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SMS campaigns came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and approaches – including the coveted contest method. As a way of engaging your audience, offering up substantial prizes or rewards in return for outreach and a burgeoning contact list seems like a slam dunk. Unfortunately, if you rush into this process too fast and without a firm understanding of what works with your audience, you’ll be in dire straits in no time. To keep your brand from facing this marketing nightmare, let’s spend a few minutes talking about how you can put your organization in a winning position with its next SMS-driven contest.

Arm Yourself with the Right Help

Before reading any farther, Matt Silk of Target Marketing magazine offers up perhaps the most important piece of advice that you can take with you on this journey; find the right team of SMS experts to help guide your campaign. While there’s definitely something to be said for forging a path on your own, nothing replaces the benefits generated by having years of experience and tested methods backing your approach.

Even if this team operates purely from a consulting perspective, at the very least you’ll have access to real-time advice and information regarding the health and trajectory of your campaign. It doesn’t take much to see how beneficial this arrangement can be to avoiding missteps and lowering your learning curve moving forward.

Understand That an SMS Contest Can’t Stand on Its Own

Additionally, Silk also points out that it’s not a good idea to treat your SMS contest as a standalone offering. Sure, this form of outreach is strong enough to generate buzz within an audience all on its own, but you leave so much on the table in terms of impact and return by keeping other facets of your marketing approach at arm’s length.

To keep the positive response flowing into your contact list, don’t be afraid to cross promote on as many relevant platforms as possible. Social media, your branded web pages, and even local outlets – like newspapers and radio spots – are all fair game on this front. It might sound like a cliché, but leaving no stone unturned when it comes to getting the word out about your SMS contest is one of the best ways to extract the maximum amount of value from this process.

Go Big with Your Prize Support

When it comes enticing consumers to opt-in, Matt Baglia of Business 2 Community suggests that your organization had better be willing to bring out the big guns. While a small coupon or other limited discounts works well in a traditional setting, the whole point of offering up a contest is to create a sense of excitement and suspense. This means that the prize at the end of the campaign needs to be high in value.

Everything from free products and tickets to a local sporting event make the cut as acceptable grand prizes. If you’re still unsure about what passes this threshold, there’s nothing wrong with embodying the mentality of bigger is better.

Find a Way for Everyone to Win

Speaking of those smaller selections, Baglia goes on to note that some of the best campaigns around find a way for everyone who participates to win. While it might seem a little awkward at first, giving out discounts and coupons for simply opting-in blends the excitement of a contest with the appeal of a standard SMS campaign. At the very least, this take on the process ensures that everyone walks away happy and with a positive perspective regarding your brand. Regardless of whatever industry you call home, it’s hard to see this potential campaign outcome as anything but good for your organization.

Learn and Evolve

Finally, as you wrap up this SMS contest, take some time to evaluate all of the ups and downs of your process. By implementing an open and honest evaluation, your brand can pinpoint any areas of concern, as well as the highlights of the campaign. As a way of keeping the interaction and engagement flowing, you can also utilize participant feedback and social media responses.

With this information in hand, you and your SMS marketing experts can work toward a future contest that’s bigger, better, and draws even more opt-ins and consumer interest. The only thing left to talk about now is if – and when – you’re ready to leverage all this approach has to offer to your brand and the people that make up its target audience.

 

whatsapp

Any time a brand is able to blend the appeal of social media with the power of SMS marketing, it’s hard not to want to jump on board and go all in with this approach. However, when it comes to the fervor surrounding WhatsApp, is this rising competitor to traditional SMS operations really a contender, or just another flash in the pan? To answer this question, let’s dig into the particulars of the WhatsApp platform, as well as where this outreach tool fits into your marketing operations moving forward.

The Skinny on WhatsApp

Of course, if you’ve never heard of WhatsApp before, chances are you’re sitting at your desk feeling a little perplexed right about now. According to Inc. magazine’s Lydia Belanger, this SMS alternative has picked up quite a bit of steam in portions of the world where cellular-based text transmissions are either unavailable or exceedingly expensive. For only about one dollar a year, users of WhatsApp can connect with friends, family, and select brands on a regular basis via in-app communications.

Outside of the notion that consumers in India and other emerging marketing can’t get enough of WhatsApp, there’s also the fact that the bigwigs at Facebook dropped a whopping $19 billion in cash, shares, and treasury stock to acquire this platform and explore future overlap between this app and the biggest social network on the web. Even if WhatsApp doesn’t come close to supplanting SMS marketing, those who reach out to consumers via social media outreach definitely have to stop and take note when Facebook starts making waves with moves like this one.

Understanding the Power of This Platform

In terms of raw numbers, Practical Ecommerce’s Samantha Collier notes that this platform – which launched in 2009 – currently lays claim to over 700 million users. Perhaps even more impressive than the sheer amount of people who have WhatsApp on their phones is the fact that over 70 percent log on and check their messages daily. It might not match up to the near 100 percent open rate experienced by SMS marketing, but for such a youthful new member to the digital marketing community, this kind of consistent interaction is a strong sign for the future of potential held within WhatsApp.

Can WhatsApp Really Displace SMS Operations

Now that you’re an expert on both SMS marketing and this rising contender for the throne, it’s time to talk about whether or not WhatsApp has what it takes to stake a claim as a suitable replacement for this form of outreach. While there’s no denying that the excitement and potential around WhatsApp is tangible, the reality of the situation is that texting with your customers still stands as one of the most effective and reliable ways to connect with potential shoppers and other interested individuals.

As Venture Beat’s John Haro explains, brands and marketers alike should tread carefully when it comes to abandoning SMS marketing for the untested waters of WhatsApp or any other new player in the digital world. Yes, leveraging WhatsApp might work well in situations when you’re trying to reach consumers around the globe, but for campaigns primarily operating out of North America, expecting a positive reaction by transitioning to a new platform is a fairly lofty goal.

Adding in that Facebook still hasn’t publicly released information on what exactly it plans to do with this latest acquisition makes the situation even more confusing going forward. If this social media giant institutes a new payment plan or other limitations for consumers or brands that utilize this platform, it could completely alter the dynamic of WhatsApp as it currently stands.

The Right Approach for Your Brand

The truth of the matter is that WhatsApp can be a powerful addition to your social media marketing operations – it just isn’t an applicable substitute for the power that’s held within an appropriately managed SMS campaign. Instead of trying to replace SMS marketing, a better course of action seeks to find a spot for WhatsApp in a complimentary role. Just like managing Twitter, Facebook, and other network accounts, leveraging this platform in a supporting role can help drive even more people to the main attraction – your optimized SMS campaign.

Should the time come for WhatsApp to take center stage, then this approach will have you ready and capable of making the transition while others fight with a steep learning curve. Until then, keeping the focus on SMS marketing is the best way to maximize the impact of your assets and reach the consumers that matter most to your brand.

 

5_pillars

As a smaller organization, chances are you’re familiar with exploring all of the options set before you, especially when it comes to stretching a budget as far as it can go. After all, being creative with your resources is the best weapon in your arsenal when it comes to playing with the “big boys” in your industry. To ensure you’re not leaving anything on the table in terms of SMS marketing, let’s look into the five pillars of success for small businesses on this front, as well as a few key tips and tricks your brand can implement to further optimize these practices.

Knowing Your Audience Comes First

The first key point that leads to SMS success, according to the experts over at ITWeb, comes in the form of identifying and researching the habits and desires of your audience. While some brands rely upon the mass message approach that aims to fire off texts to literally anyone who is willing to accept, smaller businesses are better off refining their approach and honing in on the consumers who are most likely to respond. By sketching out the particulars of your audience, then continuing to develop this viewpoint into a narrower focus, your brand can reach out to the segment – or segments – of this group who are ready and willing to build a text-based relationship with your organization.

Timing Matters More Than Ever

Of course, it’s also important for your brand to take a good, hard look at the situation and find out where timing fits into this equation. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when your brand earns the unfavorable reputation as the company that’s willing to text shoppers at all hours of the day and night. Depending on the lifestyle patterns and habits of your targeted segment, the answer to the question regarding when the best time is to fire off a message can vary drastically. However, once you’ve pinpointed the appropriate part of the day for a great SMS message, don’t be afraid to run with your research and start implementing your marketing strategy accordingly.

Engage Your Audience

In terms of the style of your content, South Africa’s Cape Business News suggests skipping the passive experience and actually interacting with your viewership instead of simply talking at these shoppers. As hard as it may be to openly address for some, far too many small businesses have everything fall apart when the time comes to actually generate engaging content. To avoid this unwanted scenario for your brand, try to mix in some surveys, feedback requests, promotional competitions, and anything else that can help turn your messages into an interactive experience.

Understand That Some Lines Aren’t Meant to Be Crossed

On a more technical note, the team behind the Cape Business News report goes on to explain that in the world of SMS marketing, there are definitely plenty of lines that aren’t meant to be crossed – unless you’re interested in ending up on the wrong side of the law. Naturally, the rules and regulations regarding spam violations and other illicit activity can vary from region to region, but ignorance isn’t an excuse for breaking the law.

Before you start racking up fines and penalties, spend some time consulting with SMS experts who understand what it takes to play by the rules in other parts of your country or the world at large. This way, you can move forward with confidence and clarity regarding opt-out clauses, sign-up requirements, and other technical details as your SMS operations lead your brand to new heights and greater audience reach.

Nothing Can Replace Value

Finally – and most importantly – is the fact that when it comes to truly succeeding via SMS marketing, nothing replaces the allure of value. As Small Business Trends’ Megan Totka points out, creating value helps keep customers satisfied and willing to spread the word to others about your campaign. From giveaways to coupons, providing these shoppers with a reason to go all the way on a purchase is the single biggest key to your SMS success.

If you’re able to pair this take on value up with the rest of what you’ve learned here, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from making the most out of even the tightest SMS marketing budget. Considering how important it is to level the playing field with the bigger brands in your area, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better path to success than the route laid out by these five pillars of the SMS process.

 

more_leads_sms

The majority of talking heads on the web can’t wait to tell you about how great SMS marketing is in terms of boosting leads and sales among your audience – and they’re right on the money with this claim. However, offering up this common knowledge isn’t quite the same as laying out some tactics and methods for getting to the point of running a successful mobile campaign. In an effort to reverse this trend and get your brand on track for mobile marketing success, here’s five straightforward tips to help your current or future SMS campaign generate more leads.

Pair Your SMS Operations with Other Tools

If you’re already firing off mobile messages to your target audience, Matt Silk of Target Marketing magazine suggests pairing up your campaign with other powerful tools. In a supporting role, email marketing, social media management, and even paid on-site advertisements can help raise awareness about your SMS offerings and ensure that contact list numbers always reach their potential. Considering how important it is to leave no stone unturned, it makes sense to utilize these tools and funnel as many people as possible to your brand’s on-the-go offerings.

Get Cozy with Metrics

Outside of getting the whole marketing team in on the act, Silk goes on to explain that you could be leaving quite a bit on the table in terms of leads if you’re not constantly testing and optimizing your campaign. Essentially, embodying this approach means critically evaluating each portion of your campaign via metrics that aim to tell the complete and unfiltered story of what’s happening on the other side of the mobile divide.

From taking note of the difference between open and response rates, to tracking shares on social media and your overall return on this investment (ROI), there’s a variety of metrics available to your brand that can help shed light on areas that are in need of improvement. The big key here is approaching this optimization process with an open, honest mindset and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to extract even more value out of your SMS operations.

Keep Your Website Optimized

If you’re including links to your site in any message content, it’s imperative that your domain employ the latest and best practices covering mobile site optimization. Considering how often Google likes to change up its search ranking algorithm – just look at the impact caused by the latest update, “Mobilegeddon” – it’s safe to say that this approach requires quite a bit of dedication to truly pull off with any measure of success.

As Zak Becker of Business 2 Community explains, the mobile optimization debate boils down to two things; value and usability. If the pages you link to your SMS marketing operations are easily navigated and contain relevant, quality content, then chances are you’ll be in good shape, regardless of whatever minor tweaks and changes come down from Google’s Webmaster team.

Deploy SMS Campaigns at Industry Events

In terms of finding new ways to deploy your SMS offerings, Lisa Cannon – also of Business 2 Community – suggests promoting your mobile marketing campaign at relevant industry events. From trade shows and expos to consumer meet and greets, providing rewards and incentives to those perusing the event is a great way to give your contact list a healthy boost. The best part? As these event-goers disperse and head back to their jobs and communities, they can serve as ambassadors and help spread the word regarding this campaign to others on behalf of your brand.

Start Local, Then Build Outward

As far as getting a fledgling campaign off the ground goes, Cannon also notes that starting local and building outward is a strong tactic. Whether you utilize billboards and other physical advertising space, or pick up spots on local TV broadcasts, building a grassroots following – especially if you’re in charge of a smaller brand – is an effective way to ensure that this kind of outreach campaign has a stable foundation upon which to grow.

Naturally, not all of these tips will apply to your brand, simply because there is no “one size fits all” approach to SMS marketing. But if you’re able to run out at least a few of these selections, you should be able to put your organization in a position to succeed with the people that matter most. Considering how important it is to reach today’s shoppers as they’re out and about, having this process on your side can definitely stand as the key to growing and enhancing your business outlook.

 

questions_answers

The world of SMS marketing offers a plethora of powerful ways to connect with your customers, but sifting through the murky nature of this process and finding true value and potential isn’t always easy to come by, regardless of your experience within the marketplace. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could squander this once bright opportunity. To ensure you’re always on the good side of your audience when they’re on the go, let’s talk about the five optimization questions that demand answers as you seek to refine and improve your mobile marketing operations.

How Clear Is Your Call-to-Action?

First up on the list is engaging in an honest evaluation of your call-to-action (CTA.) As John Boitnott of Inc. magazine explains, being straightforward and clear on this front is a must if you’re serious about building a strong connection with your customers. While it might feel a little awkward to develop CTAs that get straight to the point, just keep in mind that these viewers are often pressed for time, so wading through paragraphs of “salesy” fluff to get to the juicy offer or deal isn’t going to instill a ton of goodwill with these consumers.

Is Your Content “Urgent?”

Much like cutting to the chase with a clear and concise CTA, there’s also the fact that consumers are bogged down with a million and one other things on their mental “to-do” lists, so ensuring that your content comes off as urgent is a great way to climb up the priority ladder. Now, this isn’t to say that you should spam your mobile readers with looming threats regarding deadlines. However, it doesn’t hurt to gently remind them of the limited duration of the deal, as well as the benefits of acting in an expedient manner when it comes to your brand’s offers.

Does Your SMS Campaign Connect to Social Media and the Inbox?

If there’s one thing you need to take away from this discussion of SMS operations, it’s that integration is perhaps the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. As Boitnott goes on to point out, leading with a text and following up with inbox outreach or a request for social likes, shares, and follows can truly revolutionize your relationship with the members of your contact list. Not only does this keep you in the conversation long after the text has been opened, it also ensures that you maximize the value of your related email and social marketing endeavors.

Where Should Frequency Fit Into the Picture?

Another major question regarding SMS optimization, according to Jason Clegg of Social Media Today, focuses on how often you should be reaching out to customers via this platform. Unfortunately, the answer to this question resides firmly between “often enough” and “not too often.” While this isn’t exactly a scientific range, you can let audience data – like feedback and surveys – help guide the way as you tweak the knobs on this variable. If you’re starting off completely from square one, Clegg offers up the suggestion that a friendly once a week offering is a good place to start. From this point, you’ll be able to increase or decrease frequency based on the reaction from your growing list of mobile shoppers.

Are You Thinking Outside the Box?

Finally, the last question offered up – how you approach SMS content moving forward – is intentionally left open ended. As Clegg explains in his closing statements on this topic, thinking outside of the box is vital if you’re planning on staying ahead of the completion in terms of reach and optimization. After all, the whole idea of optimizing any sort of marketing practice, SMS included, isn’t about running through the process once and calling it good.

To help get your creative juices flowing, consider how you can add value to the text experience for your readers. Whether you’re text-blogging a live event, offering up order confirmations for digital purchases, or even using this medium as a way to remind contact list members of upcoming appointments, it’s easy to see that going beyond the simple “buy this product” text is definitely a doable affair.

The big key here is finding a niche that separates your brand from the competition and offers up something unique to these vital members of your burgeoning mobile community. If you can do this, as well as put the rest of what you’ve learned here regarding SMS optimization to good use, there’s no reason your brand can’t continue to grow and evolve as the world of text marketing does the same.

 

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In the past, we’ve spent plenty of time talking about how small and regional businesses can utilize SMS marketing to capture enhanced interaction and sales with relevant audiences. And for good reason; just see any of the numerous case studies on this blog if you’re a newer member of the community who wants to do a little catching up.

Despite this previous inclination to keep things focused on the smaller and medium portions of the industry, the push for global SMS operations continues to grow stronger and more prevalent, demanding an increased need for guidance on this front. With this in mind, let’s take a moment to highlight the problems facing brands looking to go global with SMS marketing, as well as what your organization can do to avoid these issues and capture the immense amount of reach and awareness awaiting those who understand what goes into taking the world by storm via stellar mobile campaigns.

Problems on a Global Scale

According to the staff over at Venture Beat, the substantial benefits and leverage generated by global SMS operations are gated behind an equally impressive series of issues and roadblocks – specifically technological limitations, varying regional rules and regulations, and a lack of proper guidance for brands navigating this path to SMS success.

As far as the technology side of things goes, the team behind this report explain that taking your SMS approach global can hinder your ability to tap into the “instant” nature of this communication process. Essentially, unreliability of select carriers, as well as off-beat filtering and incorrect delivery confirmation systems, can all wreak havoc on the tech side of your mobile marketing campaign.

The rules and regulation portion of this discussion is a little more cut and dry. While you’re probably familiar with CASL and the other regulatory articles covering the interaction between brands and consumers here in Canada, it’s hard to say the same for the over 190 countries that cover the rest of the globe. For example, if you’re sending messages to contact list members in India, you’d better know that anything between 9 P.M. and 9 A.M. is off limits, regardless of the time difference. Failing to understand these differences – from the substantial to the minute – is a fast way to face penalties or sanctions from governments abroad.

In terms of the need for professional guidance, think of it as a culmination of these stated problems and everything else facing down your brand within the global marketplace. Basically, while there’s nothing stopping you from going this route on your own, if you try and dip your toes into the world of global SMS operations alone, be prepared for the rigors that come with a steep learning curve.

Building a Smart Response

So how can you overcome these hindrances and successfully capture the attention of potential shoppers around the world? You really have two options for answering this question. Your first option is to be prepared to commit to the countless hours that it takes to become an SMS expert who can stay up to date with the latest news and trends from around the globe.

If this doesn’t sound too agreeable with your already busy schedule, then it’s time to connect with an established team of experts. As the writers over at Venture Beat explain in their wrap-up of the discussion, taking this route not only limits your exposure to unnecessary risk, it also ensures that you maximize your impact and reduce the strain this process places on your current business operations – something that’s definitely a welcome relief if you’re already facing down a mountain of tasks and responsibilities back at the office.

Preparing for the Future

Even if you’re not quite ready to jump into the waters of global SMS operations, it’s important to understand that the world continues to move toward an interconnected marketplace, so it’s only a matter of time before your physical and digital audiences converge in this growing shared space. In fact, researchers over at Transparency Market Research report that by the year 2020, the global SMS market will account for over $70 billion in revenue; a substantial jump from the $53.07 billion tallied up in 2013.

The moral of the story is that while your business might be focused on connecting with the local community via SMS now, it’s never too early to start planning for the eventual shift toward global mobile marketing campaigns. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when your more forward-thinking competition beats you to the punch and reaches out to these customers, regardless of where they call home.

 

saturation

It’s no big secret by now that seemingly everyone has a mobile phone. In fact, the reason why you’re reading this blog post probably stems from the fact that you want to reach out to potential customers via these very devices. The only problem? So does everyone else in your industry.

For some brands, the concerns surrounding this saturation of options for consumers is great enough to warrant hesitation about entering the SMS market. To ensure you don’t make the wrong call on this front, let’s break down the mobile marketing landscape as it stands now, as well as whether or not there’s really enough room left for your brand to make a splash via savvy text messages.

The Current State of the Industry

To say the amount of mobile phones in North America – and the world at large – continues to grow at a steady rate is like saying that Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is kind of fast. In fact, Mobile Marketing Watch’s Michael Essany reports that 90 percent of adults in this region own a mobile phone, with an additional 60 percent of these devices falling into the smartphone designation.

Abroad, this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. According to the team at the Mobile Marketing Blog, mobile phones currently outnumber the earth’s population, with more people owning a mobile phone than those who own toothbrushes. Dental hygiene concerns aside, there’s also the realization that 371,000 babies are born in a day, compared to 378,000 iPhones sold in the same timeframe. To put it bluntly, people love their phones and there’s no sign of this reality fading away any time soon.

Is the Amount of Competition Too Great?

With this demand helping put things into prospective, it’s easy to see why so many brands tip their hats into the SMS discussion. However, just because companies from around the world are targeting and reaching out to the same customers as your organization, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically behind the curve in terms of potential and the ability to capture unclaimed conversions among these segments.

As the report from the Mobile Marketing Blog goes on to explain, the amount of money spent on mobile operations accounts for less than one percent of the average marketing budget. Essentially, the mobile marketplace is crowded, but most companies continue to undervalue this portion of the brand outreach and awareness process. If you’re willing to take note of this gap and put forth the necessary effort, there’s nothing stopping your organization from giving these consumers exactly what they want and reaping the rewards of your hard work.

Standing out in a Crowded Room

So just what goes into a great text message that stands out in a cluttered mobile inbox? In his look at the “road map” to great SMS messages, Douglas Karr of The Marketing Technology Blog narrows the discussion down to six crucial attributes. At the top of this list is creating an offer that’s actually valuable. If you’re offering your contact list a pittance compared to the competition, it’s hard to expect a positive response. Another key point on this front is to make the offer exclusive. It’s hard to develop a following via SMS if your targeted consumers can capture this same opportunity on numerous other platforms.

Once you have your offer in place, don’t be afraid to start your message off with the offer front and center, in addition to placing a direct call-to-action (CTA) in a similar position of prominence. People do read virtually every text sent their way, but just like an marketed email, you don’t want to waste the time of your audience with frivolous content.

Speaking of timing, if you can build a sense of urgency into your text, Karr pinpoints this as a crucial victory for your brand. Should a consumer not feel the need to act immediately, this lethargy regarding the offer can quickly turn into permanent inaction – something that’s definitely not good for SMS outlook.

Finally, don’t be afraid to mention your brand name early and often. Familiarity is a big concern for today’s typical shopper, so ensuring that these members of your contact list always know the origin point of the message is a great way to assuage any issues on this front. When paired with the other info laid out by Karr, as well as your newfound understand of the crowded – yet manageable – nature of the modern SMS scene, there’s no reason why your brand can’t tap into the plethora of potential that’s still out there via powerful mobile marketing operations.

 

whitehouse

For our friends in the south, the coming year is bound to be one full of exciting twists and turns within the political landscape. As the Oval Office takes on a vacancy and a variety of prominent figures aim for this coveted spot behind the presidential desk, there’s no doubt that TV spots, web ads, and radio pitches espousing the virtues of these candidates will soon be out in full force. But what about the seemingly underutilized potential found within the phones of targeted voters? To find out if politicians are ready to start texting their constituents, and if this rising trend could set the precedent for a global shift into politically-oriented mobile marketing, let’s find out once and for all if SMS really has a spot awaiting it in the White House in 2016.

Setting a Precedent with Ted Cruz

As far as the 2016 presidential election goes, Ted Cruz is a trendsetter on a few different fronts. First off, he’s the first politician to openly put his or her name up for consideration for this position – something that often comes with quite a bit of fanfare and risk. While this move itself is worthy of a few headlines on its own, the reason why we’re talking about this Republican senator from Texas is because his campaign has gone all-in on SMS marketing.

In her look at the announcement ceremony surrounding his presidential bid, Molly Brown of Geek Wire points out that while Cruz’s political party isn’t exactly known for breaking the mold in terms of technology and tactics, the usage of this mobile connection definitely puts the senator in exclusive company. Specifically, Brown likens the request for new contact list members at this social function to current American President Barack Obama’s then revolutionary utilization of social media outreach during the 2008 election season.

A Simple and Straightforward Approach

At first glance, simply asking for the people in attendance to take out their cell phones and text the word “Constitution” or “imagine” to the short code 33733 doesn’t sound all that advanced or groundbreaking in terms of SMS marketing tactics – and it really isn’t. What is groundbreaking is that Cruz could be the first modern politician to reliably garner the mobile phone numbers of prospective voters; something that’s becoming increasingly more in demand among civic leaders around the globe.

Adding on that those who participated in this initial push received a mobile-friendly link back to Cruz’s campaign site, which came with a request for donations and feedback, further enhanced the potential for a positive interaction with this audience. To put it simply, Cruz might have just set the gold standard among politicians in virtually any region when it comes to reaching out to voters and garnering vital audience data.

Untapped Potential

Of course, it’s completely understandable to question whether or not mobile marketing really matters all that much for politicians. After all, just because Cruz was willing to break new ground, that doesn’t mean this method is a surefire success in general for those who spearhead or work within political campaigns.

According to Michael Barris of Mobile Marketer, if you want to really answer this question, just ask the audience targeted by these aspiring leaders of tomorrow. In a study conducted by this news agency, Barris found that one in five respondents viewed texting as the best way to learn more about political campaigns, but only 10 percent had every actually had a politician take them up on this open offer. Basically, the modern voter likes the idea of connecting with candidates on the go, but the number of politicians willing to embark upon this route is surprisingly low.

Mapping out the Future Bond Between Politics and Mobile Marketing

Regardless of whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or a member of the Liberal or Conservative parties here in Canada, the writing on the wall is clear – the next evolution of political outreach should take place on the mobile front. Naturally, the details aren’t set in stone, so a willingness to test and experiment is a must if you plan on maximizing the impact of these messages. However, for those who figure out the right frequency, content, incentive packages, and other details that comprise a stellar political text, the potential for growth and productivity via this channel is seemingly limitless. From local politicians to those seeking national offices, this kind of arrangement – and the reach among voters that comes with it – is hard to pass up in favor of less effective tactics and methods.

 

increasereach

It’s no big secret that most businesses could do more in terms of marketing and outreach. However, with only 24 hours in the day, acting on this realization falls firmly into the “wishful thinking” category for most businesses and organizations. But what if you could give your SMS marketing operations this much needed boost without compromising the rest of your precious time during the work day? With a few simple tips and tricks guiding the way, as well as a proper understanding of just what goes into a successful SMS campaign, you’ll be fixing up your text relationship with these contact list members and breaking new ground in no time.

Start off By Sending More Texts

Okay, chances are that the concept of sending more texts comes off the most unimpressive and lackluster suggestion we could have possibly kicked this list off with – until you realize that it’s actually the best thing you can do if you’re looking to increase the reach and return on your campaign. As Kern Lewis of Forbes magazine explains, 64 percent of consumers think organizations should use SMS marketing more often going forward, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Outside of the obvious gap between fulfillment and demand, there’s also the fact that 70 percent of these consumers feel that texting is one of, if not the best way to stay in touch with a brand. Additionally, the study cited by Lewis points out that a whopping 76 percent of those polled claimed to be more likely to read a message immediately if it came via the SMS channel. The moral of the story is clear; giving the people on your contact list what they want, and generating more conversions, starts with upping your frequency to meet the demand of your audience.

Don’t Be Afraid of Help

Lewis goes on to suggest that if you’re going about SMS marketing on your own, chances are you’re making this process harder and less efficient than it has to be. By working with a team of experts that have been around the block before, as well as setting up shop with a proper messaging and analytics platform, you’ll reduce your wasted efforts and missed opportunities by a large margin. Think of this helping hand as your own personal SMS “secret weapon.” Regardless of which industry you call home, it’s hard to pass up an offer that takes a little bit of the load off of you and your team.

Lean on Metrics to Increase ROI

Once you’ve found a platform for managing and developing your SMS campaigns, Heavy’s Sophie Davidson tabs properly using metrics as the next piece of the success puzzle. The basic thought process here is that measuring your return on investment (ROI), open rates, and other pivotal metrics is actually easier than most people think, especially if you’re working on a proper SMS platform. However, actually committing to implementing decisions based on the guidance of these stats is a little scary for those who aren’t quite ready for a stats-based approach.

As you shift gears and move into this direction, just remember that if you keep your head clear of any preconceived notions and approach these metrics from an objective standpoint, you’ll find that your audience does a great job of letting you know exactly what kind of content they want, as well as when they want it hitting their mobile devices.

Shift Your Marketing Budget

Davidson wraps up her look at getting more reach out your SMS operations by explaining that texting your customers, despite all of the signs pointing to this process as being hyper effective and in demand, is possibly still under saturated in terms of brand utilization. Essentially, this is a fancy way of saying that SMS marketing is a far less competitive field than email or social outreach, so why not shift your budget allocation in favor of this underutilized tool? By doing this, you’ll not only spend your marketing money more effectively, but get an even bigger bang for your buck, regardless of the size of your budget.

The best part about putting any of these quick and simple tips to good use is that as you see the results start pouring in, you’ll be able to put even more time and effort into the process as it becomes available. Considering just how powerful SMS marketing can be, chances are that it won’t take long for this method of connecting with your target audience to quickly move from the realm of afterthought to top priority in your upcoming agendas and company scheduling.

 

dosdontssms

Like any great innovation, the road to SMS marketing that you’re familiar with today is littered with the failures and successes of those who came before your brand. Of course, these lessons learned don’t just make for interesting conversation, there’s actually quite a bit you call pull from the past to ensure that you always maximize your mobile impact moving forward. With this in mind, let’s dig into a couple SMS bests practices and faux pas so that the next time you fire off a message to your loyal following, you’ll have everything you need to represent your brand in the best way possible.

Do Figure out Your Frequency

Starting off with the positive side of the discussion, Rimma Kats of Mobile Marketer explains that hammering out the questions regarding frequency should be at the top of your “to do” list. While there’s no standard number of daily or weekly messages that applies to every single branded audience, that doesn’t mean you should approach this part of the process with nothing more than a cursory review of the subject.

Essentially, you’ll want to avoid the extremes of the messaging spectrum. Too many messages and you’ll come off as overbearing; too few and you risk irrelevancy. Naturally, these aren’t the tightest parameters, but using this system as the basis and mixing in some split testing and survey techniques can help you continue to refine your frequency as you get to know your audience more over time.

Do Understand the Two-Way Street Paradigm

Kats goes on to explain that brands and marketers alike need to understand that mobile marketing is very much a two-way street. Too often SMS marketing comes off as robotic or impersonal because brands simply bombard consumers with deals and offers, leaving no room for interaction. However, the best campaigns in the world go beyond this basic methodology and not only accept customer feedback, but encourage it.

Think of it this way; by keeping your communications open – either via regular surveys, an active social media presence, or some other open channel – you cannot only produce a better SMS product, but enhance the return on your investment by getting tips and suggestions straight from the people opening your texts. It seems so obvious when laid out in this manner, but plenty of brands struggle with the idea that SMS marketing truly thrives when both sides of the transaction get a voice in the conversation.

Don’t Think Brevity Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

On the “don’t” side of things, Business 2 Community’s Liga Bizune has a few suggestions that could save you from an SMS disaster. First off, don’t assume that brevity is always a bad thing. Trying to explain everything, down to even the tiniest detail, not only overwhelms the reader, but terms the expedient and fun affair of opening a text message into a laborious chore. It doesn’t take a mobile marketing expert to know that this is a decidedly bad situation.

Instead, embrace brevity and leave your consumers hanging on the edge of their seats with enticing content. Not only does this process keep your readers on the go interested and waiting for your next correspondence, it can also spur them on to come check out your brand website or connect with your organization on social media – a win-win scenario regardless what you’re selling.

Don’t Assume Segmentation Is Only for Email Marketing

Outside of getting the wrong idea about brevity and refined message content, Bizune also notes that assuming everyone wants the same type of content in the first place is also incorrect. If you’re already operating an email marketing campaign, you know about the power of segmentation. Even if you’ve never sent an email in your life, the idea is fairly straightforward to understand.

Different portions of your audience like different things, so tailoring your content to each portion – or “segment” – can help you maximize the power of an already effective system. It takes a little time and effort to delve into the particulars of these varied individuals, but it’s well worth the work to reap the rewards that follow.

Naturally getting to know your audience in greater detail and creating text content meshes well with surveying and other interactive tactics, so deploying this mindset, as well as the rest of what you’ve learned, should keep you on the right track for success and increased awareness in the SMS inbox. Even if you’re on the first step of your journey, you’ve made this trek significantly easier by learning more about what does and doesn’t work from others who have already traveled down this road.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin