May 24th, 2016

Oops. Mistakes in text message marketing

Ready to start your first text message marketing campaign? Great! Make sure you don’t derail your campaign with these newbie mistakes.

Text messaging mistakes to avoid…

1. Texting during off-peak hours

You might want your text to be the first thing your subscribers see when they wake up. Sounds good, right? But you could be making a huge mistake. As a general rule, you should never send text messages before 9 am or after 9 pm (in the recipient’s time zone). If you do, they can report you and you may be fined. Set up a schedule for your text messages instead, so customers know when they can expect to receive messages from your company. Consistency will improve your campaign results.

2. Not using an incentive

Offering an incentive is the best way to get your subscribers to respond or enter. A great incentive is a text-to-win sweepstakes. It works so well in fact, we encourage all clients to use one to build their lists. Because who wouldn’t want to win a prize? You should always include an incentive to get users to respond as quickly as possible. 

3. Forgetting to include redemption instructions

Don’t assume that customers will automatically know how to take advantage of your offer. Make things easy for them by including the instructions in your text message. Something as simple “show this text” or “use coupon code xyz” can dramatically increase your redemption rates. 

4. Leaving out legally required information

Many newbies to text message marketing don’t quite understand the legal requirements of sending text messages to subscribers. In fact, there are very serious consequences if you don’t follow the rules. You can be fined up to $1,500 per text! All subscribers must opt-in on their own, for example, and you must include “Text STOP to end” in all texts. Read our post on the rules of text message marketing for other requirements and make sure you follow them to avoid any violations.

Following these tips will help you get your SMS campaign off to a good start. You’ll make things easier for your customers and avoid the common mistakes that can derail your campaign.

Reach your audience with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.






May 16th, 2016

How to wrap up after a Text to Win Campaign

Your text-to-win has ended and you’ve gotten a lot of entries… so now what? One common mistake can have you pulling a “Steve Harvey” and announcing the wrong winner. You don’t want that to happen! There’s a right way and wrong way to wrap up your sweepstakes.

Here’s how to end your sweepstakes while maintaining brand trust and loyalty.

1. Select the Winner

As soon as your sweepstakes comes to an end, select the winner(s). This person becomes the “potential winner” until the next step is taken (below). Remember, there will be many people eagerly awaiting the outcome, so make sure you follow the time frame you promised in the official rules to avoid compromising your customers’ trust.

2. Confirm the Winner BEFORE Announcing

We see many small businesses announcing the winner right away, but that’s not the best idea. What if the winner has sudden health issues and can’t travel on the trip you’re giving away? Or what if they changed their mind about the prize or didn’t follow the rules? All of these things have happened. And you don’t want to announce a mistake was made and have to select a different winner.

Keep in mind… a winner is considered a “potential winner” until they’ve been confirmed by you.

Contact the person privately first to confirm they’re eligible and can take the prize, especially if there are restrictions. If you can’t reach them and leave a message, give them a grace period to get back to you (usually 2-3 days, per your rules) and let them know they need to respond before this time expires. Otherwise, you may have to select a new winner. Only after you’ve confirmed them, should you then announce them as the winner.

3. Deliver the Prize

The prizes should be sent to your winners promptly and make sure to include a thank you note for participating. This is also another chance to get a promotional photo. Ask if they can send you a photo with the prize or provide a testimonial or follow up quote. You can use this on social media, your website or in other materials.

4. Send Out a Message to Non-Winners

Don’t forget the non-winners! Consider sending them a message. Offer a discount as a consolation prize or simply thank them for their participation and encourage them to enter again next time.

5. Review the Results of Your Campaign

Has your campaign achieved the goals you set? Assess the data from your text-to-win to see if it met your projections and make note of any changes for future campaigns.

By thanking entrants and showing them their participation was important, you can help maintain brand trust and loyalty among subscribers. It’s all part of making sure you take care of your text-to-win subscribers from start to finish!

Reach your audience with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.






May 6th, 2016

short codes

So you’ve been considering SMS or text message marketing and have seen the term “short code” being used quite frequently. You may have guessed short codes are important, but what the heck are they?

Short codes are short phone numbers that can be used for SMS or text messages. Since they’re shorter, they’re easier to read and remember than regular phone numbers. Back in the early 2000s, SMS short codes were standardized to five and six digit codes in the United States. Today, they’re widely used by SMS marketing providers.

Short codes are used to opt-in consumers to SMS programs and to relay coupons, promotions, offers, text-to-win campaigns and more. Consumers can subscribe by entering this short code in the “To” field of a text message and sending a text.

Dedicated Short Codes vs Shared Short Codes

There are generally two types of short codes: dedicated short codes and shared short codes. Dedicated short codes are short codes that are dedicated or used exclusively for one business. Shared short codes, on the other hand, are shared by various businesses. They differentiate themselves by each using an exclusive keyword.

For example, if a restaurant uses our shared short code “65047,” we might ask customers to sign up for messages by texting the word “PIZZA” to opt in. (“Text PIZZA to 65047 to receive our deal alerts!”) Another business could use the same short code (65047), but might ask users to text their identifying keyword “HONDAMIAMI” instead.

Compare it to sharing a street address for a company. If your business is in an office building, you use the same address as others in the building and differentiate yours with a suite or office number. If you own your own location (or the entire building), your office is the only one using that address.

Buying a dedicated short code can be very costly ($15,000 to $25,000 a year), which is why most businesses use shared short codes.

Why Short Codes are Better Than Long Codes

If you’re wondering why businesses don’t simply use regular phone numbers, or long codes, for SMS campaigns, you should be aware of the disadvantages.

  • Long codes are not regulated as strictly as short codes, which is why they’re most often used by text message spammers.
  • They don’t have restrictions for bulk sending and receiving. Only 1 message per second is allowed on a long code, which means it could take days to send messages to all of your subscribers, unlike short codes which can send bulk message blasts quickly and easily.
  • They’re easier to remember and promote.

Do you want to learn more about the building blocks of a successful SMS marketing campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with your (SMS) text message marketing.






April 29th, 2016

Enter to Win! Text To Win . Mobile Sweepstakes

Need a cost-effective marketing solution that will give you great returns on your investment? With a text-to-win campaign you can achieve your business goals, while creating a loyal subscriber base in the process.

But which companies are using text-to-win to get results? They range from retailers and consumer product companies to entertainment venues and sports teams. Even B2B companies can use text-to-win for their sweepstakes.

Here are 5 great examples…

Rite Aid

Rite Aid, one of the largest drugstore chains in the nation, recently did a text-to-win campaign they promoted in-store. Customers had a chance to win a $6,000 weekend getaway and a weekly $100 gift card giveaway by texting the shortcode “HAPPY” to “35350.”

MillerCoors

MillerCoors, the maker of the Coors and Blue Moon beers, did a text-to-win campaign last year for July 4th. Customers were asked to text “JULY4” to “70123” to enter the sweepstakes which offered free beer for a year as a prize, as well as, a record player, stereo, and vinyl records.

Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe, a popular clothing store for teens, recently started a text-to-win campaign where customers were asked to text “BFF” to “78953” to get one of two discount offers for online and in-store discounts.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders, a New York hockey club, partnered with the NY Lottery for a text-to-win campaign during one of the team’s games. Customers were entered for a chance to win a private suite for up to ten guests by texting “NYLOTTERY” to “232323.”

The Billboard Music Awards

The Billboard Music Awards is currently running a text-to-win campaign offering a chance to win a trip to the awards show. However, they’ve added an extra twist on the text-to-win campaign model by asking customers to listen to participating radio stations for the keyword they’ll need to enter . By doing so, they benefit themselves and local radio stations as entrants need to listen to the radio to learn the secret keyword.

Build your own loyal following with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign! Contact us or call (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your text message marketing.






April 27th, 2016

Capture on-the-go event attendees with a text-to-win promotion.

According to MobileSQUARED, 90 percent of people read a text message within the first three minutes of receiving it. With attendees on the move, you need a channel they can interact with fast. Setting up a text-to-win promotion can provide the incentive to draw action from attendees and respond to instantly while on the move. Once attendees enter your text-to-win program, you can draw winners and send text messages to all participants to keep you top-of-mind.

Here are 4 ideas for using a text-to-win for your event.

Educational Events

Educational events can include webinars, lectures, seminars or other types of presentations. If you’re looking to increase attendance at your event, a text-to-win campaign can help drive interest and increase participation. If there is an admission charge, you can also use text to offer a discount or free admission to a lucky winner. Another trend with events, especially online webinars, is to send out a text message to remind entrants when the event’s about to start.

Trade Shows and Conferences

Running a text-to-win campaign during a trade show or conference is a great way to keep your brand in the minds of attendees, generate excitement for your booth, and capture more leads. By offering a prize that attendees can’t ignore, you’ll outshine your trade show competitors and open a direct communication channels via text between you and the attendees.

Business and Product Launches

Starting a new business or launching a new product? A text-to-win is a great way to raise awareness for your launch. Consumers have many choices when buying products or services. If you want to attract new customers, using such a campaign is a cost-effective way to get the word out and generate buzz. After participants enter, ask them to share your sweeps on social media to leverage their networks.

Sports Events

With a well-maintained list of mobile subscribers, sports teams and companies can build buzz for games and athletic events by running text-to-win promotions. Ideas for prizes include ticket giveaways, complimentary merchandise, and more. During the off-season, other text promotions can keep fans engaged.

Build Your Brand with Text-to-Win

Text-to-win sweepstakes help build your brand because they can improve brand recognition and engage your audience in a mobile environment. Our platform offers a number of features including custom messages, access to insights and analytics, suggested rules, web forms and an account dashboard, all while ensuring that your campaign is compliant with FCC requirements and mobile guidelines. When you use text-to-win for events, it’s a win-win for both your subscribers and your business.

Are you ready to promote your event with a Text-to-Win? Email us or call (305) 505-5393 for help getting started.






April 20th, 2016

mobile-subscribers

Are you looking for an easy way to boost your mobile subscriber list? Then consider running a text-to-win campaign to attract new customers. A sweepstakes is a great way to attract attention to your business.

Text-to-win campaigns also have an advantage over other text messaging promotions simply because your business doesn’t have to offer as much to capture a new subscriber. Instead of offering an incentive to everyone who subscribes, you need only offer one grand prize – a bigger prize means more excitement!

Here are some tips to help you grow your mobile database…

Promote Your Campaign on Social Media

Using social media to promote your text-to-win is a great way to increase participation. By creating graphics or a message and including a call-to-action, you can promote your text-to-win on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. Social media is also optimized for mobile.

Leverage Other Marketing & Advertising Vehicles

Are you advertising in print or online? Do you create videos, sponsor events or attend trade shows? You can leverage all of these opportunities for your text-to-win by including a call to action (“Text PETS to 65047 for a chance to win free pet food!” for example) either digitally or in print.

Use Referral Marketing

If your business wants to boost referrals and word of mouth, a text-to-win campaign can work extremely well. By creating prizes that are attractive to your customers and promoting your campaign with referral marketing, you can convince them to share the promotion with friends and family.

Don’t Forget About Customer Retention

When a subscriber opts in to your text-to-win, this only marks the beginning of the many opportunities you will have to engage with the subscriber. If you want to establish good relationships with your subscribers, it’s important you continue to send messages after the promotion is over.

To keep your subscribers from opting out and to ensure a good ROI for your business, you must keep your subscribers engaged by sending new promotions and updates about your business that are relevant to their interests. Having a retention strategy is just as important as finding new people to sign up for your mobile SMS campaigns.

Increase the size of your mobile subscriber database with a Text-to-Win campaign! Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help getting started.






April 12th, 2016

Branding with mobile keywords

Are you familiar with mobile keywords? It’s a term that may not be familiar, but mobile keywords are extremely important for the success of your text-to-win campaign. Here’s a breakdown of how you can use them to brand your business when texting.

First, What Are Mobile or SMS Keywords?

A mobile keyword, also called an SMS keyword, is a short word with letters and/or numbers that is sent in a text message to a short code (a 5-digit phone number). It not only brands and identifies your business, it also triggers a response from the mobile texting platform.

For example, let’s say the keyword for your business is TYKETOYS. To signup, a subscriber would text your keyword (TYKETOYS) to our short code, which is 65047. They would then get an automatic return text confirming their subscription.

This keyword also brands and identifies your business when you send out text messages, since each message is prefaced with your keyword.

Here’s an example of a message: “TYKETOYS: Make the most of spring with our outdoor toys! Get 15% off with coupon code SPRING15.”

Keywords serve a dual purpose: to allow someone to subscribe or opt-in automatically and to identify your business.

Choosing Mobile Keywords

You won’t be able to change your keyword easily, so it’s best to choose one carefully. Any changes to the keyword could cause confusion and derail your campaign.

Keep these tips in mind when you select mobile keywords for your text-to-win:

  1. Make the keyword easy to remember by relating it to your business name or product.
  2. Make sure the keyword is as short as possible and one word only (no spaces).
  3. Use proper spelling and don’t try to invent new words.
  4. Avoid special characters, including symbols.

 Promote Your Branded Keyword

Once you’ve chosen the right keyword, why not use it to promote your brand and your sweepstakes? Here are a few ways to promote your campaign and your business with your mobile keyword:

  • Print it on promotional items and apparel. For a creative push and fashionable branding, feature your mobile keyword on t-shirts, baseball caps, apparel and promotional. Think of them as conversation starters that can attract new customers to your text-to-win.
  • Do you have company vehicles? Brand them with not only your logo and information, but with your keyword as well. Used this way, your keyword will be truly mobile and can be another avenue to increase subscribers.
  • Online promotion via social media and video. Promote your mobile keywords online via multiple channels, such as social media and digital video advertising. The best way to boost participation is to make sure your message is seen by as many people as possible.

Using mobile keywords to brand your business is a simple way to increase the effectiveness of a text-to-win campaign. Getting new subscribers and potential customers into your pipeline is the ultimate reward for using mobile keywords!

Reserve your mobile keyword today to get started with a text-to-win campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help.






March 29th, 2016
Text To Win - Momares

1. Advertise you call to action, 2. Confirm participants entry, 3. Save participants info.

Before you run a text-to-win campaign, you need to know how things work to avoid major problems. Planning is the key to success when it comes to text-to-win campaigns. Here are 5 tips for a successful text-to-win campaign.

1. Got Goals?

Many business owners think the only measure of success for a text-to-win campaign is getting people to enter. But it’s vital you start with a goal in mind. Setting goals for your campaign, such as gaining new email leads or introducing a new product, can help you to design campaign that is successful on many fronts.

2. Don’t ask for too much information in exchange for a chance to win.

Don’t be surprised at the low number of entries for your campaign if you ask for too much information. Yes, text-to-win campaigns can offer a great opportunity to learn a bit more about your customers. However, too much data collection will drive people away, even if the prize for winning is awesome. My advice is that if you plan to use the information then ask for it, if not, skip it. For example, if you have an email Newsletter then ask participants for their email. If you are not sending any mail, then don’t ask for address. When it comes to the entry requirements, keep things as short and simple as possible. You’ll have other opportunities to ask for more information later.

3. Create a promotion plan.

Before your campaign begins, create a promotion plan that will leverage as many promotional channels as you have. You may want to promote the campaign via social media, internal email lists, via your website or by other means. Every little push will help gain more participants.

4. Don’t forget about subscribers after the text-to-win ends.

If you only focus on the winner once a text-to-win promotion ends, you are missing out on additional opportunities to continue marketing. Send a thank you text to everyone who entered. Offer a consolation prize or special discount. Invite them to visit your company on other platforms. You know what to do.

5. Take care of the legal stuff.

No one wants to have a text-to-win campaign derailed by legal issues. To keep everything running smoothly, make sure your company follows TCPA text message regulations and has official rules in place for the campaign. You should also make sure all users have given consent to be included in your campaign by opting-in. Momares’s text-to-win platform includes all required disclaimers for participants and opt-out instructions in every text message.

We hope you use this as an overview of the steps that will dramatically improve the odds that your campaign will be successful.

Reach your audience with a Text-to-Win or SMS Sweepstakes campaign. Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at marcos@momares.com






March 14th, 2016

Opt-in is required for text messaging

Are you afraid of giving your mobile number to businesses? When it comes to text message marketing, many still believe if they give their mobile number, it’ll be sold and they’ll get unsolicited texts.

But this should never happen. Companies are legally required to get consent (or opt in) or they’ll face consequences.

Breaking the Rules = Heavy Fines from the FCC

Texting users without permission can bring down heavy fines and significant penalties from the FCC. Those fines can reach up to $1,500 per text, per person. This is covered under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, which was amended to cover SMS in 2012 by the FCC. The TCPA makes it mandatory for businesses to receive “prior express written consent” before texting consumers.

Know the Legal Requirements of Text Marketing

Momares’ text and text-to-win programs are designed to only text to those who opt-in. This ensures clients don’t inadvertently run afoul of the legal requirements. Our recent blog post on the legal rules of text messaging covers everything that you need to know before you start your campaign.

Is Your Program in Compliance? Ask Yourself These Questions

Before you launch your campaign, be sure you can answer YES to all of the following questions. This ensure you are indeed establishing a respectful and lawful relationship with your subscribers:

  1. Are you sending text messages only to users who have provided express consent per MMA regulations?
  2. As part of that consent, are all programs and instructions, including message and data rates, program terms and privacy policies clearly displayed with all opt-in promotions?
  3. Have you taken steps to ensure the user’s consent applies only to the specific program for which the user opted-in and the consent has not been treated as approval for other programs?
  4. Are you using double opt-in for subscribers who join the program via a Web form or other method? (In many cases, texting from a mobile phone is the one time that a single opt-in should be permitted.)
  5. Have you communicated that opt-out (STOP) and assistance (HELP) mechanisms are available at the time of opt-in?
  6. Are all opt-out requests honored within 72 hours of receipt?

 






March 2nd, 2016

In this Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, feathered dancers prance down Duval Street in Key West, Fla., during the Fantasy Fest Parade. Attracting some 60,000 people, the procession was the highlight event of the 10-day Fantasy Fest costuming and masking festival that ends Sunday, Oct 27. The annual festival originated in 1979 and has matured into the Florida Keys largest special event, accounting for some $30 million in revenues according to local tourism officials. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

Would you enter for a chance to win a trip to the Florida Keys & Key West with fun, food & VIP tickets to Fantasy Fest? More than 11,000 people did in a successful text-to-win campaign for the tourism council.

This was the council’s first time using text-to-win or mobile marketing this way. It was an effort to increase awareness for the destination. You might be thinking everyone’s heard of the Florida Keys as a vacation spot, right? It’s well known among older generations, but the council wanted to reach the next generations, including Millenials.

With that in mind, we set up their text-to-win with a form to collect information, including date of birth.

Here’s a look at the results:

  • Objective: increase awareness for the destination
  • 11K completed sweepstakes entries with information such as First, Last, Email, Mobile and DOB.
  • 17k+ Visitors to the sweepstakes entry page
  • Data showed the majority of participants were from Florida, followed by Texas, California and Pennsylvania.
  • Average participant age was 54
  • More than 50% of participants were women
  • Breakdown by generation: 40% Boomers, 40% Gen X’ers, and 20% Millennials
  • This also led to 44,000 new fans to the Florida Keys Facebook Page
  • Text-to-win was shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook

The council was very pleased with the results, although a little surprised by the average age and generational breakdown. It just goes to show that everyone’s now on mobile and while text does offer greater access to Millenials, it also varies based on your audience and the appeal of your offer to that age group.

What made it a successful text-to-win?

  • It was promoted in multiple channels, including social media, online and in print
  • It was marketed often and consistently
  • The prize was relevant for the audience and was presented well
  • Appealing graphics and the offer itself got attention
  • The program captured valuable user information that can guide the sponsor in future efforts
  • The campaign generated a list of more than 11,000 mobile subscribers

A response from the council:

“The professionalism, dedication and hard work from the team at Momares helped us achieve our goals as a destination, allowing us to access a new mobile user platform as a means to communicate with and attract potential and repeat visitors to the Florida Keys. Momares proved to be a partner who understood the destination’s needs and goals.”

– Julie Botteri on behalf of the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council