Halloween is done and dusted and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means we’re heading towards the biggest spending bonanza of the year. In theory, it should be easy for retailers to capitalize. Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide opportunities for huge sales spikes, as shoppers start buying gifts for the end-of-year holiday season.
But Thanksgiving itself - and the days leading up to it - are a comparatively quiet time for businesses. Unless you’re in the food business, there are no guarantees of boosted profits, which means you have to get creative with your mobile marketing tactics. To help you, here are some off-kilter ideas to help you stand out from the crowd:
Break a Record
There are so many strange and surreal world records out there, it’s not as hard to break one as you might think. In 2008, National Geographic Kids magazine set the record for the longest chain of shoes ever laid out, with 10,513 items of footwear, heel to toe. Doesn’t sound too hard to beat does it? Or, how about attempting to beat the record for most star jumps in a minute (which currently stands at 61). Get your customers involved with an SMS campaign - if they can beat the record and send you the video proof, offer a prize giveaway. Whatever record you (or your customers) go for, try to keep it industry relevant.
Cranberry Bucket Challenge
The ice bucket challenge is a bit 2014, so why not update it with a turkey twist? Because they come with pre-made brand recognition, such memetic juggernauts are crying out for a decent spin, so why not get your staff and social media followers to tip Cranberry sauce over their heads. Messier and more expensive than ice? Certainly. But wilder and wackier too. A colorful, sticky mess like this could really get you some attention online - you might even approach the scale of the frozen water viral phenomenon that inspired it.
Mobile Treasure Hunt
Give your online followers an incentive to sign up for mobile alerts by offering a whole bunch of festive prizes to anyone who can find a Thanksgiving-themed plushie around any major city you can get it to. A stuffed turkey - stuffed, that is, with fabric, not sage and nuts - is the obvious choice. Set a 48 hour time limit for your turkey hunt, and run it all via mobile communications. Send occasional, cryptic text message clues, making them easier as time goes on without anybody finding the turkey.
It’s no surprise to see market research focused on moms. Aside from making personal purchases, moms are making important family purchases every day of the week. A recent study conducted by BabyCenter.com highlights growing trends among on-the-go mothers and reveals how they are using their mobile devices to make smarter and more convenient purchases.
According to the report, moms are using their mobile phones to complete purchases 33 percent more often than they were just last year. This might come as no surprise—after all, nearly every demographic has shown growth in mobile purchasing.
Of the 1,100 respondents to the survey, 70 percent report having used mobile while shopping inside a brick-and-mortar store location. Moms are doing this for several reasons, most of which focus on saving money.
Using Mobile to Save
Some of the ways moms use mobile in-store to save money include searching the Internet—56 percent report doing this —and comparing prices at other retail locations.
More than half of the respondents reported the use of a retailer app and 61 percent use mobile coupons.
One of the most notable discoveries is that moms are using mobile to scan. They’re scanning to get coupons, and they’re scanning to compare prices, possibly with apps like RedLaser or similar QR code scanners. The big takeaway here is that moms are 55 percent more likely to make a purchase after scanning an item.
For physical stores, as well as online retailers, streamlining a mom’s mobile experience should be high on the priority list. Fifty-nine percent of moms said excessive typing hinders effective mobile purchases. Four in 10 moms agree that a one-click purchasing button would increase the likelihood of them making purchases via mobile.
“Streamline the process and offer special deals in-store; brands can sell more by connecting directly with moms on-the-go,” said Julie Michaelson head of global sales at BabyCenter.
The use of mobile while shopping in-store is a great way to interact with a mom who is already positioned to make purchases. It can also build strong loyalty with customers who perceive value in mobile activity.
Moms are among the savviest shoppers; using mobile to reward money-saving activities is a smart way to reach moms and reward them for doing all the hundreds of things they do each day for their families.
About the Author
Jeremy Pollack has a B.A. in English from USC and has been writing professionally since 2001. He is the founder and editorial manager of Compelling Content Solutions, A copy writing and content marketing services company.
Mobile marketing is hot marketing. It’s so hot that companies are springing up daily to jump on the mobile marketing train. Marketing teams from big firms can’t always keep up with the every-changing mobile marketing strategies, which include mobile apps, text messages, SEO content, and other solutions. Specialized marketing agencies are taking over and filling in where in-house departments are lacking. All of this means we’re seeing new, innovative, and fresh approaches to mobile marketing that stem from each marketing agency’s attempts to one-up the other.
In the ultra-competitive mobile marketing niche, we’re watching strategies and trends in the making, many of which come from a sense of urgency and most from a desire for growth in our changing times. With all of the new mobile marketing tactics, how do we know what really works? What’s the best way to gain new clients and customers via mobile marketing? Is there a best way?
Let’s take a look at some of the facts and data:
Social media is the most widely used mobile marketing technique. But, it’s still only used by 14.8 percent of mobile marketers. Clearly, social media marketing is a must in a comprehensive marketing plan, but it should not be the only solution you’re using.
It’s going to take more than just getting social to reel in new users and customers. Mobile app marketing needs to include other channels like video ads, banner ads, and other marketing strategies. Remember, 85.2 percent of the time social media is not the most effective means of gaining users.
Digital Ad Spend
VentureBeat surveyed 731 mobile developers, with more than a billion users among them, to find out how one can get the best mobile users. It analyzed data and created a chart that broke up mobile marketing tactics into 16 user acquisition channels. Social media marketing, as we’ve stated, came in first in terms of usage at 14.8 percent. Of the 16 channels, 8 can be executed without paid ads.
This means that about 50.8 percent of marketers say non-paid tactics are their most effective when user acquisition is the goal. A bit more than half of the marketing developers queried prefer strategies like ASO, incentivized installs, PR, email, web organic search, in-app tactics, and offer walls. For mobile marketing tactics that are effective, you don’t need to go the paid spend route. Paid can help fuel growth, and it’s desirable as a core focus. But, it’s not the only solution and it should be used along with other mobile marketing solutions.
Old-School Mobile Marketing Tactics Are Reemerging
As marketing techniques shift to mobile, we see old tactics reemerge as the new way to gain users. The past repeats itself as marketers strive for balance between what worked brilliantly before and the new-fangled strategies that teams feel compelled to jump on. What is the best tactic? It’s most likely a mix of old and new. What will make the difference in user acquisition from one company to the next? The business that has its marketing strategies down to a science will win.
During the early 2000s, a shadowy organization called Dial-a-Booze delivered vodka and beer to thirsty Glaswegians who were poorly served by the city’s strict licensing laws (which prohibits the sale of alcohol after 10pm and before midday). It’s ‘marketing’ was entirely word-of-mouth, everyone knew what it was, and enough of them had the latest phone number to keep the party going at 3am. A text message was all that stood between revelers and a trunk-load of drastically marked-up beverages.
Despite being treated by locals as if it were a vital public service, it was, of course, completely illegal. Skip 12 years and an ocean and the concept pioneered by Dial-a-Booze has become a legit enterprise.
Drinkeasy is an SMS-based liqor store that doesn’t stop at the already-appealing idea of drinks-to-your-door. In true hipster style, the service peddles craft spirits produced by microdistilleries. It provides specific information on the source of each tipple. This is a smart move considering 24 hour grocery deliveries are already available to deliver the big brand products at cheap prices. Simply offering Smirnoff and Jack Daniel’s to mobile drinkers is not a USP; opening the door to a world of small-batch delights, not necessarily available at supermarkets, is.
The service is the brainchild of Nick Manning and Harry Raymond, the guys behind Swig, a drink-friendly social networking app. Since launching the app, they began receiving requests for drink recommendations, prompting the idea that they could combine their knowledge of local, small-batch liqor with a delivery service.
Right now, Drinkeasy is only available by invitation. But that, along with the selection of alcohol (which is currently limited to hard liqor) is expected to change in due course.
Texting has surpassed email and a number of other communication methods as the go-to choice for businesses—and for the companies that support business professionals and other travelers. Hotel guest services that use text messaging tap into an easier way of communicating with guests and make them feel their needs are being attended to personally.
Here are just a few ways in which text messaging makes it easier for hotel front desks to communicate with guests:
- “The last mile.” Many hotels are focusing on text messaging during “the last mile” – the time just before a guest arrives to check in, according to a recent TNooz business article. By connecting with guests during this time, the hotel can ensure that their questions are answered and that check-in goes more smoothly, boosting customer satisfaction and allowing the hotel staff to streamline efforts for greater productivity and efficiency.
- Quicker contacts. Guests who have checked in can text the front desk with any needs, questions, or requests. Companies like Marriott, which recently launched its own chain-specific guest app, report that customer ratings on sites like TripAdvisor have risen in direct response to the app’s use. Customers appreciate a simple, quick way to connect with hotel staff without having to leave the comfort of their rooms.
- One-on-one communication. Guests with disabilities or other special needs are often sensitive about their information being overheard by others standing near a front desk. With text messaging, hotels eliminate this potential embarrassment by keeping conversations about a guest’s needs discreet.
- Better ratings. According to TNooz, one hotel chain chose not only to implement texting, but also to test its efficacy. The chain matched two groups of guests and gave one the option to text. Positive ratings from the texting group jumped 20 percent over the control group’s ratings, with the texters specifically mentioning the texting option as one of the reasons for their increased satisfaction. The numbers indicate that texting works for hotels that wish to improve their Net Promoter Score or other ratings.
Bringing the Future of Texting to Today’s Guest Services
A recent white paper by the Global Business Travelers Association (GBTA) found that while not all hotels have adopted texting, those that have are encountering similar problems. The organization recommended that hotels focus on several key areas when implementing a new texting method:
- Online check-in and room entry that perform seamlessly
- Text or app-based concierge service offering prompt, personalized responses
- Improving communications with airport shuttle services to make “the last mile” seamless
- Pre-trip communications that differentiate between business and vacation travelers in order to provide a more personalized experience
- Improving information exchanges between travelers, hotel staff, the texting service, and tracking systems, such as expense reporting software.
By harnessing technological tools like text messaging, hotels can provide exceptional service in a more efficient and productive fashion, boosting customer satisfaction and repeat visitors while gaining the most value out of expenditures on the project.
Today’s world is one featuring numerous ways to pay for, well, anything. The latest offerings are in mobile form, but just how safe are mobile payment apps? Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Kash, Paypal, Square, Levelup—these products make paying as easy as taking out your phone, but are they vulnerable to hackers? Are the companies behind these oh-so-convenient apps doing everything they can to keep user information safe?
These questions and others are being asked in a new report by advocacy group, The Clearing House. The report, entitled Ensuring Consistent Consumer Protection for Data Security: Major Banks vs. Alternative Payment Providers, argues that payment app developers aren’t subject to the same regulatory oversight banks get regarding cyber security. The result is security flaws remaining under the proverbial radar until it’s too late and a breach occurs. Clearing House is owned by the world’s largest commercial banks.
Gary Miliefsky is the CEO of SnoopWall, a company that specializes in cyber security. He says that the report highlights real cyber security concerns.
“These alternative-payment methods certainly are providing something that consumers want, which is a convenient way to make payments,” Miliefsky says. “But I don’t think most of those consumers would be too thrilled to know that these companies might not be subject to the same demanding data-security requirements their banks deal with.”
Starbucks is one company that has already made headlines for its mobile payment app issues. The app is a favorite way for coffee drinkers to pay, however in May reports suggested it had been hacked. Experts believe the Starbucks app was targeted because it stores credit card information. For its part, Starbucks denied the app was hacked.
"When it comes to reporting on breaches involving customer accounts at major brands, the news media overall deserves an F-minus,” cyber security expert Brian Krebs said at the time in defense of the coffee juggernaut.
It should be noted that mobile payment options are still in their “infancy,” and that phones themselves are easy enough to hack through apps, wireless signals, and by simply picking the device up and going through it. Using a system that requires two-factor authentication is recommended, as is using completely unique passwords for each account. Mobile payment apps will certainly improve, and in the meantime it’s important to do what you can to preserve the security of your phone and all the accounts it features.
Deleting old text messages on your iPhone is a good way to manage its performance. Large apps can take up a considerable amount of space on a phone’s hard drive; left unchecked, text conversations can rival the same amount of space, especially if you’re using video and photos. Deleting text messages is easy, and should be performed regularly to keep your phone running smoothly. But what if disaster strikes and you need to restore a deleted iPhone text? Is it possible?
The short answer is yes. While the world may feel like it’s about to end, the truth is that recovering a deleted text message is not impossible, nor is it as difficult as you might think. In fact, there are three ways to accomplish this task:
Restore with iTunes
The easiest way to ensure you don’t have a brain aneurysm if you accidentally delete an iPhone text, or need to recover old messages, is with regular backups to iTunes. You can easily recover deleted SMS messages simply by plugging your iPhone in to a computer.
Once you’re connected to iTunes, click on your phone icon in the upper left corner. Once selected, choose ‘Restore Backup,’ and all of the previously backed-up settings, apps, text messages and so on will replace the current data on your phone. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
It’s important to note, however, that this method can only replace data from the most recent backup. There’s no way to recover material you backed-up three ‘backups’ ago using the iTunes recovery method.
Recover from iCloud
Apple’s iCloud is a great option for retrieving lost/deleted text messages, provided that your service area is within a territory that backs up SMS messages automatically.
First, log in to iCloud using your Apple ID and password. Look to see if ‘Text Messages” is available. If it isn’t, you’re not in a covered territory. If it is, you’re in luck.
Next, search through the messages and find what you’re looking for. Using your iPhone, navigate to the settings menu and turn on iCloud. Also in the settings menu, turn off Text Messages. A pop-up will appear. Click ‘Keep on My iPhone.’
Now you can turn your Text Messages back on in the settings menu. Click ‘Merge,’ and in a few minutes, the messages you selected from the iCloud will appear in your phone.
Finally, if all else fails, there are a couple third-party apps that come highly recommended for recovering deleted iPhone data. Some apps cost money, which is less ideal than just recovering a backup from iTunes. But when doom is imminent, one must do whatever it takes.
WonderSahre is an iPhone data recovery software the runs the gamut. This app works on several devices and recovers just about everything, from lost photos and videos to voicemails and text messages. Another highly recommended recovery system is Tenorshare, which works in all the same ways and offers a free trail.
Hopefully, your world won’t come to a screeching halt because of deleted or lost text messages. The takeaway here is that deleting your text messages should be a normal part of your iPhone’s maintenance, but so should backing up the phone regularly so you can get data back if you need it.
Word of mouth sales have always been popular, but they’ve also been tough to track. Businesses can find it difficult to determine exactly how well word of mouth is working, even when their customers are eagerly chatting on social media. You want people to enthuse about your products to everyone they know. How can you be sure that your efforts are making that happen?
How Do Social Media Leads (and Sales) Work?
A 2014 Gallup poll claiming that social media influences only about 5 percent of shoppers left thousands of retailers wondering if they should even bother with the social media world. The answer is yes! But, if you want to use it as part of your overall mobile marketing strategy, it’s important to know how social media drives sales.
Social media is social. Users log in to their social media accounts to connect with friends, family, and co-workers – people they know and trust. When it’s time to purchase a new item or find a qualified service provider, people turn to their own social networks for awareness, research, evaluation, and advice, as one Google study discovered. Or they notice which of their friends have “liked” a product or company, and file that information away for later use.
In other words, if you’re trusting the click-through rate of your ads to accurately express your social media’s ROI, you’re missing most of the story.
How to Maximize the Impact of Social Media for Your Business
To leverage the power of social media advertising, think “awareness.”
Because potential customers are on social media networks to socialize and gather information, barging into their feeds with overt ads for your products or services can have unwanted effects. It’s a bit like walking into a strangers’ dinner conversation and trying to sell a product. You don’t know whether this group of people contains a single member of your target audience, and the diners are more likely to be annoyed than interested.
Instead, join potential customers at the awareness and information-gathering stage of their journey. Here’s how:
- Use referrals. Encourage current customers to refer their friends to your company. Referrals encourage new customers to associate your company with the positive feelings they already have for the referring friend. They also strengthen your relationship with the existing customer. A referral may be as simple as encouraging current followers to like and share your company’s content, or as complex as a formal referral and rewards program.
- Encourage user-generated content. An advertisement that is shared still looks like an advertisement. To integrate your company into your target audience’s conversation, encourage customers to create reviews or other content. When customers create content, they’re more likely to share it and to stand behind it. They created it, and they want to be heard.
- Stay top of mind. A combination of traditional, targeted advertising, shared content on social media, and user-generated content maximizes your company’s ability to stay top of mind. When the customer is ready to purchase, your name will be first in their thoughts – and they’ll be first through the door.
The shifting seasons provide an opportunity to regroup and re-evaluate, and perhaps come up with new marketing ideas to take advantage of changing consumer habits. Fall is especially important, as it represents the final approach to the all-important Yuletide shopping season. To give your mobile marketing strategy a new edge this Fall, consider trying some of these seasonal approaches:
1) Saving and Spending
An increasing number of canny shoppers are getting the bulk of their Christmas spending out of the way by Halloween. They’re looking around for early promotions and special offers to help save money. Target those consumers who won’t buy a thing until they see a deal. No need to mention Christmas - you can tie promotions in to Thanksgiving season, the ideal time for ‘Buy One, Get One’ offers.
Most of the major sports seasons begin during Fall, providing a good opportunity for marketers to capitalize. Get involved with a local team, either through sponsorship or a more indirect partnership. Remember, SMS polls are great for engaging your user base. Send surveys out to your mobile messaging contacts, asking them who their favorite college and pro teams are. Youth sports are a good avenue for marketing, and are more accessible to small businesses than national teams.
3) Focus on the Main Events
The two key holidays in Fall are Halloween and Thanksgiving. Keep an eye out for opportunities to promote your business using the language and themes of these two very different occasions. You might push ‘frighteningly low prices’ around Halloween, and push a message of gratitude to your customers during Thanksgiving. For the latter. why not send out cards to your loyal customers?
4) Don’t Forget the Smaller Ones
There are loads of lesser known holidays taking place throughout Fall: Grandparent’s Day (Sep 13th), Columbus Day (Oct 12th), Boss’s Day (Oct 16th), Daylight Savings (Nov 1st), Veterans Day (Nov 11th), First Day of Fall (Sep 23rd), and Small Business Saturday (Nov 29th). If you have an international audience, you can delight them with your knowledge of local holidays and surprise them themed offers. Give some love to Day of the Dead (same day as Halloween) in order to reach Hispanic shoppers, or have a Scottish-themed quiz on social media for St. Andrew’s Day (Nov 30th). Quick, one-day-only deals are easy to promote and won’t tie you into spending too many marketing dollars on something that isn’t working.
5) Tis the Season
Fall colors and images are pleasing to the eye. Browns and oranges, falling blossoms, piles of leaves, pumpkins, crafts, candy - the icons associated with the season are instantly recognizable. Keep these concepts in mind when re-vamping your website and social media pages during the run up to Christmas.
Take advantage of the shift in seasons to shift your focus. Move away from summery themes toward a cozier, more contemplative autumnal vibe, make some timely special offers that put you ahead of the end-of-year commercial curve, and watch your Fall revenues blossom!
Without a doubt, technology has streamlined everything in our lives from business to pleasure. Air travel is no exception: airlines are spending money to improve their customers’ experience. We’ve all heard about the advancements in in-flight entertainment, seats that convert into beds, and the all-important increase in leg room for the average passenger. But what about advancements for the tech-savvy traveler? Well, here we have compiled eight ways in which technology has improved air travel in recent memory.
1. Digital Check In.
Nowadays about 9% of air travelers use digital tablets or smartphones to check in before boarding a flight, rather than checking in directly once they reach their terminal. Researchers from SITA, a multinational airline technology company, expect that figure to balloon to 24% in the next three years.
2. Social Media Seating.
Imagine a flight where you already know a thing or two about your neighboring fliers! Launched in 2012 by KLM Airlines, the Meet & Seat program has garnered much acclaim from various participants. In essence, the Meet & Seat program to allows its fliers to select seatmates based on shared interests via Facebook or LinkedIn.
3.Booking Flights Via Mobile.
Expedia recently reported that 48% of mobile users employ their devices for aspirational travel research. In addition, there are several apps available that cater to air traveling consumers. For example, Appi Holidays is a consumer travel app that allows a user to create their perfect holiday by providing them with a plethora of destination options and activities – ones that are either well-known or a little off the beaten path.
4. Baggage-Related Technology.
Foremost, airlines have been offering automatic luggage drop-off machines more commonly. By 2018, 74% of airline companies are expected to offer the service (from 17% today). Also by 2018, it is likely that 70% of carriers will be able to give passengers regular updates on the location of their baggage, via their smartphones (up from only 10% today).
5. In-Flight Entertainment Improvements.
Several airlines have been experimenting with this. Virgin America offers a seat-to-seat chatting system, where fliers can message others onboard and order drinks, as well as watch movies or TV, listen to music, shop, play games, or look at Google Maps. Singapore Airlines offers a similar service, fit with a USB device to look at your own personal media. Finally, Emirates and Qatar Airways have exhaustive entertainment options, with over 1500 differing types/channels of entertainment each!
6. Social Media Impact on Air Travel.
Facebook has changed the way people decide where to go on a vacation. 52% of users report that their prospective holiday destination ideas came from photos and status updates they witnessed in their Facebook feed. And since two-thirds of all air travelers have social media accounts, there has never been a better time for airlines to be active on social media channels.
7. Airport Beacons.
Many airports around the world have started to use beacon technology to improve customers’ experience. Using Bluetooth technology, travelers can use special apps to access maps of airports, as well as navigate their way to the check-in desk in their terminal.
8. In-Flight IPad Rentals.
There are a few airlines that have begun to experiment with iPad rentals, among them OpenSkies, Qantas, Jetstar, Philippine Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines. While a few of these services are free for longer flights, the average fee is ten to fifteen dollars per rental.
We no longer live in the dark ages, where passengers are provided a tiny seat with very little legroom. With the amount of tech that has grown to be a part of our personal lives, we can expect to see a great deal more technology in the works for airlines – all for the benefit of the everyday passenger.
According to the World Health Organization, babies who are partially breastfed—or not breastfed at all—are vulnerable to serious illness if not death from diarrhea and other infections. Exclusive breastfeeding is subsequently recommended for the first six months of life, as it lowers the mortality rate among malnourished children in addition to shielding them from infection.
The Tanzanian government hoped to improve the health of newborn babies and their mothers by implementing a text messaging campaign some three years ago. Entitled Wazazi Nipendeni, which means ‘Parents Love Me’ in Swahili, the campaign provides subscribers with health information, doctor’s appointment reminders, and more through their mobile devices. Over 125,000 women have registered for the service, which has sent more than 5 million text messages so far.
Mobile phone technology has become an invaluable tool for connecting with citizens in Tanzania and other African countries, no matter how remote their locations. According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory, the country has the highest text message rate per month in East Africa.
While the country has made progress in preventing deaths from childbirth-related complications, it did not reach its Millennium Development Goal of “reducing maternal deaths to 193 per 100,000 live births from 454 per 100,000 by the end of 2015.” Tanzanian government officials cite HIV/AIDS, a lack of skilled health workers and proper clinics, little to no funding, and insufficient awareness regarding women’s reproductive health issues for this failure.
"We have realized that engaging women alone is not enough. We need to involve all members of the society to make the campaign more effective," Pamela Kweka, an official from the Tanzania Communication and Development Center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The campaign originally focused on pregnant women, but now includes men, nurses, and midwives. The idea is to educate all societal members, not just expecting mothers.
Subscriber Adelika Kessy nearly died during childbirth three years ago after developing anemia a few weeks prior. She did not receive routine check-ups simply because she was uninformed.
"I was feeling tired and weak. It happened so suddenly and I didn't know what do," Kessy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "I was too weak to give birth naturally, even after undergoing several blood transfusions. In the end, the doctors decided to carry out a Caesarean section."
Kessy, a 36-year-old housewife, is currently pregnant with her third child, and counts on the SMS service to alert her about clinic appointments.
When something becomes as ubiquitous as mobile marketing, the issue of repetition and predictability rears its head. One of the cornerstone’s of any successful marketing strategy is originality. So how can you avoid using the same old practices as your competitors? To stand out from the crowd, avoid these over-used - or just plain wrong - mobile marketing tactics like the plague:
1) Mobile Exclusivity
We love mobile marketing. We think it’s the most important element of a modern marketing strategy. But that doesn’t mean it should be used to the exclusion of other approaches. Open your mind beyond getting that coveted home screen app spot and you’re more likely to achieve that very goal. Encourage users to engage with you in other ways first. Social media is a good way to start a conversation and develop your brand image in a way that pays off in the long-term. Once you’ve secured a reputation, it’ll be that much easier to achieve your mobile-centric ambitions.
2) Assumption of Intent
Just because someone is walking past a restaurant doesn’t mean they are hungry. Marketers, amped up by the possibilities of geo-targeting technology, often make the mistake of assuming that customers who can be reached should be reached. A good understanding of user intent - based on data, not assumption - will help you provide a better experience.
3) Channel-Specific Databases
Often, marketer’s instincts tell them to organize their customer data by the channel through which it was collected. But lumping mobile users or desktop user together doesn’t give you much insight when you consider that most people will use both channels at various times. Instead, create singular customer profiles using data from all channels.
4) Poor Timing
So you’ve got the right message for the right audience. Job done right? Wrong. ‘Choosing your moment’ is one of the most overlooked mobile marketing tactics, but it’s absolutely essential to get it right. This is especially true for brands who serve a wide audience spread across different time zones. Stagger your text messages to arrive at the most convenient - or least inconvenient - moment. Research has shown that early afternoon text messages, sent between 1-3pm, are the most well received. And don’t send them too frequently. In most cases, two notifications per month from any one brand should be a maximum.
Businesses always need to stay a step ahead of the competition, and coming up with new and creative ways to drive traffic to our sites is one way to increase your customer base and, therefore, sales. Right now there is no hotter market than mobile and text messaging.
Read on to learn about three of the most effective ways to drive more traffic and conversions to your business through the use of text messaging, while also integrating your SMS marketing with some of the most commonly used methods in marketing today.
Podcast Call to Action
Podcasting is growing at a massive rate, and millions of people are listening to various podcasts for the first time every single day. As podcasting audiences continue to grow, more entrepreneurs, marketers and businesses are discovering ways to connect and engage with these audiences.
An excellent way to include a commercial spot or call to action within a podcast is with text messaging. During a commercial break or at the end of a podcast episode, the host can say, "To learn more about XYZ, send a text to..." which you can then follow up with the number and your site URL.
Most people listen to podcasts through their mobile devices, so they'll already have their phones in their hands, making it easy to send a simple text in a moment's notice.
Keynotes and Conference Sessions
No matter how quickly the Internet continues to grow, there will always be live events, meetings and conferences throughout the world. At the end of most keynotes and sessions, the speaker will display a slide on the screen with their contact information, email or site address. While this is good in theory, 99% of people will forget to jot down this information before they leave the room.
A better alternative is for the speaker to spend a minute telling the audience to text a certain number with a specific message to get a free report or something else of value. By performing this call to action during a live session and giving everyone a minute to whip out their mobile devices and take action, the speaker will likely see a significant engagement response.
Now imagine how effective this can be when speaking to 500-1,000 individuals!
As marketers continue to find exciting ways to deliver their messages and build new audiences, webinars have been on the upward trend. A webinar in a live event held online, usually with one or two presenters and hundreds of attendees viewing a slideshow or other type of presentation. The concept is simple, but getting people to attend the live event can be tricky.
When someone registers for a live webinar, the user usually provides their name and email address. An email is then sent an hour before the webinar to remind everyone to attend.
A better way to get more webinar attendees is by also asking for a mobile number so a text alert can be sent before your event takes place. Since text alerts and notifications are almost always instantly read, there is no better way to increase attendance to live webinars.
Text Messaging Isn't the Future, It's Now
Text messaging is all about engagement and getting users to take action. When implementing text messaging in your existing brand or business, be sure to provide value and a relevant call to action. There is simply no better way to see faster results than through a direct message to your consumers' mobile devices.
Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience and always looks ahead for latest ways to increase brand engagement and awareness. Learn more about Zac and his latest "How to Start a Blog" project at Blogging.org.
Print advertising has been a go-to way to reach potential customers for over a hundred years. Although it remains a viable marketing channel, digital and mobile marketing platforms have become more popular in recent years. One reason for this is that mobile marketing appeals to companies on a budget. The cost of reaching customers via mobile tends to be lower than creating a print marketing campaign.
Your current customers should be the first group to target with your ads.
One of the best ways to use mobile to connect with your customers is text message marketing. Commercial texts have an amazing 98 percent open rate. If you are deciding whether to spend your marketing budget on traditional print advertising or text message marketing, the following six benefits of texting will help you decide.
Print advertising can eat up your advertising budget, between the cost for the print supply and design, not to mention the fees for advertising in various magazine and newspapers. It can cost up to $20,000 to set up a print advertisement and another $3,000 to $30,000 to run it, depending on the magazine or newspaper, according to WebFX. Although you can have a relatively high return on investment with a successful ad, it remains a significant cost for businesses with a smaller marketing budget.
Reduce your marketing costs with text messaging.
Text message marketing costs much less. Most mobile agencies have a service fee of as little as $30 per month, or as high as $150 to $200 depending on the number of messages you send and any additional services you need. In addition to a lower service fee, text messaging also has a significantly lower development cost. You need to have a member of your team managing, writing, and sending the messages, but the overall cost of creation is much less than a print campaign.
Increased Impact and Engagement
Not only does text message marketing cost less, it can also result in a much larger return on investment because open rates and engagement are high. Text message marketing is an opt-in service, which means that 100 percent of the people receiving your messages want to see the offers, services, tips, and other information you send out. Additionally, with an open rate close to 100 percent, you can ensure that almost everyone will actually read your message. Even the best print advertisement does not have this level of customer impact.
Offer redemption is also higher with mobile marketing than with other forms of advertising. According to eMarketer, around 54 million consumers were expected to use mobile coupons in 2014, and mobile coupons are redeemed 10 times as often as print offers.
Direct and Immediate
When you distribute a text message, it is sent within seconds. This means that you can share information, offers, and deals instantly. Texting is a great way to communicate with customers about last-minute offers in order to boost sales. You can also quickly tell people about any changes, whether to your menu, the schedule of events, or other information. Alternatively, print advertisements are often designed and developed weeks or months in advance, making it difficult to create timely messages if you do not have all the information ahead of time.
Take advantage of the information you have to create specialized offers.
When you distribute text messages, you are sending messages to mobile users that most likely patronize your business. Therefore, you also have the capability to use further information about the recipients, such as their previous purchase data or geographic location, in order to personalize and customize your messages for a more direct impact.
Flexible and Easy to Quickly Change
Text messages are also quick and easy to change. If you find a mistake on print advertisement after it has been published, you have no recourse to take, unless you are re-running the ad at a later date. With text messages, you can quickly send out a second message retracting the first message and then share the correct information.
There's also flexibility with regards to message content and audiences. You can choose to send a message to a few people, or you can distribute a mass text to everyone on your contact list. You can easily adapt your messages, creating customized texts like appointment reminders, or sharing a special offer with a larger audience.
Easier to Track and Respond
It is very difficult to track your conversion rates and return on investment with print advertisements. You can only estimate the number of people who saw your ad, as well as whether it had any impact. Alternatively, it is easy to track and analyze the data for your texting campaign. You have real-time access to important metrics such as which customers have opened your messages and which have responded.
With real time data, you can adjust your plan right away for better results.
Another way that text message marketing tops print advertising is that it is a green channel. There is no paper waste; instead, everything is handled digitally. Offer redemption can be done by text message, rather than by a print coupon. With such a large number of people now looking for eco-friendly ways to conduct business, this may help you gain more customers.
These are just a few of the ways that text messaging may be more beneficial for your business than print advertising alone. But remember, the best way to utilize SMS marketing is to integrate it with a larger, cross-channel campaign that takes advantage of print, radio, TV, and digital advertising.
If you are ready to get started with your first text message marketing effort, try Club Texting for free.
To grow as a business, you need to recognize and respond to the needs and wants of your customer base. Your employees are not expected to be mind readers, which is why market research is such a valuable commodity. There are many different channels in which you can conduct a survey or user poll with your customers, including email, online, traditional mail, mobile apps, and text messages.
Surveys are an important component of market research.
More and more companies and organizations are turning to mass SMS for a better way to collect customer feedback, in addition to reaping the benefits of its marketing applications. Between its ease of application and higher response rates, there are many reasons to turn to mass SMS polls to find ways to improve your business, whether you are looking for ideas on new products or feedback on your performance.
Simple Set Up
One benefit of text message polls is that they have a simple set up, with no difficult coding required and the ability to create a message and send it to your customers in a matter of minutes. You only have to set up a few different keywords for each poll response. Then, you can compare the number of responders to each keyword to see which one is the most popular. Additionally, if you already have an online survey developed, you can simply text the link to your customers. It may be simple to set up, but it is also a flexible medium that allows you to develop a variety of polls and surveys to match your company's needs.
Not only can you send out your poll or survey quickly, but you also benefit from immediate feedback with text messages. Text messages have a 98 percent open rate, and 90 percent are read within 3 minutes. Because people read texts so quickly, it also improves the speed at which they respond to your poll. A pilot study of the efficacy of text message surveys in low-income populations by BMC Public Health found that most people who responded to the survey did so within a short period of receipt. This quick response ensures you will get the data you need quickly.
No need to wait for SMS survey responses.
More people choose to respond to polls and surveys with mass SMS than other channels. Because people prefer surveys through text over other mediums, they are more likely to not just respond but also answer more of the questions. The same BMC Public Health study found that people responded to 72 percent of multiple choice questions and 76 percent of Likert-like scale questions when using text messages.
Higher Quality Information
Not only will you get more responses when you use your mass SMS system for polls and surveys, but you also will get higher quality feedback and information. In another study done in collaboration between the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and New School University, researchers found that when interview-type surveys were done via SMS, the answers were of higher quality than when done through a voice interview, even if it was an automated system and not a real person.
Most likely, this is due to people feeling more comfortable with answering questions via text than verbally responding. Additionally, they can answer the questions in their own time, putting more thought and effort into it. With higher quality responses, you will have better information off of which to work when developing new policies, programs, products, or other changes to your business.
Easy to Use Analytics
Mass text messaging services also offer easy to read analytic data, which makes it easy for you to analyze the responses and act upon the data. Another benefit is real-time access to data, instead of having to wait for responses to come in and compile the information as you would with a paper survey. This allows you to start taking action immediately, if you feel it is necessary based upon the results.
If you are looking for an easy way to engage with your customers and find out their feelings about some aspect of your company, whether it is your customer support capabilities or a new product or service, the fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to do it is to conduct mass SMS polls. You can rely on the findings because you will have a larger response rate and better information.
Learn more about how texting can help your business in this informative Club Texting blog post.
People have become dependent upon mobile phones in today's society, and not just for communicating with friends and family. According to a study by Apigee, a startling 85 percent of users would rather go without drinking water than have to delete any of the apps on their smartphones.
Marketers have taken note, developing smart ways to capitalize on people's close relationship with their phone, including using text message marketing to reach customers. This type of marketing may be growing exponentially, but many business owners still have questions about it. This introduction to SMS marketing covers the fundamental information you need to know if you want to use it to connect with your target audience.
How Does Text Messaging Work?
Mass texting works very similarly to email campaigns. You simply have to determine what you wish to say and then create the template for it. Then, you use your mobile marketing partner's platform to input the message and distribute it to your contact list.
Take advantage of the prevalence of mobile phones with a text campaign.
How Do You Create Messages?
Creating messages is easy. You can say anything or send anything you want, as long as you stay within the 160 character limit. Most mobile marketing companies have a special website, platform, or app in which you write and edit your messages. You can choose to send a message right away or schedule several messages at a time. You can also create a template to make it easy for sending similar messages, such as appointment reminders.
Sending out appointment reminders has never been easier than with a text template.
When you create your message, you also want to ensure you include your signature to reduce any confusion by the recipient. You should never include abbreviations or text speak, as this could be confusing and appear unprofessional.
What is a Keyword?
The term keyword is used a lot in digital marketing, but its meaning in mass texting is slightly different. A keyword is a special word that prompts action. The most common use of keywords in text message marketing is for opting in to a campaign. Your potential customers text a word to a short code and number, which adds them to your contact list and sends them an automatic response. You can also set up keywords to send other automatic replies, including opting out of the service.
Why Does Your Mobile Subscriber List Play an Important Role?
Your mobile subscriber list plays an invaluable role to your campaign. The FCC has important regulations on using mass texting for advertisement purposes. One of the most significant regulations is that you must have written permission to send a customer a text message. Without your contact list, you cannot send messages to anyone, even if they have opted into other campaigns for your company.
Although you want your message to go to everyone, users must sign up.
Can You Select Just a Group of Subscribers to Text?
Most mass texting services allow you to create groups out of your subscriber list. This lets you create messages to send to a select number of clients rather than the entire list. You can use this capability for many different purposes, including sending messages to current customers, texting customers who have been inactive for awhile to bring them back to your place of business, and communicating with new subscribers who've just signed up to receive texts from you.
How Quickly Do Customers Receive a Text?
The speed at which the customers receive a text depends on several factors, including network coverage and your mobile marketing company. When the message is ready to send, first your text marketing platform has to connect with the compatible wireless network. Most texts are sent within a matter of seconds.
Does it Matter Which Carrier a Subscriber Uses?
The wireless carrier a subscriber uses could impact their ability to receive a text message. Most mass texting platforms work with major carriers; however, if a subscriber's network is not covered, then they will not be able to opt-in to your campaign. Therefore, it is best to use a platform recognized by as many different networks as possible. Additionally, the fees that your customer may incur, such as data fees and text rates, differ depending on the carrier and their individual plan.
Don't forget to check the compatible networks when signing up for mass text messaging.
SMS campaigns are easy to set up and start. You simply need to have a strategy, a mobile partner, and a mobile subscription list. If you would like to learn more about using keywords in your text marketing campaigns, read this informative Club Texting blog post.
Over the past few years, mobile technology has seen exponential growth. Since 2013, spending on mobile marketing has grown 100 percent, according to Mobile Marketing Watch. Although many businesses have already jumped on board, there are still some companies missing out on this lucrative opportunity. Luckily, it is never too late to join the trend and reap the many benefits of text message marketing for your business. You simply have to follow five simple steps to achieve success.
Plan Your Strategy
Before you put the steps into motion to begin your text marketing campaign, take some time to plan your strategy. You should recognize what your goals are, such as building membership, attracting customers, driving sales, or some other business goal. This will allow you create a comprehensive plan of action in order to meet your goals.
Don't forget about the important planning stage when you start your first campaign.
You should also determine whether or not you plan to use text messages as a standalone tool or to complement your other marketing efforts, such as social media and email campaigns.
Choose the Right Mobile Communications Firm
Once you have an idea of your goals and process, you should shop around for the right mobile communications firm. The cost is not the only consideration you should make as you're deciding on a partner for your business. Different firms offer different features, including sharing or unique short codes, text to email options, and more. It's important to find a company whose products and services match your needs.
Build a Mobile Subscriber List
According to the FCC guidelines, anyone to whom you send a marketing text must have given written permission to your business. This means it is essential that you first build your mobile subscriber list before you start to distribute text messages.
Make sure to get permission before starting.
Even if you have permission to send email or have their number from another campaign, you still cannot use their number unless they have opted into the campaign. You also need to provide easy access to the terms and conditions and an easy-to-use opt out.
Create a Compelling Offer for Customers
The best way to build your subscription list is to share a compelling offer with customers as an incentive for joining your mobile program. For example, you could have a call to action in an advertisement that offers 20 percent off for texting a keyword to your short code or number.
When creating your offer, make sure it will be lucrative to customers.
Creating compelling offers does not end once you have started your campaign. You will need to continue to share special deals and other valuable messages, such as tips and reminders, to make the most of your text marketing efforts and engage with your customers over time.
Keep Your Messages Simple and Clear
When you create your text messages, it's important to stay within the 160 character limit. You also want to be sure that your message comes across without any confusion. Therefore, you should never use any abbreviations or text speak, even though it helps you say more in fewer characters. Not everyone understands these terms, and you run the risk of confusing your mobile subscribers.
You can start a successful mobile marketing effort in no time. Proper planning can help ensure that you create the right foundation for an effective text messaging campaign. If you are ready to take the first step, try Club Texting for free.
For many retail stores, summertime means a lull in business. Children out of school, families on vacation, and sunny weather enticing many to spend time outdoors can lead to a reduction in the total number of people visiting your store.
Summer can cause a reduction in sales, but there are ways to combat the summer slump.
However, summer does not have to mean reduced profits for your business. Here are a few ways mobile marketing can help to give your retail store a boost during the summer season.
One way to increase your summer sales is to share special mobile-only sales with your customers. This provides an incentive for your mobile subscribers to come into your store and take advantage of exclusive, limited time offers. You can also target vacationers with mobile-only deals that can be advertised via text message, email, or your website.
Mobile marketing can help you connect with vacationers interested in taking advantage of your sales.
Most vacationers will not be able to print out coupons, but they will have their smartphones or tablets with them, according to a recent article on American Express Open Forum. Therefore, if you allow potential customers to redeem deals via their mobile devices, you may increase the number of vacationers taking advantage your offers.
Another way to boost your summertime sales is to provide deals and offers that tie-in closely with the season. For example, you can share special promotions related to the holidays, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and back to school.
Create summer promotions around popular holidays to attract more customers.
You can also develop campaigns related to other popular summer events, such as baseball games or beach trips. There's also an opportunity to get creative with your specials, such as offering a "staycation" sales promotion for those who are not going on vacation, or developing a fun contest which encourages potential customers to submit photos of their favorite baseball park or beach in order to win a unique prize.
When you create promotions around summertime events, it's a good idea to try to tailor the items offered to the specific holiday or summer-centric activity, according to Signs.com. For example, on Memorial Day you may discount items that are Patriotic-themed or associated with summer, such as beach chairs, swimsuits, and barbeque grills, as this weekend is the official start of the season.
Timing is Everything
When you send out messages to your customers with your mobile marketing campaign, you want to be sure to choose the right time. The best way to attract the most attention is to send messages at peak times, which are different in the summer than the rest of the year because of the extended daylight hours and increased number of vacations. During the summertime, Wednesday tends to be the busiest day for sales during the week. According to data from Internet Retailer, approximately 16.1 percent of weekly revenue during June to August occur on Wednesday.
Another way to boost your sales through mobile marketing is to integrate your promotions with your marketing efforts on other channels, especially social media. You can attract customers by posting details about your mobile program on social media, and then offer a special promotion if they opt-in to receive text messages from your business. No matter what time of year, people continue to engage on social media channels, which means that they will still be seeing your advertisements.
People still check social media during the summer, making integrated marketing efforts essential.
You can also increase your business with geo-targeted marketing approaches. Many people are on vacation, so they will be using their smartphones to find restaurants, stores, and other businesses while they are in the area. If you create advertisements that are geared towards local audiences, you can boost the overall foot traffic to your business over the summer.
Although summer may be associated with a decrease in sales, you can reduce the impact of the seasonal slump with targeted marketing campaigns. Mobile marketing, especially text messaging, can help you reach customers, inspire them to visit your store, and find those who are just passing through while on vacation, all of which will give your retail business a boost. Learn more about how your business can increase sales with SMS marketing any time of the year with this helpful Club Texting blog post.
The spa and salon industry has great potential, with massive job growth expected in this 14.7 billion dollar industry. The International Spa Association's latest data shows that the number of spa visits have risen from 160 million in 2012 to 164 million in 2013. However, this boom in business also means that there is more competition, with a 1 percent growth in the number of spas in America from 2012 to 2013.
Grow your spa business by implementing a text message campaign.
To stand out from the competition, your spa business needs to find inventive and creative ways to engage with your clients. Mass text messaging offers a lucrative opportunity for marketing your business and increasing revenue.
One way to use text messaging for your spa is to send out exclusive deals to your clients. You must have permission from clients to send texts. However, you can advertise your mobile campaign on social media, your website, and other channels to increase your number of subscribers. After a client signs up to receive text message communications from your spa or salon, you can periodically send out messages to them about current deals, which will encourage them to come in for one of your services.
Last Minute Specials
According to Mobile Squared, the majority of text messages are opened within 3 minutes, making mobile the perfect channel for sharing last minute specials. On slow days, you can increase your sales by sending out a limited time offer available that day only. This incentive will help drive people to your establishment, turning a slow day into a busy one.
Turn a slow day into a busy one by texting information about a special deal.
Inform Clients of New Services
When you add new services to your spa, you want to inform your customers about them. You can use text messaging to let your client base know about the latest services offered by your business. You may also want to provide a special reward to your mobile subscribers, and offer an exclusive trial of the new service before it becomes available to everyone else. This extra step can make your mobile subscribers feel special and valued.
When you add a new service, such as hot stone massage, text your clientele.
Increase Customer Engagement
Sending messages to your customers also increases your customer engagement. You can distribute much more than just specials and deals; you can also send out tips on skincare and stress relief. Messages can be simple, such as "don't forget to take a moment to breathe when you feel stressed," or you can send links to your blog with more detailed tips and advice. Other messages can include sweepstakes or contests in which customers can enter to win prizes or free salon treatments. These messages increase the level of engagement with your customers, which in turn leads to a boost in customer loyalty and repeat business.
One common problem spas and salons face is loss of business due to clients forgetting about appointments or mistaking the time. Text messaging is an easy way to send a reminder, which can cut down on the number of missed visits.
Remind your clients of their appointment with a text.
This will help you not only to maintain a busy schedule, increasing your bottom line, but it also provides an added level of customer service which also helps to build client loyalty.
Mass text messaging is an effective tool for building your business, reducing the amount of missed client appointments, and improving your customer service. It can help to strengthen your reputation and increase your profit potential. If you are ready to start your text messaging campaign, try Club Texting for free today!
Text messaging campaigns can be an effective way to reach more customers. Unlike emails, digital ads, and other traditional marketing channels, there is a much larger read rate, which in turn leads to a potential for a much higher rate of action. According to Aine Doherty at Business2Community, text messages have an open rate of about 98 percent, compared to just 22 percent for email messages. Additionally, only 1 percent of text messages are considered spam, meaning that 99 percent of messages are legitimate, which makes this a highly trusted form of communication.
Texting still packs a punch.
Before launching your mass text messaging campaign, you first need to ensure you know all the rules to remain compliant. Following the rules is extremely important. It can help your business avoid lawsuits, loss of profit, and other potential problems.
What Rules You Need to Know
Mass text messaging is highly regulated, and there are several organizations that are in charge of governing the service. Federally, the FCC (Federal Communication Commission), the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and the CTIA (The Wireless Association) all have laws and rules in place by which you must abide. Many of the rules come from a 2013 addition to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). Additionally, states and local governments may also have certain guidelines in place.
It is important to read up on laws coming out of the state and federal government.
The most important rules related to mass text messaging apply to permission and privacy. You must have written permission from the consumer, and you must provide an easy way for mobile users to opt-out. Even if you already have a customer's phone number and permission from another type of campaign, such as email or direct mail marketing, you still need to obtain permission before you can send them text messages. You also have to provide detailed information on how you plan to use the text messages, including the frequency and type of messages. To help businesses remain compliant with current laws, Mogreet has released a guide for text message regulations and best practices.
Avoid Costly Fines
One of the big reasons for abiding by the rules when creating your text messaging service is to avoid costly fines. If you break any of the guidelines, you could end up with fines that range from $500 to $1500 per unsolicited message. This could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, depending on how many instances of misuse you have. The fines can quickly counter any additional patronage you receive from your campaign, so it is important to follow regulations in order to avoid any penalties.
Potential for Lawsuits
If you do not abide by the commercial text messaging rules and regulations, you may find yourself facing a class action lawsuit. Several companies and organizations have already experienced legal troubles as a result of sending unsolicited text messages. Well known pizza chain Papa John's was hit with a $250 million class action lawsuit due to spam texts in 2010. A fan also sued the Pittsburgh Penguins for sending more text messages than they had declared in the terms and conditions for their campaign. Other companies have also faced lawsuits due to text message marketing efforts gone wrong, and you do not want your business to experience the same problem.
Make a bigger profit by avoiding costly lawsuits.
Not only are lawsuits potentially expensive, they can also damage your reputation. Large companies can usually bounce back from such a problem, but smaller businesses and organizations may end up having to close due to legal troubles.
Customer Retention and Service
It's important to abide by the rules when your business is using mass text messaging because it helps to keep your customers happy. By treating your customers well, including not abusing your text message privileges, you will experience higher customer retention rates. You will also have more satisfied customers, which helps to increase brand loyalty over time.
It is easy to abide by the rules. All you have to do is have a clear opt-in and opt-out for mobile customers, along with detailed terms and conditions to which your customers have access. This protects your company from potential fines and lawsuits, while also ensuring that you remain in good standing with your customers, clients, or members.
If you are ready to start your first text message campaign, try ClubTexting for free!