February 23rd, 2015

Mobile coupons from top retailers

Have you used mobile coupons for your business? Top retailers are sending them as often as once a week.

Whether you offer discounts weekly or monthly, there are plenty of opportunities to get your customers in the door. Best of all, these opportunities are only a click or text away.

All a consumer needs to do to sign up is text a word to a short code (a 5 or 6-digit number) and they’ll opt in for coupon updates sent directly to their phones. To quit, they simply text “STOP” to the same number.

Here are mobile coupon examples from top retailers:

1. Old Navy

Mobile coupon offer:  “Top off your long weekend with up to 50% off the entire store thru Mon., plus 50% off all fleece tops on Sat. only. Select styles, limit 5/person.”

 

2. Pet Supermarket

Text PETS to 65047 for pet deals and enter for a chance to win free pet food for a year!  Example coupon:  “We have treats, toys and gifts for furry family members. Plus get $5 off $25 or more w/ coupon 12420. Exp 12/21/14.”

Pets retailer text message coupon

3. Bed, Bath & Beyond

“Your mobile offer for 20% off 1 item in-store or online is here! [Link]”

 

4. Macy’s

Earn an extra 15% off by texting COUPON to 62297.

 

5. Target

Sign up online for mobile alerts such as this one: “Stock up for the Big Game with these Mobile Coupons! Click xxxx… Exp 2/4”

 

6. Family Dollar

Tell the cashier to use code 59409 and save $.50 on select Tylenol cold products.

 

7. Payless Shoe Store

Payless offers a 20% off coupon for texting PAYLESS to 747474.

 

8. Kohl’s

Enjoy 20% off at Kohls.com by texting SAVE02 to 56457.

 

9. Avenue Women’s Fashion

“Take $5 off any purchase of $20 or more in store or online. Use coupon code xxxxx in store or code xxxxx at avenue.com.  Expires in 10 days.” To sign up, text AVENUE to 40679.  (Also a Valentine’s Day coupon below.)

Mobile coupon

10. JoAnn Fabrics

Text BEADS to 56266 (JOANN) to receive 20% off a purchase, plus five more coupons a month.

 






February 10th, 2015

Amazon Giveaway: Good or bad tool for marketers?

One of the biggest online retailers just got into the sweepstakes game today with Amazon Giveaway. And it looks like an attractive option. Running a sweepstakes involves a bit of work after all. There are entry forms to create, rules to write, prizes to ship out and even tax issues to handle.

Amazon handles most of that. So we can see why a self-service tool like this will appeal to “everyone from authors, aspiring artists, non-profits, brands, bloggers, social media gurus and more.”

But if you’re a brand marketer or have your own business, there are a few cons to consider as well. First, let’s go over how it works…

How it Works

  1. Select a prize on Amazon and pay for it.
  2. Use the wizard to set up the sweepstakes.
  3. Get a link you can share by email or on social media.
  4. Entrants click and log in to Amazon to enter (they must have an account).
  5. Entry is an easy instant-win process.
  6. Amazon notifies the winner, ships the prize & handles tax reporting.

A look at how it works

Sounds easy right? But there’s more to consider. Here are the pros and cons to using Amazon Giveaways for your sweepstakes:

PROS

  • Easy to set up
    You can leave most of the work up to Amazon, including entry setup, (some) rule requirements, winner notification, prize fulfillment and tax reporting.
  • Easy to enter
    It’s as easy as logging in and clicking two times to find out if you’re an instant winner.
  • More than a million prizes to choose from
    Electronics, books, home appliances… you name it, Amazon probably has it.
  • Option to build your Twitter following
    You can build in an option asking entrants to follow your Twitter account. This could help you grow your Twitter following obviously (a tweet doesn’t seem required though).

 

CONS

  • Who entered? You won’t know
    This is the biggest drawback of using the tool: you won’t know who entered. Sure, you’ll find out who won and may get a boost in Twitter followers, but that’s about it. As marketers, we all want to gather information from entrants (email or perhaps other details), but with Amazon Giveaway this is not an option. Per our contact with the company, all you’ll get is the winner’s name and address.
  • Website traffic? Yes, to Amazon
    Having the entry on Amazon means your prospects or customers will be visiting the big A’s site, not yours. Remember, all you’re getting is a link to the giveaway. We suppose you could set up a landing page or blog post to post the link on your site, but all your traffic will leave and will surely get hooked into wandering around this behemoth’s site, rather than your own. (The thank you page doesn’t link back to your site, in case you’re wondering.)
  • Official Rules are still your responsibility
    Some of the legal aspects are handled in the setup. For example, the overall prize value can’t exceed $5,000 (otherwise, you’d have to file a surety bond in certain states). This is helpful, but you’ll still need to create Official Rules for your sweepstakes and host them on your site.
  • Brand-centric or high end prizes are ruled out
    Yes, there are more than a million products to choose from, but there are still limits. You won’t be able to offer your own merchandise (unless it’s available on Amazon), gift cards to your store/site or items excluded by Amazon such as digital songs, movies or apps, along with Marketplace items (sold by third party vendors). Trips, cars and other luxury goods are also ruled out.

 

Longer-term benefits are missing

This tool will be great for Amazon’s business, but won’t give you all of the benefits of a good sweepstakes—especially, the ability to contact entrants after the promotion. You’ll get a temporary buzz boost, extra Twitter fans and the goodwill of offering a free prize, but the longer term benefits are missing.

Overall, Amazon Giveaway is a great option if you’re not worried about building your email (or mobile) list or don’t want the means to further contact entrants . But, for us as marketers, we consider that a primary goal.

Visit the site to try the tool for yourself.






February 2nd, 2015

Mobile coupons beat paper in redemption

The days of clipping coupons from the weekly ad will soon be coming to a close. More than 75% of shoppers have redeemed a mobile coupon from their smartphones and that number is expected to rise.

Our clients have seen an increase in mobile coupon redemption of 7% to 12%. Compare that to the average 1% to 2% redemption for paper coupons. Since mobile coupons are so easy to sign up for and use, it’s plain to see how they’ve become so popular.

Another reason for its adoption is smartphone use. Smartphone users are typically highly engaged users, used to having a wealth of information at their fingertips. For a whopping 59% of these consumers, digital coupons influence their purchasing decisions.

What does this mean for you?

Not only does a mobile coupon increase the likelihood a user will buy your product, it also lets you continue to market to repeat buyers. You have the potential to increase the number of visits and the average sale as well.

Even for products consumers haven’t tried, mobile coupons are effective. As reported by Forrester Consulting, 47% of consumers are likely to try a new brand when receiving a coupon on their smartphone while shopping in-store.

While traditional forms of marketing, such as print and mass mailers, do have their place, mobile coupons will play a key role. Many large retailers have already introduced digital coupons as part of their promotional campaigns.

This trend won’t be slowing anytime soon, either. Per Juniper Research, mobile coupon users are expected to top 1 billion by 2019.

With more consumers using coupons than ever, it only makes sense to go mobile with your coupons. They allow you to connect directly with the consumer in a way that’s immediate and personal—you’re communicating on their mobile phones, after all.






January 13th, 2015

As industry insiders, we’ve been immersed in predictions of mobile marketing’s rise to prominence for years. If you’re a marketer, you might even be tired of hearing them. But they’re no longer foresights of the future. They’re the insights of today.

Take a look at these mobile marketing quotes from experts and ask yourself if you’re ready to make your move in mobile.

Mobile Marketing Quotes for 2015

“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.” - Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola

Mobile quote by Wendy Clark

 

“The trend has been mobile was winning. It’s now won.” Eric Schmidt, Google (2014)

Mobile quote by Eric Schmidt, Google

 

“Mobile is a lot closer to TV than it is to desktop.” - Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

Mobile marketing quote by Mark Zuckerberg

 

“Mobile is not the future, it is the now. Meet your customers in the environment of their choice, not where it’s convenient for you.” - Cyndie Shaffstall, Spider Trainers

Marketing quote on mobile environment

 

“The future of mobile is the future of online. It is how people access online content now.” - David Murphy, Mobile Marketing Magazine

The future of mobile

 

For a little humor…  ”I want to be buried with a mobile phone, just in case I’m not dead.” - Amanda Holden

A little mobile humor

 

“2015 will be the year of “mobile-first.” Get it to work on mobile first and let all other platforms follow. We’ll all be sick of hearing it by the end of the year.” - John Fox, Venture Marketing

2015: The year of mobile first

 

“SMS text messaging has proven its marketing value in reaching consumers at scale.” – Marcos Menendez, Momares Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing quote by Marcos Menendez

 

“We still see most of our clients cramming PC experiences onto phones when they should be thinking in terms of mobile moments instead.” - Julie A. Ask, Forrester Research

Mobile moments by Forrester Research

 

Forrester estimates that less than 4% of businesses are ready to take advantage of opportunities presented by mobile. Julie Ask, an analyst, outlines a few good strategies to get started in this article in Media Post.

Beside Julie Ask’s quote, most of these statements were made during the Mobile Retail Summit.






December 19th, 2014

Comparing Email to Text Message Marketing

Some say email is dead. We don’t agree. It’s still an effective channel, but high growth is happening in text message marketing. Consider that text messaging has advanced at a rate of more than 25 times the advancement rate of email.

If you want to appeal to millennials and stay on top of current strategies, text message marketing is worth a try. Here’s a look at how it compares to email marketing and why it’s something you need to consider if you want to grow your business.

 

Text Messaging vs Email

  • On average, an email is not read until approximately 6 hours after it’s sent. In contrast, a text message is typically read within 14 minutes of being sent. That’s a pretty big difference.
  • The average person spends only about 20 minutes a day checking their emails. Compare that to the 16 hours a day the average person spends on his or her mobile phone.
  • Consumers are far more likely to redeem coupons they receive via text messages than those they receive via email. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1% of consumers redeem email coupons, while 15-30% redeem text coupons.

These statistics are pretty clear, but we’re not suggesting you write off email marketing all together. In fact, using them together can create a powerful combination.

 

Text Messaging and Email: A Powerful Marketing Combination

Text messaging and email marketing can provide a 1-2 punch. In fact, if you use them side-by-side, you’ll reach your targeted audience in a truly meaningful and highly effective way.

Here are some tips that can help you use the two together:

  • Send coupons or discount codes by email AND text. Customers can choose their preferred method and you’ll get a higher redemption rate.
  • Create instant redemption opportunities in store. (“Text CUPOFJOE to get a discount for signing up”)
  • Use text message to build both your mobile and email lists. With the use of smartphones, it’s easy to text a link to a web form to get emails as well.
  • Use email for longer messages to build branding or promote products or services.
  • Opt for text to send short messages about sales, promotions, events and timely information.

The long-and-short of it is this: If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts, synching email and text message marketing is a must. 






December 9th, 2014

Build customer retention and loyalty with text message marketing.

Building a loyal customer base is a top priority. After all, it is these loyal customers who are going to keep bringing in business.

While there are tons of ways to increase customer loyalty, one is proving to be extremely effective: text message marketing.

If you aren’t yet taking advantage of this, it’s time to start using it to build a repeat customer base. Here’s a look at why it’s so effective.

90% of Text Messages are Read Within Minutes

It’s estimated that nearly half of all American adults have a smartphone and 90% of the text messages that are sent to those phones are read within three minutes of delivery.

Think about it… when you get a text, you usually read it soon after, right? With text messaging, not only can you stay in constant contact with your customers, you can also offer on-the-spot promotions that are good that day or within the next few days.

Promotions “On the Fly” or On Schedule

Is traffic at your store slower than expected ? We can send a text offering a special deal that day. Were you left with excess inventory on a specific item?  Offer a discount to boost sales and help clear it off the shelves. With text, you have immediacy and “on-the-fly” scheduling options.

While we usually set clients up with a consistent schedule of text messages, there’s also an advantage to being able to respond to events or situations with immediate messages. And your customers will love the extra deals and promotions.

Learn More About Your Customer

Get answers to surveys and on forms that will tell you more about your customers. You can ask for their date of birth, location, email and any other information that will help you serve them better.

High Conversions

Customers sign up because they want to hear from your business. When they hear from you consistently, whether it’s with discounts, information or contests, they’ll usually act on it. It’s been our experience that text messages generate a higher conversion rate than email, advertising and other forms of communication. In fact, one of our retail clients counts on getting thousands of dollars in sales after each text.

It Works in Conjunction with Your Email Marketing Campaign

Text messaging and email marketing are like a one-two marketing punch for your business.

Given the fact that an estimated 43% of consumers access their emails from their mobile, adding text messaging to the mix can really step up your marketing strategy. It can increase your reach, while boosting customer loyalty.

Things to Remember

There are a few things to remember when adding text messaging to your marketing mix. These include:

  • Text messaging is permission-based. Like email, subscribers must opt-in and give you permission to text them. The best way to do this is to have them subscribe themselves by texting a keyword to your personalized short code.
  • You have a limited amount of characters to work with; 160 characters, to be exact. This forces you to get right to the point!
  • Use a very clear call to action. The easier it is for your audience to understand what they will gain, the better. A great example is “Text PETS to 65047 to get special deals and a chance to win free pet food!”

With this info in mind, what are you waiting for? Add text messaging to your marketing campaign and watch your loyal customer base grow!

 






December 2nd, 2014

SMS-text-message-marketing

If you haven’t jumped on SMS marketing opportunities, you’re likely to miss out on a lot of business. Seriously.

Here’s a look at why SMS marketing is worth including in your marketing budget for 2015.

SMS Texts are Read at the Speed of Light

Well, maybe not THAT fast, but pretty darn fast. In fact, 90% of all SMS text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent. Emails? They’re usually opened within 2 DAYS. So, yeah, if you’re sending SMS texts, you can be sure your customers will be reading them pretty quickly. In fact, there is no other channel that is as fast for connecting and converting customers as this one.

SMS is Read WAY More Than Email

People are far more likely to open and read the SMS text messages they receive than they are to open emails. Actually, SMS has an open rate of 98%, compared to email, which has an open rate of just 22%. A pretty big difference, don’t you think?

More Mobile Offers Redeemed

Offers that are made via mobile devices are redeemed much more than print offers; an astounding 10 times more. The simple fact is it’s much easier for someone to pull up a coupon on their phone. There are no worries about printing the coupon or bringing it with them.

Consumers Shop More as a Result of SMS Marketing

It’s estimated that 2/3, or 60%, of all consumers who have subscribed to mobile marketing have purchased something because of a mobile message they’ve received. That’s no small potatoes in terms of conversions.

You Own Your List… Not Facebook

The beauty of SMS marketing is that you own your customer database and have full access to it. You’re not restricted by Facebook algorithms or filters and you’re not one of a thousand messages in a Twitter stream. It’s like email only better.

Did this light enough of a fire under you to try SMS marketing? If you’re still not convinced, call 305-505-5393 or contact us to find out how it can bring in sales for you specifically.






November 21st, 2014

Mobile Text SMS Marketing for  Retail ShoppingHalloween is behind us, and it’s just about time to put the turkey and all the trimmings on the table – which means that the biggest shopping season of the year is upon us. Once that turkey is cleared from the table, shoppers are going to start pulling out the circulars that advertise those tempting deep Black Friday discounts, and they’re going to start gearing up for shopping.

Customers  will want to see your offers on their mobile phone… as long as it’s visible and easy to find. Customers aren’t going to spend time searching for your circular. You have to send it and make it easy for them to read it on their phone. The best way to do so is create a mobile-friendly version of your sales flyers and deliver it to them via text message. As soon as your new sales flyer is published, it’s delivered directly to their mobile by (SMS) text. Ask us how.

Not all shoppers are keen on the idea of standing on long lines and being involved in a stampede of shoppers; and thanks to their ever-convenient mobile devices, they don’t have to.

If you’re a retail owner, it’s a sure bet that you want to do all that you can to increase your sales this holiday season, which means you’re going to want to take appeal to those mobile shoppers. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, if you haven’t already done so, you’re going to want to focus a lot of your energy on your mobile marketing.

Adweek recently published an analysis of the mobile shopping trends for 2014 holiday shopping season. Here’s a look at some of the startling statistics that prove you need to focus on your customers mobile shopping experience.

HUGE Mobile Shopping Month

It’s estimated that 27 percent of the total retail sales that are made via mobile devices will be done during the months of November and December.

Black Friday Boost

Black Friday is expected to be an ever-growing mobile shopping day. In fact, it is predicted that in 2014, this will be the biggest mobile shopping day of the year, with an estimated $2.48 billion spent on digital purchases. That’s a 28 percent increase over last year’s digital sales.

Super Cyber Monday

In 2014, digital sales made on Cyber Monday are also going to increase. In fact, it is expected that they will increase by 15 percent over last year, with a $2.48 billion increase.

More Shopping on Thanksgiving

With the convenience of mobile devices, shoppers don’t have to leave their homes to shop – they can start shopping right at their Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, in 2014, an estimated $1.35 billion will be spent on digital shopping. These are record numbers for Thanksgiving shopping, with a 27 percent increase over last year.

While not all consumers shop from their mobile devices, and there are still those who prefer to hit the stores, with predicted statistics like the ones above, you simply have to make every effort to make your customers mobile shopping experience a positive one if you want to get the most out of this holiday shopping season.






November 10th, 2014

Mobile shopping and holiday Text Message Marketing

The holiday season is here, and as all retailers know, so is the busiest shopping time of year.  What you might not know is that mobile shopping is expected to outshine all other methods of shopping. If you don’t want to miss out on this sales opportunity, make sure mobile and text message marketing are part of your arsenal.

Mobile shopping has become one of the most convenient ways to shop. All a consumer has to do is pull out their smartphone or tablet, browse an online store, make their selection, press a button, and voila! – shopping is done. It sure beats battling the crowds and standing in long lines.

Mobile shopping has become the American consumer’s preferred method of shopping in recent years.

  • In 2010, 96% of online retail shopping was done via desktop and only 4% through mobile devices.
  • In 2014, it’s estimated that 51% of all visits to retailers’ websites will be made on a mobile device, which means smartphones and tablets have become the primary tool used for online shopping.

These numbers are expected to continue rising as the ease of mobile shopping increases. Most consumers are far more likely to have a phone or a tablet within reach than a desktop computer. In Latin America and other regions, mobile completely overtakes desktops as many families rely solely on mobile for internet access.

According to Practical Commerce, 33% of online sales made during the 2014 holiday season will be completed via mobile devices.

What does this mean for you?  

You need to make sure you’re reaching your customers on their mobile phones and, when using text, linking to a website that is mobile friendly.

SMS or text message marketing is a great tool for holiday sales

  • Promote Black Friday and other sales with text messages that are quick and convey urgency.
  • If sales aren’t as high as hoped before Christmas, send a quick text for a sales boost targeting last-minute shoppers.
  • 97% of text messages are opened within minutes of receipt. Send a text, right after your email blast to ensure everyone gets the message. You can even link to your e-newsletter online.
  • Create a text-to-win or mobile sweepstakes to draw in new shoppers and tie in to the holidays.

Make sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly

If your site isn’t designed to read well on a mobile device, it will be difficult for visitors to use and will make them more likely to click off your site than stay and shop.

Here are some tips to make your site mobile-friendly:

  • Make the layout simple. Remember that mobile screens have limited space, and you have to work with that space. The easier your site is to use, the better the shopping experience will be.
  • Make those buttons (search, purchase, etc) easy for large fingers to use and big enough for small screens.
  • Add a redirect to your site. This will allow your site to detect when a visitor is using a mobile device and will automatically redirect to the mobile version.

With text message marketing and a mobile-friendly website, you can optimize sales this holiday shopping season.






October 30th, 2014
Mobile Marketing Experts Talk about Their Experiences and Advice at Mobile Media Summit 2014. (My version of their words below.)

Mobile Marketing Experts Talk about Their Experiences and Advice at Mobile Media Summit 2014. (My version of their words below.)

I traveled to New York to attend the 2014 Mobile Media Summit, billed as a “conference, that brings together the top brands, agencies, and advertisers from around the world to move the mobile industry forward,” to get an idea as to where the mobile marketing industry is going. What has been working and what’s the consensus on top strategies? It’s easy to get lost in day-to-day work and it’s important at times to look at what other professionals in the industry are doing or succeeding with. It’s an opportunity to compare my beliefs and experiences with theirs. It also helps generate new ideas for our clients and it’s nice to visit New York and be reminded of how lucky we are that we live in warm Florida.

Below is an outline of what I found most interesting from the information given by experts on the mobile marketing panels:

Mobile Design

  • Mobile banners are not the future of mobile advertising creative.

Apps

  • Apps have the highest engagement in mobile use time.
  • Apple’s app store 100 (100 top apps) are where consumers are spending their time. Anything outside the 100 top apps gets very little customer engagement.

Budgets

  • Brands are still hesitant about investing in mobile because of lack of measurement (ROI).

Strategy

  • Ad agencies are eliminating their mobile silos team and moving to a cross-screen brand approach led by data.
  • Brands talking to Millennials should focus on mobile-first strategies.
  • Mobile is “lean in” media. TV is a “lean back” media. What you tolerate on TV in terms of ads, you wouldn’t tolerate in ads on your phone.
  • Mobile and mobile data provides advertisers with less risk of messing up targeting and content relevance.
  • The right message, at the right time, is the way forward for mobile. This happens with customer analytics and insights.
  • Mobile will continue to grow because that’s where the eyeballs are.
  • There is someone in every major company who gets mobile. Give them the tools to execute mobile tactics.
  • Mobile should be baked into the whole marketing strategy, not on a mobile campaign by campaign basis.

Case Study

  • The Weather Channel and Pantene, via the Weather Channel’s app, recommended the shampoo of the day based on the weather. It was a super success that showed how data and creative mixed well for engagement. See case study.
  • The MTV Video Music Awards were created because Nabisco told MTV that if they wanted to make a show they would give MTV the money to do it.

Inside the Marketer’s Brain

  • Marketers are getting on board with mobile more now than ever before.
  • Clients are moving from “test and learn” to full-scale commitment.

Inside the Consumer’s Brain

  • The “mobile idle zone” is the moment when you are using your mobile to pass time, like waiting in line at the bank. This could be a golden moment for adverting.

Mobile Video

  • Content is more important than the size or the length of the video. If the content is good that creates the engagement.

ROI and Measurement

  • “Close the loop” (aka, show ROI) is one of the biggest reasons marketers have been hesitant to increase mobile marketing budgets.
  • Text message marketing (SMS marketing) has been one of the mobile channels that has been able to close the loop (track ROI) well.

Privacy and Data Collection

  • Can customers take back their data? All companies should have clear Privacy Policies and the user should know how their data is being used.
  • Device ID, instead of cookies, may be the future method to track cross-screen campaigns.
  • Data gathering is useful if it yields context.
  • Can we sell our personal profiles to advertisers in exchange for having them target us?

Mobile Websites

  • Brands lacking mobile optimized websites have problems advertising on mobile because they don’t have a place to send their prospects to when they click on the mobile banner ads (no mobile landing page).

Ad Agency Vendors

  • Ad agencies want mobile solutions for free or at least 50% off.

Ad Agencies Business Model

  • Ad agencies have problems with cash flow because they charge by percentage of ad placement and clients add or remove budgets based on how they are doing in the market. A better model would be to charge by project.

Sweepstakes Incentives

  • Customers respond better to small ticket prizes (Ten, $10 gift cards instead of one $100 gift cards). Customers think they have a better chance of winning if the prize is smaller.
  • For promotional engagement, Leaderboard style (shows who’s winning) of promotions work better than Sweepstakes because the element of competition adds engagement.

Text SMS Marketing

  • Text (SMS) is works well for customer communications and tracking marketing ROI.

U.S. Hispanic and Mobile

  • For U.S. Hispanics, the mobile phone is the one stop shop for social and commerce.
  • Social is big with U.S. Hispanics and they are big bargain hunters.
  • U.S. Hispanics use their mobile device more than any other ethnic group in the U.S. They are hyper users of the mobile phone.
  • U.S. Hispanics are a young audience. They have leapfrogged all other devices like the desktop or tablet.
  • The U.S. Hispanic population is growing in number and in household income.
  • U.S. Hispanics are consuming video and social media heavily.
  • 60% of U.S. Hispanics use mobile as their primary tool to access the web.

Ok folks, there you have it. A motley summary of a full day’s worth of listening to mobile marketing experts talk about mobile.

Do you agree with any of the thoughts above? Or do you disagree with some of the points? If so, I’d love to hear what you think about the state of mobile marketing.