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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.


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.


Bob Bentz Talks Mobile Marketing on The SkillBites Show

Mobile marketing is an essential aspect to any marketing strategy. It is adaptable to any size company from a small startup to an established corporation. SMS text message marketing, mobile optimized websites, social and digital advertising, ringless voicemail and video ads all fall under the mobile marketing umbrella which Bob discusses with Judy, the host of The SkillBites Show.



How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Author Bob Bentz    Category Uncategorized     Tags


How to Cook a Turkey

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Twenty Must Follows in Mobile

The world of mobile and mobile marketing is constantly changing as new technologies are developed and new trends evolve. To help you stay on the cutting edge of mobile, atsMobile has compiled a list of twenty leaders in the mobile industry that we strongly recommend you follow on Twitter. must follows on twitter

1. The Mobile Marketing Association (@MMAglobal)- The premier non-trade association that represents over 700 mobile marketing companies internationally.

2. Mobile Marketer (@MobileMktrDaily)- A leading news site in mobile marketing, media and commerce.

3. Mobile Commerce Daily (@MCommerceDaily)- The news leader in mobile commerce and retail.

4. Mashable Mobile (@mashablemobile)- A subset of the news website, technology and social media blog, Mashable, that focuses on trends and news in the mobile industry.

5. Mobile Crunch (@MobileCrunch)- A subset of Tech Crunch, a web publication on technology news and analysis, that emphasizes advances in the mobile industry.

7. Mobile Marketing Watch (@MobileMW)- Features mobile telecommunications business news and analysis.

8. Greg Kumparak (@Grg)- Greg is the mobile editor at Tech Crunch

9. Kim Dushinski- (@KimDushinski)- Kim is the author of the Mobile Marketing Handbook and the founder of the International Mobile Marketing Business Network.

10. Rudy de Waele- (@mtrends)- Rudy is a the co-founder of and a mobile strategist on an international level.

11. Luke Wroblewski- (@lukew)- Luke is the author of “Mobile First” and an expert on user interface design.

12. Michael Becker (@mobiledirect)- Michael is the managing director of the North America MMA and the co-author of “Mobile Marketing for Dummies.”

13. Cindy Krum (@Suzzicks)- Cindy is the founder of MobileMoxie and author of “Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are.”

14. Matt Parzych- (@MobileMktg)- Matt is the CTO at SparcPlug Inc.; reports on “useful, effective, innovative communications between businesses and their mobile audience.”

15. Serena Ehrlicjh-(@Serena) Serena is the Director of Marketing at Mogreet and was named one of the Top 25 Women in Mobile to Watch for 2013.

16. Bill Parkes (@billparkes)- Bill is the EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at

17. Giselle Abromobich- (@GAbramovich)- Giselle is the CMO at Adobe and the managing editor of both Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily.

18. Tomi T Ahonen- (@tomiahonen)- Tomi is an international mobile consultant and best selling author of twelve mobile telecom books.

19. Michael Essany- (@Michael_essany)- daily contributor to Mobile Marketing Watch and Daily Deal Media, and VP of Indiana Grain Company; former E! Entertainment host.

20. Danny Mallinder- (@MobInsider)- CEO and founder of MobInsider


Social Media and Mobile Are Having a Significant Impact on Retail

According to a recent KPMG survey, social media and mobile have the largest impact on business of tech-related trends.  71% of retailers stated that social media has a significant impact on business, followed by mobile/online shopping at 52% and mobile/online promotions and coupons at 51%.

Social media has a significant impact on the retail business.

Social media and mobile have a significant impact on the retail business.




Wealthier, Higher Educated People Are More Likely to Own An IPhone

A May 2013 Princeton Research Associates survey showed the demographic differences between IPhone and Android owners. According to the study, the biggest demographic differences between IPhone and Android owners involve income and education. Compared to Android owners, people who own an IPhone are more likely to have an income of $150,000+ and to have graduated from college+.  In addition, the survey showed differences in age, gender and race.

A May 2013 survey shows the demographic differences between Android and IPhone users.

A May 2013 survey shows the demographic differences between Android and IPhone users.


Cinnabon Utilizes QR Codes in Breast Cancer Fundraiser

On Friday, May 17, Cinnabon, a nationwide bakery with over 800 locations, launched a mobile-based campaign entitled “Sweet Support.” The campaign uses the company’s mobile website and specialized QR codes to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.  When in the bakery, customers are encouraged to donate using their smartphones by visiting the mobile URL,, or by scanning one of the QR codes featured throughout the stores. Cinnabon is planning on matching the first $10,000 in donations.

cinnabon qr code

Cinnabon’s QR codes that customers can scan to donate.

Cinnabon mobile site

Customers can also visit Cinnabon’s mobile website to donate.

Kristen Hartman, the Vice-President of Marketing for Cinnabon, attributed the mobile marketing-focused campaign on the easy-accessibility and user-friendly aspects of the QR code and the mobile site for customers. She stated, “Consumers are increasingly accessing more and more information through their mobile phones. Knowing that our Cinnabon guests are often toting their phones and our delicious treats around the mall, we sought a donation process that was easy and user friendly.”

Cinnabon’s use of a custom QR code, instead of a traditional black and white QR code, was a smart move for the company. Custom QR codes have a 2.3x greater response rate than the ordinary black and white QR codes. In addition to a higher scan rate, the custom QR codes catch the attention of customers and provide another platform for Cinnabon to further brand the company. Overall, utilizing custom QR codes was a win-win for Cinnabon.

QR codes are a powerful tool for inviting customers to interact with your brand. There is great potential in the future of the QR code system. Currently, only 40% of the QR code is being used in scans, which allows for future expansion in the QR code system. For more information on custom QR codes and how to create a custom QR code for your brand, visit Advanced Telecom Services.


The Importance of Social Media Interaction with Mobile Marketing Campaigns

It’s increasingly important to plan and execute a mobile strategy that includes the implementation of the use of applicable social media channels to promote, support, and supplement the mobile program. If nobody knows to use their device to respond to a company’s investment of its efforts into a campaign, the results will be unsuccessful.

Agencies and brands should strive to work with mobile partners that understand the integration of the appropriate social elements into mobile marketing, whether it’s as basic as text messages and customized QR codes to direct a user to a mobile website or app, or to a device-fitting website or customized app itself, social media creates the path.

To make sure your brand remains relevant, consistent and exposed, it’s important to highlight four areas to your desired recipient, your customer:

*Promote-The targeted audience that needs to know about the mobile campaign will know about it.

*Engage-The targeted audience wants to know what’s in it for them; it must be a compelling experience.

*Interact-Mobile and social media channels are direct two-way communication with your audience, make sure you’re talking and they’re responding.

*Satisfy-Once they take part in a campaign; make the target group feel good about the whole experience start-to-finish.

Not all campaigns are alike, so the use of which social media channels to use and how often are unique to the desired intention.

The most populated channels include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube, along with social/locale-based sites such as Yelp and FourSquare.

In addition, it’s critical that social media reaction to the mobile campaigns is monitored through a partner providing reputation management services, keeping a close eye on channels related to the business and/or industry of the brand for comments both positive and negative directed towards the client.

No mobile marketing/social media campaign is complete without leveraging the power of content. Information pertaining to customers is critical to sustaining the social media penetration. Updated content must be created and optimized to be found in online searches and to attract your audience.

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