How Colleges and Universities can use Text Message Marketing to Increase Enrollment

Reaching teens and college students through traditional advertising is much more difficult today. While they still watch TV and listen to the radio, more teens are getting their daily entertainment and information through mobile devices. In fact, teens have more than tripled their mobile data consumption in the past year. This opens up a great opportunity for colleges, universities, and technical schools to use mobile text message marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Mobile text marketing is a relatively new method of reaching potential students, but it has the advantage of being cost efficient and targeted. Text messages are received immediately and opened 97% of the time.

To benefit from a text message marketing campaign, a college or university should use it to not only reach out, but also follow up with potential students.

How colleges can reach out with mobile text marketing

Text message marketing is another tool in the arsenal-one that should be integrated into existing advertising, PR and marketing programs. Here are a few ways to reach out with text messages:

  • Text alerts to pre-college events like financial aid workshops, orientation and college tours.
  • Text admissions information, including deadlines, events or a website link.
  • “Text FIUMBA to 65047 for information on…” Tell prospects to sign up for text messages in print ads, brochures, catalogs and on websites.
  • Send short messages on other events the college is sponsoring that might be in their area.
  • Sponsor a contest and offer a chance to win a prize to those subscribe to the text marketing campaign.

Solid mobile text marketing strategies target potential college students with messages that will keep their interest. These messages, while short and to the point, are just an introduction to the next step. That step could be a link to a new webpage or a follow up phone call or text from the university.

Follow up with prospective students

One advantage of text marketing is instantaneous follow up. In return for getting a student’s private cell phone number, your college can text more information, send a web link or even follow up with a live phone call. Prospects can also be segmented into different lists and contacted for specific programs.

It’s all about the list

Building a targeted list is crucial. As with direct mail and email, sending a text blast to those who are never going to consider your college or university in the first place will be a waste of money.

Although one can buy a mailing list in direct mail, this is not the case in mobile. To collect mobile numbers, one must get them from the potential students themselves. Student can send a text message to sign up or subscribe through a form on the college’s website.

Promoting the program and how to sign up is key to building a sizeable list. Also, make sure you clearly explain how the number will be used and how one can unsubscribe.

Mobile text marketing needs to be seen in the context of your overall marketing approach and as a good follow-up method to reach potential students. With an effective mobile text marketing program and the right follow up, your higher learning institution can draw in potential new students that it might otherwise miss completely.

How to Use Text Messages to Win Elections, Votes and Support

Are you in charge of getting support for a political candidate or issue? Winning elections has always been about getting your message out and boosting voter turnout. And in this new media age, you can rock the vote with text!

Make sure you use these 3 key steps to launch a successful text message communications campaign for your political candidate or issue.

  1. Pick the right partner- Chose a text message communications provider that has a proven track record of successful text campaigns (clients and results), has a simple-to-use texting platform (no training required), understands the rules and best practices, and knows how text messaging is best applied (experience to know what works). Momares.com can help you create and launch your text message program.
  2. Have a plan to start- Create a communications calendar with the key messages you want to send to your supporters and schedule them for delivery in advance. If things change, know that you can alert constituents of changes at any time, instantly. Momares’s text scheduling and send-now features are designed for this purpose.
  3. Promote your candidate’s mobile program. You want to build a large mobile list of supporters as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is to promote your mobile call-to-action (Text CANDIDATENAME to 65047 to join us!) everywhere. And we mean everywhere! On your Facebook page, Twitter background, website, campaign materials, flyers, direct mailers, yard signs, robocalls and t-shirts. Create your call-to-action by registering your candidate’s name (keyword) with Momares for free. Check keyword availability here.

What Kinds of Text Messages Can you Send for Political Campaigns?

  • Send reminder messages about the cutoff dates for voter registration and link to registration forms.
  • Remind constituents to mail in their absentee ballots.
  • Invite people to campaign events.
  • Remind people to get out and vote on Election Day.
  • Promote down-ballot candidates on a zip code-by-zip code basis
  • Create a list of your campaign managers’ mobile phone numbers for quick internal communications.

Are you ready to get voters excited about your candidate or issue? Get started with a communications tool that’s personal, efficient and fast. Contact us for ideas and to get started! Pricing plans to accommodate any budget start at $149/mo.

How Mobile Devices Can Help Attract and Keep Customers

Businesses can tap into the mobile market with contests, coupons and other incentives.

BY TASHA CUNNINGHAM, BizBytes101.com

Major brands and small businesses alike are quickly learning that one of the fastest ways to reach consumers directly is through their mobile devices. A recent report conducted by Borrell and Associates, a Virginia-based media research firm, found that small businesses in the United States are on track to spend almost $800 million in 2011 on mobile ads. Half of the spending – approximately $400 million – will be spent on creating mobile promotions that offer contests, coupons and other incentives.

There are more than 64 million mobile users in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen, and they often turn to their mobile devices to buy goods and services.

Consumers prefer to use mobile devices for banking, travel, shopping, viewing video, using social media, and listening to music, reports mobiThinking, a website that monitors trends in mobile marketing. They also prefer to pay for their transactions through them. Paying by mobile, or m-payments as they are known in the industry, will be worth $240 billion globally in 2011 and is trending to account for over $1 trillion by 2015.

So how can you make the most of this growing trend? To find out, BizBytes assembled a group of mobile marketing experts from South Florida, Atlanta and New York to bring you five ways you can use mobile devices to attract and keep customers.
“Small business owners need to plan targeted campaigns that reach consumers on their mobile devices,” said Martin Lange, executive marketing director for digital strategy at Ogilvy and Mather in New York, whose mobile marketing clients include Six Flags, Live Nation and MetLife. “Text messaging or SMS is a great way to do that. It offers instant communication that’s in the moment. It’s imperative that you give your consumers something of value.”

Nathan Lowery, creative director at Lipof Advertising in Plantation agrees. “We’ve designed mobile marketing campaigns for Pet Supermarket using text messages to reach consumers on their cellphones,” Lowery said. “But the trick is to offer your consumers something with a strong call to action that will encourage them to buy your products or services.”

Lowery noted that Pet Supermarket sends alerts once or twice a month to consumers who are part of their opt-in text-messaging program. “Each month, we do things like offer one subscriber free pet food for a year,” Lowery said. “Then we reach out to them again once a month with mobile coupons for $10 off a $50 purchase. We’ve had an influx of customers coming in and redeeming the coupons directly off of their mobile devices.”

What else can you do to maximize your mobile marketing efforts with limited resources?

  • Gear a mobile campaign toward the gift-giver. “The holidays are right around the corner,” Hennessey said. “Customers are looking for things for other people, so design a mobile marketing campaign that takes that into account.”
  • Be helpful. “You can do things like create in-store ties,” Hennessey said. “For example, can’t find the perfect holiday gift? Text HELP ME to 1234 for a link to our holiday gift guide. That kind of information is invaluable to a consumer.”
  • Market your mobile program. “If you’ve set up an opt-in text message program to deliver mobile coupons and other deals to your consumers, tell the world about it,” said David Warren, co-owner of the Frieze ice cream stores on Miami Beach. “We did a campaign recently with over 200 subscribers through our program, which we advertised on our website, through our newsletters and on food blogs.”
  • Reward your best customers. “You can always send a generic coupon to a mass group of consumers via text,” Lowery said. “But why not focus on rewarding your best customers with targeted coupons instead?”
  • Keep your customers close. “One great thing major brands are doing with mobile marketing is rewarding customers for being close to their store locations,” Lange said. “So for example, you can text a number when you are 100 yards away from a certain coffee shop chain and instantly get a coupon for a free beverage.”

Source: Miami Herald

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.