SMS Marketing

SMS Marketing is a fairly new type of mobile marketing that uses Short Message Service text messaging as a form of direct advertising, and it is usually directed to a company’s existing customer base. A typical SMS marketing campaign involves collecting mobile phone numbers, usually by customer opt-ins using a keyword sent to a short code, which adds their number to a messaging database. Once the numbers are collected, the marketer can easily design and create a series of promotional coupons and offers to send as one mass message to their customers. Although SMS Marketing is considered a trusted form of advertising, some marketers have used it as a channel for spamming. The Mobile Marketing Association however does have set guidelines that prevent spamming and using purchased lists of mobile phone numbers. It is advised to only send SMS text promotions to opt-in only subscribers who have given their consent to receive messages from you if you want to earn and gain their trust.
SMS Marketing is one of the newest and fastest growing types of marketing because if offers a low cost, high return on your investment; plus your target audience receives your valuable incentives, promotions and updates in real time. It is similar to email in cost, but offers much higher response rates as most mobile phone users open and view text messages no matter where they are and no matter what they are doing. Any business can benefit from text marketing offering a discount coupon to national brands engaging millions of customers. Studies have shown that mobile users like text messaging and as high as 95% of all texts are usually opened within five minutes, which is faster than email and other social media updates.
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Mobile Couponing- Redemption for the future

Mobile marketing is a very hot topic right now in industries across the board. Businesses have so many options to choose from including; apps, coupons, text messages, QR codes, or check-ins. It’s become a tool too powerful for businesses to ignore any longer. In the quick-service (QSR) industry it has become clear that more businesses are using mobile couponing to drive traffic and sales.

Cellit, a provider of mobile CRM systems and mobile couponing, published a study that said the most effective ways for QSR brands to engage customers was in a mobile rewards program, including subscriber acquisition, content, optimal timing, and trends. Some of the findings of the study include:

Subscriber Acquisition:
Leverage social media and email databases to convert customers to mobile
In-restaurant signage, and box-toppers for delivery/take-out
Integrate mobile call-to-action into existing advertising campaigns

The most compelling content for consumers to receive via mobile is a coupon:
Value deals (such as buy-one-get-one-free offers)
Offer free item for new subscribers
Provide discount off menu items
QSR industry coupon redemption rates average 23%
Include sweepstakes, contests, promotions, and announcements

Optimal Timing:
The best days to send text messages are weekdays
No more than 1 message per week
No less than 1 message per month

Future Trends Expected to Accelerate:
Coupon redemption
Near Field Communications (NFC): ex—Mobile wallet
Location Based Services (LBS)

In the end, marketing is all about consumer demand. If your customer is ahead of you in technology, how are you going to reach them? Mobile marketing opens up new opportunities for businesses to build their brand, engage the target audience, and enhance the overall customer experience. If your target audience is using mobile, you should definitely take advantage of it.

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2012 breakout channel is the mobile web

Industry experts agree that the mobile web will be a leading breakout mobile channel in 2012 and will prove to be crucial for all brands. With more hands on more internet capable devices, a mobile web presence is becoming indispensable for business, entertainment, information and far more. Brands that are not participating yet need to have a plan, if they want to stay in the game.

According to statistics, more than 90% of mobile phones today have access to the mobile Web through a browser. HTML5 gives brands the capabilities that can be built into a mobile site. Jeff Hasen, chief marketing of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. Says; “My bet for breakout star is the mobile Web,” he said. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday have produced a tripling of activity and shows that we’re out of the early adopter phase.” According to PayPal, mobile payment volume on a global scale increased 516% on Black Friday and 552% on Cyber Monday. This proves that not only are consumers accessing the mobile Web more, but they are far more inclined this year than last to make purchases on mobile Web sites.

But there has been an ongoing debate regarding HTML5 versus mobile applications. According to Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta, she believes that the opportunity for brands on the mobile Web surpasses that of mobile apps. “I believe that the mobile Web will be the breakout mobile channel in 2012. Businesses are realizing that apps are for their dedicated customers and need to be more personal than just having an app that does the same functions as the mobile Web. Two years ago, the thought for some was, if customers didn’t have a phone that allowed them to have apps then it wasn’t worth the time to reach these customers, and businesses delivered up a degrading text/links scenario that was less than ideal just to check a box. The mobile Web is a good acquisition tool, while apps are more for cultivating existing, loyal customers.”

Steve Timpson, president of Siteminis, Atlanta says: “Use internal data to justify the investment – if your PC site is getting 6 percent or more engagements form a mobile device currently, you better have a plan in place to satisfy those customers with a reasonable brand experience. If the engagement is 10 percent or greater right now, you better run to exploit that customer and quickly, because the consumer will make the choice and vote with their dollar and if you don’t take care of them in mobile cyber space, guess what – someone else will – retail 101!”

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