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31 posts categorized "Mobile Coupons"

April 11, 2014

Client Retention Through Text Marketing

Mobile marketing strategies that include SMS messaging are a great way for spas, hair salons, doctors' offices and other enterprises that rely on a steady stream of appointments to retain clients between visits. As many professionals who have embraced the practice can already tell you, despite the fact that SMS text messaging can be fully automated, the truth is that patients, guests, and clients will still walk away with the feeling that you personally took the time to reach out to them. Therefore, automated texts are an effortless way to generate great feelings of customer loyalty (and to help keep that feeling alive).

Boosting Appointments

One of the most obvious types of automated text messages to send to clients in order to keep them thinking about your brand outside of time spent in store or office is the reminder or appointment confirmation text. The added bonus is that this thoughtful correspondence will also lead to fewer missed appointments. Twelve weeks, for instance, is an awfully long time for a loyal customer not to visit her hair salon; therefore, an automated text reminder (perhaps with a special promotion attached to it) sent to someone you haven't seen for a few weeks could be just exactly the nudge such a client needs. Such a moment is also the perfect opportunity to offer your guest the option of texting or emailing an appointment request, further boosting the efficiency of how your company runs and potentially filling up your calendar with profitable business. 

Other Occasions for SMS Texting

Additional reasons and occasions to send out promotional texts are all around, if you just pay attention. SMS messaging can be used for special holiday promotions (Mother's Day, Valentines Day, etc.) In addition, they can be used to remind customers how much they love your business, while also extracting key information from them through customer surveys that give you insight into ways to improve service (and also give you some buzz-generating rave reviews to re-post on Facebook – with customer permission, of course!)

You don't need a holiday in order to celebrate a special event. If your staff members have created their own walking team, for instance, for an upcoming fundraiser, then automated text messages to your customer base are the perfect way to solicit donations and put your small business in a really positive light among members of the local community. You can also keep things light by engaging customers with fun survey questions.

A Few “Don't”s

With all of that said, what you want to avoid doing is overwhelming clients by sending automated texts to the same individuals too often (i.e., more than twice a month at the very most). Also, be certain that those receiving the texts have opted in; never spam, hack, or buy phone numbers. All you'll get in return is a some terrible publicity and potential legal ramifications.

Also, keep messages short. Remember: these are text messages, not the great American novel. Last but not least, do respond to direct questions that your texts generate from those clients receiving the message. After all, hearing back from clients is great because it means they're engaged; you've reached them! Don't go to all of that trouble just to turn right around now and ignore them.

Use SMS texting to engage with and retain customers in an appropriate way that creates value for your clients.

March 21, 2014

In-Store Browsing the In-Thing in UK

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A growing number of British consumers are adopting the practice sometimes known as showrooming: comparing online prices with real-world prices while browsing in stores, and buying the cheapest version of a particular product (hint: it’s never from the bricks and mortar store).

A report published in February by OnePoll looked at a range of consumer behaviors involving smartphones during the last quarter of 2013. The results showed that using smartphones to conduct research is the new normal. Seven out of ten respondents had used their mobile device to investigate potential purchases and compare prices. Over a third used mobile price comparison sites, and 17% had visited the mobile sites of individual retailers.

Retail apps are also growing in popularity, with users accessing them from multiple locations. Around 42% of respondents used retail apps at home, and a quarter did so at work or on their way to work.

But the most compelling results relate to the use of smartphones in physical stores. Some 55% of people admitted to ‘showrooming’ during shopping trips. Out of those, more than half said they compared prices online using their mobile device, and just under half used them to gather more information on products. Around 41% used their phones to take pictures of potential purchases. Despite all the browsing activity, only 17% of smartphone owners admitted to showrooming itself.

The research threw up some interesting data relevant to mobile marketing campaigns. More than two thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to revisit a store if it sent bespoke promotions to their smartphone.

Mobile browsing-to-buy remains less common than direct mobile shopping. Only 17% of people using their smartphone to conduct research also bought with the device, and just over one in ten people who browsed in-store went on to buy from the same retailer.

For anyone devising a mobile marketing strategy in the UK, the implications are clear: if you can reach people who are already in a physical store that pertains to your business, you have a good chance of converting them into customers. Bricks and mortar-only retailers have their own mobile marketing tactics – such as apps and SMS coupons – but, short of deliberately operating from a location with no wi-fi or network coverage, there’s little they can do to stem the tide of online activity conducted from their premises.

These behaviors are now endemic – not just across the ocean, but here in the US too. Smartphone adoption rates are soaring, and the fear for offline businesses is that consumers will one day come to their store to browse online and find it closed.

March 14, 2014

Weekend CTRs Significantly Higher

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Recent research comparing click-through rates (CTRs)  found mobile device users much less likely to click on ads during the week as opposed to the weekend. Findings published on AppFlood claims click-through rates are 30% higher on weekends after analyzing some 300 millionmobile ad impressions in the United States between August and September 2013.

Click volume is reportedly the same on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning around 8am and continuing at a steady rate until about 6pm. Weekday clicks go up once the workday is over, or around 6pm. Click rates on weekdays tend to decrease throughout the evening, but pick back up around 11pm, indicating people are looking at their mobile device screens before bedtime. Differences in mobile and desktop/laptop usage were also evident, with mobile use remaining fairly steady throughout the week and weekend, particularly around 7pm to 9pm on weekdays. Desktop/laptop use is less frequent on weekends, and after 5pm, or commute time, on weekdays.

So why the dip in CTR on weekends with laptops/desktops, but not mobile devices? A possible explanation is people use their laptops all day at work, and can’t even think of going near one on weekends. This eschewing of laptops doesn’t necessarily translate to smartphones, as people generally have their phones on them at all times and use them to look up any number of things, from show times to restaurant directions to answers to common questions. A mobile phone is usually on and ready to use at all times, whereas people have to sit down and turn on a laptop or desktop, which can seem arduous when trying to enjoy the weekend.

An effective mobile marketing strategy is one that researches and utilizes underlying motivators that cause people to click on an ad, read a blog or follow a link. Marketing strategists can therefore use CTR patterns to create engaging campaigns that cater to specific audiences. For example, do people appear to click on a travel company’s vacation ads on Saturdays during the day? Create mobile marketing solutions that cater to such prospective clients. What about those who click on local attraction ads when browsing for fun weekend ideas on a Thursday or Friday night? No matter what the product or service, a mobile marketing strategy must pinpoint its target audience and how best to cater to it.

If you’re a mobile marketing strategist looking to maximize campaign output, review your company’s CTR numbers and create solutions that target your audience at certain times on specific days. Understanding when and why your audience is most active is one of the cornerstones of a successful mobile marketing strategy! Good luck!

 

 

March 06, 2014

How Mobile Devices Have Increased Customer Service Expectations

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The constant availability of digital information at our fingertips happened so fast, and so resoundingly, it’s easy to forget that ten years ago, hardly anybody owned what might be termed a ‘smartphone’.

As a consequence of such widespread mobile technology, consumer expectations have become dramatically elevated. Recent research conducted by KANA Software found that 5% of 18 to 24 year olds check their phone every minute – an alarming figure indicative of an almost pathological reliance on connectivity.

But they’re not just checking their phones. They’re using them as portals through which they can lodge complaints, and they expect their complaint to be dealt with quickly. If companies fail to respond in a way that satisfies the customer, they find themselves traduced on social media platforms and all-important user review websites. The Millenials have never known a world without the hyperspeed life of the web, and their patience is thin. Remember last century when 10 working days was the standard time period for responding to complaints? They don’t.

It’s not just young people. The survey – which polled more than 2,000 people in then UK – found baby boomers were among the most prolific online complainers. In this climate, mobile marketing solutions  must include a quick response strategy in the face of online criticism.

The first step towards meeting high expectations is to make the mobile experience a priority. Dedicate resources to ensure mobile users get the attention they require – the money spent will come back to you in the shape of more conversions.

More than that, you have to approach your mobile marketing strategy in the wider context of consumers’ journey-to-purchase. No amount of research is too much. Do your customers tend to browse products using their mobile devices, before buying in-store? Just because you aren’t generating the majority of conversions from mobile devices doesn’t mean they’re not a crucial part of the process. Identify common problems as early as possible in order to minimize the impact those issues will have on your business.

Once you’ve resolved the basic problems, devise creative mobile marketing tactics that will make your business stand out from the crowd. Find success in the mobile marketplace and you will be well-positioned for future growth across all channels.

 

February 27, 2014

4 Reasons Coupons are an Effective Mobile Marketing Tactic

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According to a recent study conducted by ABI Research, 52% of consumers would definitely use mobile coupons for obtaining discounts at local stores. This evidence tallies with the rapid upsurge in smartphone adoption, as consumers become increasingly reliant on mobile devices to help them with every area of their lives.

As smartphone penetration deepens, mobile coupons and other mobile marketing tactics move to the forefront of any well-planned marketing strategy. Some analysts estimate mobile coupons are redeemed ten times as often as traditional paper coupons.

So why are mobile marketing coupons proving so popular with the general public? The answer to that is largely self-evident: paper coupons have been a mainstay of commercial promotion since Coca Cola pioneered their use in the 19th Century – why wouldn’t consumers want all the benefits of a paper coupon stored on their smartphone?

Search guru Gerald Murphy has expanded this idea on his blog, identifying four key reasons why mobile marketing coupons are infinitely preferable to their old paper counterparts:

  1. Convenience. Clearly, mobile coupons serve the convenience of consumers far better than paper coupons, which require consumers to fiddle about with a pair of scissors, diligently chasing those broken lines around 90 degree angles before pocketing the fragile voucher and trundling down to the store. Seriously – who can be bothered? From a marketer’s perspective, digital coupons are much likelier to be redeemed.
  2. Locality. With the emergence of geo-targeting, smartphone owners can be reached only when a coupon is of use to them. They enter a pre-determined zone within a short distance of the store and are immediately hit with an irresistible 50% off coupon. And when you cut out that hit-and-miss bombardment of special offers, focusing only on customer preference, they are much more likely to engage.
  3. Relevancy. Mobile marketing solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of identifying personal preferences. Again, this reduces unwanted, spammy offers that are simply tuned out. When consumers are predisposed to ignore ads, they are prone to throwing the baby out with the bathwater, skimming past offers that might actually be of use to them. Coupons geared towards personal preference are now de rigeur for canny businesses with an eye on effective mobile marketing solutions.
  4. Timeliness. Unlike flicking through a magazine for cut-out vouchers, mobile coupons can be timed to reach their audience at a moment when they are most likely to respond and redeem the offer. For customers on the move, it might mean the moment they have entered the locale of a particular store, but it can work just as well for those sitting at home – issue a special offer on pizzas, say, just before lunchtime, and you can capture people in the throes of midday hunger pangs. But timeliness also refers to an awareness of when not to send text and email coupons. The art of maximizing redemption rates for mobile marketing coupons requires a measured, staggered approach.

 

February 25, 2014

Successful Mobile Valentine’s Day Campaigns

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Several brands made effective use of Valentine’s Day mobile marketing campaigns this year. Let’s check out a few of these campaigns and why they were so effective as mobile marketing strategies!

Expedia “Find Yours” Dream Location Ads

Travel brand Expedia created a four-day burst campaign that allowed potential V-Day travelers to imagine experiences in Las Vegas and New York City, two important romantic holiday destinations. This mobile marketing strategy encouraged users to book Valentine’s Day vacations through Expedia in addition to downloading the app. The latter was particularly useful in terms of brand awareness and repeat business. Users clicked assorted Las Vegas and NYC travel ads and enjoyed easy “landscape interaction” that also highlighted the benefits of booking with Expedia.

The result was a near-double increase in mobile users’ time-in-ad, as well as an average engagement rate of 21 percent, including both hotel bookings and app downloads. 

Pandora Jewelry: Mobile Ads Targeted to Men

Pandora Jewelry appealed to men this February with a mobile marketing strategy used on key dates, including Super Bowl Sunday! Featuring the theme, “Create a Valentine’s Gift in Minutes,” the ad targeted men on the hunt for unique Valentine’s Day gifts. Ads ran on mobile sites and apps on Sundays leading up to the Super Bowl as well as the big game day. These ads even ran in between plays, and some featured additional categories interesting to men, including games, entertainment and weather.

Over 2,000 men used the campaign to create gift lists, and the number of users on Super Bowl Sunday was 17 times the number of clicks the campaign received in the previous 16 days.

Pizza Hut’s #CommitToGreatness Campaign

This fun and funny Valentine’s Day campaign invites users to create an Instagram or Vine video where they “proposed” to Pizza Hut! Submissions are welcome until February 21, with the top three user proposals receiving chances to compete in “meet the parents” and other challenges. The winner, selected on March 14, will receive free Pizza Hut pizza for the rest of his or her life.

Pizza Hut even created an Ok Cupid profile to showcase the proposals!

ProFlowers Coupon Codes

ProFlowers teamed with Uber to create a unique mobile marketing strategy for Valentine’s Day. Consumers receive a 15 percent ProFlowers app discount when they use the code “Uber,” available through March 31. The flowers company also provided Uber riders in 28 cities with some 150,000 flowers on Valentine’s Day!

This mobile marketing solution undoubtedly appealed to anyone looking to send holiday flowers, as who doesn’t like a good discount? The chance to receive beautiful flowers for being an Uber rider was also an effective mobile marketing strategy.

Coming up with unique and effective mobile marketing solutions is a cornerstone of the business world these days! The above companies certainly demonstrated their ability to execute effective, consumer-friendly campaigns that garnered fantastic results. What’s not to like?

 

February 24, 2014

Gamification as a Winning Mobile Marketing Solution for Your Brand

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“Gamification” may not be the prettiest word, but it’s become part of the marketing parlance. It describes the incorporation of game techniques such as competitiveness and self-expression into desktop and mobile marketing solutions. Game elements may appear in the form of prizes, hidden tokens, loyalty programs – and any other type of reward system contingent on consumer engagement with a brand.

It already forms a central part of many mobile marketing campaigns, and M2 research predicts gamification will be worth $2.8 billion by 2016. Gartner figures project more than 70% of Global 2000 companies will be using at least one gamified application by 2014. Clearly, it’s a popular strategy with big companies. But is gamification worthwhile for your business?

The first thing to remember is this: gamification must add real value to the user experience. As with apps, there’s no point going in half-cocked, or you will simply waste money and effort on something that nobody uses. As in any game or competition, users must be motivated by a reward, and the greater the reward, the more you can ask for in return.

Florist Teleflora has been a leading light in the world of gamificaion, using a store-wide loyalty scheme that offers points for actions like reviews, comments and answering queries for other customers. Customers can get additional points for being first out of the gate for writing a review or answering a question. As customers rack up points they achieve ever-greater levels of influence, and therefore value to the brand. Teleflora increased referral traffic from Facebook by 105% and conversion rates by an impressive 92%.

Cloud storage firm Dropbox offered additional space to users who completed specific tasks. People who take a tour of Dropbox services are awarded an extra 250MB on top of the 2GB that comes free with every account. There’s 125MB up for grabs if you connect your Dropbox account to Twitter or Facebook, and 500MB available for every friend referred (up to a maximum of 16GB). LinkedIn adopt a similar strategy as a way of encouraging users to maintain up-to-date profiles. Their service is improved, and the users status and visibility goes up. It’s a win-win.

Gamification is not for everyone. The fun, trivial nature of the beast means it’s unsuitable for organizations with specific brand values that could be undermined by introducing game elements into their mobile marketing campaigns. Charities, banks, and certain non-profits are unlikely to benefit, and lots of small business lack the financial clout to pull of a really compelling gamification campaign. But it can reap huge rewards for the right brand, and as mobile marketing solutions go, it’s a useful way of harvesting crucial data, improving brand loyalty, and enhancing the user experience.

January 12, 2014

Growth in Mobile Spurs Growth in Mobile Search

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The expanding mobile device market has led to a dramatic increase in the number of web searches conducted on smartphones and tablets. According to Phil Harpur of Frost & Sullivan:

“Search results from mobile searches are becoming more distinct to fixed internet searches, with a high proportion of mobile searches optimized for location based material. Also, click-to-call features are becoming more prominent in mobile search advertising.”

Despite the growth in mobile-specific search, desktop searches have not decreased, which means search advertising as a whole is still booming. However, the search industry expects to continue leaving online directories for dust, and mobile search is increasingly coming to the fore, as mobile marketing strategies become more sophisticated and user-oriented. Google predicts that mobile search will overtake desktop during the next few years.

Countless studies and surveys support Google's prediction. Mobile search spending went up 132% year on year, according to a Covario report. On a global basis, mobile search advertising accounted for 16% of total spend in the second quarter of 2013, with 10% of that spending conducted on tablets, and 6% on smartphones.

Research from Telmetrics shows that 50% of mobile users in the United States use their device at the beginning of the search process, and 31% use it throughout the process. The same study found that one in three smartphone users search specifically for contact information, such as directions and phone numbers.

A comScore study found the total number of American searchers using mobile phones grew 26% between March 2012 and December 2012. One analytics company, BIA/Kelsey, echoed Google's prediction, claiming that mobile search queries will overtake desktop by 2015.

So what does it mean for the mobile advertising industry? Text message advertising  is harmonizing with mobile search to offer users a more localized, personalized experience. More than half of all conversions from mobile search take place within the hour, which suggests a more impulsive type of shopping experience, with users out and about, not prepared to mull over decisions in the same way they might on a desktop-only search.

Mobile marketing strategies have to adapt to this snap-decisive market by offering users an easy path to conversion. Marketers must use text message advertising to reach out to opted-in consumers with specialized, localized, time-sensitive offers. As the pace of consumer life quickens and becomes more mobile, marketing strategies must do the same in order to stay in touch with their audience.

 

January 02, 2014

5 Overlooked Mobile Marketing Tips

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Marketers need to first remember that mobile is no longer the future, it’s here and it’s now. According to a Pew Internet study, 56% of Americans own a smart phone and 34% own a tablet. Research predicts that tablet sales will increase by 59% this year and eventually outpace PC sales by 2015. So getting your mobile strategy right has never been more important for sales, however marketers are failing to turn traffic into conversions for several reasons.

According to AOL/BBDO, mobile advertising performs poorly on key ad effectiveness metrics because the majority of messages are not relevant to the use at that time, are easy to ignore or get in the way. Brands and marketers make the mistake of releasing content that is not geared specifically to mobile devices.

Instead consider these five overlooked tips for some additional ways to maximize your mobile marketing strategies and get the most bang for your buck:

  1. Create a Mission Statement: A developed mission statement can provide purpose and planning for mobile marketing efforts and minimize unnecessary spending. Decide what you want to accomplish and stay on track with your mobile marketing principles. Planning and sticking to that plan is a key to success.
  2. Measure Your Effectiveness: Start measuring targeted pages before the campaign, and measure results throughout. Also, understand how mobile devices work and view your campaign across different mobile devices. Interact with the ads from the standpoint of a prospective customer. Don’t start a new campaign until you’ve had a chance to measure the first one.
  3. Know Your Audience: Use the power of SEO. Know what’s being searched and where. This can give invaluable information to better target your audience by knowing a customer’s location (location-sensitive marketing) to optimize the ad experience and its relevance. If you’re not an expert on mobile audiences, consider hiring someone to help with your mobile marketing strategy to properly identify and address audiences.
  4. Crafting Your Mobile Message: Keep messages short and easy to understand – avoid wordy descriptions and trails of landing pages. Also, optimizing your website for mobile is an excellent way of improving your traffic/conversion rate.
  5. Slow and Steady: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Until you’re a pro, take it step by step. Research, plan, execute, measure and adjust. Let this cycle drive your mobile marketing efforts. 

The more targeted and deliberate your mobile marketing efforts, the better off you’ll be. By treating mobile phone use and tablet use differently, you can then become more acquainted with how an audience uses their mobile device and then use the right advertising tactic depending on the mobile device.

December 13, 2013

How to Make SMS Incentives Customers Can’t Refuse

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In an age of free content, we all know how vital mobile marketing incentives are to building brand loyalty. Text coupons, limited time offers, location-based deals – they’re all tried and tested strategies for incentivizing opt-ins. But what makes an incentive truly exciting? And how can you combine mobile marketing incentives with other marketing strategies to create a truly compelling campaign? Let’s answer some FAQs regarding mobile marketing incentives…

Which is better, buy-one-get-one-free or 50% off?

A recent study published in the Journal of Marketing found that students didn’t think there was difference between a 33% discount and 33% extra on an equally-priced item. It’s not just youngsters – research shows that most adult shoppers prefer buy-one-get-one-free offers to 50% discounts, despite the (obvious, right?) fact that the discount is always the better offer (presuming the starting price is the same). In short, consumers generally get the math wrong. You can rely on that fact. For your business, buy-one-get-one-free is better, and the customers think it is too. Your scruples can do the rest.

Do I have to give stuff away?

Yes, accept this reality and start offering something genuinely compelling in return for signing up to your list. Use SMS coupons to offer new customers a freebie for joining your contact list. It’s a long-term strategy – but it really works. 

How often should I offer mobile marketing incentives?

Text your customers too much and they’ll simply unsubscribe. Dole out mobile discounts in a piecemeal fashion and you can intersperse your brand message without provoking ire. Finding that threshold between value and annoying is an art, and it’s different for every industry. There’s no point in a car dealership sending weekly messages with mobile discounts on new vehicles. If you’re running a restaurant, on the other hand, there’s every chance that monthly text coupons will pay off. Analyze your industry and discover the sweet spot.  

What should my message say?

A lot of smartphones only show the first line of a text, so it’s important to get the message over in the first 30-60 characters. Lead with the special offer. Announce the ‘50% off’ part of the message first, then leave the qualifications for the opened text. Remember, there’s no small print in text coupons, so keep those qualifications to a minimum. Make it simple, concise with a clear call to action, and you’ll reap the rewards of text marketing discounts just as much as your customers.