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Latest Statistics

Wondering if text message marketing right for your business?

Consider these latest statistics as of May 2017:

Over 95% of all U.S. citizens own at least one cell phone and the smartphone segment or market share has now reached 77%.

100% of the coveted 18-29 year old demographic use SMS, while 98% of people between 30 and 49 years old text, and 92% of those over the age of 50 text. When you combine all the age groups together, on average, 97% of smartphone owners use SMS at least once per week.

Since text marketing is a permission-based form of marketing, businesses are only sending text messages to consumers who’ve indicated an interest in their brand or product. By texting your keyword, consumers are indicating they would like to be engaged via text message. Further, the conversion rates of SMS far out-pace those of other marketing channels, such as e-mail for example. Consider your own consumer experience. Chances are high that you have hundreds if not thousands of unread business-to-consumer e-mails right now, but in contrast, how many unread text messages do you have? Just one more reason why SMS marketing has a read-rate which exceeds 98%.

Whether you would like to send your customers coupons and offers, new product announcements, or event reminders, using SMS to deliver that content is one of the only methods of ensuring your message is being received.

Still unsure? Have specific questions you would like help addressing? Feel free to give us a call today for a no-obligation consultation, or visit our website for a hassle free chat with one of our Client Service Reps!

Have you Noticed your Facebook Fan Reach Declining?

If you feel like your business Facebook Fan Reach is declining, you aren't crazy. Over the course of 2014, we've heard from many clients that their Facebook posts are having less impact. The change is a result of Facebook's 2014 Algorithm update. You're not alone as your frustration is shared by many businesses who spent considerable money on Facebook ads, and considerable time on content for their posts.

An image illustrating declining Oganic Facebook Page Reach
Facebook's Organic Reach Continues to Decline
At a time when organic reach on Facebook is dropping (see above), the sheer volume of Business Pages, likes, and posts is intensifying. In fact, the total number of pages 'liked' by the typical Facebook user increased by 50%, last year alone! (source: Facebook head of Newsfeed interview with TechCrunch). To think in logical terms, there is only so much time in one's day to devote to reading a Facebook Feed. People simply can't keep up and the statistics in the chart above reflect this reality. Your Facebook Fan Reach is declining.

To put in perspective, the Edgerankchecker table below reflects the impact of these algorithm changes from 2012 to 2014.
An image illustrating the negative effects of the Facebook Algorithm Change
Facebook Algorithm Change impact from 2012 to 2014
One of the most entertaining, if not poignant, stories written about the Facebook Algorithm Impact on Facebook Business Pages was posted by Eat24. The folks at Eat24 took a stand in protest, and deleted their 70,000 Like-Facebook Page. If you haven't heard about their infamous "Facebook Break-Up Letter" and want to check it out you can do so by clicking here.

If you're like me, you don't know of anyone with any unread text messages. Want to ensure your most critical Facebook posts are actually seen? Why not include the link to the Facebook post in your text message to your most loyal customers...?

SMS Marketing Software Provider for Apricot Lane

If you're only beginning to look at SMS Marketing Software providers, it might surprise you to know just how many 'newcomers' are popping up throughout our industry. At Text2VIP, we believe support and longevity are both a critical keystone when selecting a text marketing platform. Building your text club database is a marathon, not a sprint. It's important that this effort is built upon a solid foundation, not a here-today-gone-tomorrow start up.

Our team at Text2VIP was proud to recently mark our 3 year partnership with Apricot Lane. Since being selected as the Text Message Marketing software provider of Apricot Lane Boutique USA, their brand has grown considerably. With locations in over 30 states, this specialty retail franchise features premium brand name apparel in a fun and energetic environment. Text2VIP began working with individual Apricot Lane franchisees as far back as 2009. Later in 2011, Apricot Lane announced the selection of Text2VIP as their SMS Marketing Software Provider to all of their franchisees. Apricot Lane franchisees will typically send 3 to 4 text blasts per month using Text2VIP's SMS Marketing Software. These text blasts inform customers of new inventory, styles, and periodic sale events. For fans of the brand, there is no easier way to stay connected to their local Apricot Lane retailer.

More details on the partnership announcement can be found by clicking here.

Greeks Pizza SMS Marketing

Delicious pizza is never a secret at Greek's Pizza locations throughout the Midwest. But for some franchisees, the effectiveness of Greeks Pizza SMS Marketing used to be. For the past 3 years, Greeks Pizza has been enjoying tremendous ROI from SMS Marketing. Some of the details of the success of their program was picked up in the media. The following is a summary of the Greeks Pizza SMS Marketing Success:

In just their first 10 days, Greek’s Pizza was able to amass an opt-in database of 1,000 consumers. With consent now having been obtained, Greek’s set about scheduling their first text message blast the following week and consulted with Text2VIP on their offer. It was decided that the offer would be for a Large Pizza at a discounted price and only be valid for a 48 hour period. Targeting the slowest two day period of the week, the text message blast was then broadcast from Text2VIP’s cloud based platform. In total, 176 text message coupons were redeemed for over a 17% response in under 48 hours. Andy Goth of Greek’s Pizza Muncie reports, “The response to our Text Messaging Campaign has been tremendous. We’ve had to increase our product on hand just to keep up with the traffic being driven by the SMS Campaign.” Continuing he added, “It was critical that we built our text marketing database using a great offer, but at the same time, ensure that the text coupons could only be redeemed during periods which benefited Greek’s. Text2VIP’s dynamic expiration dating software was able to provide this. I can’t believe I waited this long to start our program!”

You can find the entire article by clicking here.

Text Message Marketing News

Recently, a south Florida journalist was surveying businesses using text marketing in her area in preparation for a business news column.  In conducting her interviews, one of the data points the columnist quickly concluded, was that nearly every business she polled was using the Text2VIP SMS Platform.  From comedy clubs to quick service restaurant franchises, the refrain was unanimous; the use of text message marketing is as prevalent as it is relevant and effective.

Some of our clients interviewed for the article shared their experience using text marketing as an effective marketing tool.  Their candid opinions spoke to the immediacy and impact they believe their text blasts are achieving.  You can read how they utilize our software, and the entire text message marketing news commentary featured on the front page of the News Press Business section,  by clicking here.

Measuring Text Marketing ROI

For Text2VIP clients in the brick-and-mortar world, it's not at all uncommon to witness the response on the part of guests or customers when a text offer has been sent.  In fact, we've had some of our text marketing clients mention that it's almost comical how quickly their consumers will respond at times.  For these clients it can be fairly easy measuring text marketing ROI, or Return on Investment.  For those clients who conduct their transactions via their website, however, the effect is not always quite so obvious.

When we were curious to further explore our ability to affect traffic for our e-commerce clients, we partnered with an independent analytics firm.  The task was to measure whatever analytics could be ascertained, and as it turns out, there were plenty.  After choosing one of our national e-commerce clients Bare Feet Shoes, text messages were sent to their large database of opted-in consumers.  These text club members received SMS which contained specific links which were able to report back a myriad of behaviors including: Who clicked the link vs not, how much time the guest spent on the landing page, how many additional pages were visited, and most importantly, what the purchase result was.

The results from measuring text marketing ROI were quite compelling. So much so that they were published by a leading media outlet, considered to be an authority in Mobile Marketing.  To read the article and summary of statistics, click here.

SMS Marketing Activates Media Buys

We've often touched on the value that SMS Marketing can bring when added to otherwise "traditional" media. This week, one of our text message marketing clients, Subway, took this to heart by incorporating an SMS call to action in their newspaper ad.

An image illustrating a Subway VIP club Call-To-Action using Text2VIP's SMS Marketing platform.

Considering that the average text message remains on the mobile device an average of 21 days in the U.S. before being deleted, Subway's text message coupon stands a much greater chance of drawing attention in the days to come -- substantially greater, than the alternative "clip-out" coupon that gets buried in the pants pocket and ends up in the washing machine spin cycle. In addition, consumers will always have access to the coupon since their mobile is with them at all times.  Maybe most importantly, SMS Marketing Activates Media Buys as well.

SMS Marketing Examples

I received a couple of pictures from two Text2VIP clients a few minutes apart yesterday. The contrast and juxtaposition grabbed my attention. One photo is a screen grab from a professional sporting event, the other, an independent carpet cleaner. The former uses mobile to engage thousands of spectators simultaneously, the ladder to speak with a single prospect at a time. In the next 10 days, the New Jersey LPGA event on the East Coast will host 40,000 fans, by contrast, the California based small business owner might harvest 3 new carpet cleaning customers. I believe these various SMS Marketing Examples illustrate how the ubiquitous nature of SMS effectively serves across all markets, and communicates with audiences - both large and small.

A photo of a carpet, furniture, and tile cleaning vehicle; with a Text2VIP opt-in graphic wrap.
The LPGA website showing a Text2VIP Opt-in.

Colleges Using Text Marketing

This Mall display is an example of a Colleges Using Text Marketing and speaks well to the simplicity and straightforwardness of it. When your target audience is a younger demographic who isn't going to take the time to stop in the Mall to fill out a questionnaire or postcard, incorporating a mobile call to action allows you to reach them at their level and on their terms. As mentioned in some of our other posts, using Text Marketing is also a highly effective tool when it comes to measuring your other media-buys.

Camden County College Text Message

Text Marketing Feature - Split Testing

One of the many benefits of using Text Marketing, is the ability to easily craft concise messages and offers, and send them at varying iterations or collectively at once. While our e-mail inboxes are filled with a deluge of commercial mass-marketing these days, the personal nature of the text message still conveys a sense of personal communication irrespective of whom the text was sent from. In my opinion, most consumers still feel a sense of personal interaction with a brand when they are receiving a text from them.

Once a business or brand has successfully compiled a substantial opt-in database, the use of "Split or A/B testing" can be a useful tool in gauging the effectiveness of offers, time of delivery, and consumer engagement. Split testing in marketing is a method by which a baseline control sample is compared to a variety of other-variable test groups to measure the impact on response rates. Specifically in text marketing, variations of offers, redemption windows, and even content layout can result in varying response.

Take the example of "Joe's Cafe". Joe has 2,000 text message club members and might typically send out an offer along the lines of, "15% off a purchase of $50 or more". As with any marketing channel, response will likely fluctuate if this offer was sent back-to-back weeks. Maybe it's raining one week, or maybe there is a stock market event affecting consumer confidence another week. By splitting Joe's database and sending "10% off" to 1,000 members of his list  (group A) and simultaneously sending the other 1,000 members (group B) a "15% off" text offer, an opportunity is presented to see if a meaningful difference in the number of responses warrants adjusting future offers.  If an equal number of texts were redeemed in each of group A and group B, one could extrapolate that Joe needlessly gave an additional 5% discount to group B.

Incidentally, Amazon pioneered the use of split testing in the web e-commerce space.

Too often small business owners fall into the "rut" of marketing behaviors (sms, print, radio etc) which don't shed light on consumer influence and behavior. Mixing it up, evaluating the response, then re-targeting is one of the regular practices employed by savvy business owners.  Split testing is a great Text Marketing feature to accomplish this.

Pfizer SMS Campaign

There are many steps and processes pharma companies must take before acquiring FDA approval. Often times when introducing a new medication this entails conducting a clinical drug trial whereby a select group of individual's progress can be monitored and documented to affirm the company's assertions of the drug's effectiveness. Recruiting subjects can prove challenging. The Pfizer SMS Campaign has helped reach their audience and generate response.

By incorporating an SMS advertising call-to-action across radio channels in various target markets, prospective participants can take action by texting in, then reviewing the contact information in their return SMS and reach out when it's more convenient or when they have more privacy to do so. Specifically in this campaign targeted at Teenagers who smoke, at least a portion of these individuals are hearing the radio spot in a car being driven by a parent. In some instances the parent may not even be aware their child is a smoker. Employing an SMS vs "call us now" approach, provides the teen the opportunity to secure more information on ending their smoking activities-before sitting down with their parent to discuss.

One of their 30 second radio spots using the Pfizer SMS campaign can be heard by clicking below:
Pfizer Smoking Campaign

Businesses Should Use SMS Marketing

If you haven't already begun using Text Message Marketing for your business or organization, you are missing out on the most direct form of marketing our society has ever known. If you already utilize text marketing, now may be the time to discuss how your campaigns can evolve to drive customers to take action and generate greater return for your business. Listed below are the 10 top reasons why businesses should use SMS marketing:

1. Only guests, clients, or customers who have an established relationship with you and want to do more business with you will receive your message. You only pay to market to customers who have opted-in to receive offers from you because they have given you permission to send them text offers/alerts.

2. Your customers always carry their cell phone. Text message marketing ensures that your message reaches your customers no matter where they are. This lets you speak to your potential customers in a one on one manner that is unmatched by other marketing channel.

3. Text message marketing is effective and produces a redemption rate anywhere from 10% to 50%. Compare that to print, TV, radio or direct mail which averages 1.5%.

4. The time to market is immediate. No more waiting for ad copy to be proofed. Weeks for new campaigns to be designed. You can begin a new campaign from creation to deliver in a few minutes.

5. Over 95% of text messages sent are opened and read by your customers within the first 10 minutes. No other advertising medium has that relationship with the consumer. Text message ads engage the consumer in a way that makes them look forward to receiving more text marketing messages from your business.

6. Text marketing allows you to measure the results and scope of your other advertising. Businesses should use SMS Marketing by placing a text to action on your direct mail, newspaper, radio or TV ads and you will know that day which advertising is reaching your target market and which is not producing a return on your investment.

7. Text message marketing is cost efficient and produces the highest rate of return for you advertising dollar. The cost of your outgoing text messages are 2 to 4 cents, compared to direct mail pieces that can cost over $1.00.

8. Text marketing delivers your message with no filler. Just give the customer what they want, short and direct and they will respond. Text messages are capped 160 characters and give your customers a reason to do business with you without bothering your customers with information overload.

9. Text marketing or SMS marketing uses the preferred device of today's consumer, their cell phones. Customers like the feeling of being involved with something new and exciting and will respond accordingly. By taking advantage of new mobile advertising opportunities you are separating yourself from area competition. It shows that your business is moving forward and staying ahead.

10. It is a highly targeted form of advertising. You can target your text message marketing campaigns to specific customers to produce higher redemption rates and build lists that will produce immediate sales every time you send a new text advertisement to them.

Let us know what you think if we've missed any reasons why businesses should use SMS Marketing!

Yogen Fruz Text Club

When it comes to text message marketing, many of us are well familiar with the process of opting-in for an immediate incentive offer.  While it's true that most of us enjoy the immediate gratification of most things, for some businesses, too many on-the-spot discounts can hurt cash flow. The Yogen Fruz Text Club drives customer re-visitation through SMS Marketing with Text2VIP.

After using an immediate discount offer to gain thousands of mobile club members, Yogen Fruz decided to try out a different approach.  Consumers who are opting in for their program for the first time still receive a response sms which entitles them to a $2 coupon--but instead of being valid that same day--the offer is valid for their next visit.  Utilizing Text2VIP's dynamic expiration date coding, the specific validation window is always between 4 and 6 days out, regardless of when the consumer opts-in.  This helps to retain the $ from current paying-intent consumers who are in the establishment already, but also incentivizes these consumers to participate in the program.  It's worth noting that if your customer avatar suggests that re-visitation patterns average every "10 days" for instance, by promoting the offer validation around 5 days from today, this offer also serves to pull forward customer re-visitation.

See the Yogen Fruz Text Club call to action and text in to view the future expiration date message flow.

The Yogen Fruz Call-To-Action

Text Marketing Feedback Campaigns

Have you ever been in a retail setting and wish you could convey your ideas or opinions to ownership or management?  Maybe you don’t want it to take up your entire day or delay your meal, maybe you didn’t want to make a scene, worse yet…maybe there was no feasible avenue immediately available for you to do so.

If you are the business owner, the only thing worse than the consumer not getting to share their experience or comments with you… is the consumer sharing it instead, with others outside your establishment.

The La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grillo

La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill has taken a “fresh” approach to addressing this dilemma. In select locations, this brand has begun utilizing text marketing feedback campaigns and Text2VIP’s “Open Dialogue” to allow consumers the opportunity to provide invaluable feedback.  Through the use of text marketing feedback campaigns, consumers can quietly yet immediately convey whatever it is they wish.  Lastly, consumers confirmation text messages contain follow up contact points including customer service phone numbers.  This functions as a digital business card which the consumer can refer back to for follow up.

A smartphone screenshot showing La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill's SMS Marketing Campaign using Text2VIP