Posted on

Texting for Business? Break These Text Etiquette Rules at Your Own Risk

Text message etiquette for business

You know text messaging has come of age when Emily Post and Cosmo magazine both dish out etiquette rules for text messaging. Although we’re not authorities on manners, we do know text message marketing and have created our own etiquette tips for business texting. We’ve seen clients face the consequences, so break these at your own risk!

Text timing is important

Mobile phones have become “always on” communications devices, replacing regular phones and land lines. So you can forget thoughts like… “I’ll send my message at midnight and they can read it in the morning” or “It’s 5 a.m. and I’m up, so I might as well send my offer now.” Those thoughts could land you in text hell and under an “unsubscribe avalanche.” Unlike email, sending texts during off hours could create a backlash. You’ll only wake those who are calmly sleeping with their phones at their bedsides. Remember, angry, sleepy customers don’t buy happily in the morning.

Leave the cute text slang at home

Don’t uz txt slang 2 commnc8 4 biz. A standard abbreviation to save space is OK. Text slang that leaves your clients confused isn’t.

Be politically correct

Text messages are easy and informal, but don’t get too casual. If you wouldn’t say it at the office, you shouldn’t text it. That means no cursing or inappropriate message attachments. This is also known as the “Weiner effect.”

Identify yourself

We tell clients to format text messages a certain way and we do it for a reason. Just like you might forget a person’s name after meeting them, your customers might forget they signed up for your texts. Remind them by identifying yourself and starting every message with your branded keyword (the word clients use to sign up). This leads to less “Who’s that?” and more “Good deal!”

Test your texts

Ever heard of fat-finger fares? It’s when airlines post the wrong airfare amount because of a typo, turning a $350 ticket into a $30 fare and an expensive mistake. If you want to avoid your own discount boo-boo, test your message by sending it to your phone first. Our platform allows you to send yourself a text message before sending it to your subscribers.

Looks count too

Being different or standing out is not really a bad thing when promoting a business. But if you want to text in all caps or random caps to make your message stand out, we have one word of advice: don’t. You might think you’re getting more attention, but everyone else will think you’re SCREAMING or run by tEEnAgeRS.

If you haven’t tried text message marketing, now’s the time to take advantage of this powerful marketing tool. Our etiquette tips will help keep you out of hot water.

Posted on

How Speaker Guy Kawasaki Uses Text Message Marketing

“I use text because it’s a much better way to close people,” said Guy Kawasaki at a recent conference in Miami Beach.

How did he use text?

During his speech, he asked the audience to text a number for information on his book. “I would ask you to visit my website after the speech, but then 0% percent of you would visit,” he said. He’s learned that text offers an immediate return and allows him to engage his audience.

Do you give presentations?

Even if you’re not a professional speaker, you can use text message marketing to engage the audience after your presentation. Here’s how…

Text message marketing ideas for speakers & presenters:

Offer to text a website link for more information.
Ex: “Text SUCCESS to 65047 for a link with more information.”

Text a link to presentation slides
Ex: “Text BIZLAW to 65047 for a link to the slide presentation.

Text business card information
Ex: “Text PSYCH to 65047 for my business card info.”

Announce additional training, future seminars or events
Ex: “Text CPA to 65047 for updates on our next training series.”

Send a link for a free book chapter, free tip sheet or free gift
Ex: “Text MARKETING to 65047 for a free report”

Are you using text to engage your customers or prospects?

It’s not surprising to see Kawasaki using text. He’s usually at the forefront of new technology and new ideas. As Apple’s former chief evangelist, he knows how to market products and deliver an engaging experience. Use his example to increase engagement for your business as well.

To learn more about his book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, visit www.guykawasaki.com.

Posted on

What Charlie Sheen Can Teach Us About Mobile Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard about Charlie Sheen’s recent controversy. Amidst it all, Sheen has commented with gusto and been quoted extensively by the media. But it’s the steps he’s taken online that we find most interesting. Interesting enough that there might even be a few lessons to be learned by mobile marketers. Here are a few…

Get out in front and do it early
After the controversy, Charlie didn’t go into seclusion for a pity party. He got on Twitter right away and signed up nearly a million followers within the first 24 hours. (Guinness even created a new category for him.) We’re not guaranteeing you’ll get a million mobile subscribers (although we’ll be happy to talk to Guinness if you do!). But if you get into mobile marketing now, you’ll be ahead of 90% of small businesses that aren’t using this new marketing tool.

Spur sales with one message
After Sheen tweeted a photo of himself holding a bottle of chocolate milk, that brand flew off the shelf. The distributor said the product is sold out for the rest of the year. You too can kick up your sales with one message – a text message. Granted, you won’t have Sheen’s celebrity power behind it, but then you won’t have to deal with paparazzi either.

Be bold
Being bold is being memorable. Remember, your customers are strafed with marketing messages every day, so make your messages stand out. Charlie, for example, is remembered for saying things like “Can’t is the cancer of happening” and “I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man.” Actually, we hope he gets a little help, but you get the idea… be bold. Not crazy bold. But bold.

Get the word out
Charlie had a little help promoting his Twitter presence and new internet TV show, but he’s been doing his share to get the word out-loudly. If you want your mobile marketing program to succeed, you’ll need to get the word out too–the louder, the better. We’re talking about signs, posters, table tents, website announcements, email messages, ads, press releases, social media and more.

Don’t be afraid to try something new
Although Twitter isn’t exactly new, it is a new medium for Charlie. You wouldn’t know it though. He talks “Twitter speak” like a native, created hashtags (like #winning and #tigerblood) that are being used all over the Internet and has become an instant Twitter celebrity. When was the last time you’ve tried anything new? If mobile marketing is new for you, don’t be afraid to dive in. It isn’t hard (we promise) and it could end up being one of the most effective tools in your arsenal.

Use Charlie’s ideas to infuse your mobile marketing with a little tiger blood and start #winning!

Posted on

Mobile marketing: What’s in it for the consumer?

Small businesses ranging from restaurants to retailers and local entertainment centers are now using text message marketing. Business owners have clear benefits for using this type of program, but what are the benefits for consumers, the ones receiving the text messages?

How consumers benefit from mobile marketing messages:

  1. It’s an easy way to get money-saving offers from favorite stores.
  2. Offers are always accessible. No coupon carrying needed.
  3. Get VIP treatment as a mobile subscriber or loyal customer.
  4. It’s easier to gain and redeem points for loyalty programs.
  5. Get instant notice of upcoming deals.
  6. Get special deals not available elsewhere.

Want examples?
Our clients are offering a broad mix of contest giveaways, discounts and extra perks to their mobile subscribers. Contests do well, obviously, but free samples and discounts are also attractive to customers.

Here are a few offers our clients are giving their mobile marketing subscribers:

Pet Supermarket
Enter for a chance to win free pet food for a year. Text PETS to 65047.

Florida International University
Enter for a chance to win a $10,000 MBA scholarship. Text FIUMBA to 65047.

BirdBowl Bowling Center
Sign up and get $5 off your food bill that day. Text BIRDBOWL to 65047.

Splitsville Bowling Center
Get a free sample of the day’s featured menu item. Text SPLITSVILLE to 65047.

OMG Burger
Get a free sode with eth purchase of any burger and fries.

Slice ‘n Ice Pizza
Get a free slice of cheese pizza. Text PIZZA to 65047

Feel free to sign up for any of these offers if they appeal to you and you’ll see some of their promotions yourself.

If you like to start a text message marketing program, give us a call.

Posted on

Groupon vs Mobile Coupons? Which is best?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-RwoXZkCnU

You may have heard by now of Groupon and other deal-a-day sites that offer discounts from local businesses. There have been online discussions on whether or not those deals are really profitable for the businesses that offer them. Lately, there have also been comparisons to mobile marketing.

But from a business owner’s perspective, the two services aren’t the same at all. Really. Read on to find out how mobile marketing offers a few advantages over Groupon.

How mobile marketing differs from Groupon:

Your offer is available right away
If you’re familiar with Groupon’s process, it asks readers to vote on a deal. Only after a deal gets a certain number of votes, is it offered to everyone for purchase. With a mobile coupon, your offer is available right away to everyone on your list.

Mobile offers are opened fast
How many emails do you ignore or leave unopened? Now compare that to how many text messages you leave unopened. We’re gonna guess the difference is fairly large, since on average less than 20% of emails are actually opened and read. With mobile, your offers reach people on the device they’re least likely to ignore—their cell phones.

YOU control the subscriber list
With Momares, you own the subscriber list—a very targeted list of potential or previous customers. With Groupon, your only access to subscribers is through the site and on its terms. You have no control. And that’s not a good thing considering Groupon has made mistakes in the past. According to this Groupon analysis, one store saw its deal posted with the wrong terms. By the time it was fixed, 400 deals were sold with the wrong terms and Groupon told the owner she had to honor them.

You CAN build loyal clientele
It may seem like ‘everyone’ is on Groupon, but a large percentage of their subscribers are actually coupon junkies. They may be good for a one-time hit of extra business, but don’t expect all (or even a good percentage) of them to come back. Your mobile list, on the other hand, includes those who showed interest in your company and are more likely to become loyal customers.

The numbers make sense
Why pay a large commission to offer a discount? With our mobile marketing program, you pay a monthly fee—and a low one at that. That’s it. There’s no revenue sharing involved. Unlike Groupon which gets 50% of the revenue generated by your deal. And by the way, we hear the credit card transaction fees for the Groupon deal come out of your half.

A low cost to entry, high open rates and an opportunity to build loyal clientele. These are major advantages with mobile marketing that you won’t get from Groupon. Try it and find out for yourself.

Posted on

How to Set Up a Text Message Donation Program for a Small Nonprofit

Our hearts go out to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Thankfully, there are many relief efforts underway. Many are supported by donations (see links to donate below) and some, like the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, are even using mobile technology to get text message donations quickly and easily.

If you’re a non-profit organization or a small business supporting a cause, you can easily create your own text message donation program as well.

Set up a Donors Mobile Pledge Campaign
We call our version a “Donors Mobile Pledge” because it asks for pledges. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for an account or create a new keyword (name of charity or cause) in your existing account.
  2. Ask donors to pledge a donation by sending a text with your new keyword to 65047.
  3. An automatic response can be set to thank donors for their pledges and tell them they’ll be contacted for credit card information.
  4. Have your volunteers or customer service staff call donors to charge the donations.

We realize it’s a little extra work to call donors versus automatically charging the donation on the mobile phone bill. But the auto billing system is costly for small organizations, the organization needs to be a large national charity and requires a year-long contract.

Advantages of our mobile pledge
A mobile pledge campaign offers a few advantages…

  • You can collect donations of more than $10 (the max limit for donations billed through cell phone carriers).
  • You can collect additional information such as name, address and email during the conversation.
  • When speaking to donors, you can encourage them to increase their donations.
  • It’s easy to promote this campaign in ads, TV or radio.
  • It’s easier for donors to pledge while they’re away from home or their computers.
  • You’ll have a mobile list of donors you can contact later—to thank them, announce you’ve reached your goal, etc.

We sincerely hope nonprofits and charities take advantage of mobile technology to support their causes. If you’re a member of such a group, contact us. We’d be happy to work with you to get started. See low cost pricing plans for mobile pledge donations.

To send your own donation to relief efforts in Asia, visit…

Red Cross Disaster Relief for Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami
(Or send a text with REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10)

Mercy Corps: Japan Earthquake Response

Posted on

Do’s and Don’ts of Text Message Etiquette Rules for B2B Communications

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use abbreviations if you don’t have to. Not everyone knows what “OMG” means.
  2. Don’t text while having a face-to-face conversation. It’s always rude and makes the other person feel like you are not interested.
  3. Don’t text while listening to a speaker or presenter. It is rude and it sends the wrong message about you and the group you are part of.
  4. Don’t text questions that require long explanations. It’s a burden on the recipient. Keep it to short answers like yes, no, 9pm, etc…
  5. Don’t be sarcastic or ironic. Those sentiments do not convey well via text.

Bonus: Don’t write in ALL CAPS, just like in email, it’s the digital equivalent of shouting.

Do’s:

  1. Do send a text when all you are looking for is a simple direct answer.
  2. Do send a text when you don’t want to interrupt the recipient.
  3. Do text when you have something of value or truly worth it to share.
  4. Be polite and courteous in your messages no matter how short they are.
  5. Do help the recipient answer your question by providing options or selections from a multiple choice. Ex. Are we seeing Spiderman at 9pm or 11pm? If so, do we meet at Starbucks at 8:30pm or 10:30pm. Reply example: Spiderman, Starbucks at 8:30pm.

Bonus: Do not text after 10pm in a business setting. Most of us have our mobile phones near us when we sleep and a late text can wake us.

Posted on

She Didn’t Get Mobile Marketing. Do You?

If you’re on this site, you’ve probably heard of mobile marketing. But do you really know what it’s all about?

I was talking to someone at an event recently and I mentioned my work in mobile marketing. She thought it was about having a back-and-forth text message conversation with clients. But it’s really about broadcasting messages.

She didn’t understand the difference, so I used an example instead and she got it right away. The conversation went something like this…

Me: “What’s your favorite store?”
Her: Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Me: “Have you ever gotten one of their postcards in the mail with a 20% off coupon?”
Her: Yes.
Me: “Well let’s say the next time you’re driving by Bed, Bath & Beyond you think about stopping at the store, but you don’t have the coupon with you. You’d either have to shop without it or shop another day, right?”
Her: Yes
Me: “Now let’s say Bed, Bath & Beyond did mobile marketing and you signed up for it. You would get a text on your phone that said, ‘Get 20% off your next purchase with this mobile coupon.’ You could go to the store, show the cashier your cell phone with the text message and get the discount. You’d always have the coupon with you.”
Her: Oh! That’s a great idea! So how would that work for my business?

We get asked that question a lot. And the answer really depends on the type of business. But if you’re asking yourself that question, here are a few ideas.

Mobile marketing ideas for your business

• Offer discounts and giveaways to customers who sign up
• Run a text-to-win contest with a chance to win a prize
• Use it as your text-message business card (very powerful for public speakers)
• Announce sales, open houses, a grand opening, a show or event
• Create a customer loyalty program and offer special promotions
• Poll your customers a la American Idol (Ex: “Which wine do you buy most often from our store. Text merlot, pinot noir or cabernet to 65047 and get 15% off your next purchase.”)
• Alert customers when you get a new shipment or have a limited supply of product

The bottom line is if “Jane,” your loyal customer, visits your business more often because of your texts (say once a month instead of four times a year), you can increase sales. That leads to a happy customer and a happy business.

Image Source: Mobile Marketing Watch

Posted on

Interview: Is mobile marketing right for your small business?

I was recently interviewed by Tasha Cunningham of the Miami Herald and author extraordinaire of BizBytes on how can mobile marketing help small business owners.

It went like this:

Tasha: How can a small business owner benefit from adding mobile to their marketing mix?

Marcos: Mobile text message marketing offers small business owners the ability to deliver exclusive offers, coupons and invites directly to their customers’ mobile phone in seconds. There are no spam filters, ignored messages or automatically trashed messages. Once a customer subscribes to your text message program, practically 100 percent of your messages are delivered straight to their mobile phone. As compared to e-mail and paper coupons, text coupons enjoy a redemption rate of 10 percent to 30 percent because the coupon is always available to the customer on their mobile phone and that equals increased traffic and sales.

Tasha: What are the best mobile marketing tools available today for small business owners?

Marcos: There are two tools we recommend small business owners to use. First, create a mobile browser-enabled version of a website, also known as a mobile site, because 20 percent of mobile phone users have a smart phone that can access your website. Second, start a text message marketing program immediately. 93 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone that can receive text messages. Unlike apps that only work in smartphones, text messaging works with every phone. It’s a direct, personal and cost-effective channel to communicate and increase sales.

Tasha: Is mobile marketing expensive?

Marcos: Mobile text message marketing should not be expensive at all for a small business owner. There are text message marketing plans that start at $10 per month, which is a price point any small business owner can afford.

Tasha: What are the pros and cons of mobile marketing? Are there any downsides for small business owners who decide to use it?

Marcos: Text message marketing provides small business owners with unfiltered direct access to the one device we can’t ignore – our mobile phone, one of the most powerful marketing tools we’ve got. But as a small business owner, you’ve got the responsibility of respecting the customer’s privacy. Messages that provide little value to the customer will affect your brand in a negative way. No one wants advertising on their phone but they do want timely, relevant and value-driven offers.

Think of an exclusive invitation to an owner’s wine tasting event versus an empty ad saying happy hour starts at 5 p.m. Value drives mobile marketing success. After all, if the customer does not like what you are saying, as easily as they subscribed to your program they can reply to your text message with the word STOP and they’ll be automatically unsubscribed. The customer is in control of the communication and just like e-mail there is no place for spam messages.

Tasha: What is the future of mobile marketing? What trends are you seeing in the industry?

Marcos: There is no doubt that text message marketing is the future of small business marketing. There are 173 billion texts sent per month in the U.S. It is the most cost-effective and simple to use tool since e-mail. If you can type, you can be a mobile marketer today. Businesses will distribute 70 million mobile coupons by 2013, according to the Yankee Group, a technology research firm based in Boston. The time to start texting your customers the offers they want is now!

 

Posted on

Mobile Marketing in the World of Fine Art: Miami International Art Fair uses Momares to Promote Events, Contest

 

Art fair mobile marketing

More than 17,000 art lovers from South Florida and around the world converged on Miami Beach recently for the Miami International Art Fair. As fairgoers browsed through more than 1,000 pieces of fine art, sculpture and new media on display, they also received texts.

Like this one…

“Don’t miss “Transcending National Barriers: Pioneers of Geometric Abstraction in South and North America” a lecture with Mary Kate O’Hare at 1:30pm”

Art lectures, book signings and even live painting were all events promoted by mobile marketing texts.

By texting the word “ART” to 65047, guests not only received updates on events, they also entered a contest for a Regent Cruise. But this was not your average cruise! It was a 14-day luxury cruise from Bali to Beijing. Lucky winner.

MIAF Text Message Marketing Contest MIAF Text Message Marketing Contest

Lee Ann Lester, co-founder and director of the fair, was enthused by mobile marketing results and plans to continue using text messages at the next fair: Art Palm Beach. Overall, the Miami International Art Fair was a great example of how mobile marketing can be used to promote events, contests and brands overall.

A few of the successful strategies used in this text message campaign:

  • Using a contest to encourage signup
  • Posting signage to promote the text message channel
  • Sending messages pre-event and mid-event without being excessive
  • Building a mobile marketing list of art lovers and buyers
  • Using the last text message of the event to promote the next event!

Need ideas for your own business? Let us know.