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

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.

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

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!

 

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.