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Did You Get My Text?

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Textmunication

On December 3, 1992, Neil Papworth sent the very first SMS, or text, and it said “Merry Christmas.” Since, texting has become a normal part of most American’s day-to-day lives. According to Pew Research, 83 percent of Americans own cell phones, and 73 percent of them send and receive text messages.

With this in mind, when Eagle Fitness in Renova, Nevada was struggling with getting returned EFTs up to date, it thought texting could be a solution. In October 2014, it partnered with Textmunication, a mobile marketing solution that would allow the gym to text members who were past-due on their membership bill.

“Prior to Textmunication, I would have to call everyone myself,” said Raquel Rehman, the account manager of Eagle Fitness. “So if there were a lot of past-due accounts one month, it was really time consuming to have to call everyone individually and leave a message explaining who I was and what was needed.”

Instead of calling everyone, via Textmunication, Rehman only needs to send a mass text message to the appropriate accounts. The text typically reads, “Eagle Fitness: There has been an error processing your membership payment. Please call us to update your payment or on your next workout visit.”

According to Rehman, Eagle Fitness has been much more successful at collecting on returned EFTs by using the Textmunication service. “Even if they see the text and forget about it, when they go to text someone else they’ll see the text from us,” she said. Deleting an email is much more natural, and could go unnoticed.

In addition, Eagle Fitness has used the service to wish members “Happy Birthday” or follow-up with them if they haven’t been in the club in a couple of months. However, it is mainly used for EFT returns.

At first, Rehman was worried members would think it was weird receiving a text from the gym. But because texting is such a normal part of many American’s lives, that hasn’t been an issue. “It’s better than email or phone calls,” she said.

It’s also inexpensive. “We did it because we thought it would be a good way to help with our returns, and it was so inexpensive we figured it was worth giving it a shot. And it’s been great.”

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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