Tag: sms marketing

Six things to know about Gen Zers this holiday season

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The year 2017 may very well be the first one in which Generation Z is more important to retailers than millennials when it comes to holiday advertising. If young people are an important part of your customer base, then here are six things you need to know about this particular demographic heading into the holidays.

They do their homework

Gen Z likes to research and read reviews and weigh options before buying; 80% of Gen Z holiday shoppers say that they research a product online before buying it and as the price of the product increases, the likelihood of researching it first goes up. More than half of Gen Z holiday shoppers said they began researching products in October or earlier.

What this means for businesses: make any relevant information about products you sell online or in stores readily available. Especially try to promote good reviews of those products.

They can be impulsive

At seeming odds with the previous point is the fact that Gen Z can be quite impulsive in their shopping habits. This is the generation that coined the phrase “YOLO” after all. 70% of Gen Zers say they make impulsive holiday purchases especially when they see a good deal, that’s higher than any other age demographic.

What this means for businesses: make sure there are plenty of “stocking stuffers” on display through the store and especially near the point of sale so they can discover last minute ideas as they’re about to check out. Online businesses can offer an online equivalent by offering a deal as shoppers head to their cart to complete a purchase totaling more than a specified amount.

They’re open to suggestions

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Z holiday shoppers said they routinely make purchases based on a retailer’s recommendation. Since they were born and raised in the social media age, they’re also heavily influenced by the recommendations of peers, bloggers, and vloggers.

What this means for businesses: Feature a deal of the day leading up to Christmas or the New Year. Publish a top ten list for popular products. Get the right influencers to promote your brand and encourage your loyal customers to share your brand and products with their friends.

They’re picky

On average, Gen Zers are four times as likely than the other generations to leave a store without making a purchase at all because they can’t find exactly what they’re looking for. They’re also the most likely to return an item in the week following Christmas.

What this means for businesses: Make sure you have plenty of stock for items that are sure to be popular. You might poll your target audience to know their preferences as Christmas approaches. Make sure you have plenty of staff to quickly and efficiently manage after Christmas returns.

They leave positive reviews

We’ve already covered how important it is for Gen Zers to see other people having good things to say about your products when they’re weighing the decision to buy. Lucky for you, Gen Zers are also the most likely of all the age demographics to write those kinds of reviews for you. An incredible 72% say they will write a good review for a brand when they have a positive experience.

What this means for businesses: Don’t be shy about asking for a review especially when it’s clear the customer has received great service and seems happy about their experience. You can also encourage social media check-ins by offering a small freebie or discount at the point of sale.

They’re kind of into smartphones

No surprise here. The average Gen Zer spends about three-and-a-half hours a day on a mobile phone.

What this means for businesses: Businesses absolutely must have a mobile-first approach to digital marketing this holiday season and moving forward. Emphasize mobile channels in your marketing budget like SMS and location based marketing. SMS is a great way to notify your customers of great deals since 90% of all text messages are read within about three minutes of being sent.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: smallbiztrends.com/2017/11/attract-gen-z-shoppers-this-season.html

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Four things to know before launching your SMS campaign

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Text message marketing is the original and oldest mobile marketing channel. It was around before smartphones and mobile apps, push notifications, and QR codes. While it may be old, it’s not outdated. Close to two-thirds of the world’s population (over four billion people) do text messaging. Three-fourths say that they like to receive offers from brands via text. And unlike email open rates which have dropped to 20% thanks to an increase in spam mail and click-through rates which have dropped to 3%, SMS enjoys a 98% open rate and a 36% click-through rate. SMS has the potential to be your most cost effective and powerful mobile channel; or it might be a drain on your marketing budget and a poor investment. It all depends on how you approach it. Before you launch your SMS campaign for your small business, here are four things you should know first.

Let goal setting guide your strategy

A major mistake first time SMS marketers make is not setting clear objectives for the SMS campaign to begin with. If your reasoning behind starting an SMS campaign is: “everyone else is doing it” and your strategy is to just wing it, you shouldn’t be surprised when you’re not happy with the results. Instead, start with some broad objectives. Are you trying to increase customer loyalty? Improve branding? Drive more web traffic to your mobile site? Boost sales during your slow season? From there you can set more specific goals. For instance, if your broader goal was to provide better customer service, a more specific goal would be to send order confirmations via text within three minutes of an order being placed.

With specific goals in place, you have a clear way to measure the effectiveness of your SMS marketing efforts. As you reach, or fall short, of your goals, you can adjust your strategy and keep trying always being sure to improve your strategy.

Building your subscriber list

It goes without saying that the more mobile subscribers you have, the more potential your SMS campaign will have. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires that consumers give you their express permission to send them text messages which means every person you text must opt-in of their own accord first. There are a few things you can do to kickstart your SMS subscriber list. First, it’s a good idea to establish an introductory offer like 10 or 15% off their next order after signing up to receive text messages. You should also be advertising your SMS campaign in store, at the point-of-sale (either online or at the cash register) and through existing marketing channels like email and your company’s website.

Selecting a bulk SMS service provider

You should never try to manage your SMS campaign alone. People will constantly be opting in and out and with an ever-changing list of subscribers it’s extremely easy to send a text to someone who wasn’t supposed to get one which opens you up to a lawsuit or fines for violating the TCPA. Even if you could do it perfectly, it’s a huge drain on business resources to manage a subscriber list and all of that text messaging manually. A bulk SMS service provider will automate the opt-ins, opt-outs, and sending of texts for you. They’ll also provide you with software which you can use to schedule texts and view various metrics to let you know how effective each individual text message is. Some SMS bulk SMS services will offer a free trial. Some will have more advanced analysis tools than others. Which one you choose will depend on your budget, the size and scope of your SMS campaign, and your specific goals.

Providing real value

Getting people to opt-in is the easy part. A great introductory offer can get a lot of customers to sign up to receive your texts but many of these people will opt out if they’re not seeing the benefit of remaining on your subscriber list. Since it’s easy to opt out at any time by simply texting the word “STOP” it can be hard to retain subscribers. The key is to find ways to improve the lives of every subscriber through your text messages in some small way. Great SMS-exclusive offers are just one way to do this. Making their lives easier by giving them the option to receive order notifications or shipping updates or appointment reminders via text gives them added convenience and they’ll be less likely to opt out. Showing appreciation by sending personalized messages and birthday offers is another way that you can help subscribers see the value in not opting out.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: customerthink. com/4-things-to-consider-before-starting-sms-marketing-for-your-business/

Ten mistakes brands make when developing a mobile app

image7By the end of 2017, the global app market is expected to reach $77 billion. Once a mobile strategy only the major brands employed, now many small businesses are benefitting from developing their own mobile app. If you’re thinking of doing the same for your small business, consider the following ten mistakes that many brands make so you don’t make them yourself.

Trying to do too much

Less is definitely more when it comes to mobile app design. Many brands want their app to be able to do everything their mobile website, but that’s not a good strategy. The reason people seek out and download a brand’s mobile app is because it’s more convenient and streamlined than the brand’s mobile website experience. A simpler app is less expensive and easier to design and it will actually be more effective.

Not understanding customers’ needs first

Building off of the last tip and the need to be selective in choosing which features to include in your mobile app, it’s important to prioritize according to customers’ needs. Don’t assume you know what your customers want and don’t go about developing your app just to create another channel. You need to survey customers and find out what they really want out of your mobile app before you waste money building in features nobody asked for.

Insufficient testing

Every day, more than 1,000 new mobile apps land on app stores. With so much competition, brands are in a hurry to get their app to market. But you can’t afford to rush the testing process. A buggy mobile app can turn off a lot of users and they won’t re-download it even after you’ve fixed the bugs. Better to do extensive testing before release to make sure your app is running as smoothly as possible.

Focusing on downloads and not retention

Here’s a startling fact: more than 75% of apps are never opened a second time. First time app developers are often too concerned with getting a lot of downloads and they don’t think enough about retention. Repeated use, not the number of downloads, is the measure of an effective mobile app. So while it’s important to market your app to get downloads, you need to work even harder to make your app relevant and useful so that the people who do download it continue to use it.

Developing for multiple platforms simultaneously

Since you’re investing money into developing a mobile app, it’s understandable you want to reach the widest audience possible. But you should resist the urge to release your app on multiple platforms at least at first. Cross platform tools that allow you to build an app for multiple platforms simultaneously aren’t as effective as building a new app from the ground up for each new platform. Many brands prefer to start with iOS since there are far fewer iPhone models than Android phones that have to be tested for. Whichever platform you decide to go with first, make sure it’s running smoothly and you’ve got all the kinks worked out before moving on to the next one.

Giving up too early

Less than one percent of apps make a profit. If your objective in building a mobile app is strictly monetary, or if you’re expecting an immediate return on your investment, a mobile app may not be the right direction for you. Mobile apps have a lot to offer beyond ad revenue or revenue from in-app purchases and seeing those results will take time so you need to be patient if you decide to proceed.

Ignoring negative feedback

Many brands think their job is done when their app is deployed. Smart app developers keep an eye on feedback in the app store, especially the negative feedback. Not all of it will be particularly helpful–some people just like to gripe–but there may be some valuable insights in negative feedback that will help you to improve future versions of your app.

Doing it the easy way

Great apps take lots of time and money to develop. Drag and drop app building software might be a good way to get your feet wet with app design but in the long term, you’re going to want to build a professional app from the ground up.

Failure to consider hidden costs

The cost to develop an app is only the start. Testing, maintenance, app upgrades, and marketing for your mobile app all cost money so you need to allocate funds for those things as well, not just the initial development costs.

Not marketing it

Don’t assume that customers will seek out and download your mobile app. Many of them will assume you don’t have one since many smaller businesses don’t. You should be advertising in store and using other marketing channels as well to market your mobile app. Mobile channels are especially important. If you’ve got an SMS campaign, chances are those mobile subscribers are already among your most loyal and will be a great place to start in getting your first app downloads so send out the occasional text message complete with a download link to your app.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/24/13-mistakes-to-avoid-when-developing-an-app/#63103af57ce9

Six things you can learn about SMS marketing from email marketing

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Email and SMS are two very different marketing channels and what works for one won’t necessarily carry over well to the other. But the following six email marketing tips can work wonders for your SMS marketing campaign as well.

Get to the point

Though email is certainly a longer form channel than SMS, it’s still crucial to get to the point fast. Since the majority of emails are now read on mobile devices and since mobile users are less inclined to read a long-winded email than desktop or laptop users, emails need to be concise. Unlike email, the SMS channel is actually restricted by character count on many devices. The 160 character limit is standard with the SMS protocol and devices that don’t have their own proprietary messaging applications can’t receive a single text that contains more than 160 characters. As a result, texts can be broken into multiple parts making them less effective. Even disregarding the character limit, text messages need to be short and to the point. It’s a channel known for its brevity so in order to meet customers’ expectations, text messages should be concise.

Personalize

Both emails and text messages are more likely to be acted upon when the recipient feels it was truly meant for them. One way to do this is by addressing the recipient by name. Bulk email and SMS service providers can allow messages to be sent that automatically puts each recipient’s name at the beginning. Another way many businesses personalize is by sending birthday offers on customer’s birthday or at the beginning of their birth month. Marketers can personalize further through segmentation of their contact list into subgroups based on various demographics or interests so that they can provide more relevant advertising and offers.

Give people the option to opt out

Every email should include instructions at the end to opt out of future emails. Likewise, every text message should end with instructions. For SMS, keep instructions extremely brief keeping your character limit in mind (“Text ‘STOP’ to end” or something similar). First of all, it’s required by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Second of all, even if it wasn’t, it’s still a good idea. Because bulk email and SMS services charge per message, there’s no sense in continuing to send emails or texts to the people on your list who don’t want them. They’re not your ideal audience so make it easy for them to opt out and hope that they take you up on the offer.

Show that you care

Email and especially SMS, should be used for more than just promoting products or services. People see enough advertising on their phones as it is. If every email or text is trying to get them to buy something, they’re more likely to opt out. We’ve already covered personalization and birthday offers as a means to making customers feel important but there are other ways. Sending mobile coupons or exclusive offers that aren’t available to anyone who hasn’t opted in is another way to show appreciation to your most loyal customers. You can also use text messages to make your customer’s lives easier by sending appointment reminders, order notifications, and shipment updates.

Timing matters

A/B split testing at various times of the day has shown that emails sent at certain times are more effective than emails sent at other times. This is even more true for SMS because of its time sensitive nature. The days and times that will work best for the messages you’re sending will depend on a number of factors including your audience, message, and product or service.

Have fun

Texting is something we usually do with family and friends, not brands. As such, we associate it with casualness and fun. If text messages come across as overly formal or stiff, it will come across as unnatural. Use casual syntax and focus on making your messages fun to read.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: chiefmarketer  .com/be-human-10-email-marketing-tips/

Ten game elements that can spice up your mobile marketing strategy

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Humans have an innate need to play. Marketers’ jobs have always been to tap into human psychology to figure out how to get a product or brand to appeal to us. When they do this through that desire for play, it’s called gamification. Technically, any time elements of games are applied to non-game settings, it’s gamification and it happens to work exceptionally well with mobile marketing. Simply choose from among the following ten game elements below and decide on a medium (a mobile app or website, QR codes, or SMS messages) and create your gamification campaign.

Loss aversion

It’s easy to see how loss aversion would be hardwired into our brains. In primitive times, losing a race to a predator or losing a meal to a competitor could be the difference between life and death. While the average human no longer has to worry about life and death every single day, we still hate losing and brands can use that hatred of losing to great effect in a mobile strategy. Many loyalty programs do this already by setting expiration dates for accumulated points. Spend them or lose them.

Progress

On the other side of the coin from loss aversion, humans like to feel they are progressing, moving up in status, or improving their situation in some way. Progress or status bars in video games tell us when we’re about to collect enough coins to gain an extra life or how many more experience points until a level up. Brands can tap into this by portraying visual representations of progress to consumers.

Narrative

There’s something satisfying about hearing a story progress to its conclusion. Storytelling, and especially serials where a story is told in tiny parts and released in installments can be a powerful incentive for consumers to pay close attention to a brand. After all, who doesn’t want to know what happens next?

Curiosity

Curiosity might be one of the most powerful motivators we experience. Curiosity can get us into trouble when it leads us to do something risky out of a desire to see what happens. But curiosity can also be a positive. Many companies use this gamification element to clear out old stock in the form of mystery boxes which customers can purchase. They might be thrilled to receive an item they would never have purchased in the first place simply because it was a mystery until they opened it.

Time pressure

A ticking clock is another powerful motivator. If you’ve ever played a video game level with a time limit, you know how stressful (but also fun) it can be to race a clock. Flash sales and doorbuster sales are races against time to get a really good deal on a product.

Scarcity

A funny thing about humans is that we desire things that are rare, even if they possess no inherent value. Take diamonds, they’re just carbon that was pressurized and formed just so into diamonds. You can’t eat them or craft tools from them. But people will trade vast sums of wealth, even millions of dollars for them. In gamification, you can include something rare so that collectors just have to have it.

Strategy

Games that are heavy on thinking and require thinking a few moves ahead about the various pros and cons of different decisions are said to be strategic. Gamification that stimulates the mind through strategy can be a powerful marketing tool.

Rewards

Rewards can be random, they can be time dependant (think BOGO offers on your birthday or happy hour at a restaurant) or they can be fixed to accomplishment (save up this many points and get a free meal). It’s no secret that people like winning things. This gamification element is a no-brainer and it’s where you incorporate incentive.

Competition

Humans can be fiercely competitive, even when the reward itself is just a worthless trophy. It’s the feeling of winning over someone else that does the motivating. Brands can incorporate gamification that pits customers against each other to create incentive without having to give away physical prizes.

Quest

The ultimate goal in games is to finish them to completion, to reach the end, defeat the final boss, save the princess. The notion of a quest or finishing point in gamification can motivate a customer to stick with a game for a long time until it is finished.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: gamified  .uk/user-types/gamification-mechanics-elements/

Customer feedback is crucial and SMS is the best way to get it

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One of the hallmarks of any good business is the ability to keep customers satisfied so that they keep coming back and recommend that business to their friends. A key to achieving that kind of customer satisfaction is finding out what they think about the business in the first place and to hear what they think needs to be improved. The ability to gather and act on customer feedback is crucial for any company that wants to stay in business.

 

Two reasons you need to collect customer feedback

The first and most obvious reason behind collecting customer feedback is that you get invaluable information about what you are doing well at and what you can be doing better. If you take this feedback seriously and try to do better to meet the needs of customers, you’re going to be continuously improving the level of customer service you give to your customers.

A second reason is that the mere act of asking customers for feedback tells them that your business cares about their customers and keeping them satisfied. It shows them that you’re the type of business that really makes an effort to provide the best possible service.

 

The best way to get customer feedback

There are many ways to go about gathering feedback but most are largely ineffective. You could have an employee approach people as they leave with a clipboard and a quick survey to ask about their experience. But when people have accomplished what they came there to do, they are probably in a hurry to get to their next stop or return home and will try to avoid the person with the clipboard as much as possible.

You could try to call your guests on their phones but so many people screen their calls these days so you’ll waste a lot of time listening to dial tones. When you do occasionally reach someone, they’ll most likely be annoyed at the intrusion and give a negatively biased response if they agree to participate at all.

The vast majority of emailed surveys get sent straight to the junk mail folder by the email service’s spam filter and if it does make it to the inbox, there’s still an 80% chance it gets deleted without being opened.

The best way is one that’s unintrusive and convenient for customers. SMS (or text messaging) is the answer. Customers can respond to survey questions at their convenience without pressure to do so at a certain time. Since the nature of SMS already implies conciseness, customers are more likely to respond to a survey sent via text because they already have an expectation that it will very short and easy. More than 90% of customers say they’d participate in a customer satisfaction survey if it’s sent to them via text.

 

Tips for getting the best response

Even if you’re already using SMS to conduct your survey, there are a few tricks you can use to get an even better response. The first is to use a 1-10 (or 1-5) scale for responses as much as possible. Survey questions that require participants to type out a longer response are much less likely to be responded to at all but if the participant only has to type a one digit number in response, they most likely will. Another tip is to keep the total number of questions to an absolute minimum. Five questions is probably the absolute maximum and you’ll probably see better results with just three or four questions. The final question can be an option catch-all question: “is there anything else you’d like us to know about your recent visit/purchase?” Finally, you can throw in an incentive for people who complete your survey and make sure to include the incentive in the invitation.

 

A word of warning

Text messaging consumers is regulated by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) put out by the FCC dictates that you cannot send even one text to a consumer without first receiving their express permission to do so. If you want to text out a survey to customers you’ll need to already have their permission or else come up with a strategy for gaining permission to text customers.

 

Customer service and chatbots

One final note: many businesses are beginning to use chatbots to communicate with customers via alternative text-based channels like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Programming your chatbot to initiate a customer satisfaction survey soon after a customer-chatbot interaction is a great way to get feedback about your chatbot and gather valuable information that you can use to improve your chatbot for future customer interactions.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community .  com/customer-experience/sms-surveys-way-get-customer-feedback-01928971#zMHfxEVHdHtLpxBi.97

 

Five SMS marketing mistakes you need to stop making immediately

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SMS is one of the simpler marketing channels out there. It consists of a small bit of text usually no more than 160 characters. But despite the simplicity of the channel, there are still plenty of mistakes that can be made in using it. Here are just five which, if avoided, could improve your SMS marketing efforts.

No sender info

When your customers opt-in to receive your text messages, they do so by texting a keyword to your registered shortcode. Some may save that shortcode in their contacts list under the name of your brand but you can’t count on it. And since customers may have a dozen or more different shortcodes in their texting history, they may not be able to determine the sender just based on the shortcode alone. A simple way to fix this mistake is to begin every text with the name of your brand followed by a colon. It takes up very few characters and it lets recipients know right away who is texting them.

No personalization

SMS is an inherently personal channel. After all, you’re sending a message directly to your customers’ SMS inbox via their mobile phone number, something people usually only give out to friends and family and close acquaintances. So why not make it more personal? One way to do this is to use a bulk SMS service that has the option to automatically address the recipient by name if that information is stored in the database. Simply starting off a text calling the person by name makes it feel more personal. Another way to offer personalization is to send a congratulatory offer to customers on their birthday. Finally, you might try segmenting your audience according to demographic or interests and tailor different messages for different segments of your audience.

No call-to-action

It’s not enough to just inform customers about a new product or a special deal or a mobile coupon–you have to tell them what you want them to do as a result. Tell them how they can get that product, to act fast on that special deal before it expires, or to claim that mobile coupon in store today. The call-to-action is what drives the desired response and simply telling them what you want them to do is surprisingly effective.

No hook

Most mobile phones will display the first few words of a text message when it’s received. Those first few words may be the difference between that text being opened immediately and that text being opened several hours later when the recipient stumbles across it again. Text messages are most influential when opened immediately so you want to include some kind of hook in the opening line of text that makes it near impossible for the recipient to ignore.

No two-way option

Millennials and Gen Z prefer texting to speaking on the phone. Despite this, the majority of brands who use SMS to communicate things to customers don’t allow customers to text them back. Most bulk SMS services only recognize and respond to incoming texts if the text is the keyword to opt-in or the word “stop” to opt-out. Advances in chatbot technology have made two-way SMS a more practical option where customers and brands can actually interact. SMS no longer has to be a one-way channel. Give your customers the option to text back and many will take advantage of it and that two-way engagement will improve the effectiveness of your SMS marketing efforts.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: business2community.   com/email-marketing/dont-common-email-marketing-mistakes-01918761#EfBOFxFFWkAfrb7v.97