How to Maximise your Survey's Potential – Why SMS?

by Admin 29. January 2015 11:00

 

In a perfect world you’d know exactly what your customers were thinking and would be able to satisfy their needs. Sadly, unless you have super natural talents, things don’t work out that way and this is why you need to hear more from your customers. Sending surveys are imperative as they give you the ability to gain more knowledge of your customers and, at the same time, letting them know you’re LISTENING. By allowing your customers to talk to you, not only will they grow to love your business but also you can use this feedback to ensure your support is the best it possibly can be – it’s the perfect marketing tool!

FACT - Text messaging has a far higher response rate than email. This is why we created our TextSurvey tool giving you the ability to create anything from a simple 1 question survey to a highly customised survey, all with a comprehensive reporting system – now you can’t ask more than that?

Feedback SMS Surveys Customer Responses

How does TextSurvey benefit you? 

Free Creation!

When using TextSurvey with our reply-paths you only pay for the messages you send out. You can create as many surveys as you like and even copy and paste a survey – a cost effective marketing tool!

Free Replies!

Why would we want to charge you to receive vital information? That just wouldn’t be fair! There are no extra costs to receive replies from your surveys and it will only cost your customer their standard network rate to reply back. 

Free Reporting!

A key feature of TextSurvey is the reporting function, which is again at no extra cost to you. There is no point asking your customers to give you important information and feedback without being able to review it. The report gathers together useful data such as how many people responded to your survey along with their responses. This can be accessed whilst the survey is active or inactive, and you can download this data to Excel to review in more detail.

You are in control!

Control Text Survey Schedule

With TextSurvey the sky is your limit – you can determine how much control you have of your survey. You choose which questions are sent out depending on certain replies you receive and if you have an introductory message you can specify the length of time before your first survey question goes out – letting you sit back and relax whilst TextSurvey works for you!  

Make sure they know it’s from YOU!

TextSurvey will automatically use one of our free reply-path numbers when sending your questions; this is fine if you are looking to send a simple survey. However it can get confusing for your customer if you’re sending a large survey if your number keeps on changes each time. This is why TextSurvey also has the capability to send using a dedicated TextInbound number.

Now you know the importance of sending customer surveys, and the benefits of how TextSurvey makes this easier for you, why don’t you give it a try yourself? Feel free to log in to your account, or sign up for a free trial with TextAnywhere, and try this out for yourself today. If you have any questions please contact on our friendly UK Customer Service Team on 08451 221 302 who are always more than happy to help!

Happy Texting

TextAnywhere Blog TextAnywhere on Twitter TextAnywhere on Facebook TextAnywhere on Google+ TextAnywhere on Linkedin TextAnywhere on Linkedin

TextAnywhere Team

10 good things about SMS Short Codes

by Admin 15. January 2015 10:30

What is a short code? SMS shortcodes are exactly that - short codes, shortened telephone numbers enabling you to message prospective customers and for them to respond easily. Here are some of the advantages of using an SMS shortcode service for your business:

1. SMS is the communication method of choice for millions. Textanywhere's automated texting service allows you to tap into all of these potential customers at the click of a mouse. 

2. There's no chance of your customers forgetting which number to call; SMS shortcode is nice and easy to remember. Textanywhere's "TextCampaign" service enables you quickly and simply to start your own SMS message marketing campaign.

3. You can quickly generate sales leads using SMS marketing. Only those interested in your campaign will respond. Textanywhere can send replies to your email inbox allowing you to see them conveniently. 

4. SMS marketing enables you to engage your prospective customers at the point of display - there's no need for them to go anywhere or speak to anyone. 

5. Customers can respond to a text service immediately, before the moment has passed and they have the chance to forget.

6. With business text messaging services, it is easy to capture your customer's data. Textanywhere can consolidate all of your respondents information into a spreadsheet you can download and review at your leisure. 

7. SMS services are good for special offers and promotions, once people have received them, they can pass them onto friends and family, generating more respondents for your business.

8. It is possible to send messages out quickly to your customer database using an email to SMS gateway. Textanywhere offer email to SMS "TextEmail" services that enable you to do just that.

9. SMS shortcodes are extremely simple to order. With Textanywhere you pay for each text you send. Either purchase packs of messages, or opt to receive an invoice at the end of the month. 

10. Simply put, a text messaging service is one of the quickest and most effective ways to get your marketing campaign off the ground.

For more information on SMS Short Codes and Inbound Numbers, please call our friendly Customer Service Team on 08451 221 302, or visit our TextAnywhere website for more information.

Tags: , ,

Mobile Marketing | Short Code | TextInbound | TextPremium

Mobile shopping - how to get over 90% of your SMS messages noticed

by Admin 8. January 2015 14:00

Businesses who use text messaging to communicate with their customers are far more likely to be seen than those who don’t. Nearly 90% of text messages are read therefore if you’re looking for the best way to reach out to your customers, SMS communication could be just what you need.

What is it?

More and more retailers are choosing to stay in touch with their customers via text. Whether they are sending them offers and promotions or updating them on their purchases (delivery, dispatch and so on), using a text message instead of or as well as email is an effective way to get your message across to your customers.

How can I use it?

SMS communication can work in a number of ways for businesses. Common shopping uses include:

- Pushing sales and promotions (offering exclusive discounts and offers as well as offering rewards)

- Confirmation of orders

- SMS dispatch notices

- SMS delivery updates (could be done in real-time to let customers know exactly when their good are due to arrive)

- Contact for feedback after a purchase

As well as other possibilities.

Who can use it?

The great thing about SMS receipts and alerts is that they can be used by a wide range of industry types including retailers (both in-store and online), restaurants, bars, fast food delivery and others. Any service provider that wants to keep its customers up to date and informed about their transactions can benefit from this type of service.

What are the benefits?

Providing your customers with real time SMS updates shows that you understand and care about what’s important to them and gives them excellent services which they will value. Emails and phone calls will often go unnoticed or ignored therefore using SMS to communicate with your customers is almost a guaranteed way to be seen.

Providing SMS delivery updates and other communications can also save a lot of time and resources by providing customers with information to common queries such as:

- “Has my order been dispatched?”

- “What time will my order be delivered?”

- “Have you received my order?”

Meaning that they have less cause to contact your customer service centres.

Using SMS communication is also a low cost feature which is easy to set up and get started.

Many companies offer free trials to get you started so it’s worth giving mobile shopping communications a go to see if it’s a good fit for your business. Why not visit TextAnywhere and try out our FREE TRIAL?

 

10 Tips for Creating the Perfect SMS

by Admin 5. January 2015 10:30

SMS campaigns are a proven means of delivering marketing and business promotion.  However, many texts that we all receive are lacking and do not grab our attention.  Following this simple guide will add to the effectiveness of any SMS campaign.

1. Test

Just like any other means of correspondence, make sure the content has been proof read for mistakes.  Send the message to your own mobile to check that it looks inviting and make revisions as necessary.  

2. Grab Attention Immediately

You will have relatively little time to get anyone’s attention. This must be achieved as soon as the text or SMS is opened or previewed.  Use one or two words in capitals for this purpose that will make the reader want to continue reading the content.  

3. Benefit to the Customer

Clearly explain what the offer or promotion is then explain its benefits to the customer.  You can then advise the position the customer will be in after benefiting from the product or service.  

4. Use a Name that Appeals to the Audience

Include a name with the text so that it is visible by the recipient.  The name doesn’t have to be your company name but something with regards to the current promotion that is appealing to the potential customer.

5. Target Audience

If you are able to target the SMS campaign to a particular group or demographic then the content can be written in a suitable manner.  More technical or relevant content for the professional and more simple and clear for the lay.  If the SMS campaign is for a general audience then keep it easy for all to understand. 

6. Grammar

While a lot of the younger generation can understand text speak the majority of us find it irritating.  Abbreviations can be used to save on characters but only use commonly understood ones.  Good grammar should be applied as with any business communication.

7. A Call to Action

This is what we want the customer to do after reading our SMS.  Make sure you have a specific call to action, e.g.  Text back by 10.00am or Phone 0800 …… immediately, whatever is relevant to your offer or promotion.

8. Keep It Simple

Do not try to include too much information.  You have limited characters and limited time to get your message across to a potential customer. Be clear and concise and make sure text is formatted in short sentences or paragraphs so that it is easy to read and understand.

9. Timing

Some reports have shown good responses to SMS campaigns that have been sent out after the morning rush in the early afternoon.  Obviously you don’t want anyone being sent a text at night or other unsuitable times.

10. Review and Revise

Keep records of previous campaigns to see their effectiveness.  Compare the content and approach used and also the time sent.  Revise as appropriate and continue this review and revise process.

For more information on running SMS campaigns, please visit the TextAnywhere website, or contact a member of our Customer Service Team on 08451 221 302 or email welcome@textanywhere.net

Tags: , , ,

Business SMS | Mobile Marketing | SMS Campaigns | Text Marketing

Three Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your SMS Marketing Campaign

by Admin 2. January 2015 11:00

It sounds simple enough – Text Message Marketing is another string to your marketing bow, giving your business another distribution channel to spread the word, drive sales and grow awareness of your brand. Any company looking to get the most out of their marketing budget will use every channel available to them in order to maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns. However, it’s also important to be aware of what can go wrong when using SMS to reach your customers. Below are three rules to follow when using text marketing, which should help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls that neophyte texters may fall prey to. 

1. Know when to stop.

One of the biggest reasons to start using text as part of your overall marketing strategy is the fantastic open rates, which can be as high as 98%. People are used to looking at their text messages immediately, and there is no spam filter or promotions folder to stand in the way of your carefully-crafted message and its viewer. However, because of this, text marketers must be aware that if clients feel you are texting them too often, or that your treats are invasive or irritating, it can cause a real backlash. The solution to this issue is to form a clear strategy of when your SMS campaigns are sent, and how often, in order to avoid irritating your audience. 

2. Match your message to your medium.

Text messages are a unique form of marketing, and the options are different – simply lifting copy and content from an email message and putting it in your texts may not be as effective as you might hope. With no pictures or other content available, and without the ability to even change the font, it is vital that your message is absolutely top quality in terms of copy. 

3. Remember that text should be part of a strategy, and not your only method of communication.

Text messages are an extremely effective form of marketing, particularly when the objective is to spread awareness, let people know about specific events or alert people as to any deals you are offering. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your other channels, and it’s important to spread your focus across not only text, but email, display, PPC, offline, and other mediums where appropriate. 

For more information on how TextAnywhere can help your business SMS strategy, please visit our website.

Tags: , , ,

Bulk SMS Messaging | Mobile Marketing | Mobile Strategy | SMS Campaigns | Text Campaigns

SMS Security

by Admin 30. December 2014 11:30

Security is a huge concern nowadays. It seems that with every new communication method, there are more things that users need to be aware of: Emails might contain links to unsavoury websites, advertisements on the web still have negative stigma attached to them, and even the humble phone call itself can be seen as potentially disruptive due to cold callers. So what about text messages? After all, SMS technology has been around for decades now. Surely such an old system has vulnerabilities which can be exploited? 

Actually, it’s quite the opposite: the very fact that SMS messages are based on old technology is what makes it so secure. Take hyperlinks, for example. When using links in emails or on the web, it is very easy to disguise the destination that a link will go to. For example, this link will take you to our home page, but there’s nothing in the link to tell you that. How do you really know where it will go until you click? (Alright, yes – you can hover the mouse over it until it tells you, but how often do people take that extra step?) Additionally, how do you know that this display link itself hasn’t been disguised? Unfortunately, most of the time the answer is that you don’t know where those little blue words will take you: you simply have to trust the source of information which you are viewing. However, links in text messages cannot be disguised in this way: there is no such thing as an SMS hyperlink, you simply have to write down the URL, giving any potential clickers (or tappers, as is the case with most smartphones nowadays) the chance to review the link and check for themselves whether this is something they want to view. 

Similarly, there are many other features which are vulnerable to scammers and hackers which SMS simply doesn’t support. You can’t run a dodgy flash application in an SMS. You can’t cover an SMS message with gaudy or misleading ads. As for more advanced viruses, Trojan horses, worms and things of that nature – no chance! SMS is simply not capable of supporting such things – it’s just too simple. Much like a car with a manual gearbox as opposed to an automatic one, there’s simply less to go wrong. When you also consider TextAnywhere’s market-leading security processes and technical know-how, the picture is clear – SMS marketing is safe, secure, and far less vulnerable than any other form of mobile marketing around. 

For more information on TextAnywhere's security policies, please visit our website... and if you want more information on how SMS messaging can help your business, don't hesitate to call us on 08451 221 302.

Tags: , ,

SMS Messaging | Text Messaging | Security

Why are text messages limited to 160 characters?

by Admin 24. December 2014 14:00

Let’s be honest: you’ve probably never thought about it. Now that you are thinking about it, however, what do you reckon? Perhaps it’s got something to do with limiting the size of the message? Or, perhaps it was implemented to save bandwidth for the mobile carriers? Surely it must be some sort of technical issue – a hangover from the heady days when SMS messaging was the communication form of the future, and phones still had buttons on them? Or perhaps it’s to do with the human brain – maybe one can only read so many characters before it all stops making sense? 

Well… kind of, but no. Actually, texts are limited to 160 characters because of this gut - Friedhelm Hillebrand.

Back in 1985, Hillebrand was chairman of a committee within the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), attempting to bring standardisation to a new technology which would allow mobile phones to send, receive and display messages in the form of text. At the time, the only existing infrastructure for mobile phones was the system used by car phones (if you’ve ever used one of those, get off the internet – you’re too old). Hillebrand, however, found an ingenious solution. 

At this time, mobile networks operated two radio channels. The primary channel was used for actual voice communication, and the second merely to alert a cell phone about reception strength and to supply metadata about incoming calls. This second channel was therefore usually free of any traffic, and thus available as unused capacity on the existing system. By limiting the variation of characters available in SMS, Hillebrand and his team managed to just squeeze out 160 characters worth of capacity for each message. But the questions remained, would it be enough? It had to be tested, and this is where the story gets interesting. 

The GSM is a very large organisation. They set the standards for all mobile technology across the globe. You might be inclined to think, therefore, that they would have some pretty stringent testing procedures in place to decide how many characters would be used in SMS text messaging. So what weird and wonderful system did they use to decide whether 160 characters would be enough? Did the stress test the infrastructure? Did they consult the public? Did they delve into great written works to see what the average number of characters was in a sentence? 

Nah. Hillebrand just wrote out random sentences on his typewriter, and then counted the letters. 

Luckily, however, most of the sentences were perfectly contained within the limit. GSM also had a look at postcards (sounds silly now, but back then a postcard and a text message made sense in terms of comparison) and found that they tend to clock in under 150 words, easily within the boundaries. This was apparently enough for GSM – SMS rolled out and the rest is history. 

If you're interested in how SMS can help your business, why not contact us on 08451 221 302 where one of our Customer Service Team can answer any questions you have, or alternatively, visit our website for more information on our services.

 

Tags: , , ,

SMS Marketing | SMS Messaging | Text Marketing | Text Messaging

SMS Marketing on Special Occasions and Holidays

by Admin 22. December 2014 11:31

One way to make your customers feel valued and keep them interested and loyal to your brand is to pay attention to the details. Their details that is.

The beauty of using text message services is that you can customise your messages incredibly easily and for any occasions. This can be leveraged with holidays, bank holiday, birthdays, and special occasions within your business or even just to keep up with you customers. This way you are making your customers feel special and care about them and the service or product you are providing them.

Here are a few examples of how you can use text message marketing to make your customers feel special on holidays and special occasions.

Birthday’s

Keeping track of your customer’s birthday is one very simple but incredibly effect way of keeping your customers loyal and happy. It shows you care and also that they are not just another number to you and your business. You can personalise your message in order to appeal to whowever is receiving your message. An additional way of helping keep a great relationship with your customers is to give them a special birthday discount or offer. Send them a 20% off your next purchase discount code for example, to keep them coming back.

Not only this, but knowing your customers ages is also valuable to your business in order for you to target your demographics more effectively, making your campaigns more strategic and successful.

Seasonality

Keeping up with seasonal trends is often very important for all businesses. With seasonality comes dips and peaks in your sales or traffic and therefore, sending out mini seasonal newsletters or updates is a great way to keep in contact with your customers. It also allows you to remind them of any changes happening that season, offers or new stock or services that may be coming or you are currently offering. 

Christmas

The festive holiday for most businesses usually sparks a huge spike in sales, traffic and is often the most financially lucrative period for many businesses. It is therefore essential that you make the most of this opportunity by leveraging the running up period. Continually keeping your customers up to date with any offers, sales and special items or services you are currently promoting should be utilised to its fullest potential to gain the best ROI. Don’t forget to also keep this momentum up within the January period when sometimes this burst of activity can drop off.

These are just three ways in which you can make the most of special occasions and holiday but the possibilities are endless. If you need any advice or help with your text message campaigns, do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Team on 08451 221 302 or visit our TextAnywhere website for more information.

How to create the perfect SMS Mobile Marketing Campaign

by Admin 16. December 2014 16:07

Creating the perfect SMS campaign is very challenging. There are no set rules for any business to ensure their campaign is pitch perfect. There are many variables which are often out of your control, such as the emotive response of your customers and whether your messages are in fact relevant for them.

However there are ways to ensure that your campaign is as good as it could possibly be in order to get back the best results from your customers, in turn increasing your business. These things you can implement your side and can dramatically increase the response of your campaigns. Though the rules cannot be applied to every business as not all businesses are the same, here are a few tips to get you started:

Content

Content is always key when sending out any marketing campaign not just Text Message alone. Always ensure your grammar and spelling is correct, this may sound obvious but is sometimes so obvious it can be missed. Engage with you customers, ensure what you are sending out is of relevance and interest to them and ensure you are not just sending out messages for the sake of it. Ensure that the messages you send are beneficial to your recipients.

Segmentation

If you have a larger business that offers a multitude for products or services, this is very important. TextAnywhere allows you to segment your customers into relevant categories. This allows you to send out customer specific messages, regarding a certain product that is on offer or a change of schedule for example, class room changes. This allows you to manage your campaigns more successfully and therefore ensure a better Text Message Marketing reach.

Track Progress

Like any other marketing platform it is important to measure your performance to highlight any areas that are working well or likewise need improving. Sending out a campaign can sometimes prove useless if the open rate, response rate and other variables are not measured. Ways to do this will vary depending on what your business is, what your goals are and generally what you want your recipient to do. However you can track this by what response they give to the message, if it’s an event how many people attend or maybe by how many people opt out from your messages. This will help you to further develop your campaigns as you have a better understanding of what is happening and what is not.

Getting closer to your Customers

Your customer will often appreciate you informing them of special offers, deal and new products happening form your Business Text Messaging. You are reaching out to them in a more personal and up close manner. This builds a better relationship from your business to your customers.

For more information on how TextAnywhere can help you with your SMS Marketing, call our Customer Service team on 08451 221 302, or visit our website.

 

Mobile Marketing during the Christmas period

by Admin 27. November 2014 10:30

SMS marketing is often overlooked as a marketing tool, regarded as an intrusive aspect of marketing, yet what is often omitted is that SMS marketing is an opt-in channel. As consumers we are all familiar with the mobile network Orange and their Orange Wednesday text messaging campaign where their customers can receive 2 for 1 on Odeon film tickets. Their customers choose to get these text messages, as they wish to receive the discounts. NHS Trusts have used mobile marketing to enhance patient confidentiality, opting for SMS services to deliver test results as a new way to keep personal information personal. These are some great examples as how mobile marketing can be very effective. 

Due to the majority of consumers owning a mobile phone, mobile marketing is one of the most indispensable tools in the marketer’s toolkit. For most people, the mobile is an everyday essential, note how many times a day people check their mobile phone! And texting is still the most popular usage of the mobile phone. Therefore, why miss this opportunity? 

In the Christmas period, consumers are overloaded with advertising and marketing to encourage them to spend their money. Using SMS services doesn’t need to be bothersome. By sending a well-timed text message, once or twice during the Christmas period, you may be the brand that sticks in the head of your potential customers during the festive season. An increase in mobile shopping means that consumers are using their phones more to purchase their Christmas gifts, meaning that there is an outlet for SMS services to be used to target these mobile shoppers. Sending a discount code text as a consumer nears the business has proven a great marketing tool, issuing incentives to visit their brand. 

Providing a text service to your clients is one way of ensuring that your promotions are going to be noticed. When you receive a notification on your phone, what are you going to pay more attention to? Email campaigns? Social media updates? Both of these marketing strategies can be dismissed, overlooked, and your updates can get lost in the ether, not being taken in by potential clientele. The Next Web reports that “SMS coupons get redeemed eight times more frequently than the same emailed offer”, so, why miss out on the most underrated marketing tool for your business?

For more information on SMS marketing, or ideas on how to utilise mobile marketing during the Christmas period, feel free to call our Customer Service Team on 08451 221 302

TextAnywhere

TextAnywhere provides commercial and public sector organisations with text messaging services to enable the sending and receiving of SMS messages from individuals’ desktops, through online and email applications, and a developer toolkit.

TextOnline

TextCampaign

TextSurvey

TextEmail

TextPremium

TextInbound

TextAlert

White Label

Developer Toolkit