May 2012 - Mobivity

The Top SMS Campaigns of 2012 (So Far)

Posted by | Mobile Experience, News, SMS | No Comments

The Mobile Marketer recently announced what it has chosen as the top 10 SMS Campaigns of the first quarter of 2012 (including one Mobivity’s own client’s campaigns). Below is our recap of their coverage.

1

Ace Hardware

Westlake Ace Hardware, which operates 88 Ace Hardware stores in several states, used SMS to deliver weather-related text alerts and special offers to help consumers prepare for when the bad weather hits. Through the SMS initiative, users were encouraged to opt-in to receive weather-related mobile notifications based on their ZIP code. Additionally, Ace Hardware integrated the campaign with the National Weather Service to provide timely, location-based weather notifications. SMS was an effective channel for Ace Hardware because it not only gave the company a new way to communicate to its consumers, but SMS also helped the company send out relevant information to help grow its database.

2

Aveeno

While many companies are placing QR codes on their static prints ads to drive user engagement, hair care brand Aveeno went a different direction.

The company placed mobile calls-to-action on its magazine print advertisements. When consumers texted the keyword HAIRS to the provided short code they were able to receive a free sample. After consumers text-in the keyword, they fill out their contact information by replying to messages. By offering an incentive – in this case a free sample – consumers are more inclined to opt-in. This also helps Aveeno start a relationship with consumers and take it beyond a simple static ad.

 

3

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero ran an interactive SMS program that rewarded users with prizes when they watched March Madness games. The campaign centered around the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games, and during the games an SMS call-to-action was promoted with on-air keywords and alerts with the Coke Zero logo that prompted users to text-in to win prizes.

Additionally, consumers could find codes on March Madness-themed Coke Zero products and cups and text them to provided short codes. The initiative was a great way to have users interact with their mobile device while they were watching a game at home, bringing the brand and game interaction beyond the television screen and into the user’s hands.

4

General Mills

General Mills’ Cheerios brand leveraged SMS to help drive mobile donations for its Spoonfuls of Stories program. The campaign asked consumers to donate to the organization First Book, which provides low-income families and schools with books and educational resources. Additionally, for each mobile donation made, publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing matched the donations up to 50,000 books. Through the initiative, consumers were encouraged to text the keyword Books2Kids to the provided short code. Then, users received a text message back confirming their donation of $5, which was billed to their carrier bill. Although SMS is a great channel to build a company’s database, it is also good for driving donations.

 

5

JCPenney

Department store JCPenney thought outside the box when it came to promoting its Easter dresses. The time-sensitive campaign centered around JCPenney sending out SMS messages to its opted in consumers to drive them in-store for a one-day event.

Additionally, the SMS message included a link that let users shop Easter clothing from the company’s mobile site. This is a good example of a company that is using their current mobile database to reach its customers and drive sales. The one-day event was time-sensitive and SMS was a great channel to quickly get the word out about it.

 

6

Macy’s

Macy’s is another department store that took advantage of its mobile database to drive in-store and mobile sales. Recently, the company sent out SMS messages to its customers that promoted exclusive looks from NBC’s “Fashion Star” show and let consumers shop them through their mobile device.

Additionally, those that were not opted-in to Macy’s database could also text the keyword STAR to the provided short code to learn more about the show and how to get the latest looks. Macy’s has been using SMS for a while and continually sends out messages to its consumers letting them know about new sales and events.

 

7

Reese’s

Last month, Hershey’s Reese’s candies used SMS to let sports fans vie for a chance to win a trip to the upcoming 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four game. Reese’s ran a text-to-win promotion as part of a bigger push to interact with sports fans. Sports fans were encouraged to text the keyword REESES to the provided short code for a chance to be entered to win prizes. From there, users were sent back a message to enter their birthday and email address.

Additionally, the SMS message also included a link to Reese’s mobile site where users could learn about the rules of the game. The campaign helped Reese’s start a dialogue with users and then continue it by sending more relevant SMS messages.

8

Rite Aid

Rite Aid is another company that used SMS to help drive donations. To kick off its 18th annual Miracle Balloon campaign on April 1 benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Rite Aid invited its shoppers to text the keyword RAKIDS to the provided short code and make a $5 donation. Rite Aid proved that SMS can be used to drive awareness of a good cause and to get consumers involved. Additionally, instead of simply asking them for a donation at the point-of-sale, Rite Aid used SMS to have consumers make their own choice about the donation.

9

Starbucks

When it comes to mobile, Starbucks is one of the companies that leads the pack no matter what channel they are using.

To promote its My Starbucks Rewards program, the company ran an in-store call to action. The call to action was positioned near the drink counter so that when consumers waited for their drinks they could text-in. Coffee lovers were encouraged to text the keyword GOLD to the provided Starbucks provisioned short code.

When consumers texted-in, they received a message from Starbucks that thanked them for their interest in the program. For this instance, SMS helped Starbucks build up its My Starbucks Rewards program. Additionally, but using the in-store call to action, the company was able to reach more consumers while they were waiting for their drink.

 
 
 
 

10

The United States Tennis Association

(one of Mobivity’s own)

The United States Tennis Association significantly expanded its existing SMS strategy this year with plans to bring in-venue messaging to more events and introduce new text clubs. For the past couple of years, the USTA has used SMS to engage fans at specific events such as the U.S. Open.

Through the new SMS initiative fans in the audience are able to text to vote, answer a question, post a picture or send a message based on a promotion to a short code. The results will appear live on the screen in real-time. The USTA said that it will also be able to deliver special offers to fans in the audience. The association’s updated SMS strategy proves that it is never to late to build on an existing initiative and make it better.

With this group of great SMS campaign uses coming out of just the first quarter of this year, we are excited for what the rest of the year has in store for brand interaction over the SMS and mobile channels. At Mobivity, we take pride and care in keeping an eye on not only what our clients are doing, but also what the rest of the industry is doing for their mobile campaigns. This is just one small benefit of an account with Mobivity – our Account Coaches are trained to bring you the industry’s best campaigns to help shape a successful and results driven campaign for your business that will make both your business and Mobivity proud.

To learn more about what we do here at Mobivity, or to see how your business could benefit from a mobile marketing or text message marketing campaign, give us a call today.

Five Summer Tips for a Thriving Mobile Marketing Campaign

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, SMS | No Comments

Summertime yields exciting and unique opportunities for you to interact with your customers. During the summertime, people are looking for exciting and fun things to do with family and friends alike, and thanks to the database of raving fans you have built up, you have the chance to give them a reason to come into your business over any other. Below are five summer tips that we have come up with to make your mobile marketing campaign thrive this.

1. More than ever, focus on community.

It’s officially summertime, which means a lot of opportunity around your surrounding communities. Kids are out of school, and parents are looking for ways to entertain their children. Some of our clients are well known for their spirt-nights and community events. Hosting a community event in your area is a great way to bring together your current customers and to gather new opt-ins, all promoted through your existing Mobivity text message platform.

2. Use group promotions, and encourage forwarding to friends in your messages.

Summer is a popular time for community and spending time with friends and family alike, and you should use this to your advantage. You can run group specials offering promotions based on the amount of people one of your customers brings in, and then encourage those new customers to opt-in as well. And as always, encourage your customers to forward your offers to friends to help increase the size of your database.

3. Always include the location and time of your offers for the best results.

Summer is a popular time to promote companies and the last thing you want to do is send a great offer or promotion to your raving fans, only for them to not know who or where this offer is coming from. With the rising popularity of text messaging and mobile advertising, it is more important than ever to let people know who is giving them great deals and specials.

4. It’s hot outside (in case you haven’t noticed), why not offer drink specials as incentive for customers to come in to your location and cool off.

One of our clients, a national QSR drive-thru chain, is very well-known for their drinks. Throughout past summers they have ran campaigns extending and promoting their happy hour for half-priced drinks, slushes, and other cold treats. This is a great summer promotion, helping promote a sometimes overlooked part of your menu, as well as giving people a reason to cool off and come into your location, seeing everything else that you have to offer.

5. As always, don’t look at text messaging as an advertisement, use it as a community builder.


It’s no secret that a loyal returning customer is better than 100 one-time customers. Use text messaging to connect with your customers, and create a relationship between them and your business. You could run polls on what customers think of new products, or host contests for larger one-time prizes to get people in your doors. There are hundreds of possibilities. Use this communication channel as a way to interact with your customers, turning one-time and occasional visitors into raving fans for the entire summer season.

If you have any great ideas, or want some help planning your summer promotions, don’t hesitate to contact your Mobivity Account Coach, all of their contact information is located within your hub account. If you are curious about how to build, grow, and interact with a database of your customers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to discuss the benefits of moving your local area marketing to the mobile channel.

Mobile Apps vs. SMS Marketing: Choosing The Right Move for Your Brand

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, News, SMS | No Comments

With mobile becoming such an integral part of brands and businesses marketing strategies, it is important for brands to research the best area of mobile development to invest their marketing dollars in. Perhaps one of the largest and most consistent battles in the mobile marketing industry is between investing in a Mobile App for your business, or investing in a SMS Marketing strategy. There are clear and present benefits to both approaches, but is there a consistent winner coming out on top?

Recently McDonald’s, one of the most successful quick service restaurant chains worldwide, announced that it would be rolling out a mobile advertising partnership with Mowingo, a mobile app company boasting two value propositions – to connect with the stores and restaurants you love (for customers), and to build a relationship with your biggest fans (for businesses and brands). The mobile app company based out of Palo Alto, California claims to allow you to “communicate with your customers,” “generate lifetime value from your marketing efforts,” and to improve your bottom line, “unlike many deal of the day apps” which only hurt margins (a playful jab at Groupon). After seeing great success using Mowingo in a few of it’s Northern California locations, McDonald’s has plans to roll the program out to over 600 locations nationwide starting this summer.

As Daniel T. Dreymann, CEO of Mowingo Inc., states:

“They get to know much more about their customers, and now they are starting to get data. They can see trends and can reward customers for their loyalty based on patterns of buying, which is something they could not do before. The ability to reward customers makes the experience more personal.”

This is one benefit that mobile apps will hold over SMS marketing (for the time being); the ability to measure trends and reward based on loyalty and patterns of buying. This allows for an incredible opportunity to see sales trends, see what is working, reward based on those observations, and track everything that is happening all the while. However, this benefit is rivaled by a setback almost just as startling: only 95.8 million of the 327.6 million mobile phone connections are smartphones – that’s only a 29% customer reach.

While using an existing company such as Mowingo is a much more practical and financially sound approach to introducing a mobile component than designing your own mobile app, you are still faced with the problem of customer reach. The mobile phone has reached over 100% penetration in the United states, with there being more mobile phone connections than citizens in the country. This does not mean, however, that all of these are smartphones able to download and interact with your mobile app. Each of those phones does, however, have the ability to send and receive text messages.

Text message marketing works with each and every one of your customers, and offers the same opportunity of being able to turn one-time customers into loyal fans – but it works for everyone. While the app approach does offer some interesting and captivating tracking and trending opportunities, it is important in the marketing world to take reach and effectiveness over early adoption of new technology.

So what then is the best approach – a Mobile App or an SMS Marketing strategy? As we have continued to say from the beginning, the best and most successful marketing strategies of 2012 and beyond will be cross-platform approaches (see what we have to say about cross-platform approaches here, here, and here). Cross-platform approaches to local area marketing allow the business or brand in question to interact with their customers on the level most convenient and effective for them as an individual – allowing your brand to have wider reach and presence in your customers’ minds.

While SMS clearly has the broadest reach and effectiveness of any other marketing strategy out there right now, we are well-aware of the importance and quality of interaction available from other approaches such as loyalty programs and mobile apps. Because of that we are working on some very exciting things here at Mobivity and can’t wait to show them to you just as soon as they’re ready. Until then, give us a call to speak about integrating an SMS marketing program with your brand or business.

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