How to increase web traffic with SMS marketing


Though SMS marketing is a powerful advertising channel in its own right, it’s most effective when it’s part of a larger marketing strategy that seamlessly integrates other channels like social media and a mobile friendly website. Ideally, your SMS campaign is driving web traffic and social media presence in addition to improving sales directly through promotional offers and coupons. Here are a few ways to make sure that your SMS marketing efforts are accomplishing these aims.

Include links

If you want to use your SMS channel to drive traffic to your website, then a logical first step is to include a link to your website. It reduces the number of steps it takes for a text message recipient to get to your site. Instead of closing their messaging app, opening their browser and searching for your website by name, a link can take them to any landing page of your choosing. Similarly, you can include links to social media profiles to make it easier for your SMS recipients to find you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other popular platforms.

Include incentives

Simply providing links alone isn’t going to drive traffic. You also have to provide recipients with some kind of value in exchange for clicking on the link. In other words, they need a good reason to want to do it. An obvious incentive would be some kind of deal or coupon though even the promise of exciting or interesting information such as a new product announcement can act as a kind of incentive.

Use a good SMS marketing platform

Don’t attempt to run your SMS marketing campaign on your own. Bulk SMS platforms help automate the process of sending text messages. For instance, they allow you to create a message in the present, but time it to be sent at a future time or date. But most important if your goal is to drive web traffic, SMS marketing platforms provide you with good metrics that you can use to gauge the success of your efforts. By looking at the click-through rates on the included links in text messages, you can see what kinds of incentives are getting people to click and which ones aren’t so you can adjust as needed.

Keep it short

The first “S” in SMS stands for “short.” Customers expect text messages to be short. Longer texts may be broken up into multiple texts by the recipient’s cell phone providers which may cause them to not read the full text. That means if your link is closer to the bottom, customers may never see it or lose interest before they get to it.

Tell them what you want them to do

Don’t be afraid to be direct with your audience. Don’t just include a link and hope they click on it. Include a call to action—tell them to click on the link and tell them what they’ll get in return when they do.

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Customer Service: What not to do


One of the most important things your business can do is make sure your customer service is on par. Regardless of everything else, if you have good, valuable customer service representatives who know what they are doing, you will be okay. However, bad customer service can cost you thousands of customers and millions of dollars in lawsuits. And we’ve seen many examples of bad customer recently.

Don’t force unrealistic expectations

It’s good to set goals and encourage positive behaviors in your company. That being said, the stress of unrealistic goals, especially those tied to job security. Wells Fargo is one example where unrealistic expectations caused employees to create thousands of duplicate checking and savings accounts without the permission of customers in order to meet those goals. After having to pay $190 million in fines and losing many customers and employees, Wells Fargo is now working to promote trust with new ad campaigns to be launched in the coming months.

Don’t lie to or deceive your customers

Salespeople used to be able to get away with lying to their customers to make a sale. And while it was not the best practice, it didn’t really affect the company. But with smartphones making the internet so readily available, lying to your customers can get you into big trouble. Or at least that’s what Volkswagen discovered when it created a technology to cheat emissions testing. In reality, cars were emitting nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times above what is allowed in the US. The car-maker has now purchased back over half of the polluting vehicles, but it is having a very difficult time regaining customer trust.

Avoid physical altercations with customers

Really, avoid physical touching of customers in all circumstances unless the job requires it. Unfortunately, the recen incident at United where a customer was literally dragged off a plane, so some flight crew could take his seat left a sour taste in the mouths of customers. Whether or not United was in the right when forcibly removing the passenger from the plane doesn’t really matter because in the eyes of the people who watched the video of a man being physically removed and hurt in the process, it was completely inappropriate.

As United is trying desperately to respond and fix customer relationships (which hasn’t been smooth sailing), more stories keep emerging making matters worse. One of which was the couple who was recently kicked off a flight on the way to their own wedding in Costa Rica.

Don’t ignore problems

If you have a problem, it is better to address it immediately with customers and get it fixed than try to ignore it, so you don’t lose business. Word will get out fast about the problem, and customers will be mad they heard it from someone else instead of directly from the source. Chipotle had an issue with this when a food poisoning debacle was ignored instead of addressed immediately. More customers got sick than necessary, and it meant the restaurant lost a lot of business. Had the company simply come out, used text marketing to let their customers know about the problem, and focused on resolving it, fewer customers would have been lost.

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Addressing the Challenges of SMS Message Marketing


Marketing through SMS messaging can be a challenge. When you think about general marketing, you might think of billboards, television commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, and anything else. Smart and strategic marketing can be powerful because the format is so versatile. You can grab people with stunning images and comedic or thought-provoking text or dialogue. General marketing might employ a team of top-notch designers, or photographers and videographers, or writers. And marketing projects grab the attention of audiences. With so much versatility and potential for creative marketing mediums, it might appear to be a challenge to market to audiences through SMS messaging, or sending a simple text to someone’s phone.
Limitations of SMS Messaging
Text messages are 160 characters in length, which means your marketing messaging has to be 160 characters or less. That’s not 160 words, that’s 160 characters. SMS messages leave little to no space for images, videos, audio clips, or wordy prose to capture the attention of your audience and convert them into a customer.
While it may seem to be a challenge, the benefits of SMS messaging marketing outweigh the struggles and costs. People are constantly on their phones, and text messages go straight through. SMS messages generally pop up over internet browsers, over streaming videos, and even through phone calls. That means that an SMS message can cut straight through everything else and reach the receiver. With a magazine, they might not even glance at the printed ad. But everyone checks their text messages.
Messages Should Provide Value to your Audience
With text messages being short and concise, it is important to make your messages short and concise while providing immediate value to the receiver. If you are promoting a sale or product, encourage your audience to act now to receive the sale or promotion or special product. Text messages are effective at reaching your audience, but if you do not offer anything for your audience to act on when they receive the message, then they can easily discard the message and do nothing.
Entrepreneur contributor Susan Gunelius notes the importance of offering something of value. “No one wants to receive texts from a company unless the messages offer something of immediate value. Because text messaging is an instantaneous medium, you should include real-time offers.” Your message should create a sense of urgency for the audience. You want them to think that if they act now, they will receive an exclusive and incredible offer just for them.
Power in the Brevity of an SMS Message
Despite the fact that SMS messages are short, they have the advantage of being efficient and powerful. Concise messages that offer a unique value to your audience will encourage them to act quickly. Avoid thinking that SMS messages are limiting, but embrace the fact that SMS messages are impactful, as long as they are appropriate to the audience and provide something of value.
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Rumors of major iPhone changes


We are still quite a ways away from the release of the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone, but there are already plenty of rumors about what customers can expect. With few changes in the last few years, fans are dying to get something unique. And if the rumors are true, that might be exactly what Apple delivers. Here are the rumors of what to expect in the new phone release.

Three different phone options

The biggest rumor about the iPhone 8 is that it will be released in 3 new phone options. Two of these will simply be upgraded versions of the iPhone 7, and they will be named the 7s and 7s Plus. The two upgraded versions will only have minor changes. Of course you can expect the standard upgrades that come with every phone such as a better, faster camera and a faster processor.

The third phone, rumored to be named the iPhone X for the 10th anniversary, is anticipated to have huge changes to it, including the following:

  •     All-glass design
  •     Curved organic light-emitting diode screen
  •     5.8” screen, though the curve will make it more compact than current large iPhones
  •     Home button and side phone buttons moved beneath the screen to make them all touch-based instead of physical buttons
  •     Wireless charging (which might also be added to the 7s and 7s Plus)
  •     3D Touch module
  •     Iris scanner for unlocking the phone
  •     $1,000 price tag (due to the cost of the 3D Touch module and the wireless charging stations)

Can they get away with such a high price tag?

The real question is whether or not the $1,000  price tag is justified. People may not be willing to pay so much for a phone that has upgrades they may not want. For example, people who want to do wireless charging already can buy cases that give them the same functionality. And most people don’t even know what a 3D Touch Module is let alone know how to use it.

But it is Apple, which means they can get away with pretty much anything they want and will always have loyal fans. Plus, the iPhone 7 was priced close to $1,000 before any discounts or carrier deals, so it isn’t that far-fetched to see such a high price tag on the newest iPhone 8.

Other smartphone manufacturers competing

Rumors are that other smartphone manufacturers are also working very hard to come up with redesigned smartphones including the new Galaxy S8 which is anticipated to have huge external upgrades. The Galaxy S7 already has wireless charging available on it, so Apple may be playing a little bit of catch up in that regard.

But with all these changes to smartphones, texting is still a very big, important part of mobile. It just goes to show that text marketing will always be a good way to communicate with your customers. While texting itself gets smarter with chatbot, the method of communication will never go away.

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Growing expectations in customer service


If you are trying to build up your business, you should be looking at your customer service. It is one department that is often ignored. Yet, it is also the department that has the most interaction with your customers. In fact, improving these interactions is one of the best ways to encourage repeat business.

We are seeing customer expectations growing exponentially as the use of technology makes it easier than ever to communicate with customers. Here are some ways you can grow your customer service department in order to give your customers everything they expect.

Faster service

Since there are so many options available for communication, offering faster customer service is easier than ever. Customers shouldn’t have to be left on hold for 20 minutes when you can easily offer other, faster options. You could use AI Chatbot texting to allow for text communication with customers. You can use chat through social media. You can answer emails. The most important thing to remember when using these options is that quick responses are still expected. That is why AI Chatbot is so great because it allows for immediate responses instead of customers having to wait for a real person to respond to them.

Another option if a customer needs to talk on the phone in person is to offer a callback option. T-Mobile, is a great example. When customers are logged into their account, they can press a “call me” button, and a representative will call them when it is their turn in line instead of having to wait on hold. The important thing is that you aren’t wasting your customers’ time, so make it as fast and easy as possible for them to reach out to you.

Build relationships

Customers aren’t interested in buying any product anymore. They want to have a relationship with your company instead. It is much easier to work out of a bad situations if you already have a relationship established than if you aren’t important to the customer at all. Use social media to engage with your customers and ask them questions. The better the relationship, the harder it will be for them to leave you for someone else.

Is the customer always right?

Part of the typical customer service training is to say the customer is always right. But the truth is that the customer isn’t always right. However, if they are wrong, it is because you did something wrong. Maybe they misunderstood the product or the particulars of their special. If they are misunderstanding something, it is because your company didn’t do it’s job in explaining well enough. Use these interactions to create better transparency. You can fix any problems you didn’t realize you had in your product or service based on the interactions. You can create better advertisements with better explanations. You can do more how-to videos to help troubleshoot problems. Whenever a customer comes to you with an issue, even if it seems like it is their fault, use the interaction to create a better overall experience.

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Is There a Place for Chatbox AI in Customer Service?

Is There a Place for Chatbox AI in Customer Service?


Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business because it is the way in which your company is communicating with customers. There are many different ways to provide valuable customer service, including phone calls, texting, social media, emails, etc. And depending on the size of your company, your business may be putting a lot of resources into ensuring your customers have a place to communicate with you no matter what time or day it is. But if you haven’t already dedicated resources to Chatbox AI, now is the time to do so. It is more important than ever that you are giving your customers the ability to quickly and easily communicate with your business and get the answers that they need.

What is Chatbox AI?

Chatbox using artificial intelligence is a way in which customers can communicate with a robot instead of an actual human. Most people have experienced calling a company and getting an automated message asking them what they need before directing the message further. The idea is that artificial intelligence can learn and understand what consumers want and answer their questions without having to actually talk to a human being.

Some people hate the idea because they prefer to talk to another person on the other end, especially in the event that they have a problem they are trying to get resolved. Others, however, much prefer the use of chatbox AI to quickly answer questions without information being misunderstood or miscommunicated. And according to Venture Beat, many people are concerned that the cost may outweigh the benefits (though that is unrealistic when you work with another company that does all the programming for you). Having a live person available is always going to be a necessity. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for Chatbox AI in your customer service lineup.

How to get started with Chatbox AI

Many who are calling in or texting your business have simple, repetitive questions that need to get answered. For example, they may call to ask what your store hours are or what today’s special is. As a business, it just makes sense that these types of questions could be answered by a robot that can essentially recognize, understand, and answer those questions. Because these answers are also very specific, it helps customers a lot if these answers are communicated through text.

Two way texting is valuable to your business and is something you can easily incorporate into your business. Part of the reason why a human customer service agent has been important in the past is the ability to understand what a customer is asking for even though the question may come in different formats. That is why artificial intelligence is so important for two way texting a Chatbox to work. The computer needs to be able to recognize the question regardless of the way it was asked and provide an answer that satisfies the customer.

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Facebook and Google: Powerful mobile marketing tools

Marketing is a tricky business because you need to balance your need for getting more customers with the customers’ need to buy your product or service. Many approach marketing as a method of tricking customers into buying something they don’t need, but the truth is that customers want to buy your product or service. Sometimes, sales are struggling because many people don’t even know you exist let alone that you have a product that they want. Another reason is that they have forgotten your company as they have had so many other businesses that do the same thing offer services through marketing. That is why it is so important to up your marketing game, especially your mobile marketing.

Marketing with smartphones

Everyone has a smartphone, which makes it a really powerful tool for marketing. Media Post compares this to the television where it was initially just a piece of great technology that provided media but ended up being used as a great marketing tool. Once businesses realized they could reach anyone watching the program by throwing in an ad or two, it became the norm. The same applies to smartphones. You can reach way more people by advertising through a technology medium everyone is using. The only difference is that there are a lot more option for marketing techniques when using mobile rather than just the typical ad that would have played during a television program.
Facebook and Google

A lot of people on the internet are primarily using Facebook for social media and Google for web searches. For your business, this means they are powerful marketing tools because they have huge amounts of traffic. They have also both done a very good job of allowing for advertising without disrupting the customer experience, making users more likely to view your ad and click to see where it takes them. The more your business learns to use these tools, the more success you’ll have in reaching new customers and helping them realize you have a product or service they may be interested in purchasing. Other social media options are also important, but Facebook and Google should be your first priorities when getting set up.

Texting options

One of the reasons why text marketing is such a good option for mobile marketing is because you can reach customers whether they use Facebook and Google or not. Even if they don’t have a smartphone, they can still receive text messages. It is a marketing tool that is most valuable for reminding customers that you exist and that you have provided them with services in the past. For example, someone who is trying to figure out where they want to go for lunch is more likely to choose your restaurant if you have sent them a text with a deal, regardless of whether or not they even use your deal. It gets their brain thinking about your business which leads to them showing up for food.
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