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4 posts from November 2014


Crafting the Perfect Text in 3 Steps


SMS messaging isn’t just the most popular form of communication between individuals, it’s an increasingly common marketing tool, favored by any business wanting to reach more people, more quickly, for less money and effort than virtually any other ad platform. Text marketing is undoubtedly effective, but only if you create the right sort of message. 

If you’re new to mobile marketing, it’s not immediately obvious what constitutes a good text message. Well guess what, we’ve made it obvious with our three-point guide: 

1) Lead with the offer. The first sentence should state clearly and concisely what you are offering. Bury it at the bottom of the message and some people won’t even get that far. Remember, for all your advertising fireworks and brand promotion, people just want the deal. Be upfront about what your offer is and then you can pull out the bells and whistles.

2) Make sure the offer is of value to the customer. Don’t issue a text blast every time you have a new product line or a redesigned website. People don’t care about that – they only care about discounts and other special offers. To optimize the value of your offer, make sure it’s only redeemable inside a tight, finite time frame: exclusivity and urgency make consumers likelier to pounce.

3) Include a direct call to action. Again, concision and clarity are the watchwords here. Close your text message with a direct call to action that lets recipients know exactly what they have to do to retrieve the offer. It might be in the form of a link to your website – a good method of ensuring your company name is also included.

Follow these rules and you have a foolproof message. To wit, an example of the ideal text message for a mid-market chain restaurant: 

“Buy 1 entrée, get 1 free. Only open to Mobile Members tomorrow night. Show this text to take advantage, and visit to see our full menu!”

As you can see, the offer is announced in plain, simple language, right at the start of the message. A sense of exclusivity is engendered by the reference to Mobile Members being the only patrons who can take advantage of the deal; restricting the offer further still by limiting it to the following evening, the text also parlays an air of urgency. The call to action is clear, imploring recipients to show the text to staff to take advantage of the deal and the name of the restaurant is communicated along with a link to the website (killing both those birds with one stone obviously only works where a domain name is identical to the restaurant name… which frankly, SEO marketers will tell you, it should be!). 

So, next time you come to devise a bulk text for your business, cross-reference your message with our guide to make sure you’ve included all the important information. 


5 SMS Marketing Campaigns for Restaurants


SMS marketing is well-suited to the restaurant industry, where the peaks and lulls are hard to predict. With SMS, restaurateurs can announce special offers at short notice and be sure customers will receive the text. Throw geo-location technology into the mix and they can alert only those people in the vicinity. If there’s a quiet afternoon, SMS messaging can turn things around within minutes. 

A recent Cellit study found the average Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) has 791 text subscribers per location. That’s a heck of a lot of business. To get the creative juices flowing for your next mobile marketing campaign, check out some of the very best SMS messaging strategies used by some of the biggest brands around:


Taco Bell

Taco Bell leverages the power of SMS to stay in touch with their customers, but like all good mobile marketing campaigns, text forms just one part of an overarching, cohesive strategy. Their Frutista Freeze campaign is a case in point. First they encouraged users to text a number by plastering it across radio, television and print ads. Then they made brilliant use of time-limitations by applying expiration dates a few days after subscription. The result? 13,000 new subscribers inside 5 weeks. 


Cause marketing via SMS was used to great effect by Arby’s recently. The Arby’s Foundation spread awareness about childhood hunger by partnering with Share Our Strengths No Kid Hungry campaign.


In New York, a 16-store Subway franchise launched a major mobile marketing campaign to increase repeat business with existing customers. The ‘My Subway Mobile SMS’ program averaged a 9% redemption rate – significantly higher than the 1% returned by earlier direct mail campaigns.


By offering diners a chance to win a trip to a destination of their choice, Hooters not only built positive brand awareness, they encouraged new opt-ins by the thousand, growing their mobile database during the campaign itself. It was all down to an incentive-driven SMS strategy that encompassed in-store advertising and social networking.

Texas Roadhouse

By piloting a six month mobile marketing strategy in 20 of their 400 locations, Texas Roadhouse generated an average redemption rate of 17%. Billed as a loyalty club, the campaign offered free appetizers to new sign ups.




Mobile Shopping Expected to Increase this Thanksgiving


Last year’s holiday shopping-related mobile activity was mainly about showrooming, but this year consumers are making the transition from “just looking” to “buying.” In fact, studies report that smartphones are being used now more than ever for shopping.

According to the new Adobe Digital Index report 2014 Holiday Shopping Predictions, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are expected to tally $1.6 billion “in mobile sales alone.” This indicates the importance of a mobile component in every marketing strategy, including holiday marketing. 

ADI predicts Thanksgiving will surpass Black Friday this year in regards to mobile sales, with mobile accounting for 31% of total online Thanksgiving Day sales, or $418 million. That’s an increase of 88% from last year. Black Friday is expected to see 26% ($644 million) in mobile sales, and Cyber Monday 20% ($520 million). 

“On Thanksgiving, shoppers will turn to their phones while visiting family and friends, watching the game, and waiting in-line at stores,” noted ADI analyst Tyler White.

ADI also reports Black Friday eclipsing Cyber Monday as the fastest-growing online sales day of the year. Black Friday sales might increase the most this year at 28% in actual mobile sales ($2.48 billion), however it will still be less than Cyber Monday’s sales, up 15% YoY at $2.60 billion. Thanksgiving online sales are predicted to hit a new record at $1.35 billion, a 27% growth YoY.

“Online shopping will spike during the evenings on Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, but on Black Friday shopping will peak during the middle of the day,” White remarked.

ADI predicts retailers will attempt to lengthen the shopping season this year by targeting consumers with great deals on the Monday before Thanksgiving. That Monday as well as Thanksgiving itself are probably this year’s best days to shop online. 

“In the United States, especially, consumers have been conditioned to wait for Black Friday deals before they start holiday shopping,” White said. “This holiday shopping season will be just one day longer than last year, the shortest shopping season since 2002. Retailers will concentrate on lengthening the season, beginning it on the Monday before Thanksgiving by offering deals then.”

Product availability is expected to be highest the week of Thanksgiving, according to ADI. The average item discount on Thanksgiving is 24%, however the increased demand will make finding “hot products” more challenging on that day. Price hikes are expected the following Tuesday, or the day after Cyber Monday.

Some of the hottest products on the market this season include the iPhone +6, Fitbits, and PS4. Experts recommend retailers monitor which products garner the most social buzz and therefore not deal with the same issue as last year—running out of must-have items.



5 Ways to Connect with Consumers this Thanksgiving


This year's Christmas commercial chaos began before the jack-o-lanterns got cold. On November 1st, retailers started knocking huge figures off their products and gave every ad a seasonal spin. As soon as Black Friday hits, the whole thing steps up another gear, and we’re on the home straight until December 25th. Then the New Year sales begin… but that’s another story.

Until then, it’s the perfect time to capitalize on the season by running Thanksgiving promotions, Black Friday giveaways and Cyber Monday discounts. Themed competitions, surveys, special offers – this is the time to pull out the big guns and win some new brand ambassadors to help you through the January slump. Here are a few suggestions to get you going:


1) Mobile Coupons

Give your mobile strategy a shot in the arm by advertising mobile-only coupons on social media. If customers sign up to receive text alerts, give them an irresistible freebie. Remember, more than 90% of text messages are opened and read within minutes, so the more users you engage via SMS, the better.


2) Do Something Good

The giving season is the ideal time to demonstrate your company’s caring side. Donate a percentage of profits to a worthy local organization, or set up a charity drive with a fun, seasonal activity attached. Whatever you do, avoid cynically exploiting your good deed for marketing purposes. The fact you’re giving rather than receiving will speak volumes on its own. Tell people about it, sure (after all, you want as many people to get involved as possible), just don’t labor the point. The more humility in your humanity, the better it will reflect on your brand.


3) Run a Sweepstakes

The ultimate way to build your database of contacts, a Thanksgiving-themed sweepstakes can be disseminated via social media and SMS messaging. Whether it’s a new dinner set or simply dinner, the same rules apply: people like freebies. Partner with a local grocery store or hardware outlet to offer something special to the mutual benefit of both your businesses. The bigger the prize, the more interest you’ll attract, so try to offer something worth at least a three-figure sum.


4) Seasonal Cards

Sending a Thanksgiving card to your most loyal clients is a great way to stay in touch with them during the holiday season. Not every business will be able to do this, but if you can demonstrate your graphic design and content skills in a fun, humorous way, whilst thanking customers for their loyalty, it’s well worth the expense. If you want to show off your green credentials by eschewing traditional paper cards, design an e-card or a festive gif to send via text message.


Warm yer cockles wi' a wee hot toddy.

5) Mix it Up

Every year there seems to be a new addition to the Thanksgiving season. First it was Black Friday. Then came Cyber Monday. Marketers love to conceive new themed days around this time of year – and sometimes they really take off. This year, why not try focusing on November 30th, which is St. Andrew’s Day in Scotland (and not much talked-about anywhere else). Rebrand it Hot Toddy Day, or Kilt Day – anything with potential for strong visuals. The more different you are from the competition, the more likely your marketing campaign is to get noticed.