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Why the Big Game is a Great Place to Send Mass Text Messages

They may be watching the game, but that doesn't mean they're not also watching their phones. Whether it's football, baseball, hockey or soccer, and whether it's being viewed at home or right in the stadium, at that moment you have a tremendous marketing opportunity.

And since over 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received, by communicating via text you guarantee your subscribers will receive, and read, your message.

Some of the biggest teams in the world have been using text marketing for years to:

 

    • Gain new subscribers.

 

    • Communicate with existing subscribers, often.

 

    • Sell more.

 

Here's How Text Message Marketing Works in the Big Leagues


"Hands up if you got my text."

For years top tier sports teams have used SMS to communicate with their subscribers (either existing customers, or people who just opted in to receive updates via text). These updates include:

 

    • Game dates and times.

 

    • The latest scores.

 

    • Statistics on the current game, past games, and future games.

 

    • Player statistics.

 

    • Surveys and polls.

 

    • And of course, special offers.

 

And a live game is an ideal time to communicate with your list since they're so emotionally involved with what's happening right now. Of course they may wait for an advertising break to read (and respond to) your message, but this is one of the very best times to communicate with them.

But it doesn't just have to be about communicating with current subscribers. You also need to keep growing your list, since without new blood your list will naturally shrink over time as people unsubscribe or change their number.

So while their attention is really focused on the game, advertising to grow your list can work wonders. But just asking viewers to "Subscribe for updates" generally doesn't cut it.

Like all direct response advertising, give them a great reason to respond right now. Perhaps in return for subscribing they can start to receive special offers (that the general public don't see), or even to have their name and number placed into a draw with game tickets as the prize.

Panic! at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden ran the "50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden" text marketing campaign. MSG offered viewers access to special content, in return for subscribing to their text updates list.

This was promoted a number of ways, including:

 

    • At hockey games for the New York Rangers, a code and number were given out. By subscribing, you entered into the opportunity to win a Rangers Prize Pack. This part of the campaign resulted in 300 fans joining the MSG text messaging list.

 

    • At a star-studded Halloween party, promotional cards were handed out. By texting "MSG50" to 25827, subscribers were entered into a draw to win tickets to see either Dane Cook, or Panic! at the Disco.

 

The ongoing promotions for this campaign turned out to be one of the most successful in the MSG Network's history, and it continues to regularly send mass text messages with news, content, and offers.

Text Marketing in the Little Leagues Too?


"Why haven't you responded to my text?"

It's not just the big leagues benefiting from text marketing. However big or small your players, leagues and clubs all over the country are seeing the benefits that come from text message marketing.

Using text updates is ideal for broadcasting:

 

  • Changes to schedules.

 

  • Updates to policies.

 

  • Major league announcements and other news.

 

  • Plus, of course, emergency notifications.

 

Read and response rates for email continue to drop, so the speed at which a new text message is read makes this one of the most attractive and effective ways to broadcast updates, almost instantaneously.

This article was written by Louis Allport, an experienced marketer who enjoys sharing his experience with other businesses. He lives in the UK and has been marketing and publishing online for over 15 years.

3 Surefire Ways to Get a Nightclub Customer's Attention

Do you want to bring in more business? If you're in the nightclub business, you know how important it is to differentiate yourself so that you can bring in more customers and continue to have success. Luckily, there are a number of way in which you can use today's technology to advertise your club so that you get the results that you want. Take a look at the following information for some great ways to get the attention of potential customers.

Use Mass Texting Services to Offer Limited Time Deals

If you're not currently using a mass texting service to market your club, now is the time to do start doing so. This is a great and easy way to reach out to potential and current club visitors. With the use of this service, you can advertise all of your deals.

While some clubs focus on marketing a special event or drink special, another great way to stand out is by offering a reduced admission fee if individuals show up by a certain time. This is a great way to fill up the club and ensure that a special event is visited.

All you need to do is set up a text campaign that will alert individuals of a discounted rate if they enter your club by a certain time. It's a good idea to send this out the day before the event date as well as a couple of hours before the specific time. This can allow you to get last minute guests in the door, who may not have otherwise visited your establishment.


Using mass text messaging services can help you get more people in the door.

Offer Continued Discounts for Repeat Guests

It's a good idea to reward repeat guests for visiting your club. This can help show that you appreciate their business and can keep them coming through your doors.

You can also use a mass texting plan for this marketing practice. You will want to tailor your messages and make sure that you're thanking customers for their patronage. Consider offering a discount to individuals who text a code once they've entered the club. This can allow them to save a certain percentage or dollar amount off of their next visit.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media is another great way to get the attention of potential customers. You can use images, videos, and personal reviews to help spark interest in your club and the events that you have.

With so many people using social media on a regular basis, it's important that your club makes its brand noticeable online so that you can get the best results. If you're not currently on social media, look into creating an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so that you can interact with your current and potential customers.


Tweeting about your brand can help you reach more potential customers.

As you can see, you can get the attention of nightclub customers in many ways. If you're looking for ways to better market your business, consider implementing some of the above steps so that you can continue to have success and stand out from the competition.

Natasha Etzel is a writer who writes on a variety of topics, including online marketing and business topics.

How Mass Text Messaging Can Sell Out Your Concert Venue

The concert is over, and everyone had a great time, but sadly that's no guarantee the concert goers will definitely turn out for your next event, especially if you don't remind them, regularly.

And you're certainly not alone. Being forgotten about is a problem all business owners face. Customers have a lot going on in their lives, and your business is rarely top of their minds. So...

Let's Remind Your Customers That You Exist


Standing room only at your next event!

Depending how much information your concert goers give you when they order their ticket, you have a number of options to follow up on them:

Email, of course.

Downsides of this approach include your message getting lost in a cluttered inbox, or even worse if your message automatically gets sent to the spam folder.

Bulk email can be an inexpensive way to communicate with your customers, but response rates keep on dropping, so it's important not to depend on it.

How about phoning your customers?

Unless your customer base is particularly small, phoning each of your customers one by one isn't an option. And there are ways to scale this process, with either an automated message sent to your customers, or using a call center. But be aware many people really do not appreciate unexpected calls, so unless you proceed with caution this approach may backfire.

Direct mail

Costly, with low response rates, but another option to consider if you have the budget, and want to reach your customers through multiple channels.

Text Message

According to the Conversational Advertising report by Mobile Squared, 90% of SMS messages are read within the first three minutes. That delivery and open rate is streets ahead of both direct mail, and email, so it's vital you make mass text messaging part of your marketing mix.

We're All Talking Less and Texting More


You can use a phone to talk?

As more and more of the population upgrade to smartphones, people are using their phone less to talk. Texting, rather than speaking, has become far more popular these days, and this is particularly true for teens. So sending a text really does almost guarantee to get someone's attention.

So this is one of the most cost effective ways to get a message in front of your customers incredibly quickly. But just because you can get someone's attention, doesn't make every message equal. If the texts you send out are uninteresting, irrelevant, or overbearing, they're very likely to:

 

    • Be ignored entirely.

 

    • Be read, but get no response.

 

    • Annoy your customers, so they either ask to unsubscribe, or choose to never do business with you again.

 

High Response SMS Marketing (a Very Crash Course)

The following tried and true direct response rules can help to maximize the response you get from your SMS marketing campaigns:

Message to Market Match

Is your message relevant, interesting and beneficial for the receiver? The more relevant to their interests and compelling for them, the better your response will be. If they came to a jazz concert, and you're inviting them back for Lady Gaga, you might not receive the response you're looking for.

"Make me an offer (I can't refuse)"

Everyone loves a special offer, and making it time-sensitive is shown to boost response again and again. Give your customers a very strong reason to buy now. Perhaps a reduced price, a two-for-one offer, special bonuses for the first 100 customers.

The more reasons you give your customer to respond quickly, the more likely they are to do just that.

Do they know who you are?

If it's been a while since you've been in touch, you might need to remind them who you are, your relationship with them, and why they're going to be so happy you got in touch (this loops back to making a special offer).

And even if you don't have an offer you can make your customers right now, keeping in regular touch with them can increase response rates when you do want them to respond positively.

What you're doing effectively is training your customers to get used to hearing from you, and even better if you can train them to respond to your messages, whether that's purchasing from you, or just clicking a link to read your latest newsletter.

Time of day

Since text messages are read so quickly, you ideally want to send messages when they're most likely to be responded too. It does depend on your audience, but a pretty safe assumption is that evenings and weekends are when your customers have the most time to read, and respond to, your message.

So it's vital you make SMS marketing part of your marketing mix, and perhaps your very first marketing choice for any new campaign, since the delivery and read rates are almost unprecedented. A well written and targeted text has been shown to get attention quickly and drive a fast response.

This article was written by Louis Allport, an experienced marketer who enjoys sharing his experience with other businesses. He lives in the UK and has been marketing and publishing online for over 15 years.

Real Estate Agencies and Mass Texting: A Great Fit

Are you looking for a way to sell more houses and reach more potential customers in the real estate industry? With the use of today's technological advances, you can benefit greatly by having the opportunity to reach more people in better ways. With text message marketing, you can put your brand right in front of your customers.

How Do Mass Texting Services Work?

How exactly does this service work? With mass texting marketing services, you can send a variety of messages to a large group of people more easily. This makes it possible for you to reach more potential customers in a way that is convenient for them.

Once you choose to work with a mass texting company, they will help you create a number of campaigns. You can choose to send as many messages as you'd like and messages to as many people as you'd like. You can also set up the service so that when others text a code, they get an immediate response from your company.

How It Relates to the Real Estate Industry

While text message marketing campaigns work for a number of industries, it can be very beneficial to the real estate sector. Your real estate company can benefit by reaching more potential home buyers and brokers.

You can use a special code on all of your advertising pieces so that when potential home buyers walk by a sign or see your ad, they can easily text you to get more information. With a campaign set up in place, you can send an automatic message back to the person with detailed information and pictures about a property.

This is a great way to give home buyers information more quickly. It can also be a great way to build your database, because you can collect contact information.

You can also send messages quickly to other real estate brokers that you work with. This makes it easier for you to share information on listings or last minute price drops so that you can easily make more sales.


Mass texting puts you right in the hands of customers.

Use Texting to Advertise an Event

Fox News notes that mass text message services are a great way to increase business through a last minute sale. It can also be a great way to target more shoppers to a storefront location.

If you're in the real estate business, you can use this service to get more people to show up for a home showing, so that you can attract as much attention as possible. You can also use text-messaging marketing to advertise other real estate events in your community so that you get the turnout that you want.


Text message marketing can help you get the results that you want.

Get Results Today

If you want to bring your real estate business to new heights, consider using this powerful marketing tool. Almost every person that you meet uses a cell phone on a daily basis. Make sure that your marketing messages are in their hands with the use of mass texting marketing services.

10 Commandments of Text Message Marketing

Text message marketing is exceptionally effective when done right. People have their phones within reach essentially around the clock, and text messages are almost always opened, often immediately upon receipt. If you've made the decision to use text message marketing, adhering to certain "best practices" is imperative. Here are 10 commandments of text message marketing.

1. Make Your Messages Friendly to the Maximum Number of Devices

Not everyone has a smartphone, and not everyone's phone can go to URLs in messages. Plan text message marketing campaigns to make it easy for recipients to make use of an offer. Requiring multiple steps, or linking users to a website that requires input of additional information before downloading an offer is a sure way to get people to opt out.

2. Opt-In Is the Only Way to Go

You need people's permission to send them offers and information by text messaging. Courts have ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 applies to text messaging, and that unsolicited messages violate the act. Additionally, unsolicited texting can damage your reputation. Make opting out a one-step process too.

3. Tell Subscribers Exactly What They're Signing Up For

Tell subscribers up front that they can expect messages with unadvertised specials, notification of special events, or discount codes. You don't want them to be unpleasantly surprised when they receive their first message from your company.

4. Don't Forget Important Legal Language

Follow the recommended practices of CTIA - The Wireless Association. These include important steps like including a "Msg & data rates may apply" statement in your auto-reply messages.

5. Don't Send Messages Too Frequently

Two to four text messages per month should be your goal. More than that will feel "spammy" and cause people to either ignore your messages or opt out of your text message marketing campaign.

6. Text at Appropriate Times

Text message marketing should generally take place during regular business hours. An exception might be night clubs that operate outside of normal business hours. Even so, texting customers at 3 a.m. is a bad idea.

7. Avoid Text-Speak

Most of the time you can avoid unprofessional, juvenile "text speak" in your messages. You should come across as a business, not as a 12-year-old.

8. Monitor Your Analytics

If you work with a text message marketing provider, choose one that provides reports and analytics, including opt-out rates, message volume, reply rates, and when new contacts are added. Analytics can help you learn which text message marketing techniques work well, and which do not.

9. Grab a Vanity Short Code if Possible

Short codes are "addresses" to which text messages are sent. Consumers use them to send texts to connect with commercial services or applications. Having an easy-to-remember short code costs more than having a random one, but it can improve reply rates and opt-in rates.

10. Every Message Should Be Fresh and Provide Value

Don't send the same message every time. Each message should be fresh, and each message should offer value, whether through a discount code, announcement of an unadvertised special, a two-for-one promotion or some other offer. Text the same thing every time, and people will start ignoring your messages.

Text message marketing can be one of the most cost-effective and efficient marketing methods available today. Adhering to best practices helps ensure that your text message marketing campaign gets great results.

SMS Marketing and the Power of 160 Characters

In 1985, communications researcher Friedhelm Hillebrand discovered that the typical sentence or question almost always takes up fewer than 160 characters. A few years later, as chairman of non-voice services for the Global System for Mobile Communications, a group that created standards for mobile communications, he pushed for the short messaging service (SMS) standard, which limited text messages to 160 characters.

Tight bandwidth considerations were key in the early days of mobile communications, but the 160-character standard stuck. While it may seem too limiting in an era when data is being created and transmitted in huge amounts, its limitations turned out to have numerous advantages. Marketing professionals can make great use of SMS marketing and its 160-character restriction.

Making the Most of Your 160 Characters

One hundred and sixty characters may not seem like much, but its very brevity can be an advantage in marketing. Making the most of your 160-character "canvas" requires you to take steps that essentially force you to write a message that works great for marketing. Here's how to get the most from your SMS marketing messages:

• Start, rather than end with a call to action. In fact, your entire message may be a call to action: "Buy one drink, get one free with coupon code XXXXX." In just 50 characters, you offer value, tell the customer exactly how to get that value, and take up only two or three seconds of his time.

• Don't worry about sounding terse. Text messages are supposed to be brief and to the point, and recipients are used to messages that stick to the basic facts.

• Include short links if you need to send a message that won't fit in 160 characters. Use a link shortener that allows custom domains to create an easy-to-remember link for people who can't go to links directly from text messages.

• Proofread thoroughly. You can often think of ways to word things more concisely when you proofread. If you're having trouble squeezing everything in, ask someone else to give it a go. Sometimes looking at a message fresh lets a person see new ways of condensing a message.

One way to develop your skill at packing a lot of meaning into a few words is studying headlines and search results. Most web articles keep their headlines short, and keep the descriptions that show up in search results to 160 or fewer characters. That's because the descriptions you see under Google results stop at 160 characters.

Why Briefer Is Better

People expect brevity with text messages, and they expect SMS marketing messages to use as little of their time as possible. One reason people are less reluctant to opt into text marketing programs is that they know the messages will be brief, and that they can open them upon receipt, or wait. When a customer knows he might save money simply by reading an SMS marketing message, he knows the few seconds spent reading them are a good investment of time.

Not only are text messages short and sweet, they reach people very effectively. Most people are never without their phones. And while most Facebook news stories and tweets are ignored, and most emails go unopened, almost all text messages are opened, so SMS marketing has outstanding reach compared to other methods. It's a great use of 160 characters.

The iPhone 6 is Flying off Shelves Before it Hits Them

Depositphotos_27934669_xs
 

This week, Bloomberg reported that pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 topped 4 million within 24 hours of going on sale. Demand is outstripping supply, as the device looks set to be Apple’s biggest smartphone yet – in more ways than one.

The backlog in pre-sales means customers won’t receive their handsets until next month, weeks after they officially go on sale. However, Apple insists devices will be available in store as of September 19; they encouraged customers to arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

This level of excitement is, of course, nothing new when it comes to the iPhone, but there’s an extra frisson thanks to the new, bigger size; the standard version comes with a 4.7 inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch display (previous iterations of the iPhone have a 4 inch screen). With the proliferation of larger mobile devices like tablets, and Android’s innovation in the larger screen market, consumer demand for bigger devices is high. This surely counts as one of the least predictable trends in mobile devices, where historically the mantra was ‘smaller=better’ – and Apple expect to have record quarters for the next couple of years just for meeting this demand.

So why the move towards larger screens? It’s partly down to improvements in consistently fast data streaming, which has prompted greater demand among mobile consumers for rich content on the move. In tandem with this, social media leaders like Facebook and Twitter are moving towards in-feed promos and video content.

Size isn’t everything, of course. The iPhone 6 is bigger, sure, but it also promises to be better, with a more powerful operating system and crucial hardware additions like Near Field Communication (NFC) for improved ‘tap in’ capabilities. 

There’s also the much-trumpeted HealthKit, which sees Apple jumping on the Quantified Self bandwagon. The software allows users to monitor vital signs and track fitness, and represents Apple’s first major foray into this burgeoning market.

One more thing. Remember the classic glowing Apple logo on the back of Macbooks? Rumor has it that the new phone will carry this retro feature, which will make the nostalgia freaks almost as happy as the techheads when they all finally get their mitts on the iPhone 6.

5 Occasions When Bulk Texts Make the Most Sense

When you want to reach your customers quickly and effectively, bulk text messaging is the perfect solution. In a world where we all have our phones glued to our hands 24/7, you can get your message to the right people at anytime, anywhere. While mobile marketing should already be part of your overall marketing strategy, there are certain situations where bulk text messaging simply makes the best sense. Here are five ways that bulk text messaging can help take your business to the next level.

1. Coupon Promotions

Long gone are the days where you need to invest a large portion of your budget to print coupons on flyers and deliver them door to door. Bulk text messaging makes the process much simpler by sending digital coupons out to your customer database that they can use by simply showing the message on their phone. The process is also easy for alerting customers about special promotions or daily specials.


Promote your business to the customers you want to reach no matter where they are.

2. Running Giveaways

Want to build up your customer database quickly? Giveaways are an effective way to get people excited about a prize and have them opt-in to your subscription service in the process. Running a mobile giveaway through bulk text messaging is as simple as advertising a keyword that customers can text in to have a chance for the prize. By the end of the giveaway you have not only reached more customers, but you have built up your database for future promotions.

3. Appointment Reminders

For professional businesses such as doctor's offices and dental practices, bulk text messaging has more practical uses than simply promoting your services. Alert your patients when they are due for follow-up appointments or routine check-ups automatically. Not only will your patients be more proactive with their health, but you can ensure that they remain active as customers as well. This type of solution is also great for hair salons, spas and even pet groomers.


Bulk text messaging makes it easy to send out appointment reminders.

4. Taking Polls

Polls are a fantastic way to get the opinions of the people who matter most to your business. Whether you want input on the next dish for your lunch menu or you want to find out what local bands people want to see perform at your club, mobile polls can be sent out to your customer database instantaneously. Results will come immediately back to you, making it a much quicker and budget friendly alternative to using a third party company.


Promote special events or send out discounts that can be redeemed by showing the message at the door.

5. Last-Minute Announcements

Need to announce a special VIP guest or a last-minute dinner special? Bulk text messaging gets the word out immediately, exactly at the right time. It can also be handy if you want to send out a time sensitive announcement for things such as invite-only events or promotions that are happening on the day only for customers who have opted-in to your text messaging service.

Getting the Most Out of Mobile Coupons

Traditional paper coupons were long favored by businesses, who hoped that their customers would put them to use and drive up sales. The cold reality is that almost 99% of paper coupons are never redeemed. But mobile coupons? They're changing everything.

Mobile coupon users are expected to grow to 53.2 million this year, and with a redemption rate of 10%, you can't afford to ignore the new generation of discount fans. If your business is ready to take their mobile marketing to a new level, here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of mobile coupons.


Send mobile coupons to your customers at the most opportune times and increase sales.

What are Mobile Coupons?

Just to be clear, a mobile coupon is a digital message that is received by a customer through their mobile phone or similar device. By showing the coupon received on their screen, the customer can get a discount when purchasing a product or service. Text messaging is still a very personal form of communicating, which is why over 99% of all messages are opened.

When a customer opts in to your text message database, you are able to reach them with promotional deals at anytime, anywhere. There is no other type of marketing solution that can offer this kind of guarantee and effectiveness.


With an almost 99% open rate, you are almost guaranteed that your customers will open your message.

Ways You Can Use Mobile Coupons

A mobile coupon can encompass a wide range of uses, and there is plenty of room for you to get creative in the process. Most mobile coupon deals cover the traditional types of discounts such as BOGO, percentage or dollar amount off, giveaway entries, and last-minute discounts. Here are a few scenarios where mobile coupons might come into play for your business.

  • You are a new business, or beginning a mobile marketing campaign, and you have no database of customers or prospective customers. You begin advertising a substantial discount on one of your most popular products that customers can receive by texting in a special keyword. You can then take their details in exchange for the coupon, building your database quickly as a result.

 

  • You own an entertainment business and want to begin branching out to a new demographic of customer. Advertising discounts in areas that the intended demographic frequents or through social media advertising, you can reach those customers and offer free entry or exclusive invites that get them and their friends through the door.

 

  • Your business already has a substantial database of customers but you are looking to increase sales. By looking at the past purchases of previous customers, you send out coupons for the same or a related product to something they have bought before. Sales increase and customers keep returning.


Mobile coupons couldn't be easier; customers simply show their coupon for a discount.

Mobile Coupons Make Customers Happier

Research has shown that the happiness of customers is directly affected when they receive mobile coupons. During a study with Dr. Paul J. Zak, Professor of Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, women who were given a coupon off their online grocery shopping bill had significantly higher levels of oxytocin, a decreased level of stress and were 11% happier than those who did not receive a coupon. Take that how you will, but if a mobile coupon can make your customers happier, that will affect their perception of your business as well.

Mobile coupons can help increase your sales, get more people through the door, and create happier and more devoted customers. What have you got to lose?

Jessica Galbraith is a text message lover and full-time writer.

 

5 Surprising Beneficiaries of Text Message Marketing

Did you know that 99% of all text messages are opened? In comparison, less than 20% of emails in every industry are opened, and cold calls hover around a measly 6% success rate. Text messaging has been around over twenty years, yet it continues to be a form of communication that is personal and trusted by mobile users.

Mass text messaging delivers valuable information to your customers in real-time, whether you want to promote your upcoming fashion sale or send out a last-minute coupon for a popular dish in your restaurant. There are countless businesses that can benefit from mass text messaging, some of them may even surprise you!

From a simple text message you can increase sales, get your message shared across social media, and create an effective campaign to reach customers.

Entertainment Businesses

Bars, clubs, concert venues, businesses that promote entertainment have been leading the way in mass text messaging since the beginning. Entertainment businesses are perfectly set-up to interact with their clients and customers through text whether to promote upcoming shows, drink specials, or even announce last-minute VIPs. 2-for-1 coupons and discounted entry fees are an easy way to get customers through the door, and all they need to do is show the message on their phone.

Professional Businesses

Mass text messaging may not be as common in professional businesses, but there is a giant market just waiting to be tapped into. Businesses such as hair salons and gyms can easily send coupons or daily specials to their clients, reminding them that they are overdue for a cut or workout. Businesses such as doctors or dental practices may go about their promotions in a different way, but there are plentiful opportunities to reach clients through texting. Appointment reminders, whether scheduled or recommended, are a great way to get-in-touch and keep clients coming in.

Retail Businesses

Retail businesses already know that they need to keep with the trends to stay alive, so if your retail business isn't already compiling text subscribers it is time to join the party. Sending out texts inviting customers to special events, in-store fashion shows, and invite-only sales is a great way to make them feel like they are part of an exclusive club. Discount coupons and new stock announcements are also effective strategies for getting those shoes and dresses off the shelves.

Online Businesses

Online businesses are prime candidates for text messaging promotion, enabling current and prospective customers to click over from their text and land straight on a website. Sending out last-minute deals and one-day only discounts is the easiest way to expand sales through simply messaging your customer base. Get people on the website = more sales.


Mass text messaging makes it easy for online businesses to bring customers directly to their website and increase sales.

Food Industry Businesses

The food industry is perfectly poised for mass text messaging services. With good timing, you can have text messages promoting your lunch special on the phones of loyal patrons, right when their stomachs start growling. Texts announcing weekly specials, new menu additions, and even specially priced happy hours are a great way to remind customers that they need a night out with friends and a good bite to eat.

Mass text messaging gets your business's message straight into the hands of those you most want to reach. You are almost guaranteed that they will not only open your promotional message, but read it. You can't get effective advertising that is this personal in any other format.

Jessica Galbraith is a full-time writer and author of the travel blog The Fly Away American. She is an avid texter and always open up a new message.

6 Ways a Restaurant Can Use Text Marketing

Text marketing is an affordable and highly effective marketing solution for restaurants of all sizes. Whether you own a corner cafe or are a Michelin starred restaurant, text marketing can connect you with your customers quickly, in a more personal way than e-mail marketing can offer. There are a multitude of ways that text marketing can be used to your business's advantage- but these six are among the most popular.

1. Run Giveaways for Subscribers

One of the easiest ways to bulk up your subscriber list is to offer a giveaway via text messaging. Customers text in to win the advertised prize and a winner is randomly selected once the giveaway is over. Mobile contests are a proven way to get customers excited while creating a useful database for future text promotions.


Text marketing is an affordable way to reach customers 24/7 and expand your business.

2. Accept Orders for Pick-Up or Delivery

Looking to expand your restaurant's pick-up and/or delivery services? Texting is an easy way for customers to order food, anywhere at anytime. Simply advertising the number on your website or in your restaurant can spread the word. A customer profile can be made by number which allows you to create orders instantly when a text comes in. Customers can then text what they want, when they want it, and payment can be automatically taken from the card registered with that particular person.

3. Announce Daily/Weekly/Monthly Specials

Have a new dish on the menu you want to promote? You can text customers an hour before lunch service with specials or promote a new season over the month. Reach all your loyal patrons instantaneously and update them with all the latest news and happenings in your restaurant.


Reach your customers when and where you want to.

4. Offer Special Coupons and Discounts

Coupons and discounts are always well-received. 2-for1 drink specials, free appetizers with dinner purchase, or even a 10% discount off the bill can be automatically sent to every person in your database. There is no printing or fuss required, they can simply show the mobile coupon at the table. Text marketing makes filling up those tables easy work.

5. Promote Your Online Presence

Domino's Pizza ran a highly successful text marketing campaign to promote their Facebook page and increase their likes. Text messages are ideal for connecting mobile users to a webpage, whether you want to reach more people on Twitter or simple expand exposure on your website.


Text marketing automatically connects your customers to your website or social media platforms.

6. Create Customer Loyalty Programs

Everyone wants to feel special and your customers will appreciate feeling like they are part of an exclusive club. Text marketing is ideal for getting in touch with a particular demographic and offering special incentives such as invites to events or member-only discounts. You can add a sign-up widget onto your website, and interested customers can enter their information and be contacted right away.

As you can see, restaurants are prime candidates to take advantage of text marketing and connect with their customers in new and innovative ways.

Text Messaging: 22 Years Old and Going Strong

On December 3rd of this year, text messaging will turn 22 years old. It seems impossible to imagine a world where friends and family weren't at our fingertips and where conversations were solely had in person or over a land-line telephone. As our world continues to globalize, it is no longer uncommon to catch up with grandparents over video screens, text clients to set-up meetings, or have decade long friendships with people we have never actually spoken with on the phone.


On December 3rd, 1992 the first text message was sent.

Texting has revolutionized the way we interact with each other, and with the insurgence of text messaging apps such as Whats App, it doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. As we approach the 22nd anniversary of text messaging this year, we can look back and see the changes that two decades of OMGs and LOLs have made on our lives and how the evolution of text messaging may change the way we communicate in the future.

The Humble Beginnings of Text Messaging

On December 3, 1992, a UK based software architect by the name of Neil Papworth sent a festive message to his boss Richard Jarvis of Vodafone. He typed out "Merry Christmas" on his desktop keyboard and sent it to the Jarvis's phone who was at a holiday party. It didn't make any news headlines or change the face of communication as we knew it, but Papworth's simple message would eventually transform into a new way of getting messages from one person to another.

Seven years later, mobile companies began to offer SMS technology to their customers and it took off more than anyone could have anticipated. By 2000, over 14 billion text messages were being sent every month in the United States and by 2010 that number had reached an astounding 188 billion. Text messaging was here to stay.

Text Messaging Today

According to Forrester Research, over 6 billion SMS messages are sent out everyday in the U.S. alone, but interestingly enough that number is expected to decline. New text messaging apps such as Whats App, are taking over the text messaging market and fast. Whats App now has over 430 million users, with 50 billion messages being sent through the free service everyday- more than all SMS providers combined.

Text messaging has already overtaken phone and face-to-face conversation, but only time can tell where the evolution of messaging services will take us next. With more people using services such as Face Time, where users can see who they are talking to through video conferencing, we may be going back to our roots in a more virtual environment.


Today's generation is glued to their phones all hours of the day. What will this mean for the future?

The Future of Text Messaging: A New Model for the Modern Business?

Even with all the new apps and services being added to the mobile marketplace everyday, the general consensus is that text messaging is here to stay. While what the future for text messaging entails remains uncertain, it is a wise decision for businesses to begin utilizing the channel for marketing and sales purposes. Through mass texting small businesses and large corporations alike can reach their prospective customers in a place they already exist 24/7.

Text messaging has evolved from a simple holiday greeting to a multi-billion dollar industry that has completely changed the way we connect with one another. With over twenty years of history behind it, the only thing for certain is that text messaging will continue to grow in one form or another. Will you be ready?

The Quick Guide to Nightclub Marketing

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Nightclub marketing encompasses all the things you as a nightclub owner or manager do to bring in customers, and most of it comes down to building your club's unique brand. When the name of your nightclub conveys a certain experience, and people have an expectation of the experience of your club before they arrive, your club has a brand. Here is a quick guide to nightclub marketing techniques that have been tried and proven for brand building.

Promotions and Events

Successful promotions attract new clientele segment or boost existing clientele, and they're great for adding excitement to slow weeknights. Discounts and themes are two major pillars of successful nightclub promotions. Whether it's Goth night, disco night, or a 2 for 1 special, promotions and events are staples of successful nightclub marketing.

Contests

You don't have to spend a lot of money to host a trivia contest or a costume contest. Dance and karaoke contests are also popular ideas that don't cost much to host. With a well-attended contest, the cost of a nice prize will be more than made up for by increased sales and further promotion of your club's brand.

Press Releases

When your nightclub hosts an event benefiting a local charity, always issue a press release afterward. If you don't know how to write one, you can hire someone to do it for you without spending a lot of money. Getting a press release picked up by local media can boost your nightclub marketing strategy considerably.

Creative Visual Advertisement

Posters and stickers containing QR codes or interactive links can be effective nightclub marketing materials. A QR code customers can scan for a free drink offer or to waive the cover charge can bring in more people, as can a poster placed in an unexpected spot, like the window of a local business or on the side of a vending machine, for example.

Branded Merchandise Sales

As your nightclub's brand starts to solidify, consider selling branded merchandise, either from behind the bar or in a "gift shop" zone in your establishment. Not only do you profit from sales of the merchandise itself, the merchandise's wearers and users advertise for you whenever they wear their t-shirt or pour their friends shots in your branded shot glasses.

Customer Relationship Management

Some clubs implement customer relationship management (CRM) programs to better cater to their regular or VIP customers. CRM software is available to help you learn more about and track your best customers so you can offer them the best possible experience when they visit your nightclub. It's a great way to increase loyalty and gather information that helps you better target your nightclub marketing campaigns.

Social Media

If you're not already regularly using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, you should be. A social media strategy doesn't cost much to implement and maintain, and can have great reach. Offer a free drink to customers who check in at your nightclub with their phones, and their social media friends will see where they are and perhaps decide to join them.

Text Marketing

Text marketing is an exciting and effective form of nightclub marketing. People have their phones with them at all times, and text messages are opened much more quickly than emails - usually within two or three minutes. A promotion code or notice of a contest sent out by SMS can reach large numbers quickly, at a very low cost. If your nightclub isn't using text message marketing, you're missing out on a great nightclub marketing technique.

Best Practices for Mass SMS Campaigns

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Text message marketing can be amazingly effective due to the personal nature of texts, and the close proximity most people keep to their phones. But you have to adhere to smart practices when you market via mass SMS, because it's easy enough for people to block your texts if you annoy them. Stick with the following best practices for mass SMS marketing to maximize your chances for success.

Get Permission and Explain How to Opt Out

You can't just add numbers to your list and start sending out messages. If you don't get permission first, you're acting illegally, and can damage your organization's reputation. One popular way to gain permission for mass SMS marketing is to have people text a keyword to a number to opt in. 

When you manually add numbers to your database, ensure that you have verbal or written permission to do so to avoid running afoul of the law. You should also make it clear how to opt out of mass SMS messages. Usually this involves texting "STOP" to a certain number. Customers are more likely to opt in if they know they have an out.

Text Once a Week or Less

More messages do not translate into more business. In fact, people get annoyed if they get more than about one mass SMS per week from an organization they've opted in to receive texts from. Ideally, you should keep your mass SMS pitches to two to four times per month. At this rate, recipients will neither forget about you nor become annoyed and block you.

Time Your Texts Courteously

If you are a nightclub running a mass SMS campaign, you are more likely to send messages later at night, because that's when your customers are out and about. If you run a restaurant that's a popular dinner destination, it's acceptable to send out offers close to dinner time. Other types of businesses, however, should strive to send messages during or close to normal business hours. 

Know Your Customers

Knowing your customers can help you time your mass SMS campaigns more accurately. People who like having dinner out often decide where to go less than an hour beforehand. Therefore it makes sense to send promotions just before mealtime. Know when your customers are most likely to stop by, and you can time your messages for maximum effectiveness.

Keep Messages Fresh and Make Sure They Provide Value

Running the same mass SMS repeatedly makes people blind to them. Change up your messages each time if possible, and make sure they offer something of value to recipients, such as an easy contest entry, a two-for-one offer, or notice of an unadvertised sale.

Contests Are Great for Building Your Database

Holding a contest is a terrific way to get customers to opt in to your company's promotional text messages. Offer something special for the winner, and perhaps offer an easy way for participants to enter a second time (perhaps by liking a specific post on Facebook). The money you spend on the prize is small compared to the ease with which you can build your database for your mass SMS campaigns.

In summary, getting the most from your mass SMS campaign is easier when you follow a few best practices, including:

• Getting permission and making opt-out instructions clear
• Sending messages once a week or less
• Timing messages appropriately
• Knowing your customers' shopping habits
• Keeping messages fresh and adding value to each one
• Holding contests to build your customer database

 

5 Tips for Writing Effective Mass Text Messages

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If your nightclub, bar, community organization, or church group uses mass text messages for marketing or informational purposes, you have a terrific opportunity to get your message across effectively. Nine out of ten text messages are opened within three minutes of delivery, and you can't get that level of response from email or direct marketing. 

Then again, people can block texts, and if you annoy them with your mass text messages, they'll do so. Before you send a mass text message, make sure you're doing it right. Here are 5 tips for writing an effective mass text message.

1. Make It Personal and Identify Yourself

Text messages, including mass text messages, are perceived as more intimate than email, so avoid language that might come across as spammy. Identify your organization and include a clear call to action: "Club Sidecar is offering two for one appetizers with the following code from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday. Be sure to save this message." Not everyone will have your number stored, and if you don't identify yourself, they may not know who the message is from.

2. Time It Right

In general, the best time to send your mass text message is during regular business hours. People expect to get texts during the day and they tend to open them promptly. Exceptions would be when you have a spur-of-the-moment promotion and want to get word out right away. Even so, you should avoid sending text messages late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Sending out a mass text message at 3 a.m. is more likely to get your number blocked.

3. Use Actual Words, and Proofread Before Sending

Don't write in "text speak." While the occasional "lol" is probably forgivable, spell out "you," "your," and other words that tend to get abbreviated. Remember: you're a legitimate business or organization, not a 12-year-old with a brand new phone. Also, proofread your message before you send it out. Make sure coupon codes are accurate, and that general grammar and spelling are correct.

4. Make the Most of Your 160 Characters

When you only have 160 characters to your point across, you have to be clear and concise. Remember that not everyone can access URLs on their phones, so if you include one make it easy to remember. This may mean setting up a specific domain for your mass text message campaign, but it's worth it. It only takes recipients seconds to read a text message, so get straight to the point.

5. Keep an Eye on Analytics for Future Mass Text Messages

Analytics on a mass text message campaign can help you compose a better message next time. Did that catchy URL get a good response? What percentage of text recipients redeemed the coupon code you sent out? What was the response rate of the simple poll you sent out by mass text message? The numbers tell a story, and you should use them to educate yourself on how better to compose your next mass text message.

The mass text message can be a tremendously effective marketing tool. It's quick, unobtrusive, and reaches people on a device they have by their side 24/7. Take the time to write your messages carefully, with a clear call to action, and you'll get better response rates and ultimately better results.

 

Three Unusual Uses for Text Messages

 

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Texting is now a well-trodden path for marketing strategists, but its uses range far beyond advertising. With more than nine out of ten text messages opened and read within minutes of receipt, there simply isn’t a better way to transmit information to large groups of people simultaneously. Schools are using SMS to remind students about deadlines, or inform them of last-minute closures. Churches are sending inspirational words to their congregation. Charities and non-profits are accepting donations via text. Emergency services are even using SMS to negotiate with criminals in a hostage situation.

The applications of this simple technology, now in its 22nd year, are many and varied. We’ve whittled down some of the more unusual uses of text messaging to our three favorites:

Sending Emergency Alerts

When Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, the cost to local businesses was huge. Infrastructures were temporarily rattled, with web servers and power lines down, and SMS messages were the only form of communication available to emergency services and commercial enterprise alike. Local residents were kept informed of crucial information, and it was all thanks to cloud-based mobile technology. 

Locating Lost Pets

Companies like MobiPet are helping people find lost animals by notifying registered veterinarians, shelters and pet owners within a 30 mile radius. Unlike microchip implants, it’s a completely non-invasive way of tracking pets. All that’s required is a cell phone with a camera and SMS capabilities – technology that’s available to nearly 95% of the US mobile marketplace.

Domestic Chores

‘Smart appliances’ allow people to program a series of commands, which are triggered by text message when needed. Dishwashers, fridges, robot vacuum cleaners – almost anything can be integrated with intelligent SMS systems that let users activate them from afar. For example, if you are going away for a few days, you can tell your fridge to go into power-save mode, your washer to start cycling the day before you return, or your Roomba to clean house at regular pre-ordained intervals.

The future is here, and SMS messaging is a major player. If you can think of any other interesting applications for text message technology, let us know in the comments section!

 

7 Clear Advantages of Text Marketing

Many smart marketers make the (giant) mistake of underestimating the promotional impact of text messages. Others commit the twin sin of failing to use them to their full advantage. Understand the seven core benefits of text marketing, however, and you're on your way to properly harnessing this tool's impressive influence.

How weighty is that influence? An estimated 8.3 trillion text messages are expected to be sent in 2015, and in 2013 North American users averaged 6.5 billion SMS messages per day. Texting's transition from novelty to integral part of everyday life is complete. And, with that change, text marketing's potential advantages have expanded. The vast majority of people who enroll in SMS loyalty programs believe they gain value from it, and SMS coupons are 10 times more likely to be redeemed than paper or email coupons. If you're not considering text marketing, you should be. Here are seven clear advantages of this marketing method.

1. Higher Open Rates Than email and Direct Mail

With text marketing, you're reaching people who have opted in and want to receive offers from you. Marketing to an existing customer base has a high return on investment. Furthermore, since these people want to receive information from you, they deliver very high read rates for your messages.

2. Text Marketing Allows Detailed, Up-to-the-Minute Analytics

With many types of marketing it's hard to get decent analytics and deduce what you're doing right and what could use improvement. With text marketing, by contrast, you should expect timely analytics on open rates and your redemption rate data can be be added to at the point of sale, as the transaction happens.

3. People Like the Simplicity of Text Marketing

If you send a coupon or offer by text message, there's no coupon to cut out or lose, and redeeming the offer is simple. People's lives are complex enough, and text marketing lets consumers take advantage of fun offers, contests, and polls with minimal hassle.

4. People Have Phones With Them Practically 24/7

People generally check their traditional postal mail once a day. Email accounts may be checked several times a day. But phones are in view with near constancy. When you use text marketing, you can be confident that your message will be received and probably read within seconds of arrival.

5. Opt-In Lets You Target Marketing Without Wasting Time or Money

When people opt in to your text marketing program, you can know you're sending your messages and special offers to a targeted, receptive audience. You won't waste time or money messaging people who are poor leads.

6. Text Marketing Is Environmentally Friendly

In 2012, there were $1,535 available in coupon savings for every person in the US, yet on average people only took advantage of $10.75 in coupon savings. That same year, coupon redemption volume dropped by 14.3%. That represents a lot of paper going to waste. When offers are sent by text, there's no clipping, and no searching through pockets or purses to locate coupons at the point of sale. Text marketing is much friendlier to the environment than printed offers.

7. Text Marketing Reaches Coveted Young Consumers

Close to one-third of adults prefer communicating by text message over phone calls, and the percentage is higher among younger adults. Texting is a way of life for Millennials, the up-and-coming consumer generation, so it's only natural that text marketing is a good fit with this demographic.

Text marketing makes sense across a range of industries. It's quick, simple, environmentally friendly, and you can collect analytics with the ease and accuracy needed to make the data useful. Whether you want to run a contest, send out a coupon code, or announce a sale, text marketing is a cost-effective, powerful way to reach consumers on a device that most have within arm's reach at all times.

How to Market to Millennials with Mass Text Messaging

Millennials, the generation of consumers born between 1982 and 2004, are always connected, and prefer texting over talking for interpersonal communication.

Forty-three percent of Millennials believe texting is as meaningful as a voice conversation over the phone. This demographic takes texting seriously, and their message volume reflects that. From 2000 to 2010, the number of text messages sent every month in the US went from 14 billion to 188 billion, and the trend isn't subsiding. A 2010 Nielsen study found that 42% of teens say the main reason they even have a phone is for texting. Marketers should expect Millennials to love text messages as a medium, and have high expectations for its content. Want to make traction when text marketing to Millennials? Here are our top dos and don'ts.

DO: Understand Why They Text

Millennials love texting because it offers control. According to Neil Howe and William Strauss--the authors credited with coining the name for this generation--these are the babies welcomed into the world with Lamaze and attachment-parenting obsessiveness. As adults they welcome order. Texting allows them to participate when they want to, and not when they don't. That control more than makes up for the bit of extra time that responding to a text requires. It's asynchronous, and far less intrusive than a call that demands to be dealt with immediately. Texting is also preferred due to an element of privacy, because texts can't be overheard, and due to their relative permanence, since they are stored until archived or deleted.

DO: Enable (Instant) Interactivity

Mass text messaging makes inherent sense when dealing with Millennials, but you can't just start blasting out texts one after the other and expect positive results. Millennials' relationships with brands are far more interactive than their parents'. That two-way communication can take many forms. They may comment on a brand's social media posts, or interact with brands via mass text messaging campaigns. But they are used to having a two-way relationship with the brands they love.

They're also impatient. If they respond to a mass text message, they won't wait long for a response. They want their coupon code or contest entry right then. So when engaging with Millennials by mass text messaging, it pays to be interactive and quick. Don't set this demographic up for a wait; they won't like it...and they won't be quiet about that displeasure!

DON'T: Water Down the Message

Millennials are used to byte-sized messages and getting news through a Twitter feed, but that doesn't mean you have to water down your message. Millennials are expected to become the most educated American generation. Older adults may be puzzled as to why their carefully composed text messages to their kids only get "k" as a response. It's not because the younger folks aren't taking it in, they've simply perfected their personal ROI on response length. Their expectations for you will be similarly high: be brief, but don't dumb it down.

DON'T: Send a Constant Stream of Texts

It may take a bit of benchmarking and statistic collecting, but most brands eventually find a sweet spot in terms of frequency of mass text messaging and response rate for Millennials. Much depends on the immediacy of the topic (a club contest that starts tomorrow vs. a sale that starts next week), but there must also be a clear purpose to the message. A steady drumbeat of irrelevant texts designed to keep a brand in the Millennial's mind will be ignored.

DO: Remind Millennials Via Text

With Millennials, mass text messaging works. Today's young adults are used to sending and receiving texts, and are used to text reminders and promotions. A study of 800 community college students by the University of Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh found that students who were sent text message reminders to reapply for student aid were more likely to reapply than those who were not sent text reminders. A survey by Millennial advocacy group Generation Opportunity found that 58% of respondents said they would be more likely to vote if they were sent a text reminder to do so. So if Millennials are your target demographic, mass text messaging could be the key to effectively engaging them as customers.

Scottish Healthcare Gets a Boost from SMS

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Glasgow's Western Infirmary

Healthcare providers across the world are using SMS to stay engaged with consumers. Blood banks in India are increasing donor numbers. Discharge times in U.S. hospitals are being reduced by up to an hour. And in Scotland – where healthcare is managed largely under the auspices of the public sector – investment in SMS systems is helping patients stay on top of appointments, and even encouraging them to quit smoking.

The latest development in the Scottish Government’s fledgling relationship with SMS technology has seen mobile marketing company Incentivated develop a ‘Find My Nearest’ service specifically aimed at helping women get to breast screening centers. A public advertising campaign is currently promoting the service. By texting their postcode along with the keyword SCREEN to 61611, Scottish women will receive a reply giving details of their nearest screening center, and ask that they call for a screening appointment if they have not had one in the last three years.

Headed by the Scottish Breast Screening Programme, the scheme divides the country into six regions. Postcodes sent into the service are cross-checked against the government’s database of mobile users. The reply message differs according to region, and is sent as soon as the person’s location has been determined.

Gail Lyall, Senior Marketing Manager for the government, says:

"Creating awareness of the importance of the role of breast screening is hugely important to ensure we keep increasing the numbers of women that detect breast cancer at the earliest stage. The audience we are targeting are hard to engage, so when we have their attention to act, it is imperative we make things as easy as possible for them. SMS allows us to provide a quicker customer journey from call to action to making that important appointment."

It’s no surprise that Holyrood has opted to use Incentivated. The tech firm has a well-established relationship with the government, and already provides a wide range of SMS services, including a program for the Scottish Children’s Panel that allows citizens to text in for information on taking part in public hearings designed to improve child safety in the home. The service was an enormous success, prompting 1700 SMS requests in the first week alone.

Scotland also provides a text service for people trying to give up smoking. Users text in the date they would like to quit, and a daily reply helps them count down to the big day, as well as sending tips on staying off the cigarettes for good.

Scented Text Message Startup Still Smells Victory After a Taste of Failure

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Vapor Communications, a company that transmits aromas via text message, has failed to meet its $150,000 crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo – but is promising to press on with the money it did raise. 

The technology was partly invented by Harvard University professor David Edwards. It has thus far raised close to 30% of its goal, with 176 backers pledging $47,000 to the project. Despite falling well short of their target, Vapor Communications will continue to work towards a viable commercial version of the technology. Plans are afoot to move their office from Paris to Cambridge later this year, and a company statement said:

“We expect that the evolution of the product over the coming months will increasingly attract the interest of consumers.”

Vapor Communications was founded last September as a way to bring Edwards’ oPhone hardware to market. The oPhone comes with small ‘scent cartridges’ that communicate with an app on the iPhone. Pre-sales were strong, with the $149 retail price seeming just right to enthusiastic food bloggers and others with an interest in sharing scents.

But critics suggest that this need to buy extra hardware is an impediment to success. In a world governed by cloud-based data and in-built apps, the less physical stuff you need to accumulate, the better. The vast majority of smartphone experiences require nothing more than a download, which makes apps like oPhone and oSnap a hard sell.

Nevertheless, the developers’ aims are laudable. It’s true that a huge part of our eating experiences are influenced by aroma, and that there is plenty of interest in communicating smells in the same way audiovisual content is shared. Whether that interest extends beyond those in the food industry to the consumers they serve remains to be seen. If and when then happens, the oPhone will be well placed to meet the demand. For now, lovers of madcap tech concepts can only hope Vapor Communications continues to grow in it’s new UK home. 

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