Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Transaction World Magazine/ Jan Article (Text BANKCARD to 44544)


MARKETING Transaction World Magazine | January 2013


Increase Sales and Maintain Customers with Mobile Text Marketing

by Jeff Krupnick

   Let’s face it, competition in the bankcard processing world today is fierce. Every day, merchants are inundated by sales reps offering them lower rates. We all know that time is money in today’s world and most merchants have completely “tuned-out” bankcard sales representatives that have nothing new to offer. They are simply tired of the same old sales pitch of free equipment, gift cards, loyalty cards and reward perks.
  
  Merchants are looking for more “value” from their processors. What else can you do for them that they can capitalize on? If they are going to invest in you and your product recommendations, then you really should present a product that yields them a higher ROI. Offering to lower their “swipe” rate is not the main focus anymore! And seriously, its really difficult to compete only on price and still survive in this challenging economy.
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  Well folks, it’s definitely time to start having a little more fun again in the field by adding a new and very much desired service know as “mobile text marketing!” Now is the time to get those field agents fired-up again. Put that excitement back into selling processing, create the infectious energy of something new and give your team that incredible competitive edge before your competition does. It’s time to offer merchants a product that they will actually want to hear about and want to implement.

  Mobile text marketing is so exciting and so easy to set-up. A user-friendly interface gives the merchant instant gratification along with instant revenue. Mobile text marketing is lucrative for everyone, and more importantly, the market for this product is completely untapped. How many times have you said “If only I got into… and offered that product before anyone else, I’d be rich by now.” I can’t predict the future, but I do believe we are at the very beginning of an incredible mobile-crazed market and it’s starting to happen all around us.
    
  Mobile text marketing is not an app, so you’re not competing with the millions of new apps being developed every month. As of now, only 52% of consumers have a smartphone, so apps immediately eliminate half of all mobile phone owners. Text messaging capability, however, exists on 99% of all mobile phones. And since people rarely change their cell phone numbers, the value for businesses to be able to market directly to an opt-in consumer base via their mobile phones is huge.
   
  Look around and ask yourself or the person next to you if you have ever “opted-in” to receive text specials or alerts from a favorite restaurant, your children’s school, your utility company, a favorite sports team, etc. Or, how about a parking meter that will send a text to your phone, alerting you that you have 5 minutes to add more money or suffer the consequences.

   Over 5 billion text messages are sent daily and every year this number increases. As cell phone users rely more and more on text message communication, this creates a tremendous opportunity for ISOs. Why wouldn’t you want to collect residuals from every single text your merchant generates as long as they process with you?

    We all know that businesses prefer to do new business with those they already do business with, so here’s an opportunity to capitalize on your existing merchant base. Recent studies show 80% of merchants are currently looking for mobile marketing and yet only 15% have a successful program now. Your merchants may be actively looking for mobile text marketing and the first place they’ll likely turn for a solution is the Internet, which means you may already be losing lucrative text residuals from your existing portfolio. So, why give them that option at all? Arm your sales agents with mobile text marketing tools that they can bring directly to your merchants.
   
Here are a few things to consider when looking into a mobile text marketing vendor.

• A simple user-friendly platform for you and the end-user.
• Multiple campaign platforms.
• Data capture, social integration.
• Bi-lingual options.
• Future enhancements and updates.
• Detailed reporting for the merchant.
• Commission and residual breakdowns.
• Automatic billing.
• Quota reporting.

    Basically, look for a partner with a value platform designed for massive growth, easy management and future services that can be easily applied. Merchants want more value and more benefits from innovative products so they can continue to build their mobile solutions for the long-term. Because of the value of customers’ data, they are certainly willing to pay for it.

    So, the next time you see or hear the phrase “text SAMPLE to 12345 for STUFF,” you will know another lucrative mobile residual is being enjoyed by someone else. That person could be you!

   In my 20 years in the bankcard world, I’ve always looked for the next big thing to differentiate my offerings from those of my competition. After years of researching, interviewing and testing many different programs and platforms, I finally found the answer: mobile text marketing.

Jeff Krupnick is the President & CEO Opt4, Inc., a next-generation mobile sms platform including custom integration with social/pos/crm/geo systems. He can be reached 804.536.5965 or via email jeff.krupnick@opt4text.com

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