Could your business be doing more?
Does your business have a phone number?
Have you thought about text enabling your existing phone number to reach more people?
Numbers don't lie people.
Check out text2printer.com to learn how your business can engage more people and help grow your business now!
Ok, so which one is better (and I have some delicious research to back this up)?
Option #1: Creating a wide variety of apps and resources for customers to order a product from you (hopefully) and exhausting multiple marketing efforts to alert them on how to do so?
Option #2: Have one FLAGSHIP way which uses each locations own phone number where you allow 100% of your customers to order (oh and as a bonus you get immediate actionable insight into each customer)?
A big national chain might be able to afford experimenting with what what works and what doesn’t, but they no longer need to now that text2printer.com is available. Read on to learn more.
Domino’s Pizza recently launched a new campaign to promote new features with their digital ordering platform. Essentially allowing customers to save their information and frequent orders for faster service.
“Our new campaign is the ultimate in bringing together convenience and value,” CMO Russell Weiner said
Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were among the first in the restaurant industry to invest in and dominate online and mobile ordering, paving the way for regional and independent pizzerias to lose out on potential business. The restaurant industry is ripe with fierce competition already, so its about time that a system easy to implement and pays for itself with as few as 10 orders a month levels the playing field for all.
What is Text2Printer.com (and how the heck can it help)
Unlike other ways of taking orders, text2printer helps you profit by letting customers text in their order to your main number, which means you can work on your business instead of in your business. Text2printer.com removes the bottleneck (cost, knowledge, adaption) technology often gets inturpreted as and opens the highway to ease of use and higher sales.
You do want higher sales right? I thought so.
So, how does Text2Printer.com help? (In 3 SIMPLE steps)
Step 1: You order your text2printer.com system
Step 2: You connect your text2printer.com system into your existing internet connection (wired or wireless)
Step 3: Display the banner and hand out the business cards with instructions provided by Text2Printer.com for your clients to know next time they can order using text messaging.
Now you can check off the benefits
No more mistakes on orders
No more missed sales from busy lines
No more technology hang ups to worry over
Why would you want Text2printer.com?
89% of mobile users send an average of 10 text messages a day. 100% of mobile phones can text message which means:
You ARE on the right platform!
You DO work with ALL service providers!
You can increase your ability to fulfill orders.
You can have immediate insight into your customers profile, build that relationship.
Where can you get your text2printer.com system?
In the circles most of us relate to, it might seem incredible that feature phones (also known as dumb phones) were still the dominant category. Until recently that held true, but Q2 of 2013 changed that. The latest Gartner report shows that smartphones finally took over the lead with a whopping 51.8 percent of worldwide phone sales.
“Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions.
The area all businesses need to focus on still with this news is that while it is seems cool and popular to be accessible with the latest app trend and social media integration there is still almost 50 percent of your potential audience you could miss connecting with if you choose to not include a way to reach them.
What you need is a way to universally bridge the gap, and one way is to have voice, text messaging and a web experience that provides the same experince for your customers while having a single focal point for you to interact and engage with those customers.
TSG Global has been offering this method since 2008 with services like FlexTALK SMS. The service offers the ability to integrate voice and text through API calls.
NOW you can get these same services as an a la carte option with the ability to text enable your existing local or toll free phone number. This option allows you to keep your current service provider for voice and enhance your availability with every mobile provider through text messaging.
Even better is the partnership TSG Global has with TextGEN. TextGen's application platform takes traditional IVR experinces usually reserved only for a voice call (think calling into your local cable company and listening to the options) and amplifies that offering with the addition of text messaging and web interactivity offering the ultimate unified experience no matter how your customers choose to engage.
Add to that the ability for you interact via live chat from either the desktop or smartphone application along with having real-time actionable data and your business will become the trusted source for your target audience.
These solutions mean you can focus on building your business without having to worry wether the latest Apple or Samsung device will be compatible or if you need to be on iOS or Android first. Who needs that?
I have conducted experiments lately, and the results might be very interesting and even possibly useful to you.
Using my mobile phone and text messaging as the main medium, I’ve been attempting to interact with a bunch of brands and personalities and experts in the fitness and health industry, including people who sell products in that space, magazines that cover the space, personalities (a popular doctor or fitness instructor) of that space, and some of the community at large of the fitness and health space. Before I share my findings, I’ll share what I felt would be decent strategies for using the platform for each group listed.
FOUR PRIMARY PLAYERS IN MY OBSERVATION SET
* Brands - product advocacy through engagement and content sharing.
* Media - engagement around stories and projects.
* Personalities - interaction and engagement to provide access, and promote their projects.
* Community at Large - proof of thought leadership, and media development.
Maybe you recognize yourself in one of these four groups. Maybe you represent a brand. Perhaps you’re a community member. Or, maybe, like me in this example, you’re someone interested in the space, and looking for interactions.
Here’s what I observed, and then we can go into what they might do better.
* Brands: mostly run by agency resources; mostly throwing out lame questions vaguely related to their product.
* Media: promoted their pieces relentlessly, often redirecting you to interact another way. RARELY asked questions for story-gathering.
* Personalities: largely UNAVAILABLE.
* Community at large: shared information, promoted people interacting with their information and projects, interacted and engaged with people who engaged them.
Does this mirror what you observe in whichever crowd of people you spend your time with? Whether you’re using text messaging, a voice conversation, or wherever, it doesn’t matter. My question is whether the actions above mirror what you see as they relate to the groups you spend your time observing.
What I noticed immediately was that three of the four groups were missing several opportunities to improve relationships and thus potential business with the people they served. In lots of cases (3 out of 4), I’m pretty sure people didn’t even think about their use of text messaging as an opportunity to serve a community. When they did offer that opportunity, they used it like a bullhorn (mainly with short codes), whether or not anyone was paying attention.
But let me share my quick thoughts on what these segments could have done better:
* Brands - using a text enabled toll free number and connect with conversations that would make sense to their products, and talk with people about their experiences or needs, whether or not about the product specifically. One food product company missed several chances to be asked specific recipe-related questions, for instance.
* Media - use a text enabled landline to engage the community for story-sourcing, for excitement-building, and treat every reply as an opportunity to see if the person is a subscriber to the magazine and whether they’d want a discounted subscription. I looked to interact with 14 different media brands and none of them were
* Personalities - using a text enabled business landline to engage and connect and talk to people about them a little bit. It’s great to share your life. When you get a nibble from someone opening up a bit, try to reply and interact. It can’t be done all the time, but the out of the 40 or so personalties I attempted to interact with using a text enabled landline or toll free number in this experiment, none were reachable. Now yes I can call, but most of these personalities are extremely busy and won’t have time for a phone call, but if the same phone number was text enabled, then they could respond but in manner that allowed them when it was available time wise.
* Community at large - here are the up and comers, the folks who maybe aren’t a big brand, aren’t a big personality, but have the domain knowledge. In all cases, these people worked the hardest, connected the most, and reaped the benefits. What I was engaging mostly was their mobile phone which a lot of times is personal and most do not want to just give out, plus it is tied strictly to the actual mobile device. Application platforms like TextGen offer the ability to have the conversation from text message, voice, or even web.
THE OPPORTUNITY IS YOURS
I’m not sure how you’re working with your digital channel properties. Your home base (primary website) is where you should sell (and use that how you wish), your media empire to create content that draws people’s interest to potential learn enough to want to buy, and your outposts to be places where to engage, to learn, to listen, and to lure people to the content you create via your media empire. Every business has at the least a landline phone number, why not REALLY use it to broaden the way you interact by letting TSG Global enable text messaging on it?
It seems that several people choose to ONLY send people to their media materials rather than engage people in conversations. I’m not sure why. Not enough time to potentially nurture a buyer? Not interested in talking to people who might enrich your business in some way? Shy?
But in my fact gathering, this news means that the up and comers and people who are part of the fabric of the community do not have to be the only ones who reap the benefits of better interaction. The brands, the media properties, and the personalities who are missing their opportunity to build a much better and closer interaction with the people seeking to learn more can do the same, EASILY by using application products like TextGen or build your own application and use the robust platform with TSG Global.
That’s the big win.
But you have to take the action.
What do you think?
Possible? What did this tell you?
Before I get into this article, let me be perfectly clear on a couple items:
1) There are no concrete rules about mobile marketing, except DON'T SPAM!
2) The intent of this article is too guide you (my readers) toward improved effectiveness and real net results based on tried and proven methods, not theory to generate whitepaper downloads or sell some book.
3) I largely write to a specific audience that consists of the mobile marketer, the SMB to Enterprise, not an enthusiast. The audience I write to understands that EVERYONE in their company is a marketer. Please recognize that this post focuses on those using text messaging (specifically long code) as a form of marketing.
Literally thousands of times per day, text messages are received by people that are marketing related. typically these texts are nothing more than glorified ads at 160 characters. The unfortunate truth is a large percentage of the time people are unable to find a true reason to connect with that particular brand, its missing a great call to action! I don't mean the content of the message is missing, but the actionable reason I should respond to it. Nothing is original when we receive the message and that makes your content the same as everyone else.
Let me say something very clear; If you largely send out content that looks like someone else's (an ad for shoes and an ad for pizza are still the same thing...AN AD) then you are deploying a tactic like everyone else and nothing original of your own.
A few things I suggest:
1) Carefully select what you are sending in a text message.
Ensure there is a reason for the audience to engage to further your content strategy.
2) Make ads or coupons around 10-20% of the max texts you send your audience.
If you are going to be effective with mobile marketing and text messaging, you need to have a strategy and that strategy needs to be yours. Limit the ads, coupons, and discounts you text and ramp up the interaction you want to build the relationships. Have conversations on topics regarding your brand that drive your audience.
3) You must have a content strategy.
If you don't know what mobile marketing strategy is when using text messaging, are struggling with it or need to make changes to your existing strategy, here is a simple Info graphic that may help. Coupled with a mobile content strategy, you should have an effective way to aggregate and manage the content you manage, schedule and eventually text. You should also have a way to respond to those who have engaged with you.
I have witnessed personally receiving messages from brands large and small that were nothing but ads and discounts. I have also assisted clients who came in like everyone else wanting to use text messaging to market just like big brand XYZ does. Initially I offer a little insight but allow these clients to do deliver the content as they expressed, but always look to stay in touch and see how things are going. inevitably I hear how the results are not that great and frustration mounts. I then ask how they know wether people are looking at the messages and how they are responding and find out that there is no call to action leading the audience to respond. This is followed by examples of content where the client is essentially asking the audience for a response. A conversation is created but more importantly because there is now a response our clients have data to know how the relationship is going with the audience.
The right content is very important and where you spend your time in the conversation generated is important as well. Many of the large brands who do ads & coupons via text message are not as successful at it as you think. In fact, my experience tells me that many of those brands that blast out these discounts have an audience that has grown numb to receiving the messages and often dismiss them without actually reading or reacting to what is provided. That is a waste of money, time and resources that a big brand can afford but for everyone else, I think not. Hence the importance of the content and your strategy.
Don't misunderstand, I love receiving coupons and discounts as much as the next guy, but if I receive a coupon for cheese sticks from XYZ pizza and I think they taste nasty in the first place then I am not going to order the product or use the coupon and eventually i will stop paying attention at all to the messages I receive from them because they do not care. That is deadly for any business.
The moral of the article today is that you must have your own content strategy that includes engaging your audience with content whose intended purpose is to build a relationship. Content you create to have a conversation will open up new avenues of revenue. These things work together to deliver value to your community and establish credibility in your space as a brand that cares and listens. Doing so will result in increased, meaningful conversations, deeper and improved relationships and ultimately a return on investment for your marketing efforts that sustain you through the tough times as well as the good.
Brands and Marketers need to have a grasp on a user’s total mobile experience to create compelling want for mobile interaction in the future. The digital world is wondrous and growing but without an ability to enjoy an equal experience on multiple platforms then the consumer is left still searching.
Brands and marketers need to be eyeing the omnichannel approach more than a mobile-only or multichannel experience. They need to understand in todays global economy that if needs are not met equally in one spot then consumers will continue wanting more. SMS using long code augmented with a web/app experience provides the trifecta of solutions.
Engagement Through Context
Mobile must be contextual, simple and immediate.
We define context as the total sum of a consumer’s mobile experiences. This includes looking at the situational, attitudinal and preferential habits of mobile users. Smart devices (phones, tablets, etc…) still only make up 45% of the total mobile devices today which leaves 65% unaccounted for if you don't offer the same experience to everyone easily.
When only using mobile apps or web for the experience, you limit your ability to engage everyone else. When the experience is not the same for the majority they will go elsewhere and the minority may follow leading your brand to lose everyone.
The total sum experience needs to include everyone wether they have a smart phone or feature phone. To tap into this, marketers need to realize that a customer’s contextual experience is directly linked to the state of a device.
Therefore, a contextual experience should use SMS, voice and web/app experience in the same manner no matter the choice of mobile devices.
Comprehensive mobile strategy
Brands and especially marketers need to also understand SMS using long code can provide the real connection between mobile interaction with consumers and big data, analytics and even complex event processing.
Now its the true killer combination - like chocolate and peanut butter!
We don't often associate the awesome combination of customer experience and the knowledge of how it is working and that needs to change. These two areas need to be together and your brand will have en experience like no other.
Marketers can have easier access to the information about how a certain campaign is going on every level with long codes wether a consumer engages using SMS, Voice or web/app experience and be armed with knowledge to make immediate decisions when situations dictate such requirements.
FlexTALK is a product that can help provide these solutions today in a simple and almost immediate manner. TSG Global also has partnerships with companies using long code that can provide the additional services such as web/app experience without the need for your brand to increase infrastructure or labor force.
Next Wave Of Innovation
A growing number of device sizes will make it increasingly difficult to develop for, however with services like FlexTALK that offer easier development with responsive design will help with designing for a complete mobile experience.
Consumers will navigate to your brand from all mobile devices easily when long codes are used, so make sure your brand is optimized for the devices they want to use. The goal is to deliver the same two-way experience for everyone.
When hosting a conference of any size, it's vital to communicate with your audience in an effective and efficient manner. The dissemination of conference information to various channels is essential. As a result, conferences are increasingly using text messaging to proactively and productively engage with conference attendees more because of its ubiquitous nature. Text messaging is able to reach any device wether it's a smart device or feature phone, unlike social media platforms which mostly require:
- A smart Device (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc…)
- A way to connect with Data (either wifi or cellular data)
- An app or access to a browser
All of those points above are potential areas to lose the audience you wish to engage. Building attendance for your conference is tough enough these days, maintaining those who have attended to return next time and more importantly spread to those they know that they need to go next time as well is even harder, especially if they were feeling left out because they were made to feel less wanted due to choice. The best way to make sure you are present to your audience needs is by using technology that is available to EVERYONE!
This article will go through those three points with the clear advantage text messaging still has.
-The SMARTER Device Choice-
While the number of adults who have smart devices is on the rise (at least half of all US adults have either a tablet or phone) the number of US adults that own a feature phone still beats that group by 45%, which means you run the risk of alienating a very large number of your potential audience. Text messaging has the awesome ability to interact with any text enabled devices, but you don't want to stop there because only long code text messaging can engage every wireless provider as well as services such as google voice. Services such as FlexTALK SMS provide just this ability giving edge to those opting for short code services.
-The BEST Connection Choice-
Requiring that your audience possibly use their own data in the event wifi access is not available of not working correctly (who hasn't been to a conference and witnessed first hand the 'free' wifi available really wasn't) then you run the risk of your audience NOT engaging with you through choice wether they can or cannot. The percentage of those with smart devices and cellular data included with them is less than 60% so if you are providing sub-par internet access or none at all then that 40+ percent will not be included. Let's say you have 1000 attending, then less than 600 have an alternative to a data connection leaving more than 400 left wanting…or leaving. YIKES! Text messaging uses the cellular network which unlike data is more readily available. When looking for a text messaging solution, don't just run to your closest short code provider. Short codes can only reach one third of the 32 wireless operators in the US alone and completely alienate google voice or Skype. Services using long code SMS solutions such as FlexTALK connect to all wireless providers, and google voice, Skype or any services like them.
-Service WITHOUT The Need For An App-
What would you do if the app or service just wasn't there?
What is your contingency plan for tweets not working or posts to Facebook failing. Text messaging works on smart phones the same as feature phones, without the need for third party services or apps. All phones come with it - nothing else required. That could be enough for this point, but let's look a little deeper. For every step you make your audience endure in order to engage and interact you lose 10 percent. Text messaging has been around for almost 20 years and everyone has already used it. Short codes, as pointed out earlier have there draw backs concerning reach, but there are more you can read here.
Long codes are simply phone numbers, but more importantly they are your phone numbers. The biggest advantage is your audience has a spot to store phone numbers, it's called contacts and how awesome is it that they can store your phone number with your name and personalize even more that interaction you are drawing them too. They could make you a favorite, they could make you a vCard to share with others, then throw in the ability to have your audience connect through a phone call and you reduce the steps to connect to you even more? The easier you make it the more they will use it! WOW! One phone number now has your audience captured and ready to go the distance with you. Try and get that from an app, or in a browser.
Your conference can excel beyond your campaign objectives and reap the success beyond your expectations simply by using text messaging with long codes through services like FlexTALK SMS. Why not contact us here and let us help you begin customizing a connection solution for your next conference TODAY!.
The largest problem with SMS Marketing is that the majority of people only use it to send out ads or coupons or product announcements. That's a glorified RSS feed at 160 characters. You would be much better off going back to the previous costly, dead media outlets that weren't working before.
Imagine a room of a thousand current and potential customers all talking about you and you choose to go somewhere else, or worse you show up, stand in the middle of the room and talk about you and your product then finish with handing out flyers and then leave without even a single thank you. This is what you're doing when using SMS Marketing and only use it one way.
It's also not email list 2.0 if all your opt-in list is receiving is a constant barrage of discounts you have pushed~n~pray will generate some return.
Now, if your really ready to turn your marketing into tangible results, then buckle up.
Your brand engages people directly every day, more important though your brand engages more people indirectly all the time. It's the indirect opportunities that you should be using SMS more often for. The indirect opportunities are the ones who want to be engaged, they want to be heard and most of all they want to be validated. Using SMS Marketing with long code allows you to be present with these opportunities. Providing people this way to interact and know your there and you won't have to worry about asking for your fans to opt-in, they'll run to do it and tell all of their friends to do the same.
If you want to be successful (I mean REALLY successful) with mobile marketing using SMS, then you have to build up your text message currency. Using long codes as your SMS platform instead of short code will deliver those desired results without hitting you in the pocket.
Now, for those with the 'deer caught in the headlight look' on what I am getting at, let me relate this to money. Think of it like this: when you started your business and opened the banking account for it, you did not immediately go up to the teller asking to withdraw $1000 did you? The teller would have looked at you like you were nuts. This is unfortunately what most business's and marketers attempt and then complain when they get horrible results when using text messaging wrong whether its with short code or long code.
You're going to have to invest in your mobile marketing in order to withdraw your rewards. Investing your text message currency means investing your time, your knowledge completely before trying to withdraw anything worth while. This means abandoning the stinkin' thinkin' and ancient philosophy of marketing and not treating this awesome way of communicating like some newspaper ad or weekly flyer.
If you stop trying to push ads and coupons, and instead use this as a way to reach out to those potential and current clients to connect and listen, then you can almost instantly speak and react to what is required and necessary right at that moment.
Doesn't that seem better than the potentially harmful alternative of letting your current and future clients go to the other guy because you just weren't there?
The emperor of mobile marketing is still text messaging by 45%! How do you engage your market as king of your brand? Are you rewarded with a loyal following or is there constant fear and turmoil from abandoning prospects?
Are you the ruling lead with your content? While you think your content may be king, content doesn’t rule without a court. Content alone still needs its counterparts in your queen, context. Having a powerful distribution plan to put concepts into action and connection with the people makes your brand interactive and worthy to be engaged. Witnessing first-hand the importance of engaging relationships between content, context, distribution and connection, I’ve outlined four key points below to help you complete your royal marketing strategy.
It's WHAT You Say & HOW You Say It!
Let's look at public speaking for a moment. Most speakers try to share as much content as they can in the time they have. No matter how long they have, most just spew out data data data! And what happens after 5 minutes of boring data, the majority of the audience tunes them out because too much content and no great context for delivery makes any king dull and unworthy. Unfortunately, most speakers are happy to engage only 20% of their audience, 20% PERCENT???
Back to marketing, would you be happy with only 20% return for all your efforts? If your answer is no then perhaps you should look at how your context should be king, because if context were king, content would still be queen. Content and context need each other. You may have the Mona Lisa of information, but if your constantly spewing forth information and not listening to the interests of your audience you might as well be finger-painting. Likewise, if you have a highly receptive audience waiting for your next release but aren't using easy interactive tools to use it then you would be insulting those you overlook.
Enable Distribution With Context
“With so many brands sharing across short code & social channels how can my content possibly stand out?” The answer to this frequently asked question is very simple: know how to reach your audience and the best way to reach them. These two parameters are the difference between inviting your audience to enjoy your content, and coming off as spam or sounding just like everyone else. As I opened with, text messaging is the emperor of social networking, but using short code to be interactive is REALLY expensive and the carriers you cannot reach are numerous, but using long code is both complete in reaching all carriers and inexpensive...PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE! Using text messaging via long code helps content appear naturally in the context of a conversation than the annoying “push and pray” method of short code (pushing content out in front of anyone who will look and praying they’ll respond).
Distribution Amplifies Content
What happens when remarkable content engages people passionate about your brand? Inspiration to interact with your brand. The staple of good content is that it stirs something in the people who encounter it. Thanks to text messaging using long code, people can react to your content easily. Comments, questions, reactions all easily communicated help the life of your content. Then include the fact your brand can have ONE NUMBER people can get in touch to text, call or fax and you make engaging your brand the simple choice. Getting your content in the hands of the right people can give it new life to spread even further than it would on its own.
Make Your Content Connect
It’s one thing to connect with your desired audience, but are you engaging your content to your audience? If you’re not using text messaging to illicit a response out of your audience, you’re only doing half the job and making your audience numb. Content ultimately serves as the backbone for several functions, such as demand generation, building lasting relationships with customers, closing deals, community management…the list goes on and on. To really connect and get the highest ARPU, then your content needs to have a reason for the people to respond. Ask questions, run surveys, build rapport, the choices are limitless and all at your disposal...USE THEM. With the right amount communication and re-imagining, your brand can blow past your competition and live on far longer than you initially planned. The important part of this part is ALWAYS BE PRESENT & RESPOND.
So, does your marketing strategy include text messaging? How do you maximize the value, reach and impact of your content?