Three SMS Marketing Trends for 2019

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Three SMS Marketing Trends for 2019

SMS marketing has seen tremendous year-over-year growth, as more businesses try to harness the power of one-to-one communication via mobile. We’ve seen a number of changes over the past few years, and here are three big trends we expect to see in 2019.

Increase in Trigger-Based Messages

One of the most exciting opportunities for marketers is the ability to launch text messages as the result of a pre-defined trigger. Triggers can be nearly anything, sending out timely messages that can be acted upon immediately.

For example, let’s say a regional restaurant chain offers free curly fries every time the home town basketball team scores more than 110 points in a game. The restaurant can set a trigger to automatically send a free curly fries reminder SMS to its entire phone list the moment the team scores 110 points. They might even throw in an upsell, offering anyone who comes in within the next hour a large drink for the price of a small.

Triggers don’t have send messages to entire mailing lists. A financial institution that experienced a minor security breach that only affected customers in one branch can have an SMS message automatically sent out to that portion of its customer base, advising them to go online and check their account. 

Triggers can even go to individuals. A hotel can create a trigger so that when an arriving guest’s plane is delayed, their customer receives an SMS asking if they’d like the hotel to arrange transportation or room service for when they arrive.

Increased B2B Marketing

Most text message marketing to date has focused on promotional SMS messages, but 2019 is going to be the year we see more lead nurturing and lead gen activities take place over SMS. The reason is simple. Younger workers prefer SMS messaging over most other types of communication.

Marketers trying to nurture and develop leads through SMS need to provide value at every interaction and segment their lists effectively so that recipients receive relevant messages for their stage in the buying cycle. Because Millennials don’t like to be over-bombarded with ads, successful B2B marketers will first develop an off-phone relationship with their prospects before shifting the relationship into text mode.

Shortcodes over Hashtags

Shortcodes are those four-to-six-digit numbers businesses use when they want people to send a text and enter a contest or take a survey. 2019 promises to be the year where all types of enterprises start publishing shortcodes along with hashtags on their marketing materials.

For all their popularity, hashtags provide limited benefit to businesses. They direct a user to see content, but they don’t create an engagement or interaction. Even if the customer looks for the hashtag, they still need to click on a link, and eventually provide some type of contact information.

Shortcodes, on the other hand, require an interaction for the customer to engage. Customers using the shortcode to communicate are indicating a high degree of intent to the business, as they’ve taken a concrete action. Once the customer reaches out through the shortcode, the business can respond to the immediate matter at hand and add the sender’s phone number to their phone list.  

Are you ready for SMS Marketing in 2019? Talk to us today about our text messaging service for business, and start texting your customers tomorrow.

 

 

 

4 SMS Tactics the Travel Industry Should be Implementing

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4 SMS Tactics the Travel Industry Should be Implementing

Whether you’re trying to sell a trip to the Bahamas or enhance your guest’s stay in your hotel, SMS messaging services are steadily becoming the tool of choice for reaching your customers.

The reason is clear. For many travelers who lack immediate access to their email account, the best way to reach them is through their mobile device. It makes it easy to communicate gate changes, in-flight offers, destination highlights, and local offers. Travel agents, hotels, airlines, and others in the travel industry are all implementing text marketing services to keep in close contact with their clientele. Here are four tactics you should be using if you are in the travel industry.

Build Your Brand…and Your Contact List

There are a few ways businesses build up their contact list. First, they use information from existing customers, or contacts that have expressed interest in their service in the past. Beyond that, your options are limited to buying lists which may or may not be effective. There’s really no way to qualify the people on the list before you buy.

However, with effective business text messaging SMS marketing, you can have your prospects give you their number. Consider marketing a contest to your target demographic through social media for a free night’s stay in a hotel to anyone who texts STAY FREE to your number. Over the course of the contest, you’ll have built up a phone list of people who are both interested in staying in a hotel and match your target demographic.

For Most it was Just a Snowy Day

Turn cold, snowy days into business opportunities. Effective digital marketing looks for a customer when they are at their most desperate moment, and then places the solution to their problem one click away. On those days when it seems summer may take forever to come back, send out text messages promoting your sunniest vacation destinations.

This isn’t a technique that is limited to winter months. In the summer, when kids are on vacation, send out messages to desperate moms and dads for a weekend away from the kids, or offer a fantastic family vacation package. In all of these instances, you’ll be utilizing one of the most important elements of SMS marketing, by delivering the right message at the right time.

Build Relationships…and Upsell Added Services

Text messages allow you to create a virtual concierge service directly in your customer’s pocket. Update your guests about their check-in times, reservation information, and any changes to their itinerary. If your database includes your guest’s preferences, offer bar and restaurant recommendations, or present upsell services such as shoe shines, show tickets, or spa services.

Advanced SMS service providers, including MessageWhiz, can create marketing packages that include triggers, which generates an SMS message in reaction to specific events. For example, hotels can set up a trigger that asks guests while they’re in the pre-boarding process at the airport if they’d like the hotel to arrange pick-up service when they land or arrange for meals in their room when they arrive. Triggered SMS messaging creates unlimited ways for travel service providers to enhance their guests’ stays.

Last Minute Deals

Few things get the adrenaline pumping like a last-minute getaway with a special price. Excite your customers by updating them on exclusive deals only available for your SMS customers.

SMS messaging is perfectly designed to deliver last minute deals. While most email messages are ignored, SMS messages are opened within minutes of delivery, meaning SMS is a much better medium for delivering deals which require fast-acting customers to take advantage of.

Talk to us to discover how MessageWhiz can help you deliver vacation destinations to your customers.

Mobile Marketing APIs on my Mind

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Mobile Marketing APIs on my Mind

There was a night over the holiday season when the house was quiet, the fireplace was lit, and I had some time to skim through a few of my favorite web forums. I came across a question on Stack Overflow from March 2010, where a user was looking for recommendations for SMS gateways with API support. It’s hard to believe that API support has been part of SMS marketing for the better part of a decade.

The truth is you can be successful today as a mobile marketer without sophisticated APIs. If your SMS service provider has an add-on that integrates its SMS portal with your CRM system, you can continue to manage all your contacts and relationships within your CRM, and manage all your mobile marketing efforts, and communicate directly with your customers via compelling SMS messaging from within your CRM. It’s simple to use, and keeps all your mobile marketing data in a single location.

However, if you want to be able to integrate data from your text message campaigns with your company’s CRM systems, mobile apps, or backend architectures, you’ll need an SMS API. APIs may never trend on Twitter, but they are the key to connecting the data generated from your campaigns with your marketing platforms. They allow easy integration of information and protect you from spending six months developing complex back-end integration tools.

APIs have gotten much more robust since that Stack Overflow question in 2010. At MessageWhiz we use HTTP protocols for our APIs which enable our clients to optimize conversion, manage triggers, links, and campaigns. APIs also help them manage recipient lists, unsubscribe requests, and their broadcasts.  

As a marketing manager all this technical talk might not make any sense, but your IT guys will appreciate the ease that they can integrate your data into your CRM systems. It will make the data you’ve been cultivating that much easier to work with as you generate leads and sales from your marketing efforts, and convert them into real revenue.

Message Whiz is a leading business text messaging service provider, having developed an innovative SMS messaging platform and business SMS API service, designed to deliver the results that companies are seeking from their mobile messaging activities. Contact Us and start improving your business conversion rates today.