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.


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.



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.




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.


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.




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.




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.




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.


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.



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.



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.

SMS Marketing and the Healthcare Industry

Posted by | Case Studies, General, SMS | No Comments

The National Cancer Institute recently enlisted SMS and text messaging as it’s premier method for engaging in a discussion with young adults about quitting smoking early to avoid health complications later in life. The program is designed to deliver messages containing targeted advice and encouragement to help young people quit smoking. Teens and young adults can enter the program by texting QUIT to 47848 or through the SmokefreeTXT website. Jed Alpert, CEO of Mobile Commons, states that:

“Mobile messaging makes sense for the National Cancer Institute or any entity in the healthcare industry seeking to engage people around a health issue. This is for the simple reason that mobile messaging – in this case, text messaging – has nearly universal reach and, more significantly, the highest read and response rates of any communication channel. For the National Cancer Institute who is communicating a message of smoking cessation, there simply is not a more effective or more inclusive method than mobile.”

Mobile Commons worked with the National Cancer institute to design and implement this program to educate and aid young adults around the country in developing healthier lifestyles. By connecting with young smokers on their mobile phones, the National Cancer Institute hopes to more effectively encourage them to quit since text messaging is such a popular activity among teens and young adults. Teens exchange an average of nearly 3,500 messages per month, according to data from Nielsen. Mobile Commons and the NCI are driving traffic to their campaign through Social Media websites popular with young adults, as well as more organic marketing and searching approaches (see: the importance of multi-channel marketing).

“Every day we see more departments of health, healthcare providers, hospital groups and pharmaceutical companies seeking our help in utilizing mobile to improve those outcomes in a cost-effective manner. This includes some of the most challenging situations, including complex drug and behavior regimens among HIV patients and reaching the most underserved populations with respect to public health priorities such as vaccinations.”

Whether you’re attempting to run an educational campaign, or simply set up an appointment reminder system at your local doctor’s office, text messaging is an incredible asset to connecting patients and healthcare providers nationwide. To learn more about setting up a mobile marketing campaign for your business or provider, give us a call today.

To read more on Mobile Commons work with the National Cancer institute, click here.

Keeping Your SMS Campaign Personalized

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

We all know the importance and quality of interaction brands can receive by communicating with their customers via text message. However, there are a certain set of guidelines and best practices that businesses and brands alike should follow in order to keep their marketing as personalized and intimate as the medium they are channeling across. As Matthew R. Lesher notes:

SMS is easy and convenient for the consumer and provides the greatest reach for brands. It is extremely effective for connecting with a brand’s most loyal and active consumers who are looking to engage with the brand. Not only do these consumers want to communicate with the brand, the channel by which they choose to communicate is very personal. A consumer’s mobile phone is within the boundaries of [their] personal space.

Text messaging has instant, direct, and welcomed contact with your customers – and in return for that kind of connection businesses must take heed and focus on consideration of the customers in which they’re trying to reach (lest we forget the 3AM text message that tainted a seemingly successful mobile campaign on Barack Obama’s part during his 2008 election expedition). To this effect, Mr. Lesher provided the Mobile Marketer with some tips to personalize and successfully augment interaction between businesses and their customers over the mobile and text messaging channels.

Because SMS text marketing is such a personal form of communication, it is essential that brands send appropriate, relevant and timely information and messaging to each individual consumer.

  • Calling it Right
    “If a brand sends more personalized SMS messages, how much more effective is the communication?”, Lesher asks. “[A]n April 2011 survey by the e-tailing Group and MyBuys found that 46 percent of consumer respondents would be more likely to buy from retailers who personalized their experience with that brand and 66 percent of consumer respondents expected a more personalized experience if they were part of a loyalty program.”

  • Zipping Through
    “For brands to engage in a more targeted marketing program, they need to consider a deeper dive into the preferences of their consumers and send only relevant messages to those consumers at appropriate times. The key, then, is to understand each consumer’s interests and preferences. Collecting interests and preferences can be done in several ways, including, but not limited to, at opt-in by using different key words, using mobile surveys via SMS or mobile Web sites or leveraging a brand’s existing consumer data. Each different avenue will provide different levels of detail. Brands need to decide which methods best suit their needs and consumer base.”

Nearing the end of his article, Lesher notes that:

SMS [text marketing] continues to be an effective and powerful form of communicating with consumers. It is important to remember that text messaging is likely a consumer’s preferred method of communication. By adding targeted messaging to a SMS text marketing program, brands can engage in a more relevant and personalized communication with consumers, which ultimately results in a more effective mobile marketing campaign.

Consideration of your customers must be at an all time high when connecting with them on a deeply personal and direct medium. Doing so will aid in more successful campaigns, as well as an increased database of customers willing to interact with you over their mobile phone – where as sending messages out at 3 AM will surely harm your campaign. If you have any concerns about what you’re sending, or when you’re sending messages out, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Account Manager at Mobivity, they are local area marketing experts and are trained to help you create a successful and results driven mobile campaign. If you’re interested in learning more about Mobivity, and about how we can guarantee your success by interacting with your customers over text message, give us a call today!

To read the rest of Lesher’s article on the personalization of a text message marketing campaign, click here.

Constant “Lightweight” Connectivity – The Fate of the Phone Call

Posted by | General, Mobile Analytics, Mobile Experience, Technology | No Comments

It’s no surprise that mobile phone usage has far surpassed land-line and home phone usage. As Tom Vanderbilt of The Wilson Quarterly notes:

In 2009, the United States crossed a digital Rubicon: For the first time, the amount of data sent with mobile devices exceeded the sum of transmitted voice data. The shift was heralded in tech circles with prophetic fury: “The phone call is dead,” pronounced a blogger at the Web site TechCrunch. Writing in Wired, journalist Clive Thompson observed, “This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social network messaging.” And the online news network True/Slant declared a paradox: “We’re well on our way to becoming an incredibly disconnected connected society.”

According to Vanderbilt, the last time the United States saw an increase in land-line usage was in the 1990′s with the introduction of Dial-Up Internet Access (Remember that? Neither do we, at least we’d like to forget). Vanderbilt also notes that, alongside the decrease in land-line usage, there is a seeming cultural shift in the way we use our phones:

Even as the number of wireless connections increased from 286 million in 2009 to 303 million in 2010, voice usage on those phones decreased. And our calls are getting shorter. While in 2003 the average local mobile phone call lasted a leisurely three minutes, by 2010 it had been trimmed to a terse one minute and 47 seconds.

Regardless of the social implications, which Mr. Vanderbilt goes into more depth here, there is a clear and present trend that all businesses and individuals should be paying attention to. There is a social paradigm shifting our country’s perception of communication away from traditional methods, and more towards short-hand convenient methods such as texting. Our nation has moved towards this form of “Constant Light-Weight Connectivity,” and successful businesses will take note of this. The most effective advertising method is the one your customers respond to most, and according to year-by-year statistics, that is text messaging and new mobile mediums.

To read more about the status of the mobile market, click here to download our very own hand-crafted White Paper, detailing some revealing and astonishing trends in the US over the past few years. The mobile phone is where your customers communicate most, give us a call today to discuss connecting with your customers on their terms.

Where do your customers get their information?

Posted by | General, Mobile Web, News | No Comments

For decades journalists and news agencies alike have battled for the opportunity to present their spin of the story to citizens worldwide. However, one question often over looked by the reporters is where exactly the individual goes to for news on a daily basis. For example, while several individuals in a recent Pew Research study state that they get news from sources such as Twitter and Facebook, it is only supplemental to other main news sources.

A large group of individuals have noted getting news, if not primarily, supplementally from news sources and reporting websites on their mobile devices. In fact, nearly 45 percent of users get “most of their news” from their smartphone. As Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, states:

What we see is the establishing of the mobile era of news, over a quarter of the population is now getting news on a mobile device and nearly as many are getting news on multiple digital devices. The results show that the degree to which people are getting news on these devices seems to be adding to news consumption as opposed to merely replacing it. The vast majority is still getting news on a desktop or laptop and is not necessarily abandoning their old ways of getting news.

This is even seen across the pond, where there was a nearly 74 percent increase in mobile news consumption from January 2011 to January 2012. Also worth noting, almost 85 percent of smartphone users surveyed admit to accessing news on their mobile device on a daily basis.

The implications for advertisers, businesses, and brands alike are staggering. As Jonathan Stephen, senior producer of mobile products at JetBlue Airways states,

You have to see what type of devices your customers are using and see how they would like to access your content.

This is absolutely crucial and should be at the forefront of nearly every brand and business mind. You must pay attention not only to where your customers are getting their information, but also what is best for them.

Mobile is a medium of convenience. It is more convenient for your customers to receive your message to their phones and in their pocket than any other form of communication, and because of this you will see a higher level of response and effectiveness. When marketing to your customers, much like when a news agency attempts to get news reports to its viewers, you always want to consider which form of media is most convenient to the recipient, and what will generate the best response. Mobile advertising and SMS aren’t replacing the forms of marketing you are already using, they are here to enhance and multiply the interaction you are seeing with your customers already.

To speak about the benefits of adding a mobile component to your marketing strategy, contact one of our Account Managers today.

Introducing: Stairball League

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Around the office we like to find and create ways to have fun, and build camaraderie. One of the ways we do this is through competitions, games, and team-building activities that allow us to get to know each other better, as well as release stress from long days in the office.

Meet Stairball, our latest and greatest invention.

The rules are simple. You have to throw the ball up the stairs, attempting to get the ball to stop on the top landing. If the ball stops on the top landing, you get a point. If the ball rolls down you get to keep playing. BUT, if the ball stops before rolling all the way down, you lose.

Your Customer Loyalty Solution Awaits! CALL NOW: 877-282-7660 GET STARTED NOW