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62 posts categorized "SMS News"

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 20, 2014

Mobile Marketing Tactics for Precision Geo-Targeting

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Location-based marketing, also known as geo-targeting, is becoming one of the most useful weapons in the retail marketing arsenal. The technology allows businesses to contact customers as they enter a certain geographical radius.

As mobile marketing tactics go, geo-targeting is highly successful, with consumers 30-300% more likely to click a geo-targeted ad compared to an untargeted one. This success rate has not been lost on the big brands, 58% of which employed geo-location strategies during the first quarter of 2013 – more than double the 27% of the previous year.

Consumers like geo-targeting because it only gives them in-store offers at times they can actually use them. Businesses are getting ever-more sophisticated in the way they use the technology; many are starting to use micro location-based mobile marketing strategies, whereby customers download an app in-store and receive personalized offers once they enter the store.

So what about the stragglers? If it’s one of the most effective mobile marketing solutions, why aren’t all companies using geo-targeting? Despite the obvious benefits, the complexity of using the technology effectively – and ethically – is beyond the ken of many businesses, especially those who lack the financial clout for high-end tech support. Matching a person’s location to a relevant communication is achieved in a number of ways, and not all of them will be feasible. Let’s take a quick look at the main methodologies used for geo-targeting, and the implications thereof:

  • IP targeting identifies a user’s location based solely on their IP address. This is attractive to marketers as it presents no privacy or legal issues, since it does not require users to opt-in. The individual is not targeted, just the ISP infrastructure within which they are present online.
  • Location-as-a-service solutions (LaaS) are cloud based, using locations according to mobile phone towers. LaaS does require the user to opt in.
  • WiFi triangulation locates mobile devices using the MAC address and nearby wireless hotspots. Not the most accurate or instant form of geo-targeting, it’s unlikely to be taken up as a mobile marketing tactic.
  • User supplied location is information gathered from opted-in users.
  • Cookies are already familiar to most desktop internet users. They don’t necessarily provide accurate information on mobile users, as a cookie may be recorded in one place before the user moves on to another location. Cookies are also frequently deleted by users.
  • Location-based proximity networks are extremely accurate as they generally operate in store and can locate users within 200-900 feet of the point of purchase. This method is favored by big department stores and malls, but they rely on users who have opted in – something which many shoppers refuse to do.
  • GPS is the most accurate of all, providing location information within a few feet of the device. Again, it relies on users opting in to the service.

The usefulness of these mobile marketing tactics depend entirely on the objective of the business, the type of message, the target audience and the required level of engagement. The efficacy of these metrics in terms of user engagement comes down to creative mobile marketing solutions. What’s not in doubt is the potential of geo-targeting as a B2C and B2B mobile marketing strategy – just make sure you use the right method in the right way.

 

February 13, 2014

Should You Use QR Codes in Your Mobile Marketing Campaign?

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Quick Response codes have been popular among mobile marketing strategists for some time. They can be used to link to web content or activate emails and text messaging. Posted out and about in relevant places, a QR code is a great way of giving consumers immediate access to useful information.

But not all mobile marketing strategies are using QR codes. Some analysts have even gone so far as to predict its imminent demise. Such dire predictions are, in part, down to the emergence of invisible ink and augmented-reality apps which are increasingly being used instead of QR codes. Proponents of the new technologies say it is superior because users don’t need to take so many steps to get the information they require.

To put this in context, let’s have a quick recap of how QR codes work. When someone comes across a code – on a poster, next to a checkout, attached to a takeaway menu – they have to photograph the code, wait for it to record their information, and then be sent to a website or some other form of online content.

In contrast, new apps are offering a more streamlined way of achieving the same end – and in some cases going much, much further. Touchcode is one of the most exciting examples. An invisible electronic code, it can be printed on, say, a toy’s label and enable the user to activate the toy simply by touching their smartphone to it. For something that’s invisible, Touchcode is proving very attractive compared to the clunky eye-sore of many QR experiences. The product onto which Touchcode is placed appears no different – it only makes its presence known once it has interacted with a phone.

In Japan, newspaper Tokyo Shimbu has launched its AR News app, which allows kids to scan articles and turn them into child-centred versions of the story. It was developed as a way to make newspapers more appealing to a youth demographic, and not only simplifies the text, but also adds animated characters, graphics and kid-friendly explanations of complex news items.

It’s true that QR codes have been used in hilariously incompetent fashion. They are often pasted in completely inappropriate places, and some QR codes require users to download a scanner that will only work for that one code – not an attractive option to most consumers, especially as sleeker, more user-friendly alternatives emerge.

But they have also been used to profounf effect in many mobile marketing strategies, notably by Taco Bell, who generated 225,000 scans during their recent ESPN College Football promotion. Even more impressive was Verizon’s in-store QR code campaign that allowed customers to enter a promotion and win a smartphone. The promotion generated an additional $35,000 worth of sales during it’s week-long run after an initial investment of just $1,000 (Verizon also pulled off a QR coup in 2010 when they generated more than 150,000 scans off the back their ScanLife campaign).

These recent successes alone demonstrate that the QR code is far from dead – it’s just a question of how effectively you use them. The lessons learned from successful campaigns, and the emergent technologies that threaten to render QR codes obsolete, are that brands need to make them easy to use, and only deploy them in situations where it makes sense. They won’t work for every company – but if you can recognize when and where they are appropriate, and execute them properly, QR codes will still find a place in your B2C and B2B marketing campaigns.

 

February 06, 2014

Is HTML5 the Future of Mobile Apps?

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Mobile app development is currently dominated by Android and Apple, who have roughly an equal share of more than two-thirds of the market. But as the range of mobile devices on offer increases, HTML5 apps that work on all devices are becoming more appealing, both to users and developers. Apple’s native apps are still out in front in terms of quality – but the gap is closing, as HTML5 apps constantly improve their user-friendliness and availability. So what’s the difference between native apps, like those offered by Apple and Android, and web apps? And how can HTML5 mobile app development help you improve your mobile marketing strategies?

Right now, the Apple App Store contains nearly three quarters of a million iPhone and iPad apps, all of which have to be completely re-coded to work on another device. Web apps are built using standard coding such as HTML5, which allows them to run on virtually any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser. They will work on iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindles, Windows – and, importantly for start-ups, any new platform that may be launched in the future.

Not only do web apps work equally well on any platform, they are cheaper and quicker to produce than native apps. The only reason native apps are still overwhelmingly used is because Apple’s unstoppable development department stole a march on competitors very early on, and currently offer a superior experience to most similar HTML5 apps. This state of affairs won’t last for long.

One of the main reasons for mobile app development shifting towards HTML5 and other standards-based languages is the ease of open-source updates. Most iPhone users have experienced the frustration of being unable to update their app because they lack the latest iOS. Web apps, on the other hand, will practically never become outdated. Every time a user visits a website, they are loading the most recent version from the server. The simple action of visiting the site means you are viewing the latest version of that app.

There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before web apps present a realistic, mass-market alternative to native apps. Chief among them is the state-of-the-art hardware interfacing currently provided by (in particular) Apple. All iPhone apps are seamlessly integrated with the device’s hardware, allowing users to take advantage of the GPS, digital camera and accelerometer capabilities. Right now, web apps don’t have it so easy. Apple’s closed book isn’t likely to open itself to rival developers anytime soon, but as competitive pressure grows, most people expect that situation to change.

The other major feather in the Apple cap is the secure, easy payment process offered by the App Store. There are 400 million active iTunes accounts, each with stored credit card details, making consumer purchases extremely hassle-free. Web apps currently lack a similar consolidated payment system. Again, though, that is expected to change with time.

There’s little disagreement about the smoother, more polished look and feel of native apps. But there is also a consensus on some key advantages offered by web apps. The ever-changing nature of standards-based technology means that HTML6 is likely to do some significant catching up. Add to that the expense of building native apps, and the decreasing cost of developing web apps, and it’s easy to see how mobile marketing strategies will begin to gear themselves towards users that have jumped the mother ship Apple and are spreading their consumption across a wider range of smaller, more adaptive developers.

 

February 04, 2014

Benefits of the SMS Mobile Survey

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Mobile surveys serve mobile customers – and that audience is doubling year on year, which means SMS marketing teams need to get wise to the potential of the SMS survey or risk losing their edge.

The good news is , mobile customers often have more idle time than their desktop counterparts. Whether they’re waiting in line to buy something, or sitting on a bus or train, smartphone users   on the move are a surprisingly captive audience. Moreover, they tend to be more responsive to ads, tacitly understanding that banners are targeted to their specific spending habits rather than being issued en masse to a wide audience.

The SMS survey takes this idea further still, acting as an indirect form of advertising that also performs the function of market research. When a consumer feels engaged with the process, they are more likely to spend money. It really works. But how do you go about conducting a mobile survey? And how can it feed into the other strands of your marketing strategy?

Events offer a great way to leverage phone numbers and email addresses in order to build your contacts. If you have an upcoming event, send a survey to attendees to harvest real-time feedback. You can schedule the survey to coincide with the end of a seminar or lecture, or to go out after the conference has finished. The beauty of an SMS survey is you can display the results in real-time on contacts’ phones.

Surveys provide your business with invaluable information about consumer habits and preferences. They also prize open the lines of communication between you and your customers – and in a way that is usually preferable to the customer (especially among younger consumers). Not only that, a mobile survey emphasizes your desire to provide a good service to customers. It shows that your business has two eyes firmly on the future, and helps you foster a sense of brand loyalty within an increasingly fickle marketplace. SMS marketing has already got a proven track record, and it’s not about to disappear, so don’t fall prey to the turning tides – get wise to the benefits of the SMS survey this year!

 

January 14, 2014

Google’s Hangout App Now Supports SMS

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Android’s Google Hangouts app has added text capabilities that promise to be a real boon for SMS marketing managers. Recently-leaked images indicate a few changes to the app, but the real game-changer is the ability to send texts without switching to another program.

In addition to sending text messages, the Hangouts app will be able to share user’s locations and display animated GIFs – all within the confines of the same screen.

The move, which will bring Hangouts into line with the version available on the Nexus 5, was announced at a Google+ event in October. For the most part, the texting experience remains the same, with SMS conversations displayed on a list alongside other conversations. Users can switch between the two channels as they choose.

The update was pre-empted by Apple, whose latest iOS bagged the GIF capability as well as allowing users to make Google Voice calls over a data network.

It’s the SMS support that will be of real use to anyone developing mobile marketing strategies for 2014. Those who adopt SMS technology early, and can incorporate it into their existing apps, will steal a march on their competitors. As with all mobile marketing trends, the trick is to keep your ear to the ground, and your nose to the grindstone.

Interestingly enough, Facebook have just dropped their own SMS support, but it’s unlikely that Google will follow suit. The search giants need to keep providing services that can be used by Android-owners if they want to maintain their powerbase. With the latest updates to Hangouts, they’ve done just that, and have revived the debate on their other apps in the process.

Bur for Android-diehards, Hangouts is a solid app, and the latest changes promise to make it even better, potentially transforming it into the central hub around which all communications spin. This is great news for mobile marketing strategists and regular consumers alike.

 

December 18, 2013

How Best Buy Used the Holiday Season to Grow their Text Marketing List

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Tis the season to rev up your mobile marketing. Black Friday, which heralds the start of the busy holiday shopping season, has passed. Brick-and-mortar retailers as well as digital entrepreneurs are searching for new ways to reach out to potential customers on the hunt for the perfect gift for their loved ones.

Savvy business owners understand the importance of engaging mobile customers to boost their profits during this lucrative time of gift giving. Entrepreneurs who neglect to join the digital revolution will not only miss out on the opportunity to increase their audience base, but they’ll also fail to take advantage of innovative technology that allows them to constantly engage with existing clients as well as new ones.

Best Buy, for instance, is demonstrating a great use of SMS marketing to build their mobile database during the holiday season. Customers who opt in with a holiday-specific keyword will be sent daily messages through the end of the year, linking to offers, with the hope that customers will remain in the database beyond the holidays to receive later marketing messages.

Additional mobile marketing strategies for retailers, such as Apple’s iBeacon technology, allow business owners to engage customers on the spot as they peruse the aisles of their store. By employing a groundbreaking indoor positioning system, the iBeacon can push notifications to a user’s mobile device, alerting him or her to an item on sale nearby or providing up-to-the-minute product information. Once customers download the app on their mobile device, they are also given an opportunity to pay for items via their cell phone, bypassing the traditional cash register.

This advanced location awareness technology is a brilliant new way of interacting with customers during the holiday season. As a business owner, text message marketing allows you to enhance your direct mail and social media campaigns and send timely holiday-based messaging to your customers to keep them engaged. Because subscribers opt-in to your digital alerts, this type of marketing is permission based and has a higher open rate than email marketing.

As the holiday shopping season shifts into high gear, SMS text marketing is a sure bet to drum up new clients and spread the word about your goods and services.

December 16, 2013

7 Projections for Mobile Marketing in 2014

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As 2013 winds to a close, retailers are looking for the next big thing on the digital horizon to expand their business and reposition their company in 2014. Perhaps you didn’t hit all of your revenue goals and your company simply broke even this year. Maybe you didn’t experience the growth you’d hoped for you and you ran out of exciting new ways to engage existing customers and attract new ones. Don’t despair. The coming year can be your best year yet.

Leading online mobile marketing network mobileFUSED recently published their list of the “Top Seven Projections for Mobile Marketing in 2014” and the article is getting a lot of buzz. By incorporating these tips into your text marketing campaign, you can empower your small business to grow and succeed.

  • Taming big data. In a nutshell, “big data” is a complex system of data sets that exceed the processing capacity of conventional database systems. Some examples include analysis of web behavior and social network interactions. MobileFUSED predicts that big data must be tamed in 2014 for an optimized mobile marketing experience. As a small business owner, reposition your company in 2014 and generate more leads by incorporating more targeted local advertising.
  • Return to content-relevant advertising. Mobile users are often bombarded with random ads on their devices and consider this an intrusive experience, which won’t lead to click-throughs. MobileFUSED sees a return to native advertising, which means providing content in the context of the shopper’s experience. For example, if you own a beauty supply business, you could take advantage of Sponsored Tweets on Twitter or Sponsored Ads on Facebook that pop up organically when the user is searching for certain beauty products.
  • Take advantage of explosive growth in mobile sales. Experts are predicting explosive growth during the holiday season as shoppers turn to their cell phones and tablets to make purchases as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar shops. Savvy entrepreneurs will do outreach to their customers via mobile marketing campaigns, whether you’re promoting new items or alerting consumers about seasonal products that are on sale.
  • Location-based mobile marketing is the next big thing. Apps like iBeacon allow business owners to engage with customers in-store by offering information about nearby products and alerting them to items on sale. Location-based marketing allows retailers to track the shopping habits of customers and hit them with deals on the spot.
  • Adopt digital wallets for ease of shopping. If you’ve never heard of a digital wallet, it’s time to beef up your tech vocabulary. Also known as an e-wallet, a digital wallet works through an app on your smartphone. For instance, if you’re at a clothing store, you might wave your smart phone on a compatible register to pay instantly. E-wallet technology gives your customers greater flexibility and allows them to pay for purchases quickly.
  • Optimize your website for mobile. There’s nothing more frustrating for a user than visiting a site on a mobile device or tablet only to wait eons for the page to load. Slow-loading websites that aren’t optimized for mobile will cause your company to lose out on potential business. Make sure your site is enhanced with HTML5 responsive features for fastest mobile browsing.
  • Stay abreast of changing smartphone technology. MobileFUSED believes that advances in technology and hot new features will change how we do business on tablets and smartphones. Since smartphones are transforming the retail landscape, your mobile marketing strategies should incorporate ways to engage users in-store on their mobile devices.

How do you plan to jumpstart your business in the New Year? Write it in a comment.

November 21, 2013

Place Your Bets on Mobile Marketing

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Thanks to the inexorable rise of mobile device ownership, marketing execs are increasingly turning their attention – and budgets - to smartphone-friendly campaigns. A quick glance at the numbers and it’s starkly obvious which way the tide is turning. Last year, mobile marketing budgets were worth a combined total of $6.7 billion. In 2015, retailers and marketers are expected to spend $19.8 billion on mobile marketing.

The projected ROI for these rapidly-expanding budgets is similarly impressive. By 2015, when 81% of the US population will own a smartphone, analysts expect mobile revenues to be worth $400 billion. Right now, three out of every four smartphone owners use their mobile device for shopping.

 

Considering the transparent benefits of adopting mobile marketing strategies, it’s surprising how many businesses have yet to catch on. There is a resistance – especially amongst older, more established brands whose main point-of-sale is offline – against following the current mobile marketing trends. Some are overwhelmed by the possibilities, and prefer to stick to what they know. Others are dyed-in-the-wool luddites who refuse to engage. 

In any case, marketers who put their head in the sand will ultimately lose out. The best advice for companies still digging their heels in is to take it slow. It’s not a choice between squirming on the shore or diving off the deep end. Instead, dip your toe into the warm, shallow waters of SMS messaging. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It’s also incredibly straightforward to set up, with companies like Ez Texting offering mobile text packages that are tailor-made for your industry.  

 

 

August 06, 2013

Mobile Marketing Picks Up Momentum In China

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According to a new study from EnterpriseInnovation.net, mobile marketing is beginning to pick up speed in the world's largest mobile service providing country:

Some 36% of China’s marketers have tested mobile marketing and 16% have already incorporated mobile as their regular marketing channel, a new whitepaper from Experian Marketing Services showed.

While it can be a challenge to determine the best strategy in a country with so many mobile devices, some companies are figuring out ways to utilize an efficient mobile marketing strategy, with high hopes that they'll lead to sales.

“Some 84% of company respondents expected that sales through mobile devices will increase significantly in the next year,” said Chris Yao, managing director of Experian Greater China.

Despite marketing strategy challenges, SMS is currently the mainstay of most mobile marketing. Could that soon change? Read more about these new findings at EnterpriseInnovation.net!