How To Effectively Use Texting in Events


Continuing on the topic of last week’s post, we will go further into contests. During that post, I talked about contests as an effective way of increasing ‘likes’, ‘follows’ or subscriber numbers in general. Using social media is certainly effective for musicians, actors, visual artists, gym and yoga instructors to boost their statistics. Building upon this insight, an innovative way to do contests would be to use texting.

As a sure way of getting into people’s attention span, SMS is the leading app that is used on a smartphone. In fact, 97% of Americans are using SMS at least once a day. Moreover, text messages have a 98% open rate, which means that almost every single text you send are being read by someone. Especially if your main audience are the millennials, know that 77% of consumers in the 18-34 age category are likely to have a positive perception of your brand if it’s exposed to them via text.

There are couple of ways you can utilize texting to set up contests. The first one is during live shows/performances/events. During the event, you can do raffles, such as your own merchandise. That way you will not only increase audience performance to your text program, but also promote your merchandise as well!


A typical scenario of a raffle might work like this. So let’s say you have a concert starting at 8PM. On your texting portal, you can select the start time of your raffle as 7PM and the end time as 9PM. After a few songs into the show, you can tell your fans to text to win an official merchandise t-shirt. The hype can be upped if you are wearing the same t-shirt on you during the performance (assuming it’s a cool t-shirt!) or even have the winner to have an autographed t-shirt.  

When people text in, the service will automatically capture their mobile number and you can also  ask for their zip code to enter, so that you can send texts to them later by geography. . Once they provide this information, they will enter the contest. When the contest ends at 9PM, everyone gets a second text that gives them the link to the results.. Everyone follows the link they received on the second text to see if they won or not. The winner brings their phone to the merchandise table and they claim their prize.


So why should this matter to you? Previous artists who have run a contest on their phone have had 33% of the audience join in to the contest, which is not a bad statistic to expand your subscribers via text. The service collects people’s phone numbers, location and service provider, so your database for a certain location expands where you can view your fan base in various cities and countries. Keep in mind that people who subscribe to this service consent to do so, which means that you can use these numbers in the future. This has a huge potential for when you are selling tickets for your next tour or for any future events. Feel free to read through my posts for more information about what to do and what not to do when you set up your texting campaign.

Have you ever set up a contest utilizing texting? What was overall experience like? Feel free to comment below!

Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify, and you can follow him on Instagram or Twitter @alpertuzcu, or visit his website


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