It’s mobile marketing month here at Insivia and one of the questions we always get from out clients is whether or not our clients should be capturing mobile phone numbers from their customers to use in future forms of SMS marketing. A lot of the times it’s thought of being too intrusive but I’m here to tell you otherwise. For a lot of businesses collecting mobile phone numbers is a great opportunity for you. With SMS messaging over 95% of all SMS text messages that are sent are opened by the end user. As opposed to email where it’s about 6-15% of those emails are read. Mobile marketing and text message marketing is a great opportunity to directly interact with your customer. One of the best ways to do it is to include an opt-in for a mobile phone number on your opt in forms and your other marketing materials giving your customers the ability to give you their phone number to receive SMS interactions from your business. One of the things that I would not recommend is making this a mandatory requirement for people to give you their cell phone number but leave it to them as an option. If somebody wants to receive mobile messages from you, you want to give them an opportunity because the success rate is so high when working with SMS and direct message marketing.

One key criterion for provisioning is that the consumer opts into the service. The mobile operators demand a double opt in from the consumer and the ability for the consumer to opt out of the service at any time by sending the word STOP via SMS. These guidelines are established in the CTIA Playbook and the MMA Consumer Best Practices Guidelines[17] which are followed by all mobile marketers in the United States. In Canada, opt in will be mandatory once the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act comes in force in mid-2012.
At a fraction of the cost of more traditional -- yet less effective -- marketing channels, SMS and MMS are as cost-effective as they are powerful. Ninety percent of consumers who have joined mobile loyalty programs feel they have gained value from them, and nearly two-thirds of consumers subscribed to mobile marketing indicate that they have made a purchase as a result of receiving a highly relevant mobile message. SMS text messaging is a no-brainer addition to any marketing portfolio. Text message lead generation is a powerful growth strategy. Start adding SMS marketing to your clients’ campaigns and watch their -- and your -- profits grow.
Take a stab at running a challenge solely for portable clients, whereby agreeing to accept instant messages they can be entered to win a free item or administration. Or on the other hand by agreeing to accept your “inward circle” they can be qualified to take an interest in standard contests, for example, question and answer contests, voting in favor of their most loved item or benefit, or some other sort of challenge or rivalry you can concoct. Holding customary fun contests is an incredible method to keep your clients locked in
Remember to incorporate your SMS marketing effort as part of your overall marketing plan. Ring activity on the greater part of your marketing items, print and advanced, welcoming clients to join your SMS hover by messaging a message or code to your telephone number (in return for a rebate, complimentary gift, or another reward). This will widen your client base and also expanding deals.
Due to the demands for more user controlled media, mobile messaging infrastructure providers have responded by developing architectures that offer applications to operators with more freedom for the users, as opposed to the network-controlled media. Along with these advances to user-controlled Mobile Messaging 2.0, blog events throughout the world have been implemented in order to launch popularity in the latest advances in mobile technology. In June 2007, Airwide Solutions became the official sponsor for the Mobile Messaging 2.0 blog that provides the opinions of many through the discussion of mobility with freedom.[39]
Kaplan categorizes mobile marketing along the degree of consumer knowledge and the trigger of communication into four groups: strangers, groupies, victims, and patrons. Consumer knowledge can be high or low and according to its degree organizations can customize their messages to each individual user, similar to the idea of one-to-one marketing. Regarding the trigger of communication, Kaplan differentiates between push communication, initiated by the organization, and pull communication, initiated by the consumer. Within the first group (low knowledge/push), organizations broadcast a general message to a large number of mobile users. Given that the organization cannot know which customers have ultimately been reached by the message, this group is referred to as "strangers". Within the second group (low knowledge/pull), customers opt to receive information but do not identify themselves when doing so. The organizations therefore does not know which specific clients it is dealing with exactly, which is why this cohort is called "groupies". In the third group (high knowledge/push) referred to as "victims", organizations know their customers and can send them messages and information without first asking permission. The last group (high knowledge/pull), the "patrons" covers situations where customers actively give permission to be contacted and provide personal information about themselves, which allows for one-to-one communication without running the risk of annoying them.[45]
In order to start a conversation with a text message, it has to be personal, so this is the best method available to start a conversation with someone from whom you have a cell phone number. They can reply to your first text message directly back to you and you can take on the conversation from there (i.e. for a big ticket, don't use a robot, your prospect is an individual, like you, that you want to respect.)
As the name implies, shared virtual numbers are shared by many different senders. They’re usually free, but they can’t receive SMS replies, and the number changes from time to time without notice or consent. Senders may have different shared virtual numbers on different days, which may make it confusing or untrustworthy for recipients depending on the context. For example, shared virtual numbers may be suitable for 2 factor authentication text messages, as recipients are often expecting these text messages, which are often triggered by actions that the recipients make. But for text messages that the recipient isn’t expecting, like a sales promotion, a dedicated virtual number may be preferred.
As millennials start to dominate the workforce, it’s time to shift common sales practices to favor their preferences. If millennials are spending a lot of their time texting, the best bet for salespeople is to take the sales conversation to text message. The key is making sure you’re doing it in a way that sets you up for success, while avoiding the creepy salesperson label.
For a more cost-effective solution, you can register a keyword on a shared short code, which means you will be assigned a unique SMS keyword but you will share the short code with other businesses. These short codes are great for competitions or lead generation for example, where customers can SMS your keyword and their details to the shared number to enter or request a quote or more information about your products and services.
Once your test is complete, you can analyse the results to determine whether the results confirm your hypothesis. Keep sample size and significance in mind so you never draw conclusions based on effects that resulted by chance. For example, if all conditions besides the test variable were the same and version A was sent out to 2000 recipients and had 3 conversions, and version B was also sent out to 2000 recipients but had 60 conversions, it’s safe to say that version B has performed significantly better. If you want to be sure about the significance of your results, you can always use a significance calculator.   
To find out whether a new version of your message performs better, you first need to know how it has performed in the past. Establish a baseline to compare the results of your new message to. Be sure to note any relevant results like amount of recipients, time of day, day of week, time of month (e.g. did you send the message around pay-day or just before, when everyone postpones spending money until their pay check arrives?), open rate, click-through-rate (CTR), amount of conversions (note: specify what a conversion is for you), conversion rate, and anything else of importance.  
Short codes offer very similar features to a dedicated virtual number, but are short mobile numbers that are usually 5-6 digits. Their length and availability depend on each country. These are usually more expensive and are commonly used by enterprises and governmental organisations. For mass messaging, short codes are preferred over a dedicated virtual number because of their higher throughput, and are great for time-sensitive campaigns and emergencies.[11]
Organizations have been gathering client information for a considerable length of time by offering a birthday complimentary gift, i.e. a free item or administration on your birthday. Clients will probably believe you with their telephone number on the off chance that they receive a type of reward consequently. You can also send them one-month, half year, or one-year “anniversary” rewards based on their join date.
People have become very comfortable texting and the format lends itself to short, informal communications with abbreviations and emojis. Meanwhile, many people resist picking up the phone to talk to a stranger. Texting therefore becomes the perfect first-contact, allowing your sales representatives to begin establishing a relationship before transferring to a phone call when it’s needed.
These are dedicated memorable shortcode numbers which means that you’ll be the only company that uses the number, allowing it to become synonymous with your brand ensuring consistency and brand recognition. You can either purchase a random short code which means that an available short code number will be assigned to you, or you could opt for a vanity short code which means you get to choose the number you want to use.
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