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Top 5 Food Truck SMS Marketing Tips and FAQ

Food Truck SMS Marketing Tips

Running a food truck business can be a rewarding opportunity to show off your food making skills, as long as you can get customers to your truck. This type of "on the move" business puts you at a slight disadvantage against the typical eatery since a loyal fan may not always know where to find you. You could invest in a megaphone, neon lights or even a bat signal to stand out where you're parked, or you could take the easy route and market your business through text messages.

SMS marketing is an easy and cost effective way of keeping in contact with your loyal customers. The concept is simple, they "opt in" to your service by giving you their cell phone number - just offer a free drink in exchange for those digits and you'll be amazed at how many oblige - then you are permitted to send text messages directly to their phone. This is made even easier with an SMS marketing provider, since these companies will store the numbers for you and allow for bulk texts to be sent to all your customers at once.

Still not sure how this could help boost your food truck business sales? These 5 text message marketing tips will help to drive the point home:



Broadcast Your Location

1. Broadcast Your Location

If your food truck is one that is always on the move, then you already know the frustration of knowing there are customers out there craving your meals, but have no idea where you're at today. You may already use Twitter or Facebook to help your customers keep up with your whereabouts, but imagine how much faster a text message would be. Some probably don't even log into those accounts until they are already biting into a sandwich, but they are checking their text messages all day long.

Once they get used to your daily location alerts, they will start waiting for it each day. Try and be consistent with the times you send these texts so that your customers will know when to look for it. You can also link to Google Maps where exactly your food truck is parked, especially if the location is a new one for you or in a hard to find spot. That type of extra care given to your customers helps to build their loyalty for your lunch service.



Text Customers Your Daily Menu

2. Text Customers Your Daily Menu

If your food truck changes up the menu each day, you can use text messages to let your customers know the special for that specific day. In fact, you should probably just go ahead and make sure that each day you have something special, you know ... even if it's just for an excuse to send out another text. You can advertise a combo plate, special sandwich of the day or a dessert treat that is new to the menu. The beauty of running a food truck is that you can make up your own menu as you go, and change things up whenever you're in need of a sales boost.

Texting marketing messages for your food truck can also play on the seasons if you are used to serving meals using locally sourced products. Freshness sells in the food business, so make sure that your customers know that you are serving fruits and vegetables that have just been harvested.



Send Out Mobile Coupons

3. Send Out Mobile Coupons

You can use mass text messages to give discounts and special offers to your loyal customers. Up the ante by promoting an even bigger discount if they bring a friend to your truck to have lunch. Now, not only is your texted coupon giving your customers an incentive to stop by, you're getting the chance to add more diners to your SMS marketing list. This helps increase your sales for today, and grow your business for the future.

Marketing coupons sent in a text message should still have an expiration date, giving you an excuse to send out a new one every couple of weeks. In order to redeem this virtual coupons, the customer only needs to show you the marketing text message they got from your truck.



Limited Time Offers via Text Message

4. Limited Time Offers via Text Message

This text message marketing trick has been getting great results for bars and nightclubs, so why not a food truck. On the spot deals compel the recipient to get to your food truck as quick as possible to cash in. Send a text offering a free soda with their food to the first 50 customers who stop by for the special, or do a twofer special for anyone who drops by before 2pm. Plan these to hit the cell phones of your customers just around the same time they are waffling on what to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Another creative and fun way to do an on the spot deal with text message marketing is to send out a "magic word". Insinuate that only a select few have been made privy to this code, which when spoken at your food truck window will get them a free food item or prize. Consider investing in branded, reusable plastic cups, and serve the "magic word" winners their soda in one. This is another marketing double shot, as now your food truck name will be seen by everyone that comes into contact with your customer while they are sipping from your personalized cup.



Your Customers Can Text You Feedback

5. Your Customers Can Text You Feedback

2-way texting is a perk of SMS marketing services that a lot of business owners don’t take advantage of. Your food truck business can take advantage of this tool through customer feedback about their experience at your truck. You can also poll your customers about their favorite toppings, best places to park, or anything else you are curious about. This is really simple, and the results are calculated inside of your account, making it a snap for you to evaluate what your customers want.

The 2-way text messaging feature can also be used to help you run food truck contests and special events. Ask a quiz question related to your menu, truck or location, and then give out prizes or rewards to the customers who get it right. This could be that special cup again, or you could let them name your next unique culinary creation. You can have a lot of fun (and make money at the same time) with your food truck business, just by engaging more with your loyal clientele.



Text Message Marketing for Food Trucks FAQ

Text Message Marketing for Food Trucks FAQ

Is It Hard to Set Up SMS Marketing for a Food Truck?
With a specialized SMS marketing platform, this type of advertising is simple to manage. Start by giving your customers incentives to sign up. Free food or drinks usually works, or you can promise (and then follow through with) exclusive specials and deals for your mobile food truck.

To sign up for your SMS marketing alerts, customers will be given a unique keyword to text to your service provider. For example, if you are working with DialMyCalls, and your keyword is GoodGrub, then your customers would text GoodGrub to 80123. This will automatically add their cell phone number into your contact group within your DialMyCalls account. Once set-up, they are good to go on getting marketing texts sent from your food truck to their cell phone.

 

Does SMS Text Marketing Work Better Than Facebook or Twitter Alerts?
Think about your own social media browsing. How much attention do you pay to those paid advertisements in your news feed? Do you even check what is being posted or tweeted from those pages you've liked? Unless your customers are glued to your sites, anxiously awaiting every update, then the direct hit of SMS text marketing messages will be much more effective.

 

Will I Need a PC in My Food Truck for SMS Marketing to Work?
A text message marketing service is typically set up online, with your provider storing your data and contact lists for you. With DialMyCalls, the site is made for mobile devices too, so you can leave the laptop at home. As long as you have internet access from your cell, you can log into your account, create your marketing messages, and send out a text to everyone at once. This is perfect for those on the spot offers and deals you will be sending out to your food truck customers.

 

How Many Customers Can I Send a Message to at a Time?
More than you likely have in your contact list. Your DialMyCalls account allows for thousands of phone numbers to be stored, and they are able to send out the same in messages, all in one shot. There is little doubt that they would be able to handle the text message marketing volume that a food truck would need.

 

Is There a Limit on the Number of Messages I Can Send Each Day?
Well now, you don't want to barrage your customers with advertising messages, but there is no real limit on how often you can send SMS marketing messages. However, it is probably better to convince them with well-timed quality messages than irritate them with a high quantity.

 

What Happens If a Customer Doesn't Want Any More Messages From Our Food Truck?
While you're sorry to see them go, you are obligated to allow customers to opt out of the text message marketing whenever they want to. Just like with email marketing, they will be made aware of this option, and can choose to stop receiving messages from you at any time. All the more reason why you should make this service worthwhile to them with coupons, deals and other special promotions.

 

Does SMS Marketing Work for All Cell Phones?
If their cell phone is able to receive text messages from shortcodes (and nowadays whose isn't?) then you can market to them with SMS. It makes absolutely no difference what type of smart phone they have - if it is even a smart phone - or which provider they have their service with.

 

What if My Customer Changes Their Phone Number?
This type of service is based off of the cell phone number, not off of the name of the person who owns it. If they decide to change their number, they will have to opt in again to receive your text message alerts.

Breaking into the food industry is never easy, even when you are doing it from a truck on the side of the road. With high competition for new customers, it makes good business sense to work hard at catering to the ones you already have. SMS marketing is ideal for this type of business growth strategy, as you are able to focus your attention directly at your existing customers. Look to DialMyCalls and their comprehensive SMS marketing platform if you are ready to start driving your food truck business to a whole new level of success.



5 Best Practices for College Recruiters

5 Best Practices College Recruiters

For decades, businesses have recognized the benefit of bringing new minds aboard that are coming straight out of college. The job of a college recruiter is to entice the best and brightest to become a part of whatever team they are working for. The stakes are high and the competition tough, making it imperative that college recruiters learn how to make connections with this emerging job pool at their level and build strong relationships that last.

Create a Compelling Online Presence

Your potential new employees are born of the digital age, and are accustomed to communicating online. In order to attain their interest, your company needs to be online too, tweeting, posting and even blogging on a regular basis. Make it as personal as possible by using names and pictures. Choose individuals with strong personalities that people generally migrate, to manage your social presence online, and give them some liberty when it comes to engaging with college students you want on your payroll.

Give An Insider Peek

Rather than your standard recruiting videos on your website and social media outlets, let your employees give an insider view of a typical day in your office. They can share tidbits about projects they are assigned to, so long as they don't disclose any private company information. A graduating college student is most likely to choose a company if they already have an idea of what is in store for them while working there.

Make Them Feel Like They are Getting Special Treatment

As you start to weed through the various candidates, hone in on those who you feel will make the best fit in your business. Ask them to opt in for special messages and updates through SMS text messages, and then use your employee notification system to give those individuals an even better view of your company. You can send a blast message when your company has landed a big client, won an important case, or reached a new sales goal. With that type of information being shared, the recruit already feels like they are a part of the team.

Make Sure that Your Content is Valuable

College students are not just looking for the entry level position, they have a vested interest in how to move up the ladder quickly. Providing accurate information for how advancement works will give them a better understanding of what their next five years could be like with your company, not just the next five months.

Go Mobile

It is imperative that your company website and recruiting pages are adaptable to mobile devices. The number of people accessing the web from a smartphone device is increasing every day, and your website has to be developed in order to accommodate that smaller screen. Without this feature, college students will quickly bypass your site to find one that is easier to read.

Successful college recruiting is about engaging students in a format that they are most comfortable with. This means becoming savvy with social media networking and making your company appeal to your most promising recruits at a personal level.



7 Tips For Getting Your House Winter Weather Ready

Winter Weather Home Tips

Parts of the U.S. are already seeing snow in their forecast, making it imperative that you get your house winter ready. Winter weather causes a lot of wear and tear on a home, most of which can be prevented with a few quick tweaks and fixes while the leaves are still falling from the trees:

Start by Sealing any Leaks

Winter heating costs will skyrocket quickly if your home is prone to letting in the cold air. Use a candle and hold it to the frames of your windows and outside doors to check for any drafts blowing in. Electrical outlets and holes for plumbing entry are also common culprits of a leaky home. Replace worn weather stripping and door stops, fill leaks with caulking and extra insulation where necessary to make sure that you are getting the most benefit from your home's heating system, without having to remortgage your home to fund it.

Schedule Maintenance On Your Home's Heating System

You should schedule a maintenance visit with your local HVAC company. They'll change out the filters, clean the components and make sure that everything is running the way it should. This alone will save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a cold winter, especially if your home is being heated by an older system.

Protect Your Plumbing

Check to make sure that your outside faucets are completely drained, and that all hoses are free of water and rolled up for storage. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, it should be blown out by professionals to remove all traces of water left over during the summer. Do an inspection of the exposed plumbing in your home, and make any repairs now before the temperatures start to reach freezing.

Schedule a Chimney Sweep

If you rely on a fireplace to warm parts of your home in the winter, get it prepared by having it cleaned before you light the first fire. Not only will this make it more efficient, it will protect your home from a fire caused by build-up inside of the chimney.

Have Your Gutters Cleaned Out

Clogged gutters will cause a big mess, and possibly roof damage, if they are not clear when the temperatures start to freeze. This is a DIY job, but take care if you do it yourself to not fall off of your ladder. If clogged gutters are a persistent problem consider installing gutter guards on your home.

Stock Up on Your Winter Weather Supplies

After a blizzard is not the time to realize that you have no gas in the snow blower. Make sure that you have a snow shovel that is in good shape, sidewalk salt or litter, and of course enough fuel for your snow blower before you need it. Stocking up on bottled water and non-perishable food is also a good idea if you live in an area where heavy snowfall is a common event.

Change Out Your Bedding

Now is the time to switch from your summer bedclothes to that warm down comforter. By changing to heavier blankets in the winter, you can turn down the thermostat at night, saving you money on your home heating bills.

There is a lot to do before winter steps in, and you should give yourself some time to get these things done. Make a schedule that spans out over the next few weekends, and your home will be nice and toasty inside when the temperature starts to drop outside.



Third Annual Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest Winners

2015 Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest Winners

Our third annual "Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest" ended last Friday and we have finally selected the winners. Four students will be receiving a $250 check to put towards their college education. Two of the winners were selected by receiving the most votes for their scholarship entry - the other two winners were picked by the DialMyCalls staff.

This year the contest asked students to, in 140 characters or less, explain the benefits of online courses and degrees vs. traditional schooling. Over 12,000 students submitted an entry into this year's contest so it was extremely hard to pick only two winners.

Below you will find all four winners and their Tweet For Success Scholarship Contest entries - each winner will be receiving $250:

Top 2 Entries With Most Votes -

1) Jazzlynsworld - 641 Votes - "Online Degree= Flexibility. Diversity Broadens perspective, Communication enhanced, Innovation through Virtual teamwork, Saves time & money!"

2) Jasmine L. - 264 Votes - "Some students have to work to survive. Online coursing allows them to work while receiving proper education to improve their futures."

Staff Picks -

3) Connor - "One of the top benefits of online courses is the ability for disabled college students, unable to come to class, a chance for an education."

4) Heather - "Online courses allow students to become a sort of superman. They can work hard, play hard; all while completing an education online."

Thank you for everyone that entered this year - keep an eye out for a chance to win next year!



New Widget Offers Recording Playback On Your Own Website

You now have the ability to add your latest DialMyCalls recording directly into your website with our brand new embeddable widget. Once you have sent out a broadcast through your account, visitors of your website are able to play back that message right from the embedded audio payer on a designated page of your choice.

 
DialMyCalls Recording Widget
 

Who Can Use The Latest Recording Widget?

Anyone with a DialMyCalls account has access to our brand new recording widget. Embedding the widget does require your own website - the widget is not able to be embedded into an email.

 

How Do I Use The Latest Recording Widget?

Once you have established an account with DialMyCalls you are going to want to decide where you will place the embeddable player at on your website. After selecting a location you will now need to copy/paste the embed code into your site. Log into DialMyCalls and then click on "My Account" -> "Integrations" -> "Embeddable Widgets" -> "Shows My Latest Recording".

 
Embeddable Recording Widget
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

A sample player will be displayed along with the code for the player - copy/paste the embeddable code into your website and you are ready to go. Upon sending out a voice broadcast from your account the audio player will update and that recording will be available to play for all of the visitors of your website.

 
Embeddable Recording Widget Sample
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

Why Should I Use The Latest Recording Widget?

The brand new embeddable recording widget gives you one more format in which folks can hear your important messages. In addition to sending out your recording via phone call and email you can direct visitors to your website for a daily, weekly or monthly update using the embeddable audio player. Make sure that no message goes unheard by utilizing our brand new widget on your website today! Check out our sample below to see how the widget looks when embedded into a website.

 

Latest Recording Widget Example - Sports Team Website:

A sports team can utilize the embeddable recording widget to keep coaches, players, and parents on the same page regarding upcoming games, cancellations, league registration, or other special events. Once a broadcast is sent out our widget can be placed on the team's website. From that point on the recording will automatically update whenever a new broadcast is sent out through DialMyCalls. This allows the coach to direct all of the coaches, players and parents to that particular page to check for weekly updates.

 
Sports Website Latest Recording Widget
*Click Photo To Enlarge*
 

For more information regarding our brand new latest recording widget, please visit the official Embeddable Widgets page. If you have any additional questions, you can contact us 7 days a week!

*The recording only updates once a broadcast is sent out through DialMyCalls - creating a new recording in your account does not update the embeddable widget, it has to be created and sent as a broadcast.



Six Helpful Tips To Make Your Summer Camp Memorable

Summer Camp Tips

If you have taken on the responsibility of running a summer camp program, you are to be commended. Summer camps impart skills and values onto children that are not always emphasized at school. This is a special time for kids that will be remembered for their lifetime. Follow these tips to ensure that you create experiences that are looked back on fondly:

Choose Your Staff Wisely

Staffing your summer camp should not be taken lightly. When working with children, it is of utmost importance that you check the background of all potential staff members before offering them a position. As you screen applicants, look for attributes that will enhance the camping experience for kids, such as artistic or sports backgrounds. During interviews watch for signs of high energy, enthusiasm and a love for being around children. Summer camp is about having fun, and the kids won't have any if their counselor is not excited every day to be there.

Have Support Staff

Summer camp is not a controlled environment the way school is, and counselors need extra sets of hands and eyes to keep everyone safe and having a good time. Consider instilling a program where older campers are assigned to help with the younger groups, or if money allows hire a junior staff.

Keep Your Groups Small

Enough kids to make a soccer team is about the right size for summer camp groups. When hiring counselors make sure that you are taking enrollment into consideration and have enough staff members to cover all of your groups. With activities like swimming, hiking and sports, you can't afford the liability of allowing one counselor to be responsible for a large group of children.

Have Effective Means of Communication

In reality, your summer camp is double, if not triple, the enrollment size that you think it is. For every camper comes at least one parent who is anxious to know how their kid is faring. To make sure your parents are also having a memorable summer, update them regularly on your own time. Sign up for a mass notification service, such as DialMyCalls.com, that allows you to send voice broadcasts and SMS text messages to all the parents at once. You only need to upload their phone numbers into your web-based account, organize them into the same groups as the children, and then every couple of days send out a message that lets the parents know what their kids are up to.

Choose Stimulating Programs

Give careful consideration to the types of programs you will have in your summer camp, and ensure that they are individualized to be age specific. Your arts and crafts program for example should not have the 7-year-old campers making the same complicated birdhouses that the 13-year-olds are constructing. Try thinking outside of the box and come up with different programs as well, such as scavenger hunts. You can instruct the kids to find a certain number of different plants and then follow up with a quick lesson about how they grow. Camp can still fun, even when there is a little bit of learning thrown in.

Plan on Rain

Unless your summer camp is in the middle of the desert, plan on hosting some rainy days. Be prepared for this with a large seating area and movie projector, a variety of board games for different age groups, and impromptu arts and crafts. If you approach grey skies with a positive attitude and a plan in place, not even torrential rains will ruin your camper's good time.

Summer camp is an experience that kids will never forget. If you follow these tips, you are ensuring that the memories made at your camp are always going to be good ones.

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