SMS Messaging Makes Going to the Cinema Easier Than Ever Before
My family doesn’t go to the cinema often, but when we do, I dread the ticket line. So I almost always purchase my cinema tickets online if we plan to go during a busy time, or for a newly released movie. Paying for the tickets is always easy, but getting them at the cinema can be problematic.
Often you have to bring the credit card you used for purchase, and still wait in a line to pick up the tickets. Sometimes there’s an automated ticket machine that dispenses the online tickets, but you still need the card you used for the purchase. And you’re out of luck if the machine is broken (back to waiting in line). I’ve been to some cinemas that needed a physical printout of the email confirmation before they would release the tickets to me. Or at least I needed to provide the long, complicated confirmation number. Come to think of it, most of the time picking up the online tickets was as much of a hassle as waiting in line for them. The only difference was we didn’t need to worry about tickets being sold out. Which is still a good thing. But it seems like it should be easier.
But just this past weekend I had a totally different experience. I purchased cinema tickets online, and at checkout I had the option to receive the tickets via SMS. Supposedly all I needed to do was show that message to the ticket taker – no waiting in line to pick up physical printed tickets. That was pretty cool I thought. Especially after remembering the broken ticket machine at our last visit. I was also a little nervous though. I’d never used the method before, and how would they send me tickets in less than 160 characters?
I needn’t have worried though. Almost immediately after I clicked to buy the tickets, I got a text message. It was simple: Open Link for Tickets Conf#123456789 https://ticketlink….
So I had the confirmation number handy in case of a problem, but I also had a link to the tickets. When I clicked on the link it took me to a mobile webpage with a QR code at the top. The ticket taker scans the QR code and you walk right on through. And there’s just one code for all the tickets I purchased for my family. It was simple, fast, and easy.
The mobile webpage also had a summary of what I had bought – the movie, how many tickets, the time it started, the confirmation number and which theatre number the movie was in. It even had directions to the theatre.
As a consumer, I found this process so easy I don’t mind paying a remote booking fee for online tickets. It means I don’t have to worry about sold out movies or lines ever again (well, except the line to the ticket taker, but I’m ok with that).
Cinemas should take note of how this all works and how it could improve their profits and make for happier customers. In the next post, I’ll share a little more about how cinemas using SMS in this way can leverage it to grow their marketing lists too.
Almost any business, or even a not-for-profit company, can take advantage of the frenzy of sporting events, like The Olympics. Especially when you combine it with mobile marketing. That’s because there are plenty of fans, and their devices, here in the UK.
Statistics show that a huge 98% of text messages are opened within the first fifteen minutes of being received, so it's little wonder that sports organisations and fitness centres have been looking to take advantage of a potentially lucrative market.
Most car dealerships and garages already have almost everything in place to start an effective SMS marketing campaign. When customers go into a car garage to have a service or a MOT done, they almost always give the dealership their mobile phone number. The reason for this is simple: if a customer is bringing their car in to get checked and they don't want to wait around for any work to be carried out, they'll simply head into town or run a few errands, until the garage gives them a call on their mobile to let them know the work has been done. That means most garages will have a healthy amount of mobile numbers already in their database, but quite often a garage will overlook the potential that their database of contacts presents.
No matter what the task is, any campaign can be boosted by SMS marketing. It's great for businesses and charities but could be especially utilised for the creative industry. From the largest scale (mainstream TV shows, Hollywood blockbusters) to low budget independents, there is an SMS campaign to fit all needs and perform a vital profile-boosting function.
SMS coupons have redemption rates ten times email coupons. Averages run around 30%, but they could be as high as 45% for personalised messages. Even with those great numbers, retailers can still lose money to fraud. Find out how make sure customers only redeem your coupon once.
Sometimes bloggers or journalists get a bit carried away. They see some data or fact, and run off to declare there’s a trend you need to know about. The latest one I’ve seen is all about how to reach the generation of “cashless shoppers”. The argument goes that you need to use SMS messaging to reach customers because they are all shopping online – where you obviously can’t pay in cash.
Most major sports teams in the UK and US already know the power of SMS for engaging fans via scores, stats and other data. But the power of SMS can extend far beyond the world of the major leagues. SMS is ideal, not only for communicating with participants but to coordinate teams of volunteers across the event.
SMS marketing is not quite like most other marketing. You have such a limited space to get your point across, just 160 characters, more or less. It’s not unlike having to create a print advert for a small space, but somehow it can seem more intimidating. That’s why sometimes it seems like marketers forget one basic rule about writing offers: Always lead with the offer! Sounds simple, right?
In a previous blog post I shared how getting my movie tickets delivered to me via SMS made going to the cinema with my family easier than it’s ever been. I signed up to the company’s SMS marketing list too and I want to share the process with you because it was so easy, so seamless for me as a consumer, that it makes a great example for others to follow.
In a world where your competition can be found in just a few seconds, instilling brand loyalty in customers is a greater challenge than ever. One way to proactively reach out to customers is via SMS. The personal nature of SMS messages, combined with high read rates, gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with each customer.