How To Launch An (SMS) Text Marketing Program for Business

Hone Dept reminds you to send a text message to join in the savings.
Hone Depot reminds you to send a text message to join in the savings.

How do you launch a text marketing program for your business? The short answer in this case is not very short at all. I’m going to summarize the key elements to setting up an (SMS) text marketing program for your business.

First, it’s important to know why you are thinking of mobile text messages as a marketing program. Yes, I know it’s cool, but why else? Are you seeing site traffic and site purchases from mobile visitors? Do you see text as an effective way to communicate or share offers? Are your competitors doing it? Are customers asking for you to send them offers via text? Text (SMS) is a powerful, personal, effective, and a trackable mobile channel.

SMS or text messages are typically read within 3 minutes of receipt versus 48 hours for emails. Just about every phone can accept text messages and studies have showed that customers prefer offers via text message to those via mobile web, apps and email. “Mobile offers are redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers” eMarketer

Back to the question at hand. How To Launch An (SMS) Text Marketing Program for Businesses?

Here are five steps to get you started with text message marketing:

  1. Goals- To increase sales and communicate via text message are the number one reasons we get hired. If these are your goals, please proceed to the next step.
  2. Database- Text message marketing requires a 100% opt-in database of subscribers. Offering customers an incentive and providing an easy way to enter your mobile SMS program is the way to build your database.
  3. Mobile Partner– To ask customers to join your mobile program you will need a short code. It’s a five or six digit number from which one can deliver messages and accept subscribers. A good mobile partner (like us- hint, hint) will provide you with a short code (65047) and the backend text message platform to manage subscribers.
  4. Promote your Program– You can start by inviting Facebook fans, Twitter followers, or in-store patrons to text a keyword to the short code (Text STORENAME to 65047 to enter.)  to begin receiving offers, alerts, or offering an incentive to sign up such a sweepstakes prize.
  5. Optimize – As with any marketing program, it’s important to test and compare to determine the best performing campaigns.

I hope the five steps above can help you get your program organized. If you need any help, please contact us.

What is the Difference Between Mobile Marketing with SMS vs. MMS?

The short answer is that MMS allows images, video, and more text characters that SMS’s 160 text characters max. It sound like MMS is the clear choice but that’s not where the real limitations to MMS are.

SMS (Short Message Service) is what we have come to know and love as a text message. MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is the technology that expands the core functionality of SMS messages to include multimedia content. This can include web pages, pictures, images, video, ring tones, and so on.

Now, why are we still receiving SMS messages from marketers (like me) instead of the way cooler MMS messages with images and videos?
Below are some of the reasons that explain MMS’s real world limitations:

  • Data Plans: In order to receive MMS messages, customers need to have cell phones with data plans enabled. Currently, slightly over 50% of the cell phone using population in the U.S. maintains a data plan. While pretty much everyone has a text plan or can receive SMS texts. Essentially, sending out an MMS messages immediately eliminates around 50% of the audience from being able to receive them.  So, if the customer doesn’t have a smart phone, they won’t be able to see the message.
  • Costs: Sending MMS messages is more expensive than SMS messages. In cases of large volumes of messages, this can become unfeasible.
  • Carrier Limitations: For the smaller carriers, delivering MMS messages intact is a considerably more complex process than simple SMS. There are numerous places in the referral chain where technological inconsistencies can have a detrimental effect on the end user.
  • Mobile OS’s: Depending on what is being sent, the end user’s phone, operating system, and software version may compromise his or her ability to view the message properly. On the other hand, SMS is a tried and true technology that is available is every mobile phone in the market, smart or not.
  • Technical Expertise: MMS requires more creative (images or video) and technical capacities (cross mobile testing, video file size limitations, etc.) knowledge and tools to deliver an engaging and attractive message.

For now, SMS still remains the king and adding links to videos, websites or graphics or a suitable substitute to MMS.

As technology evolves and costs drop, SMS’s advantages will wane and MMS will become more of a reality. If you have done your work and built a mobile opt-in list of subscribers you will be able to transition your mobile marketing program to MMS with no issues. If you are looking to reach your customers via SMS/text messages, contact us at support@momares.com, we can help.

What do Mobile Experts Say About the Future of Mobile Phones?

Experts today predict that the future of mobile is the future of everything. It actually seems plausible that an individual’s mobile phone will become the center of his or her life in terms of technology.

A person’s mobile phone will be with them everywhere, and may eventually be smarter than the individual. Instead of figuring out the answers to ones questions after an individual asks them, it may be able to figure out the questions and answers before a person can even think of them. Scary and cool.

The potential for mobile technologies to change the way we live, work, and play is staggering, and mobile companies today are all too aware that the only way to stay ahead of the curb is attract and convert mobile audiences.

Some trends that rapidly emerged disappeared just as quickly, and some of the most promising trends have taken years to reach maturity.

Mobile technology has transformed our lives in a way that could not have been predicted 20 years ago, and the potential for future developments in mobile phones even over the next 5 years is huge.

Future phones are being touted as the ultimate multifunctional devices. Some experts predict that the mobiles of the future will become remote controls for our whole lives, whereas others forecast that in the future mobile phones will literally run our lives for us.

Whether we realize it or not, our mobile phone is collecting behavioral data about us every second – it’s only a matter of time before the phone can start to predict what you’ll want next.

Future mobile phones will involve transparency and transformability. In other words, this means future mobile phones may be flexible and come in many shapes and forms. The entire mobile phone casing will be a display. This would mean that phone users could look at menus from any angle, including from the back of the phone.

The phones currently use and will continue to develop radio frequencies, silicon microphones, and speed and motion detectors to gather and interpret information. They will also pack thermal detectors, ultraviolet sensors for sun exposure and other super-high-tech features to sense the environment, your heart rate, perspiration, and temperament of the user or even people nearby.

Users will be able to snap apart their phones, and add in additional modules in order to change the way the phone can be used, for example, turning the phone into a GPS enabled belt clip for hiking or stretching the screen for watching a video.

The one thing that seems to stay the same is that people will still use the phone to make calls and send messages.

Why Is It Important To Have a Mobile Optimized Sweepstakes Page?

Mobile Optimized Sweepstkes -MOMARESThe short answer is because you get more participants when your sweepstakes is optimized. Making the sweepstakes mobile optimized shows that you are in sync with customer preferred communications channel and you’re making the sweepstakes entry process as seamless as possible. This causes fewer barriers to entry and ultimately more participants.

5 tips to help make your sweepstakes mobile optimized:

No Pinch
The easiest way for a person to know if the sweepstakes is not mobile optimized, is if they have to pinch or stretch their fingers to zoom in or out of the page. Pinching is cumbersome and sweepstakes like these face a higher chance of being abandoned simply because of inconvenience and time consumption in having to zoom in or out to view the content. To prevent this from happening, build a mobile version of the sweepstakes page, formatted for up and down scrolling only and easily legible text. All images should be proportional for the frame. In other words, make the images size up or down automatically based on the mobile device screen size of the user.

Keep the Entry Form Process As Simple As Possible
The sweepstakes entry form should accomplish two goals:
1.    Capture the data you need from the participants
2.    Guide the participants through the entry process
The entry form should be as short as possible to accomplish the marketing data goals and not more. Small changes to the entry form, like combining first and last name fields and not having an address field, can make a huge difference in total participants. Make the form as short as needed, but not more.

Test Across All Mobile Devices and Mobile Browser
Its one thing to make your sweepstakes mobile optimized for iPhones, but if it’s not for Androids, Windows, or tablets, you risk losing participants. Make sure to test your sweepstakes across devices and mobile operating system. This tool can help you test rendering across mobile devices www.mobilephoneemulator.com

Track Mobile Vs. Desktop Entry Stats
Tracking your sweepstakes may provide insights on the kind of devices your specific target market uses to view your site’s sweepstakes. It may turn out that almost all of your sweepstakes entries are coming from mobile devices. This insight can help you focus your future marketing efforts. Google Analytics will give you desktop vs mobile traffic.

We’re here to help. Any questions, reach out to us at support@momares.com

What are the Top Sweeptakes Prizes People want to Win?

Text To Win Sweepstakes
Me, me, me.

Running a sweepstakes is one of the best ways of getting more people to join your eNewsletter list, your Facebook page or your mobile text message marketing list.

From time to time we are asked “What are the top prizes people want to win?” Here is the short answer:

  • Cash and gift cards: in reviewing sweep’s participation across all types of clients and all types of industries, a cash prize or gift card prize is the most sought after price. Who doesn’t like cash?
  • Electronics: people love gadgets and hot gadgets are usually expensive. How wouldn’t like to win the latest thing?
  • Trips: the “dream” vacation may not be attainable for many families unless they win it. Vacation experiences are always in demand.
  • Cars: they are always popular with entrants and lately the trend is to give away eco-friendly hybrids.

The best prize for your sweepstakes is the one that attracts your current and prospective customers. All the prizes above are great but the ultimate objective of a sweepstakes is to build a database of your prospective customers you can re-market to.