3 Things You Should Know About Mobile Coupons in 2016

The role of mobile couponing in SMS text message marketing is expected to change this year. While couponing is still used to promote a product or brand, the sophistication of tracking technologies and other analytics tools give us more data and offer more options. Here is what you should know about mobile coupons in 2016.

1. Track Purchases and Behavior with Mobile Coupons

In 2016, you can expect to see more emphasis on the mobile coupon as a way to track purchases and consumer behaviors. With sophisticated analytics tools, marketers can now analyze the use of mobile coupons at the individual level to see patterns and trends. With more granular data available, companies can better personalize mobile campaigns to drive higher sales conversion rates and engagement.

2. Retailers Focus Less on Coupon Sites

Part of the shift in mobile coupons has resulted from retailers relying on their own marketing efforts to boost mobile coupon redemption rather than coupon aggregator sites. As a result, retailers are now using SMS marketing campaigns to provide unique coupon codes so that users can be individually tracked. In the end, retailers will rely less on third-party sites to advertise coupon offers.

3. Delivery of Coupons via SMS Will Increase

The use of text message marketing to deliver coupons to consumers will also see an increase in 2016. This is because marketers are beginning to embrace mobile as an integral part of the system of devices and platforms that consumers use to engage with a brand. Jupiter Research estimates that the number of unique mobile users that redeem coupons will rise to 559 million this year. By the end of 2019, this figure is estimated to reach 1.06 billion users.

While mobile coupons are well-established in the United States, there is plenty of growth still to come in this area for marketers. As paper coupons become less common, we can also expect to see more companies using mobile marketing as couponing goes digital.

Want to learn more about using mobile coupons to boost your text message marketing campaign? Contact us or call (305) 505-5393 for help.

4 Ways Businesses Can Use Text Messages to Boost E-Commerce Sales In 2016

Add text message marketing to your mix and watch you sales go up.

If you’re looking for more ways to boost your e-commerce sales beyond the holiday season, consider text message marketing. Here are a few tips to help your business use text message marketing to boost sales online.

Offer Discounts and Specials

Customers love to receive discounts and special deals from online stores they shop at frequently. To get people to subscribe, let them know they can only get the deal or discount by opting in to your mobile campaign. You can also use mobile deals as a draw to attract first-time customers. Offer them the chance to opt-into your email and mobile list.

Send One-Day Sale Announcements

If you plan to host a one-day sale, text messaging is extremely effective for distributing this kind of time-sensitive offer. Send a text notification a day or two in advance and make sure you include a link to your website sales page so they can make purchases. Not only will this gain you extra sales that day, it can also increase customer loyalty as your subscribers start to rely on your text messages for last-minute sale details.

Add Excitement with Text-to-Win (SMS) Sweepstakes

Every customer loves to receive something for free. By offering a sweepstakes, you can ensure customers will be on the lookout for new text messages from your company. Offer it as a freebie when they sign up or send out the sweepstakes offers to your current list of subscribers.

Promote New Products

Text messaging can also offer a quick way to get the word out about new products. This is best saved for “featured products” around which you’d have a campaign, however. If you promote too many new products every month or week, you’ll quickly turn off your readers and cause them to unsubscribe. Use these announcements in conjunction with other offers instead.

Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of text message marketing to boost e-commerce sales. The key to benefiting from this type of marketing is to understanding what motivates your audience and offering this on mobile. Start texting your customers on a consistent basis and you’ll be on your way to developing a loyal mobile customer base.

Ready to start with your own mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help with setting up your text message marketing.

 

The Benefits and Parts of a Text-to-Win Sweepstakes

The Benefits of Mobile Sweepstakes and Contest Marketing:

Buzz: sweepstakes create tremendous word of mouth. The Florida Keys “Win a Florida Keys Vacation and Experience Key West BrewFest” sweepstakes generated a huge reaction in social media and on blogs, sweepstakes sites and elsewhere. In the first 3 hours alone, it received more than 1,000 visitors and nearly 400 “likes” and 600 “shares” on the Florida Keys Facebook fan page.

Increase Your Email and Mobile Database
: Sweepstakes and contests usually ask for name, email and address. Mobile sweepstakes take it a step further by gathering the mobile number as well. This increases the email and mobile marketing database tremendously and allows marketers to contact subscribers via text message and email after the sweepstakes is over.

High Return on Investment (ROI): The cost of setting up a mobile sweepstakes is far lower than the cost involved in traditional “paper entry” sweepstakes. The mobile entry component makes it very easy for the participant to enter. No forms to fill or staff needed to gather them. Mobile text-in entry increases the number of participants substantially. And the more participants you have, the lower the cost per entry. The ROI can be calculated by total entries or total qualified leads generated. ROI can be taken a step further by factoring in social media reach and new website visitors.

The Main Elements of a Mobile Sweepstakes
Goal: The objective of the sweepstakes needs to be clarified and kept top of mind in all activities. If it’s lead generation, the participants should be pre-qualified upon entry to facilitate the sales follow-up efforts. If it’s for branding, then promotion and related marketing and social networks should be leveraged as much as possible. If market research is a priority, then a survey can be included as part of the entry process. A marketer should plan beforehand what he will do with the data once it’s collected and how that data will turn into actionable analysis and a marketing asset.

Advertising: The beauty of a text-to-win promotion is that it works in every media channel, online and off. Your customers can enter from anywhere they are. They can be in front of their computer, mobile phone or in your store. You can place your a call-to-action (Text WIN to 65047 to enter…) in printed materials or any digital screen because all the participants has to do is send a text message to enter. We like to say, wherever you print your logo, be it, on your website, flyers, menus, Facebook or Twitter, you can advertise you text-to-win sweeps call to action.

Privacy: A lot of personally identifiable data is collected upon entry, especially when participants enter from their mobile phones. Marketers need to have and adhere to a solid privacy policy and a strong data management platform to protect the participant’s data. And always offer a way to opt-out and completely eliminate that participant’s personal information from the database.

Prize: Bigger isn’t always better. It’s crucial to pick the right prize– a prize that appeals to the target audience your product or service is trying to reach. Are you a college targeting high school students? A cruise trip for two to Alaska may not be the best option for high school students, but a new iPad mini will be.
Legal “Official Rules”: Because of their potential for abuse, sweepstakes are heavily regulated. In the U.S. all states have laws covering sweepstakes, sometimes resulting in exceptions, depending on where the entrant lives. Sweepstakes and contests are also regulated by U.S. Federal Trade Commission on a national level. Age requirements, date of birth, state of residency and the monetary value of the prize all affect how sweepstakes’ Official Rules are assembled. The Sweepstakes Official Rules should be reviewed by an attorney specializing in promotion marketing laws. We can help.

Mobile Partner: Whether you are an ad agency or a small business, picking the right mobile sweepstakes partner is key. The mobile partner should be able to provide you with the services of executing and running a mobile sweepstakes. The mobile partner should also have the technical know-how to put together a text-to-win program and create mobile-optimized entry pages to capture participant’s information. A mobile sweepstakes partner should have the technology platform to provide a short code (Text WIN to 65047 to enter, for example), gather a database of mobile entries and provide reports as to the status of the program.  A mobile sweepstakes partner will recommend Official Rules. And when it’s all over, a mobile partner should provide post-sweepstakes mobile engagement ideas to continue to drive the goals of the campaign and leverage the database of leads.

Fulfillment: A winner must be picked randomly and the prize awarded with the time limits that were set in the Official Rules. The winner must be contacted and a Declaration of Compliance, Liability and Publicity Release should be received before any prize is delivered. Based on the value of the winnings, a 1099 tax form needs to be sent to the winner as well. Fulfillment it’s a detailed and necessary process to avoid any future legal complications.

If you want to reach your mobile consumer, a text-to-win sweepstakes is absolutely one of the best way to do so. It allows the marketer to gather a detailed, permission-based profile of your mobile customer. Above all, it can create a fun, buzz-worthy event to energize current customers and reach new ones.

Why Subscribers are Opting-Out of Your Mobile Campaign

With attention spans getting shorter, it takes creativity and know-how to keep your subscribers from opting out.

While you can expect a few opt-outs with any campaign, there are some scenarios that can cause a higher opt-out rate than normal. Based on our experience, your opt-out rate for a mobile text campaign should average less than 1%. If subscribers are leaving at a higher rate, it’s a clear sign you’re doing something wrong!

Here are a few reasons why mobile subscribers opt-out and what you can do to turn things around:

Irrelevant or Unhelpful Message Content

If subscribers aren’t finding value in your text messages, they won’t waste time in unsubscribing. You have to keep them hooked with every message. Instead of sending bland announcements, make sure every message offers value and has a clear call-to-action. Don’t send a text until you have those two things.

Sending Text Messages Off-Hours

Like sales calls, text messages are only allowed between 8 am and 9 pm—in the subscriber’s time zone, not yours. If your subscribers are local, it’s easy to stay within that time frame. If you’re texting a national list, limit those hours to be safe. For example, send between 11 am and 9pm if you’re on the east coast or between 8 am and 6 pm if you’re on the west coast. You can still upset your subscribers if you text early or late, especially on the weekends, so avoid the beginning and ending times of that schedule and avoid going off-hours altogether. Refer to the full list of rules for text message marketing.

Too Many Offers

Don’t trigger the “annoyance factor” in the minds of your subscribers. Many will opt-out if they feel they’re getting texts too often. To avoid this, you need to learn how much is too much. We usually recommend once a week at most. Adding value and varying the style and content of your text messages can help. Also, make sure your subscribers can actually take advantage of each offer. Otherwise, your texts are too frequent.

So-So Customer Support

Does your business offer customer support for your text messaging program? There may be issues with customers who can’t receive texts because of their plan or their carrier. For that reason, it’s important to work with a mobile marketing firm that can help customers by text, email, phone or all three. Otherwise, those subscribers will ignore your text efforts and respond by unsubscribing.

Learn more about the best practices of text message marketing and contact us for help setting up a campaign.

Using Mobile Marketing to Promote a Gym or Fitness Center

At the start of every year, people sign up at the gym hoping to make a change for the better. Unfortunately, many don’t keep that commitment all year long.

For fitness centers and gyms, getting customers to keep their membership over the long term is a big problem. Fortunately, mobile marketing can help keep customers motivated and coming back.

Here are a few ways to use mobile marketing to promote a fitness center or gym:

Retain & Engage Current Members

It’s a known business adage that it’s less expensive to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. Text messaging is a way to increase “touchpoints” with your customers and keep them engaged. Text your members once a week with updates, motivational messages, promotions or offers to keep them coming back.

You can also segment your subscriber list and reach out to subgroups of members. Want to send different updates to those interested in yoga vs. spinning, for example? You can. With segmented lists, you can reach out to different customer groups, based on the data you have on their fitness interests.

Create Workout Notifications

You can also use mobile marketing to send out workout notifications to members who enroll in certain types of classes or training at your gym. These notifications can include reminders about upcoming classes or tips for staying in shape between classes.

Notify Members of Last-Minute Changes

If an instructor is sick and won’t be able to teach class, send a text to let members know. Text messaging is a better option for alerts, which your members are likely to check more frequently than email. This will improve notifications of scheduling changes and will also make your gym seem more organized.

Alert Members When the Gym is Less Crowded

Everyone hates going to the gym when it’s super crowded. If you want to get more people in during slow times, why not send alerts when the gym is free? You can also schedule messages about holiday hours or changes. Sending out messages at the right time can create some buzz right when you need it.

Promote New Services

Mobile marketing is also a great way to promote new services and offers. Alert members about new classes, for example or offer specific services on certain days of the week. Promoting these via text will get the word out quickly and will help members feel like their taking full advantage of their membership.

Are you ready to get started with mobile marketing? Contact us or call (305) 505-5393 for help with setting up a mobile marketing program for a gym or fitness center.