November 5th, 2015
Sorry about the picture. We couldn’t resist its cheeky stock-image obviousness. Happy Holidays!

Sorry about the picture. We couldn’t resist its cheeky stock-image obviousness. Happy Holidays!

It’s crunch time. Holiday shopping is about to get started and you want to make the most of it. One of the best ways to reach your busy customers this holiday season is to text them. Catch them while they are online researching gifts or out and about shopping with their mobile phones in hand, looking for gift ideas, places to eat, and where to save money.

Text message marketing will alert and remind shoppers of your product and get them on board for your holiday offers. Thorough a text they can be hyperlinked to an online product page or have a coupon saved right on their phone.

Here are some tips to get you started…

Start Early

The holiday season officially kicks off with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but that’s no reason to wait. Get started as soon as possible to hit early shoppers. Don’t wait until December or right before Christmas. A text-to-win sweepstakes or a text coupon can get your sales running.

Text New Offers

If you plan to host a limited-time or one-day only sale, it’s a good idea to text your customers a day before the promotion is to take place. This will help customers plan ahead and you can always remind them of your promotion the same day, if needed.

Don’t Forget About Last-Minute Shoppers

Don’t forget the procrastinators. Many customers wait until the final days to buy. Some may be too busy to shop earlier, while others may still be holding out for deals. Use SMS text marketing to appeal to both of these groups with last-minute deals. This period may turn out to be the peak opportunity for increasing your sales.

After Christmas Sales

It doesn’t end Christmas day. Many retailers participate in after-Christmas promotions. However, if you plan to promote offers at this time, make sure you focus on discounts and special pricing.

Is Free Shipping on Your List?

Yes, free shipping has been done many times before, but there’s a reason… it works. Nearly half (46.7%) of consumers in a recent NRF study said free shipping promotions are important factors in their decision on where to shop during the holidays.

Follow the Rules

In your quest to get more sales, don’t forget the rules. Text marketing is regulated and messages can only be sent to users who opt in. Also, avoid texting off hours. Your store may be open 24 hours, but you shouldn’t send text messages in the early morning or late at night.

Ready to start with your own mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-5393 for help with setting up your text message marketing.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at

October 31st, 2015

Contest and sweepstakes rules are important!

(This is a guest post by Donna DeClemente, a colleague and experienced marketer of sweepstakes and contests.)

We get asked quite often whether or not “Official Rules” are needed for a specific promotion. Some clients and prospects think that it’s only a small “giveaway” and it doesn’t include a major prize, so why not?

Recently I was asked this question from a long-time client and when I reviewed what they wanted to do, it was quite complicated. It didn’t offer a major prize, but it did include two different ways to enter, on Facebook and Instagram, along with photo upload.

So the answer is always yes. Whether you are planning to run a sweepstakes (giveaway) or a contest, there are rules and regulations that you must follow in order to be compliant. Therefore, you need to have a set of Official Rules that outlines the promotion and is your contract with the public.

Back in June I wrote this post that reviewed the differences between sweepstakes and contests and what the major objectives are for running either of them. To summarize, sweepstakes are a game of chance where the winners are normally randomly chosen. Contests on the other hand are a game of skill and participants usually are invited to submit some content (photo, video, essay, etc.). A panel of judges then chooses the winners based on criteria that are defined in the official rules.

Also, you need to know that any promotion that contains all of these three elements: Prize, Chance and Consideration (Purchase, Payment or Time) is an “Illegal Lottery” in the U.S. The Time element is the grayest area of all these. If you are planing to run a promotion that does include Consideration, then you must allow an alternate means of entry (AMOE).  Most social media promotions do not usually require consideration. However, writing about a product or taking a photo or video of the product in order to enter may be consideration.

For example, if the participant can take a photo of themselves with a product in a store, then a purchase would not be required. Or for example, if you’re asking them to take a photo of themselves with a pair of shoes “out and about the town” that would most likely require purchasing the shoes and therefore, Consideration. There is a fine line between the two. Another example is asking participants to take a photo while taking a bite of a doughnut or sipping a drink. They can’t return the doughnut or the drink then, so wouldn’t that require purchase? You need to ask if the participant can effectively compete without actually making a purchase.

Also a very popular trend on social media is inviting participants to earn extra entries by performing different tasks and challenges on various platforms. Not only do you need to follow the guidelines of each social media platform, you also need to keep in mind  the degree of effort that you are asking participants to perform to gain an entry. So how much time is too much and what can you really require? The Supreme Court did rule that watching a 30 minute TV show wasn’t too much time, so that’s a guideline to follow. But keep in mind that while awarding bonus entries for sharing/referring may not likely fall under consideration, it may be against Federal CAN/SPAM regulations.

Another thing to keep in mind is the FTC’s Endorsement and Testimonial Guidelines. They recently published a list of Q&A’s that state that when it comes to sweepstakes and contests, any incentive, no matter how minimal, such as an entry for making a post on social media sites, may be an endorsement. Thus it requires a disclosure. The use of the promotion title alone is not adequate, and they are encouraging including #Contest or #Sweepstakes or #Entry or a similar designation in a hashtag. The recent updated Q&A’s now states that using #sweeps as the hashtag is not enough and instead it should be #sweepstakes.

Another rising trend today on social media is running a sweepstakes or contest utilizing only a hashtag with no entry form. Entrants may be invited to post a tweet on Twitter or upload a photo on Twitter or Instagram utilizing a promotional hashtag. Many marketers like these types of promotions since it creates buzz and makes it easy for entrants. However, hashtag entries do not collect data on the entrants since there is no entry form to fill out. Data collection is the number one reason why marketers run sweepstakes and contests. Without collecting data this also can make it more difficult to contact winners. There are however, applications that you can utilize that include both such as what was discussed in this post.

So it all comes back to what your main objectives are for running a promotion. You need to consider what the risks may be and also be realistic in what you are asking participants to do. Most of all, be sure to cover yourself and your company by running a successful and legally compliant promotion that includes a set of Official Rules.

Donna DeClemente blogs on

October 27th, 2015

Busting the Text Message Marketing Myths

From time to time I get comments about text message marketing being intrusive or spam. When I hear those comments, I dig a little deeper.

First, I ask if they use text messages and if they find them useful. The answer is always “yes.” Second, I ask about their favorite store. If that store sent them relevant and valuable coupons, money-saving offers or exclusive invites via text message would they like to receive them? The answer is usually another “yes.” Then I remind them that the only way to receive a text message from a company is to subscribe. You will only get a text, if you want to. That’s why compared to your email inbox, there is very little or no spam in your text message inbox. There are laws and regulatory agencies enforcing this, plus most marketers make their text message programs 100% opt-in.

I’d like to replace certain myths with the facts. Here are the top myths about text message marketing debunked.

1. Mobile marketing is a fad

The age of mobile has been touted for a long time, so it’s easy to think mobile marketing is a fad. But if you think it’s on its way out, just take a look at the stats. For 2016, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 198.5 million or 63% of the U.S. population. In 2014, 90% of American adults owned a cell phone and 81% of them used their phones to text (Pew Research Center). As cell phones play an increasing role in our lives, mobile use will continue to grow, making mobile marketing even more advantageous. Best of all, no apps are needed and every mobile phone can send and receive text messages.

2. Texting only works well with teens or Millenials

Think again. Although teens and Millennials lead the way in text message usage, users range across different ages, locations and demographics. Marketing via mobile is no longer about reaching “mobile users.” Nearly 75% of American users over the age of 65 have a cell phone, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2014. Seniors use mobile in growing numbers and they don’t need fancy smartphones to receive text.

3. Text messaging for business is SPAM

In the early days of SMS marketing, any text from a business was seen suspiciously, but that has changed. Today SPAM is much harder and riskier by text than by email. There are very high consequences for sending text SPAM as it’s regulated by the telecommunications industry. In fact, a business can be fined up to $1,000 per text! As a result, text message marketing providers take compliance very seriously. I like to say, if you did not opt-in, you did not get a text from us, period.

4. Mobile users are more likely to be on the go

A common myth is that mobile users are using their phones most often when they’re out and about. As a result, many assume mobile marketing should focus on location-based deals. But, 75% of all mobile impressions are viewed while the person is at home, according to a study by AOL Networks and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science. This means you can reach your customers on mobile any time with any offer.

If you are still on the fence about mobile marketing, maybe this will help you jump over:

  • In the survey of 1,200 people in four major countries by global tech design and strategy firm frog, 30% of the respondents said that they would give up their car before their smartphone. “Given that smartphones have been commonly available for only 10 years, we expect the proportion of people who value them more than their car to grow swiftly and significantly,” frog said in a statement about the survey.
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Dreamforce 2015 conference said that “That’s a world where Windows doesn’t matter so much, just as long as people are using Microsoft’s apps on their many other devices.”

Want to learn more about setting up your own mobile 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

October 13th, 2015

How to measure mobile marketing success

What’s a marketing campaign without a plan and a review of the results? It’s a shot in the dark. When you launch your SMS marketing campaign, you should not only plan, but also select the important KPIs to measure results. KPIs are “Key Performance Indicators” or the metrics you use to track performance.

Which ones should you track? It depends on your goals, but we list here some of the metrics we think are essential to track for almost any SMS marketing campaign.

Delivery Rate

The delivery rate is the percent of messages that were successfully delivered to your subscribers. From provider to provider, delivery rates can vary. Often the factors that influence delivery rates include list size and message frequency. We guarantee high delivery rates for all of our campaigns. According to our latest stats, our text (SMS) coupon delivery rates are often 95% or higher.

Opt-In Rate

The opt-in rate tracks how many new subscribers sign up for your campaign. At Momares, we like to track how many people subscribe to your lists so that you can plan strategies for growth.

Click-through Rate

If your campaign messages include a URL, you should track the click-through rate on this URL to measure engagement with your campaign’s content. The click-through rate is only an applicable metric if the campaign happens to include a link. If your campaign does not include links, you will need to find another way to measure response, such as the redemption rate.

Opt-Out Rate

The opt-out rate measures the number of subscribers that opt-out of your campaign. It can give you an idea of how your subscribers respond to individual campaigns when it comes to opting out. A higher number of opt-outs in a short period of time means your campaign is likely not resonating with subscribers in terms of value.

Redemption Rate

If you send coupons via your mobile marketing campaign, we recommend you also track the redemption rate. The redemption rate refers to the percentage of coupon codes that are redeemed at POS or point-of-sale, versus the total number of coupons that were delivered to your subscribers.

Planning and Audience Segmentation for Better Results

By taking advantage of audience segmentation, you can determine which groups are the most responsive to the content of your campaigns. Personalization of your campaign messages can also help to improve response rates.

Before you get started, you should outline your goals for the campaign. Setting goals will ensure the right metrics are tracked.

Want to learn more about selecting the right KPIs for your mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505­­-5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.


September 24th, 2015

At this point in time, it’s obvious that consumers today are spending much more time on their smartphones. Aren’t you? Despite this, companies have struggled to adopt mobile marketing strategies into their marketing plans.

We recently discussed the reasons for the hesitance in adopting text message marketing with several companies. Many reported that they had not yet adopted mobile marketing because of concerns about how to effectively use the technology, as well as, the potential ROI.

Here are some of their top questions about text message marketing and our answers.

Q: Text message marketing seems complicated.

A: If you know how to send text messages, you already have much of what’s required for a text message marketing campaign figured out. Setting up and running your campaign is actually not difficult at all and runs on a weekly or monthly schedule. We’ll guide you and help you set up your campaign.

Q: I’ve never tried text message marketing and have no idea how to set up or run a campaign.

A: That’s okay. We can help you manage your text message marketing campaign. Most of our clients see excellent results with weekly or monthly texts to their customers.

Q: How do I know what metrics to track or measure?

A: Tracking sales, signups or responses to your offer is the best way to gauge the success of your program. Our platform Solark provides metrics and you can learn how to track your results.

Q: What kind of ROI can I expect from a text message campaign?

A: The ROI would depend on the goals of your campaign. Our clients are seeing 7% to 12% promotion redemptions and 13% to 20% return on marketing investment.

Q: I’m not an early adopter and would rather wait until there’s more information available or the market for text message marketing has matured.

A: Although text message marketing may seem new, it’s been around for over a decade. The TV show, American Idol, was the first to use text for the purposes of audience voting back in 2003. Other brands, such as Nike and Pontiac, began using text messaging for business since 2005. If your goal is to reach today’s tech-savvy consumer, text message marketing offers a cost-effective way to do so.

Want to learn more about setting up your own mobile campaign? Contact us or call us at (305) 505-­5393 for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing program.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at

August 27th, 2015

I found myself in a restaurant recently where the cashier asked me to join their loyalty program. She said “You get points for every meal. You might as well, you are already paying for it and when you get to 50 points you get $5 off. All you need to do is enter your phone number in the tablet.” I thought sure, let me see how it works, so I punched in my mobile number.

But that wasn’t all I had to do. The cashier then told me to scan a QR code to download the app. I opened the scanner app (how many people still have this app?) and scanned the QR code. It took me to a sign up page asking me to confirm my number, create a password and download the app.

You Lost Me at the QR Code

At this point I was done with the program and no longer interested in signing up. Not even my marketing curiosity propelled me to take another step. I just wanted my food and to sit down with my family. This loyalty program required way too much effort and too many steps on my part just to get signed up. I bailed!

If you don’t make it dead easy and fast for a customer to sign up to your loyalty program, they won’t. And if they don’t sign up, there’s no loyalty program.

If you’re looking to integrate a loyalty app into your business keep reading…

Mobile apps are often considered an easy solution for loyalty programs, but they may not be as easy as you think. And they aren’t the right option for every business.

Here are the pros and cons and how mobile apps compare with text message marketing.

Mobile loyalty apps for business

Mobile Loyalty Apps

Loyalty apps are most often used by restaurants and retail stores. If your business doesn’t fall into one of these categories (and even if it does) you may wonder if a loyalty app is the right choice for you.

Here are some statistics that may convince you otherwise:

  • One out of five mobile apps is used only once. Many apps are deleted from a user’s phone after little use.
  • Customers are wary of downloading yet another app onto their prime smartphone real estate due to app fatigue.
  • Branded loyalty apps are expensive to implement. A branded mobile app can cost $20K or more to develop.
  • Non-branded or general loyalty apps come with a learning curve for you and your customers.

How Do Loyalty Apps Work?

To use a loyalty app, a customer has to show the app, show a card, enter information or provide a number when ordering. And signup often requires an in-store tablet or extra technology. Without these tools at point of sale, the app might not get enough subscribers and won’t be used frequently by your customers.

Also, loyalty apps usually send promotions through push notifications, not SMS text messages. Promotions are usually triggered by a customer’s activity or by achieving a reward level within the app. As a result, customers must have your loyalty app installed and use it often before they’ll see any messages for your brand. This seems like a lot of effort before the marketer can actually reach the customer.

Apps Need Dedicated Resources

General apps can add more work for your staff. Also, gaining new users is a serious challenge, especially if your customers don’t often visit your physical location. Onboarding will require dedicated resources as well, because your app is yet another program with hardware or software that must be learned. Be ready with technical support if your customers run into problems.

On the upside, these apps can provide detailed sales metrics, like what customers are ordering and when they last visited your store. However, your program needs to attract enough users for this data to be of use.

Remove Barriers with Text Message Marketing

One of the main benefits of using text message marketing is that every smartphone has text messaging integrated as a core feature. This means there’s no additional hardware or software for you or your customers to learn. Also, texting is easy and fast for customers who want to subscribe. They send a text and they’re in. A marketer can start sending offers immediately to subscribers. You won’t lose out on customer data either, as text message marketing programs can collect email addresses, names and more.

Easily Notify Your Customers About Promotions

Loyalty apps can be helpful in collecting data, but come with a learning curve and need extra time to implement. This can create some difficulties in your goal of building loyalty and sharing promotions. Text message marketing cuts this learning curve and eliminates the low participation rates that affect many apps.

With text messages you can send out promotions according to your schedule or on days you want to boost sales. You can also use any of your advertising or marketing efforts to promote your text messaging program. Just add the call to action to your ads, social media profiles and posts (“Text MOMARES to 65047,” for example).

To recap, text message marketing:

  • Is available on all mobile phones
  • Allows for fast and easy sign up
  • Doesn’t depend on extra hardware in store
  • Has a high participation rate compared to apps
  • Doesn’t depend on customers being in store to sign up
  • Is easily promoted in your marketing or advertising campaigns
  • Provides redemption rates between 5% and 12% for text offers

These are just a few of the differences between text message marketing and mobile loyalty apps. The benefits of text make it an easy win for most businesses. And it’s an easy-to-use solution that will guarantee high participation rates.

Apps are trendy right now, but the ease of use can’t compare to text messaging. And you can’t build loyalty program if customers don’t sign up.

If you’re ready start with your own mobile marketing campaign, contact us or call (305) 505-­5393 for help.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email me at

July 27th, 2015

How often to use text message marketing

Do you know how often your business should text? Determining the frequency of messaging for your SMS campaign can be a challenge for marketers. At Momares, we usually recommend sending texts once per week (twice a week at most). However, the frequency of messaging in your campaign may vary slightly, depending on your requirements. Here are some things to consider when you are trying to determine how often to text your marketing list.

How frequently will a customer act on your offer?

As you consider the frequency, think about how often your customer will be able to take advantage of the promotions you offer. How often do they buy your product or service? A restaurant, for example, might text more frequently than a travel agency. The customer may not actually need or be able to buy what you’re offering until a certain amount of time has passed.

Is your campaign timely and relevant?

Evaluate your campaign to improve the relevance of your messages with regard to time, location and the potential for engagement. If you’re planning an SMS campaign with the goal of building brand equity, it’s important to ensure your campaign engages users effectively.

Try to avoid interrupting users at a time that may not be situationally appropriate and consider whether users will respond negatively to frequent texts. If you think they might, it would best to send text messages less frequently.

Frequency doesn’t have to remain the same

Keep in mind that the frequency of messaging doesn’t have to remain the same. Review your analytics data or converted sales to determine when buyers are more or less likely to buy.

As a result, you can send messages more frequently during the months when you think customers are likely to buy and less frequently during slow months. Conversely, you can do the opposite and send more promotions during slow months to motivate customers to buy.

Balance is important in SMS campaigns

To have an effective SMS campaign, you have to strike a balance between texting often enough that users will remember they signed up for messages, but not so often they decide to unsubscribe from your marketing list. This is why we often suggest texting once a week.

Contact us for help with setting up your (SMS) text message marketing.

June 9th, 2015

Every day, a growing number of your customers are interacting with you by mobile phone.  They’re not just calling your business, but also visiting your website, speaking to you on social media and redeeming your offers… all on mobile.

Are you speaking to your customer on mobile?

It’s time to cater to your customer’s preference for mobile. And one great way to do that is with text message marketing. It happens to be a great time to start text messaging for various reasons. Here’s why…


June 1st, 2015

We say Rent to Won! Yes, won.

How much do you depend on others to reach your customers?

You may have heard…

  • Facebook is going to “balance” the content your fans see from your brand.
  • If your website is not mobile friendly, Google will not show it in mobile search results.
  • Comcast complains about Rob Lowe’s Direct TV ads, which then get pulled by the networks.
  • Twitter bans live broadcasting app Meerkat then launches its own app, Periscope, for live broadcasting.
  • NHL bans Twitter’s Periscope app from streaming live coverage inside arenas.
  • And the list goes on and on

What would happen if the platforms or networks you depend on to reach your customers block your access or start charging you for access?

The examples above show case after case of what happens when marketers depend too heavily on “channel partners” for access.

In an ever co-dependent digital marketing landscape, marketers need to secure control of their assets, channels, and customer information. This is all important to help drive marketing decisions.

Grab Every Opportunity to Capture Customer Information

At every opportunity, whether you buy ads or reach customers online, you should get customer information and permission to reach them via direct channels that are within your control. Channels like email or text messages, for example. You “rent to won” your customers.

I can’t predict the future, but companies get bought or sold and internet services close quickly. What happens when Facebook fans migrate to other platforms (remember My Space or Friendster) as we see happening with Generation Z? What happens when your hard-earned marketing channels shift or close on you? Or when paid advertising budgets get cut? How do you reach your customers then?

Owning Your Media Channels

For marketers, owning the media channel and having customer data are key to cutting risk and reducing your dependency on third parties. With your own channel, you will always have access to your customers, regardless of platform or trend.

Channels you can own:

  • Mail: you can always send out mail pieces if you collect their addresses
  • Email: you can always email them as long as you have their email address and permission
  • Telephone: you can call them if you have their phone number and permission
  • Text (SMS): you can always text them with their mobile number and permission

How to Build and Own Your Media Channel?

All you need to start building your own channel is a simple web form and a good reason for customers to complete it. A good reason like entering a sweepstakes, downloading a white paper, getting an instant coupon or free item, etc. Give your prospective customer’s a good reason to exchange their information and grant their permission and you will be building your own channel, winning over your customers and gaining control and access to them.

Paid and earned media are important, but the media channels you own are vital to your long term success. Use initiatives not only to advertise and reach out, but to also capture data and gain permission from prospects for your direct channels. Then you will always be able to reach them without depending on a third party.

I’d love to hear what you think in a comment or email us at

May 19th, 2015

With Apple’s newest “it” product hitting the market, it’s a good time to look at how smartwatches and wearables might offer new marketing opportunities.

As marketers, we must be forward-thinking, right? Let’s first consider how smartwatches might affect consumer behavior.

  • Real time all the time?
    We already check our smartphones up to 150 times a day. How much more often will we check when we don’t need to dive into a pocket or purse? If you just angle the wrist and swipe, responses will be immediate and in real time.
  • If you think we have short attention spans now…
    Short messaging will reach a new max of tiny proportions. As Computer World said, it’s “all the news that’s fit to squish”… on a 38 or 42mm screen. The New York Times is creating one-sentence stories for smartwatches. Businesses going after this market will have to adapt as well.

With that in mind, here are a few smartwatch options we find exciting for marketers…

Wearable Ads

According to Bloomberg, wearable ads have begun and are tied to the wearer’s usage. If you have an app, you might allow a sponsored ad for a few seconds, as the Golfshot app did.  Your customized message can also be tied to a location, event or time. Deliver an ad after a person arrives at the airport, for example, or send an ad/coupon while they’re in a mall. The challenge is to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Text Message Alerts or Coupons

Text messages are read within minutes of arrival on a smartphone and that time will be even shorter on a smartwatch. This is great for us as our text messages will get immediate attention. Think of the applications for events, limited-time sales offers, flash sales, coupons and more. Text messages can cater to that immediacy and can also have more visual impact with images and links.

Customer Service Notifications & Perks on your Smartwatch

Book a room at a Starwood Hotel and you’ll get a confirmation with a keyless entry code on your smartwatch. You’ll only have to hold it up to the door pad to unlock your room. Lufthansa also offers an app to use the watch as a boarding pass.

You can also use it to charge purchases, find out when invoices are paid and get productivity reminders for team projects. As these examples show, the possibilities for business-related alerts and perks are nearly limitless.

Whether you use a smartwatch or not, it’s worth watching this trend for potential opportunities. The Apple Watch is sure to lift the wearables market as it did with smartphones and we’re eager to see what happens.

We’ll help you keep an eye on future trends and new uses in mobile marketing. Contact us for help with text message marketing.

(Apple Watch is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Photo by Shinya Suzuki on Flickr)