Top 10 SMS campaigns of Q1

Arguably, SMS is one of the best channels out there that helps marketers reach consumers no matter if they have a smartphone or feature phone and brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola and General Mills have all increased their databases by implementing the medium into their overall strategies.

SMS is a great way for brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level. Additionally, marketers are able to build their databases to better target users in the near future.

Here are the top 10 SMS campaigns of the first quarter, in alphabetical order.

Ace Hardware
Westlake Ace Hardware, which operates 88 Ace Hardware stores in several states, used SMS to deliver weather-related text alerts and special offers to help consumers prepare for when the bad weather hits.

Through the SMS initiative, users were encouraged to opt-in to receive weather-related mobile notifications based on their ZIP code.

Additionally, Ace Hardware integrated the campaign with the National Weather Service to provide timely, location-based weather notifications.

SMS was an effective channel for Ace Hardware because it not only gave the company a new way to communicate to its consumers, but SMS also helped the company send out relevant information to help grow its database.

Aveeno
While many companies are placing QR codes on their static prints ads to drive user engagement, hair care brand Aveeno went a different direction.

The company placed mobile calls-to-action on its magazine print advertisements. When consumers texted the keyword HAIRS to the short code 467467 they were able to receive a free sample.

After consumers text-in the keyword, they fill out their contact information by replying to messages.

By offering an incentive – in this case a free sample – consumers are more inclined to opt-in.

This also helps Aveeno start a relationship with consumers and take it beyond a simple static ad.

Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is no stranger to SMS and it was no surprise that the company was going to tap the channel when it came to promoting its latest initiative centered around March Madness.

Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero ran an interactive SMS program that rewarded users with prizes when they watched March Madness games.

The campaign centered around the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games and during the games, an SMS call-to-action was promoted with on-air keywords and alerts with the Coke Zero logo that prompted users to text-in to win prizes.

Additionally, consumers could find codes on March Madness-themed Coke Zero products and cups and text them to the short code 2653.

The initiative was a great way to have users interact with their mobile device while they were watching a game at home.

General Mills
General Mills’ Cheerios brand leveraged SMS to help drive mobile donations for its Spoonfuls of Stories program.

The campaign asked consumers to donate to the organization First Book, which provides low-income families and schools with books and educational resources.

Additionally, for each mobile donation made, publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing matched the donations up to 50,000 books.

Through the initiative, consumers were encouraged to text the keyword Books2Kids to the short code 20222.

Then, users received a text message back confirming their donation of $5, which was billed to their carrier bill.

Although SMS is a great channel to build a company’s database, it is also good for driving donations.

JCPenney
Department store JCPenney thought outside the box when it came to promoting its Easter dresses.

The time-sensitive campaign centered around JCPenney sending out SMS messages to its opted in consumers to drive them in-store for a one-day event.

Additionally, the SMS message included a link that let users shop Easter clothing from the company’s mobile site.

This is a good example of a company that is using their current mobile database to reach its customers and drive sales.

The one-day event was time-sensitive and SMS was a great channel to quickly get the word out about it.

Macy’s
Macy’s is another department store that took advantage of its mobile database to drive in-store and mobile sales.

Recently, the company sent out SMS messages to its customers that promoted exclusive looks from NBC’s “Fashion Star” show and let consumers shop them through their mobile device.

Additionally, those that were not opted-in to Macy’s database could also text the keyword STAR to the short code 62297 to learn more about the show and how to get the latest looks.

Macy’s has been using SMS for a while and continually sends out messages to its consumers letting them know about new sales and events.

Reese’s
Last month, Hershey’s Reese’s candies used SMS to let sports fans vie for a chance to win a trip to the upcoming 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four game.

Reese’s ran a text-to-win promotion as part of a bigger push to interact with sports fans.

Sports fans were encouraged to text the keyword REESES to the short code 44144 for a chance to be entered to win prizes.

From there, users were sent back a message to enter their birthday and email address.

Additionally, the SMS message also included a link to Reese’s mobile site where users could learn about the rules of the game.

The campaign helped Reese’s start a dialogue with users and then continue it by sending more relevant SMS messages.

Rite Aid
Rite Aid is another company that used SMS to help drive donations.

To kick off its 18th annual Miracle Balloon campaign on April 1 benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Rite Aid invited its shoppers to text the keyword RAKIDS to the short code 50555 and make a $5 donation.

Rite Aid proved that SMS can be used to drive awareness of a good cause and to get consumers involved.

Additionally, instead of simply asking them for a donation at the point-of-sale, Rite Aid used SMS to have consumers make their own choice about the donation.

Starbucks
When it comes to mobile, Starbucks is one of the companies that leads the pack no matter what channel they are using.

To promote its My Starbucks Rewards program, the company ran an in-store call to action.

The call to action was positioned near the drink counter so that when consumers waited for their drinks they could text-in.

Coffee lovers were encouraged to text the keyword GOLD to the short code 697289 (MYSBUX).

When consumers texted-in, they received a message from Starbucks that thanked them for their interest in the program.

For this instance, SMS helped Starbucks build up its My Starbucks Rewards program.

Additionally, but using the in-store call to action, the company was able to reach more consumers while they were waiting for their drink.

U.S. Tennis Association
The United States Tennis Association significantly expanded its existing SMS strategy this year with plans to bring in-venue messaging to more events and introduce new text clubs.

For the past couple of years, the USTA has used SMS to engage fans at specific events such as the U.S. Open.

Through the new SMS initiative fans in the audience are able to text to vote, answer a question, post a picture or send a message based on a promotion to a short code. The results will appear live on the screen in real-time.

The USTA said that it will also be able to deliver special offers to fans in the audience.

The association’s updated SMS strategy proves that it is never to late to build on an existing initiative and make it better.

Source: Mobile Marketer

Sex in the Gym Sells

Take a look at the poster ad above (I’ll wait)… It’s brilliant! It shows lust, sex, passion and desire, and challenges you to do it all at Executive Fantasy Hotels.

You’ve seen the Executive Hotel by the airport, right? This ad says we are not a dingy, secretive hide out for promiscuity; but instead we are an elegant, sophisticated venue for the expression of passion and virility. Super! And this is a motel. Not a Ritz-Carlton. Not the kind of marketing you’d expect from a motel. But that’s not what makes the ad speak.

It’s not just the image with the man’s muscular arm and female fingers caressing it. Nor is it the typography or the selection of colors that make this ad outstanding. It’s the message and the media placement that deliver ad gold.

The media is a poster placed in the right place, the gym. That’s good, but what makes it remarkable is that the ad is placed at the entrance to the men’s bathroom. An ad completely targeted to guys, placed at a bottle-neck entry point that each male gym member will pass through. Is that all? No.

The message brings it home

The message speaks to the main reason men go to the gym, to look better so they can attract more females. Sure health, stamina and weight are important, but deep down most men lift weights, run like hamsters on treadmills and secretly compare muscles in the hopes that a better physique will get them more action in the sac.

What we have here, so brilliantly put together, is an ad that speaks directly to the target market of motel visitors. It says, “Want to test your “other” endurance, we have a just the place.”

When you combine targeted placement (the men’s bathroom at the gym) with the right message (come test your sexual prowess) you create an ad campaign that will pay. But the ad is missing something. What can it possibly be missing?

An appropriately discrete call to action like “text your ZIP CODE to 65047 for the nearest location”? A mobile call to action would turn great into perfect! An instant response text would send directions via GPS mobile map to the closest love suite. It could also include a phone number for on-the-go reservations and a link to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” (OK, Marvin may be a bit much).

What do you think?

The New College Campus Tour… It’s Virtual and Uses Mobile

Miami Dade College is now using Momares for its Virtual Open House

Miami Dade College offers a “Virtual Open House” for students to visit the school without leaving their homes. And it’s using the Momares mobile marketing platform to help increase attendees.

Prospective students are asked to text the word MDC to the number 65047 to start the registration process. They’ll get a link to a mobile registration page and can also request an immediate call-back from an MDC agent! This allows the school to follow up not only to complete registration, but also to answer questions about MDC and the event.

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.