Recently many companies have created marketing campaigns that include QR codes. These are literally bar codes that people can scan in order to receive a coupon to their phone, connect to a website, or show a picture. Sounds very good… in theory.
There are limitations with QR codes for many reasons. People must have a phone that has the capacity to hold applications, which is still only about 30 percent of the US market. Text messages are a much more common method of communication with 1.1 trillion SMS messages sent in 2010 in the United States, according to Informa. Nielsen reported this year that 90 percent of Americans send and receive messages. It is quite clear that you can reach a much larger portion of the population via text.
Another disadvantage within the application space of QR codes is that there is a lack of standardization. For example, if you were to create an application you would have to create several for various platforms. For example, Microsoft Tag only allows their users to access applications on their system. So your customers would need to understand which reader to use to be able to read the QR code, as well as which application to open, and when.
Since SMS has a wider reach, is easier for the greater population to use and is faster to access, it is a much more convenient way to communicate your marketing message to your target population.
Here at Opt It, we’re always throwin’ around vocabulary related to text message marketing, and we commonly hear the question, “What’s a short code?” Since this blog’s purpose is to inform and converse with our customers, we’re glad to explain this concept to you in more detailed, every day terms.
The full name of the term “short code” is Common Short Code (CSC). A common short code is a 5 or 6 digit number for the use of text messaging marketing campaigns. Think back to the last time you watched American Idol and you were asked to text in your vote to a 5 digit number- that was a short code!
Opt It’s official definition of a short code is as follows: A short code is a 5 or 6 digit number used to send and receive SMS and MMS messages on cellular networks. Companies that use short codes are approved by the carriers to send text messages into their networks. When you sign up for the Opt It Mobile service, all of your messages will be delivered using short codes, ensuring that your message is received by the cellular carriers and delivered to the intended recipient.
The way that people join your short code is easy. They will text a keyword into your short code number. The keyword is a word that you have chosen as your account or list name. There can be hundreds of different keywords under one short code. So, your keyword is sort of your account name that specifically identifies you within the short code. Every time customers receive a text from you, this keyword will show up, an indicator that this message came from you, so it’s important that this keyword says something about your business. (For example, if you are a restaurant that serves pizza, your keyword could be PIZZA.)
Using a short code versus a regular phone number offers many advantages. Your customers control whether or not they are on your list at all times. They can text in to join your list, and they can also text to be out of your list by texting the word STOP to your short code. This is advantageous because it empowers customers with making the decision of whether they are on your list or not. This way, you will only have people on your list that truly want to be there.
Also, you can watch for trends in the opt in and opt out rates. If you see a lot of opt outs, you can evaluate sent messages and offers to ensure they were applicable and appealing, and then update future messages accordingly.
You can text people one-on-one with a short code as well. If people have specific questions, you can answer them via this system. Using a short code also allows you to sub categorize your list of participants. (Check out the blog post entitled “Intro to Sub Keywords” for more details) This will allow you to send more individualized messages to specific target groups within your list.
Basically, a short code is a number within which you set up your text message marketing campaign to facilitate your mobile marketing campaign. It allows for a more seamless and efficient communication link between you and your customers.
New findings from a Nielsen & Yahoo study find a previously undiscovered, strong connection between the mobile phone and eating out. The facts are quite interesting and important, particularly for popular restaurant chains, and they also shed light on the amount of distance that people will travel for a good deal on a meal.
The demographic used within this study was 34 million Americans who seek information about restaurant deals on their mobile phones. This population is skewed with a majority falling within the ages of 13-34. A surprising 58 percent of these people live in the suburbs, highlighting an opportunity for restaurants outside the city limits. Incomes for this population were on average $87K USD, and the majority is classified as married. Forty-one percent have one or more children in their house. (Mediapost)
The positive finding within this study is that 34 percent of respondents saw a dining ad or coupon on their phone, and 77 percent of these people sometimes or always looked at it.
It’s perceived by some that luxury brands, by their very nature, would stay away from text message marketing campaigns. This is because most consumers and business owners alike still perceive text message marketing to be a medium to send out a coupon or a discount, an action that is contrary to the essence of a luxury brand. In reality, this is not the case at all- text message marketing actually works quite complementarily with luxury brands.
Take Cartier for example. Over the past holiday season they launched a campaign called “Winter Tale” to get consumers talking about their business and luxurious French watches. They used the keyword “FOLLOW CARTIER” for consumers to text into, and by doing so consumers received information on the brand’s seasonal offerings and knowledge of new products.
Now that the holidays have passed and the New Year is coming, families will begin to find ways to escape the cold weather and the winter blues. Some will plan a trip to Florida or Mexico, others will take up a new sport, and still others will try a new hairstyle, just to spice things up.
Many hair salons have tried text message marketing already, and have gained and retained customers because of it. Many of our hair salon business clients have shared their tried and true texting tips and advice, and we thought it would be helpful to pass some successful suggestions along to you: