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For the thirty percent of Americans that have access to the internet on their mobile devices, applications are available for them to download and utilize, whether it be for games, news, or information regarding their favorite brands.

Most business that utilize applications already have a text message list, and rightfully so. The two go hand-in-hand. One of the easiest ways to get people to sign up for your application is by sending out a text to your opted-in loyal customer group, with a link in the message that leads people to the downloadable app. Also, you can set up a keyword specifically dedicated to getting people signed up for the list, another way to promote your brand or business. You could host a campaign pushing people to text APP to 46786 to get the link sent to them directly, enabling you to easily track the results of who downloaded the app and when.

Depending on the device, once your customers click on the link, it will take them to their mobile browser and to the appropriate page to download the app. This page varies by phone. If they are downloading an iPhone app, it will take you to the app store where you will be given instructions on how to install the app. If they have an Android, they will arrive at the iTunes store and can look at the app from here.

The important thing to remember is that text marketing is not just a single, stand-alone marketing medium like T.V. or radio. It can actually attract people to your other marketing forms, and it can precisely track the interaction that consumers have with it and your advertisements.

Providing good customer services is a notion that most US companies see as a necessity for survival when it comes to their businesses, and for good reason. Giving your customers great customer service and building strong, lasting, and friendly relationships with them pays off and can set you apart from the competition. Back in the day when the Internet and cell phones weren’t such popular concepts, customer service meant smiling attendants at your store or restaurant attending to the needs of the customer at the moment. However, times have changed, and business need to adapt to the new demands and needs of customers that are ever more supplied by communication channels like texting.

The great thing about texting is that it allows you to communicate with your customers before and after they leave your location. This means you can truly lengthen the experience that customers have with your brand. For example, if you are a clothing store, you could send a text message to a customer right after they leave your store to tell them that you found an item that they wanted, and that you put that item on hold for them. Another example could be to send out a text message when you receive new inventory. This can be especially useful for highly targeted groups, meaning a portion of your list that you know loves shoes would be pleased to learn about a new arrival.

Another great benefit that text message marketing adds to customer service is that it can be used to measure the level of customer service being provided. You can simply run a quick survey immediately after a customer visits your facility and ask them about the attention they received.

The time’s, they are a’ changing’ and falling behind on new marketing trends will only cause repercussions as the rest of your industry moves forward. We highly suggest connecting to your consumers via the mode of communication they like best: texting.

A recent article on Mobile Marketer discusses common SMS marketing mistakes, and gives a few suggestions on how to avoid them. From our years of experience, we have a few more insights to add to the list, to ensure that our users have all the education, hints, and advice they need to guarantee success.

The first point that the article addresses is what we in the industry call a “call-to-action”, referring to the statement made in your advertising that is supposed to result in an action from the consumer. The article urges the reader to make this call-to-action prevalent, but doesn’t explain this important advice in detail. Let’s take a look at IHOP’s hit slogan from 2004, “Come hungry. Leave happy”. There is a clear action statement here, which says, “ Come to our restaurant, eat, and you will leave happy.” For a marketing campaign to be successful this same slogan should be used across all forms of marketing, from billboard, to TV, to a text message that enters one’s inbox. This unity across all platforms increases the effect it has on the consumer, since it has a greater chance of residing in one’s memory.

Along these lines, we like to stress that you should be using your text message marketing platform to help gage the usage of other marketing mediums. You can repeat the same slogan but just have a different keyword for TV, billboard, and radio. With these varied keywords, you’ll be able to see which form of advertising is the most successful, so that next time, you know how best to invest your marketing dollars. This is one of the greatest benefits of having a text message marketing campaign, one we highly suggest you take advantage of to monitor the interaction that your target market has with you advertising mediums.

The next point that the article mentions is the current perception of some that a text message marketing campaign is a onetime communication tool for events, in lieu of a long term marketing medium. Many companies are missing out by not seeing text message marketing as a long term marketing strategic communication tool. The best part about mobile is that it allows you to converse with your customers the way that they converse in real life. A TV commercial and a billboard don’t allow for conversation, whereas sending a text message saying “How was your last experience at our store? Anything we can improve on?” gives you much more insight as to what your consumer is really thinking, something that marketers are continually trying to track.

Another mistake that companies make is to choose a text message marketing campaign based on price. We believe that you should choose your text message marketing provider based on the quality of their database and software, and the budget for your text message marketing campaign should be based on its ability to reach your customer. The great thing about Opt It’s software is that you can keep an extremely close eye on the interaction your consumer’s is having with the system, so you can measure its effectiveness much better than any other marketing form, justifying its price and proving its value in your marketing mix.

The next point is a clear rule of thumb we often stress to our customers- don’t send a text message each day, it’s simply too much. Daily messages result in annoyed customers, a marketing message with a decreasing value and ultimately, people opting out of your list. We recommend sending 4-6 general messages a month. If there is a need for more, make sure they’re delivered to a more targeted list that clearly understands and/or wants more messages.

Lastly, anything that you use to brand yourself, from a TV ad to a 160- character message, must align with your overall tone. If you are a luxury brand, you should not shorten words or use text talk like “G2G but c u there” to fit into one text message. Read the message outloud to imagine what it sounds like to your customers to make sure the intended tone is clearly transferred.

We hope you’ll take these points into consideration for your text campaign. If you do, we’re sure you will be able to see the clear benefits of them very shortly.

Recent studies conducted by the University of Michigan and University of California have focused on isolating the brain regions that control a smoker’s urge to smoke, in order to experiment with how text messages might be able to calm those urges.

The study used “functional magnetic resonance imaging” or MRI, to pin point the specific parts of the brain that cry out for nicotine. In order to gather data, Elliot Berkman, a University psychology assistant professor, choose a text message marketing platform like Opt It’s. He selected text over handing out PDA’s to all participants because “such devices are also relatively costly, since palmtop devices typically used for ecological momentary assessment can cost more than $300 each, while 86 percent of U.S. residents already have cell phones and 91 percent of those are SMS-enabled.” (Emily Falk, University of Michigan.)

The research study was able to gather facts on how many cigarettes were smoked each day, and also information on the associated emotions and behaviors. What they found is that when an individual is craving a cigarette, they need to do something that they consider self-controlling, and sending a text message is a self-controlling action. Study findings suggest that the behavior of texting may help ward off a smoker’s impulse to smoke.

The research scientists involved in the study praised the text messaging system because they feel it is a mode of communication that is very intuitive, that people are used to writing their emotions or thoughts within this intuitive means of communication, and that people always have their cell phones on them, which is ideal for a study that needs to gather information on a 24-hour basis.

Alexander Graham Bell is probably looking down at today’s world thinking about how ungrateful we all are for his wonderful invention from so many years ago. After all, he gave us the power to transmit voice across oceans and have conversations with people who are not standing next to us.

Nowadays, things have changed. Does anyone even remember what pay phones are or that back in the day, you had to return home to make a call on your landline? Not really, and especially not if you’re a tweens, teens, or young adults. Conversations take place via Facebook chat, BBM, instant messaging on Gmail or MSN messenger, or by text messaging. Along these lines, the Today show ran a recent story entitled “The death of the telephone.”

Since 2007, the length of a call has been steadily declining and is half of what it used to be. Voicemail? It’s pretty certain that if you leave a voice message, it will not get checked. Why is this? That’s a great questions and one that the Today show decided to investigate. They questioned three twenty-something college students who said that they liked that you can control your conversation better through this communication medium. With text messaging, they can take their time to reply and strategize as to the best possible answer to a tricky question, whereas when on a call, they would have to respond immediately. One of the participants even commented that he thinks he sounds “better” via text.

Times are a’changin’, and since the young are an indication of trends to come, this is one trend that is not stopping. We suggest joining the massive conversation taking place via text messaging as soon as possible.