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  • 25 Sep 2017
    A few years ago, digital marketing was a nice-to-have but many small businesses got by without it by relying on word-of-mouth and traditional forms of advertising. Today, that no longer works because consumers go straight so a search engine on their mobile phone when they need to find something. Small businesses that haven’t invested in digital marketing won’t get seen and their competitors will get all the business. Here are five digital marketing tips that small business owners need to know.Focus on localIf you’re a local business (not online) that depends on people in the community visiting your store, then you really need to make sure that your business is being found by locals. That means your website’s title tags and meta descriptions should include the name of the city or town you’re located in. That way, when people search for a type of business in your city, your site will be more likely to show up on the first page of the search results. Also make sure you’re on any relevant directories like Google My Business and Yelp. They’re free and they’ll help you get more business since people often use these directories to find local businesses and read reviews.Optimize for mobileMore than half of your web traffic will originate from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. You want to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices and that mobile load times are fast as well. A negative experience trying to load or navigate a site not optimized for mobile will send potential customers to your competition. Try SMS marketingYou don’t have to be a big company to invest in SMS marketing. Bulk SMS platforms are easily scalable so it can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Register a shortcode and keyword to simplify the opt-in process. Find ways to get permission from regular customers to send them text messages. You can do this at the point of sale in-store or at online checkout. You can also use SMS to send appointment reminders and shipment notifications. SMS is a great way to set up a loyalty club where your regular customers can be notified of exclusive deals just for them.Start building a social media presenceSocial media marketing is free to get started with but you also have the option to invest money if you want to sponsor posts so that people who don’t follow you on a given platform can still see your content. If you regularly post interesting content and if you’re quick to respond to customers who engage with your content or message you on the social media platform, you’ll eventually establish a good social media following who will do some of your marketing for you for free by sharing your page with their friends.Keep track of ROI and other metricsKey performance indicators can help you measure the effectiveness of your various mobile marketing efforts. There are plenty of tools that help you keep track of important metrics. Of course the most important metric regardless of channel is going to be your return on investment. Keep track of what you’re spending and what you’re making in return to determine how you want to allocate your marketing budget in the future across different channels. As you test new strategies and pay attention to the results, you can continuously fine tune your digital marketing strategy to make it more effective for your small business.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    53 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 28 Nov 2017
    SMS is one of the easiest marketing channels to get started with but a difficult one to master. The 160-character limit means every single word counts and crafting that perfect text message will take a lot of trial and error. The following four tips, however, are aimed at first-time SMS marketers just getting started with the channel. If you follow them, you’ll be well on your way to SMS marketing success.Choosing a bulk SMS serviceTrying to launch and run an SMS campaign all by yourself is a recipe for disaster. Bulk SMS services are platforms that allow you to automate much of the SMS campaign so you can focus on other things. Bulk SMS services have a lot to offer. They help automate opt-ins and opt-outs so your subscriber list is always up to date. You can write texts in advance and schedule the day and time for them to be sent. You can monitor open rates and click-through rates to see which messages are most effective and which ones are falling short.Some services will offer more features than others. Some are better for smaller campaigns while others are better suited for larger campaigns. Once you have your objectives in mind you can compare price points for different package deals and select one that is going to be the most cost effective for your needs.Building your SMS subscriber listWhen you’re getting started with SMS marketing, building a subscriber list needs to be a top priority. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires you to gain permission before sending any text messages so even if you already have customer’s mobile phone numbers, you can text them, not even to ask them for permission to send future text messages. They have to sign up. Through your bulk SMS service, you can register a shortcode (a five- or six-digit phone number that will be easier for consumers to remember than a ten-digit one) and a keyword. To opt-in, people need only text that keyword to your registered shortcode.The best way to jumpstart your subscriber list is to start with your most loyal customers since they’re the most likely to sign up. In-store signage, especially at the point-of-sale, will inform your frequent customers about your SMS channel and your employees should be trained to encourage regular customers to sign up. Customers who follow you on social media are also likely candidates so regularly post instructions for signing up for SMS messages there as well. If you have an email list, include a push for your SMS channel in your weekly newsletter. Use your company blog and website to advertise your new SMS channel as well. An incentive for first-time sign-ups isn’t a bad idea either.Providing valueMany people sign up for the introductory offer or just to check it out because they’re curious but they’ll quickly opt-out if they don’t continue to perceive value in staying opted in. You can’t use SMS like you would traditional marketing channels--to push products or services on potential customers. Your SMS subscribers see enough advertisements as it is. Instead focus on sending texts that make their lives better. These can be SMS exclusive offers, VIP perks, special birthday offers, restock notifications, order confirmations or shipment updates, and appointment reminders.Not abusing your powerWhen customers share their mobile number with you and give you permission to send texts to it, they’re granting you a lot of power--after all, people typically guard their mobile number and access to it. And like Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker in Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Customers can just as easily revoke permission to text them by simply texting the word “STOP” to your shortcode. The most common way to abuse SMS powers is to text too often or at inconvenient times so make sure you’re not overdoing it.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    38 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 08 Nov 2017
    Chatbots are one of the most underutilized pieces of technology out there. You can do so many things with them, yet few businesses are actually using them on a regular basis. By using a chatbot, you can reduce wasted time in the office and increase productivity among your employees. Let a computer do all the mundane stuff, so the humans can focus on the most complex tasks. Using chatbots can be as simple as talking to an artificial intelligence company to get set up and ready to go. In case you needed a few ideas, here are some of the many uses of chatbots.1. Personal AssistantOne of the most easily recognizable ways a chatbot can help your business is through acting as a personal assistant. Most people don’t even realize that Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are chatbots that can organize your calendar, prepare meetings, read recipes, and much more. It’s amazing how much a personal assistant can really do for your business, as it allows people to more easily schedule meetings, ask questions relevant to work, collect performance reviews, and even send information to everyone that needs it.2. Customer Service ChatYou probably don’t even realize that most businesses that allow you to chat a representative use Chatbots for much of that conversation. Only when the conversation becomes too complex does it actually go to a live customer service agent to resolve the issue. It is the reason why most businesses are able to have 24/7 hours for customers service now. Whenever one of those little chat boxes shows up while you are browsing a web page to try and communicate with you, you can bet that’s a chatbot.3. Meeting schedulerIt takes 17 minutes on average to schedule a meeting between sending out invitations, checking all the calendars, etc. What if a chatbot could do that for you? The chatbot could even be responsible for collecting all the data needed for each meeting and providing it to you and everyone else at the meeting. What an amazing time saver in the office!4. Bots with specific purposes v.s. InformationalWhen creating a bot, you can choose one that is purely information, similar to a personal assistant that provides you with information whenever you need it. However, you can also create bots with specific purposes in mind. It’s always better for someone to be really good at one thing instead of just being okay at everything. This same logic applies to a bot. If your goal is to make it good at everything, you may have less success in the area where you actually need it than if you focus solely on that area. For example, if you need your bot to help you prepare meals, then it would be better to focus on the ability to break down, read, and explain recipe instructions.  5. Humanize botsThe most important thing to remember when getting a chatbot ready and preparing for your business is that while chatbots are helpful because they are computers, nobody really wants to interact with a computer. If you can make the chatbot feel like part of the team, then everyone in the office can feel comfortable with it and will be more willing to use the chatbot on a regular basis.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    29 Posted by Emma McDermott
  • 03 Oct 2017
    The email marketing channel doesn’t enjoy the automatically high open rates that SMS does (more on that later). The average open rate for email is around 20% and the click-through rate is around 3%. The marketers who put the most thought into their email campaigns should easily be outperforming those averages, though and outperforming even by a percentage point or two can mean hundreds or even thousands of more customers reached depending on the size of your audience. The following tips can help you achieve better open and click-through rates with your email marketing campaign.Perfect the subject lineBefore you can even start to worry about your click-through rates, you have to think about open rates. After all, they can’t click on any embedded links if they don’t open the email in the first place. And if you’re going to think open open-rate, then you have to start with the subject line. Since nearly all recipients will at least glance at it before making a decision to delete or open. Your subject line should: Be personal. One of the reasons so many emails are deleted unread is that they don’t speak directly to the recipient in the same way receiving a text message does. Something as simple as including the recipient’s first name in the subject line of an email can make it seem meant for him/her and more likely to be opened. Be short. Longer subject lines are cut off so the full subject line isn’t even likely to be read. Your subject line doesn’t have to include all the main points from the email’s body, it can just mention the top one or two things you want to get across to the audience. Be free of words that trigger spam filters. Avoid spammy sounding words and phrases in your subject line like “free money,” “no credit check,” or “winning.” Even if they make it past the spam filters, recipients are more likely to roll their eyes and delete than open it. Use trending keywords. Borrow from your SEO efforts some trending keywords relating to your industry and include them in the subject line of your emails. Segment your audienceUnless your ideal customer already fits a very specific demographic, consider further segmenting your email audience into sub lists. This way you can craft different emails for different segments of your audience. This allows for more personalized and customized messages that will be more relevant to all recipients.Optimize for mobileApproximately 65% of all emails are opened from a mobile device. If your bulk email service doesn’t support responsive design (emails that are displayed optimally for each specific device being used to open them) then find a new one that does. Optimized will be easier to read and any embedded media like photos and videos will display more quickly.Include videoYounger demographics prefer video content to every other kind of content. So especially if your audience is younger, simply including a video in an email can increase the odds of people clicking on an embedded link.Insert your call to action multiple timesYour call to action button is typically placed at the very end so that recipients who’ve read or at least skimmed to the bottom can then make their decision of whether or not to click. But why assume that recipients aren’t ready to click earlier on. In longer emails, include two, three, or even four call-to-action buttons. They can all be the same (in the hopes that some will click earlier in the email) or they can be different ones meant to appeal to different interests. In short, more links means a greater likelihood at least one will be clicked on, just don’t overdo it either.Experiment and testTest your email by campaign by sending out emails at different times of the day and on different days of the week. Experiment with including different elements and keywords. Experiment with calls-to-actions in different locations. Whatever your experiment, just make sure you’re paying close attention to your metrics so you know what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t test too many new things all at once or you won’t know which thing is responsible for the better response if there is one.Make opting out easierGetting more people to open your emails or click on included links is only one half of the equation. You can boost open and click-through rates by reducing the number of people on your list that never open or click. Try making opt out instructions more prominent and don’t lose any sleep over the increase in opt-outs; you don’t want to spend money emailing people who aren’t going to be influenced by your emails anyway.Bonus tip: try SMS as wellSMS costs more per recipient than email and it can be a lot harder to build a recipient list since people are more guarded about giving out their mobile phone number than they are their email address. It’s a more intimate method of communication and more difficult to get right but for the marketer who does get it right, there’s a lot of opportunity since text messages are opened 98% of the time.Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.comSource:
    19 Posted by Emma McDermott
Business 62 views Sep 12, 2017
How to Create the Perfect Landing Page: Six Tips

You’ve already built a loyal fan base through an SMS campaign. You’ve got a perfectly crafted text message complete with a link to your new website and you’re ready to send it to your mobile subscribers. It’s the ideal channel for driving web traffic since SMS boasts a 36% click-through rate (roughly ten times better than the click-through rate for email). But there is still one thing you need to take care of. You need to make sure that the landing page on your website is ready for all the mobile web traffic you’ll be getting. A poorly designed landing page won’t get you the conversion rate you’re hoping for so consider the following six tips for creating the perfect landing page.

Blazing fast load times

Load times have a huge impact on bounce rate (the percentage of people who leave your page without clicking on anything after they arrive there). How fast your page loads is important for all website visitors but especially your mobile ones since they have less patience than their non-mobile counterparts. Since this is an SMS campaign you’re running, everyone reaching this landing page is a mobile visitor. There are several things you can do to keep load times as short as possible to minimize the chance of visitors giving up before the page loads.

Mobile friendly design

Mobile friendly websites aren’t just traditional websites scaled down for smaller screens. The way information is displayed and the ease of navigation have to be completely different. The cheaper option is a responsive design layout which most website building platforms already use. This allows your website to adapt according to the device being used to access it. An even better option, though, if you can afford it, is a dedicated mobile version of your site that is designed top to bottom for mobile users. Either option is better than sending mobile users to a desktop website they can’t read or navigate easily.

Make use of heatmaps

Heatmaps are an analytics tool that help you track the mouse cursor or finger on your landing page. Since website visitors’ eyes typically follow their cursor (or finger), heatmaps tell you where visitors are spending most of their time looking. We already know that website visitors’ eyes typically follow an “E” shape. They scan the title at the top of the page, then skim down the left margin until they find a line that’s interesting, which they’ll skim across, then down, then across, etc… But heatmaps can tell you more specifically if they’re looking in the place you want them to look. If there eyes aren’t finding their way to your call to action easily, it can tell you what elements of your landing page might be distracting.

Don’t ask for too much

Your call to action, whatever it is, shouldn’t ask too much of your site visitors. The more you ask, the less likely they are to do it. Get them to do one very simple task, like, enter their birthdate or email address and leave it at that. You’ll get a much better response this way.

Use visuals wisely

Mobile users are unlikely to read huge chunks of copy on a webpage. Your page will need some kind of visual elements whether it’s an infographic, an embedded video, an image, an interactive map or slideshow, or something else. Ask yourself if you’re throwing in the visual element just to have one or if it’s something that really complements the text on the page. Your landing page needs visual elements, but they also need to contribute something beyond just checking a box.

Include one or two testimonials

The landing page is an ideal spot for testimonials even if you have a page dedicated to them elsewhere on your website. Including just one or two, especially if they’re video testimonials can sway website visitors more than just about anything else since they see other real-life people sharing their positive experience with your brand.

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