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SMS marketing lessons from Gary Vaynerchuk’s text community

Gary Vaynerchuk is often one step ahead when it comes to marketing both himself and his companies. Here’s how he’s using SMS to interact with his fans.

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Every era has its advertising guru, from Thomas Barratt, who pioneered modern outdoor advertising, to David Ogilvy, who created effective print ads. 

But in the age of social media, arguably the most influential media thinker is Gary Vaynerchuk–or Gary V as his followers call him.

Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no ignoring his high-profile personal brand and successful public company VaynerMedia.

So when Gary Vaynerchuk’s “phone number”–(212) 931-5731–started doing the rounds, we were curious: what was he planning?

It became clear pretty quickly that the famed internet marketing guru had dove into text message marketing, or what he likes to call, “the counterpoint of social media.”

Fans of the SimpleTexting Navigating SMS blog know we love nothing more than to dissect the very best messaging strategies out there. There was no passing up the opportunity to highlight some key takeaways from the Gary Vee text community experience. 

Gary V’s text messages come as no surprise

Gary Vee texting with fans is not surprising to his followers. He’s been beating the SMS marketing drum for the past few years. (He even launched a wine delivery service that sends subscribers weekly deals via text message.)

Here’s a video where he opens up about just how powerful text messaging is.

How is he using it to build his brand? Gary Vee is well-known for the creation of vlogs, books, and motivational talks. His text marketing is both a distribution channel for his content and a way to engage his fans one-on-one.

If you’re not signed up for his texts, you can go ahead and text him at (212) 931-5731 and see the kind of topics he covers for yourself. 

Lessons from Gary Vaynerchuk’s text community

When a self-professed marketing guru launches a new channel, expectations are high. Gary V passes with flying colors. Here are five lessons you can take from his text marketing strategy.

1. A focus on subscriber growth

Collecting phone numbers is the key to a successful text marketing strategy, and Gary V does an excellent job of promoting his program. We didn’t count all of the tweets and Instagram posts where he asks his followers to text him but trust us–there are a lot.

Here’s one.

Here’s another one.

There’s also this call-to-action on his website’s main navigation menu.

He even has a hoody with his telephone number on it.

With over 8.4 million followers on Instagram and 2.2 million on Twitter, Gary is not only tapping into an existing audience, but he’s doing it aggressively. That’s important if you want to be a successful text marketer.

2. Segmenting his list using keywords

Gary V is applying lessons from email to his text marketing program. According to Statista, the second most common reason people unsubscribe from messages is that they feel the content is irrelevant.

One solution is to segment your audience. This allows you to deliver content that’s more customized, relevant, and helpful to your subscribers.

Vaynerchuk allows you to select the topics you want to receive text messages on by texting in one or more of the following keywords. (An SMS keyword is a word that your customers can text to your number to opt-in for messages.)

3. Makes it clear how to opt out with a confirmation message

We take text message laws and regulations seriously. Vaynerchuk does too. His confirmation message follows best practices and reiterates his:

  • Identity
  • Message frequency
  • The fact that message and data rates may apply
  • How to opt out

4. Turns one-way blasts into two-way conversations

You might be using texting as a marketing and lead-nurturing tool, but it shouldn’t feel that way to the recipient. Gary does an excellent job making his texts feel like personal ones and even has fun with his subscribers when trying to catch him out.

5. Surprises and delights his subscribers

One thing we often reference when talking about effective SMS campaigns is value.

Discounts, exclusive savings, important announcements, event alerts, and useful information are valuable things SimpleTexting customers share with their audiences.

Gary V took it a step further by texting everyone in certain cities a link to a form for them to fill out with their addresses. He ended up selecting 248 people who filled out the form at random.

Then, he sent their names to florists in the respective areas with a personal note from Gary. They all got mailed out the very next day! All 248.

Going above and beyond to surprise and delight your customers in a way they wouldn’t expect is a great way to leave that impression and show your intent.

What text service does Gary Vee use?

So, what text service does Gary Vee use? We’ll save you the suspense: he uses a platform called Community built by Ashton Kutcher. (We’ve covered before how we’re the inexpensive, open alternative to the Community Text App.😉) 

If you want to take the above lessons from Gary Vaynerchuk’s text community and apply them to your personal brand or business, then sign up for a 14-day free trial.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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