Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category

Extend the reach of your print and direct mail   1 comment

We often recommend using a QR code or a mobile call to action on a print ad or direct mail piece to help our clients provide a richer experience to their consumers. Here are some of the benefits:

·        QR codes and text campaigns require little effort on the part of the consumer to use. (Go ahead and give it a try. Text FREEMOBILE to 96362)

·        They offer a great way to connect the physical and digital experiences

·        They are relatively inexpensive to implement for marketers

·        They allow print materials to be tracked

However, it is important to understand that the QR code or text campaign is just a delivery method. It only makes sense if there is a solid strategy behind it.

Most clients easily understand that QR codes or text campaigns provide them a vehicle to track their campaign. They count the number of scans or opt-ins to determine how successful a campaign was. However, if you don’t clearly state what the reader will get when they scan or opt-into a text campaign they may either disregard the call-to-action or be disappointed when the experience doesn’t meet their expectation.

Here are some quick tips to incorporating QR codes into print materials:

  1. Don’t forget that QR codes are being scanned by a mobile phone. The experience MUST be mobile friendly.
  2. Provide a clear, concise call to action. Plainly state what will happen when they scan the code.
  3. Placement matters: Consumers need to be able to get their phone in a position to scan the code and the code can’t be in a location without mobile coverage. Here are some examples of marketers that might want to rethink their placement strategy. And a few more.
  4. Size does too! Anything smaller than one inch square is hard to scan and hard to notice.
  5. Use a URL shortener like bitlyThe more data you try to store in a QR code the smaller the dots become, which in turn means it’s more difficult for smartphones to read them.
  6. Track it: Make sure to use a unique URL for the campaign so you can easily track the response. You can use Google Analytics or bitly’s tracking service.

For text campaigns you have similar guidelines. Just like with QR codes you need to have a clear call to action like “text FREEMOBILE to 96362 for a free trial mobile campaign”. You need to make sure the message isn’t hidden and that it includes some simple legal language about messaging and data rates.

Follow these simple guidelines to help give your customers a richer experience by bridging print with digital and create a more memorable – and measurable – connection.

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Posted September 12, 2013 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Loyalty Programs, Mobile

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Obama Overload   2 comments

First, a personal disclosure.  I am a registered Democrat and have almost always voted for Democratic candidates. On November 6th, I will cast my ballot for Barack Obama with support and pride.

As a marketer though, I have a beef with the Obama campaign and thus this blog to vent just a bit.

The Obama campaign has gone overboard in the use of email, mobile marketing and mobile apps to generate donations and support.  Overboard to the point of being downright annoying.  I wholeheartedly support the candidate and the use of these marketing tools to engage an audience and to build loyalty and momentum.  But their tactics teeter on a turnoff.

At first I thought it was cool and savvy the way the Obama folks have been sending out messages that feel personal and intimate and important. So at first I’m thinking, “good going, you guys are smart marketers”.  I click, I donate a little here and there. And then… the avalanche of emails begins. And the inbox fills each week with multiple urgent messages about a looming deadline. Really?  Come on, I’m smarter than that.  I know it’s important but the level of urgency – as demonstrated in these email subject lines – is downright laughable.

  • Last call for Dinner with Barack EVER
  • 583,282 people named Amy
  • I’m asking one last time (dated  9/25 but on 10/22, not one month later, Mr. Obama was asking again)
  • Obama Store: Our biggest sale EVER (Is this sale from Macy’s or a presidential campaign?)

And the volume? You may have seen the President on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently.  During the interview Stewart jokingly asked the President how many new emails he’d have in his inbox by the time the interview was over.  I can relate. While writing this blog late one night, I received an email from both Barack and Michelle Obama asking for donations.  And a quick search for “Obama” in my delete box turns up over 200 entries from everyone from Obama himself to Bill Clinton to Joe Biden.

Then there are the mobile solicitations. One day, I received a text that said “Show you’ve got the President’s back.  Reply with a number and we’ll charge your saved credit card.

I mistakenly thought that meant my phone number so I nearly made a 10-digit donation to the Obama campaign. Try explaining that one to your spouse. Luckily, I caught my error when the auto-reply asked for confirmation.

So yes, I support Obama and do have his back and have donated to his campaign. The lesson about marketing though is clear. Whether you are president of a country, a corporation, or a mom and pop retail store, it’s important to personalize the conversation and engage your audience when using email or mobile marketing. But use caution…overuse and overkill are sure to turn them off. If you have had similar experiences with a marketing campaign on steroids, we’d love to hear about it.

Posted October 29, 2012 by Amy Blum in E-Marketing/Web, Mobile

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Text2Give – The giving is simple. Getting them there is the tricky part.   Leave a comment

Acquiring new donors can be very expensive for Non-Profit Organizations (NPO). Text2Give offers a simple way for NPOs to collect a small amount of money ($5 or $10) from a large number of donors. Users simply text a keyword (ex LIBRARY) to a short code (20222) to donate. The money is instantly charged to their mobile phone bill. So the giving couldn’t be simpler. The tough part is getting them to give. You have to use traditional and digital marketing to build awareness about your campaign.

Best places to promote your campaign:

  • Live Events: Live events are the perfect venue for Text2Give. We have found that you will not see great success with signage alone. Anytime you have a live audience becomes the perfect time to make the ask. Taking advantage of the spontaneous donation is the key.
  • Social Media: Create a customized Facebook application to build awareness. Donors can enter their mobile phone number into the app and automatically get a text to their phone to complete the donation. Twitter is also a great way to get the word out about your campaign.
  • Partners: Engage corporate partners to share the word about your campaign. Text2Give donation amounts are small. It is all about building as much awareness about your campaign as possible.
  • Print: At live events, make sure the keyword and short code are available via signage, in the program and in targeted direct mail promoting the event so donors can easily access it and learn more about the cause.

Keys to getting your campaign noticed:

1. Clearly state where donations are going: People want to know what their money is going towards and they need to care about it. If they have just been educated on a troubling issue they are more likely to make that connection that their $5 will go towards fixing that issue vs. a general ask for a donation.  http://customer.givebycell.com/gbc/marketing/gautemalanTextBooks

2. Make people feel something: Using images and compelling headlines that immediately evoke emotion will help you drive donations. People need to immediately connect with the cause and feel compelled to donate. Here are a couple examples of how to do it. SAD: http://hua.org/blog/view-our-new-commercial-about-puppy-mills/ FUNNY http://ihateballs.com/

3. Create a sense of urgency: Even if there is no said “disaster” you can still evoke a quick action from your audience by creating a timeline or goal that needs to be reached by a certain date.  At live events you can even use the real time reporting to keep people updated about how the campaign is doing. Ex. We’re half way there. Please donate before the end of the show to help us reach our goal of $10,000.

 4. Connect with people when they are most receptive: At one organization they found by simply moving the sign to the front entrance as people are waiting in line to buy tickets for an event was more successful than the sign at the exit or even within event. They found that people in line were bored and were more likely to read the sign and do something about it.

5. Celebrity Influenced: Society responds when their favorite celebrity is supporting what they too feel is a great cause. Examples include Alicia Keys at American Idol: http://www.dosomething.org/blog/celebsgonegood/idols-give-back-15-million

Text2Give campaigns can be a cost effective solutions for acquisition, but without the right approach to drive awareness, you won’t see the results.

Posted July 16, 2012 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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Isn’t It Time to Add Mobile to Your Marketing Mix?   1 comment

I just read an article titled “Amazing Mobile Marketing Stats Every Marketer Should Know”. With a title like that how could I resist? Out of the nine stats in the article, two stood out to me. The first noted that it take 90 minutes for the average person to respond to an email, but about 90 seconds to respond to a text message (Source: CTIA). It talks to the urgency in which people feel they need to act on text messages. When these messages come from marketers they better be relevant or consumers will opt out. Text message marketing isn’t about brand awareness. It is about providing this audience relevant, fun or useful information they can use on-the-go.

The second stat noted that mobile coupons get 10 times the redemption rate of traditional coupons (Source: Borrell Associates). This stat has been around for a while, but does really speak to a successful tactic for mobile marketers. Mobile coupons are convenient and therefore more likely to be acted on.

Most of the other stats talk about how many people have mobile phones. Having a mobile device is certainly required for mobile marketing, but hardly earth shattering. Once my 90 year old grandmother got one and I have conversations with friends who are trying to decide if their second grader should get one, it is pretty clear we’ve reached mass adoption.

Marketers should strongly consider integrating mobile into their overall marketing strategy because the campaigns work. Adding a mobile call to action like a QR code or text campaign to print or TV ads allows you to track responses and provide more targeted information beyond the piece. Offering a text2win or text2vote campaign in outdoor advertising is a great way to engage a lot of people and quickly build your mobile database. Once opted in you can then provide them additional information about your offerings.

In a world of Do Not Call, Spam blockers and DVRs that allow you wiz right through the ads it can be challenging to determine how to reach your audience. Consumers are in love with their mobile devices. Isn’t it time to connect via mobile?

Posted January 17, 2012 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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Are you missing an opportunity to engage?   1 comment

Marketers are starting to add these odd little boxes that look like crossword puzzles to all types of traditional media. From packaging to print to TV I’m seeing them everywhere. What’s perplexing is that most have little to no explanation with them. Like they are only intended for those in the know. Several will at least let you know to scan it, but the how and why are often left off. Leading to a frustrating experience for the consumer and a missed opportunity for the marketer.

If these are new to you here’s a quick overview. They are 2D barcodes. The most common types are QR codes (short for Quick Response codes) and once scanned allow users to access a richer experience – launch a website, video, opt-into a text message campaign or make a mobile donation. QR codes can be created for free from numerous websites like http://redlaser.com/qrcode/. To scan a code a user needs a smartphone with a camera and the correct barcode scanner. Armed with the right tools QR codes offer a simple and effective way to engage a mobile audience. But not everyone is doing it right. Here are a few things to know before adding QR codes to your campaign.

  1. Let them know what they are going to get. Even if it is just a tease. Make the experience worth the effort. Don’t just launch your main website. It should be a unique, targeted or fun experience for the consumer. (ex. Scan to enter our sweepstakes, scan for a coupon, scan to get show times in your area)
  2. Not all consumers have a barcode reader or the right scanner on their smartphone. There are different kinds of 2D barcodes so make sure to let the user know where to get a reader (ex. Need a barcode reader? http://scan.mobi/). Even if a user has a scanner, if you don’t tell them which one to download they may not have a positive experience. Without the right scanner the user can complete the experience and will leave frustrated. Make sure to let the users know where to get a reader
  3. Add the code in a way users can scan it. A lot of marketers do pretty well here, but when dealing with outdoor advertising you really need to make sure glare and other elements are addressed or users won’t be able to scan the image.
  4. Offer the option to get the same info via text message. Although ATT and Verizon both anticipate that over half their subscribers will have smartphones by the end of this year, there are those with feature phones that can’t scan QR codes. You also have people that don’t want to take the time to download the reader. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage. Offering more information via a text campaign allows user to engage quickly.

Here’s a simple example of how to do it right:

These are just a few quick lessons learned to help you get started. We’ll keep blogging about how to integrate mobile. If you have specific questions add a comment or contact Eagle to discuss how to create or enhance your mobile strategy.

Next up: How to use QR codes and mobile to breathe life into traditional media like direct mail.

Posted August 14, 2011 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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How do you know if they are getting the message?   Leave a comment

Measurement.  The biggest frustration of my marketing career has been from the beginning and always will be clients who don’t measure their response. I am taken aback when folks don’t gather response data but expect to be able to determine whether a campaign is successful or not.

Cataloguers and not-for-profits are great at capturing marketing codes. They simply ask recipients to “Enter the code in the yellow box” or just include a code on the reply. The coded response vehicles give them accurate, measurable, analyze-able (I think I made up that word) information. Information that tells them whether a particular catalog performed better than another, whether a demographic group responded better or whether a rented list is worth mailing to again. Even whether a certain type of donor can be convinced to give more or more often.

Without response information, it is difficult to create a sustained marketing plan. How can you improve on last year’s results if you don’t know what they are? By guessing? By choosing only what you like? Ultimately everything marketers do is to create results. How futile our work is when we can’t define or show our results.

Unsure what to track or how? Eagle Marketing can help you find ways to measure your response. It can be as simple as adding a code to your marketing piece or measuring ratings only in the geographic areas you’ve targeted. Or it can be as innovative as adding a mobile call to action. Adding a simple 2D barcode and brief instructions on how to use it allows recipients to snaps a picture with his/her camera phone for more information.  Adding a quick mobile marketing message instructing them to text in for more info is also an easy way to track engagement. Need help building response info into your marketing plan? Just ask…I’m sure we can help.

Want to build loyalty with your mobile consumers, but not sure where to start?   Leave a comment

Mobile messaging or text/SMS campaigns are a quick way to engage with the largest number of mobile users. Over 90% of mobile devices in the US have the ability to send/receive text messages[i] and pretty much anyone under the age of 44 is texting more than calling[ii].  Even the majority of smartphone owners prefer to receive basic coupons, deals and newsletters.[iii] Seems like the ideal way to reach the largest number of consumers, right? Right! But, before you get started make sure you know the rules.

1. Participation in a mobile messaging or SMS/Text campaign must be 100% opt-in.  As a marketer you can’t purchase a mobile database or spam existing customers’ mobile phones with your message. You must use traditional media to engage and inform them about your campaign and entice them to opt-in.  This is not only a Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) best practice. It is the law (CAN SPAM Act and FTC Act).

The United States Federal Trade Commission is prosecuting those that don’t comply with the CAN SPAM Act. A recent egregious case involves a marketer who, in one 40-day period, sent more than 5.5 million spam text messages, a “mind boggling” rate of about 85 per minute, every minute of every day. 

This is an extreme example, but there are countless cases of legitimate marketers that aren’t complying because they aren’t aware of the laws or misinterpret them. So, simply put – marketers must use traditional media (print/web/TV/radio/outdoor) to inform consumers about a text campaign. Consumers can only participate by actively texting the correct keyword/short code from their mobile phone or a web interface promoting the campaign.

2. Not all mobile users have unlimited text plans: If you send unsolicited messages to consumers they may be paying for them. It is important that the consumer has the control of who they engage with via mobile. Creating compelling mobile campaigns that offer value to the end user will drive them to engage with your brand.

Eagle Marketing can help you determine the right way to build a loyal connection with your mobile audience. For many, connecting with mobile users via simple text is a great way to extend your brand. There are various campaign types and you can include click to call or a mobile web address to extend your engagement. We’ll continue to blog on mobile messaging best practices. Have question or thought on the topic? We’d love to hear from you.


[i] CTIA – The Wireless Association 11/10

[ii] Nielsen Mobile 2009

[iii] Harris Interactive 2/11

Posted March 8, 2011 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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