How to Boost Holiday Sales with SMS Marketing

Sorry about the picture. We couldn’t resist its cheeky stock-image obviousness. Happy Holidays!

It’s crunch time. Holiday shopping is about to get started and you want to make the most of it. One of the best ways to reach your busy customers this holiday season is to text them. Catch them while they are online researching gifts or out and about shopping with their mobile phones in hand, looking for gift ideas, places to eat, and where to save money.

Text message marketing will alert and remind shoppers of your product and get them on board for your holiday offers. Thorough a text they can be hyperlinked to an online product page or have a coupon saved right on their phone.

Here are some tips to get you started…

Start Early

The holiday season officially kicks off with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but that’s no reason to wait. Get started as soon as possible to hit early shoppers. Don’t wait until December or right before Christmas. A text-to-win sweepstakes or a text coupon can get your sales running.

Text New Offers

If you plan to host a limited-time or one-day only sale, it’s a good idea to text your customers a day before the promotion is to take place. This will help customers plan ahead and you can always remind them of your promotion the same day, if needed.

Don’t Forget About Last-Minute Shoppers

Don’t forget the procrastinators. Many customers wait until the final days to buy. Some may be too busy to shop earlier, while others may still be holding out for deals. Use SMS text marketing to appeal to both of these groups with last-minute deals. This period may turn out to be the peak opportunity for increasing your sales.

After Christmas Sales

It doesn’t end Christmas day. Many retailers participate in after-Christmas promotions. However, if you plan to promote offers at this time, make sure you focus on discounts and special pricing.

Is Free Shipping on Your List?

Yes, free shipping has been done many times before, but there’s a reason… it works. Nearly half (46.7%) of consumers in a recent NRF study said free shipping promotions are important factors in their decision on where to shop during the holidays.

Follow the Rules

In your quest to get more sales, don’t forget the rules. Text marketing is regulated and messages can only be sent to users who opt in. Also, avoid texting off hours. Your store may be open 24 hours, but you shouldn’t send text messages in the early morning or late at night.

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.

 

Top Myths of Text Message Marketing

Busting the Text Message Marketing Myths

From time to time I get comments about text message marketing being intrusive or spam. When I hear those comments, I dig a little deeper.

First, I ask if they use text messages and if they find them useful. The answer is always “yes.” Second, I ask about their favorite store. If that store sent them relevant and valuable coupons, money-saving offers or exclusive invites via text message would they like to receive them? The answer is usually another “yes.” Then I remind them that the only way to receive a text message from a company is to subscribe. You will only get a text, if you want to. That’s why compared to your email inbox, there is very little or no spam in your text message inbox. There are laws and regulatory agencies enforcing this, plus most marketers make their text message programs 100% opt-in.

I’d like to replace certain myths with the facts. Here are the top myths about text message marketing debunked.

1. Mobile marketing is a fad

The age of mobile has been touted for a long time, so it’s easy to think mobile marketing is a fad. But if you think it’s on its way out, just take a look at the stats. For 2016, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 198.5 million or 63% of the U.S. population. In 2014, 90% of American adults owned a cell phone and 81% of them used their phones to text (Pew Research Center). As cell phones play an increasing role in our lives, mobile use will continue to grow, making mobile marketing even more advantageous. Best of all, no apps are needed and every mobile phone can send and receive text messages.

2. Texting only works well with teens or Millenials

Think again. Although teens and Millennials lead the way in text message usage, users range across different ages, locations and demographics. Marketing via mobile is no longer about reaching “mobile users.” Nearly 75% of American users over the age of 65 have a cell phone, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2014. Seniors use mobile in growing numbers and they don’t need fancy smartphones to receive text.

3. Text messaging for business is SPAM

In the early days of SMS marketing, any text from a business was seen suspiciously, but that has changed. Today SPAM is much harder and riskier by text than by email. There are very high consequences for sending text SPAM as it’s regulated by the telecommunications industry. In fact, a business can be fined up to $1,000 per text! As a result, text message marketing providers take compliance very seriously. I like to say, if you did not opt-in, you did not get a text from us, period.

4. Mobile users are more likely to be on the go

A common myth is that mobile users are using their phones most often when they’re out and about. As a result, many assume mobile marketing should focus on location-based deals. But, 75% of all mobile impressions are viewed while the person is at home, according to a study by AOL Networks and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science. This means you can reach your customers on mobile any time with any offer.

If you are still on the fence about mobile marketing, maybe this will help you jump over:

  • In the survey of 1,200 people in four major countries by global tech design and strategy firm frog, 30% of the respondents said that they would give up their car before their smartphone. “Given that smartphones have been commonly available for only 10 years, we expect the proportion of people who value them more than their car to grow swiftly and significantly,” frog said in a statement about the survey.
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Dreamforce 2015 conference said that “That’s a world where Windows doesn’t matter so much, just as long as people are using Microsoft’s apps on their many other devices.”

Want to learn more about setting up your own mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at marcos@momares.com

What Metrics Should You Use to Track Success in Mobile Text Marketing?

What’s a marketing campaign without a plan and a review of the results? It’s a shot in the dark. When you launch your SMS marketing campaign, you should not only plan, but also select the important KPIs to measure results. KPIs are “Key Performance Indicators” or the metrics you use to track performance.

Which ones should you track? It depends on your goals, but we list here some of the metrics we think are essential to track for almost any SMS marketing campaign.

Delivery Rate

The delivery rate is the percent of messages that were successfully delivered to your subscribers. From provider to provider, delivery rates can vary. Often the factors that influence delivery rates include list size and message frequency. We guarantee high delivery rates for all of our campaigns. According to our latest stats, our text (SMS) coupon delivery rates are often 95% or higher.

Opt-In Rate

The opt-in rate tracks how many new subscribers sign up for your campaign. At Momares, we like to track how many people subscribe to your lists so that you can plan strategies for growth.

Click-through Rate

If your campaign messages include a URL, you should track the click-through rate on this URL to measure engagement with your campaign’s content. The click-through rate is only an applicable metric if the campaign happens to include a link. If your campaign does not include links, you will need to find another way to measure response, such as the redemption rate.

Opt-Out Rate

The opt-out rate measures the number of subscribers that opt-out of your campaign. It can give you an idea of how your subscribers respond to individual campaigns when it comes to opting out. A higher number of opt-outs in a short period of time means your campaign is likely not resonating with subscribers in terms of value.

Redemption Rate

If you send coupons via your mobile marketing campaign, we recommend you also track the redemption rate. The redemption rate refers to the percentage of coupon codes that are redeemed at POS or point-of-sale, versus the total number of coupons that were delivered to your subscribers.

Planning and Audience Segmentation for Better Results

By taking advantage of audience segmentation, you can determine which groups are the most responsive to the content of your campaigns. Personalization of your campaign messages can also help to improve response rates.

Before you get started, you should outline your goals for the campaign. Setting goals will ensure the right metrics are tracked.

Want to learn more about selecting the right KPIs for your mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505­­-5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

 

Not Sure About Text Message Marketing? Your Questions Answered

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At this point in time, it’s obvious that consumers today are spending much more time on their smartphones. Aren’t you? Despite this, companies have struggled to adopt mobile marketing strategies into their marketing plans.

We recently discussed the reasons for the hesitance in adopting text message marketing with several companies. Many reported that they had not yet adopted mobile marketing because of concerns about how to effectively use the technology, as well as, the potential ROI.

Here are some of their top questions about text message marketing and our answers.

Q: Text message marketing seems complicated.

A: If you know how to send text messages, you already have much of what’s required for a text message marketing campaign figured out. Setting up and running your campaign is actually not difficult at all and runs on a weekly or monthly schedule. We’ll guide you and help you set up your campaign.

Q: I’ve never tried text message marketing and have no idea how to set up or run a campaign.

A: That’s okay. We can help you manage your text message marketing campaign. Most of our clients see excellent results with weekly or monthly texts to their customers.

Q: How do I know what metrics to track or measure?

A: Tracking sales, signups or responses to your offer is the best way to gauge the success of your program. Our platform Solark provides metrics and you can learn how to track your results.

Q: What kind of ROI can I expect from a text message campaign?

A: The ROI would depend on the goals of your campaign. Our clients are seeing 7% to 12% promotion redemptions and 13% to 20% return on marketing investment.

Q: I’m not an early adopter and would rather wait until there’s more information available or the market for text message marketing has matured.

A: Although text message marketing may seem new, it’s been around for over a decade. The TV show, American Idol, was the first to use text for the purposes of audience voting back in 2003. Other brands, such as Nike and Pontiac, began using text messaging for business since 2005. If your goal is to reach today’s tech-savvy consumer, text message marketing offers a cost-effective way to do so.

Want to learn more about setting up your own mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing program.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at marcos@momares.com

Mobile Loyalty Apps vs. Text Message Marketing

I found myself in a restaurant recently where the cashier asked me to join their loyalty program. She said “You get points for every meal. You might as well, you are already paying for it and when you get to 50 points you get $5 off. All you need to do is enter your phone number in the tablet.” I thought sure, let me see how it works, so I punched in my mobile number.

But that wasn’t all I had to do. The cashier then told me to scan a QR code to download the app. I opened the scanner app (how many people still have this app?) and scanned the QR code. It took me to a sign up page asking me to confirm my number, create a password and download the app.

You Lost Me at the QR Code

At this point I was done with the program and no longer interested in signing up. Not even my marketing curiosity propelled me to take another step. I just wanted my food and to sit down with my family. This loyalty program required way too much effort and too many steps on my part just to get signed up. I bailed!

If you don’t make it dead easy and fast for a customer to sign up to your loyalty program, they won’t. And if they don’t sign up, there’s no loyalty program.

If you’re looking to integrate a loyalty app into your business keep reading…

Mobile apps are often considered an easy solution for loyalty programs, but they may not be as easy as you think. And they aren’t the right option for every business.

Here are the pros and cons and how mobile apps compare with text message marketing.

Mobile loyalty apps for business

Mobile Loyalty Apps

Loyalty apps are most often used by restaurants and retail stores. If your business doesn’t fall into one of these categories (and even if it does) you may wonder if a loyalty app is the right choice for you.

Here are some statistics that may convince you otherwise:

  • One out of five mobile apps is used only once. Many apps are deleted from a user’s phone after little use.
  • Customers are wary of downloading yet another app onto their prime smartphone real estate due to app fatigue.
  • Branded loyalty apps are expensive to implement. A branded mobile app can cost $20K or more to develop.
  • Non-branded or general loyalty apps come with a learning curve for you and your customers.

How Do Loyalty Apps Work?

To use a loyalty app, a customer has to show the app, show a card, enter information or provide a number when ordering. And signup often requires an in-store tablet or extra technology. Without these tools at point of sale, the app might not get enough subscribers and won’t be used frequently by your customers.

Also, loyalty apps usually send promotions through push notifications, not SMS text messages. Promotions are usually triggered by a customer’s activity or by achieving a reward level within the app. As a result, customers must have your loyalty app installed and use it often before they’ll see any messages for your brand. This seems like a lot of effort before the marketer can actually reach the customer.

Apps Need Dedicated Resources

General apps can add more work for your staff. Also, gaining new users is a serious challenge, especially if your customers don’t often visit your physical location. Onboarding will require dedicated resources as well, because your app is yet another program with hardware or software that must be learned. Be ready with technical support if your customers run into problems.

On the upside, these apps can provide detailed sales metrics, like what customers are ordering and when they last visited your store. However, your program needs to attract enough users for this data to be of use.

Remove Barriers with Text Message Marketing

One of the main benefits of using text message marketing is that every smartphone has text messaging integrated as a core feature. This means there’s no additional hardware or software for you or your customers to learn. Also, texting is easy and fast for customers who want to subscribe. They send a text and they’re in. A marketer can start sending offers immediately to subscribers. You won’t lose out on customer data either, as text message marketing programs can collect email addresses, names and more.

Easily Notify Your Customers About Promotions

Loyalty apps can be helpful in collecting data, but come with a learning curve and need extra time to implement. This can create some difficulties in your goal of building loyalty and sharing promotions. Text message marketing cuts this learning curve and eliminates the low participation rates that affect many apps.

With text messages you can send out promotions according to your schedule or on days you want to boost sales. You can also use any of your advertising or marketing efforts to promote your text messaging program. Just add the call to action to your ads, social media profiles and posts (“Text MOMARES to 65047,” for example).

To recap, text message marketing:

  • Is available on all mobile phones
  • Allows for fast and easy sign up
  • Doesn’t depend on extra hardware in store
  • Has a high participation rate compared to apps
  • Doesn’t depend on customers being in store to sign up
  • Is easily promoted in your marketing or advertising campaigns
  • Provides redemption rates between 5% and 12% for text offers

These are just a few of the differences between text message marketing and mobile loyalty apps. The benefits of text make it an easy win for most businesses. And it’s an easy-to-use solution that will guarantee high participation rates.

Apps are trendy right now, but the ease of use can’t compare to text messaging. And you can’t build loyalty program if customers don’t sign up.

If you’re ready start with your own mobile marketing campaign, contact us or call (305) 505-­5393 for help.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at support@momares.com.