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.

How to Write Text Messages That Will Spark Action for Your Business

Text messages that cause action

In today’s world of increased drama online and off, it takes a little more something-something to get people to take action. And text message marketing is one way to get your customers to take the next step. (Of course, we’re talking about texts that users opt in to receive.)

If you plan to use mobile marketing to promote your business, make sure you maintain consistency and clarity.  Here are some tips:

Offer Value

One of the best ways to get attention is to make sure every text provides value. Customers love discounts, exclusive promotions and other offers. While you don’t have to give the store away, discounts provide a strong incentive for customers to engage with your mobile campaign.

Keep it Short & Sharp

Keep each message short and sharply focused. Text messages are limited to 160 characters anyway, so you don’t have much room. If you must abbreviate a few words, make sure it still looks professional (i.e. no text slang) and is very easy to understand.

Tell Them What to Do Next

It may seem obvious, but it’s best to give readers a nudge and tell them what to do next. By telling them what’s next (the “call to action”), you’re encouraging them to take that step. It’ll be easier for them to move forward in the buying process and redeem your offer, enter your contest, visit your store or call your business.

Text Frequently, But Not Too Frequently

You should decide early on how frequently you will text your customers. During the sign-up process, let them know how often they can expect text messages from your business. The frequency of messaging is important, because some subscribers may opt-out if you text too often. Whether your customer can buy from you as often as you text is also a good indication of how frequently you should send text messages. We usually recommend once a week, depending on the audience and campaign.

Make it Relevant

Make sure every message is relevant to your subscribers. For example, sending out messages about lunch specials in the afternoon or offering discounts on maternity clothing to a list that includes men aren’t likely to get huge responses. Consider the timing and the audience to ensure every message will appeal to readers.

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

Top Strategies in Mobile Marketing for Restaurants

“Get a free appetizer with your entree today.”

Trying to get more hungry customers to your restaurant? Consider mobile marketing. Text offers such as these can bring in new or repeat business with every message.

It can be extremely effective overall, if done right. Here is a quick rundown of the top strategies for restaurants to attract more business.

Provide Opt-in Incentives

To increase the number of mobile subscribers, provide an opt-in incentive, such as a discount or a small giveaway such as a free side or dessert. Users are more likely to sign up for your text messages if there is an instant reward for doing so.

Use Time-Sensitive Offers

If you want to improve the response from your campaign, why not reach out to your subscribers when they are most likely to be hungry? Sending a last-minute discount offer around lunch or dinner time will surely appeal to subscribers. However, you should never send text messages overnight, between 9 pm and 9 am!

Promote Your Campaign on Your Website

If you want your subscriber list to grow, promoting your campaign on your website will help. Include a call-to-action to sign up for your campaign with a popover message or other prominent display on the pages of your site that receive the most traffic.

Find Subscribers via Social Media

Social media can offer a steady supply of new subscribers for your mobile marketing campaign. Statistics show that users are more likely to use mobile devices to access social media sites. Ask for opt-ins via social media and watch your subscribers grow.

Make it an SMS Sweepstakes

Make it more exciting for your subscribers with a text-to-win campaign or SMS sweepstakes. Offer a prize for entry to your program and you’ll see an increase in the number of subscribers who participate.

Ask Customers about Their Preferences

As you use text message marketing to promote your restaurant, ask your customers about their preferences and then give them what they want. Whether it’s discount offers or more frequent texts or reminders about upcoming promotions, let your customers drive your campaign instead of simply guessing.

Want to learn more about setting up your own mobile campaign? Contact us.