Tag: business texting

Which criteria to use when selecting mobile marketing tools and channels

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In the smartphone era, a strong mobile marketing campaign is crucial to the success of every business no matter how big or small. But putting together that mobile strategy is easier said than done. There are dozens of channels and hundreds and hundreds of tools for tracking metrics and automating the advertising. You can’t afford the time or money to try them all so how do you pick which ones? Here are a few criteria that can help you decide.

Mobile marketing tools and channels should…

  • Be easy to use. Unless you have the resources to hire a full-time social media person, you should make ease of use a priority in selecting both mobile channels and mobile marketing tools. If the learning curve is too steep you’ll probably waste too much time trying to figure out how to use it and not enough time actually implementing and benefiting from it.
  • Be effective. This one’s pretty straightforward. A channel or tool should do for your business what it’s supposed to do. If you try out a new channel or tool and give it a fair chance, but it doesn’t help you achieve your mobile marketing aims, then there’s probably no sense in investing in it further.
  • Be Up-to-date. Some tools or channels may have been helpful at one time, but aren’t anymore. The world of mobile technology is advancing at an incredible rate so if tools and channels aren’t being regularly updated to keep them relevant, they aren’t going to be the best option for your business.
  • Offer value to your business. This is another one that might seem obvious but many businesses are using tools and channels simply because other businesses are using it and they just think they should as well. So ask yourself, is a given tool or channel offering you any tangible results? If it’s not doing anything of value for your brand, you need to consider why you’re investing time and money into it at all.
  • Have good customer service. This one applies to tools and not channels but you’ll find that many mobile marketing tools come with 24/7 support and others do not. It’s safe to assume that you’re going to run into problems or questions with any given tool so it’s important that you can get immediate assistance when these problems or questions arise so you can use the tool to its full potential.

SMS is a must

With so many tools and channels, very few are a must for all industries. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another. But there is at least one notable exception: SMS. Short Message Service (or text messaging) needs to be a part of every mobile marketing campaign and it meets all five criteria above:

  • Ease of use. If you select the right bulk SMS service, SMS marketing is very easy since the service will automate the opt-ins and opt-outs. You only have to craft the message and set the time for it to be sent and the service takes care of everything else.
  • Effectiveness. The open rate for text messages is about 98% (90% within three minutes of the text being received). Click-through and redemption rates for special offers are about ten times higher than they are for email.
  • Up-to-date. Though the SMS protocol hasn’t changed hardly at all over the years, regulations on text messaging have and the majority of bulk SMS services have continuously adapted to be compliant with these regulations.
  • Value. The low cost per text, combined with the effectiveness of the channel means SMS is one of the most valuable mobile channels you can have in your arsenal.
  • Customer service. Select a service with a great reputation for round-the-clock support and SMS might be the best thing that ever happened to your brand.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter. com

Source: business2community.com/social-media/criteria-matter-choosing-social-media-marketing-tools-01911735#FDvH162UppEUeslu.97

 

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Six ways to grow your online business on a budget

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Whether you’re a brand new startup trying to launch a business from home or you’ve got an established brand with a great online presence, it’s crucial that you keep it growing. Stagnation is the death of all brands from small startups to national chains. The following tips will help you build your online business without spending a fortune.

Make sure your website is optimized for mobile

The year 2016 was the year mobile web traffic surpassed traditional web traffic, and mobile web traffic is only going to increase the gap with each passing year. Already, more than half of your website visitors aren’t having a positive experience on your site if it’s not mobile optimized. Mobile optimization is inexpensive because the majority of website building platforms already have responsive design which does it for you.

Find out all you can about your audience

You’ll waste less money trying to find a marketing approach that works if you just take some time to get to know your existing customer base (and your ideal customer) better. Find unobtrusive ways to get information from customers along the way. Start small by asking for an email address or phone number and get permission to email or text. Offer small incentives in exchange for personal info like birthdate, gender, and age. Short surveys after purchases are a great way to obtain this kind of info from customers.

Invest in SMS marketing

Mobile is an increasingly important aspect of digital marketing and there’s no better place to start with mobile marketing than SMS, or text messaging. Text messages only cost a few pennies per text so it’s one of the most affordable digital channels out there. Add to that the fact that you’re only sending them to people who’ve opted in and that 90% of your recipients will open and read your text in three minutes or less and you realize how cost-effective SMS marketing is.

Create engaging content

You can diversify your marketing efforts by launching a content marketing campaign. Content marketing is different from other marketing efforts in that the primary goal isn’t to make sales, but rather, to create awareness, drive engagement, and generate leads that may one day become loyal customers. Content marketing can be as simple as adding a blog to your company website and paying a freelancer to post two or three articles a week too it. If your brand is committed to producing high-quality content, potential customers will seek you out.

Segment and personalize

Using the information you obtain from following the advice in tip number two, you can segment your audience by age, gender, interests, or other criteria and provide more personalized marketing for the various segments. Segmentation and personalization of your marketing efforts is cheaper in the long run since you won’t be wasting money sending ads that aren’t relevant to the people you’re sending them to.

Build a strong social media presence

The great thing about social media is that it’s free to create a business page and you get a lot of free advertising in the form of followers who share your posts where their friends and family can see them. Once you’ve gotten started and are seeing success, you can invest in paid advertising and a full- or part-time social media person to maintain your various social media pages.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: nuwireinvestor.  com/10-tips-growing-online-business/

 

Six reasons your text message marketing efforts aren’t as effective as they could be

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Text messages are limited to just 160 characters. When you send a text to your customers, it’s crucial that every single word is helping and not hurting your cause. Language in marketing is always important but it’s even more so when the channel calls for very concise messages. The following six mistakes might be keeping you from achieving maximum success with your text message marketing efforts.

Too many words

Even if SMS allowed for more than 160 characters, you wouldn’t want to use them. The nature of the SMS channel demands a concise and clearly worded message that can be read in seconds. The research shows that people will only give about five seconds of their time to looking at promotional content before moving on to something else. You have seconds to get and hold their attention. That means no filler words of any kind.

You use jargon or textspeak

Unless your business is in a highly technical field and your target audience is well educated in it, you shouldn’t be using larger or jargon words. Aim to use language that virtually any person on your recipient list will be able to understand. For the same reason, you shouldn’t be using textspeak either. While clever little acronyms and emoticons might convey more with fewer characters, you can’t count on your audience understanding it and it tends to come across as juvenile and annoying rather than hip.

The wrong focus

Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. So while it may be tempting to make your messages about your brand and about your products, it will come across as shameless self-promotion. People opt in and stay opted in to receive your texts when they’re getting something out of it. Craft your messages so that it stays focused on the customers and how your brand will make their lives better.

Passive voice

In active voice, the subject of the sentence is acting upon the object. In passive voice, the object of the sentence is being acted upon by the subject of the sentence. People prefer the active voice while the passive voice tends to make people lose interest.

Emotionless language

Good writing is compelling, not just convincing. You should use emotionally charged words that are going to be more likely to get your audience to have an emotional response and more likely to get your audience to take action.

No sense of urgency

Every text message needs a call to action and a sense of urgency. If recipients aren’t immediately persuaded to redeem a coupon or “like” your Facebook page or do some other action, the chances of them remembering to do so later drops significantly. Immediacy is an important trait of the SMS channel. People receive, open, and read text messages within a couple of minutes. If you suffuse each message with a sense of urgency, they’ll be the most likely to take the course of action you are striving for.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur  .com/article/298766

Six reasons your text message marketing efforts aren’t as effective as they could be

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone

 

Text messages are limited to just 160 characters. When you send a text to your customers, it’s crucial that every single word is helping and not hurting your cause. Language in marketing is always important but it’s even more so when the channel calls for very concise messages. The following six mistakes might be keeping you from achieving maximum success with your text message marketing efforts.

Too many words

Even if SMS allowed for more than 160 characters, you wouldn’t want to use them. The nature of the SMS channel demands a concise and clearly worded message that can be read in seconds. The research shows that people will only give about five seconds of their time to looking at promotional content before moving on to something else. You have seconds to get and hold their attention. That means no filler words of any kind.

You use jargon or textspeak

Unless your business is in a highly technical field and your target audience is well educated in it, you shouldn’t be using larger or jargon words. Aim to use language that virtually any person on your recipient list will be able to understand. For the same reason, you shouldn’t be using textspeak either. While clever little acronyms and emoticons might convey more with fewer characters, you can’t count on your audience understanding it and it tends to come across as juvenile and annoying rather than hip.

The wrong focus

Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. So while it may be tempting to make your messages about your brand and about your products, it will come across as shameless self-promotion. People opt in and stay opted in to receive your texts when they’re getting something out of it. Craft your messages so that it stays focused on the customers and how your brand will make their lives better.

Passive voice

In active voice, the subject of the sentence is acting upon the object. In passive voice, the object of the sentence is being acted upon by the subject of the sentence. People prefer the active voice while the passive voice tends to make people lose interest.

Emotionless language

Good writing is compelling, not just convincing. You should use emotionally charged words that are going to be more likely to get your audience to have an emotional response and more likely to get your audience to take action.

No sense of urgency

Every text message needs a call to action and a sense of urgency. If recipients aren’t immediately persuaded to redeem a coupon or “like” your Facebook page or do some other action, the chances of them remembering to do so later drops significantly. Immediacy is an important trait of the SMS channel. People receive, open, and read text messages within a couple of minutes. If you suffuse each message with a sense of urgency, they’ll be the most likely to take the course of action you are striving for.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.   com/article/298766

SMS marketing checklist: 15 best practices you need to follow

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Nine out of every ten text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being delivered. But if your business is in the habit of sending ineffective, irrelevant, or untimely text messages, you’ll see those numbers drop and you may even see open rates decline and opt-outs increase. The following 15 best practices can ensure that your customers will be excited to receive and read your texts.

Include your company name

Even if you register a shortcode, the average person won’t memorize the five or six digit number and remember who is texting them. You don’t want to count on them saving your shortcode as a contact and assigning a name and you don’t want customers to have to search through old texts to find out who’s texting them so make sure your company name is in every text you send.

Personalize the message

Try to segment your phone numbers database according to demographic or interests so that the messages you’re sending feel more personal. A one size-fits all message doesn’t work when one recipient is a 14-year-old girl and the other is a 60-something-year-old man.

Start with a hook

You were taught in school to begin every essay with a hook. That’s good advice for a two-sentence text as well as a five-page paper. The first sentence, phrase, or word should get the recipient’s attention.

Make sure each and every text offers value

There’s never a situation where it’s okay to send a text that does absolutely nothing for the recipient. You’re sure to get opt-outs if you do that. Whether you’re offering a great deal on a product or sharing insightful information or sending a shipping notification, every single text must be doing something to improve the life of the recipient in some small way.

Use clear and concise language

Texts are limited to 160 characters. You can’t afford to be wordy. Carefully proofread each text before sending and make sure there’s not a single word that you could remove without negatively impacting the clarity of the message.

Use dynamic and compelling prose

Study up on creative writing and make sure your writing is interesting and compelling. Use power words like surprising verbs. Play around with syntax to create interesting sentence constructions. Vary your sentence length. Use intentional sentence fragments. Have fun in constructing your text messages.

Use, but don’t abuse, all caps

ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME MAKES IT SEEM LIKE YOU’RE YELLING. You don’t want your recipients to feel as if they’re being yelled at. You can use all caps for a single word here or there to create emphasis.

Include a call to action

Don’t leave it up to your recipients to guess what you’re getting at. Tell them to redeem that coupon, or to click over onto your Facebook page, or whatever it is you want them to do.

Use a URL shortener

A URL shortener is a great way to make a link to a webpage or video look more appealing and it also makes it easier to stay within the character limit for SMS so your text is delivered in a single message and not broken up.

Include opt-out instructions

It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law. Keep it short and sweet though: “Reply ‘STOP’ to opt-out.”

Make sure offers are relevant

Going back to segmentation of your phone number database, you can ensure that you’re only sending offers that are relevant to the people that you’re sending them to.

Make it sound urgent

If recipients don’t act right away, they’re likely to forget about it and more recent texts will move yours to the bottom of the inbox so make every message seem urgent.

Be mindful of timing

No matter how good the offer, people won’t take kindly to receiving it early in the morning or late at night. People are also less receptive to texts received during stressful situations like sitting in traffic or business meetings. Aim for lunch hours, early evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Avoid text speak

Just because all the kids are typing huge strings of letters that are actually acronyms doesn’t mean you should. Though they help keep your character count under control they’re also likely to be misunderstood by a sizable percentage of your recipients.

Don’t use emoticons

Seriously, just don’t. They’re a waste of valuable characters. Including a 😉 uses three characters and adds nothing of value to the text.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community. com/mobile-apps/12-text-message-marketing-best-practices-business-using-01893467#cRHesEtMBtzioeD8.97

 

How to get a better return on investment with mobile marketing

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Mobile marketing is no longer just an option you have when it comes to selecting marketing channels. In fact, mobile marketing hasn’t really been just one option among many for several years now. It’s absolutely essential that you have a sold mobile marketing strategy going forward. But as is always the case when you branch out into new marketing channels, there’s a learning curve. If you want to get the best return on your investment into mobile marketing, consider the following advice.

There’s no such thing as too much keyword research

Keyword research is important for all digital marketing channels. Google’s search algorithms rely heavily on keywords so it’s important that you’re using the right ones if you want to show up on the first page of search results. But keyword research is even more important with mobile. Studies have shown that the search strings people type into Google are much more specific on mobile devices than they are on desktops or laptops. That means you have to put more thought into user intent–what things are your potential customers likely to type in to Google’s search bar if they’re searching for a product or service that you offer? Then you have to think about how to incorporate that research into your website copy.

Mobile friendly web design is a must

In 2016, mobile web traffic surpassed non-mobile web traffic for the first time and that gap is growing. Mobile now accounts for just over 50% of all web traffic but in the coming years we may see that number rise to 60%, 70%, or perhaps even higher. Even assuming a constant at 50%, that means if your website isn’t optimized for display on mobile devices, half of the visitors on your site will have a negative experience–slower load times, too-small text, difficulty navigating the site to find what they’re looking for, etc… Mobile web design needs to be simpler and the text needs to be larger. Many website building platforms use responsive design to automatically adjust how the website displays according to the device being used to access it but you may want to invest more in a completely separate mobile version of your site since that’s even better.

Text message marketing is a no-brainer

There are so many different mobile marketing channels that you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) try to use all of them. One that you absolutely must use if ROI is important to you (and ROI should always be important to you) is text message marketing. Text messages cost pennies to send and they boast of an open rate around 98%. Not only are texts five times more likely to be opened than emails, offers you send via text are about four times as likely to be redeemed as offers you send via email, and that’s after you account for the 80% of people who delete the email unread in the first place.

Your mobile marketing strategy is never complete

As with all marketing channels, your mobile strategy is never complete. Even if you’re at a point where you are getting great ROI and seeing great results from your efforts, you need to keep tracking metrics and keep fine-tuning. There’s always room for improvement. Remember that once you stop moving forwards, you begin moving backwards.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: forbes.   com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/07/19/four-ways-to-increase-your-roi-from-mobile-marketing/#4135e2dce075

Customer service automation through chatbot development

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The recent surge in popularity of chatbots has led to more automation of various fields. One prime target for chatbots is customer service automation. Chatbots are already being deployed that can help consumers shop, book flights, make dinner reservations, and schedule their day, so why not resolve customer service issues? If you’re interested in automating some of your customer service efforts, the following information may be of use.

Chat log history is a must

To be effective, chatbots need to be accurate at recognizing what a customer is asking or trying to do when they initiate a conversation with the bot. They also need to accurately choose the best approach to go about answering the customer’s question, correcting their problem, or directing them to the appropriate live agent who can help them from there. Many companies who are developing chatbots are doing so without the benefit of access to chat log history. Chatbots utilize machine learning to teach themselves to be more accurate over time. Chatbot developers can input dozens of probable scenarios and hundreds of different ways that frequently asked questions might be worded but actual chat log history–real transcripts of actual conversations between customers and live agents or chatbots are going to be the most useful of all. By adding this to a chatbot’s memory bank, it will be more accurate.

There’s no such thing as a perfect algorithm, yet

There are all sorts of different algorithms out there to help chatbots more accurately assist customers. They all have different strengths and weaknesses but none of them are one-size-fits-all. The most advanced chatbots will still make plenty of mistakes because the technology to perfectly replicate live customer service agents simply isn’t there yet. The best you can do is carefully research the various chatbot algorithms that are out there and test them for accuracy according to what kind of chatbot you’re trying to develop. You’ll have to decide what’s most important to you in a chatbot when developing it because you can’t have it all.

Recognize the shortcomings

One of the the things that makes chatbot development so difficult is the complexity of writing a program that understands semantic relationships between words. Computers are good at recognizing patterns, word order, and keywords that might clue them in to what a human is asking of them. But they don’t have the common sense knowledge about how the world works that humans do. Even the simplest sentences can be difficult for chatbots because while it can easily access the definition of each word, it can’t take all of them together to understand the meaning of the sentence as a whole. AI researchers are gaining ground on this task but in the meantime, businesses who wish to use chatbots for customer service should have realistic expectations for what chatbots can and can’t do for them.

Chatbots aren’t a replacement for live customer service agents

It goes without saying that a need for live agents still exists and will for some time. Chatbots are best used in conjunction with these live agents. Let chatbots automate answering the simple questions and resolving simpler issues and direct the more difficult ones to the appropriate live agent.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: venturebeat.   com/2017/07/01/the-reality-of-automating-customer-service-chat-with-ai-today