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July 10, 2014

Mobile Marketing: Image Isn’t Everything

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Using images – especially the off-the-shelf variety available from stock photo resources – is the default setting of most content creators. Write an article, publish it with a generic shot that vaguely relates to the piece and costs a couple of dollars to acquire, and never think about it again.

This is all well and good for blog posts and other desktop-based content, but what about mobile marketing? Is there a good home for the right image in a text message?

Yes and no. It’s true that the widespread adoption of smartphones has enabled consumers to receive rich content like images and audio. There’s a lot you can do with the right picture, especially if you’ve created something unique and eye-grabbing. Brand memory and recognition are principally visual phenomena, so a truly arresting image is far likelier to stay with a consumer than a slogan, mission statement or even company name.

But there are pitfalls. When brand marketers rely on images, they often forget that there’s little point in adding a picture if it doesn’t add value to the message. Remember, multi-media messages are charged at a higher rate than plan SMS, and they are frequently excluded from price plans. In some cases, marketers can pre-pay data fees – but make sure you’re aware of what your options are before tacking on pictures to your SMS messaging campaign.

You must also ensure you custom-create any image-led campaign for SMS and MMS. If you simply transfer a link from your mobile website – where customers can click on the link to see the image – it will not be clickable in a text message. Always review any images, videos or other rich multimedia content you send in text messages.

Finally, just because you can send an image with your message doesn’t mean you have to. The same is true for all mobile marketing tactics – they are options, not requirements. You have a rich palette from which to work, but if you throw all the paint at the canvas, it’s not going to be a pretty picture.

 

July 03, 2014

Six of the Best: Mobile Marketing Trends in 2014

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Since 2010, the best practice for mobile marketers has been to interact with clients primarily through social media. Things have changed. Here are six of the best trends in mobile marketing for 2014:

1.Location Targeting

Location targeting has been around for quite some time now, but only recently has it been elevated to new capabilities. Location targeting has become much safer, commonplace, and convenient in the last year. And it’s getting better. As consumers continue to depend upon mobile devices that can find local products and services – when and where they need it – custom ads have been developed for these exact moments. Their activities are then recorded by marketers, so that the relevant information can be examined and tracked to appeal to consumers’ buying habits and movement patterns.

2.Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is basically the buying and selling of the consumer’s potential ad space. When a consumer sees an ad in the course of app use, in most cases that space has been won by the highest bidder. This service is getting new traction in the mobile marketing world: advertisers are able to summon historical intent side-by-side with profile data and behavioral data in real time. Forecasters expect programmatic buying to become the most common way to advertise to mobile users in 2015.

3.Wearable Tech

With the inauguration of Google Glass and Samsung Gear, mobile designers are blurring the lines where fashion meets technology. This giant leap forward has begun to provide businesses with new frontiers to claim in the territory of wearable tech. As many tech consumers have begun to embrace this new technology, marketers in turn have embraced their technological capabilities. Ideally, the seamless interactions inherent in these devices will allow advertisers to provide unique experiences for consumers.

4.Mobile Messaging

The ever-popular messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp continue to garner a larger user base. Clearly, an increasing number of people prefer to use these apps to communicate rather than text messaging or calling each other. Apps of this nature allow for a multimedia user experience in real time, which appeals to a new generation of mobile users. Mobile marketers are preparing for the influx of new users upon these platforms, designing revolutionary messaging strategies for the future of text-based communication.

5.Mobile Currency

It’s not just about PayPal anymore. Since everyone has to have a smartphone today, we are beginning to see an increase in the usage of mobile wallets. The mobile phone has become the new way to pay instead of using cash or a credit card. The demand for advertising in this space is bound to increase based on user demand alone.

6.Video Demand

Mobile video viewing has become very common due to faster wireless networks, improved technology, and an increase in data plans. Ads for this medium are likely to follow suit in the next year. Evidenced by both Vine and Instagram’s incorporation of video, as well as the aforementioned commonality of mobile video, it’s pretty safe to assume that this space will be a veritable gold mine for mobile marketers.

Within the past six months, the business of mobile marketing has undergone a revolution. The increase in mobile usage, cutting-edge tech, and the expanding consumer knowledge of mobile utility has broadened the ways in which marketers reach mobile users. It’s time to prepare for the wave of the future in mobile marketing.

July 01, 2014

Five Key Benchmarks for Mobile Marketers

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June was one of the biggest months of the year for the mobile marketing industry. Silicon Beach Fest brought the brightest minds of the SoCal tech industry together, and the Cannes Lions Festival was another roaringly successful celebration of creativity in the field of mobile communications.

One of the biggest results from the latter event was a study conducted by The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on the best ways to build and execute effective mobile marketing campaigns. Their analysis looked at more than 450 award-winning and leading brands – including Mercedes, Nike, Ray Ban and Coca Cola - and uncovered five key insights for industry creatives.

The MMA’s CEO described the findings as “benchmarks [to give] marketers and their agencies… a concise framework on how to think more strategically about mobile”. 

Let’s summarize the five key benchmarks identified by the MMA:

Brand Activation Remote

According to the MMA, mobile should be viewed as a kind of remote control for brand engagement, consolidating each strand of a marketing campaign into a single portal, thereby keeping consumers constantly connected along the path to purchase. Once you view your mobile marketing strategy as a unifier in this way, you can more easily drive conversion and sustain loyalty.

No Time Like the Present

There is no marketing channel more capable of having an instant impact than mobile. Mobile marketing campaign managers are able to wield the timing of SMS messages with finesse, engaging with consumers in the present moment, and on their own terms. Think about the maxim ‘timing is everything’ and in how many ways it applies to mobile: users carry their smartphones everywhere, it’s always in close proximity, and it’s a device that’s unique to them (ie not shared with others).

Content Rules

Another maxim that has held true in marketing circles for years, “content is king” remains a fact of advertising. Create compelling content that people want to share, and the job of promoting your brand will be done for you. And mobile is perfectly suited to delivering a wide range of media, with modern smartphones capable of streaming rich content like video and audio, as well as the usual slew of articles, images and, yes, text messages. 

Bespoke Experiences

Customizing the user experience to individual preferences is the holy grail of targeted marketing. The closer you get to appealing to a person’s sense of unique identity, the more loyalty they will feel towards your brand. The message here is this: bring users into your circle, make them feel heard by getting them to engage, and they will return the favor by sticking with your product.

Smartphone-as-Toolkit

Many marketers make the mistake of focusing on the bells and whistles of a campaign, ignoring the fact that businesses need to offer something of real value lest they perish in the long term. Mobile is perfect for integrating familiar handheld tools into their software. Calculators, barometers, cameras – even the phone itself might be thought of as a secondary function next to the multitude of apps available to users in 2014. The point is, those utilitarian features are demanded by smartphone owners. Come up with your own mobile version of an existing real-world tool, and you are on to a surefire winner.

June 27, 2014

The Power of Negative Marketing

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The internet loves snark. The democratic nature of the beast, coupled with it’s anonymity, makes the web an ideal repository for miserablists everywhere to flex their sarcasm muscles or take part in some top-drawer trolling. Whether you see this as a sad reflection of a cynical world, or the mark of a healthily contemptuous society, online negativity generates as many clicks as cute pets.

It might seem counter-intuitive, even dangerous, to mess around with negativity as part of your desktop or mobile marketing campaign. But in an industry where standing out from the crowd is a key objective, turning the decidedly sunny optimism of most mobile marketing tactics on their head can be a real attention grabber.

The reality of any modern web enterprise is appealing to niche markets. By definition, your niche market must exclude a whole bunch of people who are simply not interested in your product. This is no bad thing. Exclusivity means scarcity, and scarcity increases demand. That’s business 101. The more exclusivity you can attach to your product, the hungrier people become for it. And once you’ve given customers a taste of the special treatment, their sense of brand loyalty soars.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to generate an air of exclusivity for your mobile marketing campaign:

  • Create mystery. Design a special offer, but don’t tell people what it is. Encourage them to sign up for the promotion via social media, and lay down a virtual treasure trail for them to follow. As long as you give them something of real value at the end of it, it’s a fantastically effective way of driving traffic and fostering attention-grabbing intrigue.
  • Test knowledge. People are flattered when their general knowledge is tested to the hilt. Create a brain-flummoxing trivia game with the promise of a prize at the end, and your audience will view your brand as the perfect match for their smarts.
  • Place time limits. This is a winning mobile marketing strategy, as it prevents users from putting the experience off until later – a ‘later’ that rarely materializes. If they have to do it now or not at all, they’re more likely to go for it.
  • Place number limits. Similarly, run a promotion that will only pay off for the first 20 respondents and you will get a much better hit rate.

Exclusionary mobile marketing tactics like this represent the safer end of the negative marketing spectrum. Your audience probably won’t even consider it ‘negative’ – which is precisely the trick you’re trying to pull off. You’ve now spun a negative into a positive.

In the next part of this series, we’ll go a little deeper into the possibilities of negative marketing. We’ll look at the proven CTRs generated by negative headlines, and how you can bond with your target market through shared enemies and a touch of self-deprecation. These strategies won’t be for everyone – such methods are not appropriate for every industry – but it’s worth considering the power of negative marketing as a way of jazzing up your mobile campaign. Stay tuned for part 2, coming next week…

 

June 23, 2014

5 Essential Mobile Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses

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SMS messaging and other mobile marketing tactics are an invaluable asset for any local business. Cheap, fast, regionally targetable and highly effective, a mobile marketing campaign can help you compete for custom in your area without the need for a huge budget.

As exciting as this brave new world is, many small businesses are hesitant to step into the future. By their very nature, local businesses are often small, serving a limited geographical area, and proprietors may have limited knowledge of marketing campaigns that go much beyond a website and local directory listings. They may not have thought about the possibilities of new technology simply because it hasn’t been necessary.

But instead of allowing your lack of knowledge to overwhelm you, do some research on how to take your marketing strategy to the next level. It could ensure your long-term survival.

The first step towards creating a vital, effective mobile marketing campaign is to optimize your website for mobile. Go back to your web developer to see if they can do this, or find someone who can. A mobile optimized site is easily navigable and viewable on a small screen, and improves the user experience compared with a desktop design, ultimately resulting in more traffic and conversions.

Once you have a mobile-friendly website, there are myriad options at your disposal for promoting your business to mobile users. The positive effects will be obvious, but more importantly, they are easily tracked and analyzed so you can see what works best for you. It’s been predicted by industry analysts that small business spending on local mobile marketing tactics will double every consecutive year for the next five years. Indeed, 41% of small business in the United States are already planning to increase their mobile marketing spend. If you want to join their ranks, consider some of the following essential mobile marketing tactics:

1) Email

Email is a great place to start. Everyone now uses email intuitively – all you need to do is adjust your messages so they are mobile-friendly:

  • Use a single column layout
  • Use 14 size font for body text and 20-24 for headings
  • Keep the headline character count to less than 40 characters
  • Make calls-to-action easily clickable (without zooming) for small screens
  • Ensure content is concise and readable without scrolling 

2) SMS

After successfully dominating social communications during the 90s and 00s, text messaging is flourishing as a commercial channel. Conservative estimates put the open-and-read rate of SMS at 90% - and that’s within a few minutes of the message being received. A few tips for effective SMS messaging campaigns:

  • Strike a professional but friendly tone
  • Keep content brief
  • Offer something of value, such as discounts and time-limited deals
  • Include a link to your website so recipients can easily access more detailed information 

3) Social Media

According to one recent study, some 40% of Facebook’s revenue now comes from mobile. If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention over the past few years, you’ll already have a Facebook page (if not – get one!). Now, look at it in ‘public mode’ on your smartphone. Is it easy to read and navigate? Is the most important information displayed prominently? There are multiple things you can do to improve the mobile user experience:

  • Encourage visitors to your store to take pictures of themselves and tag the photos with your location
  • Keep updates limited to a few words. The shorter the post, the more attention-grabbing it will be
  • Download the Pages Manager app to help your adjust your settings and view activity on your page
  • Make sure your listing on Facebook Local Pages is accurate

4) Directories

Listing your company with online business directories is a crucial part of boosting your web presence. You can post multiple listings within the space of a few hours and trust us: it will be a day well spent. Start with major directories like Yelp, Yahoo and Foursquare. If you’re in the food industry, get your business listed on GrubHub and other popular user-oriented sites. Encourage customers to leave reviews – the value of positive online comments cannot be overstated.

5) SEO

Hire a competent, plugged-in SEO consultant who is up-to-date with the latest trends in mobile marketing. Your mobile site should feature rich content like videos, and be kitted out with the proper redirect codes so that users are seeing what you want them to see. A proper SEO strategy is plays a significant role in boosting web and foot traffic, so ignore it at your peril.

June 20, 2014

iPhone Users Will Soon be Able to Leave Group Text Message Chats

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When Apple unveiled its new iOS 8 mobile operating system earlier this month, iPhone users everywhere expressed unprecedented delight with the upgrades. Some of the changes soon coming to the iPhone and iPad alike include features like longer-lasting batteries as well as an improved system for sharing photos. Users will also be able to access home automation apps and services allowing the iPhone to be used as a remote control for connected home devices such as certain types of lighting systems. 

However, it's not the Jetsons-era technology that appears to have gotten iOS 8 users the most excited. The new iPhone feature that has everyone cheering is the one that will now allow iPhone users to exit group text message chats for the very first time ever. The big news was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference that took place June 2 through 6 in San Francisco.

iPhone Group Message Chats: Past v. Future

Until now, iPhone users who felt tortured by non-consensual group text messages had very few coping strategies available to them. They could simply throw their hands up and cooperate, or they could try to ignore their inboxes and those annoying message alerts. Alternatively, users could lie and say they had switched to an Android device that would not read the group text message chats.

Now, however, thanks to the system updates, users will soon be able to choose to either mute the group text message notifications (and read the text message chats later) or simply exit the group text message chat altogether with just the click of a button.

Ability to Exit iPhone Group Message Chats Dubbed 'Miracle'

Twitter absolutely exploded with the sound of rejoicing when news of the updated group text function went public. “We're free! WE'RE ALL FINALLY FREE!” one Liverpool man Tweeted. “Looks like the big man has been answering my prayers,” a Georgia man wrote.

By “big man,” of course, Darnell Augustin meant neither Steve Jobs nor those individual humans responsible for developing the updated technology – nor even Apple as a whole nor any other mortal being. 

The Twitter user was not alone in responding to the news by thanking a higher power, either. In response to the big news, one woman Tweeted: “GOD IS REAL.” Other religious invocations in response to the new feature included, “praise the lord,” “our prayers have been answered,” and “praise his holy name!”

Unfortunately, users will have to ride this newly-discovered wave of happiness all throughout the summer months, as the update is not scheduled to be released until the fall. It seems that we mortals must endure our earthly tribulations just a little bit longer before the heavenly rewards of iOS 8 will all be ours.

June 19, 2014

How to Run a Successful SMS Trivia Campaign

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Whether you’re a new business trying to make your mark, or a well-established industry fixture, a compelling mobile marketing campaign can help you reach more potential customers. A well-executed, original idea can easily set your brand apart from the competition. If it’s really special, it might even go viral.

Trivia marketing is a tried and tested framework within which you can flex your creative muscles. While it’s not a new idea per se, there is so much you can do with quizzes, competitions and other participatory contests to engage users. The fact is, people love to put their skills to the test. Give them the right sort of challenge and you will foster a long-term sense of brand loyalty that translates directly into revenue.

The best way to attract interest is by concocting a truly unique spin on the trivia concept. Still, it’s wise to look at examples of successful SMS trivia campaigns so you can begin to chart a path to your own jumping off point.

 

Starbucks

It’s no coincidence that the coffee behemoth is on top of its mobile marketing strategy. You don’t consistently remain the largest coffeehouse chain on the planet without having some pretty creative brains in your marketing department.

Last year, Starbucks used SMS messaging to winning effect with a trivia campaign offering customers prizes. Like any good mobile marketing strategy, it offered something of value whilst growing the company’s opted-in SMS contact list. After determining which kinds of devices users owned, Starbucks even followed up with an MMS message containing a short clip and information about a Happy Hour special offer. By leading with a teaser trivia question, the campaign reminded subscribers that they were part of the mobile campaign, effectively engaging them with the brand.

The campaign began with a trivia contest that quizzed subscribers about the company’s Frappucino. Users were enticed to respond quickly, with the first 100 correct respondents being offered a copy of The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Once recipients had sent in their answer, they received a follow-up message letting them know if they were correct, and encouraging them to reply with the keyword READYSET if they wanted to receive summer alerts.

This type of time-limited offer is crucial to the efficacy of trivia campaigns. The longer users sit on a text message from a business, the less likely they are to engage, and the SMS is soon forgotten entirely. By incorporating the first-to-respond element, Starbucks ensured that recipients participated quickly.

 

Chipotle

More recently, Chipotle had their own take on the SMS trivia idea. The brand sponsored and developed an original series for Hulu called Farmed & Dangerous, a biting satire on petro-chemical agriculture that encouraged viewers to think about where their food comes from. Already, the series had the makings of a brilliant marketing campaign that cast Chipotle in a positive, ethical light. Then they threw in a dose of SMS magic to engage viewers with the show and, by proxy, the brand.

The SMS trivia campaign was advertised during commercial breaks, and offered viewers a buy-one-get-one-free offer from Chipotle. By texting BADMILK to a shortcode, viewers were taken to a series of trivia questions relating to the current episode. Once three questions were answered, viewers were prompted to reply with the keyword REMIND to get future SMS alerts about the latest episode of the show. Each text message included a link to a mobile coupon.

Chipotle and Starbucks are two of the big boys to have successfully used SMS trivia marketing. If you lack the budget to create a web series or run movie soundtrack giveaways, there are plenty of other ways to leverage the power of SMS trivia marketing. See what you can come up with this summer!

June 18, 2014

A/B Testing Your Text Ads

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By 2018, the world will see 9.3 billion mobile data plans in use. When it comes to capitalizing on the vast potential of mobile ads and SMS campaigns, marketers have barely begun to scratch the surface. Mobile marketing budgets in the U.S. alone will soon reach $4.4 billion, but unless businesses measure the effectiveness of their messaging, they may be wasting money. 

This is exactly why A/B split testing is an essential tool for successful mobile marketing. Instead of making educated guesses, marketers should instead analyze concrete evidence to assess which campaign messaging works. Using this method to fine-tune one of its own marketing campaigns, top Australian parenting site Kidspot, for example, saw user app engagement go up by 87% in just two weeks. 

What is A/B Split Testing?

A/B split testing is a method for testing two variations of a campaign to compare their performances. The A/B split testing of SMS texting campaigns helps boost ROI, allowing more marketing dollars to be invested in the messaging that drives the most sales. It also makes optimizing future campaigns possible.

Regardless of whether the goal is increasing the response rates or sales or simply reducing “unsubscribe” rates, the method is simple:

  • Write two variations of the SMS message.
  • Split recipients into two lists.
  • Message variation A goes to one list, variation B to the other.

To track which campaign message generates which responses, variations A and B should ask consumers to text in to two different short codes. If two different short codes cannot be used, the two messages should at least be sent a few days apart, giving the first mobile ad's effect some time to wear off for a better read on the data, which may be viewed via Google Analytics or a similar tool.

How are A/B Split Test Results Used?

Once data is collected, these questions should be asked:

  • Did one message have a higher “open” rate than the other?
  • Of the number of messages opened, did one variation have a higher response rate?
  • Did one message have a lower “unsubscribe” rate?
  • Which message generated the highest number of sales or inquiries?

If there is no significant difference between the two messages' performance, it's possible the SMS campaign messages were too similar. The following factors should be taken into account:

  • Tone: Did both message sound professional or friendly?
  • Keywords: Was a compelling keyword used in one message or both?
  • Price: Did only one version include the price, or did both? And were prices similarly presented?
  • Calls to action: How were they different? For instance, did they both ask recipients to text, or did one ask consumers to call?
  • Time of day: Consider testing to see if different times of day lead to the higher open, response, and/or conversion rates as well.
  • Subscriber lists: Consider testing one consumer demographic over another. For instance, some campaigns may be more effective with recipients living in suburban zip codes than those living elsewhere.

If one message significantly out-performs the other, principles used in the most successful message can be applied to future campaigns.

Companies may split test more than two variations – known as multi-variant testing – so long as their recipient list is large enough for a good sampling.  A/B split testing and multi-variant testing are excellent ways to ensure marketing dollars are going where they pay off the most and that each mobile campaign is more effective than the last. No matter how well an SMS or text ad campaign performs, there is always room for improvement.

June 14, 2014

Building Relations Between Finance and Marketing

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For professionals in the numbers-driven world of finance, clever marketing campaigns that appeal to consumers on an emotional level may seem unnecessary. Sound financial products should speak for themselves, after all, shouldn't they?

Actually, one need look no further than the emotionally-driven fluctuations of the market to see that the public's hopes and fears often outweigh logic when it comes to financial decisions. The good news is, mobile marketing strategies are the perfect way to speak to consumers' hearts, albeit by way of their mobile devices.

Mobile Marketing for Repairing Consumer/Finance Sector Relations

Consumer mistrust of financial services has been on the rise in recent years. Fortunately, however, mobile marketing is repairing some of that damage. The service, convenience, and access that technology enables is slowly winning back the public's confidence.

For the mobile consumer, simplicity is the logical choice. Customer-centric mobile financial products and services such as JP Morgan Chase's award-winning mobile check deposit, for example, feature intuitive user navigation. Ease of use is important when customers are using the small screens of mobile phones and tablets.

Citi is also working to improve the mobile consumer experience. Its tablet app uses interactive financial graphs, for instance, rather than small, hard-to-read transaction lists. The company understands that when a convenient, pleasurable user experience outweighs the public's fears over security issues, mobile marketing increases consumer loyalty.

Banking Customers Demand Mobile

Switching to mobile-friendly platforms to meet consumer demand increases business. Chase alone now sees 12 million customers moving $6.5 billion through mobile platforms every month. More than 1/3 of major U.S. bank customers use mobile banking, with approximately half of the top 25 U.S. financial institutions offering advanced mobile features such as remote deposit services and p2p transfers. This is twice the number of customers using such features in 2011, making mobile the fastest-growing channel. The reason is both a logical and emotional one: eliminating the need to visit an ATM makes banking more convenient.

Mobile Marketing Boosts the Efficacy of Other Channels

Because consumer access to sites and apps is non-linear, involving multiple platform use on different devices depending on the transaction, mobile strategies are most effective when they can be integrated across channels. When it comes to financial product sales, for example, companies have more success over the phone than online. For this reason, businesses might consider strategies like click-to-call extensions, which are both a convenient mobile feature and a direct acquisition tool. Consumers may do research on mobile devices and then choose to convert either in-branch or over the phone.

Let ROI Speak for Itself

Comcast, just as one example, has had great success integrating mobile strategies with other channels. After launching an ad featuring a click-to-call number, the company recorded a 270% click-through rate increase on mobile search compared to PC search. Mobile sales surged.

Radioshack is another company that has seen tremendous ROI through mobile marketing, with more than one third of all mobile ad clicks linking to their store locator – and from 40% to 60% of those clicks converting to in-store visits.

Whether growing acquisitions, providing seamless access to information, or offering customer-centric products, experts at major financial institutions have done the math and understand just how much mobile marketing has to offer. Finance professionals today know that mobile marketing strategies are working to win back consumer trust, increasing conversion rates through the convenience and interaction they offer.

June 12, 2014

Mobile Marketing Tactics: Buy Online, Pick Up In Store

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In an era when Amazon.com can deliver almost anything imaginable – by delivery truck or even via drone  – consumers have increasingly come to expect items for purchase to be not only inexpensive and widely available, but also shipped to them quickly and conveniently. As a result, brick-and-mortar retailers everywhere are struggling to keep up with emerging technology. That struggle can be especially difficult in the midst of elevated demand for free shipping when retail margins are already growing thin.

The good news is that savvy retailers are figuring out ways to harness mobile technology to better meet consumer demand and simultaneously increase in-store foot traffic. Leveraging the power of SMS text marketing campaigns, retailers are urging their mobile customers to order items online and pick them up in-store.

Consumer Convenience that Also Benefits Retailers

Because of the high cost of shipping, increasingly more retailers are seeking cost-saving measures that include delivering purchases directly to stores instead of homes, as well as allowing customers to return mobile online purchases in-store, among other strategies.

Not only do omnichannel efforts help save retailers an enormous amount of money; shoppers appreciate the flexibility these choices afford them. During the past holiday season, for instance, more than one in three online shoppers in the U.S. said they would like the ability to pick up, in-store, items that they had ordered online. The added bonus of offering such an option to consumers is that more mobile online customers come through retailer's doors as a result, increasing the likelihood they will make additional purchases.

In-Store Pick-Up Gives Online Mobile Consumers More Control

While home delivery may sounds appealing on the surface, it becomes a hassle when consumers arrive home after a long day at work just to find that a delivery attempt was made when no one was home. Therefore, more than 80 percent of shoppers consider knowing when a package will arrive to be the number one most important service that mobile online shopping can offer.

In practical terms, giving consumers better control of when a shipment arrives can mean several things. One strategy is to use SMS texting campaigns to alert opted-in consumers that they may pick up items they've ordered online, in-store, as soon as the items arrives. Alternatively, customers may also be permitted to reserve an item online and then both pick it up and pay for it at a nearby store location. In addition, consumers may be given the option to buy the item online via an SMS text link and then retrieve it from the store at a later date.

Allowing in-store returns of mobile online orders, as well as alerting consumers that they may place orders using online catalogs while in the store, are a few additional strategies that offer the consumer increased convenience while also increasing in-store foot traffic. All of these improve the likelihood that mobile consumers will make additional on-premise purchases. In the end, these strategies create a win-win scenario for both businesses and satisfied customers alike.