4 Ways Text Message Marketing Benefits Bars & Clubs

Entry By Linda Doell

Like attention-grabbing neon signs pointing the way, mobile marketing can help bars and nightclubs attract and keep customers. A forward-thinking establishment can improve its connection with customers by offering coupons and other incentives right over their mobile devices.

For big nightlife holidays like Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, a mobile campaign can be the difference between a normal Tuesday night and a hugely profitable event.

Mobile marketing provides a huge potential market. In the three-month period from June to September 2011, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices, according a comScore MobiLens report. A whopping three-fourths of those used text messaging with the number of users increasing from 69.6% in June to 71.1% in September.

4 Tips To Make Your Bar Or Club Roar Like The Twenties

Bars and clubs can tap into that mobile clientele with a variety of mobile marketing approaches, including short message service (SMS), email, and quick response (QR) codes. Think of all the opportunity to get the word out about your business with an effective text message marketing campaign. Here's some of the top benefits of using mobile marketing, in no particular order:

  1. Target the audience: With mobile marketing, the message goes directly to the cell phone of the potential customer, unlike traditional advertising. Studies show that an average of 90% of text messages are opened and read, unlike the 20% average for e-mail advertising campaigns. Take a cue from TAO, one of Las Vegas' premier nightclubs, which started a successful text message marketing campaign as a way to inform customers about its weekly parties and DJ nights. TAO posted fliers throughout its establishment inviting customers to text a keyword to a short for exclusive deals.
  2. Control the message and its impact: Use a short code and a keyword on fliers and posters that give potential customers a simple call to action to respond. Each person who responds is actively interested in what the bar or nightclub has to offer. A nightclub could encourage customers to text to several different keywords as a way of managing its database. Sandbar Cafe in New Jersey manages its customers this way, with separate key words for its general mailing lists and VIP reservations. Separate lists for reservations are handy on heavy-traffic days like St. Patrick's Day.
  3. Build a relationship: Cultivate your database of customers and actively interact with them to keep them interested in your business. One way to do that is by regularly notifying them about promotions, sales and new products. Your business can also keep customers by sending them coupons for their loyalty. Use a mobile coupon on search sites like Google to offer discounts on drinks, food and cover charges. Valentine's Day is a couple night, so another good coupon would be a two-for-the-price-of-one promotion. On the other hand, St. Patrick's Day tends to be a group outing, so why not offer a coupon for a discount for groups of three or more? Mobile banner ads are another way to get that coupon out there. Use Foursquare and ValPak Mobile Coupons to reach consumers too.
  4. Grow clientele base: Use QR codes to link in with an SMS campaign to allow potential clients to sign up for the texting list. Use a street team to hand out VIP cards with the QR codes or short code and keywords. Allow customers to sign up for the text messaging from the nightclub's Facebook page or Twitter account, which will drive customers to the message list. Got a special for Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's? Send it out to the customers you have cultivated through mobile marketing and social media. Why not give them an extra incentive -- like a discount -- if they share the text, tweet or Facebook post? It would be more money in your pocket when their friends also respond.

Mobile marketing is all about reaching and connecting to people on one of their most-used personal devices - their cell phones. Potential customers who actively respond and are kept interested can be converted into loyal patrons.

Mobile Barcode Scanning Tripled in 2011

QR Codes and other forms of mobile barcodes continued to grow last year. Widespread adoption is still far off (if it ever arrives), but more and more Americans are scanning QR Codes with their mobile phones. Check this chart:


Let's put that chart in perspective:

2011 saw a 300% growth in barcode scanning compared to 2010, and a 1000% increase over 2009, according to [download page] a report released in February 2012 by Scanbuy.

Read more at Marketing Charts.

SMS Is The Most Popular Mobile Channel For Consumer Offers

Your customers want to get offers like coupons and discounts from you, and they want to get them on their phone. And how exactly would they like to receive them? Via text message marketing of course:

One-third of American consumers prefer to receive offers on their mobile device via text message, ahead of mobile web, including email (21%), mobile application (11%), and voicemail (8%), according to [download page] a survey released in January 2012 by the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA), sponsored by Velti.

Check the chart:


Learn more about mobile coupons at Club Texting.

Americans Spent Their Holiday Vacation Downloading A Lot Of Mobile Apps

Smartphones, specifically iPhones and Android phones are on the march - and it appears that they had a wildly successful holiday shopping period:

It’s been announced by mobile analytics firm Flurry that more than one billion mobile applications were downloaded during the week between Christmas day and New Years day, shattering the one-week record for mobile app downloads by a long shot.

Read more at Mobile Marketing Watch.

New Code Samples For New API Functionality

If you're a regular user of the Club Texting APIs we've got a quick holiday gift for you. A few weeks ago we added the ability to pay for credit purchases and Keyword rentals via API using a credit card that you have stored in your Club Texting account. At the time we posted some PHP samples, but we now have JSON & XML samples for five other languages. Check it out:


Looking for documentation about using stored credit cards? Check the REST API documentation.

Will Marketers Kill QR Codes For Consumers?

QR Codes are an interesting technology. Some people hate them. Some people swear by them. We're not going to look at the their faults or positives today - instead we wanted to turn your attention to an interesting take on their long-term prospects over at Mobile Marketer - Are marketers killing consumer enthusiasm for QR codes?

Marketers are at various stages in the adoption of QR codes as part of their ongoing marketing efforts. However, simply linking to a video or mobile page may damage consumer enthusiasm and dampen their willingness to engage.


Sure-fire ways to hamper the success of a mobile campaign include not featuring simple instructions around how to scan the code or featuring incomplete or unclear calls to action.

Additionally, placing mobile bar codes on collateral or signs that are not in a suitable location – such as a billboard that is far away from the sidewalk, on TV for 2 seconds, next to a busy road where it would be dangerous to stop to scan or a subway station with no network access – will prove to be ineffective.

Another way to hamper the success of a QR code campaign is delivering content that is not valuable to the consumer and directing them to a page that is not mobile optimized.

For some tips on how to effectively use QR codes, head over to our sister brand's blog, Ez Texting.

62% Of Young Mobile Phone Owners Go With Smartphones

Some new data out from Nielsen shows just how far smartphone adoption has gone among younger mobile phone owners (via MMW):

62 percent of mobile adults aged 25-34 report owning smartphones. And among those 18-24 and 35-44 years old the smartphone penetration rate is hovering near 54 percent.

And what mobile phones are they using? Androids and iPhones.

Overall, smartphone adoption is hovering around 43%. What does that mean for businesses? Text message marketing is still the only way to market to all mobile phone owners.

Missing The Point Of The iPhone 4s Announcement

Ios-5There's been a ton of coverage about today's announcement from Apple of the iPhone 4S - and the lack of an announcement of an iPhone 5. We think most (but not all) commentators aren't paying enough attention to the now free iPhone 3GS (with contract). Think about how many people have Android phone not because they are really interested in an Android phone, but because every carrier has a basket full of free Android phones. Now, when someone walks into an AT&T, Verizon and Sprint store (pending confirm on Sprint 3Gs availability) and they can get a free iPhone 3GS. Yes, it isn't one of the plethora of '4G' questionable battery life Android devices and it is an older product - but we wonder how many consumers will take a free, older iPhone 3GS that runs iOS5 over a free Android running who knows what version of Android.

And we're just talking about the United States.


New Feature: Multiple Auto-Replies For Your Keywords

We recently released a commonly requested feature - alternate autoreplies for subsequent Keyword opt-ins. If you've been waiting for this feature, check it out now. If that first sentence confused you, allow us to explain.

When someone texts your keyword to our short code we send the auto-reply that you've setup and we add them to your contact list. But...what happens if they text your Keyword again? Whenever someone texts your Keyword the carriers and the Mobile Marketing association require that we send an automatic response. Going forward you can now customize those subsequent responses. So how does it work?




Insights On The Google - Motorola Acquisition

It's been over 24 hours since Google dropped the bombshell that they were acquiring Motorola - for patents and possibly more - all to 'protect Android.' Let's take a look at some astute analysis:

MG Siegler At TechCrunch:

There’s no denying that Google’s maneuver this morning to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion in cash is remarkable. Everyone is talking about every possible angle of the deal, as they should. The summertime is usually the doldrums when it comes to tech news. Not this year. Google is pulling off an acquisition that is larger than any that Microsoft, Apple, or any of their other main competitors ever have. Larry Page, wartime CEO. Larry Page, maverick.

As the resident Apple enthusiast around these parts, many of you want my take on this — and many of you probably don’t want my take on this, but will end up reading it twice as much as those who do. But don’t worry, I’m not going to go all Dan Lyons and immediately run my mouth without thinking. I actually took the entire day to think about this, read over the insane amount of coverage (though I didn’t get through even half of it), and form some thoughts.

But my main thought is the same as my initial one: this is either the smartest thing Google has ever done, or the dumbest. There is no in-between.


Dan Fromer at his new blog, SplatF has put together a list of winners and losers.

FOSS Patents examines the extremely high breakup fee if the deal doesn't get approved:

After a first set of quick thoughts, I want to do a follow-up because shortly after that post I saw a Bloomberg report on the reverse break-up fee Google and Motorola Mobility (MMI) agreed upon: it's a whopping, mindboggling $2.5 billion that Google has to pay to MMI if the deal falls through. I'm still researching this but it seems that this is, in relative terms, the highest-ever break-up fee agreed upon in this industry.

"On an equity value basis, Google’s fee amounts to 20 percent, compared with the 4.2 percent median since last year", reports Bloomberg. The same source that told Bloomberg the $2.5 billion figure claims that MMI "would pay a $375 million breakup fee if it decides not to sell to Google".


I listened to the executives on today's conference call on the deal and they exuded confidence. But if they were really so sure that regulatory approval is a slam dunk, there wouldn't be a break-up fee that is completely out of the ordinary. Money speaks louder than words in a case like this.

I was previously skeptical that this deal is really about "protecting" Android from threats, and I monitor Apple's and Microsoft's disputes with MMI quite closely. Now that I see the break-up fee and have thought some more about the overall situation, I've reached the point at which I simply don't buy the "protection" theory anymore.


And lastly, poor RIM via Bloomberg:

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM), maker of the BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook tablet computer, may have the most to lose from Google Inc. (GOOG)’s deal to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition would leave RIM a smaller player relative to rivals, which may force it to strike an alliance with another company or sell itself to remain competitive, said Will Stofega, a program director at consultant IDC. With Google’s cash and software expertise, Motorola may present a direct challenge to RIM in its traditional stronghold, the corporate market, he said.

“Now that Motorola has a big war chest behind them, Research In Motion has got to watch out,” Stofega said in an interview.

Already losing market share in smartphones, RIM is seeing several competitors beyond Google and Motorola gain scale and expertise. In February, mobile-phone maker Nokia Oyj struck a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker. Last year, Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), the world’s largest computer company, bought handset maker Palm Inc. Apple Inc. (AAPL), maker of the iPhone, briefly became the world’s most valuable company last week, though it hasn’t made major acquisitions.

RIM may need more size and software expertise to compete, saidChetan Sharma, an independent wireless analyst. The Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of BlackBerrys may have to sell to a company such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell Inc. (DELL), Samsung Electronics Co. or HTC Corp. (2498), he said.

“They are in no man’s land at this point,” Sharma said in an interview.



We're Tripling The Referral Bonus For August

Ctnew We've been powering text message marketing campaigns since 2006, and in that time we've gone through more than a few websites. Today we're launching a long overdue redesign. You can check it out now. We wanted to make it easier for you to find the wealth of content that at times took multiple clicks to get to.

To celebrate the launch of our new website we've tripled the number of free credits you can get each time you refer a friend to Club Texting. Until August 31st, for every new client you refer, we'll load your account with 600 message credits. Once you've logged into your account, just click Refer A Friend and we'll handles the rest: from importing contacts from popular email services (Gmail, Yahoo, Etc.) to pre-written tweets.

Want to learn more? Click for more details about the referral program.

Check Out Our New REST API For Text Messaging

For years we've offered easy to use HTTP APIs at Club Texting. This week we complimented those APIs with new REST APIs. We offer JSON/XML based REST APIs for nearly all core Club Texting functions. Multiple-recipientsending is only available via the REST API.

Check out the documentation now. PHP code samples are already available.

Track Your Text Messaging Campaigns With Our Reporting Tools

If you haven't logged into your Club Texting in the past few weeks we urge you to log in and check out our new reporting tools. They are available in the Advanced Features section of the menu inside your account.

Campaign Reports

What sort of tools are available? Look for trends in your incoming and outgoing messages. See when you added contacts and discover how they joined your contact list. Looks for short term and long term trends and even track spikes in opt-outs (we know they happen from time to time - knowing when they occured is the first step to making sure you don't see a spike again).


Get The Club Texting BlackBerry App To Send Messages On The Go

If you have a BlackBerry phone and want to use your Club Texting account when you're away from a computer we've got an App just for you: The Club Texting App. If you don't have a BlackBerry, or if you just want to send a quick message you can always use our Send From Phone Feature.


Check it out at the BlackBerry App World on the web or on your BlackBerry smartphone!

Check Out Club Texting's Mobile Site Optimized For Your Smartphone

We're always trying to make Club Texting as easy to use as possible - and having seen smartphone usage explode over the last couple of years we're glad to announce a new mobile-optimized version of Club Texting. How does it work? Very simple - if you're using a smartphone (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) and you visit we'll automatically redirect you to the mobile-optimized version of Club Texting.


Once you login to your account you can use many of our most popular features - like sending messages, checking replies, and even buying credits if you're running low. Check it out now @ If you prefer to use the full version of Club Texting on your mobile phone just click Full Site and we'll redirect you back to the traditional version of Club Texting.

The Media Sector Is Moving From Online To Mobile

A recent panel at the Publishing Business Conference & Expo's Mobile Strategy Summit for Magazine Publishers revealed that the media sector is increasingly looking at mobile as the place to be:

More companies are branching out into the mobile space, whether it be via a smartphone application, mobile site or apps for tablet devices such as the iPad.

The media industry is quickly moving from online consumption to mobile.

“2010 was definitely the year of mobile,” said Sarah Wagman Ellenbogen, strategic partnership and development manager at Google Inc., Mountain View, CA. “The usage is increasing and people are using phones for a lot more than just talking.”

Read the entire article at Mobile Marketer.

Head over to Club Texting to learn more about how Magazine Publishers can use mobile marketing.

Refer Your Friends To Club Texting To Earn FREE Message Credits!

Last week we launched our referral program. It's pretty simple, refer a friend to Club Texting using our refer-a-friend tool and as soon as they make a purchase we'll add 200 credits to your account. You can easily import contacts from popular webmail services like Gmail, Yahoo and others. We'll track everything automatically.

You can watch your referrals as they move from invited to signed up to having made a purchase in a table on the refer-a-friend page inside your account.

The best part? You can invite as many friends as you want, which means you can a lot of credits.

Head over to Club Texting to learn more or login now to get started.

Learn How To Use Mobile Coupons To Power Your Text Marketing Campaign

Looking to take your text marketing campaign to the next level? Read our Mobile Couponing guide and learn how to use Club Texting to start texting mobile coupons to your customers.

Don't have a Club Texting account? Sign up now. It's free to try.

Location Based Marketing For Restaurants...To Explode!

As consumers use their mobile devices -- especially smartphones -- more and more, you can expect a dramatic shift in the way restaurants market to their patrons:

Restaurants' use of location-based marketing to promote to and drive consumers to a particular restaurant while they are mobile will "explode" in 2011, predicts research provider Packaged Facts. 

As consumers' uptake of location-based services continues to mushroom, with check-in services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, Twitter geolocation and competitors "not only becoming ubiquitous, but also more sophisticated," context-aware restaurant advertising will take off "sharply" this year, the report notes.

Of course text message marketing is going to play a role here, given that the vast majority of consumers have never used location based services.

Learn more about how restaurants can market to their patrons using text messages.

"The Vast Majority of Marketers Will Utilize Mobile Marketing In 2011"

If you didn't already know, mobile marketing has become an essential tool in any marketers belt. The MMA and The Association of National Advertisers have a new report out confirm this:

The vast majority of client-side marketers – 88 percent – say they will utilize mobile marketing in 2011. Seventy-five percent plan to increase their spending on mobile marketing initiatives by an average of 59 percent versus 2010, according to a new survey from the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) in partnership with the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association).

Survey findings showed that in 2010, 62 percent of marketers used some form of mobile marketing for their brands. An additional 26 percent reported their intention to begin doing so this year, elevating the expected 2011 utilization rate to the near-universal 88 percent level.

Read more at The MMA Website.


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