You, the savvy mobile marketer, already know that mobile commerce is booming. Having a comprehensive plan for Mcommerce is crucial for staying on top in 2016. An easy solution for increasing both store traffic and overall sales is the use of mobile coupons.
Mobile coupons are effectiveand, according to Mobile Commerce Daily, 96% of mobile users will search for digital coupons – a 26% increase from 2014. By the end of this year, 121.3 million U.S adults will redeem a digital coupon with 83.1 million doing so via smartphones (EMarketer). The expert opinions are in and here is what is in-store for mobile coupons in 2016.
Location, Location, Location
Location based mobile marketing, or SMS geofencing, is having a big moment, and it is only going to get bigger in 2016. Location SMS marketing works in 2 parts:
First, there is the use of it in physical locations where the customers are using it – to understand their purchasing personas. Customers can allow businesses to have access to their locations. By tracking customer movement, companies can get an idea of the persona of their customer base. For example, if you are a new sporting good company and you notice that customers in your area frequent the local soccer field, you can increase your in-store traffic by offering mobile coupons on your soccer equipment.
The second use of location based SMS marketing is SMS geofencing. SMS geofencing is when customers not only allow companies to know their locations, companies also have the ability to send location-specific SMS messages. When customers are in range of your business, triggered messages will be sent out with deals and coupons to lure customers in. Locations can be as broad as a U.S region or as narrow as being in a physical store. By targeting customers in specified locations, businesses can make the most of their mobile marketing – especially when it comes to mobile coupons.
Cross Platform Integration
Multi-platform integration is a large essential in every digital marketing arsenal. Going from mobile app, to SMS notifications, to in-store or online purchasing will soon be a seamless experience. Mobile coupons will be no different. Many apps, such as Sephora’s, have an all-in-one mobile shopping experience. Not only can you shop from the app, it also tracks your beauty rewards, provides beauty tips, and (of course) sends you digital coupons for your next purchase. In 2016, this will become far more common place as more stores opt for the all-in-1 integration model.
Big Takeaways for Mobile Coupons in 2016
No need for the crystal ball, we have seen the future for retail and mobile commerce: SMS coupons are on top.
It is estimated that mobile coupon usage will exceed 1 billion users by 2019 (Juniper Research). This means that to implement mobile coupons, you must have a thoughtful mobile strategy. To summarize, the two big takeaways are:
1. Allow an option for customers to opt-in to your location tracking services to effectively target the customers you need. Digital marketing can be costly, so make sure that you are sending your mobile coupons to the right consumers in the right places.
2. Make sure that your digital integration includes mobile coupons, and that they are seamlessly integrated. Cohesiveness is key if you want your mobile coupons to increase customer traffic.
Mobile coupons are not only a great way to tie multiple digital platforms together but, they help to build customer relations. Motivate your customers by providing incentive to their #1 shopping companion: their smartphones.
The spookiest time of the year has descended upon on us!
While everyone is busy carving pumpkins, planning costumes, and inhaling candy by the handful, it’s fun to utilize this time for creative marketing with a Halloween themed SMS marketing strategy. Taking the time to plan your Halloween marketing strategy allows you to show customers a silly side while differentiating from stiff competitors. If you’re stuck on what to do, here are a few ideas to help you get started…
Send a Treat to Your Mobile Database
Just because consumers are too old to fill a trick-or-treat bag doesn’t mean that they don’t want a treat of their own. Create a mobile coupon with a special offer to wish your customers a fun and safe Halloween. Saving is fun, after all.
Host a Spooky Contest
Halloween contests can go far beyond scavenger hunts and bobbing for apples. Hosting a text-to-win contest is a fun and easy way to drive customer engagement and get people excited for Halloween. You can apply the contest to the costume contests and scavenger hunts too! Invite participants to take a photo of their best costume and text it in. For a spooky scavenger hunt, consider making it a photo-hunt where folks need to take photos of spooky stuff and text it in each time.
Scary Costumes are a Success for Retail and Restaurants
If you are looking to drive customers into your brick-and-mortar location, have a special for people who show up in costume. The most notable example of a successful costume promotion is Chipotle’s recent campaign. Chipotle offers $3 burritos to customers who show up in a particular themed costume (this year it is costumes with unnecessary additions). Push out an invitation through SMS to your consumer database telling them to stop by your store in costume, and offer a free treat to the kids and a special offer to the parents.
When in Doubt, Freak Them Out
Everyone loves a good scare so send out something for a fun fright. Just make sure it isn’t too scary for your SMS database or else you might have some people opting out. If scary doesn’t fit your particular company image, opt for an alternative with scary situations. A plumbing company, for example, could send out a message like “Imagine you’re home alone in the bathroom…and you run out of toilet paper. Nooo!”
Halloween is a fun time for all and companies shouldn’t miss out on the festivities. Halloween may not be as high spending or revenue generator as Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a good Halloween SMS campaign idea can leave a good impression on your customers. Find the best way to make your company stand out.
Among the different types of SMS campaigns, the SMS gateway campaign can be the hardest to understand despite the extreme usefulness. SMS gateway campaigns allow companies to use triggered sms alerts based upon chosen parameters (such as appointment date) established by its own internal software (common examples include POS or CRM systems). For example, if your company uses a POS system that tracks certain purchase a customer makes, you can set up a sms gateway campaign to send out a triggered alert to thank a customer for shopping with your business. If a customer has their eye on something in your store, you can have the customer opt-in to be notified with a triggered sms alert when stock of that item is low.
How does the SMS Gateway Campaign on 3Seventy’s Platform Work?
A sms gateway campaign is tough to grasp conceptually but, once seen in action it becomes a little easier to digest. Below is a brief video of how a sms gateway campaign is conducted through 3Seventy’s portal:
Examples of How a SMS Gateway Works in the Real World
SMS gateway campaigns assist both user and receiver on a daily basis. Many apartment complexes will use a sms gateway campaign for mass communication with tenants to notify of package delivery or maintenance visits. You would have to use a gateway rather than a basic SMS campaign because these specific alerts go out at unique times and not all at once. You can set a trigger in your sms gateway campaign to alert the tenant of the specific action that is occurring. More examples include appointment reminders from doctor’s offices, low balance alerts from banks, and internal communications for large organizations like universities.
SMS gateway campaigns are highly useful for a variety of different businesses. It may be scary because it seems complex but, sms gateway campaigns are used so frequently in real life application, they become almost second nature to your mobile marketing.
With such a plethora of options for entertainment, it is important for entertainment venues to make a strong impression with a well developed SMS marketing plan. Here at 3Seventy, we are fortunate enough to work with several clients in the entertainment industry – from bowling and sports to live music and more. In collaboration, we’ve implement smart SMS marketing strategies. Here are some tips on how to incorporate SMS marketing into your entertainment venue business.
1. Make the Most of Your Mobile Club
A great sms database is an effective way to keep customers in the loop about promotions, events, and giveaways. Invite your customers to opt-in by using an incentive, and keep them engaged by scheduling a bi-monthly text message update letting them know about fun things happening at your business and special offers.
2. Keep People Entertained Between Activities
Want to have your guests keep the fun going as they wait their next turn to putt, rock climb, or bowl? Make waiting time a little more fun with interactive text trivia and polls. Create a dialog campaign so that when customers see a question on the digital signage or tv monitors, they can text in the trivia answer and see the results on the screen in real-time.
3. Using SMS to Stay on Schedule
During peak times such as summer vacation, it is important to keep the traffic moving effectively in your entertainment venue. Set up a system where customers can receive an SMS alert with real-time updates about the next available go-kart, bowling lanes, movie showing, etc.
4. Try Out Mobile Coupons
Instead of having people fumble around with cutting out and bringing in paper coupons (and possibly losing them along the way), make the experience easy. When you provide customers the convenience of using mobile coupons via SMS, it increases the redemption rates and drives traffic faster to your venue.
5. From Text Message to Trophy
If your entertainment venue is host to a league or other competition, then consider creating a targeted SMS campaign for that competition. Participants can receive text messages each week with rankings, highlights, and upcoming events/tournaments. Send out a “Congratulations” text message to the entire SMS database too. This can increase customer satisfaction and leave a positive reflection of your venue’s brand with the competition participants.
A day to the rink, arcade, or alley should be nothing but fun for the people who come through your entertainment venue’s doors. You will roll a strike with your SMS marketing strategy when you provide an easy way for customers to engage with you business both in and outside of the times they visit.
It is no secret that everyone texts and everyone loves free stuff. Text-to-win SMS contests are a fun and engaging way to build your company’s mobile club, like Tide did in 2013 by increasing their text subscribers by over 48,000, as well as deepen customer relations by encouraging returning sales. So, just how are SMS contests good for your mobile marketing strategy?
Boost Your Sales with an SMS Contest
SMS Contests are a great way to drive sales by prompting customers to purchase specific items or engage in certain services in exchange for a unique sms code. A good example of this is Kellogg’s text-to-win contest in partnership with MLB. Unique SMS short codes are printed inside specially marked Kellogg’s products with one code being the grand prize winner of a season pack of MLB tickets. These contests can not only increase sales but, push new products. Taco Bell’s Quesarito was introduced in 2014 and to push Quesarito sales this year, Taco Bell is giving away a gold PS4 bundle when customers text sms codes located on their Quesarito Big Boxes.
Ease of Use
A great addition to your mobile marketing mix are SMS contests because it easy for both the business and consumer. From a consumer end, it provides an easy entry. No forms to fill out, no special steps to make. Just text the code to the number and you’re done. From a business perspective, SMS contests are simple to manage and cost effective. Yes, the legality of sweepstakes can be daunting however, once rules are properly constructed, contests are basically set up to run themselves.
Contests provide a nice break from the “BUY, BUY, BUY” feeling that many marketers may create while still driving sales and customer engagement. Whether you wish to push new products, build a stronger customer database, or just increase brand visibility, SMS contests are a fun, easy, and effective way to kill so many birds with one stone.
The humble mobile phone has come a LONG way
since its debut in 1973.
As the mobile phone morphed from a garish brick-like contraption in the ’80s to the sleek pocket pals we currently have, it gained prominence in our pop culture too. It is tough to find movies in a modern setting without mobile phone usage. Let’s take a brief journey through pop cultures mobile obsession.
Although mobile phones weren’t properly introduced until 1973, the idea of a mobile communicating device has been used for over half a century. Maxwell Smart, of the 1960’s comedy Get Smart, had a shoe that was part weapons holder and part rotary phone. Cultural phenomenon favorite, 1966’s Star Trek: The OriginalSeries, had the iconic communicator that actually inspired the creation of the mobile phone.
The mobile phone didn’t become publicly distributed until the 1980’s. Since they were so large and clunky, it was not the sleekest accessory. But both businesses and consumers were desperate for a tool to make communication easier for them – especially on the go.
In 1983, Motorola launched the DynaTAC 8000x with the dimensions smaller dimensions (300 x 44×89 mm) and a lighter weight. This device offered one hour of talk time and included an LED display. This phone must have come in handy for Linda Hamilton while she was stealing vital data in the 1986 movie Black Moon Rising. Mobile phones sometimes end up being just as iconic as the characters that use them.
By the ’90s mobile phones and cordless home phones were just assumed, and so the preferences in pop culture (especially films) grew. Many young women remember the moment in the 1996 “classic” scream when Sidney finds the killer’s costume, mobile phone and voice changing device. It was scary, how powerful technology had become at that point. The other end of that technology power was referenced in more fun ways throughout the valley girl celebration titled Clueless in 1996.
Not everyone could afford a mobile phone though, so pagers were all the rage. Remember those? They were not exclusive to a doctor, nurse or cop-show about drug dealers. Teenagers across America had pagers. It was equivalent to the first text messages.
Back in 2002 and 2003, the rise of mobile phone usage in China – especially text messaging- gave birth to a new sort of culture. Some people called it “thumb culture” because of the speed and dexterity of youth in China who used their thumbs while holding a mobile phone.
In the US, the widespread use of mobile phones began to seep into children’s entertainment too. The television show Kim Possible included a theme song titled “Call Me, Beep Me”.
2007 is the iconic year for mobile phones… the release of the first ever iPhone. It was a big part of Steve Job’s big comeback with Apple. The iPod had blown up our ears with soundtracks we could take on-the-go. And now he was offering the most amazing thing of all – a mobile phone that let us listen to music AND it had a WiFi connection that let you browse the internet.
Adoption of smartphones and the mobile phone in general has changed our world forever. We communicate differently – texting instead of calling. And we expect people to always respond in a minute, instead of hours or days.
It’s no secret that there are a TON of ways to do marketing. Even once your business selects a marketing strategy, you can still get lost in the endless options of what to do in that particular strategy. However, you are already wise to the amazing benefits of SMS and Mobile marketing. You know that your company can implement a highly effective mobile marketing strategy that can meet your marketing goals. The only thing left to do is sell your wonderful idea to your boss but, how do you go about it?
1. Emphasize How Relevant Mobile Marketing Is
Mobile marketing topped not one but two separate marketing trends to watch for 2015 on Forbes, and it makes sense. The number one object we interact with on a daily basis is our mobile devices. Since people are already looking at their phones, they aren’t really paying as much attention to other forms of advertising. Companies are simply missing out by not having an excellent mobile marketing strategy.
2. Assure that Mobile Marketing is Simple to Implement
A big concern when developing a mobile marketing strategy is the how to get started. Mobile marketing comes with federal regulations and building a mobile list can be daunting. However, tell your boss to rest assured, your amazing mobile marketing can still march on strong. The rules aren’t too tough to follow and building a list can be as easy as a text-to-earn promotion. If your boss is still hesitant about going at it alone, there are many mobile marketing companies (like yours truly) that can ease the transition into an mobile marketing campaign.
3. Social Media Only Goes So Far
Social media is like the Marsha of the the marketing Brady Bunch. It is the golden child that everyone wants to talk about. While social media can be a great tool for marketing, it has its limits. For one, it is hard to find the right platform or platforms for your business. You can tweet to your hearts content but, if your demographic doesn’t have a strong Twitter presence, you’re not being the most effective. The best way to think about it is this: Everyone uses their cell phones to text but, not everyone uses their phones to tweet/snap/insta/post to Facebook.
In short? Mobile and SMS marketing could be your bosses new best friend. It has high appeal to customers and a splendid ROI. A simple, well developed mobile marketing strategy could be just the fresh idea your boss never knew they wanted which elevates both you and your company.
The average person is bombarded with about 360 advertisements per day from TV, radio, Internet, and print media alone. In such a saturated marketing landscape, it is no wonder so many people opt for ad-blockers on their browsers or DVR shows so that they can skip the commercials. Since mobile marketing is so direct, mobile marketers have to rethink their strategies so that they can be effective without feeling like an annoyance. Here are some of our favorite tips for smart SMS marketing that won’t pester your customers.
1. Send the Right Message to the Right People
I know this is Marketing 101 but, it is still common mistake. Many mobile marketers might cast their nets a little too far, incorporating people who are in the wrong location (like the wrong country) or are not the target audience. Once you have incorporated the correct user segment, make sure that the message is clear, appropriate, and engaging. If you are sending mobile coupon code or links to digital coupons, make sure that those codes and coupons work.
2. Timing is Everything
Just like with telemarketers, no one wants to get a marketing text message late on Friday night or 6AM Sunday morning. Make sure that if your customers are subscribed to receive periodic messages from your company that the messages are going out during an appropriate time. So, when is the best time? That tends to vary based on your particular audience and product/service. However, research shows that text messaging is most effective between 10:00am and 8:00pm.
3. Don’t Be Clingy
Every company wants to have a positive and profitable relationship with their customer. However, like with romantic relationships, companies shouldn’t come off as overly attached. Try to limit the number of text messages sent to as few as possible as to not bother your customers. According to a survey conducted by Autosend, 67% of customers said they would like to receive texts from businesses at least 1-5 times a week.
By now we all understand how beneficial smart SMS marketing can be to a company however, maintaining customer opt-ins can be a delicate process. It is important to strategize effectively to limit the number of opt-outs as well as to have a successful return on your campaign. Again, like romance, a good SMS relationship can grow into something much more valuable.
How Mobile Marketers Are Targeting Hungry Families
With the end of summer and the beginning of school season in full gear, many families are facing the challenge of creating simple dinners that can please everyone at the table. So where does a busy parent turn to for dinner inspiration? Break out a tired favorite out of the cookbook? Comb through the vast amounts of kale and quinoa dinner-in-a-jar recipes pinned on their Pinterest boards? For some, inspiration comes right from their mobile devices, which provides an opportunity for mobile marketers.
“Pushing” For Grocery Store Interaction
Recently, Clorox has launched a mobile based campaign for its Hidden Valley Ranch, the popular salad dressing brand, and Soy Vay, a line of Kosher Asian inspired sauces and marinades, to engage consumers to head out to their local grocery stores. With the help of iBeacon, Clorox has developed an app that sends cooking “hacks” whenever their target audience is close to or inside of a grocery store. Push notifications can range anywhere from recipes to product locations within the isles.
A Meal via SMS Alert
For the occasions when the idea of cooking is just too much, many quick service restaurants provide relief with the use text message opt-ins. A&W Restaurants’ text club provided users with coupons sent via text starting with a free Papa Burger ® just for opting in. Chipotle’s mobile list offers users BOGOs on their burritos and bowls. Domino’s new Anyware ™ campaign allows customers to order pizza on any device, be it on a smart watch, a tweet, or even a text.
Mixing food and phone together seems to be the profitable direction for both food companies and mobile marketing. Retail SMS, in-app messaging, and multiple device integration are the new norms of how we market food. Food is a highly saturated market with a 70-80 percent fail rate for new products launched in the grocery store market and a 61 percent fail rate for restaurants. However, as food brands continue to assert themselves more in the mobile market, the daunting question “What are we having for dinner?” can be much easier to tackle.
This week we’re looking closely at the differences between the uses of SMS Short Codes and Long Codes. If your business is interested in using text message marketing, then you will want to understand the logistics of SMS and the difference between sending messages on a short code verses a long code.
What is a Short Code?
A short code is a 5-6 digit phone number that businesses use to send out marketing SMS message from. Read More about Short Codes.
This is an add for A&W Restaurant’s Text Club. They use a Short Code (70626) and a Keyword (Burger) as the means of having customers opt-in for special offers such as a Papa Burger. When the consumer texts in, he or she is subscribing to A&W’s Text Club and agreeing to receive SMS messages from them.
What are Short Codes Used for?
Businesses use several kinds of tools to communicate with consumers. SMS allows businesses to deliver time-sensitive alerts, offers, and other information to consumers. When the communication is initiated from a business application (such as an SMS platform), rather than an individual’s mobile phone, it can be referred to as a A2P Communication (Application-to-Person) SMS. This is the common use for Short Codes.
Short codes are the preferred tool for sending marketing SMS messages. Growth in the use of SMS marketing is expected to continue through 2016. This growing adoption will allow individuals to easily interact with the brands, companies and service providers they value via text message while providing a quick and trusted communication tool for the companies.
Why Use Short Codes for Marketing SMS?
Short codes are regulated by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the CTIA (The Wireless Association). These consumer protection regulations require companies using short codes to ask permission (opt-in to subscribe) before contacting an individual. This provides a certain level of value in exchange – protecting the consumer and creating more successful SMS campaigns because trust has been built with the customers using their mobile device.
Speed of Message Delivery
Using a short code allows your business to send large volumes of text messages in a short period of time. Text message providers, like 3Seventy, setup deals with the carriers allowing a large number of messages to go out to consumers from each carrier at a time. This is really important to those businesses with a database of 5,000 or more contacts. Many businesses have millions of contacts in their SMS database, so timeliness is key to the campaign’s effectiveness with customers.
Flexibility for Innovation
Short codes allow for more development flexibility and innovation. Wireless carriers can change, update or add new features to short codes for enterprises without a problem. When you are driving end users to take the same action to interact with your brand, it’s easier to make updates. Plus, application developers can leverage short codes to provide mobile solutions such as a one-to-one chat, triggered alerts, security authentication, and mobile coupons.
RELATED NEWS: Neustar’s contract with CTIA to manage the CSC registry will end on December 31, 2015.
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