The Six Most Important Letters in Meeting Marketing
By: David McMillin
Why SMS + MMS equal ROI
You analyze email open rates. You test subject lines. You post plenty of social media updates. Attention, meeting marketers, there is a much more direct path to your prospective attendees, and it relies on six letters: SMS and MMS.
Text messaging has evolved to allow brands to send interactive audio, video and image-based messages, and those SMS and MMS messages are being heard loud and clear. According to California-based mobile marketing company, Mogreet, text messages have a 98 percent open rate.
If you’re looking for a way to stay in touch with your audience and stay relevant, it’s time to ask for their digits.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Members of your audience may be addicted to social media, but they still overlook the majority of Facebook posts and tweets.
“There is a huge problem in social media,” Serena Ehrlich, Director of Marketing, Mogreet, says. “There’s so much noise that brand status updates are simply not being seen.”
While you might give plenty of consideration to your social media calendar, the numbers show that the overwhelming majority of updates aren’t seen. In fact, 88 percent of Facebook stories aren’t even viewed.
Is Email Outdated?
While email marketing can still prove to effective, Ehrlich cites spam filters and delayed response times as primary hurdles for preventing proper delivery.
“Users often have to return to their home or office to respond appropriately to an email, elongating the time between read, receipt and action,” Ehrlich says.
In 2010, the Direct Marketing Association compared click-through and conversion rates for text messaging versus email. The result? Texts were a clear champion with 14.06 percent CTR rates and 8.22 percent conversion rates while emails lagged far behind with 6.64 percent CTR rates and 1.73 percent conversion rates.
Make Communication Convenient
“It’s no surprise that more and more consumers are turning to text messages to stay in touch,” Mary Reynolds Kane, Director, Marketing, PCMA, says. “In a world where we’re always on the go, texting gives recipients short, to-the-point messages without making them answer a phone call or read a lengthy email.”
The youngest members of your audience love SMS and MMS messages. The PCMA Education Foundation-commissioned Millennial Survey found that the younger the group, the more they prefer text over email.
While texting is easy, establishing an audience to receive promotional message isn’t as easy as hitting ‘send.’
Plenty of marketers look for existing lists that match their target demographics for email marketing programs, but the laws of mobile marketing prevent purchasing names in the hopes of connecting with a new audience.
“It’s key to note that text message marketing is permission-based,” Ehrlich says. “Users must opt-in to the program themselves. They cannot be added to a database by a third party.”
Opt-in forms should be short and simple with a simple outline of the benefits of receiving SMS and MMS updates from your organization and a reminder that message and data rates may apply. Make it clear that opting out is easy if they tire of receiving your updates, too.
Lay the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Texting
“Since text databases take time to build, it is crucial that meeting planners begin asking for opt-ins now in order to build a database to market to tomorrow,” Ehrlich says.
Overwhelmed about adding another item to your to-do list? Getting your mobile database off the ground is simple.
1) Promote the opportunity to opt in across all of your touchpoints. Your website, print ads, email communications – consider all of the channels you’re using to currently connect with your audience, and promote the opportunity to receive text updates.
2) Give them a reason to join. Incentives inspire action. Consider offering some type of discount or value-add for signing up for your list.
3) Keep it relevant. With area code segmentation, your mobile campaign can effectively reach certain recipients that may be more inclined to register.
Have you started asking your audience members to opt in to a mobile database? What are you doing to inspire them to act on your messages?