To effectively reach your customers and prospects, you depend upon accurate and reliable phone numbers. StrikeIron has developed a new API that improves your telemarketing and mobile campaigns. The Mobile ID solution enables you to quickly and easily identify phone number type, allowing you to integrate this intelligence into your mobile strategies.
The Mobile ID solution helps marketers distinguish between landline, VoIP and cellular phone numbers. This not only supports regulatory issues surrounding mobile telemarketing, but it also enables marketers to better segment and get the most out of their mobile marketing efforts. Now your organization has certainty in what type of number they are dialing before placing a call.
This solution is complementary to StrikeIron's SMS text messaging service. If you are capturing critical phone number data, you certainly have considered how to leverage that data to support a mobile strategy. Consumers increasingly prefer text over email and other forms of communication.
If you have always wanted to test a mobile campaign, we recommend first utilizing Mobile ID to determine which phone numbers in your CRM system are cellular and capable of receiving a text message. Once you have parsed out all landline and VoIP numbers, you will be able to start implementing mobile text alerts and notifications. With our SMS API, we recommend sending a welcome message initially to make sure users want to opt-in to mobile messages.
If you are interested in learning more, signup for a free trial of Mobile ID today!
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SMS is the most widely used data application in the world, is considered by Forrester Research the “workhorse of mobile," and reports say people sent as many as 10 trillion text messages in 2012. Mobile experts agree SMS will remain a significant part of the mobile landscape for the foreseeable future.
Companies across the globe rely on bulk text messaging to solve a host of business needs and as a result positively affect their bottom line by:
Improving customer satisfaction by sending timely notifications about packages, or service technician arrivals
Increasing revenue by texting reminders to refill prescriptions or service vehicles
Generating sales through special text promotions and offers
Decreasing labor and operating expenses by messaging
Expanding event attendance with save-the-date, early registration or time sensitive data
Keeping internal teams informed with quick links to a new product, meeting changes, or other informational messages
Preventing physical harm by distributing emergency and safety warnings.
SMS – which has never been easier, faster, more cost-effective, or reliable as it is today – is a business best practice, one most big brands and enterprise companies’ use. It makes sense. Text messaging enables businesses to reach people on their mobile devices and smart phones anytime, anywhere quickly and easily.
The First Text Message
In December 1992, the first SMS message – sent from a computer to a cell phone in the UK on the Vodafone network – was successful. The message, "Merry Christmas," sparked a text messaging and mobile communications revolution.
Today, adults are more than twice as likely to adopt SMS over any other form of mobile messaging, including email, MMS, and instant messaging. Additionally, more than 80% of the U.S. population owns a mobile phone and 73% regularly send or receive text messages daily.
A 20-Year SMS Evolution
Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen gets credit for the innovative idea of delivering a simple message from one device to another, even if the receiving device is off, or outside a coverage area as he enjoyed a bite to eat in a Denmark pizzeria.
Following this epiphany, he wrote down a few specifications and in December 1992 the first SMS message – sent from a computer to a cell phone in the UK on the Vodafone network – wishing someone “Merry Christmas” was successful.
Initially, carriers were not expecting much activity around SMS. The growth stemmed from teenagers taking advantage of the far less expensive communications method compared to voice to-voice calls charged for each minute of usage. A host of acronym-based expressions emerged (LOL, OMG and CUL8R to name a few of the firsts), accelerating the mobile messaging revolution even further. Carriers standardized SMS messaging formats in 1999.
Additionally, people appreciated the private nature of SMS messaging, and mobile carriers capitalized on the technology going to great lengths to prevent SPAM and other potentially unwelcome messages, which could cause usage – and therefore their revenue – to deteriorate.
An SMS Mobile Marketing Pioneer
StrikeIron, a pioneer in data quality communications, provided SMS capabilities to customers at the beginning of the 21st Century, sending texts through email. In approximately, 2006, StrikeIron developed more sophisticated ways for businesses to integrate SMS technology.
Today, StrikeIron enables the programmatic sending of text messages to mobile devices in real-time using a Cloud-based API, continuing to enhance SMS applications based on customer business needs and market demands.
Learn more about StrikeIron SMS Mobile Marketing solutions:
On behalf of StrikeIron, we wish you a happy and safe holiday, and look forward to your comments below!
The reasons for why you should be doing mobile marketing are numerous and profound. It’s been well documented how text messaging is a pervasive, attractive channel.
Mobile has been championed largely for its ability to serve as an advertising platform for marketers. However, mobile does not need to be all about flashy ads or innovative promotions and campaigns.
SMS text messaging remains one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to increase revenue and brand engagement. While text alerts and notifications are not a glamorous or groundbreaking mobile tactic, they yield great results. Studies show that SMS has an unprecedented 98% open rate (almost all text messages are usually read within five seconds!).
While SMS alerts and notifications are simple, they are excellent at ensuring a great customer service, turning consumers into brand evangelists.
As a marketer and brand advocate, I can appreciate a well-executed SMS campaign. I thought I would highlight a few of my personal favorite SMS alerts and notifications:
- CVS/pharmacy: CVS/pharmacy rolled out their SMS program known as Order Ready Text Messaging, which notifies users when their prescription is ready to be picked up at their local pharmacy.
“CVS/pharmacy launched Order Ready Text Messaging to allow customers the convenience of receiving an immediate notification when their prescription is ready to be picked up,” said Erin Pensa, director of public relations for CVS/pharmacy.
“This program enhances communication with our customers by letting them know their orders are ready when they would not otherwise be aware, eliminating the need for them to call-in to check and, ultimately, save the customer time,” she said.
Text alerts are available at more than 7,300 locations in the U.S., including the one I personally use. I opted-in to the Order Ready Text Messaging program, which I have found beneficial. It definitely saved the time and hassle of calling into the pharmacy to confirm pickup time. I never have to wait around the pharmacy, because I now know exactly when a prescription is ready. Whether CVS/pharmacy fulfills an order early or late, I can adjust my time accordingly.
Time is not only critical for the sake of convenience, but customers’ medical health. This is why the immediacy of text messaging allows for a great customer experience at CVS/pharmacy.
- Barnes & Noble: While Amazon.com is the largest retailer on the Internet, Barnes & Noble remains the largest book retailer in the U.S. For those of us who still prefer to have a brick-and-mortar store, Barnes & Noble is a great option due to its “Pick Me Up” program.
Barnes & Noble created this program to blend its online and offline presence. The premise behind it is simple: “Reserve Online, Pick Up at a Store Near You.”
The “Pick Me Up” program is ideal for cross-channel consumerism. The days are long gone when people researched and purchased products in the same channel. Barnes & Noble’s mobile program helps account for this shift in buyers.
Customers receive a text notification of when a book is ready to be picked up at their local store. In short, mobile serves as the bridge between online and the brick-and-mortar store.
As a customer, I liked this mobile program for the times when I simply do not want to pay for shipping or wait a week to get the juicy bestseller.
Receiving a SMS alert made the whole buying process run very smoothly. When you arrive at the store, you go straight to the checkout line and let the cashier know you have a pickup order. They’ll grab the items from behind the registers for you, allowing a quick and convenient buying process. Now you do not have to waste time searching the store for a book only to find it is out of stock.
This Tweet succinctly sums up one customer’s satisfaction with the “Pick Me Up” program:
- Verizon Wireless: Verizon Wireless can send an email or a text message to your phone to notify you when the bill is available, as well as usage warning texts on your behalf.
According to the L.A. Times, Verizon, AT&T and other cell major cellphone providers have agreed with U.S. regulators to end bill shock by sending warning text messages to subscribers who are approaching monthly voice, text and data limits.
I like this SMS use case, because it is proactive by creating a dialogue between brands and customers. Remember: a well-informed customer equals a happy customer.
These 3 use cases demonstrate that mobile can be simple, yet powerful in driving customer engagement and satisfaction. Hopefully, they have inspired you to start implementing SMS messaging as part of your mobile strategy. Feel free to share any other use cases that you have encountered and enjoyed.
We will be demonstrating our real-time lead enhancement, data quality, and SMS mobile marketing solutions this week at LeadsCon East in New York City.
The focus of the LeadsCon event is lead generation, online direct response and customer acquisition. Each of these marketing categories represents a prime application of StrikeIron's solutions that greatly increase the value of a lead through real-time data validation and data enhancement, making StrikeIron an ideal partner for companies that are taking on these kinds of initiatives.
For example, StrikeIron's real-time email verification solution, delivered via easy-to-integrate APIs in the Cloud, ensures that an email address is valid, live, and can accept messages. This helps to maintain clean, current, email addresses in customer and prospect databases, as sending email to disabled email addresses can put companies on spam lists and severely hamper marketing communications efforts.
Other solutions that will be demonstrated include address verification (North American and Global), phone validation, reverse phone and address append, email append, and our SMS text messaging solution, enabling organizations to communicate and engage with customers on mobile devices anytime and anywhere in the world.
All of these solutions are delivered through IronCloud, our award-winning Cloud-based data delivery platform, making it very easy to integrate any or all of them into Web sites, applications, business processes, or anything else that has the ability to consume a SOAP or REST-based Web service.
If you would like to meet with a StrikeIron representative at LeadsCon East to explore these solutions, please visit http://offers.strikeiron.com/leadscon
Many of StrikeIron's direct customers integrate our various API-delivered data services into applications, Web sites, and business processes entirely on their own, usually with a single line of code or two - a testament to how easy this is to do. These product offerings available on the Cloud can be integrated into anything that can consume a SOAP or REST-based Web service (which is just about anything).
However, StrikeIron has also developed technology integration partnerships with many of today’s top software and Internet solutions platforms, solutions which are all enhanced by integrating Data-as-a-Service capabilities from StrikeIron.
Having these capabilities, such as real-time address verification, email verification, sales tax rates, foreign currency rates, SMS text messaging, and phone verification, pre-integrated into various other platforms that are already in use by large customers every day can be a very compelling solution. It is a win-win-win scenario for our customers, partners, and our technology.
One such partner is Informatica. Informatica has integrated several StrikeIron services for the purposes of contact data validation within its Informatica Cloud platform, as data validation is a very important step in the integration of data between various platforms. These services can be used via the Informatica Cloud StrikeIron plug-in, or as directly integrated within the Informatica Cloud platform per our most recent partnership. In the latter case, some of our services are available for use simply by checking a box directly within Informatica's Cloud application. This makes it very easy to have high quality, validated data arriving at a target destination, having been cleansed as an intermediate step while in transit from its source. You can view a recorded Webinar here.
Regardless of your industry, bulk SMS text messaging is on the rise due to the worldwide proliferation of smartphones in the marketplace. In 2011, 6.9 trillion text messages were sent. It is predicted that this number will reach to 8 trillion in 2012.
All signs are clear that the future of marketing is going mobile. In fact, the mobile marketing spend is predicted to be $6.6 billion this year.
These indicators show the importance of businesses utilizing mobile technologies, particularly bulk SMS text messaging.
2012 brings with it a number of opportunities to create SMS campaigns that engage customers and drive sales. Bulk SMS text messaging is by far the most popular mobile means of communication in business. Text messages are a simple and effective way to reach a wide audience with a targeted message. Bulk SMS text messaging can be used in many ways, including text short-codes, text-to-win promotions, and mobile coupons.
Learn more about how bulk SMS text messaging can transform your marketing and sales efforts: http://offers.strikeiron.com/sms-whitepaper/
Bulk SMS text messaging
can drive revenue growth and brand engagement, according to new white paper from StrikeIron
. Mobile marketing
has revolutionized marketing due to its ability to be immediate, relevant and interactive. It has emerged as a valuable channel to improve brand awareness and enhance relationships with both new and existing customers.
Currently, there are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers, which is 78% of the world population. In the US alone, during the first half of 2011, the number of mobile devices in the U.S. rose 9%, causing wireless penetration to reach 104%. There are now more wireless devices being used in the U.S. than there are people.
SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet. The future of mobile will continue to be very bright. By 2012, an estimated 10 trillion text messages will be sent and delivered globally.
StrikeIron’s whitepaper “SMS: The King of Mobile Messaging” explains why retailers and other brands should consider mobile as a medium in their marketing mix. It discusses how SMS campaigns are effective in driving revenue and real results, as well as why now is the time to leverage SMS marketing.
For a copy of the report, go to http://offers.strikeiron.com/sms-whitepaper/.
In today's world of rapid communication, it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. For ease of use and convenience, people increasingly prefer SMS over other methods of communication. That's why businesses and institutions around the world are turning to bulk SMS marketing software to keep up with customers, leads and prospects.
In 2009, BMW Germany chose text messages as a way to encourage drivers to purchase snow tires for their cars. The campaign targeted BMW owners, inviting them to visit a dealership to purchase tires for the impending winter weather. That campaign yielded a 30 percent conversion rate, and $45 million in new business for BMW, an impressive result for a new initiative.
Another unique application of bulk text messaging is the Acuminder program, run by Johnson & Johnson's Acuvue contact lens brand. The company uses SMS to remind contact lens users when it is time to change their lenses. The program also sends SMS reminders about purchasing new boxes of contacts and about annual eye examinations.
What these two programs have in common is that they provide information SMS subscribers find helpful, making a conversion much more likely to occur. Not only did BMW remind drivers to purchase snow tires, but the company suggested the appropriate tires for each recipient's particular model of BMW.
Consider other ways businesses, agencies and institutions use SMS to stay connected:
Retailers and consumer-based companies, like Domino's Pizza and Starbucks, have used SMS effectively for ordering products and services while providing consumers with incentives, such as mobile coupons.
In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two SMS smoking cessation programs, QuitNowTXT and SmokeFreeTXT, as part of the Text4Health initiative. The programs are aimed separately at adults and teens, leveraging information from those institutions' rich databases to support smoking cessation.
Text4baby, a government program for expectant mothers, has grown from a pilot program to a national one in just two years. Mothers who sign up for the service receive weekly updates on prenatal care and overall pregnancy health.
We love hearing about novel ways customers use our SMS Alerts and Notifications service to successfully raise the bar for customer service and marketing initiatives. Leave us a comment below and let us know how you’ve utilized SMS messaging in your marketing or customer service campaigns, or contact us to learn more.
When Oracle releases version 7.1 of its NetBeans IDE, 8 different StrikeIron Web Services APIs will be pre-integrated into the development environment. This makes it easy to build applications that leverage StrikeIron functionality and its real-time data sources. All of the underlying data sources are updated and maintained within StrikeIron's data center utilizing its IronCloud platform. Since the interfaces, behavior, and data structures are the same across all of StrikeIron's APIs, it makes it very easy to build sophisticated applications that leverage these external data sources, and without the corresponding cost traditionally associated with procuring, updating, and maintaining these data sources internally.
The 8 services to be included are:
Foreign Currency Exchange Rates (160 currencies updated every 30 minutes)
North American (US & Canada) Address Verification (CASS & SERP)
Global Address Verification (240+ countries)
IP Address Lookup
Reverse Phone Lookup
SMS Text Message Alerts (Supports 600 carriers in 60+ countries)
Sales and Use Tax Rates Complete (US & Canada)
Using the IDE, these Web services can easily be integrated into Web applications, business processes, Websites, and enterprise software applications, and anywhere else where SOAP-based Web services can be consumed.
Version 7.1 including the integration will be released soon. The nightly development build of the NetBeans IDE 7.1 that includes these services can however be downloaded and installed now from here: http://bits.netbeans.org/download/trunk/nightly/