When planning for the launch of your mobile marketing surge, the question of whether to use a shared or dedicated short code for your business is bound to come up. Your short code, the significantly shorter telephone number you’ll obtain and give to customers to use to address SMS messages from their mobile phones, is an important piece of the mobile marketing picture. Consider the following when selecting the code type that makes most sense for your business. If you are unfamiliar with short codes or keywords, please read this short piece describing SHORT CODES and KEYWORDS.
Shared short codes are used across multiple businesses and campaigns. Keyword(s) are assigned to specific clients for executing mobile marketing campaigns. Dedicated short codes are leased and assigned to one business or entity. The business has full control of creating campaigns and keywords and all traffic is routed to that individual client. Dedicated short codes allow you to lease a short code that matches your brand.
As you might imagine, shared and dedicated codes are very different from each other and deciding between them requires careful thought. Take look at how the two types compare on key points of interest:
Shared codes are more cost effective; they allow you to share the costs of the short code leasing, carrier connectivity and software to run campaigns. Messaging itself is still charged on a usage basis. Dedicated codes are more expensive; businesses pay for total control of all message flows and branding. Total cost for dedicated codes include the short code lease ($500 to $1000 per month), carrier connectivity, campaign software and messaging costs.
Availability of Keyword
Keywords must be unique per shared code. If multiple businesses want the same code, only one will actually receive it. Dedicated codes come with the ability to have unlimited keywords on short codes and full control of how they act.
Since many companies with shared code will use a code that belongs to others, businesses run the risk of being associated to other brands that advertise more. This is completely averted with dedicated code, where a business is the sole owner of the code. With that total control, dedicated code owners are able to brand their mobile number into customers’ minds just like the service or product they’re selling.
While a shared code can be up and running with minimal wait time, typically in a day, a dedicated code takes much longer, 8 to 12 weeks or more.
If you’re on the fence regarding shared or dedicated code, think about your business goals. Is time of the essence? If so, businesses who want to enter the text messaging arena quickly and with minimal cost will likely move forward with a shared code. Those businesses keen on building their brand are typically happier waiting for a dedicated code as well as incurring the higher associated fees.
According to some recent reports, the economy may be showing the beginning signs of an upturn. For folks in the retail industry, this is great news. Adding mobile marketing to your retail business plan now is a powerful way to set your business apart as the economy moves forward. This low cost and extremely effective use of text messaging can drive business through the door during slow times and raise business to new levels as things turn around. Consider how adding Opt It Mobile can bring big advantages to you and your customers with ease.
As a retailer, it can be difficult to connect with your customers during tough economic times. With mobile marketing via Opt It Mobile, you’ll have the ability to communicate directly with customers that have given you permission to do so. With immediate release of information regarding limited time offers, specials on expiring inventory or new product and sales alerts, you’ll boost sales no matter what the economy is doing. Opt It Mobile offers features that allow business owners to track redemption on special offers and promotions. This instant customer connection allows you to increase incremental revenue, while reducing promotional costs and earning a higher return on investment.
We know this all sounds great, but how will it work? How can you put Opt It Mobile and mobile marketing to work for you? Our customers in the retail industry utilize Opt It features in a myriad of ways, such as contests, coupons for limited time offers and announcements and reminders for promotions and events. Targeted messages or value added alerts with lifestyle type content, based on the individual interests of your customers, can be sent directly and instantly. For instance, a running store might send alerts regarding stretching before and after runs, a hair salon could text information on managing hair in humid weather or a grocery store might send the latest news on healthy food choices. What’s more, retailers can use the Opt It Mobile platform to obtain customer feedback through text messaging.
In addition to the business advantages of mobile marketing, there are many benefits for your customers as well. Always privy to the latest promotions and special offers, your customers are ‘in the know’ when it comes to your business. Belonging to your VIP club gives them a sense of membership in your business’ community and ensures that they are getting special deals not offered to the general public. They’re also able to receive your information on the channel they prefer – their mobile device – eliminating the need to search for deals or clip coupons. They have everything they need to know about your business right at their fingertips.
Harness the power of mobile marketing with Opt It Mobile and add it to your retail business’ action plan. Your customers with thank you again and again.
If it’s your goal to reach customers faster and more effectively, mobile marketing is the most powerful tool available for the restaurant industry. With the better part of the world carrying mobile devices and sending and receiving text messages, mobile marketing deserves the top spot on your restaurant’s action plan and is a prime opportunity for you to connect with your customers like never before. Read on to discover why a text message marketing plan will work for you and how both you and your customers can reap the benefits of using the Opt It Mobile platform.
There’s no denying it, mobile marketing allows restaurant owners to reach customers with an immediacy never seen before in the marketing space. Your message is sent instantly to all customers in your loyalty program, giving them real-time knowledge of your latest promotions, events and contests. What’s more, you’re reaching out to targeted customers with their permission – they have requested your information to be sent, allowing you to speak directly to customers who are anticipating information about your business, wherever they are, via their mobile device. Getting the latest information about your restaurant to your customers in this way drives traffic through the door, boosting business before your eyes.
Consider the various applications for mobile marketing in the restaurant world allowing you to reach your audience at home or on the go, instantaneously. Utilize Opt It Mobile to provide the access into your restaurant’s loyalty program and send time-sensitive information or last minute offers for specific meals. Get real-time feedback from customers via surveys or comments. Coupons, contests and RSVP’s are easily managed with Opt It Mobile and allow this ideal two-way means of communication between owner/operators and customers to become the main method of communication. Uses of mobile marketing in the restaurant industry are limited only by your imagination.
So now you know why and how the Opt It Mobile platform can launch your restaurant’s mobile marketing campaign. But how do your customers benefit from your text message marketing efforts? Receiving text messages is a low cost and simple way for customers to stay informed about what’s going on at their favorite eateries. Not only will customers be up-to-date on the latest events and best deals, but they’ll be notified of and able to find ways to save money while continuing to eat at and enjoy the places they love – a big draw in tough economic times. With the permission-based technology that Opt It offers, your customers control what, when and how often they receive and send information about your promotions through their cell phones.
Becoming part of your restaurant’s loyalty program is very meaningful to many customers and provides a sense of belonging and membership to an elite group of patrons. This is an advantage to both the restaurant owner and customer, establishing a lasting relationship made possible by the reach of the instant and versatile mobile channel.
The restaurant industry’s interest in the area of mobile marketing is skyrocketing. Savvy business owners understand that when it comes to connecting with customers, nothing is more economical or effective than text message marketing. At the recent National Restaurant Association trade show in Chicago, restaurant owners and marketers voiced this new overall theme across the industry, solidifying the knowledge Opt It already has about the power and reach of text message marketing.
Using a permission-based marketing plan via Opt It Mobile, restaurant owners and marketers can reach their client base instantly, with the latest news on promotions and events. Contests and coupons also lend themselves to mobile marketing, giving the restaurant industry various methods to connect with their customers, while simultaneously building a mobile marketing list of VIP’s.
Not only is mobile marketing simple and effective, but the connection it provides allows restaurants a way to link to customers in a struggling economy. Opt It features do more than just keep customers be up-to-date on the latest events and information, they notify them of and give them the ability to take advantage of discounts, promotions and special offers – a big draw in tough economic times. Letting valued customers know that their favorite eateries are still within reach is key. Getting the word out through a mobile marketing campaign via the Opt It Mobile platform drives traffic through the door.
Opt It Success Story: In its first-ever nationwide mobile campaign, Moe’s Southwest Grill is offering customer discounts on a limited-time menu item, the Phil E. Cheese burrito. Powered by the Opt It Mobile platform, the Moe’s campaign is active and successful in all of over 400 locations. Take a look at a recent press release on this restaurant’s winning mobile marketing campaign.
Moe’s Southwest Grill Goes Mobile with Opt It Technology
In the preceding entry we talked about pushing forward with a mobile text messaging program in order to learn about – and take advantage of – the surge in texting behavior. And, to be ready for the not too distant day when marketing to cell phones comes into its maturity as a major force.
The question is, how much progress can you make in 2009 in building your list – a topic for our next blog entry – and creating programs that work for your business? The focus here is on how to begin the process.
First, who does it?
As the person who pays the bills, the business owner probably feels some ownership of any new program. This could be a mistake, especially if you have people in your organization who are seeking new opportunities.
Delegation is a good thing, period. As a rule of thumb, the more people you have involved in the process, the better. Here are some things to consider when you decide how to manage your mobile marketing campaign in your organization
- Your employees may be younger and may relate to this program. It’s possible that someone in your organization has strong thoughts or good ideas about text message marketing already.
- Your employees may be looking for added responsibility, or to add to their skill sets. Capitalize on that energy and motivation.
- If you have a valued employee who is bored and you fear that they may want to leave, this might be the thing for them to focus on. During difficult economic times, business owners tend to focus on daily problems and challenges. Employees who buy into a grass-is-greener perspective may look for opportunities that they perceive to be better. Remember that it is your best employees who have the most opportunities. Give them something new and different to do.
Give an employee a specific purpose and responsibility to focus on, and show them that it matters with daily follow-up of even the most informal type.
Second, how do they go about it?
Many people – even bright ones you value – do not possess the creativity and initiative to go about this kind of thing in a systematic way. So, give them a framework for learning about mobile marketing. Here are some ways to do that.
- Assign them some reading. Reading! It sounds terrible, but it’s a great way to develop some perspective. Have them read the blogs and guides on the Optit.com site. Then, point them in the direction of a web site devoted to mobile marketing like http://www.mmaglobal.com so that they can begin to understand the background, the trends, and the opportunities. Don’t stop there. Ask them to talk to you once a week about something they have read about mobile marketing. It’s a good way to see if they are up to the job you’ve given them.
- Involve more people! Tell your designated employee to talk to as many people as they can about their assignment. Their grandmother is an unlikely candidate for this kind of thing, but even the act of explaining it to their grandmother stretches their ability to understand and talk about mobile marketing. Great ideas often come from places you wouldn’t expect, but they also come from your suppliers, your customers, and other business people.
- Have them opt into the mobile marketing programs of other companies in order to see what they are doing. Start with competitors, and then move on to similar markets or products, and then move on to companies you admire. You cannot collect too much market intelligence this way – it’s the easiest way to learn what your competitors are doing, and it will open your eyes to the many possibilities that exist out there already. Capitalize on the experience of others, and don’t let your competitors outflank you with new offers that you are not ready to provide.
As your expertise and experience grows, take things to a higher level. Chicago is filled with colleges and universities that have a tremendous interest in teaching new media. These may be business classes or they may be media classes. Ask a professor if you can present your issues to a class and see if an individual or a team want to take up your cause as part of their course work.
Finally, encourage your employee to take action. Especially at the beginning, be conservative and take baby steps. Use techniques you’ve seen others use and, monitor the results closely so you can see what works for you. Enjoy small successes and build from there. As the business owner or department head, stay involved and let them know mobile marketing is important to you.
We will talk more in future blog entries about how to design offers and measure results, and we’ll also talk about how to involve your entire organization in the mobile marketing program. In this entry we’ve talked about putting the program in the hands of one person in order to make sure that the responsibility belongs to one motivated person, and not a committee. As the program develops, you’ll want to encourage others to contribute ideas and help carry them out.
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