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Aug
22

Mobile Monday: Week 7 – Marketing An App

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 seventh week, we’re focusing on“Marketing An App”where Bentz discusses fiscal responsibility between app developments vs. marketing the app itself, & the importance of utilizing social media for sharing an App.

MARKETING AN APP

While app store optimization is certainly important, marketers must not rely solely on promotion within the stores to maximize downloads.  There are over two million apps in the stores and finding a particular app is similar to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, despite the best ASO efforts.

It is not easy to get consumers interested in downloading another app on their mobile phone when smartphone users are already using an average of 26.7 apps per month, according to a Nielsen study.  Too often, a company spends all of its money on developing an app and does not reserve any money for marketing the app.  That is a rookie mistake.  Don’t make it.

A company needs to have developed a structured marketing plan in advance of the release of the app.  It needs a plan to tell existing customers and prospects good reasons why they need the app and where the app can be downloaded.  It needs to evaluate all of its current marketing channels to determine which would be best for promoting an app.  Facebook, for instance, would probably be better for facilitating app downloads than outdoor advertising since a social media user is likely on her mobile phone already as opposed to a driver who is hopefully not on his phone.  Google AdMob might be the best place since it enables an app marketer to advertise within other apps that consumers have already downloaded.

There is no doubt about the power of creating buzz on social media for an app launch.  It is an important part of the initial publicity required.  And, nobody does app marketing better than Facebook which earns a significant part of its ad revenue from brands pushing app downloads.

Of course, internet advertising is not always the best source for app downloads.  If the app has a huge budget, it may very well be television that results in the most downloads.  Game of War did a great job of promoting its app with eye catching Kate Upton and Mariah Carey as the stars of the commercials.

Acquisition costs will not always be high priced efforts like the television advertising for Game of War.  Publicity is a major driver of new app downloads so use press releases and other public relations efforts to get the word out.  Include a social media blitz as well.  The ROI provided by public relations efforts will likely result in the best ROI of any of the promotional efforts.

When marketing an app, it is absolutely critical to get off to a quick start to break through the supply of apps in the app store.  If an app is buried below thousands of others in the rankings, it is going to be difficult to get found.  Therefore, app marketers must get the word out quickly about the app by using a high level of growth hacking or a large advertising budget in an attempt to gain a featured listing and benefit from organic downloads.  Downloads beget more downloads thanks to the viral effect of the purchase and the improved ASO.

Research from Localytics found an added bonus to advertising apps.  App users that were acquired as a result of being discovered via a mobile ad network were more likely to come back for multiple uses on the app than those that found it from an organic search on the app store.  This is likely due to the fact that the ad creative has done a good job in pre-selling users on the benefits of the app and that the advertising was highly targeted.

The viral effect of apps is an important phenomenon to take advantage of.  An app should encourage existing users to share the app with friends or on social media.  (Think Candy Crush.)  This is a great way to take advantage of the viral publicity that a mobile app can provide.

Another great way to drive traffic to an app is to find the URL of the app download in the iTunes or Google Play listing for the app.  Keep in mind, this is not the URL for the business, but the URL that is used by the app stores.  Then, when the business does content marketing on its own blog or on external sites, it can link to the app store URL listings.  The goal is to get multiple rankings on the search engines for the app.  Those rankings might be the page on the business website that promotes the app download and the app stores’ direct URL’s for the download.

For iPhone and Android apps, there are multiple countries where the app can be listed.  If an app makes its money on advertising, there is no reason not to list the app in all countries, especially populous countries like China and India.  The Apple App and Google Play stores are available in over a hundred countries so it makes sense to be listed in as many of them as necessary.  Of course, if the app has an ecommerce element to it, this may not be practical.

There are many secondary Android app stores and therefore many places where an Android app can be marketed.  Amazon, Kindle, Nook store from Barnes & Noble, AppBrain, and GetJar are a few alternate places where an Android app can be marketed in addition to its logical home base in the Google Play store.

There is a defined cost to acquire app downloads and it is measured by a Cost Per Install (CPI) index.  The CPI per vertical market varies, but according to Fiksu, it averages $2.98 per user in 2015 and it is rising every year as businesses expand their use of mobile advertising, thus driving CPI costs up.

You can purchase Relevance Raises Response at Amazon or at other fine online book stores.

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
8

Mobile Monday: Week 5 – Mcommerce

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.” Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.shutterstock_283022702 (2)

For our fifth week, we’re focusing on “Mcommerce” where Bentz discusses responsive web design, online transactions and the smart phone becoming of greater use to people.

Mcommerce

Everybody has heard of ecommerce, but considerably less people identify with mcommerce. Mcommerce is the selling and purchasing of goods and services through mobile devices, as opposed to traditional ecommerce which occurs on desktop devices.

To be clear, mcommerce is not a separate entity from ecommerce. It is actually a subset of ecommerce sales and it is calculated as part of ecommerce sales. Historically, if businesses could make a little extra selling goods on the small screen of the smartphone, that was great. Today, however, entire businesses such as Uber are mcommerce only platforms.

While mcommerce sales have a few years to go to catch ecommerce sales which make up two-thirds of all online sales in North America, the gap is clearly narrowing each year. There are several reasons for this.

  • Responsive and adaptive web design is now the norm for most mcommerce sites and this evolution has helped eliminate sites not being optimized for mobile — previously the biggest factor in making it difficult to shop on a smartphone.
  • Larger mobile screen sizes are becoming more commonplace. This includes not only tablets, but also phablets–the half tablet, half phone hybrid.
  • There is simply the greater use of the smartphone for everyday use and increased use of making purchases via mobile is one such use.
  • Over time, the public has shown increased confidence in making online transactions on a mobile phone.

Despite the increase in mcommerce sales, however, shoppers are still considerably more likely to make a purchase from a desktop than a mobile phone. This is not only true in overall purchases, but also in the percent of conversions from desktop compared to mobile. While the gap narrows every year, consumers are still more likely to want to make the actual purchase from a desktop.

There remains several reasons for mcommerce’s inability to match ecommerce sales figures. Consider the following:

The smaller screen and lack of a keyboard makes it more difficult to fill out a form and make a purchase. Just entering a 16 digit credit card number correctly without fat fingering any of the numbers is difficult to do on the first try.
A mobile phone is often not near wifi as opposed to a desktop which always has internet access.
Many mobile phones do not accept cookies so it is difficult to pre-fill some of the forms. There is one promising exception, however, as Safari mobile now offers pre-fill forms on its browser–an enhancement that should improve this factor.
Ecommerce sales offer credit card and Paypal payments. Mcommerce payments rely on mobile wallets which are still emerging in the USA.
Consumers have not been purchasing on mobile devices for as long as they have on desktop so there is still some reluctance to do so, especially by older customers.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to making purchases on mobile, tablets act more like laptops and desktops given their larger size. iPads convert best of all followed by Android tablets. Of smartphones, Androids convert to sales better than iPhones. This is surprising given the higher income levels of iPhone users, but Android also skews younger so that does give an edge to it when it comes to mobile sales conversions. In general, desktops tend to convert more often during working hours, but mobile takes over during leisure time.

When it comes to mcommerce, North America trails other countries in the percentage of online purchases made via mobile. In Japan and South Korea, more than half of all online transactions are made by mobile. Percent of purchases made by mobile in the United Kingdom are not far behind those of the Far Eastern countries. According to Forrester, it will take the USA until 2018 until half of its online sales are made via mcommerce. Japanese mobile consumers are over three times more likely to convert to a sale than USA consumers. If USA mobile conversion rates rose to those of Japan, the USA would account for over half of all mcommerce sales worldwide.

Opposite to what is going on in retail stores, mobile users visit online retailers more often and they buy more often, yet the average ticket sale is decreasing slightly on mobile. That is because mobile users are in a hurry when it comes to mcommerce and they are snacking on it often, but in shorter segments.

Aug
1

Mobile Monday: Week 4 – Advantages of Mobile Marketing

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 fourth week, we’re focusing on “Advantages of Mobile Marketing” where Bentz discusses Mass Reach and the immediacy of mobile marketing.

ADVANTAGES OF MOBILE MARKETING

When it comes to mobile marketing, true engagement is when you connect with a consumer in such a way that it makes an impact on them to enable your business to generate a conversion or acquire a new customer. 

  • MASS REACH

Much of the talk when it comes to mobile marketing is in its tremendous ability to provide laser focused marketing. And, while there is no doubt that targeting is one of its best weapons, the high penetration and mass market that mobile brings cannot be undervalued.

Do you know anybody who does not own a mobile phone anymore? Chances are, even your grandparents text and check their Facebook accounts on their mobile phones.

  • INSTANT RESULTS

The days of brand building Mad Men style by Don Draper are over. While building brand recognition is still an important part of a marketing campaign, businesses want, and often insist on immediate results.

Mobile provides those immediate results. It is direct response marketing. A flash sale is a good example. Need to clear some inventory now? An SMS text message, app push message (message sent to those who have downloaded an app), or spontaneous mobile advertising campaign can do just that. Include an embedded link or tap through and an e-commerce sale can be made on the spot.

  • ALWAYS REACHABLE

The mobile user is said to be “always on,” meaning that he or she can be reached 24/7/365. The consumer does not have to tune in to the radio or television show to see your message. That is because mobile is everywhere. Just look at the statistics of how many of us have our mobile phones within reach all day, even while sleeping.

Now, it is probably not a good idea to be sending an SMS text message or app push message in the middle of the night, but you get the idea. Your target market is available and does not have to do anything to receive your mobile message.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of “Relevance Raises Response” today where you’ll find more information on how to engage and acquire with Mobile Marketing.

Jul
27

Purplegator Offers Recruitment Solutions For Hiring Nurses

Did you know that the nursing shortage will grow to up to 260,000 Registered Nurses by 2025? Check out the video below to see how Purplegator can assist in your recruitment search by utilizing social and mobile advertising.

Jul
26

Retail Store Uses Program Established By ATS Mobile

Check out this cool and informative video on SMS Text Messaging, a simple and effective marketing technique that can be utilized for many different companies or industries. In the video, Short & Paulk, a five retail store business in Georgia, is using a text message sweepstakes program to promote its business. The SMS text message marketing program was established by ATS Mobile.

Jul
25

Mobile Monday: Week 3 – SMS: A Powerful Marketing Tool

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.” Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our third week, we’re focusing on “Short Message Service” where Bentz discusses Mass Communication, One-to-One Communication & Opt-In Marketing

shutterstock_283022702 (2)

SMS (short message service) text message marketing is inexpensive and offers the single best return on investment (ROI) of any mobile marketing tactic that you will employ. Whether you are a national retailer or simply a local pizza shop, there is a place for text message marketing in your marketing plan.

There are more mobile phones in the world than human beings and only SMS reaches more than half of all humans.  Not apps, not Facebook, not Instagram, not SnapChat, not WhatsApp.  Only SMS.

Text messaging is ubiquitous.  It is the one and only Tyrannosaurus Rex in mobile.  Text messaging is the feature that consumers use the most on their mobile phones.  In fact, more Americans use text messaging than actually talk (remember talking?) on their mobile phones.  It works on both smartphones and feature phones.  It does not need the registration of an account or require an installation.  And, best of all, text messages, as opposed to emails, are opened and read by nearly all that receive them.

Next to making a website mobile-friendly, SMS text message marketing is the single most important thing you can do to get started with a comprehensive mobile marketing strategy.  It is affordable for businesses of any size.  It is easy to implement, because it is a universal application that works the same on all phones; in fact, even the most basic of cell phones can use SMS.

If you are marketing via mobile, it all starts with a mobile-optimized website and SMS marketing.  Neither are particularly sexy today, but SMS messaging is at the basic foundation of most ongoing, successful mobile marketing campaigns.

Here’s why SMS text message marketing is so very powerful.

  • One-to-One Communication — Mobile is about personalization, because it is the most personal of devices that we own.  A text message from a business can be targeted in that the message is speaking directly to the consumer; it is a personal connection.
  • Mass Communication — It is the mobile solution that can reach nearly 100% of your target market.  A business can reach out and touch all of its best customers with simply the touch of a button.
  • Opt-In Marketing — As opposed to email marketing which is opt-out marketing, SMS marketing is opt-in marketing.  This means a consumer must give permission for the business or organization to send them text messages.  That means the consumer feels so strongly about your brand that they are saying that they WANT to receive your advertisements.
  • Instantaneous — The message does not need to be planned well in advance and it can react to the situation at that very moment.  Messages are sent and received in a matter of seconds.  Think an unplanned flash sale.
  • Timely — Unlike traditional media, an SMS campaign can be intimately controlled as to the exact date and time when the customer is most likely to buy.  For a restaurant, that might be just before lunch time.  For an urban discounter, it may be paydays on the 15th and the 30th of the month.
  • Trackable — Mobile, by its nature, is highly trackable, as opposed to traditional media.  Results from all SMS promotions can be tracked with unique identifiers, or promo codes.
  • Optimization — By using A-B testing, a savvy marketer can test multiple promotions in order to find the best offer and best creative for the best target audience.
  • Loyalty — Text messaging offers the ability to increase loyalty and reward best customers by being part of a business’s VIP club.  It enables a business to instantly communicate with its customer base.
  • Virality — It is so easy for a consumer to forward a text message to a friend who might want your offer.  This is advertising that a business benefits from, but does not have to pay for (the best kind of advertising).
  • Lift — SMS marketing can significantly increase foot traffic at a retail store.  This is especially true during traditionally slow days.  A restaurant, for example, can use SMS to attract diners on Mondays and Tuesdays when business is usually slow.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of “Relevance Raises Response” today where you’ll find more information on how to engage and acquire with Mobile Marketing.

Jun
30

VIDEO: 25 Years of Providing IVR Services

As ATS gets ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary on July 15, 2014, we take a look back at some of the IVR programs that we’ve done over the years.

While the company has moved on to expand its mobile and digital marketing programs, IVR remains a mainstay for Advanced Telecom Services.  ATS’s niche is the ability to answer large volume call capacity programs that are common via television broadcast advertising.

Here’s a compilation of programs that ATS has participated in over the years, including one by Michael Jackson, The King of Pop himself, during Super Bowl XXVIII.

 

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