Nowadays, it seems as if no one leaves home without their cell phones. So what better way to reach your customer than on their beloved cell phone? SMS text messages are the fastest way to get your marketing message in front of your customers and can be easily implemented and executed.
It is fairly easy to integrate an SMS text campaign into your current marketing mix. Simply add a brief message to your television, radio and/or print ads that instruct users to text a keyword along with a short code, or a special telephone number significantly shorter than a full telephone number, in order to receive an incentive from your business. For example, if you are a restaurant, you can tell users to text the keyword “APPETIZER” to a short code and the user will receive a text message with an offer for a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrÃ©e.
Once a user sends a text message to your short code, he/she is added to your contact database and is eligible to receive future promotions. You can send these qualified users different promotions and the SMS text messages are read almost immediately upon receipt.
According to the Mobile Marketing Association, SMS text promotions have a 95% read-through rate and are read as soon as they are delivered. The most notable benefit of SMS text campaigns is its speed. They can be launched on-the-fly and can be utilized on a slow business day to generate immediate activity.
SMS text messaging campaigns work well with promotions tied to contests or giveaways, voting (a la American Idol) and most commonly for discount offers or incentives. And the best part is that each campaign adds more contacts to your database.
Contacting your customers via their cell phone engages your customer and enhances loyalty and leads to repeat business. If you have not already considered an SMS text messaging campaign for your business, I encourage you to do so.
In today’s economic times, many companies are promoting discounts to attract and entice customers to buy. It makes good business sense to come up with creative ways to provide an incentive to customers when they are shopping around. So what do you do when everyone in your industry is offering the same (or maybe steeper) discounts to attract shoppers? You need to convey value in the purchase, not just a good percentage discount.
The old adage, “You get what you pay for” is as relevant today in search engine marketing as it was when first spoken. Shoppers are inundated with deals offering 10%, 20%, even 50% discounts. As mentioned in a recent Advertising Age article, you must rise above the commotion of all these “discounts” and position your product or service with true value to the shopper. Yes, they are getting a discount…but are they getting value with their purchase? How do you convey this message inside a Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign? Get creative in your ad copy and your landing pages. Promote not just the 10% or 15% discount, but also the value of that discount to your customer. Target your value proposition across banners ads and text ads and be consistent with your message. The discount gets their attention but the value they receive is more important and if they recognize the value of the discount you gain an advantage over your competition.
When I first entered the world of marketing, a wise manager once said, “If you gain a customer on price, you will lose a customer on price”. Given all the price discounts companies are offering today, it would be wise to promote your product or service with that in mind. Remember to explain and promote the value of your discount, and avoid making the discount itself the prime focus of your marketing campaign.
I recently created a vertical marketing campaign for a client and was very impressed with the options Google offers to manage this type of strategy. It doesn’t seem like too long ago that a proposal of this size would have constituted multiple media buys across many networks and websites and the management of the program would have been a major task. Just keeping up with all of the different invoices from each media buy was a full time job, not to mention that each network or site had its own way of reporting results! With Google’s Placement Targeting program you can create a robust, wide reaching vertical marketing campaign and manage the program all in one place!
The advantages from both a management perspective and the ability to reach your precise audience with Google’s Placement Targeting program are substantial. I was able to create a campaign targeting over 50 specific vertical sites for my client and manage the program all within one interface. I didn’t have to spend time going to each website to negotiate 50 different media buys and I was able to get consistent reporting for the entire campaign. My client was impressed by the extensive list of sites available to them within the Google Content Network and particularly liked the idea of one invoice to cover the costs of the entire campaign. Within the Google Content Network, depending on the publisher’s site, you can place targeted text ads, banner ads, or even video. We were able to leverage these different types of ad formats, testing regular text ads, banner ads, and videos across many of the sites we utilized during the campaign.
The final results are still pending, but it is certain to be a campaign we will look to build upon in the future. With the flexibility and options available within the Google Placement Targeting program, I was able to offer my client an easily managed vertical marketing campaign. The next time you consider a vertical marketing campaign think of all the advantages a “one stop shop” solution can save you in time and effort.