaging

The structure of each message should be aligned with best practices and provide value for the recipient if you want to get visitors to subscribe to your messages. Here’s what should be included in your SMS messages:

1. An optimized CTA. You must provide your guests with both value and a way to easily access that value. A CTA is a quick way to check both boxes. Consider using CTAs such as:
  • Book now
  • Request a price
  • Make your reservation now
  • Learn more about our property
  • Check availability
2. A promotional code. It’s vital to ensure your offers have a code to help you monitor your text message marketing initiatives, make the right adjustments to your marketing strategy, and still provide value to your guests. Additionally, text messages with coupons have a 4x higher conversion rate, making coupons a necessary component of text message marketing.
3. Brand relevance. When you send a message, the recipient should be able to identify that it came from you, what your brand is offering, and how it pertains to them. If the recipient cannot identify these, chances are likely the message won’t result in a conversion.


3. Personalize Your Messaging

The third strategy is to personalize your communication. You should avoid sending “spammy” or generic messages, as they will most likely be ignored. 

Your true goal is to create a relationship with your guests, so let them know you are listening by keeping track of their habits so you can offer the best personalized deals. You can do this by including the guest’s name when you send them messages and segmenting visitors into categories based on their interests, age, gender, location, booking history, and more.

You can give your guests more control by enabling them to set their own preferences to help create a personalized experience and ensure they have a great experience with your brand.


4. Make Your Messages Short, Sweet, and to the Point

It's crucial to shorten your text messages as much as possible to quickly grab the attention of your guests. While a longer text will still be accepted, no one wants to read a text message that feels like a book. 

You'll have the greatest impact if you keep it brief, to the point, simple, and get to the CTA as quickly as possible to prompt guests to take action.


5. Understand the Right Time To Send Texts

Even though roughly 60% of visitors read their texts within the first five minutes of receiving them, it’s still crucial to coordinate your messaging strategy based on time of day. 

The best time to text your visitors may depend on their generation, work schedule, time zone, location, and many other factors. A general rule of thumb is to send a message around noon, as sending texts during non-waking hours can be intrusive and even illegal in some instances. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), you are legally obligated to coordinate your communication between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. 


Maximize Your Text Message Marketing Best Practices and Strategies


While texting is convenient and preferred by many, it shouldn’t completely replace your other forms of communication, such as email marketing. A more effective strategy is to pair text message marketing best practices with email marketing strategies to enhance your brand reach and help meet your set marketing goals.

If you’re ready to jumpstart your marketing efforts with tailored resources and personalized templates to better engage with your campers before, during, and after their stay, download The Complete Campground Marketing Toolkit today for free.


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