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Are You Seeking a New SMS Marketing Solution?

By Dan Slavin, CodeBroker

If the answer is yes, then you’ll be interested in what we hear from other retailer and brand marketers who are searching for a new text message marketing software.

Every potential new client with whom we speak tells us the same thing – that evaluating text message marketing software definitely is not easy. The reason…there are so many text marketing solutions out there and, on the surface, they can be hard to differentiate.

In this post, I thought I’d share five of the most important criteria we hear from marketers who are looking to bring a new text marketing solution into their organizations. For the complete list, along with some helpful tips, I invite you to download this paper: How to Evaluate Text Messaage Marketing Software. 

1. Ease of use

Marketers want a self-serve text marketing solution so they can quickly implement campaigns in response to market conditions. But, in order to do this, they want a solution that, first and foremost, is easy to use. According to the mobile marketers with whom we work, ease-of-use comes down to two factors: 1) an intuitive interface, and 2) strong vendor support should they need assistance.

2. A text message marketing vendor that can grow your SMS list fast while ensuring list quality

Many text message marketing vendors will tell you that they can help you to quickly grow your SMS list but, more often than not, the quality of the list suffers. Most text marketing solutions have a list sign-up process that goes like this:

  • User texts in a keyword
  • User receives a text message to confirm
  • User replies by texting back a “Y”
  • User receives a message back confirming their opt-in

And the user is now on the list. The only problem is that all the marketer has only a phone number, with no demographic data whatsoever. It’s like just an email address.

Marketers now realize that they need more than just a phone number that opted in. Marketers want to collect demographic info, such as name, zipcode, and other info that will help make their marketing more effective. And they want a more robust sign-up process that, not only facilitates the ability to quickly build SMS lists, but also has demographic capture as part of the process – with an easy-to-use form that the recipient fills out during the opt-in process.

3. Tight integration with a mobile coupon solution

CodeBroker’s customers have found that SMS coupons tied to text marketing promotions are highly effective at improving customer engagement and driving purchases. According to a recent research report, mobile coupons delivered via text message drive high levels of purchases and urgency, with 25% planned redemption within three days, and 60% planned redemption within one week.

4. Works with your marketing infrastructure

It’s mission critical that your text message marketing software has APIs to enable the system to easily share data with your other systems – CRM, loyalty, analytics, and websites – with minimal IT support.

5. A true partner that helps you become successful

With many text marketing solutions, marketers are on their own. Many solutions are quite technical, or the marketer may be new to text message marketing and, for these reasons, marketers tell us that they want an text message marketing vendor who will help make them successful.

From project support, to advice on best practices, to proactively ensuring TCPA and CTIA compliance, marketers increasingly are looking for a text marketing solution that is more than a software product…but one that also includes planning and implementation support.

We at CodeBroker always encourage marketers to take a hands-on approach when assessing new text message  marketing software – to get their “hands dirty” with the system before making a decision.

If you’re in the process of looking for a new SMS marketing solution, I invite you to download How to Evaluate Text Messsage Marketing Software for more help, including a helpful vendor checklist.

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New Research Provides Insights into Mobile Engagement Preferences

By Dan Slavin

I’m pleased to announce the availability of CodeBroker’s latest research: Consumer Mobile Engagement Research Results. You can get it here on our Resources web page.

For the past two years, our team here at CodeBroker has conducted a wide range of consumer research, on topics such as mobile loyalty programs, text message marketing, and mobile coupons. What make this new research so interesting is that it addresses mobile engagement more broadly across all of these topic areas.

In our latest research, we surveyed 1,500 shoppers to gain insights into their preferred way to receive mobile offers, digital coupons and loyalty program info from retailers. The research gives the answers, and you may be surprised by some of the results – particularly on the feedback relating to the use of mobile apps.

We continue to learn that every consumer has his or her preferred way to be engaged via mobile – SMS, wallet, app, email – and when a retailer uses a consumer’s preferred mobile channel, that consumer is more likely to make a purchase and stay engaged.

Some of the highlights:

Promotional text messages are almost even with email as the preferred way consumers want to receive messages, digital coupons and offers from retailers.

When signing up to a retailers’ SMS list, 75% of research participants are willing to provide their name and address in exchange for a mobile coupon. This is great news for marketers who are looking to build higher-quality SMS lists.

Mobile apps are not the preferred way for most consumers to access their loyalty program rewards information from their phones.

This is just a preview. There’s a great deal of insights on mobile engagement in this research report – you can access it here on our website Resources page.

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text message promotions 0
Top 5 Text Message Promotions

Text Message Marketing: Using Promotion Text Messages to Engage Consumers

Written by: Stefanie Gray

If you’re looking for new ways to use promotion text messages to engage your customers or are interested in learning how other retailers use text message marketing software, following are 5 types of text message marketing promotions our retailer customers use and realize real ROI.

MOBILE OFFERS & MOBILE COUPONS.

Mobile Offers And Mobile Coupons

Two of the more popular ways you can deliver mobile coupons to your customers is through text promotions to an SMS marketing list and; on-demand alerts sent to customers who want to actively receive offers from you on an ongoing basis. Your customers will sign-up to your SMS marketing list by providing, at a minimum, their mobile device number. By signing up to your list, your customers are giving you express permission to communicate with them via promotion text messages that include offers for mobile coupons.

ON-DEMAND mobile coupons are delivered to consumers who respond to a call-to-action. For example, an in-store sign reads: “Text PARTY to 78527 for 10% OFF party supplies.” Consumers will text-in the keyword PARTY and receive the advertised mobile coupon. ON-DEMAND offers are a one-time occurrence. Meaning, you cannot continue to send text messages to the consumer’s mobile device number.

There is no question that mobile offers and mobile coupons work. Based on recent CodeBroker research, average redemption rates for mobile coupons delivered via promotional text messages range between 3% – and between 30% – 50% for an ON-DEMAND offer. These numbers are far greater than redemption rates seen for traditional paper-based coupons which average 1.6%.

SERVICE ALERTS.

Service Alert Customer Engagement

Service alerts are the perfect channel to personalize customer engagement. Based on a recent Retail Info Systems News report (Forget Omnichannel, Customer Engagement is the Goal), “…shoppers are willing to pay up to a 31% premium for an excellent customer experience, which refers to contextual, personalized engagement across retailer touchpoints.”

Examples of personalized service alerts include:

  • Order online / pick-up in-store: “Joe, order #1234 is ready for pick-up. Please bring your receipt and ID to customer service to claim your merchandise.”
  • Based on a customer’s past purchases: “Ginny, fresh tuna is on sale this week. Hurry as we don’t want you to miss this special offer.”
  • Gift card balances: “Matt, current PAYSONS gift card balance is $38.50.”
  • Prescription refill: “Rx # 12345678 is ready for pick-up at the 123 Main Street store.”
  • Credit card payment due notices: “Stephanie, your PAYSONS credit card has a balance of $75.00 and is due on May 15. Click http://paysons.com/credit to pay online”

These are just a few examples of how CodeBroker retailer customers use text message promotions service alerts to communicate with their customers. Personalized messages can be used to nurture a retailer’s most engaged customers towards the goal of increasing a customer’s lifetime value.

PROMOTION TEXT MESSAGES.

Text Message Promotions Offers

Using promotion text messages to announce exclusive offers, promote mobile coupons, or special events, is great way to create a sense of exclusivity among your customers. Examples of text promotions include:

  • Welcome message when a new customer signs-up to receive promotion text messages: “Welcome to Payson’s mobile alerts! 5% OFF next purchase for signing up.”
  • Mobile coupons or mobile offers are about to expire creating a sense of urgency: “PAYSONS: Your Payson coupon is about to expire on 5/15! Use it or lose it.”
  • Announcing a new product: “PAYSONS: New bedding collection will be online + in stores Sun May 17. While supplies last.”

Promotion text messages allow you to readily communicate with your customers. With a 99% open rate and a 30+% click-thru rate, promotion text messages can be one of a retailer’s most effective channels.

DATA COLLECTOR.

Retailer Data Exchange Promotions

Retailers use data exchange promotions to collect information from their customers, about their customers. The data a retailer decides to collect will depend on the goal of the campaign (e.g., update customer CRM records or increase customer engagement by playing a game). For example, a CodeBroker retailer customer recently initiated a data collector campaign to collect email addresses. Signage is placed throughout all of the retailer’s stores asking customers to text in their email address to the retailer’s shortcode. As a thank you, the customer receives a mobile coupon good for merchandise they purchase that day. The promotion results include updating customer CRM records with new email addresses as well as seeing an increase in basket size.

Another retailer uses the data collector for hiring employees. Based on in-store signage, interested candidates text in a keyword and their email address to the retailer’s shortcode. The keyword represents both the job and store location (e.g., the keyword CASHIERATL tells the retailer the prospective employee is interested in a cashier position in the Atlanta store). In response, the retailer delivers a “thank you for your interest in the cashier position” text message with a link to an online job application form. The retailer successfully hires the majority of their seasonal workforce through this process.

TEXT-TO-WIN.

Mobile Sweepstakes Engagement

Sweepstakes are yet another great way to engage with your customers, especially while in-store. One of our retailer customers hosts an annual after-hours sweepstakes that draws thousands of customers to their stores to shop and win prizes throughout the event. Not only does the program bring new customers into the stores for the special event but it also keeps the customers in the stores buying merchandise and food for the duration of the sweepstakes.

Another form of the text-to-win promotion is text-to-vote. One CodeBroker retailer customer recently ran a sweepstakes program giving away cash prizes to charities that received the most votes. Customers were able to nominate their favorite charity as well as rally votes among their family and friends.

Each mobile device was able to cast one vote per day over the course of the program for the charity of their choice. At the end of the sweeps, cash prizes were given to the five organizations that received the most votes. The retailer deemed the promotion a huge success – worthy causes received much needed funds and recognition, customers were able to support their favorite charity, and the retailer received a lot of good will from everyone involved.

These are only a few examples of how some retailers use promotion text messages to engage with their customers. Depending on the goal of the campaign (drive in-store conversions, collect information, build relationships), there’s a way to use text promotions for the desired outcome.

Make the Above Solutions a Reality with CodeBroker

CodeBroker Text Message Marketing Software continues to innovate with SMS marketing capabilities that help marketers to not only deliver better results, but deploy text message marketing campaigns quickly and easily over a wide range of use cases.

SMS list sign-up

CodeBroker SMS Marketing Software provides two innovative SMS list sign-up applications to address the broad range of list sign-up use cases both online and in-store.

For online list building, use CodeBroker’s 1-Click Online SMS List Sign up. With 1-Click, you can easily use online ads to build SMS marketing lists rapidly and at scale.

For in-store sign-up, CodeBroker’s SmartJoinTM Intelligent SMS List Sign up lets you capture full or partial CRM records for high-quality list building. SmartJoin's flexible forms let you collect as much or as little information as you wish. Easily assign a favorite store, or assign credit for sign-ups to individual stores.

Learn about smartjoin →

Mass text messaging

CodeBroker makes it easy to run mass text messaging programs with the click of a button. The CodeBroker advantage is that you can conduct mass text messaging promotions that include rich, single-use coupons and offers targeted to high-value segments without the risk of these offers being accessed by unintended recipients, or being used more than once.

Read more about CodeBroker Mass Text Messaging →


Segment, Personalize, and Target Text Message Promotions to Optimize and Scale

CodeBroker makes it easy to segment your list(s) and deliver personalized messages with the click of a button. Quickly A/B test, send messages to customers of specific stores, filter recipients based upon profile data (zip code, time zone, list membership, online shopper, etc.) or observed behavior (clicked a link, redeemed a coupon, interacted with a program/promotion) and more.

Automation, Workflows, and Reporting

Set up drip campaigns, deliver automated messaging, and chain programs together to create sophisticated customer experiences and drive engagement. Quickly view message reports, list health/trends, sign-ups by individual store (including your online store), and many others.

Works standalone or with your marketing infrastructure

CodeBroker text message marketing software includes high-performance APIs and data exchanges to make it easy to connect it to your existing CRM, loyalty, analytics platforms, and websites with minimal IT support.

SMSuccess – it’s all in the details

Text message marketing software that’s easy to use

Marketers value CodeBroker’s text marketing software because it was built to be easy to use, with an intuitive UI and pre-built workflows designed for speed and simplicity. CodeBroker’s text marketing software gives you a ton of power without requiring an advanced degree to learn. Whether it’s mass text messaging programs, or personalized text message promotions, the CodeBroker software and account management team makes it easy to run text message promotions yourself, move fast, and easily try new ideas.

Contact Us →

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Retailers Use Text for Many Use Cases

By Dan Slavin

Text message marketing software is now used for many compelling use cases. More and more consumers prefer the easy access that a simple link in promotional text messages provides, leading marketers to use text message marketing software in innovative ways. Here are a few of the top text message marketing use cases that we we’re seeing with our retail clients.

Deliver mobile coupons via text promotions

Nearly half of consumers prefer to receive mobile coupons rather than paper coupons. And 85% of consumers say they’ll redeem a coupon that they receive via a link in a promotional text message within one week. We’re seeing more and more retailers take advantage of this demand for mobile coupons.

To improve mobile loyalty program engagement

Most retailers and brands now make their loyalty programs available through their mobile app. This is a great step in the right direction to appeal to consumers who want to engage with loyalty programs from their smartphones. What loyalty program leaders have learned, however, is that more of their members prefer to access their rewards information from a link in a text message rather than through an app.

For more control over mobile wallet promotions

Consumers love Apple Wallet and Google Pay, but they present limitations for marketers because consumers have complete control over what goes in their wallet. Marketers can’t directly push new offers or rewards into them, limiting marketer’s promotional opportunities.

CodeBroker’s clients have overcome this obstacle with the MyOffers Digital Wallet, which can be added with one click right into a consumer’s Apple and Google Pay wallets. This gives marketers the ability to send digital offers or update existing offers. Consumers can be informed of updates via various methods, including promotion text messages.

These are just three examples – there are many more. Consumers respond well to text promotions, as well as text using text as an access point for a range of use cases. I encourage you to consider new ways to use your text message marketing software and, if you’re like other retailers who have, I expect that you’ll see great results.

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Build a High-Quality SMS Subscriber List with Double-Qualification

By Dan Slavin

For retailers and marketers to take full advantage of SMS marketing, plans must start with building quality SMS subscriber lists. This is the starting point to delivering more personalized text message marketing promotions and building an effective bridge between text lists and CRM systems.

Quality vs Quantity

For several years now, SMS marketers have been content to gather as many phone numbers as possible, without regard to building quality contact records behind the phone numbers. The process was straightforward; text a keyword and get added to the list. This made sign-ups easy, for consumers, marketers got lots of phone numbers but, again, without regard to list quality.

Today, marketers are recognizing the value of quality over quantity when it comes to building their SMS lists.

Double-Qualifying Prospects

The solution lies in a two-step process that collects data from those who opt-in to an SMS list. And it’s a simple process. Once an opt-in text is sent in by the consumer, a text is sent back immediately with a link to a sign-up page, where marketers can collect name and address – and even other info. The information gathered during sign-up can be added to a CRM system to give marketers more data on each subscriber, resulting in a higher quality list that is far superior to a mere phone number.

Marketers may at first be reluctant to adding a second step to the SMS list sign-up process, feeling it may be a barrier resulting in fewer sign-ups. The fact is that consumers have become used to verifying sign-ups and, appreciate the secondary authentication to prove their identity. In the case of retailers using CodeBroker’s SmartJoin SMS List Sign-Up solution, we’ve been able to achieve a 90% SMS list sign-up completion rate due to the fact that CodeBroker’s proprietary SmartJoin can pre-populate the sign-up form with the consumer’s mobile number received in the initial opt-in request, eliminating the need for any further confirmation. This high sign-up completion rate combined with the far superior quality of subscribers is proving valuable to retailers.

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5 Tips to Drive Holiday Purchases with Mobile Coupon Marketing

By Dan Slavin
Though the summer heat is still upon us, the holidays are just four months away and, if you’re a retail marketer, you’re already knee deep in planning for the holiday sales push.

If mobile is part of your holiday marketing strategy, you may want to consider adding mobile coupons to your holiday marketing mix. According to recent research, nearly 50% of consumers prefer mobile coupons over printed coupons.

If you’re considering mobile coupons in your holiday marketing plan, here are some tips give you a mobile coupon marketing advantage.

1. Send coupons via text message. Paper coupons have extremely low redemption rates – typically between 0.5% to 1%. Mobile coupons delivered via SMS have redemption rates that range from 2%-10% for coupons sent to a list. An impressive 60% of shoppers who receive a mobile coupon via text message say they would redeem the coupon within one week.

2. Offer higher value, single-use mobile coupons. High-discount, single-use mobile coupons have more value to shoppers than lower discount, multi-use coupons.

3. Employ on-demand mobile coupons. On-demand mobile coupons, in which the consumer responds to a call-to-action to obtain a mobile coupon, have a much higher redemption rate, typically 30% to 50%, making them a great way to drive store traffic.

4. Make coupons available across all your mobile channels. Mobile is a platform with several channels (SMS, app, mobile wallet, web, social), and each consumer has his or her channel preference. To improve results, you will want to make your mobile coupons available via all of your mobile marketing channels.

5. Make mobile coupons redeemable in-store or online. Mobile coupons can drive more traffic in brick-and-mortar stores, but many people prefer to do their shopping online. That’s why it’s important to offer mobile coupons that can be redeemed both in-store or online.

Mobile coupons are about to surpass traditional paper coupons in consumer preference. And what better time to deploy mobile coupon campaigns than during the holidays. Here are some CodeBroker resources that can help you further as you think about driving purchases during the upcoming holiday season.

Best practices for increasing text marketing list opt-ins and mobile coupon redemption

How today’s shoppers want to acquire, store and redeem coupons

Mobile Coupon Software

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A New Imperative When Building SMS Subscriber Lists…Quality

By Dan Slavin

In our conversations with SMS marketing pros, we’re seeing more and more emphasis on quality when capturing new SMS list sign-ups.

What’s been the norm for much too long, is that retailers and brands have been somewhat content to simply get someone to opt-in to their SMS list by capturing just a phone number.

I’m old enough to remember the days when we marketers were overjoyed to simply capture an email address. But then, as we started to use CRM systems, we no longer were content with just an email address. We wanted to know the human being behind that email address: name, company, job title, and more.

Well, the same is happening now with SMS subscriber lists. There’s way too much competition out there, and to simply capture an anonymous phone number is no longer enough when trying to grow a quality SMS list. And, it’s also a huge lost opportunity.

I’m pleased to say, that CodeBroker’s retail clients have been at the forefront of SMS marketing list quality for years through the use of our SmartJoin intelligent list capture, which is part of CodeBroker’s text message marketing platform.

Here’s how the “old” way works – and then we’ll take a look at how SMS list capture works with SmartJoin:

The Old Way

  • The consumer sees a promo and texts a keyword into a short code
  • She gets back a text message to opt-in
  • She replies with a “Y” and they’re on your list

It’s quick. It’s easy. But all you get is an anonymous phone number.

The New Way

  • The consumer sees a promo and texts a keyword into a short code
  • She gets back a text message with a link
  • She clicks the link, which opens a form
  • She fills out and submits the form

That’s it. With this short process, CodeBroker’s SmartJoin solution enables a secure double opt-in so no further confirmation is required. Although it takes the consumer a little bit longer, the quality of each record is leaps and bounds better. And by connecting the data to your CRM, you now have a much more powerful engine for your sms marketing programs.

By collecting demographic information during text message marketing list sign-up, you can add the record to your CRM system for a powerful marketing tool – way beyond sending text message marketing promos to anonymous phone numbers. You can target your text messages more granularly based on the information you collect. You can send personalized text messages; product offers based on purchase history; discounts based on the consumer’s preferences, and so on.

I encourage you to think “Quality” when looking to grow your SMS subscriber list. Quality records can help you drive more effective text message marketing programs and much higher ROI.

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Tips for Increasing SMS List Sign-Up and Coupon Redemption Rates

By Dan Slavin

CodeBroker clients are finding that digital coupons delivered via SMS drives more sales, increases loyalty and improves the customer experience. Unlike print coupons, SMS coupons are always accessible when the customer needs them, since nearly everyone takes their mobile phone with them when they shop. And consumer acceptance of mobile coupons is expected to continue to rise.

A 2018 report from research firm PRRI indicates the use of mobile coupons will surpass print coupons within the next year, while a study by Juniper Research predicts the value of digital coupon redemptions will surge to $91 billion by 2022, up from $47 billion in 2017. We’ll be publishing CodeBroker’s mobile coupon research in the coming weeks so be sure to check back as it includes some compelling insights into mobile coupon usage.

CodeBroker has found that coupons delivered, for example, via email accessed through a mobile device were typically redeemed within a range of 0.5-2 percent. But by delivering SMS text coupons, CodeBroker found that retailers could increase digital coupon redemption rates to as much as 8 percent or more.

Those are pretty significant bumps in redemption rates, and they don’t happen by accident. It takes a plan. Here are some of the actions that we encourage our clients to take to get their customers to opt in for text marketing lists and to improve mobile coupon redemption rates in the process:

To increase SMS subscriber list sign-up:

#1. Make it easy and quick for consumers to sign up – Don’t ask customers to enter too much info. Customize your sign-up form to capture only the minimum relevant information.

#2. Provide an incentive – Coupons are proven incentives to drive list sign-ups. Our research indicates that 68 percent of respondents would join a brand’s marketing list if they receive an instant coupon.

#3. Create an SMS content plan – Create an SMS content plan and implement it consistently. Before long, customers will look forward to receiving regular content.

#4. Generate exclusive content – People want to feel special and you can do that by providing information and rewards that are exclusively available to SMS list subscribers.

#5. Optimize the customer experience – Personalize the SMS experience to strengthen the relationship you have with the customer. For example, let a customer know that an item on her wish list is on sale.

To improve mobile coupon redemption rates:

#1. Make use of higher value single-use coupons – Customers have demonstrated that they prefer higher-value mobile coupons that they can use only once over lower-value mobile coupons that they can use multiple times.

#2. Employ a single-use security model – To guarantee that coupons can be redeemed only once, regardless of the number of channels by which a consumer receives that coupon.

#3. Use on-demand coupons – While redemption rates for mobile coupons are high compared with those for print coupons, redemption rates for on-demand coupons (which consumers specifically request in response to ads) are even higher.

#4. Employ brief promotions – Create mobile coupon marketing promotions with a short redemption period, preferably ten days or fewer to drive customer urgency.

#5. Send a reminder message – For longer promotions (2-3 weeks) send reminder messages to people who have not yet redeemed a coupon. Inform the consumer they have only a few days left to take advantage of the offer. Reminders have proven to increase coupon redemption rates by as much as 70 percent.

In Closing

With more than three-quarters of Americans now owning a smartphone, and nearly half of consumers now preferring mobile coupons, retail and brand marketers should be looking at delivering mobile coupons via SMS, not only to drive purchases but to improve the customer experience as well.

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5 Quick Tips to Accelerate Text Message Marketing Conversions

By Dan Slavin

For several years, CodeBroker has worked with many of the world’s top retailers and brands on visible text message marketing and mobile coupon promotions. We’ve learned a great deal about what works best to quickly build SMS subscriber lists, drive higher mobile coupon redemption rates and incremental revenue – for short-term promos and longer-term text message marketing initiatives.

Here are five quick tips based on our experiences to consider as you develop SMS marketing and mobile coupon promos.

1. Capture Demographic Info During SMS List Sign-Up

By collecting demographic information during text message marketing list sign-up, you can add the record to your CRM system to help you target your text messages more granularly based on the information you collect. This will no doubt be more effective than just collecting a mobile phone number during the sign-up process for high-volume, generic text blasts.

2. Take an Omnichannel Mobile Marketing Approach

Don’t limit your SMS marketing campaigns to traditional text messages. Mobile is a platform with several channels beyond SMS, including mobile app, mobile wallet, and social. When your SMS campaign leverages all of these channels, you can drive better results.

3. Deliver Exclusive Content to SMS Subscribers

text message marketing is the ideal vehicle to create a sense of exclusivity among your customers. Consider employing, for example, early notification of discounts or special offers, and delivering those offers only to your SMS list subscribers.

4. Use Timely Content in Your SMS Promotions

Deliver timely messages to your SMS list to announce new store or restaurant openings. Using SMS to deliver well-timed messages can keep customers checking back frequently.

5. Integrate SMS Marketing Software with a Mobile Coupon Solution

Mobile coupons tied to an SMS campaign have been found by our clients to be an effective way to improve customer engagement, increase store traffic, and grow basket size. SMS text coupons also help to improve the customer experience while giving you a way to track the complete path to purchase.

To drive urgency (and also to ensure that a coupon is used only once), you will want to employ a security model that guarantees secure, single-use mobile coupons that can be redeemed only once, regardless of the number of channels a consumer views her coupon.

For a deeper dive into tips and strategies for sms marketing and mobile coupon marketing, I invite you to download our new ebook: How To Evaluate SMS Marketing Solutions For Your B2C Enterprise.

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Text Message Marketing Tips from the King of Retail

By any measure, Wal-Mart Inc. is enormous. With 5,000 stores employing 1.5 million workers in the U.S., the King of Retail generated almost half a trillion dollars in revenue in 2016.

As you might imagine, that level of sales did not happen by accident. Founder Sam Walton was a tireless and bold innovator in marketing and, as his company’s success indicates, many of his ideas were good ones. This innovative approach was carried down to the present day after his retirement. Although Walmart is largely associated with traditional “big box” retailing, the company continues to adopt new technologies to increase business efficiency and expand sales.

One of these areas of innovation is in Walmart’s use of text message marketing programs — marketers would be wise to emulate them for similar success. Below are four effective SMS marketing practices employed by the company:

Distributing In-Store Product Info

The average Walmart store is 104,000 square feet (roughly two football fields) and contains over 100,000 products. Given these numbers, it is not difficult to imagine customers sometimes having difficulty locating the product they are seeking. Walmart addressed this issue through a clever use of SMS called Simple Text that functions much like Siri, the virtual personal assistant in Apple’s iPhone.

The way it operates is a specific Simple Text phone number is posted in the store. Customers text “hi” to start the system and can then ask a Walmart associate via SMS where a specific product is located. Shoppers can also download a map of the store. If they need further assistance, typing “chat” connects them to a live customer agent.

E-Receipts

Walmart is now using e-receipts to provide additional ease and convenience to customers. Shoppers at checkout have the option to receive a digital receipt, in place of a paper one, delivered to their phone via SMS if they register. With their cell phone number linked to their registered account, customers can then easily track their past purchases.

This digital record of purchase information also gives Walmart a wealth of data to use in future marketing efforts. Using this knowledge, Walmart can deliver targeted marketing messages to interested customers via SMS, email, and regular mailings.

Encouraging Shoppers to Download the App

Walmart uses SMS autoresponders to boost subscriber numbers to their mobile app. In-store advertising encourages shoppers to text “APP” to a specific number to get started on downloading and registering. After customers perform this operation, they are sent detailed instructions for downloading.

Reducing Wait Times for Prescription

At many Walmart store pharmacies, customers can submit their cell phone number along with their prescription, to receive SMS notifications when their drug order is ready for pick-up. The program has been a tremendous success in freeing up customers to continue shopping instead of idly waiting around. Nearly 30 million of these reminders are sent each month and over a billion have been sent since its creation.

Now that’s a billion reasons why text message marketing should be a central part of your marketing efforts.

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4 Tips to Drive Store Traffic with SMS Coupon Promotions this Holiday Season

by Dan Slavin

The holiday season is the biggest time of the year for retailers and can account for as much as 30% or more of a retailer’s annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. It’s the perfect time of the year to roll out mobile coupons and SMS coupon promotions to create a sense of urgency in your customers. Balance the need for convenience by engaging customers on multiple channels, with a secure single-use system that limits your liability and watch your sales climb.

Smartphones have changed the way people shop – especially during the holiday season, 96% of consumers plan to use their mobile devices to find better retail bargains, according to Shopular. Consider also that 72% of consumers say they have looked for coupons or offers while in-store via their mobile device, a figure that rises to 90% for Millennials, according to Valassis.

There are lots of compelling reasons for retailers to add mobile SMS coupon promotions to their marketing mix instead of using traditional coupons this holiday season. Through SMS coupon promotions, you can target precise demographics, boost redemption rates, and offer customers easy access. Mobile coupons also offer an opportunity to engage with customers which can last beyond the coupon use, and the chance to analyze and track the entire funnel by individual.

Done correctly, mobile coupons can drive holiday store traffic and incremental sales. Here are four best practices that offer significant benefit for both retailers and customers:

Employ on-demand mobile coupons

Traditional paper coupons have extremely low redemption rates that typically range from as little as 0.5% to 2%. Shifting onto mobile devices, and pushing mobile coupons out to consumers subscribed to your text message marketing list, brings greater convenience that can raise redemption rates to around 10%. But there’s an even better way.

An on-demand mobile coupon model, where the consumer responds to a call-to-action to obtain a mobile coupon, can increase average redemption rates to between 30% and 50%. Because the mobile coupons live on their phones, consumers can access them at any time. Also, depending on the delivery process, you may have the ability to continue communicating to a consumer on their mobile device, which you certainly can’t do with paper.

Redemption rates are highest for on-demand access. Graph below is based on a CodeBroker ROI study and analysis of hundreds of mobile promotions and subsequent delivery of 150 million mobile coupons.

A significant payback is possible to retailers who bear in mind these factors: the value of the offer, the level of consumer engagement with the brand, the sense of urgency the retailer creates with the promotion, and the mobile coupon delivery channel.

Make mobile coupons single use

It’s important that retailers limit coupon liability, particularly with high value coupon offers. Digital coupons can go viral and without some form of security they can be used multiple times.

The smart play is to issue single-use mobile coupons with unique identifiers. Every single-use mobile coupon should be validated and cleared at the point-of-sale, so that you know it has only been used once. You want the flexibility to issue coupons across various channels, and you want coupons to expire simultaneously across your omnichannel strategy the instant they are redeemed.

You want flexibility built-in. It’s imperative to find a partner that can help you to securely distribute your coupons via multiple channels, and if your POS does not have the capability, a partner who can help you to validate and clear them. The goal is for consumers to receive and redeem offers only once while allowing you to track their behavior from end to end. This enables you to limit fraud and liability — particularly with high-value offers.

Take an omnichannel approach with mobile coupon promotions

Mobile loyalty is all about providing consumers with multiple ways to interact with your loyalty program on their mobile devices. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that will work here. Choice and convenience are key to securing the engagement you want. Don’t force them to sign into your website or download an app.

Especially during the holidays, consumers will use the mobile channel they feel most comfortable with. That might be text messaging, email, a mobile wallet, a specific app, or even Facebook Messenger. If you can open a dialogue on their preferred mobile channel, you have a much greater chance of engaging with them than you do sending out direct mail and hoping they’ll react.

An omnichannel mobile loyalty study compiled by industry analyst EKN Research shows that retailers now rank omnichannel-related loyalty as their number 1 capability in improving loyalty and engaging customers.

Mobile coupons should work in-store or online

Mobile coupons can drive more traffic in bricks-and-mortar stores and enhance the in-store experience, but many people prefer to do their shopping online. That’s why it’s important to offer mobile coupons that can be redeemed both in-store or online. In simple terms, supporting both provides greater convenience and choice for consumers, which makes them more likely to engage.

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