Start the New Year with one interesting prediction for SMS messaging
Across the web there are many articles predicting the future of mobile and SMS. I picked the most interesting one (to me anyway) to focus on for the first blog of 2015.
What it is
You’ve all seen the share buttons on web content. They go hand in hand with online articles and videos. Usually you can share by posting directly to Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, emailing a link, and sometimes you have sharing options like Digg and Reddit (among many others).
In 2015, you just might start to see an option to share via text message too.
From what I’ve found, the source of this prediction is James Mottram, director of content development for USA Today Sports Media Group. He’s been quoted as saying, “Everyone starts adding SMS share buttons to content,” when asked for his big prediction for mobile in 2015.
How it works
The SMS share buttons would work just like other share buttons. SMS providers or web developers would use the service’s application programming interface (API) to create the code that would send an SMS message with a link to the content. Website and content owners with SMS accounts could then put the code at the end of their articles or videos. The share buttons would appear with all the others.
If you as the viewer or reader wanted to share it with someone, you’d click on the SMS button, enter the mobile number you wanted to send to and off the message would go.
Upsides to SMS sharing
Everyone wants their website content shared for SEO purposes, increasing website traffic, brand recognition and a host of other reasons. And for all those same reasons, another channel for sharing is a good thing.
Mottram, along with his quote about adding SMS share buttons, has discussed how they used SMS sharing on the USA Today website. Specifically they added it to their “For The Win”, or FTW, section of the website. FTW is a video driven sports interview and review part of USA Today. The results Mottram discusses are pretty astounding. The SMS share buttons were used 3-4 times more often than Twitter buttons.
As of this writing though, the SMS share buttons were no longer on FTW. The quotes from Mottram were all late last year so it’s possible they are still in the testing process. There’s no way to be sure of course.
In discussing SMS, Cooper Fleishman of DailyDot.com, agrees with Mottram’s predictions. He goes on to add, “Sharing links via text feels more personal. It’s more immediate than shooting friends an email they’re free to ignore.”
So not only does sharing increase with the option of sending via SMS, the share is likely to have more impact on the recipient because of how personal SMS messages are – especially when received from friends and family.
But there are downsides
As a content provider, adding an SMS share button has some downsides too.
The first is there is no standard yet on how it works or how it should look. Each SMS service provider or developer will likely create their own button for sharing and people will not immediately recognise them the way they do Facebook or Twitter buttons. That doesn’t mean it can’t work (as the FTW example shows), but it does highlight that you will have to make it clear what the purpose of the button is to website visitors. At least until a standard graphic representation of SMS sharing evolves.
Another downside is, of course, the cost. Since it is impossible to know ahead of time how many SMS shares you will get on a particular piece of content, or even any of your content, budgeting for SMS messages becomes an issue. This isn’t insurmountable though as you can try it out on limited content at first to get an estimate of how often your visitors would use the buttons. Also most SMS service providers offer the option of setting spending limits, or at worst, the buttons will no longer work when you’ve run out of message credits. In effect, that allows you to set an upper threshold on the cost.
You might be tempted to hook up with one of the free text or SMS service providers for sharing too. After all, content sharing messages don’t necessarily need to be received in a timely fashion. But with free services, delivery isn’t guaranteed so the shares may never be received, or received so late as to make them irrelevant. That can upset your website visitors who sent the message but discovered it was never received. It also isn’t good for you since the intended recipient never had the opportunity to visit your website and perhaps discover other things of interest. You may have lost a sale, or subscriber, or missed an opportunity to convert the recipient into a customer.
One more potential downside is regulations. Since the messages will likely be sent to people not on your own list, you’ll have to make sure the message comes from the person sharing it. And the message should be clear on who sent it, even though it originated with you. This is another area where the standards and best practices are not clearly defined when using SMS this way. But it likely can be managed the same way an email share is by including the name of the sender as the official sender so the recipient knows who it is from.
What do you think of SMS sharing buttons? Would you use them on your website? Would you send links via SMS if you had the option (and there was no cost to you)?
What is one almost guaranteed way of getting new customers? Ask for them. Really. Studies show that 83% of satisfied customers are willing to recommend a company, product or service to their family and friends. Here's how you can use SMS to simplify and improve your referral marketing.
Over the last month or so I've signed up for quite a lot of webinars. I'm always trying to learn more about technology, marketing, best practices – you get the idea. So I've been excited to see many organisations offering SMS reminders for webinars. But there is one experience I had with an SMS reminder for a webinar that I simply had to share.
Discover how to come up with an SMS marketing campaign in this article which looks under the surface of some of the UK's most successful ever SMS marketing campaigns. Whether you are looking to boost revenue, improve customer satisfaction or help your brand stand out with a unique and memorable promotion, this article shows how a simple approach to SMS messaging can work wonders for your company.
The focus for advertising campaigns today is often mobile, web, or digital. It’s certainly true that more and more people are using technology for just about everything. But with all that technology, it’s easy to overlook another, more traditional form: Print!
In sit down restaurants, what is the one feature every patron will look at? The table. Think about it. They need to look down to pick up utensils, put their glass back down, find their napkin, or to find a distraction for those awkward moments with your fellow diners. What if you could turn that time into a SMS marketing opportunity?
Earlier this year there was big news. WhatsApp users were sending more messages each day than SMS users were sending. According to the Telegraph, WhatsApp was 50% more popular than SMS messaging. And the truth is the number of SMS messages sent each day has declined over the last few years. In the UK it was down almost 25% from 2012 to 2013. But is that the whole picture?
Part 1 of a 2 part article comparing Virtual Mobile Numbers (VMNs) and SMS Shortcodes as means of receiving inbound SMS messages. The first part focuses on how VMNs work, what they are typically used for and what they cost. Part 2 follows with details of SMS Shortcodes.
One of the key takeaways from the Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Report was that when mobile is integrated into your marketing strategy, everything performed better. That makes sense when you think about it. Mobile is a unique channel that provides you a direct link to your customers.
Using people’s names in marketing is great. It does provide a certain level of personalisation that can get people more interested in what you’re sending them. Of course in text messaging, you don’t always have the room for a name, your message, and the required opt out information … usually there just isn’t enough room. So how can you make your marketing messages personal?
There's no better time to take a closer look at SMS marketing - could it fit your marketing strategy? What should be at the forefront of your mind when you look at whether SMS could fit with your business? Here we've highlighted five things you should know before getting started.