August 2012 - Mobivity

From the Red Cross to B.O., SMS Donations are on the Rise

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

One of the most common barriers to entry for someone looking to donate financial aid is the difficulty of the process. Whether it’s for a political campaign, or a disaster relief fund, the easier it is for your prospects to donate, the higher level of funds you will be able to raise.

It is for this reason that donations over social and mobile channels have always had extreme success, because the ease of use and user experience is preferable to most other forms of donation. Mobile has seen a rise in popularity overall in politics, with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s decision to announce his choice for Vice Presidential candidate over the Mitt Romney mobile app.

Though the success and reach of each of these methods is questionable (see right: I have one of the top mobile carriers in the US), we have to applaude each candidate for their candide attempts at entrance to mobile. President Obama is certainly not foreign to mobile, as we know through his text message campaign in 2008 that garnered many mobile marketing awards. But his donations have a seemingly different approach this time around.

Both President Obama and Mr. Romney have mobile apps, but the President has become the first presidential candidate to accept donations via SMS. Much like Red Cross donations of the past (and present), the cell phone users monthly phone bill will be charged the cost of donation. While a standard web widget has been successful for garnering web donations, the Obama camp has said that they will pitch text message donations on television ads and in live speech settings where a user will be most likely to have their cell phone, and need an easy way to donate to the campaign.

Text message donations aren’t necessarily a new concept, as the Red Cross has gathered millions of dollars in the past for disaster relief funds. A few weeks ago the Red Cross was urging Twitter users to text donations for Hurricane Isaac that hit the southern US coast.

While text donations can be a huge asset for raising money in the mobile environment, there is one major caveat that businesses should pay attention to.

Carriers charge sometimes outrageous fees for receiving the money that is donated, and oftentimes don’t send a donation check until months after the initial donations are received. So while the benefit of having mobile donations may (vastly) outweigh the cost for large organizations, it’s not necessarily a viable solution for small businesses to accept donations – but that’s okay, that’s why we have Square.

While President Obama’s camp has yet to release numbers on the success rates and donation amounts received from text messages, we’re sure they’ll be high. The only thing to look out for now is how the President uses these numbers and database he built to help promote his campaign (it’s almost debate season, right?). We sure hope he uses it wisely, and doesn’t let the chance to reconnect with those who donated slip away.

The Widespread Adoption of the Third Screen in Movies and Television

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

This summer has been an exciting and interactive season for mobile marketing and blockbuster hits. We’ve seen a lot of adoption of and utilization of the “third screen,” as our VP of Sales and Marketing Spencer Brannan calls it, allowing movie and television producers to bridge the gap between their viewers and the screen they’re watching.

Several fall movies that are being promoted right now include a mobile marketing approach to attempt to virally increase movie attendance, including one of our own with the movie House at the End of the Street.

Another prominent and upcoming movie is Parnormal Activity 4, which introduces a text call to action at the end of the released trailers. This call to action prompts a viewer to opt-in to the movie’s campaign, then sending an exclusive trailer (see the image to the left) not released to the public, as well as methods to make sharing this campaign and trailer with friends more easy and convenient.

While the Paranormal Activity series isn’t world renowned for it’s artistic film-making qualities, one thing they are good at is engaging their audience, and marketing in a viral way. By encouraging participation in their mobile campaign with the promise of exclusive trailers and details about the upcoming movie, the marketing minds behind Paranormal Activity are starting off a successful mobile campaign to the tee, and will likely see large participation rates across the country.

But we’ve also seen that mobile campaigns aren’t just for movies and that television shows can engage an audience just as well (if not better).

The popular television show Breaking Bad, though seemingly controversial, has always gotten rave reviews for it’s place as a “social” television show.

The show has been able to generate buzz on social networks like Twitter and Facebook by engaging viewers in contests, questionnaires, and conversations while everyone is guessing what Walt will do next. But while it’s no question that Breaking Bad has gotten Social down, their entrance into mobile with the show’s fifth and final season has been exciting to see unfold.

With AMC’s newly released “Story Sync” app for Android and iOS devices, viewers are provided with “supplemental content” before, during, and after each episode is aired. As John Paul Titlow notes,

“In many cases, [Story Sync] was as simple as a poll asking viewers for their opinions about something that had just happened in the show. The auto-refreshing feed also included graphics and quotes from previous episodes, which provided pertinent context and details at precisely the right moments.”

AMC’s Story Sync has proven that mobile marketing can be used for far more than just advertising. They are using the mobile channel as a way to communicate exclusive content and additional details to the viewers of their beloved shows – and as a self-pronounced Breaking Bad fanatic, I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the Story Sync experience.

So what does all this mean to you? How does Hollywood’s adoption of mobile affect the customer base of small to medium sized businesses and restaurants? Hollywood’s adoption of the mobile channel is an introduction. Consumers and viewers are one in the same – both are looking for ways to feel that they are getting exclusive content and special treatment from a brand that (otherwise) probably doesn’t even know their name.

That’s what utilizing the mobile channel is all about. It’s about connecting with your customers at quite possibly the most personal level – their mobile phones – and then using that connection to foster a relationship that not only increases brand awareness and loyalty, but eventually lands your business more customers due to the adoption of mobile.

While we are set to see more and more mobile interaction with each passing day, it’s not too late to check it all out. Give us a call today to learn more about how you could be engaging your customers on the mobile channel and capitalize on the adoption of mobile throughout the country.

CommerceTel Announces Record Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results

Posted by | Press Releases | No Comments

CommerceTel Corporation (MFON), an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and solutions, announced today record second quarter revenue, gross profit and reduced operating losses for the three month period ending June 30th, 2012.
Q2, 2012 revenue increased to $1,009,398 from $553,108 in Q2, 2011, an 82% increase.
Q2, 2012 gross profit increased 81% to $676,940, vs. $374,057 in Q2 2011.
Gross profit as a percentage of revenue increased to 67% from 64% in the first quarter of 2012.
Adjusted EBITDA improved 3.9% to ($380,435) from ($395,748) in the previous three month period ending March 31, 2012.
Dennis Becker, President & CEO, was quoted as saying, “2012 has been a busy year for the Company as we’ve progressed our operational goals and increased the focus on delivering our patented technology to the Local Advertising industry. I’m pleased to report that, as of today, there are more than 5,000 locations across the country utilizing our technology to connect with local consumers’ mobile devices. More than 1,500 of those 5,000 users have been turned up just the past 60 days. We’ve also consolidated the various brands we acquired through 2011 into ‘Mobivity’ (www.mobivity.com) which better reflects our mission of driving more customers, more often for local advertisers. As previously stated, we continue to project 2012 revenues of more than 60% growth over 2011, and are excited to have recently procured growth capital to expand sales and marketing activities.”
The Company raised $1,033,002 through equity issuance in 2011 to fund its growth. In addition, the Company obtained $2,656,250 in new financing via a new Note issued May 31, 2012.
Business Update
The Company continues to grow its Local Advertiser customer base. A Major Quick Serve Restaurant franchise has completed trials in more than 1,500 locations and completed their full nationwide roll out to more than 3,500 locations during June, 2012. The number of locations across the United States currently utilizing CommerceTel’s patented mobile marketing solution has grown from less than 1,000 to more than 5,000 locations in just the last 12 months.
During the second quarter, the Company won several major brand client contracts and campaigns including a three-year license to the United States Tennis Association, the Trump Organization’s Miss Universe Organization, and the successful execution of mobile fan engagement during the 2012 Final Four NCAA basketball tournament.
On August 6, 2012, the Company filed a document with the Secretary of State of the State of Nevada changing its corporate name to Mobivity Holdings Corp. The name change will be effectuated by merging the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary into itself without shareholder approval, as permitted by Nevada law. The name change will become effective on August 22, 2012, which the Company expects is the date that the FINRA will announce the name change. A new Website has been launched marketing the Mobivity brand at www.mobivity.com
Financial Summary

—————————————————————————-
Three months ended Six months ended
June 30, June 30,
—————————————————————————-
$000s ex-EPS 2012 2011 Chg. 2012 2011 Chg.
—————————————————————————-
Net Revenues $1,009 $553 82% $2,023 $694 192%
—————————————————————————-
Gross Profits $677 $374 81% $1,322 $259 204%
—————————————————————————-
GAAP Net Income ($992) ($998) -1% ($2,684) ($2,310) 16%
(loss)
—————————————————————————-
Adjusted Net ($380)(1) ($329) 16% ($776) (1) ($758) (1) 2%
Income (loss)
—————————————————————————-
GAAP EPS (Diluted) ($0.04) ($0.05) -8% ($0.12) ($0.12) 0%
—————————————————————————-
Adjusted EPS ($0.02) (1) ($0.02) 0% ($0.03) (1) ($0.04) (1) 13%
(Diluted)
—————————————————————————-
Diluted Shares O/S 23,041 21,337 8% 22,920 19,534 17%
—————————————————————————-
(1) Please see non-GAAP reconciliation table below

Non-GAAP
reconciliations:
Three months ended Six months ended
June 30, June 30,
2012 2011 2012 2011
GAAP Net Income (Loss) $ (991,545) $ (997,985) $(2,683,785) $(2,309,503)
Depreciation and
amortization $ 146,765 $ 124,741 $ 301,382 $ 126,778
Change in FMV of
derivatives $ (654,477) $ 154,104 $ (193,990) $ 584,506
Non-cash stock comp
expenses $ 257,036 $ 251,727 $ 640,897 $ 596,336
Gain on contingent
considerations $ (16,131) $ (76,782)
Interest expense, net $ 877,917 $ 138,242 $ 1,236,095 $ 243,492

Non-GAAP adjusted net
income $ (380,435) $ (329,171) $ (776,183) $ (758,391)
Weighted avg. diluted
shares 23,041,215 21,336,579 22,920,101 19,534,081
Non-GAAP adjusted EPS $ (0.02) $ (0.02) $ (0.03) $ (0.04)
About CommerceTel:
CommerceTel is an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and the inventor of C4, a unique, enterprise-grade platform empowering brands to engage mobile consumers via multiple channels. The only system of its kind, C4 is a cloud-based solution providing broad mobile communications and extensive CRM features. It is integrated with multiple tier-one PSTN/ IP carriers and micropayment processing facilities as well as with carrier premium SMS billing systems. Customers include CNN, Disney, Sony Pictures, AT&T, Verizon, USA Network, numerous professional sports franchises, the Golf Channel, and NBC Universal. For further information visit www.commercetel.com or follow us on Twitter @CommerceTelinc.
About Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement our consolidated financial statements, which statements are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: adjusted net income. The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. We use these non-GAAP financial measures for financial and operational decision making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Our management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our “recurring core business operating results.” We believe that both management and investors benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing our performance and when planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors because (1) they allow for greater transparency with respect to key metrics used by management in its financial and operational decision making and (2) they are used by our institutional investors and the analyst community to help them analyze the health of our business.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” relating to the business of CommerceTel Corporation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included herein are “forward-looking statements” including statements regarding the impact of the proceeds from the private placement on the Company’s short term business and operations, the general ability of the Company to achieve its commercial objectives, including the ability of the Company to sustain growth; the business strategy, plans and objectives of the Company and its subsidiaries; and any other statements of non-historical information. These forward looking statements are often identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects” or similar expressions, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in the Company’s periodic reports that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website (http://www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf months are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under the securities laws, the Company does not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements.
Contact:
For additional information, contact:
Investor
Dennis Becker
CEO
CommerceTel Corp.
Phone: 619-725-0990

Promoting Your Mobile Campaign the Right Way

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

One of the most crucial paths to success of a mobile campaign for your business is the way you promote it. From time to time we’ll see a business that has a great plan of what to do with their mobile campaign, and has a receptive customer base almost guaranteeing success. But time and again we’ve seen that without the right promotion that campaign is sure to fail.

One of the more obvious reasons for starting a mobile campaign is growth. To grow your business, and to grow your customer base. But without promotion, even in the smallest sense of the word, your campaign can’t grow, and won’t positively affect your business.

Our mobile campaigns are one-hundred percent built around building community at the local level. That’s why when first starting a campaign, we ask our clients what is around them. Whether there are schools, malls, or small businesses, we encourage engaging the local and surrounding communities – because ultimately these are the clients that will frequent a client’s business, and the customers that will respond to and interact with a brand through mobile campaigns. Before growing a campaign out to engage everyone, we would suggest focusing in on the direct surroundings – sometimes the low-lying fruit is best to pick first.

Through our experience in working with mobile, we’ve found three key ways to promote a campaign that will all but ensure success for your business in growing your mobile campaign, and set you apart from the competition.

Use what you’re already doing to promote your campaign

While a mobile first approach is extremely successful for marketing at the local level, we’ve found that mobile plays extremely well with others.

Whether you’re business has a specific social media guru, or your business revolves around deliveries, promoting your mobile campaign on all of your existing marketing campaigns will help grow your mobile database incredibly fast.

For example, on the way into the office the other day, one of our employees spotted this Chick-fil-A delivery truck with an opt-in call to action on the tailgate.

We see a lot of these types of promotion over things like print ads, radio ads, and social media posts with our clients, and couldn’t encourage doing this anymore.

One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your campaign is to tell your clients over the channels that you’re already speaking to them on.

Use Printed Promotional Materials In Your Location

One of the first ways we interact with a new client is creating printed promotional materials that we send to their location. For the majority of our clients, this comes in the form of business card sized “opt-in” cards.

We’ve seen some tremendous results with these cards, which is why we include them for free with every account. In addition to opt-in cards, a client is emailed a printable flyer branded to their mobile campaign on the day that they sign up. With mobile, your customers can interact with you immediately and conveniently, which is why we create and send these materials as soon as a client signs up. The sooner your campaign gets promoted, the sooner you’ll be able to see success.

Beyond these opt-in cards, we offer a group of different promotional material packages designed and created with your campaign’s success in mind. Ask your Account Coach about which materials would be best for your location, and how to get those in your store today.

Word of Mouth – The Tried and True Successful Promotion

We recently had a new client sign up, and on their first night of having a live campaign, they gathered 400 opt-ins simply by walking around their business telling customers about the new campaign.

Need we say more?

One of the most successful ways to promote a campaign is word of mouth. That personal connection cannot be replicated by any piece of marketing material and the most secure way of growing your mobile database will absolutely be establishing a personal connection with each of your clients.

To learn more ways to help promote your mobile campaign for the most success, give your Account Coach a call today.

The Future of Mobile Payment is Now – But How Do Your Customers Feel About That?

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

With the recent partnership between Starbucks and Square there is a lot of buzz around a few magic words for businesses worldwide – mobile payment solutions. The metrics around mobile shopping and payment are all over the place. Who does the most mobile shopping? What kind of mobile ads are the most engaging for purchases? How can you best engage your customers for mobile transactions?

According to a recent Mashable article, nearly 45 million Americans used their phones to shop in June of this year. Shopping apps like eBay and Amazon have seen downloads to up to 13 million users in 2012 – with daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social not far behind. So how does the little guy take a part in the recent mobile payment offerings? After all, we’re all looking onward.

First, let’s look at the value of mobile shoppers. According to the Mobile Marketer, mobile shoppers have more value to brands than traditional shoppers, for a number of reasons. Perhaps most notably, mobile shoppers show less price sensitivity, and a much higher sense of brand loyalty. But in order to obtain those mobile shoppers, you must first learn who they are:

“Mobile shoppers are also most likely to buy based on ease of use, with 51 percent stating they prefer applications and 49 percent stating they prefer Web sites. Other findings include that 54 percent of mobile shoppers are most likely to use their device to research products when shopping, whereas 58 percent of traditional shoppers are most likely to compare prices. Additionally, 37 percent of mobile shoppers visit a brand’s Web site or application first when seeking product information versus 28 percent of traditional shoppers.

So in order to best engage and interact with your customers for mobile payment, you must first set yourself up for your customers to be able to easily find you. It is key for your customers to be able to find you online – and for the information they find to be correct – and for that information to be optimized for their mobile viewing. Failing to ensure either of these could be fatal for acquisition of mobile customers.

However, with all the buzz around mobile payment, no one seems to be paying attention to the obvious pitfall – what about those 49% of consumers who don’t have smart-phones? Any marketer willing to trade sales for technology should quickly be looking for a new job. But even without a smartphone, you can still engage your customers to increase shopping in a mobile world. Text messaging reaches nearly 100% of US cell phones, and consumers have been found more likely to act on mobile ads that they feel are catered to them personally. While mobile shopping apps provide a convenience factor for shoppers that perhaps may have been unseen before, there is very little in the personality department. A mobile campaign with Mobivity can help you interact with your customers on a one-on-one level, and will foster a sense of loyalty and brand awareness that you’ve never seen before. But don’t take our word for it, give it a try for free today.

One Small Step for Square, One Giant Leap for Mobile Payment

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

Jack Dorsey, who describes himself well in his twitter bio as “Executive Chairman of Twitter, CEO of Square, a founder of both,” has just made one giant leap (see what we did there?) towards mobile payment solutions as an everyday occurance by moving the benefits from something only the technologically savvy could enjoy to something we will begin to see a lot more of. Late last night I saw Jack’s tweet, and couldn’t help but get excited.After reading Jack’s late night tweet, my iPhone also rang out it’s uniform email tone. I opened my email to see a note from Jack, founder of Square, just moments after reading his tweet. I couldn’t help but think “man, this guy is on top of things.”

In his letter Jack, rightfully proud, notes that:

“I am pleased and proud to announce that today Starbucks signed up for Square. Square began with a really simple idea: everyone should be able to accept credit cards. It should be easy and free to get set up, it should use simple technology people already own, and, most importantly, it should instantly adapt to any size business—from the person chasing a dream to the largest organization on the planet. By embracing Square, Starbucks has validated these ideas as powerful tools—not just for small businesses, but for smart businesses.”

This is big, for consumers and businesses alike. Mobile payment has always been a big dream for business innovators, but hasn’t been taken seriously by consumers. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve geeked out when seeing “we accept square” at my favorite pub in LA, or tiny coffee shops in Gilbert, AZ. Yet those around me don’t trust it, saying things like “you really expect me to swipe my credit card through your iPhone or iPad? Not going to happen.” But with the commercial adoption of Square in Starbucks locations across the country, individuals will be eased into the concept and hopefully adopt the transition a little easier and with less kickback.

From cab drivers, to startups without the technology or infrastructure to integrate a legacy payment system, Square offers one of the best solutions on the market for accepting credit cards. If you have a mobile phone, then you can accept credit cards for your business – and come on, who wouldn’t want to try it after looking at that beautiful website?

And as most people are aware of, Starbucks is no stranger to the mobile marketplace. Starbucks has been working and interacting with it’s customers over mobile for years, so this pair couldn’t possibly be dreamed up to be any better.

So what does this mean for the consumer? Moving forward, Starbucks will integrate Square into it’s nearly 7,000 locations worldwide to help decrease processing fees, as well as investing 25 million dollars into Square. As the consumer, don’t expect your latte to become any cheaper as a result of these lower processing fees; but you will (hopefully) see more convenient transactions and a heightened experience with Starbucks’ mobile app.

Either way, mobile payment is becoming a larger part of our future each day. For those of us in the mobile industry, it’s a very exciting time. Keep an eye out for Square in your local Starbucks starting at the end of this year.

The Importance of a Mobile-Centered Approach

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

In a recent article posted on QSRmagazine.com Denise Lee Yohn highlighted some of the key things to look for when planning a new marketing strategy for a business in the QSR industry. Among the top important things needed for a successful marketing campaign is what Yohn calls the “marketing measuring stick:”

“A positive ROI is obviously key, but don’t forget to outline a process that will help you meet your objectives. Like every other expense, you shouldn’t proceed with a marketing program unless you expect a positive return on investment (ROI). But marketing programs don’t lend themselves to easy ROI calculations. It’s difficult to assign a precise value to the outcomes of certain marketing programs, like those intended to favorably influence brand perceptions or generate word of mouth. We all know they’re important, but what are those really worth?”

The problem that Yohn notes is a common one amongst marketing managers country-wide: while brand recognition and loyalty are all important, there’s no way to easily measure this. So how can brands monitor the return on their investment while ensuring positive brand recognition? Easy – a mobile first approach.

The benefits of a mobile local area marketing campaign are clear:

  • You can increase brand loyalty by forming an unprecedented and welcomed form of contact between your brand and your customers.
  • You can see some of the highest levels of ROI from any marketing form before. Mobile marketing, and text message marketing specifically, yields response rates of 12-68% (much higher than the standard 1-2% response rate of a print or mailer campaign, and 3-5% response rate of standard email campaigns) and an ROI of up to 250%. And those aren’t generalized industry numbers, that’s what our clients see and expect on a month to month basis.
  • From POS integration to standard tally sheets, having employees ask to see a text message or mobile coupon offers some of the easiest and effective tracking available to marketers.

The benefits of a mobile-first campaign are clear, but what brands have to lose by not adopting mobile is often overlooked. With the adoption of mobile campaigns across the marketing industry, and the high expectations of consumers, the question has shifted from “should we integrate mobile into our campaign?” to “how do we best integrate a mobile campaign.”

Mobile marketing offers a unique powerhouse previously unseen by marketing mediums, and each day we learn the power that mobile and social marketing has when grouped together, which is why we preach a mobile first approach to each of your marketing plans. To learn more about what Mobivity offers, and how to see your location gain more customers more often, give us a call today.

SMS and Text Message Marketing as a New Retail Connection

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SMS and text message marketing have always been a great way to connect with customers in the retail industry. It has accomplished everything from sales promotions, to increasing brand awareness, to increasing revenue at crucial times outside of high sales seasons. But, as an alternative to highly popular retail email campaigns, texting has proven itself as the most effective mode of communication for “youthful” brands, as the Wall Street Journal writes:

“Like many parents who have turned to texting to reach their teens, some youth-oriented fashion brands like Charlotte Russe, Claire’s Boutique and Vans are finding that young people are most accessible by text. Retailers say teens and twentysomethings react to marketing texts with alacrity—and with far higher response rates than to emails.”

Fashion brands are now (wisely) using text messaging as a way to reach out to customers that aren’t necessarily as accessible by email as their parents or other customers. Until recently, marketers and brand managers for retailers saw texting as a mere conversation tool used by teenagers and 20-somethings, not a successful or viable marketing tool. However, due to the strict regulations by telecom companies, customers are now seeing texting as a relatively spam-free medium to communicate with brands, as mobile phone number lists cannot be purchased, and can only be obtained through approval and request of the customer.

As this Wall Street Journal article notes, Charlotte Russe began exploring text marketing after research found its customers weren’t using email. Girls texted each other while shopping, “one in the waiting room, the other outside it,” Paul Hollowell, the company’s director of marketing, says. “In fact, even more than talking with her friend, she text-messaged [her].” And as Hollowell noted in the article, his company had seen upwards of a 33% database growth in one weekend, and has been highly pleased with the results they’ve seen so far.

Also, as Christina Blinkley notes in her interview with the WSJ:

“That is absolutely the next frontier of texting, that you can text videos and photos now to your customers”

For retailers, texting has started out as a way to connect with the more youthful customers retailer brands attract, but is stretching out to be one of the most effective communication mediums for all customers. With technological advancements, and the increase in capabilities of smart phones, brands are more and more able each day to send media rich content to their users to enhance the relationship between brand and consumer.

While texting can be argued easily for youthful consumers, the numbers overall cannot be ignored. Text messages are read 95% of the time, and are typically opened within 10-15 minutes of receipt, regardless of the customers age, making SMS the most effective communication tool for your brand. To learn more about connecting with your customers on a personal level, give us a call today.

You can read the rest of the WSJ article on retail and text message marketing here.

Sending the Right Message at the Right Time

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

We’ve all become aware of the power of mobile marketing over the past few years, and with more and more money being invested in mobile advertising it will become increasingly important that you not only send the right message to your customers, but that you send it at the right time. We all remember the infamous VP announcement in the 2008 Presidential campaign, and want to ensure that you don’t make mistakes that history has already corrected.

We live in a world of instant interconnectivity, one where we see Political polls and measurements coming in the form of tweets and text votes, rather than the tried and true Gallup poll. With the United States already at over 100% mobile penetration, we are also reaching a point in which the world will soon have more mobile phone subscriptions than human beings. And according to this Mashable article,

“While voice is still the primary use for mobile device, texting comes in at a close second. Nearly 5 trillion text messages were sent in just 2010 alone. Those 160-character snips accounted for 80% of operator revenue — that’s a whopping $106 billion.”

As an example, Twitter has been around roughly since 2007, and we’re just now figuring out how to best use Twitter, and some marketers still are failing miserably at it. Considering that mobile marketing, and text messaging in particular, have been around much longer, we should know much more about how to do it well.

There are studies that show the science behind when and what to tweet, text, and email to your customers – and we’ll recap the important points for you below (with a little more focus on texting, but maybe we’re biased).

Twittersphere:
Not surprisingly, social media is a very effective form of interacting with customers. However, many businesses and brands rely on sending messages out during the work day (while they’re working – obviously). But studies have shown that some of the best times to engage customers on Twitter is during the weekend.

“Engagement rates for sports brands are typically up to 52% higher than average on weekends, while apparel companies can see increases of more than 30%. As for the best time of the day to tweet, as long as marketers are active between the peak usage hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. they’ll get about 30% more interest than they would by posting at any other time. If you’re posting links, however, aim for sometime between 1 and 3 p.m., as this is the time frame in which they’re likely to get the most clicks.”

Emails:
Emails seem to be most personalized when it comes to promoting your brand. The best time seems to differ based on what your customer’s trends seem to be in interacting with your brand.

“If your audience tends to make purchases during the lunch hour, send prior to that to get on their radar, perhaps including a time-sensitive deal. If your customers patronize your business most on the weekends, it follows that you should shoot for later in the week.”

Mobile and Text Messaging:
One of the best suggestions that we’ve always had for clients is to send out time-sensitive messages and offers to customers – allowing brands to engage their customers and increase revenue at times that are best for them. By planning timed messages based on when your customers will be most likely to interact with and purchase from your brand, businesses can easily increase revenue on the mobile channel.

“Some brands, like restaurants and food services, would do well to employ day-part targeting on mobile ad networks, aiming for the times of day that food is top of mind for consumers. Others might require a more tactile strategy, like studying website analytics for visitation trends and translating that usage structure into a mobile campaign. Either way, with its reams of data on past client and category successes, your mobile ad network is a good place to start formulating your plan.”

Regardless of the channel your business chooses to move forward in, it is key that you put thought into what message you’re sending, and when you’re sending it. With the increase in mobile connections worldwide, it is becoming even more important that brands put thought into how and when they’re engaging their customers on this highly personal channel. To learn more about how we coach our customers to see the best results from mobile marketing, give us a call today.

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