Skip navigation

Yearly Archives: 2010

About 90 percent of all Opt It customers ask, “What’s a sub-keyword?” We think it’s a great question and one you’ve probably asked yourself in the past. The following is the first of a mini-series of posts dedicated to explaining sub-keywords. These posts will give you information on how you can extend your keyword functionality to utilize all of the keyword types and increase the number of ways you can interact with your members.


Let’s start off by explaining what a sub-keyword is: it’s a second word that people text in to interact with your keyword in a different way. A sub-keyword gives you the ability to have your keyword act in a variety of different ways and to support multiple keyword types.

In order to interact with one of your sub-keywords, your customers would text your keyword, followed by a and a second word (the sub-keyword) of your choice. An example looks like this:

sub-keyword example

A sub-keyword is set up in the same way as a regular keyword in the software, meaning you choose which keyword type you want your sub-keyword to function as: Subscription, Response, Forward or Contest. Current members and new members alike are able to interact with the sub-keyword/s of their choice. After doing so, they’ll receive a message depending on the sub-keyword type.

When Should You Use a Sub-Keyword?

Each business will need to decide for itself how sub-keywords fit into their goals and desired results, but in general, using a sub-keyword is best when your goals are:

  • To create categories within the main keyword

    • For example- if your keyword is FOOD, your sub-keywords might be BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER, so that you could send more targeted message to the people that enjoy a particular meal-time coupon over another.
    • If you are a bar, your sub-keywords might be FRIDAY, SATURDAY, HIPHOP, etc.
  • To market different locations
    • If you have multiple locations with the same marketing plan, you can use sub-keywords to send out a specific message to a particular location if needed.
  • To create sub groups that match your different target market segments
    • You can create sub categories based on zip code, city name, neighborhood, etc.
  • To run a contest
    • Set up your sub-keyword as a contest to get the full functionality of a contest, and add a subscription keyword into your response to build your database
  • To create a digital business card
    • Make a sub-keyword type Response and allow your customers to text in for your contact information.

How to Set Up a Sub-Keyword

In order to set up a sub-keyword, log in to your Opt It account and hover over the Mobile option. Choose the first option, Manage Keyword. All of your keywords will display on the screen. Decide which keyword you want to create the sub-keywords under, and hover over that keyword. The field will expand to show three options under the Actions field; choose the Sub Keywords option.

opt it mobile 3.0 software

The Sub-Keywords screen will appear. Hit Add Sub-Keyword on the top left of the screen. Enter a sub-keyword name and then choose the Keyword Type and fill out the fields associated with the sub-keyword type.

Check back tomorrow for detailed information on each sub-keyword type!

According to a recent study conducted by Juniper Research, mobile coupons are set to generate $6 billion in global redemption value by 2014. This is due to the fact that redemption rates for mobile coupons often exceed 50 percent, whereas paper coupons will typically only produce a 0.2-2 percent redemption rate (Exposure2) – an astronomical difference!
mobile coupons
Besides the fact that mobile coupons are green and environmentally friendly, they also save printing costs and encourage impulse purchases. No other technology delivers a coupon right into the hands of your target market while they’re in a store, already shopping. Mobile coupons are viral; they can be easily forwarded to friends, meaning that if your customers are shopping in a group, the likelihood of that message being passed along is high and expands your brand’s reach at no additional cost.

The CRM opportunity created by mobile coupons results in a substancial benefit when compared to paper coupons. When your customers text in to join your list, you are not only obtaining their phone number, but also an opportunity for two-way communication. This allows you to text your customer, asking for demographic information or sub categorize your list into specific interest groups, per person. For example, if you’re a retailer, you can establish separate lists for customers that prefer jeans, shirts or dresses, enabling you to tailor more targeted messages.

Consider creating a loyalty rewards program for customers that redeem your coupons to generate brand loyalty around your campaign. By simply integrating your CRM system to Opt It’s API, keep track of who and where your customers redeem your offers. You’ll also establish a more detailed profile of what your customers needs are to aid in targeting initiatives. This is the perfect opportunity to reward your brand insistent purchasers.

Another benefit of mobile coupons is the ability to communicate almost instantly with your customers. Use mobile messages to send out new product launches, industry news, etc. Utilize this communication channel to ask your customers what kind of coupons they would like to receive!

Altogether, mobile coupons offer you an unprecedented communication opportunity; not only can you send instantaneous coupons, but also integrate your coupons with your CRM system, create a loyalty rewards program, and communicate quicker than ever before. In addition, you’ll be getting green and helping the environment by ditching paper coupons.- Try it for yourself!

Bottoms up! One of the headline stories on today is about the beer giant Heineken and its recent success utilizing an SMS campaign produced by Opt It’s mobile platform. Heineken displayed its creative marketing abilities last weekend in Chicago at the Pitchfork Music Festival, where it created a call-to-action on all legal drinking age festival attendee’s wristbands. The wristbands concert goers to text the keyword GREENRM to 46786 for a chance to meet musical artists at the event.

One of Heineken’s marketing strategies is to target the music industry and fans, so creating this campaign allowed Heineken to reach their target audience in the mode of communication they prefer – and with an offer they couldn’t refuse. Tara Carraro, senior director of corporate communications at Heineken, said it perfectly,: “We use mobile technology for consumer promotions because it’s the fastest and simplest way for consumers to opt-in and participate. It’s very non-intrusive.”

The call-to-action was displayed not only on wristbands but also on video screens surrounding the music stages. Follow Heineken’s example and try utilizing multiple advertising channels to grab the attention of your customers. The campaign was focused on making sure the consumer experience was unique and memorable– a similar campaign can be created for you with the Opt It Mobile 3.0 Contest keyword setting.

Once you’ve got a basic understanding of our software, your focus will most likely turn to getting the most out of each message you send. If you’ve been a client with us for awhile now, or if you are just getting started with Opt It, you will definitely want to read about this cool new feature offered in Opt It 3.0.

We’ve been in the text messaging business since 2004 and know from experience that one of the key ways to grab your clients’ attention via text is to customize the message to make it time sensitive. This is where the Dynamic Expiration Date comes in- it’s a simple and easy way to catch seize your client’s attention and motivate them to act immediately upon an offer.

Here’s how it works: The Dynamic Expiration Date allows Opt It users to set their coupons or offer to expire an “X” amount of days after a message is sent out. For example, if your customer signs up for your list on 06/01/2010, your Welcome Message might include a coupon that expires in 3 days. For your customers that receive this message, the text would say “please redeem by 06/04/2010”. But if this person joined on 06/02/2010, the message would read to them “please redeem by 06/05/2010”. Pretty cool, huh?

The benefits of this feature are huge- not only are you sending a customized message to your members to make them feel special, you’re setting a timeline for redemption, forcing those who want to take advantage of the deal to act quickly.

So, how do you use it? It’s easy:

All you have to do is include into your message to have your offer expire an X number of days after the member joins the list (Just change XX to the number of days you want the offer to be valid). Remember- the number needs to be at least 2 digits, so if you want people to redeem your offer 1-9 days in the future, just include a “0” before the number of choice.

An example message would look like this:

opt it mobile 3.0 software

(This is how the message looks typed in the software)

dynamic expiration date feature

(This is how the message appears on the members phone)

The Dynamic Expiration Date feature can be included in your Welcome Message, Response Message, Already Subscribed Message, Web Form Verification Message, and Subscription Forward Response Message.

And the best part of the feature? – Iit’s FREE!

One of the first questions we always hear from our clients is, how do we get people to opt in? Over the past 6 years of watching what works and what doesn’t, we’re happy to share our insights on how to effectively grow your recipient list:

Incentives: You must offer your customers an incentive, or prize, for giving you their cell phone number. People are weary to give away their number, so offering them a discount, or something for free, motivates them to join.

  • Choose the right incentive -the difference between 5% and 50% off is huge. It’s up to you how much you’re willing to give away to get someone to opt-in. Just ask yourself, “How much is someone’s cell phone number worth to me?” Remember, if the offer isn’t enticing, people won’t sign up. We’ve found that the better the incentive, the faster your list size will grow.
  • For Customers with Established Lists -use our reporting tool to check the time of day that you have the greatest amount of opt- in’s. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner and the majority of your members opt in at 1 PM, offer a special on a lunch item. This may seem obvious, but we’ have seen too many examples of a company pushing a certain item and not listening to what their customers really wanted. Using our analytics allows you to zero in on what your customers are looking for, getting you the biggest return on your investment.

Contests: In conjunction with offering a guaranteed incentive, create a contest that your subscribers will automatically be enrolled in if they sign up. Adding this incentive gives customers more reason to opt-in. Make the contest weekly or monthly to keep it top of mind with your members.

Illusion of Exclusivity: Make sure your customers know that they will only receive the best deals available at your location via text message. The language you use in your signage for people to opt-in should portray this exclusivity.

Be Clear: Tell people how many messages you plan on sending them. If you include a short line at the bottom of signage that says, “we will only send you 4-6 messages a month”, people will feel more in control of what they are signing up for.

BOLD and Capitalize your KEYWORD and SHORT CODE: Not everyone understands keywords and short codes just yet, so giving clear instructions on how to join your list is very important. For example, if your keyword is “coupon”, the main line of your signage would read: “Text COUPON to 46786” This will effectively grab the attention of your customers.

No Surprises: Let people know that message and data rates may apply.

Get Your Employees on Board: Make sure your personnel are not just aware but actually educated and excited about your text message marketing campaign. Your employees are the face of your company and the primary contact for your customers. Employees need to be able to help people sign-up from their phones, as well as to promote the list. Turn it into a contest for them and watch your list grow twice as fast.

Change is good: Change your incentive and the way you present your text campaign to your customers periodically so that you can capture a more diverse group of people to join your list. Your offer for X% off may get some of your clients interested, but if next month you are giving away a free ____, you might get an entirely different crowd to opt-in.

Get creative: Don’t just rely on a sign for people to join. Make t-shirts for your staff with a call-to-action to sign up, create a monthly contest for your staff encouraging them to get most members to sign up, etc.

An example layout of a sign that incorporates all of these ideas is as follows:

“Text SAMPLE to 46786 to join our exclusive mobile group”

“You will automatically receive a FREE _____!”

“Also, you will automatically be put in a drawing to win a FREE ____!”

Msg & Data Rates May Apply. To Opt Out Reply STOP

We will only send you 4-6 exclusive messages a month.

All of these ideas can and should be incorporated into all of your mediums for marketing the list. Try out these simple ideas and keep us posted as your campaign really takes off!