Saturday, December 29, 2012

"SMS, It’s a ubiquitous format you can use to reach 98% of consumers..."


Coca-Cola Sees Expansion In Mobile Future

by , Dec 27, 2012, 8:20 AM
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Coca-Cola launched its largest digital effort ever this year with its “Move to the Beat” campaign for the Summer Olympics across 100 countries. Mobile played a key part in the award-winning effort, with SMS activations, integrated apps and promotional QR codes. MediaPost talked to Kim Siler, mobile brand strategist, global connections at Coca-Cola, about the Olympics campaign and the company’s broader mobile strategy.

MP: Can you give a brief description of your job?

Siler: I sit in the global connections group, within corporate, of the Coca-Cola Company. We set the strategy and the direction of mobile. So it’s about making sure we’re looking at how things can scale and getting the best partnerships from that perspective with vendors and agencies.

I’m currently working a little bit more closely with our brands, helping them with their mobile strategies, and we have a few mobile platforms that we focus on -- SMS, mobile Web and apps -- and right now, I’m going to be focusing on our location platform. That doesn’t mean we’re going to have a platform that manages location, but building out what the strategy is for location -- what vendors and partners make the most sense for Coca-Cola and our consumers.

MP: The "Move to the Beat" campaign tied to the Summer Olympics was a major focus of the company’s marketing efforts in 2012. Did the mobile results meet expectations?

Siler: The “Move to the Beat” campaign was sort of a benchmark for Coca-Cola. It was the first time mobile was an integral part of an integrated marketing campaign. It far exceeded expectations in that we were able to successfully show mobile could part of the overarching story. We rolled out the campaign to over 100 markets, with mobile portions in all of them. We launched the SMS portion of the campaign in nine markets. That may sound small, but these were really key markets -- we’re talking about China, Russia, South Africa, U.S., Canada, Mexico. That was our biggest success.

MP: What about response rates across markets?

Siler: I will say there were some markets that did it very well. One in particular was Canada, which took the SMS program and ran with it. The engagement rates averaged about 45%. We set the global, overarching story line of “Move to the Beat,” and say [to local Coca-Cola teams] here’s the focus, here’s the recommendations, now take it and localize it. They insert local calls to action or a local story line to it.

MP: Is SMS, because of its universality, still the core of Coca-Cola’s approach to mobile marketing?

Siler: It is one that our team pushes throughout Coca-Cola. It’s a ubiquitous format you can use to reach 98% of consumers and…it’s much more personal and much more integrated into what a consumer is already doing in their daily lives. So it is a very big part of the mobile marketing mix. We look at a wide range of platforms and outlets in mobile, so it’s not just SMS.

MP: A lot of brands are in the process of optimizing their sites for mobile devices. Where is Coca-Cola on that front?

Siler: We’re getting there. I wouldn’t say they’re all mobile-optimized yet. It takes time when you have over 208 countries, the number of brands we have, the number of languages.

MP: What does Coca-Cola’s location platform entail?

Siler: Right now, we’re just looking at what really is Coca-Cola’s role in location. Ultimately, we believe that when coupled with mobile payments, the location capabilities of a mobile device/network can enable our vision of a world where people can walk in holding their phone and walk out with their phone and a Coca-Cola.

MP: Without Olympics or World Cup in 2013 is it going to be a quieter year for Coca-Cola in terms of mobile projects?

Siler: I wish it was quieter, but for the 2012 Olympics I was working on that mobile strategy in 2011. So it will be a busy year, especially considering we have the Sochi [Winter Olympics] in 2014 and the World Cup in Rio (in 2014).


Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/190014/coca-cola-sees-expansion-in-mobile-future.html#ixzz2GSHx9exN

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Banks, Mobile, GEO & Data!


How banks will continue to innovate in mobile next year

By 

December 27, 2012

The U.S. Bank augmented reality branch and ATM locator app
Banks, both large and small, now offer applications, SMS and other mobile services. However, as users get more comfortable using their devices, financial institutions must keeping looking forward and incorporating new technologies if they want to keep customers satisfied.
Smartphone adoption continues to grow and recent research from ForeSee shows that the customer experience provided by financial institutions on mobile can translate to real bottom-line results. This means banks need to be measuring the mobile customer experience and looking for ways to improve it.
“Banks understand that they need to service their mobile consumers,” said Gary Schwartz, author of “The Impulse Economy” and “Fast Shopper, Slow Store.”
“Many have established ‘VP Innovation’ roles that try and champion mobile payment solutions horizontally across the enterprise,” he said. “The bank’s primary concern is that its value and revenues will be canabalized by OTT services.”
One mobile banking feature that is likely to play a bigger role next year is mobile payments. Other sectors have been aggressively moving into mobile payments and financial services firms know they need to act soon or they risk missing their opportunity to play a role in how consumers use mobile to pay for transactions – potentially a very valuable service.
Already, there were a few signs in 2012 that banks are moving in this direction.
Bank of America is approaching mobile payments from two directions.
In one example, it is testing a mobile payments solution enabling users to pay for in-store purchases by scanning a QR code at the cash register using their phones. The program is being tested by the bank’s employees in Charlotte, NC.
In another example, Bank of America is throwing its hats into the increasingly crowded ring for mobile point-of-sale services for small businesses.  Mobile Pay on Demand from Bank of America Merchant Services includes an attachment for a smartphone or iPad enabling users to process credit card transactions.
The platform will also provide small businesses with a way to create and send deals and offers.
Bank of America also previously tested NFC payments.
Other banks are moving into payments, too. Recently, Boston-based First Trade Union Bank began offering a mobile payment app built on LevelUp’s platform, giving customers access to LevelUp merchants to make payments.
Location-based services
Another way banks are looking to innovate in mobile is by adopting new technologies such as augmented reality, location-based services and geotargeted offers to further enhance the experience.
Earlier this year, U.S. Bank began piloting an augmented reality app that enables users to easily find and access information about the closest U.S. Bank branch or ATM. The financial institution is using the app to experiment with augmented reality and location-based services as it looks to lay the groundwork to introduce customized offers and other geotargeted experiences going forward.
There has already been some movement toward remote despite capture, enabling users to deposit checks using a mobile device and this offering is likely to roll out to additional banks next year.
Additionally, banks will start looking for other ways to leverage the camera technology in mobile devices for services such as the ability for a bank customer to add a new payee and pay a bill by simply snapping a photo of a bill.
U.S. Bank is currently working on a mobile bill pay service leveraging users’ smartphone cameras with technology from Mitek. The new service is expected to be introduced early next year.
Integrated marketing
Another area where there is likely to be some innovation next year is in tying mobile to a bank’s broader marketing program. There have already been examples of mobile apps being featured in TV ads but the examples of more integrated programs are likely to proliferate next year.
For example, in the Every Second Counts campaign, Capital One is donating talk time via a mobile phone to members of the military every time users login to its mobile banking app. The campaign has a goal of donating six million minutes to the nonprofit Cell Phones for Soldiers during the holiday season.
“While your local bank is unlikely to disappear,  new native mobile service offerings are challenging its role,” Mr. Schwartz said.
“Beyond launching mobile ATM apps, bank will need to provide mobile services such as prepaid, P2P transfer and digital cash in order to capture new revenue streams and meet its consumers’ needs,” he said.
“Digital data allows for smarter relationships with the consumer – banking that goes beyond deposits and bill payments.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Are You Ready for the Mobile-Movement?


RIDE THE WAVE OF MOBILE MARKETING IN 2013

Shane Barker (Mobile-Marketing-2013)
Online marketers everywhere are tuned into the explosion of mobile marketing.  Mobile commerce has taken over the market in a big way in 2012, rising to 6 billion users worldwide.  In 2015, mobile internet usage will overtake PC web usage, and by the end of 2016, mobiThinking estimates mobile users to reach 8 billion worldwide.
Smartphone and tablet sales have skyrocketed this year.   According to search engine data, among the top five Cyber Monday searches were for internet enabled mobile devices including Kindle Fire, iPad and iPad mini.  Millions of people will unwrap one of these mobile gadgets under the holiday tree and they will be excited to download apps and make purchases.
Mobile usage is not only increasing, it is becoming further monetized, as companies develop mobile Apps to track, charge and reward customers.  And it’s not just all about flashing your iPhone at Starbucks to buy coffee — an increasing number of these companies are financial institutions.
So how can your business tap into the mobile market and take advantage of the trend?  Retool your blog or website so it is compatible and optimized for mobile browsing.  Otherwise your mobile site will have a high bounce rate and you will lose out on potential traffic.  Improve your mobile marketing ROI by developing and launching a mobile app for your business.  Flurry.com reports that on Christmas Day 2011, a record breaking 242 million iOS and Android apps were downloaded worldwide.  Christmas 2012 is here….are you ready to ride the wave of mobile marketing?
Shane Barker
Shane Barker is the number one social media consultant in the nation by PROskore Power Rankings. The social media expert is the chief marketing expert at ShaneBarker.com. A webpreneur, startup expert and recognized marketing master, Barker is in high demand by celebrities, charitable and non-profit organizations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

USPS Expands Direct Mail Initiatives via SMS


USPS expands direct mail initiatives via SMS

USPS
The United States Postal Service is letting marketers place SMS calls-to-action, mobile bar codes and digital watermarks on direct mail in an upcoming campaign that will give businesses a two percent discount on qualified pieces.
The direct mail coupon and click-to-call campaign promotion runs from March 1 – April 30. The USPS has tested several mobile initiatives that included QR codes, but this is the first time that SMS has been added to the mix with discounts for businesses that equip their mail with mobile.
“Our strategy is to bring awareness to marketers, retailers and all our customers about the enhanced value of direct mail in a marketplace, which is more and more reliant on mobile technology,” said Tom Foti, marketing mail manager at the USPS, Washington.
“This strategy will highlight and focus on specific uses – in this case, the integration of direct mail coupons with mobile technology as well as leveraging the click-to-call technology with direct mail – and encourage our customers to plan and build robust mobile marketing campaigns with a direct mail component that can achieve greater success,” he said.
Mobile mailThe USPS promotion will take place from March 1 – April 30. Marketers can begin registering for the program on January 15.
Earlier this year, the USPS teamed up with SpyderLynk on a promotion to offer direct mail marketers a two percent postage discount on mail that includes a mobile bar code. The offer was good on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards.
For this USPS campaign, there are two ways that direct mail marketers can receive a discount by including either a mobile coupon or a click-to-call feature on mail.
Under the mobile coupon part, mail that is marked with an SMS short code, QR code or digital watermark is eligible. The mobile component must be storable on a mobile device.
The coupon must be redeemable at either the point-of-sale at a store or through a code that can be entered online.
For the click-to-call portion, marketers can send out a piece that is either scanned or enabled with a short code keyword that is linked with click-to-call features. If the piece of mail connects with a Web destination, the site must be optimized for mobile to qualify.
The direct mail coupon and click-to-call campaign promotion includes Standard Mail letters and flats, Nonprofit Standard Mail letters and flats and First-Class Mail presort and automation letters, cards and flats.
The goal behind the promotion is to increase the value of static mobile coupons.
“We see marketers continuing to expand their testing and use of mobile campaigns,” Mr. Foti said.
“Those that will be successful will be those that build campaigns that integrate with proven marketing channels like direct mail,” he said. “By rolling out these types of promotions, we are encouraging our customers – and actually investing with them – to build creative direct mail campaigns that will enable consumers to engage with mail in more convenient and productive ways, which will ultimately improve marketing and business performance.”
Past initiatives
The USPS has been testing mobile for a while.
In 2011, the USPS teamed up with Scanbuy on a mobile bar code campaign that provided businesses a three percent discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters and flats with a mobile bar code.
Although smartphone ownership is constantly growing, there is still a substantial chunk of feature phone users.
Therefore, including SMS as an option on direct mail components in addition to QR codes helps marketers net the largest number of mobile users.
“The discount programs that the USPS have run to date have been very successful for marketers and for the USPS,” said Dick Goldsmith, president of Horah Group, Pleasantville, NY.
Mr. Goldsmith is not affiliated with the USPS. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Their aim is to encourage mailers to integrate direct mail with mobile technology to show marketers that mail is still very relevant as a marketing channel,” he said.
“For the past two programs the only way to get the postage discount was to use a QR code. As you know, less than 10 percent of people have ever scanned a QR code. The new programs allow the use of any mobile print technology as well as text messaging and intelligent print image recognition. The implication is that now every person who has a smartphone can respond to the offers being made in these mailings.” 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Over 5 Billion Text Sent Daily, How Many Are Yours?


SMS conversations valued the same as phone calls: study

iPhone text
Forty-eight percent of consumers ages 18-24 say that a conversation relayed over SMS is just as meaningful as a phone call, according to a new study from Experian Marketing Services.
With consumers relying on SMS as a communication channel, the study brings up big implications on how marketers can target mobile users. The Simmons National Consumer Study also looks at how often consumers send SMS messages.
“Usage has become a primary mode of communications amongst younger consumers, with more than 48 percent of 18-24 year olds indicating that texting is as meaningful as a traditional telephone conversation,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Experian Marketing Services, Costa Mesa, CA.
“Not all consumers are created equal in the mobile arena,” he said. “Marketers should focus on their target market by age and implement mobile and text-based campaigns where appropriate.” 
Mobile opportunity
Similarly to the 18-24 demographic surveyed, 47 percent of consumers aged 25 – 34 years old said that they agreed to the statement, “Texting is just as meaningful to me as an actual conversation with the person on the phone.”
The percentage dips with older consumers though. For example, 37 percent of consumers aged 35 – 44 years old said that SMS is as meaningful as a voice call. Twenty-eight percent of users surveyed aged 45 – 54 years old. Only 15 percent of consumers aged 55 years or older agreed to the statement.
The research found that 95 percent of consumers talk on their mobile devices during a typical week. Fifty-nine percent of the same group text.
In the 18-24 demographic, 89 percent of consumers talk on the phone and 85 percent send SMS messages.
SMS blast
According to the study’s findings, smartphone owners aged 18-to-24 send 2,022 mobile text messages each month. Additionally, these users receive 1,831 texts a month.
Again, as age goes up, the number of text messages drops by approximately 40 percent per age bracket.
Smartphone owners aged 25-34 years old for example send 1,110 monthly texts and receive 1,130 messages.
Consumers aged 55 years or older send 247 text messages a month and receive 244 messages.
This skew in SMS messages for younger consumers lowers the amount of time spent talking on the phone.
For instance, the 35-44 age bracket in the sample made 134 outbound calls a month and received 81 calls.
On the other hand, 18-25 year olds received 64 incoming phone calls and made 119 per month.
“There is a strong negative correlation between age and number of text messages sent and received,” Mr. Tancer said.
“That being said, we are starting to see text activity – albeit small – in the older age demographics,” he said.
“Marketers should count on mobile's influence in online and offline purchases to continue to grow going into 2013, translating into increased showrooming activity as well as growth in mobile research and purchase activity.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Text2Win Contests - "why" businesses should offer this? (plus you can win $$$)


"TEXT To WIN"
Have you seen it from a local business or on a register receipt?  
Heard it on your favorite radio station or sporting event?
Did you watch Sundays games on CBS featuring a text RASCAL to win tickets to a Rascal Flats Concert?


So why are businesses giving away stuff by using pay for text programs?
  1. Because  Everyone wants to Win Something!
  2. Allows businesses to compile & build a mobile marketing data base for future marketing.


Incredibly Valuable for Businesses being able to directly market those 100% opt-in cell numbers of customers that “want” to do business with them!

"Text is simply unmatched by ANY other direct target marketing efforts!
  • Billion Text are Sent Daily!
  • 100% Of Opt-In Customers WANT Your Advertising & Information!
  • 98% Of Every Text Is Opened In Minutes!
  • Absolutely The Fastest & Easiest Programs To Implement
  • Customers WANT the Instantaneous communication!
  • 99% of All Phones Are Text-Compatible! 
  • ONLY 52% of phones are SmartPhones, so ”apps” immediately eliminate half your customers!
  • However, the BEST way to promote your ‘app’ though, is by using a Text to send it directly to everyone’s cell to easily access!
    1. what other marketing efforts has this success?
    2. sms is still the communication work-horse and marketings biggest hidden-secret!
    3. reasons why over 80% of merchants are currently looking for such successful mobile solutions! 

If you've been considering Text-Marketing and/or maybe you don’t think it’s for you, go ahead and try a Text2Win campaign? Watch how your fans, customers & clients will participate as well as get excited for the opportunity to also receive instant alerts & specials from their local businesses!

Retailers-Restaurants-Auto-Events-Gas Stations-Something for Every Business;
  • easily offer gifts, special savings, memberships, dinners, appetizers, back-stage passes, weekends, lessons, meals, golf, etc.
  • either a onetime event or weekly contests
  • ‘set-it and forget it', automatically sends a “winning” text any time & dates you choose.
  • unique Bi-lingual campaigns
Holidays;
  • every business regardless of type, really should have Text-Contests everyday till New Years!
  • our system will also allow for winners to be staggered during the day, creating excitement and attracting new shoppers winning throughout the whole store/mall!
  • regardless who, what, when and where’s, shoppers are going to ‘opt-in’ and participate in Winning-Texts!
  • How about a text contest to win "NO Standing-in Check-out Line"? 

Give-back Option?;
  • press release / market that ABC Company offering Mobile-Texting and the best part is for every text, money is going to local cause/charities!
Sales / Networking;
  • “Mobile Fishbowl”, eliminates the need for participants to fill-out paper entry tickets, download apps, or use business cards to put in a glass bowl.
  • engage your vendors, offer sponsorships with giftcards, product discounts, movie tickets, free estimates, sporting events, etc…
  • a must campaign for every Business, Retail, Restaurant, Associations, Chambers, BNI, Groups, Networking, Sports, Charity...everything!
  • include all your contact info/all social sites directly to everyone's cell phone with a single text! 


Let us know if may assist you with any of your merchants/clients with more information of how to be instantly set-up?

Plenty of time to take advantage of the holiday shoppers by using a Text2Win Campaign to instantly engage new customers and start building their "mobile data-base"!


Thanks for Allowing Us to Share,
Good Luck!


SMS and MMS based-marketing programs continuing with more than 100 percent growth


How to create effective iPhone-targeted SMS campaigns

Lay's
Marketers have opportunity to target text campaigns to iPhone users
While much of the focus on marketing to iPhone users centers around advertising, they are also heavily engaged with SMS campaigns. Using device targeting, marketers can reach iPhone users via SMS with campaigns designed to meet their needs.
According to a new report by Mogreet, iPhone users are the most engaged mobile audience for SMS campaigns, with 50 percent of the consumers who opt-in to text messaging programs being iPhone users despite the fact that Apple has a 34 percent share of the overall smartphone market. In contrast, while Android phones have a 52 percent market share, only 34 percent of consumers opting into text market campaigns use Android smartphones.
“Our mobile data report found that iPhone users significantly over-index in opting in to text message marketing programs compared to others,” said James Citron, CEO of Mogreet, Venice, CA.
“What does that show?,” he said. “That iPhone users continue to lead the way in engaging in multimedia and text message marketing programs.”
“With handset detection and customer segmentation tools provided by text marketing programming, marketers can target only iPhone users to promote iOS specific apps or opportunities. We see this all the time, it is a great way to support specific iOS mobile programming and to drive platform specific app downloads.”
SMS opt-ins grow
Despite all the attention that other forms of mobile marketing receive, Mogreet also found that SMS and MMS-based marketing programs continue to grow, with more than 100 percent growth in participation since April 2012.
In general, text messaging offers brands the ability to invite a consumer to opt-in to engage in a dialogue and receive content in exchange.
The open rates for text messages are around 98 percent, meaning that this strategy offers marketers a strong method for insuring that their message will be seen.
IPhone users, in particular, are an attractive audience to target via SMS because they are often confident technology users, which helps reduce barriers to clicking on a link delivered by text message.
IPhone users are also heavily engaged with apps and like real-time information, being strong users of mobile for news related to sports, current events and weather.
Content is king
When reaching iPhone users, it is important to include valuable and interesting media specific to a particular mobile campaign.
For iPhone users, the strong integration of multimedia creation and sharing tools makes these users heavy creators and sharers of multimedia. As a result, they appreciate new and exciting multimedia content and are turned off when they receive old content.
“This may seem obvious, but marketers still continue to recycle their other digital assets,” Mr. Citron said. “Consumers who opt-in to text marketing programming want to receive something exclusive and valuable in exchange for giving brands permission to engage with them on such a personal device.”
There is also an opportunity for marketers to leverage the fact that the text messaging experience on the iPhone resembles a friend to friend IM chat with easily viewable images and video.
“This provides MMS marketers the option to create longer text messages with hyperlinks, images, videos, flip books, and more to promote their products or upcoming films/TV shows in a highly personalized manner,” Mr. Citron said.
“SMS is great for sending quick messages such as reminders, but to engage the iPhone users, smart marketers will take advantage of the phone's high-resolution screens and send something that is highly branded and engaging such as exclusive video content,” he said.
Huge potential
Currently, not a lot of marketers are targeting SMS campaigns by devices, according to Brian Teague, chief technology evangelist at Pocketstop, Dallas.
This means there is an opportunity for brands to adopt a device-specific strategy to iPhone users.
“The potential for reaching iPhone users via text is huge,” Mr. Teague said. “Every iPhone user has SMS and they know how to use it.
“Most text messages are looked at within 15 minutes and responded to within an hour,” he said. “You don't get that with any other form of communication.
“If you were to get someone to download and app, with notification, you wouldn't get the same response that you would by sending a message directly to their inbox via text message.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

7-Eleven is leveraging its SMS database this holiday season


7-Eleven propels mobile efforts with timely SMS campaign

7-Eleven
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is leveraging its SMS database this holiday season to drive consumers in-store with a time-sensitive campaign.
On Dec. 1, 7-Eleven sent an SMS message to its opted-in users to promote its peppermint bark donut. 7-Eleven has dipped its toes into multiple mobile channels to drive foot traffic.
“7-Eleven’s marketing campaign for this holiday season is ‘Done. Done. Done,’” said Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven Inc., Dallas.

“Because our customers are always on the go, we are a great place for them to finish off their gift list by purchasing gift cards, stocking stuffers or indulge in a little self-gifting by treating themselves to a peppermint-mocha cappuccino or a peppermint bark long john,” she said.
“This particular holiday offer is for all customers.  The incentive is to share a new, seasonal bakery item with a ‘buy one, get one for $.50 off’ with friends or family members at the office, school, home or to consume themselves.”
Tis the season
The 7-Eleven message reads, “Coupons! Buy 1 peppermint bark donut, get 50 cents off the second.”
The message includes a link that users can click to unlock the mobile coupon. The offer runs through Dec. 15.
When users click on the link, they are directed to a mobile landing page that asks if it is OK to use the mobile device’s built-in GPS to find the nearest store.
The mobile site then features a 7-Eleven mobile coupon with the company’s logo and the details of the offer. To redeem the coupon, users swipe across the screen to validate the offer.
The coupon then becomes time-sensitive and must be used within 15 minutes. SMS is traditionally used by marketers to push out timely offers, but 7-Eleven’s initiative takes it a step further by adding location to the mix.
Essentially, 7-Eleven is closing the loop on its mobile coupon efforts with location and time.
Mobile past
7-Eleven has been active in the mobile space for a while.
Often times, the company’s mobile initiatives tie into broader, multichannel campaigns.
For instance, 7-Eleven used the recent presidential election to spark interest in a new Slurpee flavor and build the company’s SMS database. The initiative also wound into social media.
Additionally, the brand used an interactive Pandora campaign over the summer to drive users to try new Slurpee flavors. The campaign also included rewards and sweepstakes (see story).
Furthermore, 7-Eleven partnered with Coca Cola’s Powerade brand earlier this year on a QR code initiative around March Madness (see story).
“7-Eleven launched mobile coupons this past summer as a way to engage customers in new products and offers,” Ms. Chabris said.
“The strategy is to use SMS to continue driving new and engaged customer traffic to our stores for product trial and awareness,” she said.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Giving Americans Text-to-911 (hearing impaired)


Text-to-911 services expected to roll out in the United States by 2014


Text-to-911
Starting in 2014, you will be able to use a text message to alert 911 of an emergency in the United States.

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile have all agreed to support text-to-911 nationwide. The big four carriers will work with the 911 Association and Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International to make it all happen.

The text-to-911 emergency response feature has already been submitted to the FCC, outlining the plans to get it working, as well as the standards and procedures involved.

The idea is to start rolling the service out to customers by 2014, although that doesn’t mean everyone will have access right away. This is a big move and will require hardware, software and training in 911 centers before it can be more widely available.

So what happens if you think you have text-to-911 support and it isn’t in your area yet? You will receive a bounceback text letting you know it isn’t available to you. With that in mind, all parties involved hope to have a nationwide rollout of the service by May 15th of 2014.

So why text your emergency to 911 instead of just calling? While most emergency situations might require the fast response needed from a voice call, there are certainly special circumstances where a text message could be used instead.

This is especially true for those with hearing impairments or individuals who are in dangerous situations where making a sound could put them in further danger or could reveal their position to an attacker.