Last year BuzzFeed published a humorous video exaggerating some potentially annoying texting habits some of us have:

I thought it would be fun to do a quick analysis on the video and comment on ways that we can avoid these texting pratfalls in our daily conversations! So here goes.

Autopilot responses

This texting habit is typically the result of laziness! Either that or we’re in too much of a hurry. The solution is very simple: read the other person’s text carefully before you respond! Texts are usually only 1-3 sentences long anyway, so there’s not much of an excuse.

Everything is somehow hilarious

everything-hilarious

I’ll admit that before the days of emojis I fell into this habit often. Everything was “haha” and “lol” – even things that weren’t really funny. I guess it was my way of conveying a friendly demeanor without the use of body language. But nowadays we have emojis, so use those to your benefit instead!

Group decisions

group-decision

If you’re on a group text, try not to carry on too much of a conversation! We all know how annoying that can be. And on the other end of things, try hard not to initiate a group text if you can avoid it! Especially if the people in the group don’t all know each other well.

Conversation tease

conversation-tease

This is an example of someone who doesn’t check their text messages enough! If you’re going to ask a leading question make sure you’re around to finish the conversation when someone replies. If you’re not going to be by your phone, you might as well just conclude your thought in the original message!

Caps lock

caps-lock

I don’t think you should be too hard on people for this one. It seems like people are just using all caps because they aren’t the most technologically savvy and can’t figure out how to turn it off. Try to cut ’em some slack!

Ulterior motives

ulterior

Can’t say that I’ve encountered people like this in my texting ventures but I can see how it would be annoying! I would say just ask what you want for upfront rather than making meaningless small talk. The great thing about texting is that you can cut through the small talk!

Digital confidant

digital-confidant

Honestly this one doesn’t bother me too much. If someone is under emotional straits and needs to confide in me and their preferred means of confiding is a text, I’m all ears. (Or all thumbs?) I personally have had times in my life when I wanted to confide but a phone call was not a viable option, so I did it through texting! Not necessarily ideal but sometimes it works.

Silent but deadly

silent-but-deadly

I (almost) literally lol’d at this. There aren’t many worse feelings than when you say something important in a text and wait with baited breath for the other person to respond. The solution? Try avoiding saying things like that in a text. (Here’s a hint in case you needed it: The first time you say “I love you” should most definitely NOT be in a text!)

 

Bottom line? When texting, remember 2 things to avoid annoying texting habits: be wise and be considerate.

But also don’t forget to have fun!

 

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3-ways-restaurants-use-sms-to-improve-brand-loyalty-1

Restaurant owners find themselves in a great position to take advantage of mobile marketing.

The restaurant industry is one that by nature holds great potential to give calls-to-action. When you present a call-to-action accompanied by irresistible deals, it produces effective results!

Here are 3 ways you as a restaurant owner or marketer can use SMS.

1. Offer free stuff just for joining!

An excellent way to use SMS to improve brand loyalty is to hook customers in to your text alerts by offering something free just for joining the list.

When customers text your in your keyword to a particular number, they can receive an automatic message back that acts as a coupon so they can receive a free appetizer, dessert, or side. According to Mobile Commerce Daily, Texas Roadhouse reportedly “acquired 60,000 subscribers to its mobile database in one year via a variety of loyalty call-to-actions,” one of which includes offering a free appetizer to those who join the database.

From my own personal experience, the fast-food chain Culver’s got some extra business from my wife and I by offering a free dessert (with any purchase) for subscribing to their text alerts!

2. Offer exclusive discounts

Exclusivity helps improve brand loyalty by increasing the likelihood that people will engage in your calls-to-action. If people feel that they’re part of a “VIP list” and that the deal they receive is exclusive only to that small list, it follows that they would feel more connected to the brand. Thus, they are more likely to engage with your restaurant.

Don’t miss out on your chance to really engage with and reward a loyal audience base!

3. Offer personalized deals

Another way to utilize exclusivity to your advantage is to offer personalized deals to your subscribers. This could include keeping track of subscribers’ birthdays and offering them a free or discounted item. Or it could include offering promotions based on subscribers’ preferences.

If they want to receive drink promotions, for example, they could sign up for your “Drink Deals” group. The result would be that they will receive promotions they are interested in rather than cluttering their inbox with deals they don’t care about.

 

These are just a few ways that restaurants take advantage of mobile marketing to improve brand loyalty. The possibilities are really endless, but the key is to cater to what your customers want. More loyalty equals more sales which equals happy you!

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2-doable-resolutions-to-improve-your-health-2

As we wrap up another holiday season, 2017 is just around the corner.

Another year. Another opportunity to set goals and make plans.

According to Nielsen, the most popular New Years resolutions have previously revolved around our health. We all want to be healthier, after all!

Here are two doable resolutions we can work toward to help us improve our lifestyle choices and our eating habits so that we can be as healthy and fit as possible!

  1. Reduce portion size

When it comes to our eating habits, it seems one of the biggest problem we have in America is portion size. Restaurant entrees are often big enough for two or three people and we eat it all in one sitting without thinking twice!

There are many practical ways to reduce portion size:

  • When eating at home, you can use smaller plates.
  • Refrain from going in for seconds or thirds at every meal—if you’re still hungry after eating everything on your plate, grab some extra fruits or veggies to munch on.
  • When eating out, consider splitting your meal or taking half of it home to eat later.
  • Munch on some healthy snacks throughout the day so that you’re not so prone to overeating at mealtimes.

Remember that you don’t need to feel stuffed to the brim after every meal!

  1. Set realistic goals for physical activity

Everyone should be engaged in some kind of physical activity. It’s important to get off your bum and get moving! But you’re not doing yourself any favors by setting unrealistic goals for yourself.

Going from no activity to pledging to work out two hours every day is setting yourself up for failure. All this will do is discourage you.

Start out small! Something as simple as twenty minutes a couple times a week is better than nothing. Once you get in a routine, you can slowly increase your goals to work your way up to where you want to be.

Find a goal that sounds like a reasonable and doable starting point for you, and do it! Don’t worry too much about whether it’s enough or whether you should be doing more. The hardest part is often just getting started!

 

Certainly there’s a lot more to health than portion sizes and a little bit of physical activity. But if we can get these doable resolutions down, we are off to an excellent start to a healthier way of living!

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Mobile Text Alerts now offers integration with MailChimp!
This integration will allow you to import subscribers directly from your MailChimp contacts.

How to integrate with MailChimp

Go to the “Import From Services” page and click “Integrate with MailChimp.”
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This opens up a new window, and allows you to enter your MailChimp username/password.
After logging in to MailChimp, the account is now connected, and you can click “Import Subscribers.”
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This allows you to select one of your MailChimp lists, and click “Import Subscribers.”
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It will then take the members from that list, and insert their email, first name, last name, and phone number into your text alerts account!
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We have another new feature to improve your Mobile Text Alerts experience: subscriber reports!

With subscriber reports, you can get a better idea of opt-in and opt-out information for your subscribers.

This new feature can be found under your “Reports” tab on your control panel:

subscriber-report

View how many subscribers have opted in and opted out each month:

subscriber-report-2

You can also view a chart of your total subscribers and the methods by which subscribers have opted in each month:

subscriber-report-3

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You may have noticed some new buttons appear on your Send Message page. These are some free new features I’m excited to tell you about!

Insert link

The new “Insert Link” button allows you to automatically shorten a link to make it more suitable for sending in a text message format. This helps you set up your message so that it doesn’t split in the middle of a link. It also makes the link more readable to your audience.

insert-link

All you need to do is click the “Insert Link” button and a window will pop up in which you can type the URL for your link:

insert-link-2

Type out the URL, click “OK,” and your shortened URL will be inserted into the text box for your message:

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There’s even a new “Link Tracking” report that helps you keep track of your links and allows you to see how many subscribers have clicked on each one:

links-report

First and last name

In addition to the “Insert Link” button, there are also “Insert First Name” and “Insert Last Name” buttons:

insert-name

Clicking these buttons will insert “[first name]” and “[last name]” into your text box for your message:

insert-name-2

These will automatically translate to the first name or last name for each individual subscriber who receives the message.

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sms-texting-is-24-years-old

SMS texting is now 24 years old.

December 3, 1992, marked the first time a text message was sent to a mobile phone.

Of course, the idea of texting between mobile phones didn’t catch on right away. An article from .Mic highlights some of the important moments in texting history.

Monuments of texting history

According to the article, 6 major events paved the way for texting to become the lucrative communication platform that it is today:

  • The introduction of text message-compatible cell phones by Nokia in 1993
  • The creation of T9 (which “enabled devices to predict words based on the previous keys typed”) in 1995
  • The initial manufacturing of phones with an installed keyboard (specifically included to aid in texting) in 1997
  • The rise of the MMS, which is a special text that allows the user to include media in their message, in 2002
  • The popularization of shortcodes in the United States in 2003
  • The introduction of iMessage and the emoji keyboard for Apple devices in 2011

Due to these events and many others, texting is now one of our primary means of communicating. Especially for younger millennials and members of generation Z, it’s difficult to imagine a time when texting wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind.

I remember my own family’s transition into the cell phone and texting world in the late 90s and early 2000s. Considering the dates mentioned above, perhaps we were a little behind the times! But texting has proven that it’s not just a passing trend.  It’s almost a quarter of a century old for goodness’ sake.

Texting is here to stay for a long while. It will surely continue to evolve as it has through the past 3 decades and especially as companies such as Apple continue coming up with new ways to bring fresh life to the medium.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for us as we evolve with the times and continue to pursue texting as a unique and creative means of communicating.

Happy birthday, SMS, and happy texting to you all!

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4-tips-for-businesses-to-prepare-for-the-holidays

The end of November through the beginning of January is a complicated time for businesses.

There’s holiday after holiday, and while holidays are wonderful times of celebration, they tend to throw a wrench in the normal flow of business.  Depending on what kind of business you run, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Here are 4 tips for how you can prepare for the holidays.

  1. Don’t underestimate or overestimate the supply and demand for your product

Depending on what kind of product your business offers, demand for your product may increase (or decrease) over holidays.  It’s tricky work to narrow down how much supply you will need when you’re first starting, and it might take some trial and error.   You don’t want to run out of supply but at the same time you don’t want to accumulate more than you can sell.  So plan accordingly!

  1. Make sure you have enough employees

Holidays can be a nightmare for you and your employees.  Everybody wants time off, but for some businesses this is the time that employees are needed the most.  Make sure you have your employee situation figured out, or else you may find yourself in quite the predicament!  Also, you’ll want to make sure that your employees are reliable so that they will actually show up when needed, even when everything in them wants to go celebrate Christmas with their families.

  1. Communicate your holiday hours

If you have different hours during the holidays, you need to communicate this clearly to your customers and employees.  Will you be open Christmas Day?  Will you close early New Year’s Eve?  If you want to have a profitable holiday season, you need to let people know these things.

  1. Give back to the community

Holidays are the perfect time to build rapport with your community by giving back (although you should be doing this all year round).  Plan on volunteering your time, money, and resources to contribute to a cause.  It’s not only a decent thing to do but it’s also a smart business move!

 

As long as you plan ahead and are conscious of the needs of your business, the holidays don’t need to be overwhelming!   Think.  Analyze.  Prepare for the holidays.  Know your customers/clients.  And you’ll be just fine!

You can go here for more tips on how to prepare your business for Christmas.

 

Let this holiday season be a time of profit and joy for you, and may your days be merry and bright!

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We are happy to announce a new feature for your Mobile Text Alerts account!

You can now upload your own logo to appear on your sign-up page.

All you need to do is log in to your control panel and click on Settings. Under “Sign-Up Settings” you can select “Choose File” next to the Custom Logo field.

sign-up-page-settings

Find an image file on your computer and select it.

The image will now appear at the top of your sign-up page!

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