Cleansing your SMS Customer Data

In this post we will look at how you can quickly and easily cleanse your SMS database and keep your text marketing communications healthy and engaging.

Most businesses have mobile numbers as part of the data they hold on the customer. Again, most businesses will utilize these numbers sending marketing messages, retention messages or texts with rewards in them as part of a loyalty campaign.

Over time however, this data like any other customer data becomes corrupted, old or just plain incorrect, as customers move house, change numbers, hand their phone to a relative etc…

Even if your sending more than one message per month to your customers, have an opt out process in place and regularly check your reports for failed and pending messages, you ultimately need to cleanse your data every 6 months to ensure your making the most of your live database.

In today’s digital age using simple text messages to acquire, retain and engage your customer base is a key component of growing revenue within you business.

You can use SMS in every part of the customer communication path, from just saying hi, to more complicated text conversations with complex call to actions that allow the customer to make decisions whilst saving you time and money on resources.

Maintaining the quality of your mobile data is key to a successful mobile strategy for your business. Doing this regularly can increase your engagement and lower needless marketing spend.

Its a simple process to run and can be performed very quickly and easily leaving you with a file of processed “live” numbers and a file of “dead” numbers for you to take out of your CRM.

Ask yourself if your business can afford not to do it!




Mobile 101 – SMS for the Contact Center

Decrease hold times and give your customers a better experience by integrating SMS text messaging into your multi-channel UC solution. You can also save your client’s money with shorter call times and fewer support calls by executing money saving tools like SMS outbound queuing and maintain strong customer relationships.

Decrease hold times |

Save money with fewer support calls |

Improve & maintain the customer experience |

In this post we are going to look at how you can utilize SMS in the customer life-cycle of a contact center environment. Traditionally, Call Centers are reluctant / lack internal resource to change or simply dont have the continuity of systems to embrace a fully automated SMS solution.

For the few that have business continuity throughout their software, the use of SMS can be highly effective.  Some examples of SMS use within the insurance world for instance include receiving a text message within so many days of the date of your

010insurance renewal which if you don’t respond to within several days of receiving it, triggers an customer email for the same purpose to get you to renew. If you do nothing with the email then your number will go into the auto dialler for the renewals team who will call you until you give in or tell them your going elsewhere. This process can be made seamless.

Another great use of SMS in the Contact Center world is in the Debt Management industry. SMS is great for reminders to customers, like payment due reminders, payment overdue reminders, contact us to discuss your finance plans etc… All these types of communications can be fully automated around traditional call center technology, like the auto dialler.   No matter if the contact center staff make the first call and then trigger a missed call SMS to the customer handset asking them to text back a suitable time for them to call again. Or if the customer rings in and is on hold you could send them a text message to get them to tell you when the best time to call them back is and save them waiting  on the phone.

64% of consumers would give a big thumbs up to a business that offered text messaging as a customer support method.

  • SMS saves you money on every call
  • Don’t leave them hanging… keep customers happy
  • 81% of all consumers find it frustrating to be tethered to a phone or computer while waiting for customer service help.
  • Deploying money-saving tools like SMS outbound queuing allows you to maintain strong customer relationships.
  • Notify customers via text message when a customer support rep is available and decrease average hold time.

If your call center environment has a current SMS solution in place, its worthwhile looking at updating its functionality every couple of years.

If you aren’t using SMS as part of your customer acquisition, retention or loyalty programs then its time you did!! Over 70% of your customer base see SMS as their preferred communication method and 93% of millennials expect to be contacted via text on a regular basis.

If your looking to upgrade your existing contact center solutions or just want to have a no obligation chat, then give me a call or email me..



Mobile 101 – SMS 2 EMAIL Services

We have all been sent some sort of customer service message to our mobile device asking us to rate an experience or provide more feedback on a product etc.. Traditionally this would be done via email.

SMS is a very useful tool for gaining direct and instant insight but you cant reply with your full, frank and true feelings via an SMS message and you can via email.

Using our SMS2EMAIL or Email2SMS functionality we can take a simple inbound SMS message and convert it in realtime to an email and send to a standard email inbox.

You can send an SMS message up to 612 characters long, and relax as its converted automatically into an email and sent to a recipient’s inbox. The recipient can then reply either to an email address directly or you can set it up so that they can send an email reply which in turn is transfigured into an SMS and lands on the phone as a text message rather than an email. Replies can be sent to a virtual mobile number or to a short code, its really easy to set these up and you can also receive replies direct to your email inbox.

You have the ability to use a sender id, so you can have your company name as the sender if you wish.

This is a really economical way of running customer feedback sessions or transfiguring field sales or field engineers inputs into a system that head office or other parts of your business can look at, read and action.

Running a big promotion on TV or Radio? Expecting a lot of responses to your offer? SMS2Email is perfect for large advertising campaigns due to its ultra effective nature as all responses via SMS go into a preset email inbox, making it easy to manage them and deal with responses etc..

This is a very basic, yet very effective form of mobile marketing and data collection.



Mobile 101 – Online Order Confirmations

In today’s joined up world digital communications enable business owners to engage, incentivise, reward, inform and analyse its new and existing customers alike.

Incentivising someone to make a purchase in today’s always on, multi-channel, digital world is easy given the amount of channels that you can use to engage your new and existing customers.

Rewarding them for listening, performing a call to action or just for being a new customer and making their first purchase is also an easy thing to do in today’s mobile world.

However, its of paramount importance that you know what your customers are doing, thinking and planning right from the start of a purchase and all the way through to them receiving your goods and then afterwards when they are keen to tell others about their purchases on social media and the like.

One of the easiest and best ways to keep track of a customer during the purchase process, is to add SMS into your website. Asking for your customers mobile number at the checkout point is a great way to be able to communicate with them on a regular basis going forward.

Once a customer places their order on the website and confirms the purchase, you can useMarch 2015 011 their mobile number to inform them that their order has been placed, has been despatched from the warehouse, has arrived at the depot for delivery and then once its been delivered you can inform them what time it was signed for.

Order confirmations are sent in realtime, most websites use a simple application protocol layer (API) behind their website which triggers a prescribed SMS message to the customer in question. Order confirmations can be personalised and time stamped for accurate logistical tracking and reporting.

This means that you engage the customer right after they have made their first purchase and can add in additional marketing communications or create a new flow for them as soon as they spend with you.

The quicker a customer goes into your CRM system and starts to receive your ongoing marketing communications, so the quicker you can begin to gain more revenue from that customer too.

Plus its an efficient and customer friendly way of informing the customer and saves costly time and resources in manning phones or sending out emails.

if your not sending order confirmations, then your missing a trick!



Mobile 101 -SMS Promo Codes

In the real time world we live in receiving SMS promotional messages is a normal activity. If your in the Fast Food industry or the high street retail services industry you already know that SMS is a great tool to gain more footfall for your bricks and mortar store or to increase on-line orders through promotional codes to enter into the website to get money off your purchase or free delivery.

Using SMS promo codes you can acquire new customers very quickly and easily. Put a code on the website  or near the till in your store and give people a reason to text in to it for a reward or an offer.  Each person that texts in can get the content and be added to your database as a new customer.

However..acquiring a customer is the easy part.. its keeping them that is the problem in today’s multi-channel world. Their is a formula for this that we can use and it can be written in the following way.


The first part of this formula is Engagement (EN), you have acquired your customer but what next? If you do nothing for the next few months then you wont begin to establish a relationship with your new customer. On the other side, if you do too much you run the risk of annoying them and turning them off instead of on to your business.

Try sending one offer each week to start, use a split channel method using SMS and Email for example to send each offer or reward. Ask your new customer what channels they prefer to be marketed on and use these to avoid your communications being ignored.

The second part of this formula is reward (RD), you have acquired your customer and your beginning to talk to them regularly but what about??? Its no good sending them regular communications if you don’t actually know what they should receive or more importantly what they want to receive.

Regularly sending a customer a reward or offer via SMS has proven to add up to 47% March 2015 016additional revenue against a similar offer on website or via a paper voucher.

Customers expect you to communicate with them and they want you to, providing you know enough about them to give them the info, rewards or offers they want and don’t operate a “spray and pray” policy.

So.. your communicating regularly, you have me engaged and your sending me the rewards and offers I like!! Brilliant. But how do you know what I do with the rewards and offers your sending me??

The final part of our equation is reporting (RP) this is critical to understanding your customers and their participation and action after you communicate to them.

Understanding your customers and what they want, what they like to receive and what they don’t like is critical to your mobile strategy and choosing the right rewards and offers for them to increase your revenues.

Having great reporting is key to the secondary communications phase between you and your customer. Event reporting allows you to trigger new communications and offers to compliment what your customers have already used from you.



Mobile 101 – SMS Fast Track Ordering

Twenty years ago the words “the customer is always right” rang in the ears of every shop worker in the world. If the customer didn’t like your store, staff or your products, chances are they wouldn’t come back and would use simple word of mouth to tell their friends about you… those friends would tell their friends and so on.

Meanwhile its always been the case that good customer service isn’t spoken about nearly half as often as bad service is. Fast forward 20 years and we are in the midst of the greatest socio – economic technology advances the world has ever seen. The internet of things continues to enrapture us, Mobile Apps are prevalent on every major retailer or service provider. I can choose to pay in ten different ways and never actually use the coinage of the land and I can receive rewards and offers in real-time whilst I am in-store and redeem them using my mobile device on the retailers epos system.

Its not easy…. a retailer has to get their customer communications right across several different digital channels. One bad experience and its all over the internet, on social platforms like Facebook and on forums who reach out to millions in seconds where word of mouth reached hundreds in the same time frame less than two decades ago.

Retailers know all this of course and the clever ones are doing some if not all of the things I mentioned above. However depending on where their retail business fits into the chain, they might struggle to know what part of the customer journey to start with.

Is it in-store? Before they come in? When they are still at home via the website and social media?  Each customer is different, they all want different things and what is important to one wont be important to someone else.

However, lets look at us as consumers… we live in a digital age, everything that took days twenty years ago, now takes minutes. The technological advances that have ensured the simple mobile phone was adopted globally in less than 15 years (It took 60 years for the TV to have anywhere near global adoption) have meant that we have become impatient and expect instant service, communications and bigger and better opportunities.

Ask anyone in the world and after the Russians they would tell you that the British love to queue.. no one on the planet queued with the same etiquette that we did. With the birth of the “millennials” that is all set to change. These young men and women, born post 2000 have never known a time without mobile phones, internet connectivity or WiFi. They search, they talk to friends, they pay without cash… and they do it in real-time.. they don’t know the meaning of the word wait!!

When these customer come to your bricks and mortar store they wont wait in queues, they wont wait for service, they want to get in and get out.

That’s where FAST TRACK ORDERING via SMS comes allows you to control queues in your store, gives customers a quick and efficient way to pick up their products and joins your website and mobile presence into your overarching customer service strategy.dec1st 001

A customer can go on-line and order or reserve a product to be picked up in-store – a simple API call can be added into the website which can check the stock, confirm the availability of the product, pick up dates available and collection code.

The customer has already paid on-line and they have chosen the option to pick up in-store rather than wait for it to be delivered. They receive a text with all the information they need on it and simply go into the store between the appointed delivery times and give the code on your phone.

Job done.. customer has there product, you have another sale, a happy customer and no queues at the till.

You also have customer data to add into your existing CRM system.

If that’s not enough reason you can also trigger “welcome” messages when someone signs up on the website as a new customer, send “order confirmation” and despatch SMS and do all this in real-time.

SMS is a simple and easy channel to integrate with any of your digital or traditional marketing channels. If you want to improve your customer service then you need to adopt SMS into your business today…

Good Luck






Mobile 101 – Using SMS for Acquisition

Today’s millennial’s spend on average 8.4 hrs. per day  consuming digital media. texting, downloading, streaming, blogging and tweeting to all and sundry about life, love and anything else in between.

As well as communicating across a plethora of channels, these millennial’s also expect toxmas4 be communicated to across these same channels.  Receiving information, offers, rewards and alerts across the very channels they use everyday.

A retail business has a global audience via its web, mobile and bricks and mortar offerings and today’s consumers are more ready than ever to purchase across all three. Your customers often shop on-line to avoid visiting your physical store but they are also likely to be seen in your physical store on their mobile device price checking similar products at your competitors stores before deciding to make a purchase decision.

This gives the retailer more opportunities than ever before to communicate with old and new customers alike at every step of the purchasing life-cycle.

xmas 5Mobile is the only marketing channel that is truly ubiquitous, it works as a standalone marketing channel or as part of an Omni-Channel strategy. For instance when a potential customer visits your Facebook page, you can use a simple mobile short code and keyword to get people to text in to receive an offer for signing up to your website or making their first purchase with you.

You can engage customers in your store asking them to text in to a short-code to join a rewards club or sign up on-line and then you can engage them with offers and information via email, SMS or Social Media.

You can utilise iBeacons and send an offer to a consumer as they enter your store or offer free WiFi in-store and then when a consumer logs in you can send them a real time SMS offering them a discount or money off a purchase right now.


Using SMS to acquire new customers is a quick and easy way to increase sales, grow your database and encourage communications with a customer. If your not doing it, your missing out on a multi – million revenue generator each year in the UK.

Good Luck!!




Mobile #101 – Essential Guide to Using Mobile Marketing (Series Post)

Post 12 of 12

Developing a Mobile Strategy –  Typical Process Model

Over the course of this series we have discussed the many different aspects of understanding, developing, planning and implementing your mobile strategy.

As part of this final post I want to talk about the 4 stage process model that I use with most clients when we begin to model their mobile channel expectations.

Stage One is all about you the client, setting your expectations for what you want to get out of your mobile channel activity as a business, discussing how you want to define the success of the activity and defining a budget for the channel for the year , month, activity etc…

SM 1

Next you have Stage Two; this is the beginning of understanding your audience, analyzing the data you have in your database and discovering where you fall short. Do you have mobile numbers for all your customers? Do you have any knowledge of the devices your customers have i.e iPhone, Blackberry etc….


If you don’t have a good understanding of their needs and concerns at this stage then your strategy will ultimately deliver poor results. Ensure your database is cleansed and up to date before you embark on the mobile journey.

Another question for Stage Two is… Has my database been opted in to receive mobile communications? If your customers haven’t opted in to receive mobile messages from you then you need to run an opt in / opt out campaign as a priority.

Once you are sure that you have a good awareness of your customers needs, you have mobile numbers for them and you have an opt in record for each of them, you are ready to consider your value proposition.

Consider the what, when and why of your value proposition, what is your proposition? What value does it give to your customers? When does your proposition sales period start? When does it end? Why is mobile the best way to promote it?

Finally for Stage Two, once you have your Value proposition, you need to choose your deployment solution, how are you going to send your chosen communications? In house or with a partner company? Internal tool or external party? All these things need deciding before you pick your solution.

Next is Stage Three, choose the types of message you want to send, is it a basic SMS for instance or an MMS with a link to a mobile website? Make sure you create your assets carefully, consider the other channels that are available to you to compliment the message type you’re using. Make sure you test your communication include other stakeholders in the testing; make sure you get all your feedback on rendering before you sign off on your creative.


You are now ready to send your mobile communication as part of your marketing strategy.


Once you begin sending your chosen communications it is important to constantly evaluate and measure them so you can continually increase performance and hit internal KPI’s. This is Stage Four, analyze and make recommendations for future campaigns, make amends to campaign structure if needed and make changes to process, again if needed.
Of course you don’t need to follow my process model to the letter, some things in this model you may do already, some may not be needed and some might not be applicable at the present time.

However, by following the basic process using my four stage model you will be able to achieve a sound, structured Mobile Strategy by understanding your data, achieving buy in from senior stakeholders on commitment to the project, either financially or with resource and understanding just what your company will take from this project.

We can write this as a formula;


“Understanding Audience + Confirming Company Objectives + Corporate Commitment = Successful Mobile Strategy”

You now have an easy to remember formula and a four stage process that takes us from initial diagnosis of internal benchmarks and expectations through to deploy and evaluations at Stage Four.

Good Luck!!




Mobile #101 – Essential Guide to Using Mobile Marketing (series post)

Post 11 of 12

Identify your goals… What are they and how does the Mobile Channel compliment them?

Before any financial or resource investment into a mobile presence consider the following;

Identify Goals

Once you begin to answer these key questions you can begin to formulate your mobile strategy.

Is your website rendered for mobile and do you need an app? If you think you do then what would is its purpose?

An effective mobile strategy often includes both elements. An app can form a compelling front end, which incentivises users to engage further with optimised content and features hosted on a comprehensive, compelling site.

Integration? Integration? Integration?

A mobile presence should fit into an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy. Think about how mobile data is captured and what future use it will have. A long term approach will help to shape your mobile presence and what it needs to do for your business.

Its also important to consider how your mobile presence will integrate with back office functions. Do you need to link into booking engines, CRM systems or loyalty programs? What about billing or invoicing systems? This level of integration will require careful planning and communication with your suppliers and partners.

Keep it relevant….

The most important way to engage with customers via mobile is through relevant, interesting and useful content. Here are some considerations for keeping customers close;

Personalise – Use customer data and insight to create targeted offers and promotions via mobile

Location – Mobile’s unique advantage is location: use location based targeting to find your nearest outlet and strengthen the proposition with compelling local promotions “head to your local restaurant now for 20% off” etc..

Keep them entertained – think about how you keep your customers coming back for more?

Quick and Slick – Mobile is quick, its users are impatient and constantly demand immediacy, turn them off if your user interface is slow and they wont come back for more…

How are you going to market your mobile channel proposition?

Once your mobile presence is up and running, think about how to get people interested in and engaging with your content. Here are some practical options;


Assessing Success

Once you have successfully launched your mobile channel or re-worked and integrated your existing mobile strategy into your overarching marketing one, there is still plenty to do to ensure it’s performing as well as it can.

Any investment into a new channel or new strategy needs to be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Mobile is no different, and given the fast adoption of mobile as an engagement channel it’s probably the main one to keep track off out of all the channels at your disposal.

There are so many ways to measure success but here are some ideas to get you started;

The mobile consumer experiences many possibilities throughout their day using their device. Simple SMS, MMS and Email via their phone are used daily and more and more people are using Voice interaction (Siri) search, apps, location based services, payments and QR codes to name a few (but not all) of the rest.

When we come to perform our success measurement we need to look at the following;

Mobile Messaging

You can track device carrier in some instances, device identifier, Sent messages, Failed messages, Pending (with network) messages, timestamp of delivery and URL conversion from bitly or other types of links. A good partner will also have an audit trail based on each mobile number and should be able to give you every message and subsequently every call to action (CTA) that the customer has performed with your communications.

Track by voucher download and redemption where your CTA is a follow up piece of content like a voucher or a coupon.

Mobile Apps

Track by downloads and usage would be my starting point then create your own reporting from there once you have lots of interaction with the app.

These are base statistics and you can add to these stats around email via a mobile device which you can get via your email provider including browser type so you can make your emails stand out for particular browsers. You could add in a location based lookup element to your campaigns and track where someone was when they performed a call to action.

Once you start to analyse the success of your mobile strategy in conjunction with your mobile partner of choice, your possible statistics are endless.

good luck!




Mobile #101 – Essential Guide to Using Mobile Marketing (Series Post)

(Post 10 of 12)

Will my business benefit from a complementary mobile channel?

Mobile Marketing will help you to drive footfall, it will offer customer interaction, it will certainly offer voucher redemption opportunities which in turn can increase brand loyalty and significantly improve your consumer marketing and acquisition metrics.

However, although mobile channels provide the vehicle to reach consumers, your marketing content is king. Remember your reasons for investing – grow sales, reduce churn, increase spend, reduce costs. It’s not just about the technology, it’s how effectively you can interact with your audience. The best solutions are invariably represented by multi – channel solutions.

For example, I recently managed a content – driven campaign that was delivered by email due to the amount of copy required in the message. When supported by text message at a later point in the day to drive virtual footfall back to the email, the response rate doubled and our client enjoyed a 52% response to the campaign.

What is my mobile marketing plan?

So you understand your business strategy, objectives, challenges and goals and perhaps even how mobile marketing can help you deliver these today. But what about tomorrow, next year and in three years?

Mobile Marketing is consumer driven, with its endless and relentless appetite for content relevant to the individual at a time to suit, the challenge is to adapt and develop with your customers demands.

An effective mobile marketing supplier will be able to offer you a mobile journey that initially accommodates your immediate requirements. They will provide guidance around client engagement, regulatory compliance, database creation and development, then have the product suite to take you through a development journey, in-line with your customers expectations – incorporating content management, voucher redemption and virtual loyalty programmes.

What kind of success can i expect?

Mobile Marketing lends itself well to a B2C environment given consumers demand and reward. Customer acquisition, retention, loyalty and cross sell are leading anchor propositions. It is easy to see how retail has a great deal to gain from a succesful mobile marketing strategy.

In order to understand the art of the possible, you really should engage a partner with a strong consultative model and a robust and proven technical product portfolio representing presence and communication solutions. If customer acquisition is a business objective then a partner with opt in database capabilities is a significant advantage.

If this series has captured your attention or sparked your interest in mobile marketing, then working with a trusted mobile partner should be your next step.


Talk to me today and let me see if I can help you achieve more from your mobile strategy.