Tag Archives: text message
I think mobile marketing is the most effective marketing channel ever (and it is not even close).
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.
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.
So you’ve got a healthy business, a good marketing plan, and you’re pretty sure you know which half is working. But you can’t shake that nagging voice in the back of your head: “I’m not doing SMS…”
SMS, or text messages, are typically read within 3 minutes of receipt, vs. 48 hours for emails.
Well the voice has a point. SMS is sometimes overlooked, but it remains one of the most powerful marketing techniques: just about every phone can accept text messages, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes! (SinglePoint) Furthermore, US mobile customers prefer offers via text message to those via mobile Web, apps, and voice mail. (DMA UK)
SMS marketing doesn’t have to be difficult…so don’t get discouraged! Here are five steps to help you begin using SMS in your marketing today:
1. What do you want to accomplish? If you run a business, you probably want to drive sales (duh!). But consider that SMS is a much more personal medium than email or even social media to some extent. Think about how you can use the opportunity to grow long-term relationships, and harness the power of SMS beyond a one-off promotion or bulk alert.
2. Get a short code. A short code is a five or six digit number from which you can deliver messages, and consumers can message you back. There are two basic types: dedicated and shared. Dedicated codes are great for maintaining the most control over your brand messaging, but they are costly, so shared codes are often a good bet for small- to mid-sized businesses.
3. Build your opt-in list. SMS marketing is a fantastic tool for driving repeat business, so start by inviting your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or in-store patrons to text a keyword to your short code to begin receiving offers and alerts. Get off on the right foot by offering an incentive to sign up. Remember, you can’t send anyone a text until they’ve opted in, and you must always give them an easy way to opt out. Check out the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)’s best practices for more information.
4. Make it personal. These days, even friends have to be careful about mass texting for risk of appearing impersonal, and the same is true for marketers. While you still want to respect your audience’s anonymity, the content should be customized. For example, ask about a customer’s favorite dish or product in the sign-up form, then send a related offer.
5. Optimize. As with any marketing program, it’s important to test and compare. Are you sending most of your texts during the week? Try sending on the weekend and see how this affects response rates. Are some offers being redeemed more often than others? Move the underperformers out and test some new ones.
I know, I know. This may seem like old news. But the data just keeps pouring in, which only helps solidify my argument that SMS is an effective marketing medium.
According to new information released by YouGov, mobile users are very open to being sent offers via SMS.
In the past, the industry has experienced negative attitudes toward text message offers on the consumer side, and reluctance of marketers to utilize them due to doubts regarding their success.
But the tables have turned.
The survey by YouGov and the related infographic yielded the following results:
- 65% of people like offers on their mobile phones.
- 75% of smartphone users prefer receiving offers via SMS.
- 83% would prefer to receive no more than two offers per month.
I know, you’re probably wondering “then why don’t all businesses use SMS to reach their customers?” And all I can say is, it’s only a matter of time.
SMS allows businesses to deliver strategically-timed offers to a very captive audience. They can gather SMS opt-ins and deliver value-driven messages to those customers to reward them for their loyalty.
But marketers and businesses need to be aware of how to maintain the sanctity of SMS so it can keep moving in this positive direction, so this data should be taken to heart.
- Don’t overwhelm your customers with a billion text messages a month—they WILL get over it and they WILL unsubscribe.
- Don’t send messages that don’t deliver some sort of value to your customers—they WILL lose interest and they WILL unsubscribe.
So, let it be known: the most effective mobile marketing medium for eliciting a consumer response is SMS. Are you making the most out of your marketing efforts?
Many campaigns may not get the expected click-throughs or opt-ins they initially anticipated. However, it is never too late to refresh an idea.
“Mobile is experiencing explosive growth and is a new and exciting way to reach consumers at the moment when their intent to purchase is strongest,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.
“As such, few of the old rules apply,” he said. “Outdated CPM or CPC models might suffice for generalist branding campaigns, but smart mobile marketers are linking mobile campaigns to actionable, commerce-enabled mobile pages where success can be measured by lift and increased revenue.
According to Mr. Kerr, it is essential that marketers rethink their goals.
It is important for marketers to see who they are looking to target and find out more about their user.
Additionally, testing is key and helps marketers see what works and what does not.
“Try some things in a limited way, to learn,” Mr. Kerr said. “Are you prepared for NFC? Tried QR codes? Location to push ads to shoppers?
“There is real value in learning and gaining experience in this space, as mobile continues to grow and evolve,” he said. “Mobile consumers want to act, they do not want to surf off to some Web page and read a lot of branding messaging on their smartphone.
“Ask yourself how easy it is for a mobile consumer to complete an action, then tweak the campaign.”
For example, if a company is running a mobile advertising campaign, it is important to link the campaign to mobile-optimized landing pages where an action can occur, as well as be able to track the lift.
“No mobile campaign can succeed if the mobile consumer lands on a page not formatted for mobile,” Mr. Kerr said. “Also, target mobile ads for max effectiveness by using mobile-specific variables like realtime proximity to your locations as a prequalification.
“Consider proposing a revshare arrangement with ad networks, where they share the tracked upside, in exchange for tweaking the campaign for max effectiveness,” he said.
All about SMS
Currently, many marketers are dabbling in SMS.
However, a SMS campaign might not get enough sign-ups or opt-ins that are expected.
Sending messages to consumers can help build a dialogue between the brand and the customer.
However, bombarding them with messages or sending them texts that are not relevant can help diminish that relationship.
“Messaging campaigns fail for a variety of reasons,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket + Augme Technologies, Kirkland, WA.
“One is a lack of strong call to action – the mobile subscriber needs to be incented to do something and the CTA must be prominent or it will be lost,” he said.
“A second is poor execution – it took more than five hours for me to get a bounceback message after I responded to the NFL’s Super Bowl spot call to action.”
Mobile subscribers are all about instant gratification, per Mr. Hasen.
To succeed, marketers should start by mapping a strategy for their business goals.
According to the executive, several best practices include working with a provider that offers technology with strategy and creative, testing before diving in fully and providing multiple ways for consumers to engage.
“Hipcricket client Macy’s does this extremely well,” Mr. Hasen said. “For instance, its Backstage Pass program has elements including a QR code, SMS, mobile Web and MMS.”
Many marketers are also using QR codes in their campaigns to drive user engagement.
However, consumers are still not educated on what a QR code is or what they need to scan it with – therefore, they are not getting the scans they had expected.
“With any digital marketing tool, it is critical to measure your results and adjust your approach if it is not meeting objectives,” said Mike Wehrs, CEO of Scanbuy, New York. “QR Codes should follow the same rules.
“Create your codes with a tracking tool so you can look at the performance on scan rates and engagement,” he said. “If your campaign is not getting the scans you expected, you may want to rethink where the code is being placed and revise the call to action around the code to be more direct about why to scan.
“Both of those are critical to create relevance and value for the consumer. If you are not seeing engagement results, then you need to ensure you are doing the basics like delivering mobile optimized content that gives the user a compelling experience. Think about what that user would want at the time they scan your code and deep link them into the best possible experience.”
Where to start
According to Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, marketers should use mobile as an A/B testing ground.
“If a campaign is not getting enough lift, try a different approach with the same campaign, change the order of the action item, move a click-through to the top and add another action item for two in one,” she said.
“Just because one campaign is not getting the proper amount of lift does not mean that the mobile application itself is a failure, it simply means a different approach should be taken.”
If a campaign is not performing well, Ms. Troutman suggests that marketers either revise the campaign with a different approach or start fresh.
“The revising of a campaign shows an A/B testing that can be valuable for future campaigns as they move forward,” Ms. Troutman said.
“For example, if a campaign has one action item and there is a scroll on the micro site or landing page, and it is not extremely intuitive what the action is, then taking that same campaign and moving some of the pieces around to change this campaign could make a difference, and if it does, it gives valuable insight into the next campaign that is sent out as to where and how the action should be displayed,” she said.
The executive also says that marketers should never feel intimidated about launching a campaign.
“If you keep it back and over analyze, you will never learn what works and what does not work,” Ms. Troutman said. “You only learn which campaigns will be effective by creating and sending these out.”
Questions have surfaced lately regarding the sustainability of text messaging amidst the rise of free social messaging apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger, and more.
Phone companies allegedly missed out on $13.9 billion in 2011 because of these free messaging services, according to a report from Ovum.
Do these companies have something to worry about? Should they re-strategize and reevaluate their services to compensate for the losses?
Ovum suggests that telecommunications companies should collaborate with others in the industry, such as app developers, to leverage their relationships with subscribers, share end-user data, and integrate with social gaming connections.
It turns out these phone companies may actually may find some opportunity in this situation after all!
But even with the potential for industry-wide collaborations in the future, text messaging probably isn’t going away anytime soon amongst the U.S. population.
This article by Luke W Ideation + Design sums up the reasons why:
- Texting in the United States grew 10 percent in the first quarter of 2011. That was down from 16 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2010.
- In September 2011, 73 percent of American cell phone owners were texting.
- Americans aged 18 and 24 exchanged an average of 109.5 messages on a typical day. The median user in this age group sent or received 50 messages per day.
- This month, the volume of texting among teens rose from 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the median teen text user.
- Adults in the U.S. traded an average of 41.5 messages a day, with the median user sending or receiving 10 texts daily.
- The average email is read 48 hours after it is sent, while the average SMS is read in four minutes.
- In the first half of 2009, Americans sent 4.1 billion texts per day.
While hope for text messaging in the U.S. still lingers, other countries are seeing a significant decline in the number of text messages being sent.
A blog article on the New York Times Blog Bits stated that Finland, Honk Kong and Australia are a few parts of the world that are experiencing this drop.
On Christmas day 2011, text messaging numbers were much lower in Finland, which is typically the busiest day of the year for texting. They were also down 14 percent in Hong Kong and 9 percent in Australia compared to 2010.
Why is this? Experts suspect the decrease is due to alternative messaging services.
But remember, text messaging is still the number one mobile activity among Americans.
Certainly, “free” is an undeniably convincing price point. But don’t drop your data plan just yet–text messaging is here to stay.
I recently came across an infographic by TextMarketer about the rise of text messaging for businesses. The infographic covers the industries that use business SMS, the global reach of mobile, the growth in mobile advertising budgets, and the rise of Application to Person (A2P) Messaging. I want to summarize a couple key points from the infographic:
Leading Industries Using Business SMS
- Recruitment (16.27%)
- Misc (15.59%)
- Software (10.17%)
- Marketing Agencies (9.49%)
- Retailers (8.81%)
Other industries using SMS services are Financial Services, Leisure, Estate Agencies, Beauty/Hair Salons, Education, Vehicle Dealerships, Dental/Optical, Fast Food, Councils, Legal, Restaurants and Travel Agents.
Of those industries, the ones that send the most business related text messages are:
- Leisure (24.30%)
- Misc (19.10%)
- Recruitment (17.70%)
- Retailers (13.20%)
- Software (8.10%)
Application to Person (A2P) Messaging:
A2P messaging occurs when a business contacts a customer. There are several industries that are already utilizing this type of SMS, and its future looks bright.
- Revenue from A2P Messaging will exceed $70 billion by 2016.
- By 2016, it is predicted that A2P messaging will surpass person-to-person messaging.
Connecting the Dots: Why Is SMS Important for Businesses?
Mobile is big. All signs are pointing toward text messaging as a successful marketing tactic for businesses, and here’s why:
- 87% of the world’s population has a mobile phone.
- 45% of customers notice mobile advertising.
- 29% of people respond to mobile advertising.
- Mobile marketing budgets are growing at a rate of 26% every year.
- Brand spending on mobile advertising will grow from 0.5% of the total advertising budget in 2010 to over 4% in 2015.
Businesses are starting to understand the value of SMS for their business, and many industries are on board. The reach of mobile is unprecedented, mobile marketing budgets are rising, and businesses are seeing great results from leveraging the power of SMS. Don’t let your business get left behind!
Nowadays consumers cannot go a day without seeing a QR code – whether it is on a magazine page, billboard or bus shelter. In past years, SMS calls to actions were seen just about anywhere. However, many current marketing efforts are not incorporating SMS, but rather placing a QR code on products to drive user engagement.
“SMS gives brands an easy, broad reaching and low cost means of consumer communication via the mobile channel – and as you know, is ubiquitous, but it lacks the rich media experience that QR codes can deliver,” said Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, Boulder, CO.
“From some of the campaigns that we have run alongside SMS call to actions, the QR codes are outperforming the response from SMS significantly,” she said. “In many times a factor of 10 or more times more successful.
“This is really causing our brand clients to question how they are going to use SMS in the future.”
Over the past year brands and marketers have added a mobile bar code component to their campaign initiatives.
Conde Nast’s Allure magazine has implemented Microsoft Tags in its August giveaway issue.
The publication saw success the first time it ran mobile bar codes on its magazine pages and found that its annual “Free Stuff” giveaways resulted in 444,572 scans.
Since then, Allure decided to incorporate the Microsoft Tags in its annual August issues moving forward.
Allure is not the only publication incorporating QR codes into its static pages. Magazines such as People, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, GQ and Women’s Health are using mobile bar codes to drive readership engagement.
Additionally, companies such as Starbucks, Bath & Body Works, Chili’s, Taco Bell and Red Bull are among the many that have incorporated QR codes into their marketing efforts over the past year.
Many companies are even educating consumers on what a QR code is and how they can use it.
“I believe QR codes still have that newness factor associated with them,” Ms. Marriott said. “It’s about that sheer convenience and adoption opportunities that QR codes offer to brands, enterprises and consumers alike – answering the need for information on the go, interactivity, measurability and traceability – that will ensure that the market for mobile bar codes will continue to grow this year.
“Already we’re seeing impressive adoption by brands, handset manufacturers and operators for use in mobile marketing and advertising campaigns, and this will continue as barriers to adoption such as consumer education, handset integration and consumer awareness are overcome,” she said.
“As big players such as Google, Facebook and eBay help drive the viral adoption of bar codes and offer mobile bar code solutions to their customers, the education is accelerated and penetration to the consumer, in all aspects of everyday life, will continue to grow.”
The next SMS?
According to Nicole Skogg, CEO of SpyderLynk, Denver, mobile bar codes in general are replacing SMS.
“Many 2D mobile bar codes provide a wide range of benefits above and beyond what a SMS campaign can offer,” Ms. Skogg said.
“First of all, it is much easier for a consumer to activate and lower barriers to entry will drive program participation,” she said. “Rather than having to send a text message to a number, consumers can simply scan the mobile bar codes – it requires less effort on behalf of the consumers.”
Unlike an SMS campaign, mobile bar codes are visually represented, per Ms. Skogg.
“This combined with the increasing consumer awareness of what 2D mobile bar codes are and the ways they can access them increases the likelihood of consumer engagement,” Ms. Skogg said.
In the past QR codes have primarily connected users to a mobile Web site.
However, marketers are increasingly thinking outside the box and incorporating mobile video, games and giveaways as another incentive to engage consumers.
“Given that mobile bar codes have the opportunity to be so much more than a link to a mobile Web site, 2012 will be the year that marketers will explore the opportunities that exist beyond the mobile site, realizing they have the ability to impact consumers at all stages of the consumer decision journey,” Ms. Skogg said.
“Mobile initiatives will be designed to engage consumers, drive purchase consideration, activate a sale or build a sustainable mobile connection,” she said. “With all of the robust mobile bar code activity in 2011, we believe the stage has been set for brands to develop and refine comprehensive, strategic approaches to activating mobile bar codes in 2012.
“We expect brand marketers will capitalize on the ability to segment their mobile marketing campaigns and serve content and experiences crafted to engage different target consumers relative to where they are in their path to purchase.”
Return of SMS
Although QR codes are increasingly gaining traction, SMS should not be forgotten.
If a company is looking to incorporate mobile bar codes into their campaigns, they should also take a look at SMS and see if they can tie both channels into the mix.
Not every consumer has a smartphone on hand or a device that features mobile bar code scanning capabilities.
It is great that brands and marketers are uses new technology such as QR codes, however it is also important that they not forget about those consumers that have a feature phone.
SMS is a universal mobile channel and can be used by consumers with both smartphone and feature phone devices.
“SMS marketing is as strong as ever,” said Doug Stovall, senior vice president of sales at Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. “Not everyone has a QR scanner or even a smartphone, but most everyone has a cell phone with the ability to send and receive SMS messages.
It is important thing to remember is that each user consumers in different ways and prefers various mediums.
By offering multiple means for engagement, companies can attract the maximum amount of customers and not exclude potential ones.
“SMS will be as strong as ever, but we will also see it placed alongside other mobile options like QR codes and the mobile Web,” Mr. Stovall said. “Offering multiple channels encourages engagement and campaign creativity, ultimately driving increased customer loyalty and overall revenue from mobile marketing campaigns.”
According to Tim Miller, CEO of Sumotext, Little Rock, AR, consumers are not more inclined to engage with QR codes than with SMS.
“Not according to comScore whose last report said that less than 10 percent of Americans have downloaded a reader and scanned a QR code,” Mr. Miller said. “That’s a really low level of engagement compared with the ubiquitous penetration of SMS.
“Unless you’re going to provide an alternative call to action, those ads might as well be in Spanish,” he said. “So, though we love seeing any actionable elements in any ad, SMS is the only engagement tactic that marketers can rely on for maximum reach.
“I think you see a lot more QR codes because it’s the new thing – and because those codes are big and noticeable.”
Sumotext believes that this is the year for MMS.
“Prices are finally right and we now have great tools to design and transcode the content for maximum deliverability,” said Randy Atkisson, executive vice president of sales and business development at Sumotext, Little Rock, AR.
“We also see geo fences and location aware messaging as a big deal for retail and restaurant brands with lots of locations,” he said. “Using location and geofences, we’re able to help them promote a single SMS call to action while segmenting their database and organizing subscribers into other groups and keywords based on the location of the device.”
A recent study shows that almost one in 10 Americans has donated via text— and that it was an impulse donation.
The Pew Research Center surveyed the response time for donations that came in via text message in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Three quarters (73%) of people surveyed who donated made their contribution the same day they heard about the campaign.
And 76% said they do little research before making the donation.
There are some major pluses to donating via text. No snail mailing checks or waiting on hold while you call-in to make a contribution. The speed at which money can come pouring into relief efforts with text donations could have a major impact on the recovery efforts, possibly helping solutions be implemented quicker.
The American Red Cross had a similar program after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Currently, the Red Cross has an ongoing text donation program. Just text “REDCROSS” to the same number above (9-0-9-9-9) to make a $10 donation to the organization.
Nonprofits are utilizing social media and real-time tools to make giving easier and faster. The World Food Programme released a food calculator app that lets users type in their favorite food, serving size and estimated cost and the app shows you how many children that could feed, and then make a donation.
Last year, an iOS app called iSnooze was released that donates your money every time you hit the snooze button.
2011 was a big year for the mobile world. The industry took major strides in terms of being recognized as a major player in the marketing sphere, and businesses who originally doubted its potential are reconsidering their assessment.
- Smartphone penetration in the U.S. reached 44 percent in 2011
- Businesses and brands started to dabble more in the realm of QR codes
- NFC Communication and the mobile wallet emerged
- Tablets and smartphones changed the ways consumers shop online
Given the success of this past year for mobile marketing, we can only hope for more achievements in the New Year. Here are some predictions for the mobile marketing industry in 2012:
- Loyalty based mobile programs will serve as the go-to form of mobile marketing, as more and more businesses are losing faith in daily deal services like Groupon and LivingSocial and are seeking out programs that will encourage repeat customers and increase client retention.
- QR code implementation will rise and will be executed with more engaging call-to-actions and measureable analytics.
- Near Field Communication (NFC) will revolutionize the mobile commerce sector.
- U.S. mobile ad spending will grow (eMarketer is projecting a 47 percent increase in 2012).
Certain businesses and brands may have gotten away with holding off on mobile marketing last year, but this year they’ll be left in the dust if they don’t get on board. Those who understand the potential of mobile will see no need to wait any longer.
2011 was big, but 2012 will be bigger.
To celebrate the birth of text messaging, SMS messaging provider Tatango put together a timeline infographic to illustrate its monumental growth over the last 19 years.
On December 3rd, 1992, the first text message was sent from a man named Neil Papworth to colleague Richard Jarvis that simply read “Merry Christmas.” From that day on, SMS has become one of the most ubiquitous forms of communication in the world — and one of the most effective marketing channels as well.
It wasn’t an overnight success, however, as Americans were only sending about 35 text messages per month in 2000. Compare that to 2011 where Americans are now sending 357 text messages per month on average while generating $585B for operators worldwide.