MSG91 Ups and Downs – Updates

Dear Customer,

When we started MSG91 9 years back, we started with a resolve to wow you with delightful service, and make messaging simple for your business. Over the years we have been able to build your trust enough to have most of you as our regular clients for more than 3 years. For that we are thankful.

As is true with all technical services – there are down times. We face issues that cause disruptions in our availability. Since we have been able to recruit a great team, that is dedicated to deliver delight, they get on to it, as soon as a issue surfaces. However, not all the situations we confront are dependent entirely on us. There are dependencies on server, infrastructure supporters and more. In such disruptions of service as well, we owe it to you, to keep you informed and updated. We want you to know we are doing everything in our capacity to solve every challenge, and make messaging smoother, and more effective for you, everyday.

In this attempt, we have created this page, where we will update every downtime and it’s resolution. We want you to know what we did, and when.

It covers incidences from December, 2018 –

8th Dec, 2018

Disruption start time- 9:30am (IST)

End time- 12:30pm (IST)

Fallback could not be activated and so all SMS in duration either delayed or failed.

The issue
Fault in our development and architecture level – a single point of failure

Action we are taking to prevent this in future

We are changing all single point of failures and slowing our development for time being.

Impact

Today we faced the biggest downtime in the last 5 years which was without fallback. It was our responsibility and we are extremely sorry to have this event.

5th Dec, 2018

Disruption start time- 4:10pm (IST)

End time- 7:50pm (IST)

Fallback was activated at 4:55pm to ensure your SMS delivery is not impacted. You can read more about fallback here https://help.msg91.com/article/272-what-is-fallback-and-how-it-works

The issue

AWS account got blocked because of some technical issues at AWS, exact issue will be shared by AWS team soon.

Action we are taking to prevent this in future

Building a DNS level fallback and making existing fallback better to reduce the activation time and including encryption in fallback.

Impact

All critical SMS were not delivered for initial 45 minutes and all other kind of SMSs have encountered 3 hours delay or they have not been delivered.

Since we faced this issue for the first time, we could call it bad luck, but we are striving to foresee such issues and deliver better handling mechanisms.

 

 

Views: 33

Know The Secrets Behind How To Increase Readership

In this mobile-first age where TV ads are skipped and email inboxes automatically filter out promotions, it’s not surprising that marketers are desperate for a tool that can reliably get user’s attention.

What is surprising though, is how influential the lowly SMS text message, a tool that was invented during the early ‘90s, has remained.
Yes, people, we are talking about a 25-year-old tool that is still effective so much so that it boasts an open rate like none other – 98%.


To accelerate services across any and all industries, increasing the number of customer touch points is a good start, but when it comes to content, most marketers only have eyes on internet and digitalization.

Agreed, digital channels are the most correct medium to promote content but there are other communication mediums that would be an effective addition to the digital channels and SMS tops the list.

 

Not many people are readers, but with the right content and the right medium of communication in business, you can even turn a non-reader to a reader. What it requires is their type of content and a simple way of communicating it. And, what can be simpler than an SMS.

  1. SMS is the basic functionality that comes with every mobile phone irrespective of its features or price range and an incoming SMS is accepted and read by all. 
  2. A humane and high-engagement channel, SMS provides an opportunity to connect with a large number of potential and current readers, without adding much burden on your marketing budget.

 

Let us now look at how you can increase readership of your content using text messages; a humble medium of communication in business.

  • It’s All About The Right Timing
    It takes people an average of 3 minutes to open an SMS. Clients’ responses to sales, promotions, and events promoted on SMS are most effective when they’re last-minute impulses.
    In their text message campaign, a Dallas lifestyle magazine, sent a short message to each reader at noon, the day before a new edition would hit newsstands. The message was intended to reach the reader when they might be taking a break and would be surfing their phone for social media postings and internet news to read. The timing of the message worked wonderfully as nearly 20% of those that received the message viewed more than three pages on the site.
    To optimize marketing results, you can take SMS timing one step further by finding out the best time to send a message to a specific individual based on their past interactions with your texts. 
  • Increase Customer Engagement – Call-To-Action
    Calls-to-action increases customer engagement and that’s exactly what you want: for the audience to read, interact, and ultimately act on the SMS.

SMS Shortcode example


A keyword and a short-code/long-code number can be two factors to drive a successful SMS campaign. If you want customers to take part in a campaign that has them text your keyword to your code make sure those two items stand out. Bv

  • Create A Teaser Campaign
    Use SMS to compliment your teaser campaigns where you can send out a preview of what is to come –
  • The gist of the post
  • The headline
  • A few pointers
  • The context

Containing it in a single SMS would be restricting but not with a shortened URL that increases the anticipation of what’s yet to come.

  • Create A Sense Of Immediacy

    Create a sense of urgency example

Including some sort of expiration date encourages customers to respond faster, helping you achieve results or gain information as quickly as possible. With your content, it can be linked to the first few hundred downloads/reads/buy that get an extra insight or some other gratification.

  • Run Targeted Promotions
    If your priority is to drive clicks and sales, targeting readers who’ve already expressed interest in the author/publishers and are specifically looking out for their new articles to enjoy can drive better engagement. Ad platforms allow authors and publishers to reach potential and existing readers.
    If your priority is to drive comments and likes, sites like Facebook and Twitter let you target ads to a fine-tuned audience based on preferences users have expressed on those platforms.

 

  • Personalize The Texts

    Personalized SMS example

Customers respond more to material addressed directly to them, so wherever you can, insert your subscribers’ name. Also, target your existing customers with more relevant texts based on their readership preferences.

  • Promote Opt-In Across All Media
    The best way to engage customers with content to increase readership is to give them the chance to opt-in at every point of contact. 
  • Social Media
  • Website
  • Newsletter
  • Point-of-sale
  • Snail mail
  • SMS
  • Create A Reader Community – Closed – Two-Factor Authentication Solution

Giving readers a dedicated community space can help them feel more connected to a writer/blogger/publisher. While these communities might only have a few dozen or a few thousand fans, but those who participate often become loyal advocates for the author. Many authors and publishers use Facebook groups to house these communities and you can keep it a closed group by setting up a two-factor authentication solution.
The two-factor authentication solution via SendOTP can help authenticate users through a one-time password and allow the author to interact with the chosen audience in a closed group setting.

 

  • Use Feedbacks/Surveys/Webinar To Make Interaction More Personal 

SMS feedback example

To grab a reader’s attention is comparatively easy; retaining it is what is difficult. Use text messaging services to send them feedback links or surveys or the webinar link via SMS where readers could share their opinions or interact through a Q&A session.

 

The Secrets Are Out

 

Short by their very nature, that doesn’t mean text messages can’t be effective in communicating vital information or driving traffic to longer forms of media like websites, blogs, or videos. Text messaging services allow companies, brands, organizations, writers to engage customers and users in a way that gets their attention and encourages them to explore larger sets of information like articles, news, and features.

 

Having loyal readers can make it easier for a writer/brand to increase readership. While reader loyalty is primarily fostered from the love of the brand/writer/previous content, it can also be cultivated through user engagement.

 

  • A campaign based on analytics
  • Time it right
  • Target your audience
  • Add personalization
  • Clear CTA
  • Add a sense of immediacy
  • Across all mediums
  • Use for feedback/survey 

Getting readers to engage online takes time and effort, which may not yield immediate revenue, and the ROI of these efforts can be difficult to measure, but with the right medium of communication in business, anything is possible.

SMS Usecase – How webzines increased their readership with text messaging service.

 

  1. To distribute news, features and columns, The New York Times occasionally offers a text messaging service that allows readers to connect with Times reporters and features. It also allows readers to text and chooses their favourite sections to receive the latest news or their favourite columnists. 
  2. USA Today sends targeted ads via text messages that readers can request on their cell phones, in addition to updated information on sports, stocks, weather and other news. 
  3. To better reach their target affluent 25 – 45-year-old readers, Philadelphia Style Magazine Philly Style offered the first 50 text subscribers a gift certificate for a free appetizer and cocktail at the restaurant of their choice. They reinforced the campaign launch in the subscriber email newsletter.
Text STYLE to CLUBS (25827) and receive alerts for special STYLE

events and exclusive sweepstakes!

 

As publishers migrate toward digital products and services, text messaging is fast becoming a part of the mix. Let’s get you started right away.

Views: 13

The Power User’s Guide To SMS Marketing

Power user's guide to SMS marketing services

SMS, the only universal mobile messaging tool, although 25 years old, remarkably simple in comparison, extremely effective as a marketing tool, no other channel can come even close to the reach of SMS marketing services. 

With such high potential, getting the most of your SMS marketing service becomes paramount. But how can you get the most out of your SMS?

By doing what the power users are doing – tapping the potential of an SMS at every possible level.

The Power User’s Guide To SMS Marketing Services

  1. Target Individual Segments

 

Most marketers recognize the importance targeting and customer segmentation hold in a direct marketing campaign. But what even the best of them don’t realize is that with SMS, you can segment your audience into a far smaller category offering them more curated content.
Unlike other direct marketing channels, with SMS campaigns, there’s no additional cost to create multiple versions of the same offer.

  1. Personalize Your Text – Recipient

 

Researches show personalized marketing to have a higher response. By simply addressing your customer by their first name you’re demonstrating that you know them and are speaking to them as individuals.
It can be very easily done by using the custom and dynamic fields as it allows marketers to customize the text based on each customer’s activities, interests and personal information.

 

  1. Personalize Your Text – Brand

Yes, we have been over this point, but this one here is the other side of personalization – more to do with brand recognition.
The personalized SMS you send helps customers identify your brand easily when you send it with a unique Sender ID that helps differentiate your brand text from the others.

  1. Personalize Your Text – Language

Yeah, it’s all about personalization and once you start doing that you’ll know why we are talking about it so much.
After segmenting the audience, creating the right sender ID for your brand, next in SMS marketing guidelines of personalization comes language-based.

2,430 web consumers in 8 countries were surveyed to learn about how language affected customer purchasing behaviours. The result says it all:

  • 72.1% – spend time on websites in their own language.
  • 72.4% – more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
  • 56.2% – the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Send SMS in regional language

Did you know Quora is available in 9 different languages including Hindi, Wikipedia in 22 and Facebook in 11 regional languages in India?
This is personalization and this is what you need to do. Regional SMS allows you to send text in 18 local languages expanding your audience while hitting them right where it matters. For starters, take your cue from SMS campaign examples.

  1. Use Custom URL Shortener For Weblinks


With just 160 characters, every one of them counts. Maximize the number of characters by shortening the website address using the custom URL Shortener. Not only a custom short URL is an easy way of maximizing your characters, but it also allows you to track the metrics.

  1. The Right Text At The Right Time

A single missed SMS can be damaging and so can be a text sent at the wrong hour of the day. So how can you ensure that your SMS is sent and that too, at the right time? Schedule SMS and send it later.
You can schedule your SMS to be sent later automatically at a future time and date. All you need to do is: Designate recipients – Type your message – Select the date and time – Schedule
You can also designate a repeat frequency and even ensure you are asked timely before the text is supposed to go out.

  1. Ensure The Delivery Of Your Text – Each time, every time!

There are times when the timely delivery of your text becomes imperative – take the case of a one time password or OTP (one time password should be sent only via a dedicated OTP platform, we’ll take more about it).

Your OTP will never fail - SendOTP

 

Agreed, there are multiple route partners and if an SMS gets stuck in one queue it can be passed from the second or the third or the fourth… but it is a matter of few seconds that are ticking away and more importantly your customer’s faith in your services and the fear of losing out on an important transaction.

Your SMS needs to be delivered – on time. And, for that the best SMS marketing services include a backup, here it is voice. The voice backup ensures your SMS is delivered, no matter what.

 

  1. One Time Password


An OTP or one time password or a means for 2FA, are critical and time-sensitive messages that experienced marketers who follow and sometimes even make the SMS marketing guidelines know should be sent only via a dedicated OTP platform and not from the transactional SMS route.

  1. Integrate API In Your Workframe


Thanks to APIs, best SMS marketing services can be integrated into your current workframe via plug-in and add-on offering a ready-made fit for various tools and language including CRM, ERP, CMS or other software. This proves to be a handy resource to create an exchange between the customer and the product/service.

  1. Automation Is The Need Of the Hour

Progressive marketers realize the importance of marketing automation, no matter the size of the organization.  And, they also realize that automation is incomplete without SMS.

 

Automation is incomplete without SMS

 

Integrating SMS automation in a workflow not only saves resources or makes the communication flow independent, it also allows you to create targeted campaigns and automatically gear relevant content and messages based on previous customer communications.

The ROI for SMS marketing services is one of the highest and you should know we are not saying it based on the numbers floating around the web. A progressive marketer likes to explore different angles and go beyond the tried and tested SMS marketing guidelines. To start your SMS marketing services look around for some great SMS campaign examples and try and include the positives in your SMS marketing guidelines.

If you’d like to progress from theory to practical, you now know how power users are using the best SMS marketing services and to guide you more, we’re always happy to help.

 

Happy Messaging 🙂

Views: 37

SMS Marketing For Businesses In The Times Of Automation And Digital Noise

Marketing automation

Why Businesses Text?

The number of times I see a text and wonder why it was sent to me – maybe 1 in 50.

This peace of mind – and uncluttered inbox, I attribute to the DND facilityOnly those brands reach me, that have my consent.

This fact itself makes texting one of the most feasible communication channels for brands. The user has the device on a person at almost all times, and 90% texts are read within 3 minutes of delivery

 

In the times of all the digital noise, here are 3 interesting examples of how SMS marketing for business is unlocking powerful opportunities for brands on a never-seen-before scale.

#1 Ford: Send us a Text

Send an SMS to Ford

Ford asked people to text the word ‘FORD’ to them to promote and get more information on the release of their new Escape and Taurus models. These prospective customers were then asked in a return text for the type of vehicle they were inquiring about, their name, and zip code. Later, a local Ford dealer would follow up.

It resulted in a 15.4% conversion rate for dealers representing millions in sales.

 

#2 RedBox: Ten Days of Deals

10 days of SMS deals

A 10-day long SMS marketing campaign required customers to send a text with the word ‘DEALS’ to 727272. In return, when customers placed their next DVD rental order with RedBox they got the chance to win discounts of between 10 cents and $1.50.

During the 10 day promotion, RedBox acquired 200,000 new “Text Club” subscribers and saw 1.5 million text messages.

 

#3 National Wholesale Liquidators: Mobile Coupon Campaign

 

SMS coupon campaign

A 12 store retailer, National Wholesale Liquidators created an SMS campaign idea to build up its email and text database advertising the campaign online, in-store and via print ads. The opt-in users were given a coupon worth between $5 and $25.

The SMS marketing campaign gave the company 50,000 new email contacts and saw that campaign participant spent a surprising 80% more than their typical customer.

Attentive SMS Marketing For Business

With undeniable benefits, texting boasts of greater immediacy and attention than any other platform. It has an advantage over many other mediums – it has created multiple ways to uproot spam and is effectively doing so – better than any other communication channel.

How users interact with SMS for business supports our claims

  • The open-rate for SMS is 98% while for email it is around 25% and push notification is around 3.10%.
  • The response rate for SMS is 3 seconds while for push notification that requires app installation ranges between 7-48 minutes.
  • Click-through rate for SMS is 36% while for email it is 3.4% and push notification is 1.18%.

As you chalk your business marketing strategy with the best SMS marketing platform, you’d see that no medium is as reliable and receptive, and when combined with other communication channels of email, push notification, voice, it simply adds to the result.

 

Is your SMS marketing for business combating noise?

SMS for business, a marketing tool considered very effective by 65% of marketers, to add fuel to your SMS campaign ideas, consider these 7 best practices.

1. Get User Consent

Text marketing isn’t called permission-based marketing for no reason. You can only send a business SMS to someone who has granted you permission to do so making it critical to the success of your SMS campaign.

2. A Unique Sender ID

6 alphabetic characters for Transactional and an operator-fixed 6 numeric character for Promotional SMS, sender ID represents the brand/company that distinguishes your SMS from million other businesses.

3. Integrate With Your Automation Logic

Integrate triggers for SMS in your product. Businesses are using tools like Zapier to integrate MSG91 into their product’s flow. The more relevant and timely your texts, the more effective they are.

4. Conversation In Real-Time

While making a personal connection with a customer you need to give them the opportunity to connect with you in real-time. Keep them engaged by automated follow-up text messages.

5. Concise And Compliant

Be clever with the content by keeping it concise with a clear call to action. Also, offer them an easy opt-out option.

6. Measure The Performance

A direct, measurable and trackable channel, text marketing for business allows you to analyze which SMS campaigns ideas are working and if they aren’t, then why.

7. Glocal Services

The best SMS marketing platform carries a global appeal to it with extensive carriers but delivers your message to your audience at their suited local time.

 

SMS has become the best marketing platform that is rapidly evolving with the changing preferences of the customers allowing you to have an engaging conversation with the right audience at the right time. The use of SMS for business is definitely on the rise and there are good reasons for it.

It’s time you get started with your SMS campaign ideas.

 

Views: 18

Is Your CRM Missing Out On Something?

Integrate SMS into your CRM

No longer is the price or product a reason for customers to do business with you, today it’s all about customer experience.

The competition is not limited but has become more about delivering a great experience. But the important question is how?

Customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you improve the experience you provide to your customers and in this article, we’ll tell you all about it.

 

Customer Experience – A Top Priority

Leaving behind criteria as product and price, in just 2 years’ time – in 2020 – customer experience will be the leading brand differentiator when it comes to buying decision and it’s not only us but studies too state the same.

So what do you need to do differently to create an exceptional experience for your customer – be proactive.

And what does that mean? It’s simple – anticipating and catering to customers’ current and future needs.

 

A study by inContact revealed that 87% of adults want to be contacted proactively by an organization or company. Proactive service is about the ability to answer customer questions before they even ask them. And believe us when we say, it is going to be a big factor if organisations are serious about trying to meet customer expectations.

Fortunately, there are technologies available to help you proactively be in contact with your customers and one of the best options is the CRM software.

 

Enabling you to get a 360-degree view of your customer that can be used to create customized offers based on their demographics, interests, buying behaviour and more here’s how you can use CRM software to improvise your customer experience.

  1. STAY CONNECTED

You cannot offer great experience without ongoing, meaningful communication. Every contact you have with a customer is an influencer, you have to be great at it every time or you might lose them.

Use your CRM software as a customer loyalty enhancement tool to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty by keeping in touch with them at the crucial touch points. The CRM system can contain a wide range of information of each and every customer allowing you to segment and address the right audience at the right time with the right communication medium.

 

“SMS came out as a compelling communications channel in our research. Over half of respondents (51%) use text to connect with brand followers, while 72% of respondents said that SMS was either ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ when used for Proactive Service. 11.9% said that SMS actually produces the best results for them.”

Great CX Achieved by Personalisation and Proactive Engagement

  1. CREATING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

You do know what CRM stands for – Customer Relationship Management.

And what other way to create a unique relationship with each and every one of your customers than personalizing it at every step of the user journey?

 

“The primary way marketers are satisfying the demand for personalization is through the use of account-based marketing and well-crafted content that carefully considers who the customer is and what point of the purchase process they’re in.”

Today’s Hottest Marketing Trends: Mobile, Personalization, and AI

  1. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE

When a customer comes up with a query, they want an immediate response. There’s no time in today’s fast world for delay, if you don’t respond in a timely manner, you risk losing! But you’d be surprised to know that the average response time for most companies is 12+ hours.

With CRM software, you can speed up your responses to customer inquiries by using the widely-accepted communication channel, SMS. With pre-made SMS templates, you can answer the most frequently asked questions quickly by selecting the template from a knowledge base.

 

“Imagine sending a message and having 98% of your recipients open it in less than five minutes. With SMS marketing, that is entirely possible.”

The Top 5 Text Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

  1. OFFERING WHAT CUSTOMERS REALLY WANT

A history of your customer interaction is recorded in a CRM system helping you offer your customers what they really want, not what you think they want.

 

Providing you with the knowledge of what your customers need by telling you what products or services they’re interested in, are looking at or have already bought, the CRM software tells you also about the problems customers have had before, and whether or not they were happy with the solutions offered.

 

“90% of mobile device users who were enrolled in SMS loyalty clubs felt they had benefited from being involved in the program.”

10 Amazing SMS Marketing Facts And Stats

  1. KEEPING UP WITH THE CUSTOMERS

Today’s customer demand attention and response on their terms, and not yours. This means that you will have to connect with your customers at a time, place and in the form that they choose.

Since they have access to many competing offers, you need to a medium with an enhanced speed at which you can present your own offers.

 

“Text messages are considered less intrusive than other types of marketing. And in an era where people are bombarded with marketing messages, SMS stands out as being the most “natural” or “organic” approach.”

Today’s Hottest Marketing Trends: Mobile, Personalization, and AI

 

CONCLUSION

In today’s technology dominated world, customers expect a whole new level of attention. And they expect you to do business with them on their terms. So yes, this is not the time to miss out on anything, more importantly, effective communication.

 

The customer wants you to understand their specific situations, listen to them, provide them with quick solutions, and basically keep in touch with them. A CRM software helps you to do all of this and more and with a powerful communication medium integrated into your CRM system, be rest assured you will be at the top of your customer communication and experience game.

Views: 12

SMS Marketing – An Expert Email Marketer’s Guide To Acing SMS As-A-Channel

Learn how SMS marketing can enhance the reach of your email marketing campaign.

 

Despite being an old communication and marketing tool, email still rocks and with best practices email marketing has become more refined and effective. If you’re planning to run an email campaign adding SMS to it would add value to your marketing strategy and if you’re not sure how SMS marketing can enhance the power of your email marketing…read on.

 

Understand the similarities, dissimilarities and how incorporating both email and SMS in your marketing strategy can be a game changer.

 

Why SMS is relevant for marketers?

 

Brands need to enhance their presence by achieving greater engagement and SMS or text marketing is an effective way to do so.

Why?

Because today integrating mobile strategy in customer journey is a must and SMS plays an essential role in it.

 

Two-third of the world’ population or 5 billion+ people have access to mobile phones and rising every minute and every phone is compatible with SMS functionality.

 

We use our mobile phone for everything – staying connected, waking up, checking on the weather, news updates, browse, shop, get directions, stay entertained, read, share…and so much more. It can be safely said that we feel incomplete without our devices being around us.

And, SMS is one mode of communication that allows us to reach our targeted audience wherever, whenever.

 

SMS Marketing Best Practices

 

Email and SMS can be considered as siblings as no matter how distinct their characteristics are, they ultimately share the same DNA. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities between the two –

 

  • Consent-based

Similar to email, SMS too requires you to get the consent of a user before you start sending them anything.

 

  • Segmentation

Personalization is the key to meaningful communication and it requires segmenting your audience. And it works for SMS as well. SMS list can be segmented by engagement rates, demographics, acquisition channel allowing for customizing the texts.

 

  • Blacklisting

Similar to email blacklist that includes unsubscribing, invalid address, people who mark your email as spam, basically people who no longer want to receive your notification, SMS blacklist contains people who request to be removed from receiving updates from you.

 

  • Promotional & Transactional

Emails are used in transactional (order update) and promotional (newsletters) capacity and so are SMS.

  1. Transactional SMS – school updates for parents, bank notifications, OTP, appointments
  2. Promotional SMS – Discount offers, coupons, data offers

 

Now let’s talk about the distinct characteristics that give them their unique personality –

Email is the older sibling – dependable, well-liked and accepted.

SMS is the younger one – trendy, quick to action and eager to prove.

 

So marketer’s take note of how these two differ and it will make a key difference when you execute your marketing strategy.

 

  • Size

Unlike email, SMS is restricted to 160 characters so the conversation has to be clear and crisp.

 

  • Speed

SMS has an open rate of 98% and 90% within 3 minutes of receiving it. Besides, it is a great channel for time-sensitive information. Also, SMS OTP is a great channel for authenticating.

 

  • Audience

Millennials are more likely to embrace texts as they are on their phones all the time. While the older generations are likely to prefer traditional marketing medium including email marketing.

 

Although, both SMS and email are effective communication mediums, the dissimilarities are the defining medium of where to use which.

 

The winning combination of Email & SMS

Text marketing is quick, effective and now widely acceptable and to combat the email marketing fatigue you can use both email and SMS to amplify your marketing efforts to reach a wider audience.

 

Here are a few examples of how you can use them both and launch a winning campaign –

 

Email – Send non-urgent notifications including newsletter, updates, initiatives.

SMS– Send time-bound notifications such as meeting reminders, system disruption alert.

 

  • Event

Email – Send email weeks prior to create interest, reminder to sign up and invites

SMS – Send an SMS a day before for event reminder, parking information, weather updates.

 

  • Contest

Email – Send out emails with information and terms and condition.

SMS – Send out alerts 2-3 days before the contest and announce the winners via SMS.

 

  • Promotional

Email – Send out emails announcing an upcoming sale and generating interest.

SMS – Send out additional discount coupons to add up to the offer.

 

  • App launch

Email – Create a buzz by sending emails about the app.

SMS – Send out the download link on the day of app launch.

 

  • Customer service

Email – Send out an email about your customer enquiry/update/ conversation.

SMS – Send the enquiry/update/conversation reference ID.

 

These two channels work well not only because they are similar on many fronts but mostly because of their dissimilarities as they cover diverse areas. And for them to work well it is important to know both, the weaknesses and strengths of each channel.

Use your knowledge of both email and SMS best practices to develop and rock your combined marketing strategy and if you could share, we’d be glad to know how they work.

 

Views: 10

5 Communication Lessons Companies Can Learn From Amazon

The space between the consumers and enterprises is rapidly shrinking, and to be one of the successful companies you need to learn a thing or two from the leaders.

Amazon’s emergence as one of the world’s most successful companies is generally attributed to it being incredibly visionary and extraordinarily customer-centric. While it is undoubtedly praiseworthy, there are many more factors that contribute to the success of Amazon, say for their communication.

 

Here are 5 communication lessons companies can learn from Amazon –

 

  • The Art And Science Of Writing

 

Writing something is more challenging than talking about it and at Amazon they have to follow a set of writing rules. Strategies they plan or agenda to be discussed are written making the purpose of it clear. They follow the thumb rule of –

Think > Analyze > Anticipate

The lesson from Amazon –

  • Be specific about what you want to convey
  • Skip the additional adverbs
  • Stick to data
  • Also, keep it crisp, clear and concise

 

What you can do –

Start writing your thoughts, plans, ideas and iterate. By penning down your thoughts you have a better chance of formulating them into a workable idea. Also, you get a fair idea of what you wish to convey.

 

Takeaway – Precise message leads to clear communication that leads to understanding resulting in saving on resources and enhanced decision making.

 

  1.  Don’t Just Listen, Understand

Thousands of managers each year at Amazon have to attend two-day call center training, a doctrine borrowed by the U.S. Marines.

Listen > Understand

The philosophy at Amazon is not only about listening but also about understanding the customer and no one does it better than Amazon.

 

What you can do –

Train your employees to be a better communicator and an even better listener, they need to know that they are here for the customer.

 

Takeaway – It’s easy to listen, but it is understanding the need of the customer to successfully better the organization.

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To – Apologize

Apologizing is an open surrender telling the world you screwed up, however, a heartfelt apology represents that your organization really cares and Amazon understands if something goes wrong it needs to be amended.

A quick dry and inhuman press release of an apology made the situation worse but what turned customers around was the informal and sincere apology from the CEO, Jeff Bezos.

 

What you can do –

Mishaps are a part of life and if such a thing ever happens, acknowledge and apologize with true intent.

 

Takeaway – Be true to your customers.

 

  1. Things That Won’t Change

“I very frequently get the question: ‘what’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: ‘what’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two – because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time….in our retail business, we know that customers want low prices and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery, they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, ‘Jeff I love Amazon, I just wish the prices were a little higher [or] I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible [to imagine that future].And so the effort we put into those things, spinning those things up, we know the energy we put into it today will still be paying off dividends for our customers 10 years from now. When you have something that you know is true, even over the long-term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.”

This is what Amazon is working on – lowering prices, faster delivery, adding new products, communicating effectively.

 

What you can do –

Plan your strategy on things that won’t change even in the coming 10 years.

As we are talking communication here so let’s take an example of a communication medium, SMS. It has been in use since 1993, more than 25 years now and with time it has become the most powerful communication medium.

Takeaway – Putting your energies into something that customers will still care about in 10 years. If not, start working on things that will matter 10 years from now.

 

  1. The Details Are In The Data

Amazon is the data-driven company. They don’t leave anything to chance, especially their customer communication. They analyze it with scientific discipline and an action plan is implemented based on the data.

 

What you can do –

Establish smart metrics > Use analysis in an active way > Automate

It enhances the efficient implementation of business decisions. Also, forces any employee to stop being complacent about their ideas or performances.

 

Takeaway – Analyze the resources you spend on communicating and does it result in tangible actions that drive results?

 

There’s no immediate action needed to be taken from these lessons from Amazon, a positive change in your outlook at your customer and internal communication will lead to the required actions. Take this as an opportunity to learn from the man himself who’s focused – only on the customer; we surely do 🙂

 

Views: 9

Transactional SMS – Top Brands Benefit From It And You Could Too

“DM-DHLVRY: Thank you for your order. It is under process and you will receive it shortly.”

 

Seems like you’ve read it somewhere before? You might have; it is the most common opening line of a transactional SMS.

 

#DidYouKnow – Transactional SMS can be sent 24x7x365 on both DND and non-DND numbers.

 

That’s because transactional SMS are relevant to customers and expected by them. But, it’s only a handful of marketers who actually use transactional SMS to their full potential.

By optimizing transactional SMS marketers can increase engagement that could drive more profit and that is exactly what we intend to show you how.

 

So let’s make your transactional SMS enticing, engaging and click-worthy.

 

Drive Profit From Your Transactional SMS

Transactional SMS as it is have high user engagement, so why not take advantage of them to drive growth for your business?

Besides having a high open rate, transactional SMS have an impressive conversion rate of 45%.(Salesforce) And transactional SMS are the ones that are not creatively crafted with multiple links and no clear call-to-action (all tick marks that lower click-through rates).

So you can imagine what could happen if you craft a transactional SMS with a compelling copy, short URL and a powerful CTA?

 

Let’s create high-converting transactional SMS

 

  1. Let The Referrals Flow To Increase Revenue

 

#DidYouKnow – Referrals drive almost 900% year on year growth as a program, in terms of driving 1st-time bookings for Airbnb. (Referralcandy)

 

The perfect platform to ask your customers for referrals.

Your customer just placed their order and you send them the order confirmation transactional SMS. They’d be in a happy mood and it makes for the best time to ask your happy customer to refer friends and earn some rewards for it – they’d gladly do it.

If a reference comes from family or friends, consumers are likely to choose the referred brand.

 

#DidYouKnow – Purchase decisions of more than 42% online customers are influenced by recommendations made by friends and family. (Bigcommerce)

 

Simply include a call-to-action telling customers why they should refer you, what’s in for them and their referrals.

The main focus of the SMS should never deter, but a straightforward call to action makes it hard to miss.

 

Dear Paul, your order for size 9 winter boots is confirmed and will be delivered to you by Oct 20. Get 15% off on your next purchase by referring a friend. Know more.

Takeaway – A small incentive can go a long way.

 

  1. Increase Repeat Purchase With Upselling Existing Orders

#DidYouKnow – 35% of Amazon.com’s revenue is generated from product recommendation (Martech).

 

Upselling products to customers who just bought something might seem like you are pushing them hard, but if done right there’s a good chance you’ll end up increasing your order value.

The best way to do it is offer products that go well with the recently purchased item. It is in business terms called product recommendation and Amazon does it quite well.

To encourage a purchase you can add a time constraint of sorts. Say example tell the customer if they buy an item within a few hours (4-6) you can add it to their existing parcel eliminating the shipping cost and reducing the wait time for another one.

 

Dear Meg, Thanks for shopping at XYZ. Your order for a skiing jacket in size M is under process. Your new jacket would look great with skiing pants, gloves, skiing equipment. To shop visit URL.

Takeaway – Recommend products that go well with the recently bought item.

 

  1. Increase Customer Loyalty To Encourage Repeat Purchase

Another great way to encourage repeat purchase is by ensuring your customers are happy with the products they bought and it can be done by providing customer resources.

Encourage customers to use the product they bought to its full potential by overcoming any obstacle that might prevent them to do so. Including how to guides, best practice tips and other helpful resources along with the SMS can help a customer make the best use of their product increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

For example, you bought a white rug and showed it to your friend who said you are crazy to buy a white coloured rug that can be easily stained. Now you are having second thoughts about it and plan to return it. But would you have had second thoughts if you would have received a how to clean guide the minute you ordered the rug?

That’s how you increase customer satisfaction – by offering the customer a great product and telling them how it can be best used or kept.

 

Hi Tim, Your order for Speakers has been successfully placed and will be delivered to you before Jun 10. There’s a small video guide to help you enjoy your speakers to its best output. Enjoy.

Takeaway – Offer guidance on how to best use the product for increased customer satisfaction.

 

Happy customers result in great feedback and reviews and of course next purchase.

 

  1. Valuable Feedback And Review

#DidYouKnow – 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (BrightLocal)

 

You know what increases the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand – good reviews. That’s why it’s important to ask for customer feedback and reviews right when the purchase is still in the customer’s mind.

It’s best to ask feedback or review from a customer a day or two after they have received the product so they get enough time to use it.

 

Dear Ryan, Thanks for shopping with us! Your opinion matters to us and we were hoping you’d write a review about your recent purchase to help other customers choose well. Write a review and you could be our monthly reviewer gift card winner. Review link.

Takeaway – Ask for feedback/review when the purchase is still fresh in the user’s mind. Also, adding an incentive for doing so can add fuel to the fire.

 

Conclusion

Customer loyalty and repeat purchases can be increased with just a little extra effort in your transactional SMS. Try to implement one or two of these tactics in your transactional SMS and see the results.

 

But, make sure to not take the focus away from the information you need to provide and lastly, end with a strong call-to-action that is easy to act upon.  

Views: 3

Plivo vs MSG91: Choose the right Bulk SMS service

Plivo vs MSG91

Bulk SMS is a widely used communication medium to reach a wider audience by various businesses. For scaling the communication and make its maximum impact, to the behest of business operations, bulk SMS is one of the most viable options omnipresent in the market.

With a plethora of Bulk SMS marketing services available in the market, it is important to choose the best bulk SMS service provider to avail the maximum benefits out of it. Choosing best bulk SMS service could be a tricky task given the scores of options already present in the market.

By making apt diligent comparisons based on different aspects, choosing the right bulk SMS provider with good online SMS service would become a lot easier. Plivo and MSG91 are among the top league of best bulk SMS service provider.

 

Plivo vs MSG91: Comparing which is a better Bulk SMS Company

Let us compare the two bulk SMS service providers based on different aspects such as features and price offered:

Plivo vs MSG91

 

Pricing

An important aspect of availing any service is the price that the end user has to pay it. Businesses have always been looking for best bulk SMS provider which could provide online bulk SMS service without burning a hole in their pockets. This makes them look for cheap bulk SMS service which provides them overall well-rounded communication solutions for their business.

Plivo

Plivo provides its bulk SMS service in India at a price of $0.0070 i.e. Rs.0.51 (based on the current USD to INR conversion rates of 1 USD = Rs. 73.48) per SMS credit. This price is slightly on a higher side if you are looking for cheap bulk SMS service.

MSG91

MSG91 is reasonably priced, with one of the best bulk SMS services, offering bulk SMS at a price of Rs. 0.25 (up to 10k SMS credits), Rs. 0.20 (for 10k to 25k SMS credits) and Rs. 0.18 (for 25k SMS credits onwards). This price is much affordable and one of the most effective prices for which one could buy the best bulk SMS service.

 

Global Presence

Presence in the global market is very important for a bulk SMS service provider to be able to cater to businesses across the world. Any business who is looking for a good SMS service provider ensures a good global presence of the SMS service provider.

Plivo

Plivo is an SMS service provider which has a wide global presence with a prominence in the US. This makes it a desirable bulk SMS provider for the businesses which are looking for an enhanced global exposure.

MSG91

MSG91 is one of the best bulk SMS service provider in India, which is also emerging its presence in the global market. Currently, MSG91 has a strong global reach catering bulk SMS in over 90 countries across the world.

 

Presence in the Indian Market

In order to be the best bulk SMS provider in India, it is important to have a strong presence in the Indian market. India-based businesses always look for the SMS service providers which are omnipresent in the Indian market to ensure a better connectivity.

Plivo

Plivo being a US-based SMS service provider is emerging in the Indian market with time. Currently, Plivo is operating in India from its Bangalore office.

MSG91

MSG91 is headquartered in Indore, and handles all its operations from different locations in India, making it an omnipresent bulk SMS provider in India. This is an added advantage for the businesses who look for a bulk SMS provider company which has a sound knowledge of the Indian market and has a good presence.

 

Special offers for Startups, NGOs and Non-Profit Organisations

Giving back to the society in some or the other form is the best service one can do to the community. Startups, Non-Profit Organisations, and NGOs often use bulk SMS service for their communication. Due to their less revenue generation, they often seek for cheapest bulk SMS service provider which could fit in their budget and provide them with the best bulk SMS service.

Plivo

Plivo has standard rates applied to all the SMS credits purchase and the same goes with the Startups, Non-profit organisations and NGOs. This might not suit their budget, as their budget is often low as compared to full-fledged businesses.

MSG91

MSG91 as a part of their community service offers special discounted rates on SMS credits to Startups, Non-profit organisations and NGOs. This would help these organisations to maintain an efficient communication channel via bulk SMS at the same time it suits their requirements and budget.

 

SMS in Regional Languages

India is a linguistically diverse country, has a variety of regional languages in which the people communicate. Sending SMS in English might not be as accessible to the native languages speaking population. Even as the Google KPMG study suggests the Indian native languages are preferred over English for communication by the people. Thereby, sending bulk SMS in regional languages will create a larger impact on the target audience.

Plivo vs MSG91

Plivo

Plivo offers bulk SMS service, even in Unicode to cater the audience in non-English languages. Due to its prominent international presence, it caters SMS in many global non-English languages but is unable to provide SMS in Indian regional languages. This is a let down for local business which aims to target their audience in their native languages.

MSG91

MSG91 offers bulk SMS service, in 18 regional languages, with expert translation. Now, local businesses could send bulk SMS in their user’s native languages based on their demographics. This way MSG91 is the best bulk SMS provider in India especially when it comes to regional SMS.

 

Practices for better SMS delivery rates

For a bulk SMS sender, it is important to ensure that the bulk SMS which are sent, have a good delivery rate. That is why bulk SMS service providers ensure a better success rate of delivery by following certain practices to the behest of their users.

Plivo

Plivo ensures a better delivery rate of bulk SMS by the practices of number pooling and local match. Herein the numbers are pooled in groups to be able to send more bulk SMS in lesser time.

MSG91

MSG91 ensures a higher delivery rate of bulk SMS with its two-fold fallback mechanism where the SMS get delivered even when the servers fail for some reason. Also, the retry algorithm ensures that the SMS is delivered with other networks even if it gets failed for one network. This makes MSG91 the best bulk SMS provider, with a very low failure rate.

 

The Bottom line

With the above, detailed comparison between the two bulk SMS providers: Plivo vs MSG91, it would be easier for you to determine which SMS service provider suits your needs in a better way. As both Plivo and MSG91 are the top league bulk SMS service providers, having to choose any one of them as per your requirements will anyway be good for your business communication.

Views: 6

An 8 Step Guide On How To Run A Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

Do you often wonder whether your SMS marketing strategy is producing results the way you would like it to?

 

With around 22 billion texts sent worldwide every day, don’t you feel there’s a lot of competition to gain the attention of your targeted audience?

The number of SMS sent each day just keeps growing making it all the more essential to do the SMS marketing the right way. By the end of this guide you’ll definitely get a few tricks up your sleeve to run a successful SMS marketing campaign that can garner more attention, engagement, leads converting into more sales.

Let’s take it from the top, shall we,

 

What Is An SMS Marketing Campaign?

An SMS marketing campaign is an SMS sent from a business to one or more customers or prospects. A successful SMS marketing campaign will get the recipients to engage with your business, take action, and help you to get more leads and sales.

 

People are on their phones at all hours of the day and night. (Experian Marketing Services)

  • Adults in the age bracket of 18-24 send and receive over 128 texts every day.
  • Adults 25-34 send and receive over 75 texts a day.
  • Adults 35-44 send and receive about 52 texts a day.
  • Adults 45-54 send and receive 33 texts a day.
  • Adults 55+ send and receive 16 texts a day.

 

There’s a whole lot of texting happening making SMS marketing the perfect tool for building customer relationships to help you generate leads and sales.

 

Steps To Follow For A Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

To run a successful SMS marketing campaign you need to do some groundwork so you’re prepped for success the minute you go for it.

 

  1. Know Thy Goals

 

A good marketing strategy begins with setting goals, and SMS marketing is no different. Before you begin, think about what you wish to achieve with the current marketing campaign. Your goals can include

  • Welcoming new users
  • Nurturing existing customer relationships
  • Boosting engagement
  • Re-engaging old users
  • Segmenting users
  • Conversion goals
  1. Know Thy SMS

It’s good to know your craft well, in this case, the SMS. There are two key SMS types, but here we are talking about the third one too.

 

  • Promotional SMS – Talks about sales, marketing, offers, basically are self-promotional.
  • Transactional SMS – Informs about order updates, information, alerts, basically are informational.
  • OTP SMS – Used for authentication or verifying user, basically provides an extra layer of security.

 

  1. Know Thy Audience

If you’ve been into SMS marketing for some time now, you’d probably know who your audiences are, but if you are just starting out you’ll have to start with trial and error. But don’t worry, you’ll start collecting user info the minute you start and the next time you’ll have real data to work with.

 

  1. Know Thy Technology

Best SMS marketing services have tools that help you create successful SMS marketing campaigns. The tools include

  • Easy campaign creations and automation flows
  • Allows integration with software already in use
  • Ways to segment audience
  • In-depth analytics
  1. Know Thy Opt-Ins

To run a successful SMS campaign, you need people to opt-in on your SMS list and for that, you need to give them options to opt-in through contact forms, pop-up boxes, welcome gates, social media platforms, ads and other possible options.

 

  1. Know Thy Follow-ups

Once you know your goals, SMS types, technology and audience that you’ve attracted through opt-ins, it’s time to plan your SMS marketing campaign. A good approach is to note:

  • Type of SMS
  • Content
  • Call to action
  • SMS frequency

 

  1. Know Thy Copy

It’s time to write your SMS copy.

For best results,

  • Keep it to the point (as if you have an option, remember 160 characters only)
  • Address users by their name (personalized SMS are more successful)
  • Add contextual content (something that is of value to your audience)
  • Add short URL (allowing users to open a web page/video/ poll directly)

 

Of course, you don’t have to add everything in one SMS. An ideal SMS will be short with a clear call to action and an expiry (if there is) creating a sense of urgency.

 

  1. Know Thy Results

Sending your SMS is just the first step in achieving success, nailing it requires good data for future campaigns. It means testing your SMS – sender ID, marketing copy, call to action, different audience, send time, open rates, click rates, opt-in, opt-out and wherever else it is possible to help you figure out what is working best for your SMS marketing.

 

Now you know how to run a successful email marketing campaign, but before you actually begin, ensure your users opt-in to your campaign. Know more about user consent and why it is important before sending an SMS.

Views: 7