Effective Engagement with SMS Marketing

Effective Engagement with SMS Marketing

Presented by Kevin Boutin and Brad Penwarden

Capitalizing on the Power of SMS Marketing Across All Industries

In the ongoing pursuit of customer relevancy, we at Munvo recognize the importance of developing and maintaining dynamic experiences predicated on consistent and personalized conversations with your customers. There are over 5 billion people who use SMS, with more than 80% of them keeping their message notifications switched on. Considering the rise of mobile users this past decade, SMS has become a crucial component for the success of your omnichannel marketing strategy.

Through a collaborative presentation by Kevin Boutin, Partner Account Executive of Twilio – the global cloud communications platform – and Brad Penwarden, the Director of Products at Munvo – the Marketing Solutions Specialists – our webinar will dive deep into the world of SMS marketing. From enhanced engagement to increased conversions, find out how SMS can result in a better bottom line for your business.

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Personalization for your Mobile Marketing Practice

Personalization for your Mobile Marketing Practice

Enhancing Communications with Munvo’s SMS Gateway

The ‘mobile-first’ mentality has permeated all facets of marketing operations, such as website-building, ecommerce via mobile applications, and the ongoing growth of digital wallets. Smartphones now dictate the way that businesses market themselves and personalize their branded communications. As such, it is crucial to connect with the customers whose handheld devices seldom leave their side.

According to Gartner, SMS open and response rates remain as high as 98% and 45%, respectively, compared to figures of only 20% and 6% for email. For this reason, Munvo developed the SMS Gateway, a flexible software that serves to facilitate intuitive mobile dialogue between businesses and their targeted consumers in near-real time.

With the SMS Gateway, you can convey relevant information and remain in close contact with a set of current or prospective customers. The product’s main features – from its connectors and conversation trees to messaging templates and MMS options – fortify the power of advanced personalization at a speed and capacity that is unprecedented. In this article, we will demonstrate how our team has harnessed this innovative product to support businesses in the pursuit of personalized marketing campaigns.

Find out how Munvo’s SMS Gateway refines mobile marketing practices across all industries to:

Personalize Customer Check-Ins and Travel Offers

Traveling, whether for work or leisure, often requires advanced arrangements that can include lodging, flying, touring, and dining. Travelers want to make the most of their time away – and in the tourism, entertainment, and hospitality industries, their convenience should be your company’s first priority. For instance, when an international airline sought to deploy SMS offers to travelers for exclusive packages from partnering hotels, rental companies, and restaurants, the SMS Gateway prompted our client to look back at each customer’s previous travel history, before finally directing them to the deals or excursions that best suited their interests.

Geotagging can also be implemented to reach travelers when they enter the terminal of an airport. Once they log on to the airport’s free Wi-Fi, the SMS Gateway can initiate a conversation with them via SMS to bring their attention to various promotions. For example, you can solicit customers to purchase roaming data packages from partnering mobile providers. The resulting “Success/Failure” status (based on each customer’s response) can then be saved for future reference.

Personalized SMS messaging ensures that customers stay on top of their itinerary, while granting them the flexibility to modify their plans for a more fulfilling experience, hassle-free. Whether traveling on a family vacation, as a corporate group, or backpacking individually, it is vital to get to know your customers’ distinct needs, or as another one of Munvo’s clients required: to establish communication between their hotel brand and the people checking in. With its ability to form tree-like conversation paths and push lists of SMS numbers to a given short or long code, the SMS Gateway allowed our client to relay key details and limited-time offers to hotel guests; a time-saving initiative that kept them up to date. This information ranged from Wi-Fi passwords, hotel amenities, and room service, to breakfast and pool hours/locations, check-out details, and special event notifications.

SMS Gateway's Intuitive Conversation Tree
In any case, Munvo can assist clients and capitalize on the SMS Gateway’s connector to leverage HTTP protocol and near-real-time communication functionalities, with the general aim of accommodating their respective customer base. The connector’s use of HTTP corresponds directly to your Mobile Messaging Provider (MMPs like Twilio©, Sinch/CLX©, or AWS Pinpoint©), which can alter message performance according to volume and encourage consumers to actively engage. By enabling a link between the airline and hotel’s respective marketing automation solutions and their SMS providers of choice, they were able to develop unique SMS strategies that specifically worked for them. They even customized mobile templates that could be reused as digital assets down the road. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for personalized mobile marketing – and the flexibility of Munvo’s SMS Gateway reflects that reality.

Capture Customer Feedback Instantly

The SMS Gateway enables you to incorporate response-tracking within your marketing automation solution. Current SMS providers lack the ability to support this task, so Munvo took the initiative to bridge that gap.

By surveying customers and gaging their responses through the messages that they navigate within their conversation trees (referred to as nodes within the actual product), we have been able to intuitively reach desired audiences, record their transactions for reference (inbound, outbound, batches), and reassign customers to different messages within their current conversation.

In other words, Munvo’s SMS Gateway gives our clients the agency to capture customer feedback and move the conversation forward based on the data that is provided. It’s no wonder that marketers who employ SMS marketing strategies are on average 79% more likely to adopt additional mobile-specific tactics into their marketing operations, due to the near-immediate results and receptivity of SMS messaging.

Create Customer Profiles Based on Two-Way Dialogue

In light of the SMS Gateway’s advanced customer feedback, you can also draw from, or build on, previous interactions to develop comprehensive customer profiles. This is especially useful in the retail industry, where it is imperative to market the right item to the right person at the most optimal moment. Munvo’s SMS Gateway makes it easy to retrieve and gather end-customer data, and so, enrich your knowledge of targeted consumers, their interests, and basic buying habits.

If, for example, customers purchase an item that makes them eligible to sign up for a specific membership card, the SMS Gateway can ensure that this message is rapidly transmitted to them. The customers would then be prompted to answer with a “Yes/No” opt-in response, in order to receive the mobile wallet card, also sent via SMS.

With adaptable messaging templates, you can even repurpose material that contains personalized customer information. These templates, which are triggered with a webhook, allow you to distinguish and set parameters when requesting customer data directly from your marketing automation software. Afterward, your marketing team can quickly plug retrieved data into future messages or campaigns for effective interactions that are more likely to result in sales.

In one instance, we implemented the SMS Gateway’s connector and integrated Adobe Campaign with Twilio to facilitate real-time, event-driven messaging through the HTTP protocol, in lieu of our client’s REST (Representational State Transfer) connector. We subsequently established a workflow for our client to verify whether certain targeted mobile numbers were already in their database, in order to create new customer profiles or better target existing ones. This is precisely why personalized mobile marketing is one of the best ways to get to know your audience and effectively humanize your brand.

Personalization and the State of Mobile Marketing Today

At a time where we are all increasingly motivated to access digital platforms using our smartphones, it is vital to get to know your customers, their preferences, needs, and impulses. Munvo’s SMS Gateway not only expands and enhances the mobile marketing channel for more direct and engaging interactions, it empowers its users to make relevant changes, or updates, almost immediately. By taking the necessary steps to decipher and learn about today’s consumers, you will naturally heighten their experience and refine your overarching mobile marketing practice. That is how Munvo’s SMS Gateway leverages personalized messaging to strengthen brand reliability, and in turn, build long-term customer loyalty.

About Munvo

Munvo is a leading consulting firm helping clients improve their marketing capabilities through a combination of technology implementations, management consulting and marketing run services. In addition, Munvo Lab develops products and connectors for Adobe, SAS, and Unica Marketing Solutions.

Combining SMS Marketing and Adobe Campaign to Better Connect With Customers

Combining SMS Marketing and Adobe Campaign to Better Connect With Customers

To better communicate with their customers, more organization are starting to integrate SMS Marketing and Push Messaging into their existing campaigns. Join our senior Adobe Architect – Andrew Didinchuk, as he explains how Adobe Campaign users are leveraging their SMS marketing channel to communicate directly with their customers. Andrew will also be demonstrating Munvo’s SMS Connector – a custom add-on for Adobe Campaign that allows you to send mass SMS marketing messages. Joining Andrew will be our guest speaker, Cameron Walt, the Digital CRM Manager of Taylor Guitars. Cameron will discuss how his company uses SMS marketing to better communicate with their customers and convert new leads.

So, why does SMS Marketing matter?

  1. Smartphone penetration in the US is nearing 80%
  2. Nearly 100% of all devices on the market are SMS enabled
  3. SMS message open rates are approximately 99%
  4. 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of being received
  5. All the above points combined offer a very high ROI on a very inexpensive channel

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Join our senior Adobe Architect – Andrew Didinchuk, as he explains how Adobe Campaign users are leveraging their SMS channel to communicate directly with their customers.

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Why Marketers Need to Start Using SMS Marketing Channels

Why Marketers Need to Start Using SMS Marketing Channels

SMS marketing has been around for a quite some time, yet most businesses still fail to integrate it into their marketing strategy correctly. Without getting into too much detail (not yet at least), here are a few reasons why every marketer should be considering this underused channel to maximize their customer interactions:

  1. Smartphone penetration in the US is nearing 80%
  2. Nearly 100% of all devices on the market enable SMS messaging
  3. SMS message open rates are approximately 99%
  4. 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of being received
  5. All the above points combined offer a very high ROI on a very inexpensive channel

Let me take this opportunity to dive into the world of SMS marketing to see how it works and why more organizations need to start using it.

What Marketers Need to Know

The standard SMS campaign consists of two main components: a short code –simply, a phone number – and a keyword that will trigger a campaign promoted via a call-to-action communication.

The call-to-action is the most critical component of any SMS marketing campaign. It is important to present the message in a way that customers can recognize and respond to quickly. Best practices suggest that the selected keyword should be the focal point of the call-to-action and everything else involved should revolve around that.

Typically, the audience segments that do interact with your SMS campaigns are more likely to be your more dedicated customers. Granted, to involve your audience in SMS marketing campaigns, like email, requires some opt-in functionality. Usually, you can handle this feature in one of two ways:

  1. Having the customer text the short code with the keyword, subscribing them to your campaign;
  2. Provide a client with a web form where they can subscribe and register their number to take part in your campaign(s).

The SMS channel is very dependent on other marketing mediums, as direct action is required by the customer to take part in any campaign. When it comes time to promote your marketing campaign, make sure to leverage all available media outlets to maximize exposure and capture engagement.

Metrics to Measure

Like other marketing campaigns, the success of your campaign will be determined by your metrics. It is important to know and understand which metrics should be measured when determining the success of a campaign. Here are what I think are the most important metrics to follow:

  1. Subscriber Growth
  2. Customer Churn Rate: the rate at which customers opt out
  3. Cross-Channel Engagement: measuring which types of media and media locations are performing best (important to tweak these based on engagement rates.)
  4. Redemption Rate: the rate at which customer claim their offers
  5. Cost Per Redeeming Subscriber

SMPP vs. HTTP

When dealing with SMS marketing campaigns, you normally have two protocols to choose from: Short Message Peer to Peer (SMPP) and The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). These are the most dominant options for developers looking for high-quality performance SMS marketing campaigns. Each one carries with it a set of strengths and weaknesses.

SMPP:
  • High volume, supporting millions of messages per day;
  • Very fast and reliable when sending large amounts (tens of thousands of messages per day);
  • Very high server uptime;
  • However, no efficient way to process inbound messages.
HTTP:
  • Much simpler to use. Direct communication with the provider, no aggregator needed;
  • Much faster when dealing with lower volumes (under 10,000 per day) and the efficiency is growing;
  • More features with a sophisticated API interface;
  • Complex processing of inbound messages from the client can implement quickly.

Both protocols are adequate, just make sure to choose the one that suits your needs and your technical limitations.

What is Twilio?

Twilio is a San Francisco-based company that provides a globally available cloud API that developers can interact with to build intelligent and sophisticated communications systems. As your campaign usage scales up or down, Twilio automatically scales with you. On top of that, Twilio has some other significant advantages to consider:

  • Inexpensive on a per message basis, costing as little as $0.01 per message;
  • A powerful API with integration between your marketing campaign system and their platform;
  • Great dashboard to help monitor performance and costs;
  • REST HTTP API capable, allowing for real-time two-way communication.

Our Mobile Marketing Platform: SMS Gateway

Adobe Campaign comes with its own default SMS functionality. Unfortunately, this out-of-the-box functionality only supports the SMPP protocol and is not compatible with most services, such as Twilio. Our team at Munvo saw the potential of connecting the two tools together and developed a solution titled SMS Gatway to handle customer mapping. This solution can:

  • Send messages in batch or individually
  • Pull message status data from Twilio
  • Receive process and reply to incoming messages from customers
  • Handle opt-ins and opt-outs

So, when considering how SMS marketing plays into your overall strategy, think about how you are going to use it and why. This is the most intimate channel marketers have at their disposal, but that comes with knowing your customer. Focus on your call-to-action and make sure you have the right resources to get those messages out there.

About Munvo

Munvo is a leading consulting firm helping clients improve their marketing capabilities through a combination of technology implementations, management consulting and marketing run services. In addition, Munvo Lab develops products and connectors for Adobe, SAS, and Unica Marketing Solutions.