Tag Archives: SMS

Leveraging Customer Feedback

No matter what type of business you’re in, you will always receive feedback from customers. Many businesses take the time to listen to customers and collect feedback, but not all know how to respond to that feedback and leverage it to better their business. It’s important to determine the proper protocol for responding to that feedback from customers.

With SMS marketing, the systems in place often allow businesses to receive text messages from customers with feedback. Customers will say exactly what is on their mind (not always good), and we must be monitoring these incoming comments for positive feedback!  Customers may leave feedback on other channels as well, for example by calling, emailing, posting on social media, etc.  Businesses should have a general understanding on how to manage their own PR and respond to and utilize those comments in the proper way.

I’ve outlined some strategies on how and when to respond to customer comments, as well as how we can leverage them:

What Messages to Respond to:

Positive Feedback

  • Obviously businesses can’t respond to EVERYONE who leaves positive feedback, so there’s really no need to respond.
  • Businesses can, however, show their appreciation for certain pieces of feedback (for example on social media) with a quick “Thanks for your feedback!”
  • Save positive comments to share with prospects.

Negative Feedback

  • Only respond if you can do it promptly–a delayed response may cause confusion. Responding to customer feedback 3 months later is pointless–the time has passed, the opportunity was missed.
  • Always offer to point the customer to your business’ customer service phone number.
  • In SMS marketing, if you receive an opt-out request:
    • No need to respond–simply delete that customer from the list.

When Responding to Feedback

  • Identify who you are.
  • Try to avoid ongoing dialog back and forth.
  • Address the need/question in one message, if possible.

Leveraging Positive Comments

  • Demonstrate customer demand for rewards.
  • Have a process in place to understand where customers could be finding problems in their dealings with your business.
  • Use screen shots from time to time to provide an element of value in your emails to your prospects.

Obtaining feedback is one thing, but knowing what to do with it AFTER you receive it, is what will really affect your business’ long term success. By embracing your customer feedback, you can achieve transparency into customer buying behavior and gain insight into future buying behavior.

Why is SMS Not Playing a Bigger Role in Brands’ Marketing Efforts?

Macy's SMS

When it comes to mobile marketing, SMS is a trusted old friend – it has been around longer than other mobile marketing techniques, has a broad reach and, for a well-executed campaign, the results can be impressive. So why do many marketers still overlook SMS?

Part of the problem is image – SMS is often closely associated with feature phones and, therefore, bypassed when brands start thinking about smartphones. There are other issues such as difficulties getting short codes and the need to work with carriers, but with open rates of nearly 100 percent, some big marketers such as Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are beginning to take notice.

“SMS is an overlooked channel,” said Julie Roth Novack, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Vibes. “It went out of favor a year or two ago with the growth in smartphones.

“In people’s minds, SMS is connected with feature phones but the fact of the matter is SMS is the No. 1 app on smartphones,” she said. “There is this idea that because you are going after smartphone users, you don’t need SMS.

“We have really seen a shift in the past six months, with our retail partners saying that SMS is a critical part of their strategy.”

Short codes a challenge
SMS service providers agree that it has not reached its potential as a marketing technique, often because marketers get so excited about the richer experiences they can deliver via apps and the mobile Web.

There are other challenges, too, such as that marketers need to have a better understanding of how SMS can fit into a broad mobile strategy. Additionally, a certain level of expertise is required to set up an SMS program to insure that the permissions are structured properly and to understand how to work with the wireless carriers.

Perhaps of the biggest challenges are the short codes used in SMS campaigns. Typically, a mobile phone user is asked to text a keyword to a short code initiate a dialogue of some kind with a marketer.

“One of the largest hurdles for brands wanting to leverage SMS marketing is understanding and dealing with the short code process,” said Jared Reitzin, CEO of mobileStorm, Los Angeles. “Since SMS relies on the use of shared or dedicated short codes, brands have to wade through the confusion, ambiguity and complication of short code setup, provisioning, regulation and best practices.

“Until these processes are simplified and made much more affordable, brands will continue to skip SMS as a viable marketing channel,” he said. “Broader use of SMS marketing will come when the barrier of entry is lowered substantially in terms of acquiring and using short codes, in addition to regulatory scrutiny for not only large organizations, but small businesses as well.”

SMS success
In addition to these challenges, marketers often do not know how to market via SMS because of the limited character count and lack of rich media. However, increasingly marketers are understanding that SMS, with its immediacy, broad reach and high open rates, can be an important way to drive users to richer app and mobile Web experiences.

“Through its inherent limitations with character-count and lack of rich media, SMS is better used as a contact point to drive engagement to other relevant channels, rather than being used exclusively to drive a specific action,” Mr. Reitzin said. “The primary benefits of SMS are the immediacy, the nearly ubiquitous reach, and the nearly 100 percent open rate.

“Using these attributes to drive traffic to more engaging channels like the mobile Web or mobile apps is where it’s true power lies,” he said. “Until marketers understand this formula, its full potential will never be fully realized.

The examples of SMS’ success are numerous and growing.

For example, Dunkin Donuts recently sent 7,500 mobile coupons via SMS that offered a latte for $.99, per Mr. Reiztin. The brand supported the SMS call-to-action through local radio mentions and WAP targeting on local-interest sites.

The promotion increased in-store traffic 21 percent and a full 17 percent of participants forwarded or showed the message to a friend for the all-important viral effect.

“The potential for SMS growth has still not reached its apex,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA.

“Companies need to have an understanding of their customers’ desires and needs from a marketing perspective,” he said. “SMS isn’t for every brand and that baseline user knowledge is the first step to a successful mobile campaign.

“SMS campaigns are an excellent way to engage with consumers, offering a call-to-action that they can’t pass up. Marketers that can go the next step by making their SMS campaigns relevant and local will see a greater response and return on investment.”

Article Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/13218.html

In a Relationship: College Students and Their Smartphones [INFOGRAPHIC]

College students aren’t just concerned with getting good grades and finding the best parties. More than ever, they’re using their smartphones to navigate life on campus.

On the bus, waiting in line, in bed, on the treadmill and even while driving, college students can’t seem to put their phones down. Fifty-two percent say they often check their phones before getting out of bed in the morning, according to one study. Nearly half do so while in bed at night before they fall asleep.

Thirty-five percent say they sometimes use their phones while driving but stopped at a red light, and nearly 20% say they sometimes use them while the wheels are even moving. But it’s not all addiction and danger. Forty-five percent of college students say smartphones frequently help with school assignments, and 46% say they’re often helpful for work-related tasks.

The Internet education portal OnlineColleges pulled this data and more from sources including the Pew Internet & American Life Project, University of Colorado and Nielsen to produce the infographic below.

Among other notable findings: More colleges students use iPhones than any other device, email has nearly caught text messaging as the most popular use for smartphones among college students and nearly half of students use their phones to check the weather.

Check out the full infographic below for more information and let us know in the comments — do you think smartphones are doing more to distract or help college students?

Article Source: http://mashable.com/2012/06/30/smartphones-college-students-infographic/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29

Restaurant Industry Is Leading the Pack in Mobile Adoption [INFOGRAPHIC]

The restaurant and food industry is embracing the mobile movement more than other business sectors, according to a new infographic.

DudaMobile, a service that makes websites mobile ready, found that restaurants and food services from pizzerias and bakeries to food trucks take 28% of the total percentage of small to medium-sized businesses that have a mobile-friendly site.

This category is far more advanced than other industries looking to reach out to smartphone users, including professional services such as locksmiths and attorneys (16%), health and wellness including spas and salons (10%), travel and tourism such as hotels (8%) and automobile/transportation (6%). Retailer was number six on the list (5%) for small to medium-sized businesses.

DudaMobile also noted that nearly 20% of visits to a mobile-optimized website result in an immediate call to the business.

The infographic also noted that 70% of smartphone owners use their device while shopping. In addition, about 51% of business travelers use mobile devices to find out information while on the go.

For a full look at which industries are embracing mobile, check out the infographic below.

Article Source: http://mashable.com/2012/06/14/mobile-adoption/

5 Mobile Marketing Questions Every Business Owner Needs Answered

Everywhere you look, people are on their smartphones — but many aren’t talking. They’re browsing, texting and using apps, which makes them a tempting target for marketers.

According to communication technologies agency the International Communication Union, there are now 5.9 billion users of smartphones and other mobile devices, representing 87 percent of the world’s population. The ICU also reports that 1.5 billion people are using the mobile web.

That’s a huge business opportunity. But where do you start? Here is some insight on five mobile marketing questions every business owner wants answered.

1. Should I build a mobile website or a mobile app?
Most businesses will want to build or optimize their websites for mobile rather than build an application. Think of the fundamental reasons your customers would visit your website, especially if they’re on the go. Make sure that on a phone or tablet screen your site’s navigation is easy to use, there’s no need for unnecessary zooming or scrolling, and the main things your audience wants are easy to locate.

One of my favorite examples of a great mobile website is PapaJohns.com. There are three big buttons — order a pizza for delivery, order a pizza for pick-up and find a location. If you want something else, go to the website on a computer, not a phone.

2. When does a smartphone app make sense?
Apps don’t replace your mobile website. They supplement your audience’s experience. Some businesses — especially media outlets or those with a high volume of original content, such as blog posts or videos — may be able to develop a useful service via an app.

New York’s Mermaid Oyster Bar includes its menu, locations, hours and a reservation link on its mobile-optimized website, along with a button to install its Oysterpedia application. The app is a companion encyclopedia of all things oyster, including photos and descriptions of the many varieties. It lets users bookmark their favorite oysters and share information with their social networks.

The app is subtle. It doesn’t directly ask people to visit the brick-and-mortar location, but it certainly establishes the restaurant as an authority. And where would you prefer to dine on oysters? Where the authority prepares them, of course.

3. What is responsive design and should I invest in it?
Responsive design is a relatively new approach to web design and development that essentially bakes in mobile optimization to your website rather than your having to create multiple site designs. Think of it as having one website rather than three — one for the desktop browser, one for a tablet and one for a phone.

Some content management systems and blog themes are emerging that incorporate responsive design. Also, many developers are building new websites with responsive design techniques in mind. So, responsive design can be had for minimal investment if you’re using WordPress or a similar open-source content management system.

4. What are QR Codes and how can I use them?
QR, or quick response, codes are basically bar codes that serve as a link to send a phone’s browser to a web address. Users scan the code with a QR code reader they have downloaded to their phones.

You can use QR codes to deliver coupons, get customers to register for your email newsletter, or even send them to “Like” you on Facebook. But be sure to make the QR process simple and efficient. The web address you send people to should be optimized for mobile, and you should include instructions on using the code for newbies.

Just over 6 percent of U.S. mobile users had scanned a QR code as of mid-2011, according to digital analytics service comScore, Inc. So, the market penetration is small. But the adoption of QR use has grown exponentially since the bar codes hit the U.S. market in the mid-2000s.

5. How close are we to mobile commerce?
Depending on your definition, we’re already mobile-commerce ready with existing technology. Not only do mobile hardware accessories such as Square provide credit card readers that plug into your mobile devices, but platforms including Flint Mobile also remove the hardware requirement by using your phone’s camera to scan the credit card number.

But other products such as Google Wallet, which incorporate Near Field Communications — a far more secure radio communication from a device like your phone to another device such as a cash register — are still in limited testing phases. The carrier, device and operating system companies have yet to agree on industry standards for security and privacy protection. So you’re not likely to see people waving cell phones in front of your credit card readers in the near future. Still, keep an eye on Google Wallet and other mobile commerce developments.

We have answered some of the basic questions, but there’s a lot more to know about mobile marketing before you dive in. Helpful online resources include Google’s HowToGoMo.com and the site mobithinking.com, which includes many statistics and insights.

Article Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223711

How to Attract Local Customers Using Mobile

Are you using mobile to reach customers in a specific location?

Location-based advertising is nothing new, but mobile has brought it to an entirely different level and the numbers tell the story: BIA/Kelsey predicts explosive growth for mobile local advertising over the next four years, from $784 million in 2011 to $5.01 billion in 2016!

So if it’s local customers you’re after, check out these recommendations for reaching them with mobile:

1. Build a mobile site.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to list this as the first step, with the key benefit being discoverability. A customer looking for a shoe repair shop in his area is most likely going to plug those keywords and a city name into Google. Make sure your business can be found and deliver an experience that is optimized for mobile.

If you need help getting started, check out How to Build a Mobile Website.

2. Optimize for search engines.

As with your desktop site, search engine optimization (SEO) is a mobile must-have. However, mobile is different – searches tend to be task-oriented and location-specific. Cindy Krum from Mobile Moxie suggests the following in an article from Bluetrain Mobile:

  • Set up proper device detection and redirection to your mobile site.
  • Optimize meta data (title tags, alt tags, etc.).
  • Spend some time on local SEO, meaning get your business information listed in local search tools like Google Places and Yelp.

3. Invest in paid search.

Last year, Google released a study showing that 89% of paid search clicks are incremental to those from organic search, meaning that they would be lost if a paid search campaign were stopped.

Don’t neglect this powerful tool for driving local mobile traffic. Google offers a number of mobile-specific ad formats, some of which are tailor-made for local searches (“Location Extensions” or “Ads with Offers,” for example).

4. Run a mobile display campaign.

Mobile display affords marketers almost limitless targeting capabilities. Aiming for the businessperson contemplating lunch in her area? Run a campaign targeted to business publications, from 11am – 2pm, targeted to a specific city or zip code. Just don’t refine too much or you won’t have an audience!

Check out iMedia Connection’s guide to mobile display advertising, then start by running a campaign with a self-service ad network like mMedia or Jumptap.

5. Combine geofencing and SMS.

We’ve sung the praises of SMS here before. When combined with geofencing, which is the practice of creating virtual fences around locations like stores or offices, the result is very powerful. A user could enter a geofence around your store and receive an exclusive SMS coupon!

It is especially important to develop a geofencing campaign that is relevant to individual customers, doesn’t message too often and respects privacy. Consider Placecast and iLoop for such an initiative.

Mobile presents marketers with new ways to reach local customers more effectively than ever before. Today, pick one of the tactics above, contact a vendor or your agency and get started today!

Article Source: http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2012/06/06/how-to-attract-local-customers-using-mobile/

Reaching the Right Audience with Mobile

Today, smartphones allow businesses to better reach their target audiences. The ubiquitous nature of mobile helps brand engage with consumers in real-time, unlike any other marketing channel before.

But reaching your audience on mobile requires a different strategy than reaching your audience through other mediums, so it’s important to recognize the differences and plan your campaigns accordingly.

Businesses can reach their mobile audience through a number of ways, including standalone mobile apps, text messaging, mobile-optimized websites, mobile display ads and more.

I recently participated in a Mobile Marketing Association webinar titled, Reaching the Right Audience Through Mobile & Social Media. The webinar panel featured Michael Becker, Managing Director, North America, MMA and speaker representatives from airG, one of the world’s largest mobile social media products.

As noted by the airG executives, some of the core advantage of mobile are relevancy, scale and the ability to control the who, what, when and how of their message.

Mobile is relevant because it’s about capturing the right audience with the right message at the right time. Providing consumers with relevancy in terms of content or location is very powerful.

The scale is impeccable. There are 1.2 billion mobile Web users and 5.9 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.  The global penetration of mobile devices continues to skyrocket, and thus the opportunity is constantly growing for marketers.

Another benefit of mobile is the ability to control your message content, the recipients, the time and the method. You can target mobile users by demographic, location and interests, and control their engagement and interaction.

With that being said, to reach the right audience through mobile there are a few things your brand should do. First, know your campaign goal. What is the desired outcome of your marketing or advertising efforts? Identify the audience you are trying to reach!

Next, target core prospects—not everyone. Don’t waste your time throwing your message out to everyone when, in reality, you only want certain ones to see it.

Lastly, run your campaign and measure the results. The only way you will know if it worked is to analyze the metrics. Know what success looks like and don’t accept anything less.

How to Grow Your Mobile Subscriber List

Are you looking for ways to increase the size of your SMS marketing list?

SMS may not be the shiniest tool in your mobile marketing kit, but its immediacy, high reach and strong engagement make it hard to beat. In a recent study of 1,180 national retailers, Cellit found that SMS produced engagement rates that were 6-8 times higher than the expected norms!

Perhaps you’re finding the first step – building a subscriber list – to be the toughest one, or you would like to increase the size of your existing list. Check out these tips for gathering mobile opt-ins:

1. Target your existing fans.

It’s likely that you already have some avid supporters out there – on Facebook, Twitter or maybe those that subscribe to your email newsletter. Since this group has already shown a willingness to communicate with you, this is where you should start your acquisition efforts. Try adding a custom form to your Facebook page or a strong call-to-action to your emails.

2. Incentivize.

A good reason for customers to sign up for your text alerts is so that they can receive offers or discounts. What better way to encourage sign-up than to offer them something in exchange?

Just remember to make the offer enticing and relevant to your business. A dentist’s office could probably gain a few subscribers by giving away movie tickets, but those subscribers may only be interested in the tickets – 20% off of a cleaning would be more appropriate.

3. Go offline.

Signing up for SMS alerts is quick, easy, and can be done from almost anywhere, so there’s no reason to limit your acquisition efforts to mobile or online channels. Consider adding your short code and keyword to in-store displays, receipts, print ads, direct mail, product packaging and out-of-home ads.

4. Make it simple.

Correction: signing up for SMS alerts can be easy, as long as marketers follow a few best practices. Mobile Marketing Watch published some great tips regarding keyword selection – generally, it’s best to pick a short, single word that’s easy to remember. Very important: test to see what a device’s auto-correct does to the keyword you’ve selected!

One trick to avoid typing issues is giving customers the option to scan a QR code that generates a text message with the correct keyword. However, in your promotional material, make sure you display the keyword and short code alongside it for feature phone users.

5. Deliver good content.

If you’re not providing information or offers that your audience finds useful, you’ll lose the subscribers you have and discourage new sign-ups.

When possible, personalize your messaging with user-specific information like location, preference or purchase history. Also, make sure that you’re not messaging too seldom or too often – start with 2-4 messages per month and adjust based on user response.

Article Source

The Scope of Mobile Today

We’re almost halfway through 2012. Can you believe it?

The skyrocketing number of smartphone users and amplified mobile marketing budgets tell us one thing: the scope of mobile is broadening more and more each day.

As we near 2012’s median, here are insights into the booming world of mobile:

Mobile Web

  • Mobile Web is predicted to reach 2 billion users by 2015.
  • The largest age group of mobile Web users is ages 25-34, making up 25.6% of the user population.
  • When looking at the entire population of mobile Web users, 51.3% are male and 48.7% female.

Mobile Activity

  • An average mobile device user has their smartphone with them 23 hours per day.
  • The most common mobile activity is text messaging (74.3%), with photos (60.3%) and email (40.8%) trailing close behind.
  • 58% of all SMS opt-ins are done by the 25-34 age group.

Mobile Advertising

  • The average mobile marketing/advertising budget is between $75,000 and $100,000 per campaign.
  • The mobile advertising market is expected to surpass $5 billion by 2015 (compared to the $1.24 billion in 2011).
  • Mobile search makes up the largest investment of advertisers (49%), and following that are display advertising (33%), SMS/MMS marketing (12.2%) and mobile video (5.8%).
  • 71% of smartphone users have used mobile search after seeing an ad.

Mobile Shopping

  • Nearly 1/3 of consumers say mobile is their go-to shopping method.
  • 87% of consumers shop via websites on a laptop, 14% on a smartphone and 9% on a tablet.
  • Men and women engage differently on mobile devices when it comes to shopping: women use smartphones to make their shopping experience more social, while men use it to find information about their potential purchases.
  • Mobile coupons generate 10x the redemption rate as traditional coupons.
  • 70% of smartphone users use their devices when shopping in-store, and 29% who do end up purchasing the item online–this is called the Showroom Effect.
  • 53% of those mobile searchers have made a purchase after a smartphone search.

QR Codes

  • 50% of smartphone owners have scanned QR codes, and 18% of them made a purchase after scanning.
  • 48% of companies plan to invest in advertising with QR codes in 2012.

So, there you have the numbers and be you informed! Ignorance is no longer an excuse for marketers not tapping into mobile. It’s clear that advertisers certainly have a wide range of mobile options to choose from, with mobile Web, advertising, SMS, coupons and QR codes at their fingertips.

Hello generation mobile!

Check out the following sources to see where the numbers came from:

Mobile Marketing by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Is Mobile Advertising the Future of Marketing?

How Consumers Engage with a Mobile Device

Just How Effective is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing produces more results more quickly than any other marketing channel in the history of the world.

I think mobile marketing is the most effective marketing channel ever (and it is not even close).

Here’s why:

1. Speedy Conversions –  A stunning 70% of all mobile searches result in action within one hour (Source: Borrell Association, 2011) By way of comparison, 70% of online searches lead to action within one month. This statistic alone surprised me. Think, for a moment, about the implications of this statistic. This shows marketers, clearly, that people searching on a mobile phone are prepared to learn more about your company/product immediately. This compresses the sales pipeline tremendously.

There is no other marketing method that can approach these numbers.

2. Superior Quality Conversions – Our research indicates that conversion rates are 10 times higher on a phone than on the average landing page. Basically, this means that if a prospect calls you, they are 10 times more likely to buy your product than if they simply visit a landing page.

What does this have to do with mobile marketing? Well, guess what mobile marketing is really, really good at: generating phone calls. Google says that 61% of mobile searches result in phone calls. xAd says that 52% of all mobile ads results in phone calls.

There is no other marketing channel that produces phone calls that frequently.

In short: mobile generates the highest quality lead source the majority of the time.

Wow.

3. Local Benefits – Google says that 95% of smart phone users look up local information regularly. 88% of these users take action within a day. This indicates that there are immediate needs searchers are trying to address.

Local companies should take advantage of these needs immediately. If your local business cannot be found on a mobile search, you won’t exist by 2014.

4. A ‘Captive’ Audience – If you have a smart phone you know how hopelessly addicted you are to it. You know that you can’t make it through a meal, a movie or even a trip to the restroom without checking your phone. You are a captive prisoner to your phone. This makes marketers smile. Marketers have long tried get their message in front of potential consumers. Marketers need access to consumers to get their message out. Well, mobile marketing gives you constant access to consumers. Studies show that 91% of smart phone owners have their phone with arms reach 24/7 (Source: Morgan Stanley, 2011).

There is no other channel that provides access to potential buyers 91% of the time.

5. And….Action! – 90% of mobile searches lead to action, over half lead to purchase (Source: MobiThinking, 2012) Wow.

6. Mobile Metrics are Easy to Measure – Google Analytics is definitely trending mobile. You can track where mobile users are, how frequently they visit and even which device they use. Additionally, integrating Google Analytics Multi-Channel Conversion Path with a call tracking tool allows you to track every engagement from the consumer. Phone calls are simple to track with any call tracking application (we prefer ours). And, remember, phone calls are the most common result of  a mobile ad or mobile search.

Mobile is the Most Effective Ever

Mobile marketing is, frankly, different. Mobile’s response rates and success rates are astronomically higher than any other method of marketing ever seen before. Let me be perfectly clear: in terms of immediate response, no marketing method even compares to mobile marketing. Nothing even comes close.

Now this shouldn’t frighten traditional marketers, businesses or online marketers. This is an opportunity, not a problem. Think of it this way: you’ve been given a tool that will increase your engagement, conversion and your trackable metrics. That’s awesome!

My friend was right.

Article Source

%d bloggers like this: