Tag Archives: textmessage

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

Advertisements

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

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

%d bloggers like this: