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99 posts categorized "Mobile Tech"

October 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

 

    • Gain new subscribers.

 

    • Communicate with existing subscribers, often.

 

    • Sell more.

 


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


"Hands up if you got my text."

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

 

    • Game dates and times.

 

    • The latest scores.

 

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

 

    • Player statistics.

 

    • Surveys and polls.

 

    • And of course, special offers.

 


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

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

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

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

Panic! at Madison Square Garden?

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

This was promoted a number of ways, including:

 

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

 

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

 


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

Text Marketing in the Little Leagues Too?


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

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

Using text updates is ideal for broadcasting:

 

    • Changes to schedules.

 

    • Updates to policies.

 

    • Major league announcements and other news.

 

    • Plus, of course, emergency notifications.

 


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

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

October 07, 2014

Real Estate Agencies and Mass Texting: A Great Fit

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

How Do Mass Texting Services Work?

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

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

How It Relates to the Real Estate Industry

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

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

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

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



Mass texting puts you right in the hands of customers.

Use Texting to Advertise an Event

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

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


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

Get Results Today

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

September 30, 2014

10 Commandments of Text Message Marketing



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

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

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

2. Opt-In Is the Only Way to Go

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

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

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

4. Don't Forget Important Legal Language

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

5. Don't Send Messages Too Frequently

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

6. Text at Appropriate Times

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

7. Avoid Text-Speak

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

8. Monitor Your Analytics

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

9. Grab a Vanity Short Code if Possible

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

10. Every Message Should Be Fresh and Provide Value

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

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

September 16, 2014

The iPhone 6 is Flying off Shelves Before it Hits Them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 04, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Mobile Coupons

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

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


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

What are Mobile Coupons?

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

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


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

Ways You Can Use Mobile Coupons

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

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


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


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




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

Mobile Coupons Make Customers Happier

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

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


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

 

August 31, 2014

5 Surprising Beneficiaries of Text Message Marketing

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

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



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

Entertainment Businesses

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

Professional Businesses

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

Retail Businesses

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

Online Businesses

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


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

Food Industry Businesses

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

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

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

August 20, 2014

5 Tips for Writing Effective Mass Text Messages

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

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

1. Make It Personal and Identify Yourself

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

2. Time It Right

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

3. Use Actual Words, and Proofread Before Sending

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

4. Make the Most of Your 160 Characters

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

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

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

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

 

August 09, 2014

Scottish Healthcare Gets a Boost from SMS

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Glasgow's Western Infirmary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 03, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 31, 2014

Text Messages Used to Curb Teen Drinking

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As student activities go, binge drinking and text messaging are two perennial favorites. Now, a group of researchers have figured out a way to use the latter to combat the former.

A recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests data collected and support offered via text message can reduce future instances of binge-drinking in young adults.

Lead researcher Brian Suffoletto, M.D. and his team designed the trial and won funding from the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF). The research – which is the first of its kind – aimed to see if SMS messaging  could collect data on college drinking habits, deliver feedback and ultimately change drinking behavior in young adults. The findings are due to be published in August in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

According to Dr. Suffoletto, more than 50,000 adults between 18 and 24 arrive at emergency rooms on a daily basis in the United States, all seeking treatment for alcohol related problems. The research team performed a randomized trial of an SMS program with 765 young adults who were discharged from four emergency departments in Pennsylvania.

Participants were divided into three groups. One group received a series of automated text messages each week, asking them about their drinking plans for the weekend. A follow-up report compares their actual consumption. If the group anticipated having more than five drinks during a 24 hour period, participants received a warning text and a request to lower alcohol consumption during the week. Those who agreed received positive reinforcement and strategies for cutting down; those who refused to lower their consumption received a text message asking them to reflect on their decision.

A second group received a text query about total alcohol intake, but did not receive any pre-weekend messages or post-weekend feedback. The third group was a control group, and did not receive any text messages.

At the three month stage, participants who were exposed to the text message encouragement had decreased their drinking by 1-2 occasions each month (from a baseline of 3-4). Nearly 15% of the intervention group reported complete abstinence.

Researchers speculate that frequent text messages raised self-awareness about alcohol use. This sort of ‘mobile intervention’ could, if implemented in emergency departments across the country, not only curb teen drinking, but alleviate the daily burden placed on hospitals because of alcohol poisoning and other alcohol-related admissions.