June 2012 - Mobivity

Meet Josh, Our New Intern

Posted by | General, News | No Comments

Josh Dyer, the newest member of our team, is a 24 year old San Diego native who just moved to Arizona to join the Mobivity team at our Headquarters in downtown Chandler. Josh just graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing (specifically sports marketing, make him a great fit for our team).

Like any good intern, Josh needs a nickname to help get him through the rest of the summer. And this is where we need your help.

To help out, please head over to our Facebook page to vote on the nickname that Josh will have around the office for the rest of this summer, and potentially the rest of his time with Mobivity for as long as he’s a part of our team. While you’re there, be sure to “like” our page if you haven’t already to get additional updates and news on what we’re doing around the office and in the mobile marketing industry.

We could tell you the significance behind some of the nicknames like Jeezy, Aztec, Meat, and Mickey, but we’d much rather just let you choose.

Vote for Josh’s Nickname

The Most Effective Text Messages for Campaigns

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Tips & Tricks | No Comments

One of the largest resources that we offer our clients is access to a personalized Account Coach. These coaches are assigned and made available to each of our clients for a lot of reasons, but the primary reasons are to train our clients on not only how to use our online text message marketing platform, but also how to see the best results.

One of the first things that our Account Coaches attempt to do is to train each of our clients on what the perfect message should contain to get the best response from your customers. Our “perfect message” contains six key components.

1. Emphasis

It is important to emphasize the words you want your customers to see most. While text messaging is the most far reaching form of communication, it is often given a quick look. In order to catch your customers’ attention when sending them a message, it is key to capitalize words that are important, or details about your offer – make sure your customers understand exactly what it is that you are trying to say.

2. Keep Things Interactive

While you’re message is going to several individual phone numbers, that is no reason to only have one customer come in based on what you sent (in most cases). By using phrases such as “grab a buddy” or something to that effect, you are reminding your customers that you are attempting to create a community around text message marketing – not just increase sales.

3. Brand Your Location

You would be surprised how many messages we’ve seen go out that don’t include a location attached to an offer – and this can cause a few problems. First, if your location is part of a corporate chain, not all locations may be offering the same special you’re sending to customers, which could upset customers and cause opt-outs if they aren’t directed to a specific location. Secondly, text message marketing is becoming more and more popular every day. Without a location in your message, your customers may have no idea how to separate your offer or message from any of the other several messages they may have received that day or week.

4. Set Time Restraints on Your Offer

Often times we’ve seen some great deals go out over text message, deals that a location may not particularly want to offer “indefinitely.” This is one of many reasons that you want to restrict your offers to a certain time period. Additionally, one of the many benefits of text message marketing is being able to increase sales at the times that you need it most, and by restraining your offers to a certain time, you are now able to do that.

5. Enable Yourself To See Results

While some of our clients have put the extra work in to integrate text messaging into their POS systems, not all have the time or resources to do so. Without this integration, tracking is (in our humble opinions) a little easier than you’d imagine. By requesting that individuals show the text message they received in order to take advantage of the current offer, you can not only track how many redemptions you’ve had, but you can also ensure that the message they received was from you (not a forwarded message – like our next point).

6. Keep Your Database In Mind

By encouraging your customers to forward the message to friends, you can then grow your database because when customers come in showing a text message from a number other than your short code (benefit of asking customers to show the text they received) you can then ask that customer to opt in to your campaign, helping grow your database.

While these are just a few of many suggestions our Account Coaches offer each and every one of our clients, it is the base of what we encourage at Mobivity. To learn more about composing the best messages possible, log in to the hub and contact your Account Coach today, or sign up for an account to see how we thrive on the success of our customers.

The Main Goals of Mobile Marketing and How to Achieve Them

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

The goals of mobile marketing are very apparent and clear to marketers – to increase brand awareness and loyalty. But how do businesses and brands alike best utilize mobile marketing to achieve these goals amidst the flooding mobile market? How do you stand out? And how can you measure the success of mobile marketing? A lot of times the success of mobile marketing is measured up against other forms of marketing – comparing apples and oranges.

According to Jason Wells, the CEO of Contact Point, we’re measuring everything all wrong. It’s not about measuring how successful mobile is against other marketing mediums because the goals are not the same:

“The problem with a relatively new advertising medium is that it can be judged out of context. For example, we cannot compare the success of television ads clearly focused on branding with direct mail pieces clearly focused on driving phone calls. That is comparing apples and oranges. Most marketers understand this. But yet we still do it with mobile.”

What then is the goal of mobile marketing? What should mobile marketers measure? Wells states that:

“The goal of every mobile marketer is – or should be – to produce a phone call.

While this is true, it is also entirely too general – everything depends on the medium of mobile marketing you are employing to contact your customers. For example, a banner ad within mobile apps is used to generate clicks and phone calls to a company, yet the goal of text message marketing is to enhance interaction and give brands and businesses direct and welcomed contact with their customers – contact that does not require an app download. But the end is the same – the goal of mobile marketing is to generate a response to a mobile call to action.

The goal of text message marketing in particular is two-fold.

1. Increase and Enhance Customer Loyalty and Interaction

Increasing customer loyalty gives you the edge in a saturated QSR market. By allowing your customers to be opted in to your mobile campaign, they get VIP offers and specials that aren’t offered directly to the public, created a sense of loyalty and interaction that your customers often won’t see elsewhere.

2. To Bring Customers Into Your Location at Times When You Need Them Most.

Perhaps one of the largest benefits of text message marketing is the ability to increase and drive sales at times when you need them most. Whether that’s because sales are down, your store seems slow and empty, or you have excess product – text message marketing allows you to bring in customers when you want to.

To read more about Wells’ approach to increasing call volume, read on here at the Mobile Marketer, and to learn more about text message marketing and the goals of mobile marketing, give us a call today.

The Pitfalls of Short-Code Provisioning

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

This morning Jared Reitzin, CEO of Mobile Storm posted a story on the Mobile Marketer detailing some of the hidden complications behind provisioning your own short-code for SMS marketing. Read on to see our recap, as well as find out the benefits to working with Mobivity to defer the complications of provisioning your own short-code while still taking advantage of the massive benefits to communicating with your customers through text message marketing.

“Think about it: what other industry or company do you know of that charges you for service every month but you cannot start using the service for four months?”

While every mobile customer in the United States should be very grateful to the CTIA and Mobile Marketing Association for setting into place protocol to protect against spam and unwanted messages, there is an eb and flow of protecting the masses, and making it increasingly difficult for marketers to interact with their customers willing to receive messages. As Reitzin states, “For mobile marketers, this may sound like familiar territory. We all know that mobile marketing through a common short code is ultimately the best way to go,” and has been for years.

As Reitzin notes, two of the most prominent events bringing text message marketing to the collective consciousness in the US were the use of text message voting in American Idol, and the infamous 3AM text from Barack Obama’s campaign office announcing his decision to choose Joe Biden as his VP candidate. In a few short years, SMS has sky-rocketed not only in use and effectiveness, but also in social acceptance from consumers.

“SMS is a brilliant way to engage with potential customers and retain existing ones. Response rates dwarf other channels such as email, IVR and direct mail.”

For example:

  • The average SMS message is read within four minutes.
  • 80 percent of U.S. consumers send text messages, with billions being sent on a daily basis (Source: Pew Research Center).
  • Kaiser Permanente proved it could reduce the number of no-shows by sending SMS appointment reminders. They saved close to $275,000 in 30 days at one facility.

Reitzin notes three major reasons that the current status-quo for short-code provisioning can’t last.

1. Price

With USShortcodes, it could cost anywhere from $1,500 – $3,000 for the quarter depending on if the code is licensed as a random or vanity code (and that’s just to get the code up and running).

“Small businesses cannot afford the cost of a short code . . . [and] soon most companies in the United States will not be able to use SMS. It is as if the industry is forcing people towards QR codes.”

2. Time

The average amount of time it takes to provision a short-code, whether random or vanity, is around 4 months (yes, that’s AVERAGE, barring any mistakes or logistical set backs along the long and bumpy road).

“Just do not pay any attention to the stat that most businesses fail within the first year, because you only have eight months left.”

3. It’s Not Over

Getting your short-code provisioned, approved, and in working order is just the beginning. Once the CSCA gets you going, they want to see EVERYTHING you’re doing.

“Audits are nightmares that take important employee resources away from other revenue-generating activities, such as helping a client understand how to properly build and market to their database. It is as if the carriers are looking for ways not to do business with you.”

To read Reitzin’s full commentary on the mobile market as is, head over here. Now, enter Mobivity. Mobivity works with the CSCA, MMA, and other regulatory agencies so that you don’t have to. We work to license short-codes, and provide managerial and regulatory oversight so that each of our clients can reap the benefits of SMS and text message marketing without having to worry about dealing with the industry’s watchdogs. And that’s just one small part of how we help our customers bring in more customers more often.

To learn more about the creating a direct and welcomed form of communication with your clients, give us a call today.

Learning the Mobile Lingo with Mobivity

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

At Mobivity we often run into our clients not quite understanding some of the mobile words that we use to help define the way that we run our business. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ve created a Mobile Lingo Dictionary to define some of the words that we use on a daily basis that may also help you better understand the mobile advertising and text message marketing business.

Scroll through this post to see the definitions for words that we use when communicating with our clients, and to have a better understanding of your mobile platform.

Account Coach - A resource and service offered by Mobivity where each client and account is assigned a specific Account Coach to help manage campaigns, blasts, and ideas to create a successful and results-drive campaign for each client.

Account Manager - A group of dedicated and resourceful individuals that work for Mobivity to contact and answer questions for new clients and potential prospects interested in the mobile advertising industry.

Auto Response - An automatic message that is sent to an end-user after texting a specific keyword to a specific short code – fully customizable to each text message marketing campaign.

Blast - The process of sending a message instantly to all of the mobile subscribers in a database, allowing direct and welcomed contact with customers.

BoomText - A company started by Spencer Brannan and Levi McClendon that eventually grew to be what Mobivity is today. Read Mobivity’s full history here.

Campaign - A mobile advertising or text message marketing campaign is when a business decides to connect with their customer in a direct and welcomed method. A campaign is typically attached to a certain keyword, as one business may have several campaigns within their mobile marketing platform.

Competitor’s - We aren’t sure of the exact definition of this word, as Mobivity offers the highest level of service and support in the mobile advertising industry. Being a leader in the industry isn’t about being at the top, it is about creating campaigns that work for our clients and their customers. Period.

Cross Platform Approach - The act of using multiple platforms and mediums to connect with customers in a way that is convenient and effective to them. Typical suggestions include using text message marketing, websites, and social networking sites to create a sense of interconnectivity between the business and their customers.

IVR - An acronym for “Interactive Voice Response” software, a proprietary mobile solution created by Mobivity’s parent company, CommerceTel, that is offered as part of many large client’s mobile advertising approach.

Fwd2Friends - A low character method of encouraging the customers in an existing mobile database to share a mobile campaign with friends and family members. When sending a message with Fwd2Friends, it is also important to include a “show text” portion in the offer, so that when someone redeems the offer they can be encouraged to opt in to the originating mobile campaign.

(the) Hub - A home page for all Mobivity clients that provides an easy way for Mobivity to communicate with clients, as well as to offer constant connection between clients and their Account Coaches.

Keyword - A word that is specific to a single list of phone numbers or single text message marketing campaign on a shared short code. See: Campaign, Shared Short Code.

Mobile Websites - A version of a website optimized for the screen-size and user-experience on most mobile devices.

Mobivity - A mobile advertising and text message marketing firm based out of Chandler, Arizona that specializes in bring small businesses and nationwide franchises more customers, more often by marketing to their customers at the local level on the mobile channel.

Opt In - All recipients of SMS marketing must be “opted-in” in accordance with guidelines set in place by the Mobile Marketing Association. This means that they must request, or “opt in” to be part of your text club by texting your keyword to your provided short code.

Platform - The website used to manage text message marketing campaigns – in the case of Mobivity, the client platform is 100% cloud-based, and requires no additional software or hardware installation.

QR Code - A small, scannable code (similar to a barcode) that can be used to enhance and create a media-rich mobile experience for a business’ customers.

Short Code - A phone number that is specific to a text message platform, and is typically 5-6 digits long.

SMS Message - SMS, an acronym for short-message-service, is a method by which individuals are able to communicate through a text format, and businesses are able to communicate with their customers through the use of text message marketing.

Stair Ball - A game invented at Mobivity’s World Headquarters to help keep our hard workers motivated and create office camaraderie. Click here to learn more about Stair Ball.

Subscriber - A person who texts in to a mobile campaign to receive messages from at specific keyword on a specific short code.

Text Message Marketing - A form of advertising that allows a business direct and welcomed contact with their customers via the mobile phone, creating the most convenient and effective way to generate brand loyalty, and to turn one-time customers into raving fans of a local business.

White Paper - A document containing statistics and news surrounding the mobile market and mobile advertising channels currently existing in the country that can be downloaded at mobivity.com/whitepaper.

1/text - A low character method for helping to restrict your offer from one per mobile phone user, also encouraging those who are not opted in to do so in order to receive similar messages.

Using SMS to Build and Better Your Current Marketing and Advertising Plans for 2012

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

While the majority of our client’s here at Mobivity typically use SMS and text messaging as a way to have direct and welcomed contact with their customers, we realize that there are several other usages and applications of SMS and text message marketing.

From increasing your direct-mail or email marketing database, to setting up API integration with your existing CRM, the applications of text message marketing with what you’re already doing are nearly endless. As we’ve said before, the importance of a multi-channel marketing approach in today’s growing and changing mobile market is absolutely crucial (see here, here, here, and here). As Michael Becker, the North American Chief of the Mobile Marketing Association, says on the importance of a mobile component in advertising plans,

“Smart marketers understand that mobile isn’t just an add-on to their plans or something that would be “good to have.” They realize that mobile is media, a channel, a platform that is relevant to consumers within all aspect of their lives. Smarter marketers are learning how to engage their customer in contextually relevant ways through and with mobile.”

As Lauren Johnson, the Editorial Assistant for the Mobile Marketer (@MobileMktrDaily), states in her article on why email is the anchor for mobile marketing, “Email and SMS databases are two of the most treasured pieces of data for digital marketers, which can go hand-in-hand to helping boost one another, according to one email expert.”

But email and SMS aren’t the only options. Interactive Nutrition recently increased it’s mailing list by 40% through a coordinated print and online QR code campaign offering incentive to users for opting-in to it’s campaign (right). Interactive Nutrition recently used QR codes to engage Arnold Sports Festival attendees in a deeper and more media-rich mobile experience, as well as to increase the size of it’s existing database. Laura Marriott, the CEO of NeoMedia (the company responsible for aiding Interactive Nutrition in it’s campaign) said that

“For the advertiser, QR codes mean the ability to gain meaningful insight into their consumer with each and every scan. The opportunity to share an opinion, combined with the chance to receive a reward, encourages continued engagement and drives brand recognition going forward.”

At Mobivity, we’re still a little skeptical about the place of QR codes in the mobile market, but anything that can increase the responsiveness and interconnectivity between brands and their customers is absolutely an asset. Perhaps through using QR codes and SMS Marketing for increasing the size of a business’ email database, we can begin to see even greater results for each forum of advertising through this cross-platform mentality. Whether your approach is primarily print-based, email based, or entrenched in the Social networking field, mobile marketing has consistently proven itself as a key component to enhancing the interaction and loyalty you see between your business, and your customers. To learn more about how Mobivity increases brand loyalty, and guarantees to bring you more customers more often, give us a call today.

Facebook and Text Message Marketing – Why don’t we see this more often?

Posted by | General, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Experience, SMS, Social Media | No Comments

The other day a few of us left the office to grab lunch at a local sandwich shop. On what seemed like a fairly normal lunch we ran into an interesting piece of promotional material on the door on our way out (pictured to the left). Similar to the “People Love Us On Yelp“, or the “Check in Here on Foursquare” stickers seen on many local business’ windows around town, it seems Facebook is attempting to appeal to this same type of audience. At least they were.

After some (failed) testing to see whether or not texting like followed by the vanity name of the business in question’s Facebook page (in this case “leescoffee”), we decided to do a little research.

We initially tried to like our local sandwich page’s Facebook page via text, but got no response. After texting help and stop to the short code 32665, or FBOOK (clever girl), and getting no response, we shot over to the Facebook support forums.

We then found that, while creating a Facebook account, users are able to attach their phone numbers to their Facebook accounts, allowing notifications and updates via text message from Facebook. This also enables a slew of other cool features that aren’t offered to those users who don’t choose to connect their phone number to their accounts. We then found instructions on the Facebook support forums for users to “like” a page on Facebook via text message (right).

Once a user has their mobile phone connected to their Facebook account, they can follow the above instructions to like nearly any business with a vanity Facebook page.

We then started to wonder why Facebook isn’t advertising this more often, and why haven’t we heard of it?

Time to dig deeper.

It turns out that in April of 2010, Mashable caught wind of Facebook sending SMS window clings to select local businesses. According to Mashable, a respected and leading blog in the Social Media and Tech spectrum, this was a small part of a marketing ploy on the part of Facebook to get local and small businesses to purchase ad-space on Facebook. Accompanying the small window cling was a letter from Tim Kendall, the Director of Product Marketing for Facebook at the time, informing the small businesses that received the select decals that they should display the cling “prominently on [their] window or sales counter, since businesses that promote their Page off-Facebook tend to see a 20% or greater increase in connections.” In addition to the letter and cling, the select group of businesses also received a $25 coupon for Facebook Ads (There’s the punch-line). But that’s it. It seems after this initial push for a “Text-to-Like” feature, alongside with window clings to promote it, there is very little news on the subject.

Huge mistake, in our opinion. If you have an average and up-to-date rating on Yelp of 3.5 or above, they will send out stickers quarterly to promote your Yelp account. If you simply “claim” a space that is a place of business, Foursquare will deliver a “Check-In Here!” cling to your door. It’s been just over 2 years since Facebook started sending out these test window clings, and we haven’t heard anything since… and there isn’t a user-friendly template for creating your own anywhere on the web.

It is our humble opinion that Facebook should harness the power of text messaging and the mobile market (though many aren’t sure Facebook understands what mobile advertising can be) if they really want to compete with Yelp and Foursquare for the local business portion of social media. I can’t even remember how many times I would have liked to “like” a Facebook page, but didn’t want to navigate the rocky waters of the terrible iOS Facebook app. Had I known it was this simple, as simple as texting in, I would have loved to like many local business pages that I would have returned to if I could simply remember their name.

But maybe we’re a little biased. Give it a try: text like mobivity to 32665 and see what you think. And let us know!

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