Plan a contest to increase opt-ins: There’s nothing like keeping your subscribers engaged by having them actively compete for something. Choose a summer theme and create a referral campaign around it.
Recommend activities: One of the best ways to gain happy customers/subscribers is to be a reliable source of information for them. Try switching gears by suggesting a few summertime activities for them to indulge in, tips to achieve their goals by fall, or ways to stay on track during the summer slowdown. Text your subscribers an article like this one: “6 Ways to Stay Motivated at Work this Summer.”
There are over 6 billion texts sent via Americans every day, making text messaging the most prevalent form of communication, according to Gallup. It’s no wonder organizations are jumping on board to use it as another platform to engage with their audience. But for most of us, the thought of developing a strategy to start texting is just overwhelming.
In an effort to make this subject a bit easier to approach, we’ve compiled a list of a few quick and easy steps that will help get your organization well on its way!
Step 1 – Build Your List
One of the easiest ways to get people to subscribe to your list is to give them a chance to do so at every point of contact.
Brainstorm of all the places you can add your opt-in form. For example, places like your website, social media accounts, and signature line are great places to start. Also, train your staff to share the benefits of opting-in with your customers/clients/ network.
Step 2 – Segment Your List
When someone subscribes to your list, be sure to inquire as to how often they’d like to receive messages, and what type of information they want. Then place them into categories based on these requests.
Segmenting your list will help ensure your audience is getting information that is most useful and relevant to them. It could mean the difference between being a helpful, educational source, verses being ignored.
Step 3 – Learn Your Subscriber
After you’ve segmented your list based on preferences, take it one step further by personalizing your content. Overtime, you may be able to analyze demographics, purchase history, and behavioral patterns to tailor your message even further.
Remember, being personable goes a long way when it comes to building your following. Avoid using robotic and generic language. Response rates are higher when the message feels as though it is addressed directly to the recipient.
Step 4 – Develop Short and Sweet Messages
With traditional SMS messages, you only have 160 characters to express yourself. However, the faster you’re able to get to the point of your message, the better.
Before hitting “Send”, reread your message and eliminate any filler words and phrases. Only include information that is most relevant, and communicate it in plain English. Avoid capitalizing and abbreviating words, as well as using emoticons. Keep it simple!
Step 5 – Include Calls-to-Action
The top priority of your SMS marketing program should be to have subscribers that are engaged and interact with the messages you send. That’s why it’s important to include a clear call-to-action in your message.
If the goal of your message is to encourage your audience to take part in something, spell it out for them. Make sure to not bury the objective in the message, or add too much fluff. Also, use “buttons” whenever possible, such as “Click Here.” “Buy Now.” “More Info.”.
It’s no secret that social media is a huge component in many digital marketing strategies. Social media marketing expenditure in the U.S has reached $7.52 billion dollars (Statista). Virtually every business has some form of social media presence today. To avoid talking to an empty room, marketers use different tactics, such as social media contests and coupons, to measure things like engagement and conversions. But, how do you maximize your social media ROI?
Nearly 80% of social media usage is conducted on a mobile device (Marketing Land). Since social media is already a mobile activity, text (SMS) should be a key element of your social media strategy. When done effectively, Texting can provide valuable insight into how well your social media efforts are converting followers into repeat purchase customers.
Social Media and SMS are the Perfect Pair
So, how do we put text messaging and social media together? Well, for the most part, it’s similar to using an 800 or vanity number. Businesses can attach a short-code for followers to text into for mobile coupons, contests, or to start a mobile club. Imagine you’re a small burger joint opening in town. You want to encourage all the locals to try your specialty burgers and prompt them to make a repeat purchase. You can have a keyword for new customers to text in to a short code so they receive a coupon for a free burger when new customers buy fries and a drink. This keyword can be worked into all social media materials from cover photos on Facebook, to a specified hashtag on Twitter, to descriptions on your business’s YouTube videos.
Measure Social Media ROI Instantly With Texting
Social media is an instantaneous way to reach a large audience while text messages provides equally instantaneous feedback. While likes and comments are great, they are very passive forms of engagement. A ‘like’ doesn’t always translate into a sale. However, when customers text to your designated short code for a free burger, they are taking that extra step to committing to a purchase.
Promoting your SMS campaign via social media allows a more efficient measure of social media ROI. With a simple text, a marketer can measure a variety of different things about their campaign. A text can serve as a good headcount of active people in your contact list, a way to measure coupon effectiveness, show which keywords are most effective, and more. With True Dialog’s RESTful API, you can easily track outbound texts during the time of your social media campaign. Our API can also be easily integrated into other systems to have one, cohesive place for all marketing measurement.
Have questions on what SMS can do for your media measurement? Feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at 512-501-5940.
Currently, the advertising business in the U.S is worth over $111 billion. By 2020, revenue from TV and radio advertisement alone is projected to reach $81.7 and $17.68 billion respectively. With so much money circulated around advertising, it is important to make sure that your business’s advertising efforts are effective across your media channels. Vanity numbers, specialized URLs, and other methods are very popular for measuring media effectiveness. However, text messaging can be a valuable media measurement tool as well. With a high open and response rate, low cost implementation, and easy integration, SMS can be a valuable addition to any TV or radio advertisement.
How Does Media Measurement Work With SMS?
It may seem counter-intuitive to use a mobile approach to measure the results of broadcast advertising SMS is not only cost-effective, it simplifies the overall measurement process. The concept is simple, have a short code associated with your advertisement that allows the viewer to text in when they see it. For example, imagine you’re a restaurant with airspace on all local TV and radio channels. You include a short code in your advertisements that allows viewers to text in and receive a mobile coupon for their next entree. Since people have their cell phones on them 97% of the time, high response is practically guaranteed. This serves as an an instantaneous tally of how many people you’re reaching with your commercial as well as how effective the commercial is.
Kill Multiple Birds With One Smartphone
It is easy to see why the benefits of media measurements with SMS are substantial for your business. Let’s return back to the restaurant example. The first benefit of your SMS campaign is the prompting of customers to visit your restaurant with mobile coupons. About 74 million U.S smartphone users utilized mobile coupons in 2015; proving just how valuable they can be. In terms of media measurement, texting provides a few key benefits. As we said before, texting can provide an instantaneous count of how many people are seeing your advertisement at a given time. This means that you can figure out when and where your advertisements have the most impact. Maybe more people text in right before dinner time or around major holidays. Perhaps your commercial does better on stations with more family friendly content. Regardless, SMS makes it easy to see exactly where your advertisement stands.
Quick service restaurants (QSRs) are projected to grow at CAGR 3.11% in terms of revenue between 2014 to 2019 (Technavio). With the increase in revenue comes an increase of competition among individual restaurants. An effective way to stand out as a QSR is bettering digital marketing strategies with SMS. SMS is being utilized by QSRs in a variety of different ways from protecting against coupon fraud or receiving customer feedback. However, the primary function of SMS for most restaurants is increasing customer database.
Opt-In QSR Customer Database for Opportunity
Virtually every QSR has some sort of mailing list to alert customers of new specials, menu additions, and other in-store promotions. For customers, a lot of these promotions can get lost among the plethora of promotional emails and direct marketing materials.However, the most difficult hurdle to overcome is getting customers to opt-in.
Using SMS provide an easy way to attract opt-ins for a QSR customer database. With a near-perfect open rate, text messages can’t be lost in the sea of competitors’ marketing materials.By establishing an SMS campaign, QSRs can implement a cost effective way to grow and maintain their database. Not only is opting-in via text convenient for customers, it also alleviates the burden on businesses as well. SMS can be integrated in a variety of different CRMs and is extremely cost efficient since messages only cost a few cents each.
Pita Pit Use Case
Recently, True Dialog had the opportunity to work with Pita Pit to help increase the customer database of certain franchisees. In addition to being an effective way to prevent coupon fraud, our coupon campaign allowed Pita Pit to create a unique coupon that was valid 24 hours after receipt. The success of this campaign was astronomical; the franchisees database grew from 2,000 to 9,000 members in just 6 months.
SMS and Email integration is a winning combination for your multi-channel marketing strategy. Integrating these platforms allows marketers to provide a cohesive experience that caters to the different preferences of their clients. However, what many don’t understand is how these systems work together – integrating with each other as well as CRM systems.
How SMS and Email Come Together
SMS and email cross paths in a variety different ways but, how does it work? Once implemented, an SMS API integration is a very understandable process. To talk to each other, the two systems rely on two vital technological processes: SMPP and A/B testing.
SMPP Simplifies Short Message Communications
Let’s start with short message peer-to-peer or SMPP protocol. This is a term that simply means the transfer of text message data with external messaging entities (a SMS application). This is how businesses have the ability to send text messages in bulk to thousands of clients at once. Imagine that you’re a business with a large customer database and you want to alert all of them about a special promotion. Instead of texting them one at a time from a mobile device, you can use a SMS application – the SMPP provides the capability for you to send your message to everyone at the same time.
A/B Helps Systems to “Speak” to Each Other
Once you have SMPP setup for your text messages, how do we integrate the email system? More importantly, how do we make sure that clients are receiving messages on the right medium? This is where A/B testing comes into play. Using A/B testing, or split testing, is the process of comparing two versions of a web page or application to determine which performs better. This is crucial for SMS and email integration because it’s the way that platforms define how each client receives the business’ message. The A/B test combs through your client database and, based on your clients’ selected preferences, it will send your message through the correct medium. Think of it as a digital huddle between SMS and email as they decide the best of course of action for scoring points with your clients.
SMS and Email Integration for CRM
One of the key reasons marketers have for SMS and email integration is for customer relationship management (CRM). A dedicated CRM system can easily facilitate integration in a way that is cohesive to your business’s multi-channel marketing strategy. Email and SMS simplify the CRM strategy by allowing you the most convenient and effective way to reach customers – the way they want to be reached. The added bonus of monitoring customer preferences gives the business the power of new data – for tracking behaviors and adjusting messaging to save both time and money.
Integration within multi-channel marketing is imperative for keeping up with the growing digital landscape. Email and SMS are essentially the peas and carrots of multi-channel marketing; they are a tried and true combination that can fit almost anywhere. By understanding integration at a technical level, businesses can discover how simply this integration can be adapted for multiple purposes.
Over 350 billion texts are sent everyday, around the world, for multiple purposes. When it comes to SMS messaging for your business, people often worry about creating useful or creative messages. Try creating some reusable SMS message templates for your business to get the right message across. These templates will vary depending on both your business and reasons for texting.
Templates for Keeping In-Touch
It is becoming increasingly common for businesses to keep in regular communication with their mobile database. In fact, 1 in 5 consumers are more likely to prefer a text message over a phone call from a business (ICMI). Keeping in touch once a month or so with your mobile database keeps the business fresh in the minds of your contacts (consumers, vendors, etc). These mobile communications have a variety of different uses and are used for different phases in a growing business-to-consumer relationship.
For many businesses, the initial text sent to a new mobile subscription is the simple welcome message. Separate from the required confirmation messages, these SMS message templates are typically structured as a greeting and a brief introduction to what the customer is opting into. Here’s an example:
Beyond the initial welcome message, there are a plethora of other SMS message templates that businesses can use to maintain communications. SMS can also be used for gathering feedback from customers, facilitating dialog, and sending out follow-ups.
SMS Message Templates for Alerts
Perhaps the most common use of SMS for businesses is SMS alerts, which are typically setup through a SMS API and automated. Some common SMS message templates for alerts include appointment reminders, order confirmations, and shipping notifications.
One of the most popular SMS alert template is the appointment reminder. SMS appointment reminders are not only convenient for your mobile database, they can also be easily setup with an SMS gateway campaign to completely automated your business’s scheduling. SMS alerts can be brief or detailed, depending upon your business needs. A straightforward alert usually includes the customer name and pertinent details such as time and date.
There are so many ways to incorporate SMS into your business. The easiness and versatility of a simple text can transform your marketing, company operations, or customer service. However, the message can only be understood if it is in a clearly written message for the customer. To ensure your mobile success, it is crucial to plan ahead so that your SMS message templates are your best messages.
While True Dialog and many other SMS providers offer short codes for sending and receiving SMS, there has been big growth in the need for long codes – especially for certain businesses. True Dialog offers long codes that are dedicated to each client who signs up for either our Business-Class Free Trial and for anyone with a paid SMS subscription with True Dialog. SMS messages sent from a long code are usually treated as a standard text message for the end user, which makes them widely accepted as a tool for different mobile messaging campaigns.
If you are unfamiliar with the use of different codes with SMS, then check out this overview that compares long codes with short codes.
Advantages of Long Codes:
Cost effective. Long codes cost a little less overall for your messages.
Fast setup. There is no waiting period with long codes. They are ready right away.
International. Many long codes can be used for sending business SMS messages internationally.
Whether you are testing out new technologies or just curious about SMS, then long codes are an excellent starting point for your business. We offer for you to use long codes through the True Dialog platform or our SMS API.
Need more information? Get in Contact with us, and we’ll happily answer all of your questions.
Video advertising is nothing new in the world of mobile marketing. However, mobile video is about to go even further in 2016. With a bevy of new options to present your video content, we are poised to see mobile video advertising grow bigger than ever before. So how do you, the innovative mobile marketer, tap into the beast known as video advertising?
Mobile Video Through 2015
Before we dive into predictions, let’s revisit the success of this marketing tactic. According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, consumers use far more data for video than for any other application. Mobile data traffic in Q3 of 2015 was 65 percent higher than in Q3 2014, which was largely driven by increased video consumption on mobile devices. Mobile video is quite the successful fiend but, how are businesses using it to their advantage?
The obvious Goliath is in-app commercials for video and music streaming services. YouTube owns nearly 20% share of digital video ads with 50% of website traffic coming from mobile viewers. It is a similar story for other streaming giants such as Spotify and Hulu. Users are enjoying these services while on-the-go, whether from their smartphone or tablet.
Another aspect of video is the use of text messaging for driving views. Businesses build a mobile database and share exclusive content through either a dedicated & private URL or in an MMS message. The customer database gets early access to the newest video content and rejoices.
Where is Mobile Video Heading in 2016?
Mobile video ad spend is projected to reach $6 billion dollars by 2018 (TechCrunch). So when it comes to video content, making it mobile accessible is no longer a nice-to0have, but a necessity. The number of channels for creating and distributing video has grown, which makes it even easier for you, the business. Everything from new applications such as MyTape, to new features on existing platforms like the new Facebook live video option and Instagram’s sponsored video posts, is all indicative of a rapidly growing video landscape.
This growth means that a simple video won’t cut it anymore. Not only will video content be engaging, but the way in which that content is delivered matters as well. Being conscientious of your customer demographic is crucial to selecting the right channel. Take time to do the research, find your audience, and understand how they want to consume videos.
The business landscape is saturated with mobile video ads, so great content is still king. Finding new ways to engage your customers is the only way you can let your business’s brand shine through. Yes, a video is traditionally one way but, it can also be engaging. Make more enticing videos in 2016 that are about your audience, rather than shouting information. Create content with interactive components or utilizing the popular 360 degree viewing.
Predictions for Mobile Video in 2016
1. As technology for mobile video evolves, so should your mobile marketing strategies. Explore different approaches to use video as a marketing tool.
2. Don’t lose sight of your content. There is no need to reinvent the wheel but, a strong story or interactivity could mean higher customer engagement.
TrueDialog is the preferred SMS Text solution for enterprise businesses and higher education. Send text messages one-to-one or one-to-thousands in just a few easy steps. TrueDialog’s SaaS platform and SMS API is ideal for organizations serious about scalability, security and compliance.