Double Down and Double Your Mobile Database

There’s no shortage of “experts” out there who have “secrets” about how best to build a mobile database. But often times these secrets seem more like obvious tactics that work IF you have an unlimited budget and all the time – and resources – at your command.

The reality is that while there certainly are many great tactics you could do, the real question is what should you do if you want to grow your mobile database? For example, using in store signage to promote your mobile database might be great… but what if you can’t? The bottom line is you need to understand what’s going to work best for you and for your customers, taking into account the realities of your company.

Our challenge
In the latter half of 2013, a team of very smart people sat down at Vibes and laid out a challenge: given the realities of corporate life (e.g., limited resources, time and money), what’s the best way to build a mobile database?

Everyone in the room had opinions of various tactics or channels we could use – and they all sounded great. But we weren’t satisfied; we couldn’t prove that the tactics would actually work. We couldn’t tell definitively how many new subscribers the different tactics would generate. We needed data.

So we set out on what turned into an epic quest to find data. We spent months researching past programs and past campaigns. We analyzed programs that worked very well and those that didn’t work as well as expected. We found certain multipliers – like running a sweepstakes – that greatly increased acquisition. Then we compared that to other incentives like coupons to see which one worked better.

Our solution

I’m pleased to announce that after months and months of research we now have data! In fact, we have more than data. We have invented a new KPI that can help simplify expectations and benchmark how your programs should be doing and how much you should spend on an acquisition program.


Today we are officially launching our Mobile Acquisition Calculator. This free tool lives on our website and can show you the most effective ways to accelerate growth of your own unique mobile database.

We are also releasing our “SMS Marketing Handbook: The definitive guide to growing your mobile database in a post-TCPA world,” in which we present the following:
- Strategies and tactics for building your mobile database in a post-TCPA world
- Benchmark data featuring new SMS acquisition metrics
- Best practices, based on real results, for designing and executing your SMS acquisition campaigns
- How different marketing channels compare when building a mobile database
- How to leverage Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook & iBeacons to grow your mobile database


We hope this information is as helpful and exciting for you as it is for us! Please contact us know if you’d like to learn more about growing your mobile database.


Attention Marketers: Facebook’s $19 B WhatsApp acquisition means nothing to you

Last week’s acquisition has created a lot of excitement and also some confusion. With so many numbers and opinions circling, we thought it was necessary to separate the buzz from reality. WhatsApp is on pace to reach a billion users…but what does that mean for you?

The answer is simple: Nothing. And here’s why:

WhatsApp is built for peer-to-peer messaging. A big part of its popularity of based on its mantra: no ads, no games and no gimmicks. If Facebook keeps it’s word and honors this, marketers will gain nothing.

WhatsApp is huge overseas, not in the U.S. Many people in the U.S. had never heard of WhatsApp. U.S. carriers bundle unlimited text-messaging in our monthly service plans which is not the case in other countries. That is why at 99-cents-per-year WhatsApp is so popular overseas. With U.S. adoption low, marketers will not be able to reach the American audience.

$19 billion reaffirms the power of messaging. This acquisition highlights what brands and marketers already know: messaging is the most important thing people do on their phone.

To read our detailed perspective on the news, check out my article in VentureBeat.

Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook: Five Differences Retailers Need to Know

For retailers, mobile wallets such as Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook provide opportunities to easily send offers, distribute dynamic loyalty cards, obtain higher conversions, drive more foot traffic and operate cost-effective, location-based marketing.

Vibes’ research shows consumers, specifically 85% of smartphone owners, see benefits of storing mobile-wallet content on their phones; however, only 19% have noticed retailers offering mobile-wallet-specific content.

Because Google and Apple dominate the market, it’s crucial for mobile strategies to incorporate both mobile wallet apps. Following are key differences that can help determine the best ways to deploy each.


Starting Point:
- Google Wallet is not native to an operating system, but is available through the Google Play store; it’s also available for iOS in the App Store.
- Passbook is part of iOS 6 and iOS 7, so the majority of iPhone users already have Passbook; it’s not available to Android users.

Because users are on both operating systems, you’ll want to incorporate both into your marketing strategy. For consumers, it means the majority has access to these tools and just need reasons to use them. 

- Google Wallet’s template defines specific fields that can be personalized and are common across all users. It also features a continuous scroll, allowing clickable content such as web sites, phone numbers or addresses for consumers to take action.
- Passbook’s template has defined structure, with the front allowing for personalized content. Consumers have to flip the Pass to receive additional information and access content.

Both apps have similar, yet still differentiated approaches to presenting content, each with design templates. You’ll also want to create personalized experiences with richer and more relevant content customized for both apps. 

- Google Wallet content lives in the cloud, so consumers with a Google account and the app on their phones can save offers and loyalty cards to Google Wallet. As long as the consumer sees the “Save to Google” button, they can save that content to their Google account and access it in their Google Wallet app. Additionally, users can discover offers or sign-up to loyalty programs directly within the Google Wallet app itself.
- Passbook Passes are signed and compressed files that sit on phones. There are various ways to get Passes into Passbook, including SMS, e-mail, apps, mobile banner ads, and in iOS 7, users can share Passes with other iPhone users.

It’s important to understand your mobile wallet content distribution strategy and direct users to the right experience. Only display an “Add to Passbook” button if you’re confident consumers will access that link from their iPhones.

- Google Wallet brings nearby saved offers and loyalty cards to the app’s home screen. Specific store-location data can be assigned to offers or loyalty cards, or retailers can integrate with their existing Google Places account to have all store locations assigned.  Users will also be presented with a Google Now card showing saved loyalty program details when they are nearby stores with opportunities to use them.
- Passbook can store 10 different latitude-and-longitude locations, and users within 100 meters of those locations will receive notifications. Apple’s new iBeacon technology is integrated into Passbook, allowing new micro-location-based marketing.

Mobile wallets provide powerful location-aware technology, enabling you to reach consumers at the right time and place, with the right content, driving foot traffic into stores.

- Google Wallet content can be changed with some restrictions; changes are made silently, so consumers aren’t alerted to updates.
- Passbook content can be changed with little restriction, including color, images, personalization and expiration dates. Once updates are made, notifications can alert consumers.

Mobile wallets have interactive content that can be altered, so you’ll want to deliver engaging content and analyze key insights for more advanced capabilities for retargeting content to increase program effectiveness.

Article originally posted by Internet Retailer.

JUST RELEASED — The Mobile Wallet Handbook: The ABCs of Passbook and Google Wallet

We are pleased to announce the release of the Mobile Wallet Handbook. This definitive guide showcases the building blocks of creating and executing successful mobile wallet programs using Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook. It features strategic guidance on how to get started, activation ideas, creative calls-to-action, best practices and design tips and tricks you need to know before launching your next (or first) mobile wallet campaign. We will also show you how to optimize your programs to make your customers take notice and action.

Download The Mobile Wallet Handbook

WEBINAR – The ABCs of Passbook and Google Wallet

Before you launch your next mobile wallet campaign, be sure to check out our upcoming webinar: The ABCs of Passbook and Google Wallet.

This is our sixth mobile wallet marketing webinar and will teach you the five building blocks for successful mobile wallet programs.

Julie Novack, SVP of the Mobile Solutions Group at Vibes, and I are really excited to co-present these mobile wallet best practices that you can apply to your own programs. We hope you can attend!

In this webinar, you will learn:
- Activation ideas
- How to leverage Beacon technology
- Creative calls-to-action that make your customers take notice
- Design tips and tricks
- The checklist Every marketer needs before they launch

Thursday, February 6
1 pm CST
Register Today!

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