Qittle SMS Message Solutions

Qittle helps businesses create, customize and manage a mobile marketing initiative.

Archive for August 2010

Mobile Marketing Benefits as Landlines Disappear

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If you go by data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), landline telephones in America are disappearing. In the past seven years, the number of people across the country who have discarded their landline telephones in favor of mobile phones has grown from less than five percent to nearly 25 percent — and that trend not only continues to increase, but is doing so at an ever-increasing rate.

In other words, today 75 million family phones nationwide are cellular-only, and at the current rate of change, it won’t be much longer before that figure doubles.

The trend obviously bodes well for text marketing companies, like Qittle.com, a mobile marketing company, with its head office in Aspen, Colorado. Qittle.com founder, Casey McConnell, says that for advertisers planning SMS marketing campaigns, there are other interesting sets of numbers that needs to be noted, specifically those that relate to the hot spots of the wireless-only movement.

Oklahoma, for instance, was the nation’s leader in 2007 of homes that used mobile phones exclusively over landline, at a rate of one in every four households. At the low end, with just 5 percent wireless-only, was Vermont.

That information is important when you’re planning a nationwide text marketing campaign that targets households. When you know that Oklahoma (or other states including Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas and Idaho) have some of the highest home cell phone to landline phone ratios in the country, it provides a natural lead as to where you should direct a higher proportion of your opt-in awareness budget.

The converse holds true too. States with the lowest 2007 percentages of households using mobile over landline phones (all hovering at around 5 percent) include Delaware, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Montana. Until those statistics change, any mobile marketing campaigns directed at households using wireless-only phones in those states would of necessity be limited.

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Written by stephao

August 31, 2010 at 11:36 am

Mobile Marketing and Niche Markets

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In any form of advertising, the more clearly you answer the customer’s “what’s in it for me” question, the better — and in mobile marketing, with an opt-out just a STOP key away, getting to the heart of the matter needs to be done with immediacy and speed. Niche markets, including those that sell basically one product, have a distinct advantage to those advertisers promoting a variety of services or inventory: their opt-in text marketing list is composed of people interested in that specific product.

That doesn’t mean niche markets need to be limited in their SMS marketing creativity. In fact, the opposite may be true. The laser-focus on one main product gives companies like bookstores a great springboard from which to work.

Let’s take a comic book shop as an example of a niche market. First of all, you’ve got a very dedicated group of consumers, the demographics of which will show you that they are young, smart phone-savvy and inter-connected (which can make for great word-of-mouth or viral marketing spin-offs).

Response will be positive with any mobile marketing campaign that includes reduced prices or coupons. Add to that notices such as author appearances (at your place of business) or conventions (and you’re offering the chance to win free admission with any purchase), and your response rate will likely increase.

Synergistic ads can also prove to increase ROI in SMS marketing. If your comic book shop can work out a deal with an illustrator, for example, you might offer a contest for free art lessons while the artist can give his sketch students coupons to your store. You can also take advantage of the fact that most comic book shop customers are young people, looking for something to do. By timing messages effectively (“Hey, what are doing this weekend?”) and offering an event (a local Comic Con), you can exploit your niche interest exponentially.

Written by stephao

August 30, 2010 at 11:56 am

Taco Bell Will you Marry me via text message?

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Taco Bell one of my favorite restaurant brands of all time! Now if only we could take them to another level, mobile via restaurant text message marketing. While driving home this past week I stopped into Taco Bell in Frisco and had lunch. I was handed a paper coupon for Taco Sunday.

What a perfect application for Text message marketing! If instead of handing us a paper coupon they asked us to text TACO to a short code, we’d then have this coupon on our phone for that Sunday offer. Taco Bells in Denver are working with the Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets and the Broncos and they are using mobile to remind us of their special when the teams score a certain amount of points.

So Taco Bell – Will you marry me via text message marketing and we can enjoy our Sunday Funday’s with Tacos?

Written by Casey McConnell

August 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Back-to-School Text Marketing Blitz in Full Swing

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Retailers are in high gear, using SMS marketing to advertise back-to-school deals. A Washington Post article cites retailers of every ilk including JC Penney, Sears, Kmart and American Eagle are targeting consumers with coupons, specials and contests with text messages among other types of ads. The back-to-school season is next in line to holiday shopping in terms of spending, with $20 billion annually being spent, so the avid interest is understandable.

Instead of focusing solely on moms buying supplies for the kids, retailers need to remember that senior high school students and college students make their own purchasing decision, and are avid users of technology. Focusing mobile marketing campaigns on both groups — moms and students alike — makes sense.

Although blanket specials (a discount on clothing or school supplies) are attractive, getting that all-important opt-in permission from cell phone users need more refined offers. Getting students on board with SMS marketing messages may mean offering new opt-ins with the chance to win an ipod while moms might be drawn more by prizes like family vacations.

The text messages that follow opt-in permission should always follow the demographics. Offering text book coupons and pizza specials to college students are likely to see better ROI than sending information about the best deals on new cars (although used car deals might not be a bad idea). SMS marketing to moms with school-age children in a tough economy would do well to stick with necessities, including health, and affordable entertainment like family movie nights.

As text marketing continues to grow, consumers will become increasingly demanding in terms of value offered per message. Hyper-focused events like the annual back-to-school blitz help make it easier for retailers and service providers to make each SMS message count.

Written by stephao

August 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Mobile Marketing via Text Messages the Gold Standard

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When Casey McConnell, founder and CEO of mobile marketing company Qittle.com, was asked about mobile marketing methods other than text messages, he said that he is not currently focusing on voice, video streams or other applications.

His stance comes from both the immediacy factor (the fewer steps the better type of marketing) and the universality of text messaging: all mobile phone users can receive and respond to SMS messages. McConnell elaborates by saying: “A business that has my contact info and permission is better off sending me a SMS message rather than assuming I have a smart phone and pushing me to a mobile website or an app.”

The numbers back McConnell up.

When MobiLens released information for the first quarter of 2010, it showed text messaging as the top form of mobile content. In fact, text messaging was ahead of web, apps and even games, and its use continues to climb.

Number crunching shows that in an average month nearly 64 percent of the 234 million Americans with mobile phones (from the ages of 13 years and up) used text messaging. That’s twice as many who used browsers or made use of applications available on their smart phones.

As McConnell said, users simply may not own smart phones. It’s also possible they may not be sophisticated enough yet to be able to make use of all the functions on their mobile phones. The high popularity of text messaging might also relate to cost. Typically, says McConnell, “we quote that most (85 percent) mobile users have unlimited text plans, which makes it free for them to receive text messages.”

In other words, if your mobile marketing campaign excludes SMS messages, you stand to lose a substantial pool of potential customers. On the other hand, if you ensure that all mobile advertising can be accessed by text messaging, you’ve covered this major base of text-only consumers and can then bring in voice, video, and other methods of interactive communication.

Written by stephao

August 28, 2010 at 8:48 am

Text Marketing Case Studies

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SMS advertising is certainly not limited to North America, says mobile marketing company owner Casey McConnell, whose headquarters for Qittle.com is located in Aspen, Colorado. Research about mobile phone use in the U.K., for instance, indicates that 60 percent of young adults (between the ages of 18 and 34) use text messaging regularly as a mode of communication with a store, brand or business.

For example, a British television channel that has programming of interest to teenagers uses text marketing to promote viewing. In one successful two-week campaign, the station put a promo code and number (which appeared hourly on the screen during weekday afternoons). Opt-in participants were entered into daily draws for prizes.

In Italy, Dunkin’ Donuts (one of the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, with some 8,800 outlets worldwide in 31 countries), wanted to accomplish two objectives when it ran its mobile marketing campaign. The first was to inform potential customers about the new stores just opened in Rome and the second was to hire local employees for those outlets.

Both goals were reached, with a twenty percent increase in sales throughout the SMS marketing campaign itself as well as increased brand awareness. The latter was crucial–Dunkin’ Donuts may be a household name in the United States, but its Italian equivalent certainly was not.

In addition, nearly all customers who responded to the text messages purchased other products during their shop visits and half of all respondents opted in to receive further SMS messages from the company.

The ad campaign mixed billboards, radio and print media, targeting students in general. Incentives offered included product coupons for free coffee and specially priced baked goods. All customers were also automatically entered into a draw for a free scooter. This choice of prize (scooters being an extremely popular mode of transport in Rome) worked well with the consumer base being targeted, and likely promoted viral word-of-mouth communication of the SMS marketing campaign.

Written by stephao

August 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

Eco-friendly Text Marketing

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There are several reasons to choose SMS marketing over (or in conjunction with) traditional print ads, says Casey McConnell. As founder and CEO of Qittle.com, a mobile marketing company, McConnell can confirm that text marketing is generally far less expensive (at between 5 and 10 cents per text depending on the volume of messages). than direct mail or other print campaigns.

The cost is further impacted by lack of response which is much higher when engaging in a blanket print advertising campaign. Opt-in text messages are currently enjoying a response rate that is as much as 20-25 percent higher than blankets ads like inserts, flyers and direct mail.

When it comes to being environmentally responsible, paperless marketing is a clearly ahead of any advertising in printed form. To put it bluntly, a business that uses text marketing can score eco-friendly points with consumers. However, real environmental good is being done.

By foregoing paper, green marketing goes straight to crucial world issues like deforestation and habitat destruction, as well as landfill concerns. Did you know that nearly all discarded paper products in the U.S. are single-use? Junk mail is certainly at the top of that list.

Because text messages can be changed, ads in different media can become sort of evergreen. For instance, if you’re a bookstore and you hand out free bookmarks at the cash, a generic ‘something for nothing every week’ ad (with SMS contact info) will entice customers to text. Not only can the auto-response message be changed for the weekly deal, but you can easily change requests for information and schedule reminders if opt-in customers miss a week.

If you formulate an interactive SMS marketing campaign (the bookmark encourages customers to vote for the book they think should make the best-seller list, for instance), a useful and reusable piece of cardboard–made from recycled paper products, naturally–moves from being a static ad to one that is actionable, measurable and long-term.

Written by stephao

August 28, 2010 at 8:45 am