Alert Solutions Blog

Planning a Mobile Marketing Campaign? Get Started the Right Way!

Posted by Nina Caliri on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 @ 15:09 PM

So, you’ve finally decided to see what all of the mobile marketing hype is about. Good choice – as studies suggest more than 90% of SMS text messages are read within minutes of delivery. This accounts for a rapid response that is unseen in other messaging channels.

But before getting too excited, consider the following

1. Do you understand the law?

Like everything else, mobile marketing laws evolve over time. Are you up to date on the latest legislation? Check out a recent post on our blog.

 2. Do you have an opt-in list?automatedcollectionreminder-1

You’ll need explicit written permission from subscribers to send them SMS text messages. Building your list organically will net the most relevant mobile marketing campaigns.

 3. What will your call-to-action be?

Unless your mobile marketing campaign is purely informative, you need to map the intended response of your audience. In other words, what should happen after the recipient reads your SMS text message?

4. Have you figured out the technicalities?

It may take weeks, or even months, to provision the phone number or short code that your SMS text messages will appear to be coming from. And remember, there is a 160 character limit!

Execute your new mobile marketing campaign properly to achieve the highest possible ROI and increase response rates.

Want to learn more about getting started? The experts at Alert Solutions can help get you going today!

Download our brochure or download our Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success for more SMS best practices.

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

New to Mobile Marketing? 3 SMS Text Messaging Tips to Get You Started

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 12:03 PM

SMS text messaging has become the easiest form of mobile marketing. It is has been widely adopted by the majority of the U.S. population and is available on nearly all phones.

Mobile marketing campaigns need to be a large part of your communication strategy. But where do you start in mobile marketing if you haven’t tried it before? Many say SMS text messaging is the way to go.

SMS marketing helps you connect with your existing users, while also potentially enabling you to make new customers. Below are 3 useful tips to get you started if you’re new to SMS text message marketing:

1. Don’t Stuff Your SMS Text Message with Too Much Information
You have only 160 characters available to you to carry your message to customers. SMS Text Messaging Campaigns for Mobile Marketing160 characters is brief but powerful. Do not cram your promotional text with different sales pitches.

Instead, decide which offer would sound most attractive to your target audience and present them with it. You may find that performing list segmentation is a better way to approach your target audience with different SMS text messaging campaigns.

2. Make Your SMS Text Messages Actionable
Start your message with a direct call to action, rather than a long sentence. Because SMS text messages are character-limited, this will force you to have a well-defined call-to-action: what’s the purpose of the message? What is the value? What does the recipient need to do to take advantage?

The call to action is the more important piece of your SMS text messaging campaign. Use phrases like “Act Fast” or “Don’t Miss Out” to encourage recipients to respond quickly.

3. Send Your SMS Text Messages at The Right Time
Mobile users usually read their SMS’ immediately. Actually, according to studies, 90% of SMS text messages are read within minutes of delivery. This means of communication is instant, unlike email marketing campaigns, which can be opened long after it has reached the inbox.

Choose an appropriate time to send messages - ideally when you know your audience is not preoccupied. A detailed analysis of your target audience could shed light into the best time of day to reach them.  Are they employed?  How old are they?  Utilize as much information that you know about your target audience with consideration to their schedules.

For more best practice tips and tricks, download our Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success today!

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Driving Audience Engagement with SMS Text Messaging Campaigns

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 16:01 PM

SMS text messaging should be part of any business’s communication strategy. With nearly 90 percent of text messages read within minutes, SMS text messaging represents one of the most cost-effective ways of breaking away from inbox clutter and grabbing your audience’s attention.

Below are some helpful tips to make sure your SMS text messaging campaigns grow your business and drive audience engagement.

1.  Promote Sign-Ups with a Call to Action
A call to action typically invites users to opt-in to your mobile marketing database by texting a unique SMS keyword to a short code. Driving sign-ups can be done through social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter, or placing a call to action in your email marketing campaigns. Promoting your call to action should take the highest priority of your mobile marketing initiative.

2. Opt-In FirstSMS Text Messaging Campaigns Drive Audience Engagement
Not to be intrusive, mobile marketing is highly regulated and the privileges come with great responsibility. Businesses in the United States are required to first obtain express consent to opt-in the recipient before sending SMS text messages. The recipient must confirm they want to receive commercial content from your organization via SMS text message.

3. Send Alerts and Reminders Too
If you're of the mindset that marketing and customer service are (or should be) closely aligned, there's tremendous opportunity in using SMS to improve customer experience! SMS text messaging is the most direct channel of messaging used today.

If you schedule regular appointments with your clients, many will appreciate a SMS text message to remind them of the date and time of their appointment. These alerts work because they are interactive, value-driven and makes customers' lives easier.

4. Encourage Sharing with 2-Way Communication
Don’t forget that SMS text messaging was developed not as a one-way broadcast system, but as a way for people to communicate effectively and concisely with each other. Your recipients will forward and share content that they like. Increase the breadth of your target audience with appealing offers your customers and prospects will want to share with their friends.

What’s more, this can also be effective in increasing the number of opted-in subscribers too. Because of the level of interactivity, SMS text messaging is one of the most powerful marketing channels used today. Deploying engaging messages that initiate a 2-way dialog can extend far beyond the bottom line.

There are many aspects of a successful SMS text messaging campaign. When executed correctly, a mobile marketing initiative has the power to build brand awareness, increase sales and drive customer engagement.

For more best practice tips and tricks, download our Guide to SMS Text Messaging Success today!

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Invigorate Your Email Marketing Campaigns with SMS Text Messaging

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 15:11 PM

As I’ve blogged about the past, email marketing is not dead. However, if you’re still conducting ‘spray and pray’ email marketing campaigns to a bunch of random email addresses, then let’s face it, your email initiative is about to take its last breath.

HOWEVER, if you’re willing to integrate email with other channels like voice broadcasting and SMS text messaging, perform list segmentation, send personalized content and use analytics to test and retest different strategies, then you’re on the right track.

One easy way you can invigorate your email marketing campaigns: SMS Text Messaging!

Combining the effects of SMS text messaging with email marketing is a tactic unrealized by many businesses.  For organizations leveraging both communication channels, carefully integrating the two can very well yield improved campaign performance metrics.

First, use email marketing campaigns to provide broader, content-rich information like promotions, product updates and newsletters. Then, use SMS text messaging campaigns to deliver shorter, powerful messages with immediate calls-to-action.

Below are a few steps you can take to integrate these 2 communication channels:

1. Create a Mobile Marketing List.
Mobile marketing is conducted strictly on an opt-in basis, meaning the possession of your recipients’ mobile numbers comes with many stipulations.  Have they agreed to receive SMS text messages from you?  Do they know what, and how often, you’ll be sending?  Employ existing email marketing strategies to solicit participation in your mobile marketing initiatives.

2. Design Messages Specifically for SMS Text Messaging. Combining Email Marketing and SMS Text Messaging
SMS text messages should be short, simple and personal. If what you want to discuss does not fit in those categories, then you might want to utilize another communication method to get your message across.

3. Integrate with Email.
The advantages of integrating mobile marketing with email marketing campaigns are numerous.  The fact that mobile and email are complementary to one another means they can be used concurrently or in-tandem to augment the same result. Coordination of these strengths is essential. Remember: Both customers and companies benefit from relevance: communication at the right time, in the right place using the right message.

4. Analyze Your Results.
Track SMS text messaging responses to gain valuable insights into your target audience and the success of your strategy. Combine data across both communication channels to develop a fuller picture of consumer behavior, so you can develop more personalized messages. Integrating SMS text messaging with email marketing campaigns provides businesses with valuable opportunities to connect with their audience while gaining important insights into their behaviors and communication preferences.

Integrate Email and SMS today with Alert Solutions’ WebLaunch™ Platform. Download the brochure today!

Topics: SMS text messaging, mobile marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, email marketing best practices

When SMS Text Messaging Campaigns Make Sense for Your Business

Posted by Nina Russo on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

SMS text messaging is undeniably one of the best ways to attract the attention of your customers and get news and promotions in front of them – fast.

Remember, even though SMS text messaging is a relatively low cost communication option for businesses, it is important to remember that it costs people money to receive text messages.

Send SMS text messages to only those that have specifically requested it.  This increases relevance and eliminates paying for wasted messages that end up in the trash folder anyway.

Below are 4 scenarios where SMS text messaging makes sense for your business:

Fundraising and Raising Awareness
If you are a non-profit organization, this is a great opportunity to use SMS text messaging for fundraising. According to eMarketer, there will be close to more than 84 million smartphone users by 2012 and nearly 100 million by 2014.

This is a huge opportunity to use other communication channels to generate campaign awareness and use SMS text messaging as a means of collecting donations.

Communicating With Active CustomersUsing SMS Text Messaging Campaigns For Your Business
Understand your market and choose the appropriate content to send in an SMS text campaign. Also, choose an appropriate time to send messages - ideally when you know your audience is not preoccupied.

To improve engagement, offer active customers to participate in a membership-type program where people can join this exclusive group and then routinely send coupons, gift certificates, special previews, and advanced education and information.

Sending Alerts and Reminders
If you're of the mindset that marketing and customer service are (or should be) closely aligned, there's tremendous opportunity in using SMS to improve customer experience! SMS text message marketing is the most direct (and therefore, intrusive) channel of messaging used today. 

If you schedule regular appointments with your clients, many will appreciate a SMS text message to remind them of the date and time of their appointment. These alerts work because they are interactive and value-driven communications that makes customers' lives easier.

Driving Leads and Sales
Mobile marketing is highly effective in directing traffic to your mobile-optimized website or landing page.  Because you can in fact insert links into your SMS text messages, build a calculable ROI for your mobile marketing campaign by allowing your recipient to convert right from their phones!

Because of its level of intrusiveness, mobile marketing involves further complexities unseen in alternative marketing mediums.  And because it’s only expected to grow over time, start practicing acceptable mobile marketing techniques now for positive return on investment (ROI) in the future.

For more SMS text messaging best practice tips, download our Guide to SMS Text Messaging Optimization.

Topics: SMS text messaging, mobile marketing

Creating an SMS Text Messaging Campaign with Your Audience in Mind

Posted by Nina Russo on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 @ 16:08 PM

Because SMS text messaging is widely considered a personal form of communication, and the risk of being perceived as a spammer is high, it is important to incorporate some basic principles into your SMS text messaging campaign to ensure you are achieving optimal results.

Below are four best practices we suggest businesses abide by when developing an SMS campaign:

It’s All About the Relationship
Constructing the content of your SMS text messaging campaign is no different to constructing an email marketing campaign or a voice broadcasting script – the ultimate goal is to ensure the message is relevant to the target audience. Above all, it is most important to consider what relationship you or your company has with recipient and develop the content of your SMS text messaging campaign from there.

Personalized Communication, Personalize MessageSMS Text Messaging Campaign
A personally addressed SMS text campaign is more likely to be read than one generically addressed to “customer”. SMS text messages should be short, simple and personal. If what you want to discuss does not fit in those categories, then you might want to utilize another communication method to get your message across.

Relevance and Timing are Everything
A large part of understanding your target audience is learning what information is relevant to them, and when they prefer to receive messages. Utilize as much information that you know about your target audience with consideration to their schedules. And remember:  Relevance Equals Response. Sending your target audience information that they want to learn about, will drive conversions and reduce opt-outs.

Give Them the Opt Out Option
Nothing is more frustrating to individuals than to continuously receive promotional messages when they just are not interested. Plus, according to federal regulations, businesses always need to provide their target audience with the opportunity to unsubscribe from further messages.

Mobile marketing can be one of the most effective methods of letting clients and prospects know about your products and services. Keep them in mind when developing your SMS text messaging campaigns and you will experience success.

To learn more about how you can effectively incorporate SMS into your communication strategy today, download Alert Solutions' Guide to SMS Text Messaging!

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Sending an SMS Text Messaging Campaign? 4 Mobile Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 12:08 PM

Consumers have their phones clutched to them at all times, consistent with the fact that 90% of SMS text messages are read within minutes of delivery – making it one of the best ways to attract the attention of your customers– fast.

SMS text messaging campaigns are highly effective when applied correctly. However, like any other marketing campaign, mobile marketers need to be careful to avoid these 4 common mistakes.

1. Forgetting to Tell the Customer Who You Are
Ever receive a mystery text where the only clue to who it’s from is by the SMS short code or perhaps an SMS keyword? Here’s the short of it: Identify yourself in every SMS text messaging campaign you send. Better yet, try to include a website URL, email address or phone number too!

2. Not Including a Call to ActionSMS Text Mesaging Campaigns
Not every SMS text messaging campaign has to be action-driven, but the ones that are should be should include a strong call to action (CTA). 160 characters is all you have.  Therefore, you must highlight the value in your message as concisely as possible. 

Because SMS text messages are character-limited, this will force you to have a well-defined call-to-action:  what’s the purpose of the message?  Even adding a single word to an SMS text messaging campaign can prompt can turn an ordinary message into one that prompts the subscriber to take action.

3. Sending Too Many SMS Text Messages
Bombarding your mobile subscribers with redundant messages could be costly.  There is a way to engage your subscribers via mobile without having them unsubscribe – find your send frequency balance. 

You might find your target audience is not receptive to receiving 3 or 4 message per month throughout the year, but might be perfectly happy receiving 1 or 2 messages per day over the course of a specific event or promotion.

4. Failing to be Relevant
Understand your market and choose relevant content to send in an SMS text campaign. You may find that performing list segmentation is a better way to approach your target audience with different SMS text messaging campaigns.

Also, choose an appropriate time to send messages - ideally when you know your audience is not preoccupied. For example, Group A might be responsive to SMS text messaging campaigns sent in the afternoon. Group B might be more likely to respond in the evenings or on the weekends.

For information on what you should be doing when creating SMS text messaging campaigns, download our “Guide to SMS Text Messaging” today!

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

Picking the Right SMS Keyword for Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Posted by Nina Russo on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 14:07 PM

Keywords are a powerful tool for allowing others to contact you using SMS text messages, but not if you make it difficult.

When you decide to embark on a mobile marketing campaign, there are some basic things you need to decide before you start.

Here are a few tips for selecting the right SMS keyword for your SMS text messaging campaign:SMS Messaging Campaigns

1. Keep it Short.
2. Avoid Special Characters or Alpha-Numeric Keywords
3. Avoid Using Multiple Words.
4. Beware of Auto-Correct

The 4th tip is a HUGE one.  When an auto correct failure happens between you and your friend, it can be fixed easily.

However, when an auto correct failure happens while a client or prospect is trying to opt-in to an SMS text messaging campaign, it can easily result in a lost subscriber.

Here are a few things you can do to plan for auto correct failure when selecting an SMS keyword.

1. Test the SMS Keyword on Different Operating Systems
Checking several operating systems can show how various recipients will experience opting in to the same SMS text messaging campaign.

2. Claim the Auto-Corrected SMS Keyword As Well
If you NEED to use the SMS Keyword, make sure to claim different versions of auto-corrects to avoid brand confusion or increasing opt-outs.

3. Change Your SMS Keyword Altogether
Sometimes, it’s just easier to pick a completely different SMS keyword

For SMS text messaging best practice tips and tricks, click here to download Alert Solutions' Guide to SMS.

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

3 Reasons to Integrate Mobile Marketing Campaigns with Social Media

Posted by Nina Russo on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 15:06 PM

 

Does your organization have a social media presence?  If so, don’t underestimate the level of compatibility between social media and other marketing channels, specifically, mobile marketing. 

Because social media is becoming so profound for both B2B and B2C, allowing social and mobile to interact allows you to build subscribers, funnel traffic and cross-channel your target audience.

So, what benefits can you reap from this level of integration?  Here are three reasons to begin integrating your social media and mobile marketing campaigns to begin building your business today:

1. Increase your subscriber base – Your mobile subscribers comprise a special group, asMobile Marketing and Social Media Integration only a small portion of your target audience has likely opted in to receive mobile communications including SMS text messaging.  That’s why social media can serve as a prime method of building your mobile opt-in list.  Establish a sense of exclusivity and trust to get your customers and prospects to reveal their mobile numbers and consent to mobile marketing.  Vice versa, promote social media to your mobile list with a special offer or drawing if they ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you.

2. Obtain testimonials – Social media empowers people to have a voice and share their opinions.  Utilize mobile to funnel traffic to your social media sites so that you can start gathering valuable testimonials about your products and services.  Remember to incentivize your target audience for maximum results!

3. Build product or service anticipation – Mobile and social media channels have proven to be very effective in building new product or service anticipation.  Businesses that have employed these channels have doubled the effect by integrating the two!

Like any marketing campaign integration, mobile and social require careful strategy to build your business together.  With a successful integration, attract attention to your organization in new ways with a multi-channel approach

Topics: mobile marketing, social media marketing, education

Leverage SMS Text Messaging to Initiate Dialog with Your Audience

Posted by Nina Russo on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 09:06 AM

Given the level of consent necessary to communicate, an organization’s mobile marketing list is likely one of its most valuable marketing assets. 

Not only does a mobile marketing list allow a business to possess a highly direct communication channel, but a springboard to other communication channels as well. 

And while consumers are becoming more receptive to receiving relevant SMS text messages from their favorite businesses, what better time than to implement interactive, 2-way mobile marketing campaigns?

Start leveraging SMS text messaging to initiate dialog with your prospects and customers.  Here are some tips to get started:

1. Ask for Communication Preferences.You’ve already obtained consent, but do you Mobile Marketing via SMS Text Messagingknow exactly how your target audience wants to be communicated to?  Sending the right message at the right time is the recipe most likely to spark a dialog, but what is the ‘right message’, and when is the ‘right time’?  Communication preference portals are an effective start to gathering this information.

2. Springboard to a Different Medium 160 characters is brief but powerful.  But because SMS text messaging has such a rapid response rate, employ it to springboard your recipients to other channels and mediums.  Insert links to direct your audience to mobile landing pages or surveys.  When used creatively, mobile can be just the first step of a complex multi-channel messaging campaign.

3. Encourage Sharing Your recipients will forward and share content that they like.  Increase the breadth of your target audience with appealing offers your customers and prospects will want to share with their friends.  What’s more, this can also be effective in increasing the number of opted-in subscribers too.

Because of the level of interactivity, SMS text messaging is one of the most powerful marketing channels used today.  Start deploying engaging messages today and initiate a 2-way dialog that extends far beyond the bottom line.

For more mobile best practice tips and tricks, download our Guide to SMS Text Messaging today!

Topics: SMS text messaging, SMS Best Practices, mobile marketing

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