Qittle SMS Message Solutions

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Archive for September 2010

Sex Matters in Text Marketing

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In a recent Harris Poll regarding mobile marketing, people were asked about opt-in text messages from marketers. While only 8 percent of those surveyed said they fit the extremely or very interested category in receiving text marketing messages on their cell phones, nearly one-third said that they would be somewhat interested.

On the whole, women were more interested in men in receiving messages from most of the retailers or service groups mentioned. This finding shouldn’t be all that surprising as women also tend to be the main consumers and decision makers, a trend long recognized by marketers.

From the “somewhat interested” group, certainly more women were interested than men (at 80 percent vs 56 percent) in receiving SMS messages regarding promotions and coupons from grocery stores. This in all likelihood goes directly to the fact that women tend to do the majority of the grocery shopping or send their spouses for groceries, list in hand.

The gap between gender preferences closed when it came to restaurant specials. Sixty-one percent of the women (just 6% more than men) said they would be interested in receiving text messages about promos from restaurants. The gap is nearly even when it comes to getting fast food deals by mobile marketing texts, coming in at 51% female to 48% male.

A slight spread reoccurs when looking at entertainment products. Women again lead the interest in receiving messages on deals and sales (at 62 percent), while men come in at 54 percent. It would be interesting to see how a question about getting notifications on electronic products would fare and, along with the answers, getting the ages of the respondents too.

Women were also more interested in hearing about specials on coffee and beverages, with 40% saying they’d opt-in. Men showed a lower rate of interest with 33 percent confirming interest.

Another even opt-in rate between the sexes is with respect to travel specials and promotions. In fact, men led slightly over women (36 to 35 percent) when expressing interest in receiving text messages from marketers for travel deals.

The poll goes to remind marketers how crucial it is to target every message: if you know the gender of your opt-in customers, and you know that grocery store text messages get the best response from women, you can act accordingly.

Sex Matters in Text Marketing


Written by stephao

September 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

More on Mobile Marketing with Coupons

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Coupons offered by digital means are beginning to make a noticeable dent on traditional paper coupons, such as those in newspapers, direct mail and flyers.

In 2009, overall coupon use increased by 27%. This was the first time in seven years that the redemption rate of coupons rose, and companies responded by issuing even more. The reason behind the growth is an economy that remains sluggish and recessionary. Text marketing campaigns that make it easy for their cash-strapped opt-in lists to access money-saving digital coupons will likely experience not only a healthy response rate, but also a boost in customer loyalty and traffic.

There are clearinghouse sites that gather coupons in one place for convenience purposes, but it still means a buyer needs to search for a specific brand name coupon or a product-specific coupon. A text marketing message to opt-in customers, on the other hand, is already targeted to buyers who have confirmed their interest in a company and its products or services.

Digital coupons save consumers time (no more flipping through newspapers) and those that are sent directly by an SMS message are even more convenient for the customer. A Knowledge Networks study shows that nearly one third of all shoppers who use coupons have switched to digital only. Interestingly, digital coupons seem to attract new buyers: over half of the digital coupons redeemed were used by shoppers who were trying a product for the first time. When you’re looking at paper coupons, the first-time buyer drops by 20 percent.

More figures of interest to mobile marketing planners are by way of ABI Research which reports that digital coupons have a higher rate of redemption than traditional coupons, ranging from as low as 5 percent and going as high as 40 percent on great deals that are also highly targeted, but with the average hovering around half that. Comparatively speaking, digital coupons are redeemed at a rate 10 times better than that of paper coupons.

It’s not surprising then that digital coupons are experiencing bounding growth. Kantar Media reports that there was an 84 percent increase in the number of digital coupons available in the first half of 2010 over the same time a year ago, and these coupons are being issued by marketers across all sectors of goods and services. According to Borrell Associates, mobile coupon growth will be up to $2.4 billion by 2013.

More on Mobile Marketing with Coupons

Written by stephao

September 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

Planning Location-Based SMS Marketing

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Location-based advertising is coming into its own to the tune of $1.8 billion a year. That’s the amount that businesses will put into LBS (location-based services) including mobile marketing by 2015, according to the latest information from ABI Research, a market intelligence company specializing in emerging technology and global connectivity.

Location data helps companies plan text marketing campaigns effectively. All mobile phone users can be geographically identified to a fairly small area, by tracing the call to the closest mobile phone transmitter. It’s not only SMS marketing campaigns that can be tailored to local users: newer social websites including Foursquare take advantage of this technology as well.

When discussing questions about privacy and tracking concerns, ABI Research practice director Neil Strother acknowledges that “some might be put off by the ‘Big Brother’ aspects of this, but it’s really about the value-exchange: if you care about getting discounts or being rewarded for shopping, is the value-exchange high enough so that you’ll accept having your whereabouts known to these companies in return for the benefits?”

In order for a retailer to plan a mobile marketing campaign using location as a trigger, consumer location and mobile habits must first be recorded and analyzed. One example of LBS advertising can be seen with North Face, the outdoor gear and apparel company. Opt-in consumers get text messages whenever they’re within a certain distance from one of the physical retail stores. These sale or new product ads serve as reminders to buy at a later date and as impulse or convenience purchase prompts.

Location-based ad campaigns aren’t only for those retailers who have a relatively high density of outlets in one city. Specialty shops, for example, whose customers either drive long distances or frequent only once in a while would likely benefit from a reminder text message whenever they happen to be in the neighborhood.

Planning Location Based SMS Marketing

Written by stephao

September 7, 2010 at 9:24 am

Mobile Marketing Techniques Successful as Fundraisers

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Various relief organizations across America have used SMS marketing techniques of late to solicit funds for disaster aid in the wake of man-made and natural disasters including the BP oil spill and Haiti’s devastating earthquake. The Mobile Giving Foundation (MGF), founded in 2007, is an organization formed to “give the 250 million American wireless users a single ‘Mobile Giving Channel’ over which they could receive and respond to appeals from worthy causes.”

Once MGF has vetted a nonprofit organization, it develops a fundraising campaign using the same principles as in text marketing – a short SMS message to opt-in users with instructions on how to donate to the cause. Any expenses incurred are billed to the non-profits on a post-donation basis; in other words, the full amount of the user’s donation is delivered to the nonprofit organization when made.

With or without the MGF, some very big name charities have embraced text-to-give mobile marketing campaigns, including the United Way, American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross. In fact, the American Red Cross raised over $30 million within one month of launching its Haiti drive. Of interest to marketers, it should be noted that some 95% of the 3 million unique SMS donors were first-time donors to the American Red Cross, as reported by MobileMarketingWatch.com.

Monthly donations to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have also increased by approximately fifty percent year-on-year. The mobile marketing campaign used to fundraise to help Gulf wildlife impacted by the oil spill was again quite simple: users were instructed to text in a keyword and then a numeric code to make a donation.

Even politicians are texting for donations. John Edwards successfully used SMS marketing techniques back in 2007 when fundraising and with U.S. elections a billion dollar business, text marketing campaigns during elections should become far more commonplace. After all, current online donations tend to be three times the amount of those solicited by direct mail and at a much larger ROI – so it tends to make sense that fundraisers of every ilk will solicit their supporters by text messages.

Mobile Marketing Techniques Successful as Fundraisers

Written by stephao

September 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Mobile Marketing and Customer Loyalty

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In his Ad Week article, Hipcricket CMO Jess Hasen said that over 237 million mobile subscribers have not been asked — by way of a brand’s mobile marketing campaign or any other method of communication — to join a customer loyalty program. If they had been approached, some 106 million people said they would have joined if the invitation was from a brand they knew and trusted.

Mr. Hasen goes on to theorize that on the whole marketers are as yet unwilling to deviate from the tried-and-true practices of the advertising industry. He then gives some examples of companies who have experienced success in novel approaches to mobile marketing campaigns including HBO, Target and Dairy Queen. These large brand names are not only adding text marketing techniques to their advertising programs, they’re excelling at it.

Ad strategy can be straight-forward SMS marketing: customers opt-in to receive monthly coupons and specials; or it can be a staggered approach. In the latter, the marketer offers the chance to win a prize through a draw. Those who text in to enter the draw receive an invitation to join a customer-loyalty program or some other type of club. When HBO ran their two-tier text marketing campaign, almost 70 percent of those who received the invitation did opt in to join.

Every marketer will agree that repeat and loyal customers need to be cultivated and should be rewarded for their ongoing business. If brands don’t recognize the importance of mobile marketing and learn how to use it effectively, they stand to lose out on two counts. The first is that they are missing an entire stream of potential customers who have either never heard of the brand or heard of it but not shopped there. The second is that they are not utilizing a simple and effective method of direct client communication which can help nurture the allegiance of current customers.

Mobile Marketing and Customer Loyalty

Written by stephao

September 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Pandora you Rock!

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I am a huge fan of Pandora.com and the today I had an issue with my account. I had recently upgraded to commercial free music and for some reason my account was playing ads.

I sent an email to Pandora’s support and with in 5 minutes I got a response from Jed! He saw that I had registered 2 accounts and that I was signed in under the free account. He took it upon himself to correct the situation and delete my free account.

Now I have unlimited music again!!! Great Customer service and a great business! I love the story of Pandora a company that should have shut it’s doors after yr 2 when it was unprofitable but Tim and the teams passion kept them in the game, thanks!!!

Written by Casey McConnell

September 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Text Marketing: More Than Advertising

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The most telling point of Douglas McIntyre’s Daily Finance article is where he writes: “Cell phone use may be reaching a saturation point in America.” That’s great news for text marketing advocates on both sides of the service fence – those companies that provide mobile marketing services, like Qittle.com, and any business or person with a good or service they wish to advertise.

Citing information from a 2010 report prepared by Pew Internet and American Life Project (available here in PDF), McIntyre cites other numbers about cell phone in America: one is that adult men slightly lead adult women in terms of cell phone use. Another is that the majority (over ninety percent) of young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 sleep with their cell phones within reach.

Although no SMS marketing campaign would send out ads in the middle of the night, the early morning advertisers (like breakfast restaurants) would do well to note the AM habits of their opt-in customers. Schools who are thinking of implementing text marketing type communication about closures and safety bulletins could easily send wake-up calls to students having trouble getting to morning classes.

Conventions, whatever the business, could also use the mobile marketing messages in this way. They might already have a majority of the opt-in customers (attendees at the conference), but could easily offer the choice to opt-in at convention registration and hotel check-in. More than early-morning wake-ups or breakfast meeting reminders, the messages might also contain information about daily and upcoming events of interest.

Marketers need to embrace the idea that Americans view their cell phones as of safety devices first, enabling both easy contact with family members on the road and the ability to summon immediate help when needed. Instead of seeing mobile phones simply as implements with which to relay advertisements, marketers will be able to use the knowledge that cell phones can (and should) relay information and assistance too and tailor text marketing plans accordingly.

Written by stephao

September 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm