Changes to Facebook Fan Pages Breathes New Life Into Email & SMS Marketing

If you are the CEO or owner of a business, or are in charge of your company’s marketing efforts, you are probably already aware of Facebook’s recent algorithm changes and how they are dramatically affecting the reach of your Facebook page. It used to be that you could market your products or service on Facebook virtually for FREE and reach a HUGE audience without paying anything. You simply needed to post content that people would react to and engage with. However, Facebook has throttled down reach SO much that it has become almost impossible to reach the same numbers of people with your Facebook page, especially if you are refusing to pay Facebook for sponsored posts and advertising. It does not matter if you are still creating original and engaging content; yes, it does help a little and you will notice your reach go up a little bit, but there is no way you are going to reach the same numbers of people you did before Facebook’s algorithm change on April 14th. So how do you combat this dramatic change in your company’s brand exposure? You would be surprised where we found our answer.


Facebook Fan Page Reach Drops to below 3% on Average

First, let’s take a look at the numbers. Due to Facebook’s recent changes to reach, you now reach about 1-3% of your total audience with any given post. That means that if you have a page of 200 thousand Likes, you are reaching a little over a thousand of those people with any given post. That is PUTRID compared to what you used to be able to reach.

In fact, we actually did a data analysis regarding this using our sister companies’ Facebook pages which have a cumulative total of 1.4 MILLION fans. Historically we used to be able to post something on any one of those sites and we would reach a vast majority of our fans, or even more through sharing! However more recently, after finding out the total number of people we reached per post, we then divided that number by the total number of people who saw ANY post we posted during that particular time period. The resulting number is the AVERAGE PERCENTAGE of the people who saw the post who also LIKED the page. We ran this test in the month following Facebook’s change on April 14th and the results have been staggering. Of the five pages we ran this study on, NOT ONE post on any page even hit 3% of our audience! To be specific, the average percentage of the people who LIKED our pages who actually SAW our posts on each page read like this: 2.9%, 1.3%, 1.3%, 2.3%, and 0.069% respectively!!! That is an average reach per post of 1.574%.  No, we are NOT kidding. Also, keep in mind that we changed NOTHING as far as what we posted, when we posted, and how we posted.

Along with this startling information, any post you put on Facebook will die within 2-3 days, or even sooner! So not only are your Facebook posts reaching far fewer people, but they are also being erased from the socialsphere much quicker than ever before. So how do you reach these people when you don’t have the gigantic Facebook megaphone you used to have?

So where do you turn? Many marketing directors and agencies have begun to fall back to Email and SMS Marketing.

Email Marketing Advantages over Facebook

Email marketing has a relatively strong reach, or open rate in email speak, when relating it back to the reach you are currently getting on Facebook. Email open rates are generally 15% of your database, which means that about 15% of the emails that you send to your email database will actually be opened by the receiver. Knowing that you are barely reaching even 2% of your audience on Facebook, email marketing has experienced a rebirth due to its reliability and efficiency relative to the results you will get on Facebook.

It is also important to note that email open rates also experience a diminishing return. This means that with each email blast you send out to your entire database, your open rates will gradually diminish. This is due to people either unsubscribing from your database, trashing your email, or your emails are being sent to people’s spam folders. So you will either have to switch methods again to make up for this loss, or find a way to consistently grow your email database while you are employing email marketing as the driving force behind your marketing campaign. Regardless of how you look at it, it would be extremely difficult for any marketing campaign to survive on Facebook and email alone, so where do you turn next?

SMS Marketing Advantages over Facebook

SMS absolutely CRUSHES Facebook when it comes to effectiveness and efficiency. Think about it; SMS has a 99% open rate and a 97% open rate within 3 minutes! This means that almost literally EVERY message you send yo your SMS database WILL be seen by your subscribers. They HAVE to! Have you ever been able to delete a text message without looking at it? Exactly, you can’t. Additionally, SMS messages NEVER die until they are deleted by the receiver. That means that ANY message you send to your subscribers WILL be read. They HAVE to be read to even be deleted!


So STOP banging your head against the brick wall Facebook has built when it comes to exposure. You WILL NOT get the same reach you did before, Facebook has made it a point to make that absolutely impossible to attain. Switch your marketing efforts to SMS and send messages that you KNOW people will see! To put it simply; SMS will ALWAYS reach 99% of your audience, NO MATTER WHAT! Can you possibly think of a better medium to market to your audience through?

We couldn’t either.

How to EFFICIENTLY Run an SMS Marketing Campaign | Burger King’s Mistake

SMS marketing can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to reach and communicate with your customer base. By getting your customers to opt-in to your SMS marketing campaign, you allow your company or brand to send these people text messages offering special discounts, deals, and promotions. The beauty of these messages is that you can include virtually anything you want in these messages, granted they are compliant with FCC guidelines. The problem is that some companies launch an SMS marketing campaign without fully taking advantage of the medium so that it is encouraging customers to actually walk through your business doors.


National fast food chain Burger King recently launched an SMS marketing campaign primarily to raise awareness of any new products or food items they are offering. We have to give credit to Burger King for recognizing the power mobile marketing and SMS marketing have to offer, but they are missing out on several opportunities to capitialize on their campaign even further. Burger King wanted to promote any new food items that they were unveiling, so they would send a mass text message to everyone in their customer database with an image of the item they were promoting and some text encouraging them to try it out at the nearest location. The thing Burger King forgot to include was call-to-actions (CTAs) in their texts to actually get people to look for the nearest location and spur them into actual physical action. Burger King has done a good job of raising national awareness of their new items, but they are failing to customize their messages at the local level.

An example of one of the messages Burger King sent to its customers was one that promoted a new offer for a $2.99 small hot coffee and muffin sandwich. The offer was followed by the date the offer expired and where the offer was available. However, there was nothing in the message that drove customers to actually take action. There was no link to a store locator and there was no coupon that the customer could redeem at a participating location. Burger King could’ve easily included a link at the end of each of their messages to a store locator so that customers could actually be spurred to click on it and actually go to the nearest Burger King. This would’ve given Burger King a much better idea of how well their SMS campaign was working, itwould’ve given their customers a lot more help, and it would’ve made it much easier for them to actually take advantage of the offer and find the nearest participating location. Burger King could’ve also included actual coupons in their offers so customers actually had something to redeem. This would’ve made the offer seem more special to the customer which, in turn, makes them more likely to actually redeem the coupon and spend money at the business.



So, as you can see, SMS marketing offers a lot of benefits when it comes to increasing the exposure of your brand and driving customers through your doors, but you need to make sure you are taking FULL advantage of the medium! If you do what Burger King did, which was purely raise awareness without focusing on actually getting movement out of their customers, you will only be wasting money. Don’t be one of these companies! Make sure you are launching a fully effective and efficient SMS marketing campaign and you WILL see the results you want.



Bulk SMS Marketing | How to Target Your Audience

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past decade, you are probably very aware of the fact that mobile devices including cell phones, smartphones, and tablets are almost literally everywhere now. It seems that wherever you go these days people are playing around on their mobile devices, regardless of where they may be. So in today’s age where your customers have become numb to normal advertising simply because there is so much of it, mobile marketing and bulk SMS marketing have come to the forefront of delivering the ability to break through this numbness and not only reach your customers and get them to see your message, but get them to take action as well.

touch screen mobile phone

Bulk SMS marketing, like normal mobile marketing, gives you the ability to market directly towards your customers’ hands in real time. However, bulk SMS also gives you the ability to segment and target your audiences based on a number of different factors. These factors are usually dependent on their age, whether they are male or female, what their interests are, and where they are located. Of course, you can choose to segment you audience however you feel would be most beneficial to your company. So when you tailor your messages to each of your individual audience segments, your subscribers (your customers have to opt-in to your database for legal reasons) will be receiving messages that are geared more towards them and will come across much more personal than if you just blasted your entire database at one time. We already know that a whopping 98% of all text messages are opened and read, so by delivering personalized messages to your customer base you will be virtually guaranteeing yourself a very significant return rate on your investment. In fact, in many studies about 20% of sent text messages get a return in some way shape or form and some have even gotten as high as a 30% rate of return!


On top of the personalization abilities of bulk SMS, you will also be given the ability to reach your customers no matter where they are located! They don’t need to be watching TV to see your ad, they don’t need to get on the internet to see it, they don’t need to be driving by your billboard, and they don’t need to be next to a radio to hear it. Your customers could be on the toilet and they will still receive your text message, open it, and read it. Not only does this guarantee that your message will be read, but since your customers are receiving your messages in real time, this means that their response and action times will be quicker too!

The beauty of bulk SMS marketing is how simple and easy it is! All you need to do is find a service provider (Anchor Mobile is a service provider) and they will set you up with a short code and the software needed to send out your text message blasts. This software will also allow you to segment your audiences and time out your text messages so they are sent automatically at certain times without you having to constantly be monitoring it. Then, on top of all this, it is very cheap compared to traditional marketing methods like television, radio, billboards, etc. Get started on your bulk SMS campaign today and see the AWESOME benefits it will give you and your company!

What is Text Message Marketing?

If you are looking for something to cut through all the clutter that is marketing these days, then text message marketing, or SMS marketing, is your best bet. Consider this; 3.5 billion text messages are sent and received each day, 97% of all text messages are opened (83% within one hour), and people are almost literally tethered to their phones all day, every day. On top of this, SMS messages are regulated to the point where text messaging is virtually spam-free and is much more well recieved by the end user than traditional, interruptive marketing methods. In a way, text messaging has become the only way you can guarantee that your message will be seen by your customers. But before you get started with your SMS campaign, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.


Know the Rules

Recent regulatory standards have tightened the rules on text message marketing to better eliminate spam and unwanted ads through SMS, however, there are still some bottom feeders who try to cheat the system. One example is automated dialers. Automated dialers have the ability to hijack entire databases of mobile phone numbers and send out blasts of texts to these numbers randomly. DON’T HIRE A FIRM TO DO THIS FOR YOU! Not only will you annoy and drive away customers, but you will also be in big legal trouble for violating regulations and could possibly drive your company under with legal fees. You have no reason to spam your customers with texts. Know the rules so you don’t have to worry about the law interfering with your SMS marketing campaign.

Know Your Options 

You will first have to choose a service provider. The service provider you choose will depend on what exaclty it is you are trying to accomplish and how much money you are willing to spend. One of the cheaper ways to do this is hring a service provider that will automatically send text messages to anyone within the vicinity of your bricks and mortar store or restaurant. This method is very popular with neighborhood boutiques, local stores, and restaurants and costs as little as a few dollars a day.

Another option you have is to actually register for your own distinctive 5 or 6 digit short code. For example, during his Presidential campaigns, President Obama registered for the shortcode 62262, or OBAMA, so he could have free reign over the type of information he could solicit from end users. You get much more freedom with your own shortcode, but it is a bit pricier and you will have to wait for your registration to be processed and approved, which will take at least 8 weeks.

If you’re a small business looking to make a splash with text message marketing, then you will probably want to go with an off-shelf platform which allows you to share a shortcode. A shared shortcode gives you all the options that your own shortcode would give you, except that costs will be much lower and other companies will be operating on the same shortcode. You will also have the option of launching your SMS campaign by yourself, or by bringing on an ad agency that specializes in SMS, or text message marketing.


Integrate Your SMS Campaign Into Your Overall Marketing Campaign 

The most effective way to implement a text message marketing campaign is to integrate it into the marketing campaign you are already running. Jed Alpert, Founder of Mobile Commons, states, “If you’re a restaurant, you have tabletops. If you have a highly trafficked website, or are running billboards or radio spots, those are all good places to let people know about your texting campaign.”

Think about it this way, the more places that your shortcode and text messaging campaign is visible, the more people will opt into your campaign and grow your database, therefore increasing the number of sales you generate. Don’t let your SMS campaign just stand by itself, multiply its effect by integrating it with other forms of marketing!

Know How to Get People to Opt-In to Your SMS Campaign and Maintain Those Relationships

In order to be given permission to text people, you will first have to get them to opt-in to your campaign. If you text people without their consent, you are violating laws and you will quickly get caught up in legal trouble. You can get people to opt-in to your campaign a number of different ways. Keep in mind that the best way to get people to opt-in is let them know how it will be benefitting them. They won’t opt-in if they think it is just a marketing ploy. The best way to start is by giving them something or by letting them know that by opting-in they will be receiving special deals and discounts. This can be done by simply offering them something along the lines of “Opt-In to Shortcode 55555 and get a FREE hat from X company” or it could be something like “To receive great deals and discounts at X restaurant, opt-in to shortcode 55555”. Regardless of what you do, make sure you are offering the customer something, not just asking them to opt-in. That will seem spammy to them and your opt-in rates will suffer.

Text message marketing is, simply put, the most effective way to market to your audience in real-time, right where they are. It does not matter where your customers are, if they are opted-in to your SMS program, they are always accessible to you. Don’t fail to take advantage of such a powerful marketing medium simply because you think you do not have enough money or because you do not feel educated enough to launch one. The SMS ship is sailing, and if you don’t jump on, you and your company will drown.

3 Reasons Businesses and Consumers LOVE Mobile Marketing

Lets start off by clarifying exactly what mobile marketing entails. Mobile marketing is a way businesses can directly communicate with consumers via handheld devices. These devices, usually smartphones and tablets, can provide information to customers by promoting goods, services, and ideas. There are several different approaches to mobile marketing. Today, we’re going to show you 3 ways mobile marketing is LOVED by businesses and consumers alike!



When it comes to reaching customers quickly, efficiently, and in a way that is convenient for them, there is no method that compares to mobile marketing. Consumers today have higher expectations for their devices and expect to find the information they need on their mobile devices instantly, without hassle. Consumers shopping for products and services often want to access the information in a mobile-friendly format while on the go. For example, an in-store shopper spots the latest laptop and is very interested. So the shopper pulls up the company’s website on a smartphone to get more details on the device. To help capture the sale, the retailer’s site should be optimized for mobile browsing, otherwise the sale could be lost. Businesses that are not accessible on mobile phones are losing to their competitors who DO have a strong mobile presence. Along with this, many companies are also using mobile apps to boost brand awareness. Mobile apps can be downloaded right to the home screen of mobile devices. People tend to download apps for things they do regularly or for things that tie into their lifestyle. For example, many smartphone users download the Facebook app instead of using the mobile version of the website because the experience is better. Convenience matters! Retailers who have an app available for their customers make it much easier to search for products and their customers appreciate them for this. Mobile apps and mobile website are both equally important because, based on reports, consumers are split on what they prefer with 58% preferring mobile optimized sites to mobile apps. Consumers have indicated that downloading and regularly upgrading applications is not convenient. However, mobile apps are still a great way to engage customers and create a loyal following. If you lack either a mobile app or a mobile optimized website, you are essentially cutting your audience in half.


Location, Location, Location

Location-Based Services (LBS) are informational services that utilize the geographical position of a consumer’s mobile device. Rarely will a consumer have their phone not within arms reach, so LBS applications can reach virtually anybody, at any time, regardless of where they are located. In mobile marketing, LBS applications are used as an advertising or marketing service that uses specific location information of customers to deliver the right message to the right person at the right place AND the right time. Consumers are happy to receive mobile marketing messages if they are relevant, personalized, and offer some kind of benefit or reward. SMS marketing is great way for businesses to make consumers feel special. Especially when they think they’re part of an exclusive group of people who receive deals and discounts via text message.


Social Media

Some of us can’t go a single day let alone a few hours without using our smartphones or tablets. Now if that isn’t enough, social media has also established a grip on our daily lives. Social media has played a huge role in how people interact with each other in today’s day in age and has actually revolutionized the entire social landscape. From a business perspective, social media, paired with a mobile marketing campaign, creates multiple new channels for your business to bring in new leads and customers. Social media is an important marketing strategy for businesses that provides a way for consumers to connect with businesses and brands via mobile. Companies can create social media fan pages that consumers can access and engage with to get information about upcoming events and specials. Businesses can also use this opportunity to convey the company’s voice and become a trusted source of information for consumers. Once you’ve established a trust with your consumers, you start creating relationships that can last a lifetime.

Social media on Smartphone

Mobile marketing can work so well for so many different businesses on so many different levels. On top of this, mobile marketing is much cheaper than any other form of marketing and has been proven to be equally, or even more effective than outbound marketing methods. Several companies have already seen the benefits of mobile marketing for themselves and have already implemented extremely successful mobile marketing campaigns. Don’t be one of the companies who fall by the wayside simply because you were too stubborn to adapt to modern marketing methods. Adapt and survive! Adapt and THRIVE!

SMS Marketing Statistics 2013

They’ve always said, “Numbers never lie.” Here at Anchor, we strongly believe in this concept along with the fact that metrics are the best measurement to prove that ANYTHING works. Luckily, we’ve been able to come across a ton of information directly related to the success of mobile marketing and SMS marketing, and we’d like to share this information with you. These SMS marketing statistics and numbers are a great way to get a better illustration of the mobile marketing landscape we see today, and how consumers are using their phones, smartphones, and text messages to access information, get deals and discounts from brands, and research and communicate in general. So, without further ado, let us launch into the numbers!


SMS Marketing By The Numbers

-The average person looks at their phone 150 times per day! (Tweet This!)

-SMS produces 6-8 times MORE engagement than email! (Tweet This!)

-Only 20% of all emails are read. (Tweet This!)

-Only 12% of Facebook posts are read. (Tweet This!)

-Only 29% of tweets are read. (Tweet This!)

-A whopping 98% of SMS messages are read! (Tweet This!)

-70% of people in the United States have stated that they would like to receive offers from brands on their mobile devices. (Tweet This!)

-68% of people in the United Kingdom have stated that they would like to receive offers from brands on their mobile devices. (Tweet This!)

-The average response time for an email (business to community) is 2 days. (Tweet This!)

-The average response time for a text message is only 90 seconds! (Tweet This!)

-Email only experiences a 4.2% click-through rate. (Tweet This!)

-SMS experiences a whopping 19% click-through rate! (Tweet This!)

-SMS coupons are 10 TIMES more likely to be redeemed! (Tweet This!)


If you would like to get the inforgraphic with all of these statistics on it, then be sure to check out ourinforgraphics page. These SMS marketing statistics can be used for a number of things, especially to give statistical and numerical evidence that SMS marketing DOES, in fact, work. It isn’t a secret anymore that everyone is using mobile devices, so if you’re not mobile yet, you are only asking to fade into the sunset, forgotten by anyone and everyone who is relevant in the industry, including your customers. Go mobile TODAY and harness all of these people who are using mobile. These numbers don’t lie, so you don’t have to either.

SMS Marketing Best Practices 2013

Let’s face it. As a society, we have become immersed in the simplicities that technology has graced us with, and we’re completely okay with that. Who isn’t opposed to simple? Take communication for example. Nowadays, when you’re looking to quickly get in touch with someone, typically a text message, or SMS, is the method of choice. Not only is this a quick way of getting your message across, but it’s convenient for both the sender and the recipient. In the field of marketing, texting has become an essential part in promoting brand efforts. People are busy and always on-the-go. So, as a marketer, reaching out to those busy individuals in a quick, yet effective way, is ideal when looking to promote your brand. Take a look at these SMS Marketing Best Practices to help you kickstart your campaign.

Gain Permission

Before your SMS marketing campaign takes off, it is required by law that you gain the permission of your prospects via opt-in through SMS. The FCC, Federal Communications Commission, recently amended the TCPA Act of 1991, which takes into effect October 16, 2013, stating that consent is required before messages can be sent. Consent is defined as “written permission”, further explained as notification of intent to send commercial content in a conspicuous manner prior to subscription or through an online form submission process that is “E-Sign Act” compliant.

It should be noted that there is no need for written consent in cases where your SMS message is transactional or relation-based, such as informational alerts, reminders, or notifications.



At the end of an SMS marketing message, there are a few things that are required to be there. “HELP” is listed in order to ease the experience the recipient has with the campaign. This will provide the prospect with further information about the campaign they’re subscribed to. “STOP” or “STOP ALL” is listed in order for the prospect to discharge out of the campaign so that they will no longer receive messages from the sender. For more information, check out SMS Marketing Compliances.

In relation to the amended TCPA Act of 1991, it should be known that if an organization is allocated a short code that is being shared with another organization, any opt-out by the recipient will result in an opt-out of all organizations with that same short code.

Provide Significant Value

The essential focus of your SMS campaign is to attract leads in order to convert them into customers, and life-long customers at that. The key to doing that is to create exceptional value to those individuals that they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of otherwise. Take a retail store for example. Let’s say you’re a big fan of a local department store. Periodically, stores will use promotional offers to attract customers in to buy. So, this week, the store’s promotion is 15 percent off of your purchase when you bring in the flyer that was sent through the mail. But oh, wait, in the midst of your rush this morning, you left that flyer at home. Do you drive back home to get it, or do you just make your purchase without it?

The value that can be offered to combat this would have been an SMS from the department store offering you that same discount, but instead of bringing the flyer, showing the text message at the counter. Our mobile devices have nearly become the center of our universe. The chances of forgetting your mobile device in comparison to the flyer are much lower.

Be Exclusive

Any customer can take advantage of promotional offers from an organization. To bring success to your campaign, try to offer those customers that are subscribed to your campaign deals that other customers wouldn’t normally be able to take advantage of. So, that 15 percent off coupon that the department store was offering could be doubled to 30 percent to add exclusive value.


Timing is Everything

Regardless of the organization you’re running, you’re going to need to take into consideration the schedules of your SMS recipients. Sending a text message to your customers at 2 AM probably isn’t the greatest idea. Daytime hours and weekends work best for most interactions. Also, if you’re sending texts out to the younger school-aged generation, think about the times in which those individuals would be in class. Even if they did get the opportunity to sneak and read it, chances are your message’s information may not be retained throughout the rest of the school day.



You’re not going to want to overwhelm your customers by bombarding them with text messages. A general rule to follow in terms of how often to send SMS offers is at least once a month, no more than once a week. Consider it “The Rule of Ones”. If you disturb your customer with an abundance of messages, they’re more likely to opt-out of your campaign, losing you potential business.


Watch Your Language

Although “text speak” is becoming more socially accepted, there are still individuals out there who aren’t following the trend. Try to limit text speak as much as possible when sending out texts to your customers. A typical text message will allows for 160 characters, about 98 after including the required disclaimers, so sometimes shortening messages is required. Shortened forms such as “u”, “txt”, and “msg” are generally understood and are acceptable.

Also, if there is an opportunity where your customer is required to reply back to the message that was sent, make sure that the reply word given for them to use is one word. Using two or more words can create confusion with your customer or your SMS marketing database and may result in the customer not receiving value from the message.



No one likes getting spam, and there’s no need for it. When your messages are delivered, make sure that the content within the message is relevant to what the customer subscribed to initially. So, if you subscribed to that department store’s SMS marketing campaign wanting exclusive offers and notifications about shoes, you wouldn’t want to be getting text messages informing you about the promotions on children’s clothing. If your customers find value from the messages they’re receiving, they’ll continue to subscribe.



When a customer replies to a text sent via your SMS marketing campaign, be certain that a reply is sent back to them acknowledging that their reply was received. Don’t let your customers feel neglected.

SMS Marketing campaigns can benefit your organization exponentially. Providing ease and convenience for you customers during their busy schedule creates long-lasting relationships that will drive your organization to success now and in the future. These SMS Marketing Best Practices are simple, yet effective ways to keep communication strong, while ultimately, providing exceptional value to your customer.

SMS Marketing Overview: How It Works


In a nutshell, SMS marketing begins when a mobile user subscribes by sending a keyword as a message to a short code . This then places the phone number that sent the text into a database and triggers an auto responder that sends a text back to the consumer. After consumers send that first text message and are added to the database, they can be sent other marketing messages and alerts over time or until they unsubscribe.That’s it. It works just like that.




Keyword is synonymous with database and trigger. The keyword is what people need to send to the short code. It should be something short (two to six characters), easy to remember like the brand, or something related to the brand and should never be more than one word.


The code is the other half of what is happens in the first step. This code is like the phone number for the brand and allows for it to send or receive high volume text messages. The codes are registered with and leased from Nuestar and the Common Short Code Association (CSCA). Both short and long codes are nation specific and most can only send and receive messagesin the same country. There are ways to send messages to another country, but you will need to buy a code for that country or use an international long code from the UK, Germany, or Sweden.


There are two types of codes, a short code and a long code. The short code is a five to six digit number that is approved by mobile carriers to send and receive text messages. Codes that are 4 digits or less are reserved by the carrier for billing information and other communications with their own customers. A short code has the highest through put and is a larger investment. Common Short Code license fees range from $500 per month for random numbers to $1000 per month for a vanity number that actually spells out a word or brand name. CSCA short code leases must be paid in 3, 6, or 12 month increments and are non refundable.


After leasing your common short code, you must gain approval from the carriers prior to connecting. This process is known as provisioning.




This process is usually a joint effort between you (the CSCA listed content provider), your SMS Application Software provider, and the SMS Aggregator. The Aggregator submits your campaign keywords and message flow to the carriers for review. Upon approval of your messaging and campaign details, the aggregator works with the SMS Software Provider to connect the application between the short code and the aggregator/carrier connections. Once this is complete the carrier begins LIVE testing. During this process, they physically test your opt in and opt out keywords. Each one checking for exact match message flow and
compliance. It is during this time as well that they visit your website to make certain that your calls to action , privacy policy, and terms/conditions are compliant with Mobile Marketing Association Best Practices, Carrier Regulations, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.


Once all of this checks out to the “T” and “the comma”, they make the sign of the cross and you are LIVE. Remember though, this same process is conducted by EACH carrier. Provisioning can take from 5 weeks to 5 months or more and should be conducted under the consultation of someone whom has done it before to avoid unnecessary delays and associated costs.


The other type of code used is a long code. A long code is 10 digits, the same as a regular phone number. The number can be acquired a number of different ways and is much easier to get. Long codes can only send SMS one way. The long code is the choice of most spammers because the codes are less regulated and easier to get a hold of. It is as easy as purchasing a SIM card server and plugging in SIM cards to send from. The long codes are also cheaper to use, as low as $5 a month and quicker to implement. While long codes are usually the choice of spammers there are reputable ways to use them.




The hardest part is getting people to that first step, getting someone to text that keyword to the short code. SMS marketing alone is ineffective. It takes more than a keyword and a short code for SMS marketing to work. SMS works in conjunction with other marketing efforts. The other marketing efforts that are paired with SMS are how you let people know about the promotion and why they should take advantage of it. Imagine having a phone number but never giving it out to anyone, you would never get any calls. It is the same way with SMS marketing. If you never let anyone know what to text to what number then they never will. In
order to get subscriptions to your database they need to text you first and you have to tell them how. If you never tell anyone they will never know about and it will never be used.


People also need to be persuaded to take action. Before someone is willing to text the keyword to the short code they need a reason why. There needs to be a valuable Call-to-Action before someone will make that first step. This could be something like text the code to get a coupon, text the code to get something free, text the code to get valuable content; these are things that will give people a reason to use your keyword. Without a promotion of any sort with an external call-to-action no one will take the effort to make the text. You should also make clear your intent NOT TO SPAM THEM.


After that first step is taken though it is all smooth sailing. Everything rolls on from there. After the person has sent a text with the keyword to the short code, they have triggered an action at the software level; at the same time they have also opted into a database that has phone numbers from everyone who has previously texted the short code. The most common action triggered at the software level is an auto responder that instantly replies to the person who sent the text with 160 characters of awesome content. This information can be anything you want as long as it fits 160 characters; text, coupon, email, phone number, and website links.


After they receive the response text the process is over, they answered your call to action and now their phone number lives in your database to be used at a later time for SMS nurturing, other automated messages, real time alerts, and text blasts.


5 Best Practices for Mobile Marketing

Due to the aggressive growth of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the last 5 or so years, mobile marketing has become an increasingly profitable and lucrative medium. The best part about this is that mobile marketing shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Mobile use will only increase significantly in the coming years and has, according to a lot of experts across several industries, become a dependency for a lot of people. What better medium to market to your audience than through a channel that they are actuallydependent on? Of course, integrating mobile marketing into your company’s overall marketing strategy requires thought and a certain amount of knowledge of the industry. So, to help you get started on the integration process, we’ll give you the 5 best practices for mobile marketing that you should be aware of.


Optimize the User Experience

One of the most important, if not THE most important aspect of mobile marketing, is the user experience, or UX. The mobile experience you provide your audience should be able to cater to users with a variety of different interests, skill levels, and habits. To do this, you want to provide something that is simple and easily understood, yet you don’t want to cross the line to where your experience is seen as archaic or outdated. Mobile marketing is entirely dependent on building relationships with your subscribers, so you need to make sure you are meeting and exceeding their expectations. Creating an experience that your end users can engage with anywhere and at anytime is critical to the success of a mobile marketing strategy.

Take Advantage of Features Unique to Mobile

Mobile devices offer unique features that are not available in other web-based marketing. Mobile is unqiue unto itself in that it offers locality, ease of access, and user-specificity. You cannot get these features on any other device, so take advantage of them and leverage them in your favor! Simple things like using larger font sizes, smaller photos, and arranging your text into single columns benefit end users more than you realize, so don’t underestimate their importance.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

You can go ahead and get super creative and imaginative with your mobile design, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into success. Proven successful mobile marketing campaigns are usually simple and concise. Your end users have extremely short attention spans, so if your mobile campaign isn’t grabbing their attention from the start, you are already fighting an uphill battle. Get the important information out there and make your point quickly before your users get tired of scrolling and leave.

Know Your End Users

The internet has done wonders as far as connecting people from all over the world, but according to industry giants, most mobile searches are coming from local sources. Google reports that 40% of all mobile searches are local while Microsoft reports a 53% local search rate. This shows that mobile users are using their devices to fnd out where things are around them in real-time. So when you’re developing your mobile strategy, keep in mind that a majority of your users are searching locally while on the go. You’ll want to know who’s using which devices, how often are they using them, and where are they searching from. You’ll also want to know their interests along with their habits. Once you’ve compiled all this information, you should know your end users well enough to develop a mobile campaign that targets them.


Always Be There, And Be There in Real-Time

Simply put, live in the moment. Mobile devices operate in real-time, so you should too. The most crucial parts of any mobile marketing campaign is to keep it timely, develop, strengthen, and maintain relationships, drive increased relevant traffic to your site, and ensure that all mobile efforts are being implemented in the most efficient way possible. If you’re not there, or available when end users are looking for you, or they can’t find you, then you have completely defeated the purpose of your entire mobile marketing campaign. Don’t be one of these companies. Be there when your users need you and it will pay off big in the end for you and your company.

Mobile Marketing’s Future | Smartphones and Augmented Reality

It seems like every year marketers and mobile marketers alike predict that THIS is going to be the year mobile marketing explodes. Yet, it seems like we are in a back in forth tussle between the future actually being upon us today, or are we still waiting on specific technological advancements to be made? Factually speaking, mobile has become one of the most innovative devices ever introduced to mankind due to its numerous capabilities and the ability to allow users to converse and share information while on the go at any time! With over 50% of mobile users now owning a smartphone, and that number constantly growing, there has never been a better time to jump on the mobile marketing bandwagon and take advantage of this expansive frontier! Simply put, the market for applications and further technological advancements has never been more ripe!


Mobile Marketing Today

Since smartphones have essentially embedded themselves into society, people are starting to expect a deeper, more personal experience from their phones. At this point, a lot of people have become completely dependent on their smartphones as their primary source of telecommunication, email, and social media. Secondarily, they’ve become dependent on their phones for entertainment and generally consuming any type of content. This means app developers and operations system developers are going to be in high demand and will be expected to evolve smartphones so they will continually be a pivotal part of people’s lives.

Facilitating the Experience

FourSquare and Yelp have already taken advantage of smartphones’ GPS features by releasing updates to their apps which allow users to be notified whenever friends, family members, or specific people have checked into a nearby location, or the same location. Not only is this another concept that is reducing the need for direct communication between users to find each others whereabouts, but it can be incredibly useful as large events, for going out and coordinating with friends, or even avoiding troublesome ex-boyfriends or girlfriends.

These types of mobile apps can also be used to uniquely market events or special experiences. Users love nothing more than being informed of secret concerts or performances designed for specific app users, or being notified of a special discount on some drinks at a bar two blocks over. This allows them to not only feel special and valued by the marketer, but also allows them to focus their energy on their own social lives and friends instead of spending energy finding them and the experience itself.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality, or AR, has been, and continues to be perceived as the general direction mobile marketing is heading in. With instant reviews already available online for restaurants, hotel locations, online prices for products, and much more, the potential for local businesses and large corporations alike is huge! There is also the concept of bringing entertainment and gaming into the home using augmented reality.

It is widely agreed that augmented reality’s potential is virtually unlimited, however, it is still being developed and a vast majority of its potential has yet to be taken advantage of. HowStuffWorks, who provides the video below, predicts that by 2020, 50 million devices will be connected to the internet, which means online sensors will be able to influence how people view reality relative to their past behaviors and preferences online as well as in real life.

For a better perspective on what augmented reality is and what it will mean to us in the future, check out this video by HowStuffWorks.

Smartphones and AR Moving Into the Future

Mobile phones have already made it much easier to find product and service prices along with getting discounts and coupons. As long as you have WiFi access or cell phone service, you can essentially do anything on your smartphone that you can do on your desktop computer at home. Several mobile marketing apps have taken advantage of mobile to create services based on end users’ locations, search, and available connected profiles. Yet there are so many possiblities that have yet to be leveraged.

The possibilities are endless. Imagine if a restaurant sent a lucrative coupon to someone everytime they left a negative review or posted a negative tweet or status about their restaurant? Imagine if a user’s smartphone GPS shows that they’re in the general area, and a nearby business instantly offers a deal specifically tailored for that particular end user? Well, it’s time to stop imagining, because all the things we used to think were in the distant future are now in the near future, or are happening RIGHT NOW!

The entire livelihood of mobile marketing rests on its ability to react and cater to the customer. Th days of customers triggering requestes for information themselves is over. GPS and inter-connected social media APIs will eventually make reactions to customers and end users second nature.

Interaction With the Real World

We’ve discussed augmented reality, mobile marketing, and how they can react to users and their behaviors, but new and developing mobile technology will soon make it possible for users to:

  • Use Shazam to listen to an infomercial and then instantly buy the marketed product.
  • Order photos or images from Shutterfly directly from someone’s smartphone photo album.
  • Use apps or Bluetooth to pay for purchases at a bricks and mortar store.
  • Scan furniture’s barcode to see tutorial videos on how to assemble it.


Of course, some of these instances are already possible, but developers are still in the process of refining these practices so they become easier and more practical for consumers. Mobile marketing has come leaps and bounds since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, but it is still an ever changing industry with many newer, better, and more efficient technological advancements on the way. Since it is predicted that there will be over 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, smartphones, tablets, and other devices will become more and more important in the coming years in creating better experiences for the user, influencing purchase decisions, and just making life easier for everyone. Don’t be one of the companies who just ignore this trend, because if you do, in 5 years your company won’t even exist.