The following blog post is by Michael Sabat. Michael is the VP of Account Management and Business Development at Mobile Commons. He has worked there for 3 and a half years and has helped clients launch hundreds of campaigns. Mobile Commons is a Convio partner and they have just launched Mobile Advocate – A new product integrated with Convio Luminate and designed to drive targeted advocacy phone calls from the web or SMS. Michael can be reached at email@example.com and general inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile campaigns can be extremely valuable for organizations, and the best news is that you don’t need to be chasing the newest technology. The most effective mobile campaigns utilize the more mature technologies that we all use daily – text messaging, phone calls and even the mobile web. Campaigns can be quite different, but we’ve found a number of small steps that are very valuable to organizations starting out with mobile. Today I’m going to share the first 5 steps recommended for organizations getting started with mobile.
- Build a mobile list now. Mobile lists cannot be bought or sold. This is a really great aspect to mobile communications because it keeps response rates high and as consumers it keeps spam out of our text message inbox. The biggest downside is that when non profits start mobile initiatives, many times they are starting without a list. If you’re reading this article, the number one takeaway should be that you can start opting in mobile subscribers now – even before you’ve picked a vendor or decided on a keyword. To opt supporters in to your future mobile program you need to collect their mobile number and be clear that by giving their mobile number, they are subscribing to text messages. Mobile number field should be added to new webforms and even paper forms. It’s also important to include the text Message & Data Rates May Apply, which is required to tell people when they are opting in.
- Integrate your mobile database with Convio other CRM. Once the organization is contracted with a mobile vendor, it is important to set up an integration. Ideally this integration should be a two-way sync. People that text in should be added to the database and supporters that enter their mobile number in forms should receive a welcome text message as soon as possible.Without a doubt organizations that have a mobile integration do much better with their mobile campaigns and their communication campaigns are more successful overall. Mobile campaigns work best when integrated into the overall communication strategy and it’s important to integrate the technology as well.
- Choose a go-to keyword and response. The goal of this step is to be able to give anybody in the organization a way to promote the campaign and list build with a moments notice. Think of this keyword as the “homepage” for the organization’s SMS campaign. Sure you can add keywords for specific types of campaigns like walks, fundraising or chapter initiatives. But it’s important to be able to brand a keyword so that marketing, PR or even the executive director can learn how promote the texting campaign. Having a clear and consistant call to action is the best way to make this happen.
- Show your boss. Mobile campaigns are instant and exciting. As soon as the campaign is set up, it should be possible to demo the campaign by texting in and receiving a reply back.The most important reason to show your boss and coworkers is to get them excited and work towards buy in from the organization. The ability for coworkers to text in and see the interaction happen in real time is a conversation starter. It’s exciting to imagine how the organization can use this new mobile channel to engage with supporters. If you’re new to mobile demonstrating and discussing with coworkers is a great way to get feedback on the interaction as well.
- Build mobile into a campaign. Mobile works best when it is integrated into the planning of the campaign. Adding a QR code at the end is not a mobile strategy. Almost every campaign can integrate mobile effectively. Here are the two most common approaches.
- Use a mobile call to action in media to increase sign ups/list build. From any media such as print, TV, radio or live events, including a mobile call to action (right next to the website) will increase the number of people engaging with the campaign. If you’ve done step 2 correctly above, these extra engagements lead directly to more supporters in Convio.
- Use text messages to activate and remind people. One of the greatest advantages to SMS is that virtually every message is read, and they are read extremely quickly. The most widely quoted stat is that 83% of text messages are viewed within 15 minutes. SMS reminders have proved to be very effective at generating advocacy calls, getting out the vote and even getting supporters to open the organization’s emails. It’s important to be thinking about activating supporters with mobile during the planning stages of the campaign.
As with any communication channel there are a millions of questions that can come up. So the most important first step may be to find someone knowledgeable that you can ask questions. We’d love that to be Mobile Commons.