How to Engage Your Customers Using Mobile Messaging *

How Can Your Mobile Messaging Increase Customer Engagement?


Mobile Messaging is designed to capitalize on the opt-in email lists developed by your brand’s landing page call-to-actions.  Your visitor lists help you establish an ongoing relationship with your audience.  Doing this goes beyond the traditional advertising campaign that has in the past been the cornerstone of advertising.  

Advertising campaigns in the past were usually an occasional touch-point with the consumer.  This made it impossible for them to create an ongoing interaction and engagement that brands today desire.  As the name suggests, Conversational Advertising initiates engagement between your brand and your audience.


Why Customer Engagement in the Digital Age is Crucial


In the digital age, engagement is crucial.  Once a consumer has opted in and become engaged, it then would be counterintuitive to just send an occasional communication.  

To be effective, the opt-in model has to maintain a continuing relationship between your brand and the consumer.  This is usually measured by using Cost Per Engagement (CPE) metrics.

An engaged consumer also represents a higher response rate.  By generating an opt-in database, the likelihood of transforming a response from a consumer into a conversation increases dramatically.


Strong Mobile Messaging Extends Your Website’s Reach


Mobile Messaging improves on the fleeting and ineffective messaging practices used by most.  By encouraging your brand to regularly communicate with the consumer conversational advertising ensures that your message remains fresh in their minds.  

Mobile Messaging works by extending the reach of your website, using regular, frequent, and personal messaging with your audience.  Continuing engagement provides consumers with information while providing measurable and actionable user data on several levels.

Every ‘conversation’ you have must be relevant and responsive to the needs of the consumer.  The initial opt-in provides the first level of information.  This can then be enhanced by third-party intelligence based on the consumer’s usage and behavioral traits.  

Lastly, and most importantly, each consumer’s response during the conversation with the brand will provide up-to-date consumer information.  In effect, this third stage is real-time consumer profiling.

When applied to the power of messaging, it becomes the ideal channel for brands and businesses.


Your Opt-in Customer Database Allows Continuing Engagement


A Netsize Mobile Marketing Survey revealed that acquiring opt-in mobile numbers and maintaining the data quality, was the primary problem regarding mobile marketing investment.

This was followed by concerns over regulation and spam, as well as brands having an unclear or lacking a mobile marketing strategy. 


Despite brands’ concerns regarding spam, it remains a marginalised activity on mobile.  With strict regulation are already in place, spam is unlikely to plague the mobile industry as it does with email.    In the US, mobile operators strictly regulate the SMS market to ensure texting remains spam free.  Marketers have to operate with SMS certificates and can only communicate with consumers that have opted in.


Your Opt-in Process Needs to be Transparent


It is essential for your brand to make the opt-in process transparent to the consumer.  However, if a brand does not follow-up with frequent messages, the consumer could forget that they have opted-in.  It is essential that brands feed the consumer’s appetite for information and content.

For instance, users sign up to news alerts from publishers and broadcasters such as New York Times, CNBC, the BBC and Sky.  If the content is relevant, consumers will identify the inherent value of each message.  The New York Times’ daily news alerts generate an engagement spike almost immediately after the message has been distributed.


Each alert reminds the consumer to constantly interact with the brand.  Regardless of whether the brand is a publisher or a retailer, if your content is relevant to that “opted-in” consumer, the communication holds an inherent value.


Strong Mobile Messaging Extends Your Brand’s Reach


It is incumbent on your brand to identify the role it plays in your customers lives.  Some brands will be better at engaging with consumers than others.

Brands based on lifestyle and preference, like MTV, Nike and Starbucks for example, are likely to develop ongoing year-long conversations.  Annual or seasonal brands such as insurance companies and holiday firms have shown less success.

In these cases, consumers should be able to have a ‘holiday’ from the brand’s communications until they are ready to re-open conversations.  For example, insurance companies could engage during the month before the consumer have to renew car and house insurance in order to get the best quote.

Some believe that having an “opt-out option” is too final and doesn’t adequately represent how the marketing industry operates.  Others believe that consumers should be presented with an option, such as a ‘conversation holiday’ of 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, as well as total opt out option.  Allowing the consumer to express their preference.  By doing this, brands would be further encouraged into using the mobile medium to communicate.


Mobile Messaging is Dependent on Consumer’s Mobile Behavior


Communication is now the center of consumer’s lives.  Beyond the traditional areas of voice and messaging, the adoption of the mobile Internet is directly associated with social networking.  In mobile Internet markets around the world, social network users are up to 50% of browsers.

Over 80% of social networking activity on mobile is responding to feeds and status updates.  Both activities are based on short and bursty communication.  Twitter is at the center of social networking success and SMS, packaged in a 280-character bundle.  This is a phenomenon that has swept the world.

The rise of social networking on mobile is confirmation that the mobile device is the first screen chosen for communication.  Twitter is verification that communication can occur in less than 280 characters.  While agencies argue that SMS does not offer a sufficient platform to deliver creative rich-media, it allows users to be linguistically creative.

For in-SMS advertising, where brands have access to 20, 40 or 60 characters, creativity is over shadowed by a direct response connectivity.  This is built upon a customer acquisition approach using keywords, or it could be educational or encouraging interaction.  The issue facing the brand is that their SMS ad has to be relevant and contextual.  The ad has to echo the content in the main SMS.  

But messaging-based ads do not have to be restricted to 160 characters.  iPhone texts are not restrained in length, while standard SMS’s exceeding 160 characters are automatically abbreviated.  Conversational Advertising removes the necessity to deliver the complete branding opportunity in one communication.  


Conversational Advertising Messaging has Amazing Benefits


Messaging’s reach and effectiveness makes the medium the most powerful channel for all brands and businesses for communicating with their customers.  That’s because all of their customers will have at least one mobile phone.

Over 9 billion mobile phone users globally have the capability to send and receive text messages.  The implications are obvious, a brand communication could potentially be read by the majority of the world’s population within seconds of its distribution.

In the majority of developed mobile markets messaging penetration is in excess of 90%.  Many markets are dominated by their mobile operators, with consumers obsessed with iPhones and smartphones.  The  one overriding feature that brings these fragmented markets together is messaging. 

Along with messaging’s unprecedented reach, it is incredibly effective.  Almost 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of their delivery.  The more incredible statistic, over 99% of all text messages are read by the recipient.


How to Get Your Conversational Advertising Message Across


Mobile messaging has an unprecedented reach and effectiveness.  It’s reach is unparalleled compared to all other channels available on mobile, available online, as well as the traditional forms of media.

The power of messaging can also be attributed to its proximity to the user.  Mobile phones are in most user’s possession for 16 hours every day.  Many users sleep with their mobile devices next to their pillow.  The third most used application on a phone after voice and messaging is the alarm.

Pew Internet Research revealed that texting is the primary reason that teenagers will sleep with their cell phone next to their bed.  Texting teens are 42% more likely to sleep next to their cells than teenagers that do not text.

Putting this into context, the mobile phone is in the possession of the average user for 5,840 hours per year.  This is huge when you compare it to the average 2,920 hours each year in front of computers.  Only 1,865 hours are spent watching TV each year.


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