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Make it simple. Make
it memorable. Make it
inviting to look at. Make
it fun to read.
– Leo Burnett
eBook License
The subscribing organisation is not permitted to disclose the eBook (in hard or soft copy
format) or its contents to any additional third parties, and must ensure that any person within
the subscribing organisation’s company who has access to the content of this report abides
by the requirements of this confidentiality undertaking.
Should the subscribing organisation wish to disclose the eBook or the contents thereof
to any person outside the immediate corporate entity of the subscribing organisation, the
subscribing organisation shall seek approval in advance from MessageMedia and advise
MessageMedia of the full particulars of the person or persons to whom disclosure is intended
to be made.
The material contained in this report is copyright protected, and is owned by
All surveys, forecasts, projections and recommendations made in this eBook are made
in good faith on the basis of information available to MessageMedia at the time; and
MessageMedia disclaims any liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions,
whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident or other causes.
Neither MessageMedia nor its agents will be liable for any loss or other consequences
(whether or not due to the negligence of MessageMedia or their agents) arising out of use of
information in this eBook.
SMS solutions
for business
Simple and cost effective
Easy to integrate
Send to mobile and landlines
100% uptime guarantee
1.0 Introduction to SMS Direct Marketing.............................................................................6
2.0 SMS as a Marketing Channel.........................................................................................9
3.0 The Pros of SMS Marketing.........................................................................................12
4.0 SMS Marketing – Five Warning Bells............................................................................15
5.0 SMS Text Messaging: Convenient for Customers, Easy for Companies........................18
6.0 SMS Direct Marketing and Location-Based Mobile Marketing......................................21
7.0 How to Write an Effective Business Text Message........................................................24
8.0 Choosing an SMS Partner............................................................................................27
9.0 Conclusion and Contact Information............................................................................30
to SMS direct
Introduction to
SMS direct marketing
Take a good look around you; wherever the eye can see, there’s a high probability there
will be an advertisement of some sort. We are being bombarded by marketing messages as
marketers desperately try to break through the clutter and communicate with customers and
prospects in any way possible.
As reported by to leading Australian media agency Mitchell & Partners, Australians will see
around 1,500 commercial advertisements from mainstream media every week. And when you
consider the USA, consumer research company Yankelovich, in the United States suggests
this figure grows more than ten-fold to between 3,500 and 5,000 marketing messages per
day. This may seem an awful lot but when you think about it, messages and logo’s are not
only where you would expect them to be, they are everywhere else as well; on the side of
trucks and vans on the road, on our favourite TV shows as a form of paid product placement,
at any counter or check-out and in sponsored SMS text messages on our mobile phones.
SMS text
messaging is the
most widely used
data application
on the planet.
SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application in the world; and the
mobile channel is getting established as an integral part of the marketing media mix. This
form of marketing is known as SMS direct marketing, and SMS Gateways make running a
text message campaign a breeze and as a simple as sending a single text (or bulk SMS) from
your computer.
A key characteristic of direct marketing is that it generally requests a response from the
customer; that is, it drives a call to action. This is a sound reason why SMS direct marketing
is gaining popularity with marketers the world over and why you should consider SMS direct
marketing in your marketing mix and assess the various text messaging software options for
your business.
“MessageMedia’s system is fantastic, and
very easy to use! Our first 514 texts to our
customer database cost around $40 and
turned into 11 sales - compare that with
$3300 spent previously on a mailer to
10,000 homes resulting in just five sales.”
– Simon, Owner, Nutrishop, Laguna, California
SMS as a
SMS as a
marketing channel
Marketers know that the best way to interact and communicate with customers and
prospects is through using a variety of channels and media. All of an organisation’s
channels and customer touch points must be integrated to convey a consistent and
personalised experience that is meaningful and relevant to the customer and in the case of
direct marketing it must be above all, timely.
SMS is still a relatively uncluttered and spam-free marketing channel. It’s also the one form of
communication that many people are tethered to 24/7. As reported by the NY Times, this fact
does help to explain why, at a time when in-boxes are filled with hundreds of never-opened
e-mail messages from direct marketers, 97 percent of all SMS marketing messages are
opened on delivery (and 83 percent are opened within one hour).
97% of SMS
are opened upon
delivery and 83%
are typically opened
within four minutes.
The computer that people once used has become the smart phone in their pocket or
the tablet in their hands. Mobile phones are getting stronger, faster and better– they have
become palm-sized laptops All of this means we are relying more and more on our smart
phone handsets and they are unlikely to be far out of earshot. Marketers have their captive
audience. And SMS text messaging provides a “killer” application.
Integrating an SMS API into your business systems will help to streamline this communication
process with customers and prospects. SMS direct marketing campaigns can be timed to
the minute, when you work with a reliable provider that has solid carrier relationships and
offers a 100% uptime guarantee. SMS text messages can be more personalized when you
have the software that allows you to match replies to specific messages sent.
“SMS is a time saver, you get such
prompt responses! In addition,
unlike a phone conversation,
you have all correspondence
documented and tracked!”
– Jamie, Corporate Staffing Services, Spotless
The Pros
of SMS
The Pros
of SMS Marketing
The very portable and inherently personal nature of a mobile phone is a key to
SMS direct marketing success. An SMS text message is always readily available as most
people carry their mobile phones with them wherever they go. Customers are very familiar
with SMS technology and the ease with which they can respond to an SMS creates an
instant and interactive communication gateway.
Marketing your product or service using SMS text messaging is an excellent way to reach
more customers because:
• the people who opt-in to receive SMS text messages from an organisation may not be
many in number, but you can be sure they will be quite keen to know more about the
product or service you are offering
• companies can offer “spot” deals to customers, as messages are sent in real-time and are
instantly delivered via an SMS Gateway
• SMS text messaging is highly interactive and can be used to prompt customers to vote,
complete questionnaires or participate in research surveys – with good results
• SMS marketing is a good alternative for gathering user data, this knowledge can be applied
to advertising campaigns to support making changes or adjustments where necessary
• Customer participation can be easily and quickly rewarded, and, if the campaign is tightly
integrated across multiple channels and uses various other mobile social
media, customers will be able to promote and share the message via
word of mouth.
SMS is more
immediate and
effective than email.
of American
adults own
cell phones.
of those
send and
receive text
Some 83% of American adults own cell phones and three-quarters of them (73%)
send and receive text messages. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life
Project asked those texters in a survey how they prefer to be contacted on their cell phone
and 31% said they preferred texts to talking on the phone!
“While email is useful, text messages
are carried with the recipient and are
less diluted by spam. MessageMedia
is economical, easy to use and our
interaction with them has been faultless.”
– Hamish, Director, Riverina Conservatorium of Music
SMS Marketing
– five warning
SMS Marketing
– five warning bells
While text messaging is the king of mobile messaging, and the most widely used data
application in the world, SMS marketing is only now beginning to gain popularity.
Due to regulatory controls, SMS text messaging is relatively uncluttered, which makes it a great
channel to consider in your mix, however here’s our guide to the top five things to consider:
Limited creativity - the maximum limit for a text message is 160 characters, this is
not very much advertising space and it is just a text- there are no options to add
sound, animation or graphics
Cut through and differentiation is key – a lot of preparation is required to produce
a really good SMS text message campaign, because the messages are so short.
And you can’t just keep sending out the same message time and time again, each
message must be worded and presented differently to take into consideration the
target customer, the time, the place and the relevance of the message. See our
chapter on how to write an effective business text message.
The challenge of opt-in – surely this is the ‘holy grail’ for marketers, the customer
who chooses to opt-in and receive text messages from you. There are not many
customers who would willingly do so, and even if they do are they going to read
every message you send them?
Age and audience – regular text users fall into quite a specific demographic, so the
audience is limited. And of this limited audience only a small percentage may optin to receive messages, even less would actually read the message. This does limit
the potential size of your audience
Above all, make sure you work with an SMS provider that is committed to
developing a long term and sustainable relationship with you. Look out for the
chapter on choosing your best SMS partner for more information.
“Yesterday we set up an account and
sent a whole bunch of messages to our
customers, today several people who
got the SMS came in, which resulted in
$3000 in sales. MessageMedia made
it easy, the system is simple and it
obviously works!”
– Wendy, Proprietor, Parata Clothing
SMS text
for customers,
easy for
SMS text messaging:
convenient for customers,
easy for companies
SMS text messaging is a powerful yet simple-to-use solution that is an efficient
and cost effective method for businesses to help reach their customers. As a direct
marketing channel it is relatively uncluttered and virtually spam-free.
Text messaging campaigns offer numerous benefits and enable marketers to easily compose,
send, and track mobile marketing campaigns.
• SMS campaigns are easy to track – in real time you will be able to determine the success
of your marketing or promotional campaign.
• SMS text message campaigns are green! Have a positive environmental impact and
reduce the amount of paper used for traditional direct marketing campaigns.
By integrating an SMS API into your business systems, you will be able to send bulk SMS
from your PC or computer to your contacts. You can choose one or two-way messaging,
and depending on your provider, you will be able to match replies to specific messages sent,
allowing for a far more personalized customer experience.
Sending text messages from a computer has an added productivity gain. It is definitely a lot
faster to type your messages from your computer keyboard than from the small keyboard of
your mobile phone.
“MessageMedia saves us time and
money. We have a national transport
fleet, we now send SMS to drivers
instead of calling. Our staff spend much
less time on the phone, which has
improved productivity and reduced costs.”
– Brian, Transpacific Industries
Other benefits available for companies that take up quality SMS text message software is the
reporting functionality, the ability to automatically handle opt-out requests, SPAM blocking
technology and security controls for you and your customers peace of mind.
When you are considering SMS direct marketing as a channel for your customer
communication, there are a few questions you should ask:
• What is the best way to execute this campaign - mobile communication, email or
direct mail? Choose the most appropriate.
• Critically assess if the communication is time-sensitive. If it is, SMS may be the
best option, if not, it’s worth reviewing alternatives.
• What do you expect your customer to do with you message? If this is campaign
that relies on two-way communications then SMS could be the best option. However if
they don’t need to reply or gain nothing from replying then you are probably wasting their
time and they won’t want to hear from you again.
• For those who have opted in to this mobile campaign – do you have enough
content to keep them interested, or will they quickly stop seeing the value
in your SMS messages?
When you take all of this into consideration, you will ensure that your SMS text message
campaign it set up to succeed and deliver leads, sales and/or productivity and efficiency
gains for your business.
SMS direct
and locationbased mobile
SMS direct marketing
and location-based mobile
Over the past few years, there has been rapid acceleration of advertising and direct
marketing channels moving to online. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), has indicated
that online advertising is expected to grow seven-times faster than print between 2010 and
2014 and almost four-times faster than TV advertising during the same period. Driving this
increase in online advertising spend is often mobile devices (especially in the USA), which
allow for impulse purchases or on a needs basis, and is enabled by comparative shopping
using a mobile phone.
According to market intelligence organisation, Telsyte, the ability to integrate mobile social
networking with deals, offer location-based deals, and allow merchants to push deals
immediately to customers within their vicinity will be the pillars of growth in the next two years.
SMS text messaging will be the perfect enabler for this, and organisations that have strong
and well segmented databases will have the upper hand as deal targeting will be critical,
which demands that you understand who your customer is and what they want.
Online advertising is
expected to grow seven
times faster than
print between
2010 & 2014
A 2011 report by market research company, Galaxy Research, suggested that two thirds of
consumers would like to receive location-based offers when shopping, with restaurants, fast
food, petrol and groceries the most popular items for the location-aware advertisements.
Another interesting example of this in action is Gap Mobile4U in the US. Gap Inc partnered
with Visa to offer discounts and promotions to registered customers. The company
spokesperson said partnering with a credit card company like Visa provides them insight
into their enrolled consumers that they never had in the past. “This allows us to improve the
targeting of our promotional programs, timing of communications and allowed us to tailor
offers to Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic customers.”
How to write
an effective
business text
What are the 160
characters that will
deliver the best result
for your campaign?
How to write an
effective business text
A key challenge when using SMS text messaging for marketing activity is to ensure
you make the best use of the 160 characters available to get the best possible result
and return for your business.
Here are a few tips for you to consider when developing your next SMS text message campaign:
1. Clarity of target – text messages are a way to establish a very personal level of
communication with your customer, so to ensure the best possible response, target
effectively. Be very clear who you want to contact and then speak to them in the language
they use and offer solutions/products they are likely to be interested in.
2. Considerate timing – most people have their phone with them most of the timing, so
timing should not be an issue unless it is wrong (2am) or intrusive. Research has shown
that if you are sending business messages, the optimal time is mid to late afternoon on
3. Dnt use txt spk, lol – this is a business marketing message, use real words and proper
grammar. U wldnt rite txt spk on ur website wud u?
4. Keep it simple – it applies to all marketing, including your SMS marketing activity, in fact
especially for your SMS marketing! – you only have 160 characters to get the message
across so keep it clean and simple with a clear call to action.
5. Provide details – provide complete and clear instructions as to what your message
receiver needs to do with the message – include phone numbers where relevant, and if
they have to keep the text, tell them.
6. Be familiar – use a send name your customers will recognise.
7. Use attention-grabbing language – like a headline of an advertisement, you want your
customer to act/read on and open your message. Start the message with enticing words
such as Offer or News or Free.
8. Test, modify, test, modify and test again.
an SMS
an SMS partner
There are few entry barriers for new text messaging providers, which has seen novice
suppliers enter the market at regular intervals. Unfortunately, many have let their partners
down with unreliable messaging, or worse – they go out of business.
Your SMS partner should allow you to add value for your clients, while differentiating your
service offering in your marketplace.
Look for a partner that can offer flexible partnership options to match your business
requirements and the needs of your customer.
Application Programming Interface (API)
A well designed SMS gateway API will allow you to quickly send multiple SMS messages
through your website or application. Ensure the SMS API is built in a straightforward manner
to ensure hassle-free integration with provider SMS gateways.
Look for a provider that offers a range of SMS gateways options to provide your business the
opportunity to add SMS capability to any application or website. With leading SMS gateway
software, you can send SMS, voice and text-to-speech messages from any application to
multiple receivers.
"We discovered our previous provider
wasn't always delivering our messages,
which made us look unprofessional, so
we switched to MessageMedia. Setting
up was easy and staff were available
when I needed them."
– Chris, IT/Development Manager, Digital Ads International
Ensure your
SMS API gateway
has 100% uptime
What to look for in an SMS API gateway:
• Worldwide reach.
• Send scheduled multiple SMS messages at a specified time.
• Easy integration with easy-to-use SMS gateway API interfaces.
• Facilitates two-way communication.
• Easily accessible.
• Allows users to add sub-users, do reporting and make online payments.
• Technical support.
• Voice and text-to-speech messaging functionality.
• 100% uptime guarantee.
• Real time delivery of inbound texts, delivery tracking to cell phones and replies flagged to
correspond to outbound message.
• Allows HTTPS/SSL secure mode.
• And finally, make sure your partner runs multiple SMS gateways concurrently, to provide
hassle-free service and uses U.S. carriers instead of unreliable offshore carriers.
and Contact
Conclusion and
Contact Information
After having read this ebook, you should feel confident that you are ready to launch
a successful SMS marketing campaign. By following the recommended guidelines, you
can turn SMS in to a great lead generation channel for your business.
Make sure you establish your goals and action plan before you start any new campaign and
regularly measure campaign performance. If you are not seeing the results you were looking
for, make changes and try new ideas.
Take what you learned here and adjust it to best fit the needs of your business model, and
the wants of your audience. They are, after all, your potential customers.
Good luck!
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