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Aug
15

Mobile Monday: Week 6 – Keywords

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.”shutterstock_283022702 (2) Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our sixth week, we’re focusing on “Keywords”where Bentz discusses SMS Strategies and the downside of auto-correct.

KEYWORDS

An SMS keyword is the word that a consumer sends to a phone number, usually to receive immediate information back, and often to opt-in to a database to be marketed to in the future.

In the previous example (Text RESULTS to 84444), the keyword is “results.” The customer would put the short code number (84444) in the space where she would normally insert the phone number. Then, the customer would insert “results” in the area where she would normally insert the message.

Choosing a keyword is an important step in your text message marketing strategy, because the keyword offers branding for your product offering. When it comes to choosing a keyword, a business should follow these tips, by choosing a keyword that:

  • brands the business or promotion.
  • is easy to remember to gain the viral pass-along effect from customers and employees.
  • is just one word to avoid problems with auto correct.
  • is easy to spell.
  • is not an acronym.
  • does not include numbers.
  • is as short as possible.
  • is not some “clever” spelling of a keyword.

The primary keyword that a business will want to reserve is its own name. This keyword will be the master keyword that is used continually for generating opt-ins. This permanent keyword should be printed everywhere–on business cards, literature, t-shirts, outdoor signage, menus, and anywhere else that makes sense. If the business name is difficult to spell, clever, or contains multiple words, it may be best just to go with a single word keyword that best identifies what the business does. If a business wants to understandably reserve its difficult to spell brand name as a keyword, it should also consider reserving the potential misspellings of that keyword.

Choosing the primary keyword is one of the most important things that a business will do in establishing its text message marketing plans. Often, businesses have common names and the keyword that the business wants may not be available. A second choice may be to pick the primary product that the business sells, but a keyword like “pizza” is likely not going to be available at an online shared short code provider. If the primary keyword a business wants is not available, it is possible for the business to choose an adjective that describes the business such as “tasty” or “hungry.”

In addition to the primary keyword, businesses are going to want to use different keywords for various promotions. Some of these promotions may be short-lived and the business will be able to retire those keywords after using them for the short term promotion. Others may be annual events and the business will retain those keywords in their online accounts, because if they are released, another business may pick them up. The advantage to using new keywords is that it will get your regular customers participating in your texting program again and a business can place those users into a different database which may be helpful in segmenting for future promotions.

One of the great things about an SMS strategy is that there is a tremendous viral advantage to it. If a person knows that their friend likes to get their coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, they will pass along the keyword and short code to that friend. It is not unusual for a business to get 15-20% of its mobile coupon redemptions from viral sharing. But, the consumer may not remember to do so if the keyword, and the short code, is not easy to remember. So, it is always best to keep things simple when it comes to choosing a keyword and it is also best to use a memorable (vanity) short code.

Words that are compound words or two word keywords are also not good choices as keywords. A business might have the best cheesecake in the world, but “cheesecake” is not a very good keyword. That is because some people will spell cheesecake as two words (cheese cake) and some will intend to spell it as one word, but autocorrect “fixes” it for them. Automated SMS response systems cannot detect the user’s intent, only the exact spelling, so picking the wrong keyword could result in lost opt-in opportunities.

One memorable SMS promotion was a sweepstakes that gave away a trip to Hawaii. The advertiser chose the keyword “Hawaii.” Although a wonderful place, Hawaii is not a particularly easy word to spell. Moreover, some people include an apostrophe when spelling it. Hawaii was not a good choice as a keyword, because of the difficulty in spelling it. Acronyms such as “ATS” don’t make for good keywords either. That is because of that damn autocorrect which will inevitably try to change the acronym of your business keyword into a real word. Avoid numbers in keywords as well. It is confusing to think of texting a number to a number. But, more importantly there are that zero and “oh” thing. When it comes to texting, consumers don’t recognize what is a letter (O) and what is a number (0)!

Typing on a mobile phone is not easy. There are a lot of misspellings on the smaller screen of the mobile phone than on a desktop computer. Fat-finger misspellings are common problems on mobile. That is why using a short keyword is far better than a long keyword; there are simply less chance of a misspelling on a keyword with less letters.

Another poor idea is to use a clever use of a word as your keyword. A restaurant called “Finger Lickin’ Chickin’” may be a snappy name, but using “chickin” as a keyword is not a good idea. That is because a customer’s auto-correct is likely going to correct that word to the proper spelling of chicken.

One of the questions that is often asked is in regards to capitalization of keywords. Using caps or lower-case letters has no impact on the keyword so don’t worry about it. To make the keyword stand out, the best way to write a keyword in your advertisement is to use all capital letters, but if somebody uses lower case, the interactive text message will still work properly.

Some keywords are not available to a business. That is because the carriers have reserved those keywords already and they are not available on short codes. Keywords such as STOP, HELP, INFO, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT, and others are taken before the short code is activated in the marketplace.

Aug
9

How To Find Talented New Employeees (Even If They Aren’t Looking For A New Job)

Have you had difficulty with hiring qualified, professional employees? That’s probably because all of the ideal candidates are already employed by your competitors. They might not even know you are hiring because they aren’t actively searching the job boards, visiting your careers page or following you on social media. They are unaware of the benefits, sign on bonus or opportunities you have to offer. With mobile marketing, we can help you reach these people on their smartphones and tablets, even if they aren’t looking for a job.

We specialize in recruiting healthcare professionals (like Registered Nurses) and truck drivers. These are some of the toughest positions to fill because there aren’t enough experienced or qualified candidates to fill every position out there. We have had great success in recruiting for these types of position, as well as others. As long as you have an idea of your target audience, we can put your message on their mobile device.

Facebook, Google and other providers are collecting data on you and your target audience every time you post on social media, browse the web, open apps and go online shopping. We have access to all of this data, which allows us to deliver your ads to a pinpoint targeted group of people – and only these people.

Audience Targeting

We create three unique audiences that are applied to the geographic area you specify. These locations are generally corresponding to the zip codes of your locations, the surrounding area, and the geographic location of your competitors.

Below is an example of the audiences for a RN position.

  1. Job titles – Registered Nurse, Emergency Room Nurse, Nursing Manager
  2. Industry – Healthcare, Senior living, etc.
  3. Interests & Behaviors – American Nurses Association, critical care nursing, obstetrical nursing, etc (This becomes an extensive list)

Below is an example of the audiences for a truck driver position

  1. Job titles – Truck Driver, CDL Driver, Long Haul Driver
  2. Industry – Transportation & Moving
  3. Interests & Behaviors – Trucking, CDL, Semi-trailer (This becomes an extensive list)

Delivering Your Advertisements Through Social & Digital Ad Networks

We use programmatic ad buying so you never overpay for the placement of your ads. We also have access to top of the line inventory like ESPN.com, People Magazine’s site, local news stations and apps like Pandora. Your ads will be on the mobile websites and in the apps that your target audience accesses everyday.

When a person, who meets your unique demographics, interests and behavior criteria, logs into Facebook, he or she may be delivered your ad. It will look like a normal post in their newsfeed, except it will say “sponsored post”. Just like a normal post, the name of any of their friends who have liked the page will show up at the top. For example, it might say “John and Gina like Citi Trends”. Also similar to a normal Facebook post, the user can share, comment and like your ad. This allows your ad to be seen by more people because, if Molly shared your sponsored post, it will show in her friend’s newsfeed also.

Your ad will be placed in apps and on the mobile web via a mobile banner ad. The same data and specifications (demographic, interest and behavior) will be utilized to determine which which people will see your message.

Conclusion

Mobile marketing is unlike any other type of advertising. We can guarantee that your ads are in front of real people who care about your message. This means that none of your mobile ad budget is wasted. We can turn ads on and off any time you want. This is unlike television, radio or print advertisements. For example, if you have received too many great applicants, we can turn your campaign off until you can interview the first batch of potential employees. If you need to expand your list of applicants, we can turn your campaign back on. Your goal is fill your team with qualified employees. Our goal is to deliver ideal candidates.

Aug
3

How To Drive More Traffic To A Retail Store

Social and mobile advertising are exceptionally powerful tool that can be utilized to reach your optimal consumers on their mobile device, whether it be a smartphone or tablet. We create and serve ads that are targeted to make an impression on your specific audience. Your message will be seen on social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, on the mobile web, through display and banner ads, and in the mobile applications that your targeted audience accesses everyday.

Conversion

Converting impressions into leads is our top priority. Each advertisement will have a call to action, such as “Apply Today” or “Tap to Learn More”, which will encourage any consumers viewing the ad to tap or click on it. They will then be taken to a landing page, designed and hosted by our team, where we collect imperative information for you. This landing page is entirely customizable to meet the objectives of your campaign.

For a retail campaign, they can call, find the nearest location, see your hours, check off a few identifiers and/or provide their contact information for further follow up. After they submit the form, they receive an automated email and are entered into a database which you can access 24/7.

Our ultimate goal is to increase foot traffic for your retail stores. Your campaign can run for five or eight weeks. We recommend running two weeks on, one week off and two weeks on. If you’re running an eight week campaign, we go off another week and then add a final two weeks. Alternatively, your ads can run Wednesday night at 6pm until Monday at noon. With either schedule we use the time when the ads are inactive to perform all of our optimization.

We optimize your campaign by analyzing the data, refreshing the creative, updating offers and tweaking the targeting. This an essential step because we don’t want your campaign to fatigue. If people see the same ad too many times they become too blind to them and your ad loses its effectiveness. We also monitor your campaign daily to supply another level of optimization. If one ad is outperforming the others, we will move money away from the others and put it toward the better performing ad. We can make changes at any time during the middle of your campaign if you need to tweak a special deal, location, time specific information, etc.

How It Works

We create three custom audiences in your specific geographic area, usually corresponding to the zip codes of your store’s locations and surrounding areas. Below is an example of targeting for a hardware store.

  1. Job titles – Plumber, Contractor, Builder
  2. Industry – Construction & Extraction, Installation & Repair
  3. Interests & Behaviors – DIYers, new home owners, planning to remodel, etc. (This can be an extensive list)

We run three or four ads for each of these three audiences, which means you have nine to twelve ads running at any given time.

How The Ads Are Delivered – Facebook and Mobile Ad Networks

The ad unit will show up as a “sponsored post” in the Facebook news feed of anyone that meets the specific demo, interest and behavior criteria. If any of their friends already like the page, that sponsored post will include an intro that says “Mike and Sally like Contractor’s Guide”.

The average frequency is 2.65 ads per user. This means that the ad is delivered two or three times to people who meet the targeting criteria. People can like, comment on and share these ads just like a normal Facebook post. We report on these metrics weekly so you can get an idea of how people are engaging with your ads.

Mobile banner ads are delivered when someone opens an app or searches for something on a mobile device, either smartphone or tablet. The same demographics, as specified for the Facebook ads, are used to determine which apps your ads will be placed in. Banner ads are an effective way to build brand equity; when people see your banner ad they will be more likely to click on the corresponding Facebook ad when they see it.

A key component to mobile ads is our ability to advertise to people who are on their mobile device when at a competitor’s location, and those who are within a mile of one of your stores. We can also target people who have been in a competitor’s store within the past 30 days.

The Impact

Social and mobile advertising can have a huge impact on the number of people walking through your doors, making appointments, buying the products off of your shelves, or whatever your end goal may be. Take a look at the people around you next time you are out shopping or eating at a restaurant. You will see that mobile phones are glued to people’s hands. We can put your message on the screens of those who fit in your demographic.

Aug
14

Mobile Marketing Leader Domino’s Order Anywhere

Domino’s has long been a leader when it comes to companies that do mobile right.  Its new television commercial which will debut next week shows you just how pervasive mobile has become. And, how easy it is to order pizza from your mobile device.

When I think about brands that have really done an amazing job with mobile, I think of Starbucks first and Domino’s Pizza second.

No matter how good your mobile marketing is, if the product is no good, you aren’t going to get repeat customers. In 2010, Domino’s fixed that with an improved pizza and a TV campaign that actually admitted that their pizza needed improvement.

And, they seem to have been rolling in the dough ever since with a mobile marketing campaign that seems ideally targeted to millennials. Today, mobile-savvy consumers can place pizza orders via an app, social media, SMS, a virtual voice assistant, and an online site. All of this ensures maximum convenience and reach and contributes to the brand’s cool factor as well.

One of the most convenient things that Domino’s offers is its Pizza Profile which allows users to save their favorite pizza toppings along with their payment information for a speedy ordering process, because when you want pizza, you want it NOW. You can even order a pizza from your Twitter account by simply typing in a pizza emoji! The app also enables pizza buyers to accumulate loyalty points which keeps them coming back.

For Domino’s, having a great mobile pizza ordering process is not only an advantage, but a must have, because Domino’s stores are small and most don’t allow for any sit down dining so they need to be all about mobile.

I attended the MMA Global event in New York in September and the speaker there was Dennis Maloney, VP and chief digital officer for Domino’s.  Dennis said that more than half of Domino’s orders come from digital and half of them come from mobile. That clearly makes Domino’s an ecommerce company today.

The lesson to be learned is that brand engagement is now happening over a variety of devices. At the office, it may be the desktop, at home it is likely the tablet, and on the drive home, it may be the mobile phone. In addition, consumers prefer to interact in various ways. Not everybody is on Twitter and interested in sending a pizza emoji so Domino’s has effectively offered a multitude of ways to order their product. Let’s face it, people don’t really like to use the phone to talk if they can avoid it.

May
25

Protecting Your Company from a TCPA Lawsuit

Author Bob Bentz    Category mobile     Tags

Continuous Updating of your Opt-In Database is a Requirement

Even if you have the very best intentions, complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), can be a daunting task.  Although TCPA has been in effect since 1991, its one law that the government is taking far more seriously today than ever before.

TCPA protection

An uptick in TCPA class actions have made it increasingly important for your business to update its opt-in list.

The number of TCPA lawsuits filed has increased rapidly in the past few years.  In fact, in 2014, 2,366 TCPA class action lawsuits were filed–a 25% increase over 2013 and more than double the number since 2012.  This category of class action lawsuits has been especially lucrative to attorneys and class action administrators working in this area.  That’s because fines can be as much as $1500 per violation.

Behind much of the increase in TCPA lawsuit violations is the ever-increasing use of mobile and Americans propensity to cut their land line phone.  With mobile, the likelihood of a TCPA violation invariably increases with SMS marketing entering the mix.  Although you may have received legitimate permission at one time to contact the owner of the phone number, it is certainly possible that the number has since been recycled to a new user.  And, since there is not a national database of mobile phone ownership, as there is with many landlines, it creates a difficult task to maintain an updated opt-in list.  Brands must do all they can to keep its databases up to date.

Under the October 2013 revised rules, TCPA requires that you have a consumer’s prior written consent for auto-dialed or text messages sent to wireless devices.  Therefore, using a list of customers that you did business with prior to this date should not be used at all or should be used very cautiously with a renewed opt-in process.

With costly class action potentially looming, constant updating of your opt-in list is a necessity in the modern marketplace.

This article was written by Bob Bentz, president of ATS Mobile. It is not intended to provide any legal advice in relation to TCPA or SMS marketing.

Feb
2

Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015

All the Mobile Marketing Stats You’ll Need for 2015

A compilation of the mobile marketing statistics you may be looking for in 2015. These statistics about mobile marketing cover the following topics: mobile marketing overview; text message marketing; mobile websites; mobile search; social media; mobile advertising; apps.

Lots of charts and mobile marketing stats for 2015.  Feel free to use any of them in your presentations.

These statistics were used for lessons taught in Mobile Marketing — a graduate level class in the Communication Department at the University of Denver.

 

I hope this helps you out with your mobile marketing project. Now, the only thing is, I can’t give you an A.

Dec
31

Mobile Marketing Statistics

I am humbled to have been selected to teach Communications 4318 (Mobile Marketing) at the University of Denver beginning on Monday, January 5, 2015.  I’ve been working diligently in preparing the company for 2015, but also in preparing for my first-ever college level teaching gig.

Here’s some statistics on mobile marketing that will be provided to the graduate level students during the first week of class next week.

 

 

Jun
16

We’re 25 Years Old – Time Flies By

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It doesn’t seem like it was a quarter of a century when a group of entrepreneurs joined forces to open the doors to Advanced Telecom Services in Wayne, Pa. in the summer of 1989.

George Bush, the elder, was President, a Cornell University student became the first person to be indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for unleashing a computer virus, and baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose accepted a lifetime ban for betting on the sport.

It was also in the infancy of the burgeoning 900 number pay-per-call, audiotext industry, with crossword puzzle devotees having an option of finding an answer instantly, for a nominal fee, by dialing a 900 number on their landline phone.  Newspapers around the country soon adapted the service, including the venerable New York Times. 

From 900 numbers dispensing news, sports and entertainment in the U.S. and Canada, to pay-per-call programs debuting in several countries throughout the 1990s including the U.K. and Czech Republic, Advanced Telecom Services quickly became a global leader in processing audiotext programs.

In 2001, the eventual full conversion to a digital, mobile-first agency began with the introduction of one of North America’s first membership-based ringtone websites, Ringingphone.com, which grew to over 60,000 paying members.

By 2007, the push to mobile was fully underway with website and app development, the introduction of the do-it-yourself text platform at 84444.com, and sister company Advanced Mobile being purchased by mobile automotive giant AutoByTel, and Advanced Telecom’s name change to ATS Mobile, both occurring in 2013. 

Following another change last year, a move into our new offices in the Valley Forge Casino complex and resort in King of Prussia, Pa., we currently specialize in engagement strategies in the mobile space.  ATS seeks to partner with growing businesses, define ambitious goals, and develop and execute strategies to achieve them.  

For more on the history of Advanced Telecom Services and ATS Mobile click here.

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