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November 03, 2006

Text-to-Win Contests

Coming up with "Text-in-to-Win" contests are great ways for all mobile programs to jump start any Mobile database collection.  With this group, 35 & under, add a little celebrity power to the contest and the response can be off the charts!  Although, speaking generally, this group doesn't need much of a push to willingly provide their cell phone numbers and stay opt-ed in as long as the messages are considered / contain value. The trick here is that the prize will ultimately attract customers taht will reurnti you, like $1,00 shopping spree's.  In any event, some simple awareness promotion that text is now offered should be enough to get you started!  Again, consult with your account manager for more specific advice and additional program ideas.

45, 50+ Customers

This group has just about an easy time reading a new text message as the younger customers.  Their main trouble comes from finding the meassage agian, particularly at the store POS, where it is imperative not to slow down line traffic!  The solutions so far to this are:

Sending out alert type messages like sale or product arerts, messages that only have to be read once, not requiring the customer to retrieve the message again to particpate in the sale / promo.  Again, almost everyone can read a text message which is the main point of any DM, to alert and drive sales, right?  This accomplishes this objective with usually over a 90% overall read rate.

When live POS systems are available and / or loyalty porgrams, the customer can identify themselves them as a text message receiver by card or phone number and the system can idenitfy themselves by phone number instead of having to retrieve the message for the promo code.  With this latter format, discounts can be imbedded and are still available for usuage!

October 30, 2006

Avoiding Excessive Discounting

While some of this might not be new to you, it's innovative in Mobile Marketing.  I have heard a lot of talk at conferences and webinars to know that this is a hot-topic for not only low-margin retailers but also for the mass retailer and tying them to your brand and not "sale hunting".  Some Strategies here are:

Send a message offering a free give-away for coming into the store. Something relatively inexpensive like a free pair of underwear or earing's, something that your customers would be interested in but will cost you very little.  This works based on the propensity of them being more likely to come in to shop with the free product attached, especially if they have been wanting something and just hadn't made the time to come in and purchase.  And the downside is minimal, it being a small enough give-away that few will stop in just for the free product.  I & SmartReply have brand connections to facilitate items for give-aways if this is helpful.

October 24, 2006

Your Average Customer Age is 35 - 50+... But You Want To Attract Younger Customers

Congratulations!, you are now researching the most successful marketing vehicle to attract younger than your "average customers" to your business, whatever combination or variance that may be; Catalog, Store, or Online.

Viral campaigns structured to incentivize your existing Mobile database with some creative ways to reward those who do forward a message to friends, family, and their adult kids backed with some form of forced opt-in when new customers redeem the text message promotion / coupon always work well.  Forcing the opt-in for coupon redemption may sound unfriendly at first, but once you read this you may feel differently.  If they responded to a text message coupon or promotion, why wouldn't they respond again and be open to receiving again, right?  This, and with how easy it is to opt-out keeps viral programs successful and customer friemdly.

"Text-in-to-Win" contests are great for this, and just the synergy behind Mobile helps accomplish this goal of attracting younger customers.  We have developed several key strategies to aid in viral contest participation & I'm positive that some of these new customers will be in the younger target age range.  Then you / we can just sit back and watch it grow, let good mobile programs do what they do best, spread & increase response.  As always, consult with your account manager for more specific advice and additional program ideas.

More on Avoiding "Sale Hunting"

Messages containing information that a new seasons shipment of merchandise is now available, or alert type messages.  Loyal customers want to know this kind of information and usually make up a large part of your mobile database.  Who wants merchandise, especially clothing that everyone else has already?  I know that has a bigger pull for 35+ under demographic based brands!

October 23, 2006

Unique Offer Codes vs One Code For Everyone?

There are cases to be made for both, which depends on many factors including your internal marketing desires, CRM software, POS capabilities, etc.  I will give some key points on the one code topic for now, but for more details on what would be best for you and your campaigns please speak with your account director.

One code for everyone works well, and is almost exclusively used in all campaigns.  It's simpler for back end processing as you don't have to shut down each coupon as it is redeemed and POS doesn't have to be live, can significantly aid in viral campaigns, and if POS or CRM software allows you to instantly access your text message database you can employ the forced opt-ins for redemption.  Also, you're not giving out such a good deal that if redemption is high it will put you out of business, and high redemption will attract / entice text responsive customers to opt-in.  Rewarding customers who forwarded this text message is also possible, as the number the message was forwarded from now changes from your short-code to the sender's, and by asking for the senders number (who is probably already opt-ed in) you can now track how many redemption's were generated from that specific customer and reward them with a special text coupon, gift certificate, etc. 

For Catalog and Internet only companies, all of the above and more, tied with good message timing and a short time frame (which isn't a problem with text, 80% read rate within the first hour) keeps Internet posting of coupons to a minimum and in all actuality, is not a problem anyway because of the option of forced opt-in's for redemption!