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34 3 Mobile Behaviors You Must Embrace Right Now

When marketing people start talking about mobile these days, and they’re doing it a lot, they usually default to tactics – mobile ads, SMS, throw in some near field communications and we’re on the mobile track.

Text Message Marketing

photo credit: Drriss via photo pin cc

I’ve been doing this a long time and with every emerging evolution there seems to be an equally reactive rush to embrace the accompanying tactics and it’s what leads people to do things that don’t make sense.

Ten years ago everyone was hiring web designers to create web sites that had nothing to do with the rest of the organization’s marketing or branding – but they had to have a web site.

Then social media came along and everyone rushed to figure out Twitter and how to run a contest on Facebook.

The mobile rush is currently starting to heat up and, once again, I think most people are asking the wrong thing.

Instead of how do wet get into mobile, where can we get our own cool app or how much should we spend on mobile ads, the question is and should be this.

What behaviors are our current customers exhibiting right now when it comes to mobile and how can we tap those behaviors using some combination of existing and emerging tools.

I truly believe that’s the formula for considering any new tactic or tool. When you factor what you’re doing now that works and ask how you can use the tools to do more of that, you’ll rarely get caught up in the rush towards new for new sake.

Below are three mobile behaviors you can no longer ignore as they’ve become universal and cross industries and demographics in undeniable ways.

1) Content is getting consumed on mobile devices on the go.

I have a Nexus7, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire. I use apps like Reeder and FlipBoard on most of those devices to consume content. And, while I’m not your average online folk, my wife does the same and so do my kids.

Our content must be made to be consumed by people using really small screens riding in a car, at the library and at the conference. Right now, there are very few business that can pull off a generally useful app, but every business should invest in making all of their content pitch perfect for the various ways it’s being consumed.

This means using plugins such as WPTouch Pro, choosing themes and designers that use Responsive Web Design and exploring mobile landing pages and content pages designed to provide very specific content to mobile surfers with tools such as Tekora or GoMobi

2) Mobile is a key element in the buying process

And, here’s the most important aspect of that behavior – mobile shoppers are proving more valuable then traditional shoppers, including demonstrating less price sensitivity according the July Mobile Retail Insights report from Mobile Ad Network Greystripe.

Okay this statement relies on murky research, but think about it – mobile shoppers, people that do research on the fly looking for somewhere to shop, eat, drink, visit, or even hire a service, are more likely to jump on the things they find first, conveniently and seamlessly.

While people are using their mobile devices during the buying or shopping process many are choosing to make actual purchases either offline (see next behavior) or using a laptop, but tablets are going to change this dramatically.

The key is to understand that mobile is a link in the buying chain and proper integration is where conversion comes from.

3) People expect mobile engagement

Once you understand this behavior you’ll stop bad mouthing text message marketing. That’s not to say that there aren’t people doing it poorly or using it to spam, but it is to say there are terribly powerful and valid reasons to use SMS and now is the time to analyze how you can use service such as EXTexting or Trumpia for customer service, flash sales and specials and appointment opening.

I’ve also seen people use SMS short codes to allow people to subscribe to their email newsletter and more and more businesses are offering receipts by way of email and text.

I allow people to download slides from my speaking events, something they would often ask me to do anyway, by sending a short code text to a specific number. This particular process allows them to get what they want when they want it without much work and certainly takes me out of the process as well.

Enabling mobile engagement through tools such a click to call, click to chat or click for driving directions is another way to help people get what they want in the highly impatient, highly motivated world of mobile commerce.

I think the key to understanding any new technology or tactic is pretty simple. First figure out how you can use it to make something your customer is already doing easier and better. If you can do that it doesn’t matter how you see others using it or not.

15 5 Creative Ways to Use Text Messages in Marketing

Text Message Marketing

Ed Yourdon via Flickr

The mobile marketing category is this year’s red-hot topic. Of course, for some businesses mobile and text messages (SMS) are synonymous – and not always in a good way.

 

Anyone that has received a spam text message may view that evil activity as the only use of SMS and that would be a shame. The use of text messaging has skyrocketed. People now use it for basic one to one communication far more frequently than the telephone and this behavior calls for expanded thinking around the topic in general.

SMS may never really be that effective as a pure lead generation tool, like email or direct mail, but it is a very effective and convenient delivery mechanism for customers and prospects seeking specific actions and information. View it in that light and perhaps some creative uses leap to mind.

Newsletter sign-up

Using short code technology, a feature that allows users to text a word to a specific number to receive information, you can allow people to sign-up to your email newsletter. I like this approach because you can put the code on a business card or slide when speaking and make it very easy for people to subscribe with their phone on the spot.

The beauty of this approach is that you can marry mobile technology with your already established email technology and offline tactics and you create a marketing lead without the need to ever send another text to the lead. I’ve used EZTexting for this application

Real time appointments

Services such as salons, dentists and even restaurants can use text to fill gaps in the appointment schedule and offer busy customers the ability to come in now if it works.

This would certainly work for home service providers such as plumbers and window cleaners too. Imagine getting a text saying we could be at your home in thirty minutes.

You could also flip this around and send out a list of open times and let people pick one. A service like Mobivity is very easy to set up for this type of use.

Share your slides

I speak to lots of groups and without fail someone always asks if I’ll share my slides. I have no problem doing this, so I’ve started to set up a short code word for each event and I simply say text “event name” to the code and people get a message that allows them to download the slides on the spot while I’m standing up there in front of them. On top of convenience this still offers up a bit of wow factor for participants.

I’ve also used to this approach to gather instant feedback on a presentation by asking participants to text their thoughts on the event to a short code. TxtWire is another simple service that is very small business friendly

Instant polling

If you’ve ever attended a workshop or seminar that features polling hardware you know how cool it can be for a presenter to ask a question and then have the audience click their handheld controller to vote or make a choice.

The problem is that all those little RF keypads, receiver and software to integrate with your slides can add up to lots of bucks.

A number of web based technologies such as Poll Everywhere have cropped up of late making it very affordable to poll audiences by having them use SMS and their own mobile device.

You ask a question and then offer the responses via short code and watch the results populate your PowerPoint slide. For an event, this technology requires that there is a web connection available, but you can also use this in print or other environments to collect data.

Coupon distribution

Creating membership type levels where people can get special treatment or special announcements is a great way to build community.

You can use SMS to allow people to join your “first mover” club and then routinely send them coupons, gift certificates, special previews, and advanced education and information only available to club members.

You can also simply set up codes where people can request this week’s hot deal or special coupon. A tool like CellIt is a good place to learn more.

Bonus: Group Text

Don’t forget about the wave of group text services that are cropping up as a great way to communicate with your staff, customers, partners and suppliers. The key feature these services offer is that the group text becomes a conversation for all and most allow you to go beyond to text and add images (MMS).

You can create open groups that anyone can join, but I think the real power is in the private, controlled group. I’ve been using GroupMe and think it works well.

3 Free Live Training Mobile Marketing for Small Business

You know mobile is the hottest marketing tactic going right now. Maybe you don’t feel it yet, maybe you’re not sure if it’s really time to get on board or not. Join me for a free web panel discussion – Mobile Marketing for Small Business – February 18th at Noon CSTRegister here for Feb 18 Mobile Marketing Event

As mobile devices evolve to powerful hand held computers, smart marketers are embracing this evolution with mobile centric marketing initiatives.

Everything about your marketing online and offline must begin to consider that entire market segments use the mobile device to find everything from food to legal services locally and abroad.

Join me with a special expert panel, Feb 18th at Noon CST as we discuss:

  • Ways to get your business ready for mobile shoppers
  • How to market through Text and SMS campaigns
  • How to make your web site mobile browser friendly
  • Integrating mobile technologies into your offline efforts

Panelists include:

Kim Dushinski

Dushinski is the author of the Mobile Marketing Handbook. As an advocate for smart, effective mobile marketing Kim leads workshops and speaks internationally about how to profit with mobile. In 2008 she was a System Seminar faculty member, received rave reviews and was invited back in 2009 as the only mobile-focused speaker at this cutting edge conference. She was the featured speaker for the Houston chapter of the American Advertising Federation and at the first Thin Air Summit.

Shane Neman

Shane Neman founder and CEO of premier Mass SMS and Group Text Messaging service EzTexting.com, Shane Neman has brought his entrepreneurial ambition to the sphere of mobile marketing. Under Neman’s leadership, Ez Texting now sends more than 120 million text messages per year on behalf of over 50,000 clients across the nation for a multitude of purposes.

Igor Faletski

Igor Faletski is the CEO of Mobify, a service that makes websites mobile-friendly. With Mobify, anyone with basic web design skills can quickly create a mobile version from elements of their existing site. Founded in 2007, Mobify is powering mobile for SPIN, BoingBoing, Smashing Magazine and top US fashion retailers. Mobify is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Register here for Feb 18 Mobile Marketing EventGoToWebinar LogoThis webinar is presented by GoToWebinar as part one of a three part series