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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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


How to Get a Mobile Website for a Small Business

Even small businesses are starting to realize that their desktop website is simply not cutting it on the smaller screen of the mobile phone.  In fact, according to a recent study, 26% of small businesses will be adding a mobile website in the next year!

While adding a mobile website is certainly a good idea, for many businesses, it’s not the best idea.  Responsive design websites are usually the best idea.  With responsive design, a business gets a mobile website that works on all devices, including smartphones and tablets.  And, as an added bonus, you get a brand new desktop website as well!

At ATS Mobile, we never set out to be involved in the desktop website business as we have been, and are, mobile specialists.  But, with a mobile first approach, we could no longer ignore the importance and power of desktop sites as the two have become so integrated that you can’t do one without the other any more.

So, let our mobile developers and designers come up with a mobile website for you and we’ll throw in a new desktop site as a bonus!

mobile websites for small businesses

More than half of small businesses will have a mobile website within a year.


We Don’t Just Create Clicks, We Create Calls

One of the most powerful opportunities with mobile is that the mobile user is much closer to the buying process than a desktop user is.  Along the path to purchase, a convenient Click to Call button on an app or mobile website makes it easy for the mobile user to simply touch the phone and generate a lead for your company.

Willingness to Use Click to Call

Across various verticals, consumers have differing reasons for using a click to call.  The most common reason is to check on the business hours and the second most common reason is to schedule an appointment or make a dinner reservation.

click to call reasons


Social, Mobile, Local

Time spent on social media via an app or mobile website continue to increase and is on the verge of possibly overtaking time spent via a PC in the next two years. Time spent on social sites went from 27 minutes to 46 minutes between 2011 and 2012.


Mobile is encouraging more time spent on mobile.


10% of Web Accesses are From Mobile Phones

If you have been delaying giving your business a mobile website, you shouldn’t be delaying much longer.  Take a look at the statistics showing the percentage of web accesses from a mobile phone from the USA and around the world.

 dainow_brandt_120906_image1StatCounter Global Stats



Mobile Marketing Tactics for 2013

By the end of the year, 76% of all companies will have created a mobile optimized version of their desktop website, according to a June 2012 study by IBM.  Currently, 46% of companies worldwide are using a mobile website and only 10% of businesses have no intention of creating a mobile website.  Worldwide New Media Market Model predicts that access to websites via mobile phone will outpace that of desktop Internet by 2015.  Right now, mobile websites are about 85% cheaper to design than mobile apps.  Time flies, so don’t be left behind in this mobile savvy world.

Mobile applications are also a strategic mobile marketing investment.  76% of business will also have a mobile app created for their business by June 2013.  45% of companies are currently using them, but 88% are predicted to be participating in this marketing technique in the future.  The great thing about mobile apps is that once it is downloaded onto a smartphone, Internet connection is no longer necessary.  Plus, your company’s icon appears on the consumer’s cell phone screen so you’re always there – top of mind.  It’s like a walking billboard in their pocket.

Another marketing tactic that is a necessary investment for businesses is text message marketing.  55% plan to be involved with SMS campaigning by the end of 2013.  Currently, 32% of business use mobile marketing via text.  With 94% of all text messages being opened immediately upon receipt, you can’t ignore this one-on-one marketing medium.  The beauty of text message marketing is that it allows you to send your message at the right time to just the right people – those who want it!

Mobile Marketing Tactics Companies Worldwide Are Currently Using/Plan to Use, 2012 (% of respondents)

E-mail marketing may seem old fashioned or outdated – and that may be the case – but that is why you need to mobile optimize your e-mails.  Currently 35% of companies are sending out mobile versions of e-mails and that number is expected to increase to 68% by the end of next year.  In today’s fast-paced world, your prospects are on the go – keeping their mobile phones close by at all times.  In fact, 91% of consumers have their mobile device within reach 24/7.  Can you afford not to be within their reach?

Location-based targeting is another successful marketing technique.  With small shops and businesses, this is a very affordable and effective way to market your products or services.  Currently, 27% of businesses are using this technique.  That number is projected to be at 49% by the end of 2013.

As the growth of mobile continues to explode, so does your opportunity to reach this vast audience.  The projection of mobile advertising over the next year is predicted to grow largely.  Currently only 25% of companies are running advertisements on cell phones.  Over the course of a year, that number is expected to reach 59%.

Savvy cell phone users are smart consumers – using mobile to shop, do price comparisons, make reservations and more.

Smart consumers require smarter marketing.  Get on the mobile marketing bandwagon and deliver information to your prospects the way they want it – fast and easy!


SHOWDOWN: Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps

Mobile websites, or “mobile microsites” as we like to call them, can be created for 85% less than a mobile app, but nearly all of the same features.  In many instances, a company should consider developing a mobile app rather than a more expensive app.  There are significant advantages to developing a mobile app in addition to simply the cost.

Now, we have nothing against apps.  In fact, we love apps.  Check out this article about our apps we developed for Comcast.

Watch Bob Bentz’s video and you’ll learn more about when you should use a mobile website versus a mobile app.

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