Archive for August, 2011
Text message marketing by radio stations has been a big part of our business at Advanced Telecom Services and 84444.com. That’s why Radio Ink magazine asked us to pen an article about the types of text messages that radio stations use.
Read the article in Radio Ink about radio text message marketing by Advanced Telecom Services’ president Bob Bentz.
Google reports that its users are searching more and more from mobile phones. In fact, in fourth quarter, 2010, 2.3 times more mobile searches were done on Google than during the previous 3 months! That’s some serious growth in mobile search.
Even more interesting is the amount of searches being done in particular categories. For restaurants, for example, 30% of all Google searches are now done on the mobile phone. That makes sense. After all, when you are out and about looking for a restaurant or a mobile coupon, the only medium you will have to search on Google is your cell phone.
Another important industry for mobile search is surprisingly autos. In the auto category, 17% of all Google searches done in January 2011 were done on mobile phones.
The busiest time of the day for mobile search? 6-9 PM says Google.
Just the time when you are starting to get hungry. Hmmm.
Restaurants are the tenth most category of information accessed by mobile phones, according to a new study from Nielsen. The April, 2011 study showed that over 15 million Americans accessed restaurant information via their mobile phones.
We’ve been preaching for a long time about the importance of restaurants using text message marketing to promote their business to consumers who are on the go. This study shows that restaurants are the top retail category for those accessing information via their mobile phones.
- Search – 59 million
- Weather – 47
- Social – 43
- News – 39
- Entertainment – 37
- Maps – 25
- Sports – 24
- Banking – 19
- Movies – 19
- Restaurants – 15
- Travel – 10
- Health – 8
- Auto – 5 million
It simply makes sense. You are out and about in your car and are hungry. Or, you are out of your hometown and start to think about dinner. Finding a restaurant is as easy as a mobile search on your cell phone.
In fact, in January, 30% of all search queries in the restaurant industry were from mobile phones. With numbers like that, it’s not difficult to see how over half of all search queries will be done by mobile phone by the end of 2013.
It’s also an indication of just how important it is for restaurants to be involved in mobile marketing. Restaurants need to offer mobile enhanced versions of its web site. Larger restaurants should consider apps. All restaurants need to be doing QR Codes and text message marketing.
With restaurants, its all about building a large database. The response to the mobile coupon offers will be high; its tested and verified many times over. But, a restaurant needs to have a proper opt-in to be able to send broadcast text messages to its database.
The best way for a restaurant to increase its text message database is to offer discounts. Offer the discount right at the register. Sure, it will cost you 10% of that day’s bill, but you’ll have the consumer’s cell phone number for future promotions. That will earn the restaurant far more in the long run, especially when you get an 11% text message coupon response rate like a local pizza restaurant did.
Promoting the interactive text message promotion should be done on all forms of advertising available to the restaurant. That includes the payment bill folds, carry out boxes, and all existing forms of radio and print advertising. The fact is that text message marketing promotions make all of your existing advertising interactive and makes it measurable.
Text message marketing is just one element of the mobile marketing pie.
Sure, there are sexier forms of mobile marketing like apps. Smartphone users love apps and when they are well done, they can offer some cool and crafty features. Apps can also keep consumers coming back for more.
It is the ubiquity of text messaging that makes it such a powerful element in the mobile marketing universe. In addition to having a mobile optimized web site, businesses need to offer text message marketing.
Text message marketing is an inexpensive way to reach consumers with any kind of mobile phone in a way that is immediate and time-sensitive.
Text messaging is a great way to promote immediacy to your message. You can reach the consumer when he or she is most likely to buy. A restaurant, for example, can send a text message at 11:30 am just when people are starting to get hungry at work.
Building a Database for Text Message Marketing
But, the key to any text message marketing program is the opt-in. Obtaining the opt-in from a consumer is the heavy lifting part and the most daunting part of text message marketing.
“We often get people calling our office and wanting to send a text message to all of the citizens in Chicago, for example,” said Bob Bentz, president of Advanced Telecom Services. ”But you need to obtain a bonafied opt-in before you send anybody a promotional text message.”
Once you get an opt-in, usually through an interactive text message promotion, you can send broadcast text messages to that consumer in the future. A legitimate opt-in can also be created via other means. Advanced Telecom Services, for example, provides a widget for companies to insert on its web site to obtain an opt-in. When the consumer opts-in via the widget, the consumer information is transferred directly to the 84444.com do-it-yourself text message marketing web site.
“The open rate for text alerts is extremely high,” said Neil Strother of ABI Research. ”If you can get enough phone numbers and set them up on text alerts, it can be very effective, but you need to send a limited number out to ensure that they are relevant.”