Guest post by David Malmborg. David works with Dell and enjoys writing about technology, computers and saving money.
Many companies have tried to communicate with their customers with SMS messaging in the past. It is simple, convenient, and has the potential to reach a huge number of potential consumers. However, if it’s not done just right, it also has the potential to become an annoyance and unwanted interruption.
The biggest mistake that companies make with this form of marketing is to believe that simply having a phone number makes it okay to use for this kind of messaging. If a company sends an unsolicited text message to any phone, though, it can immediately turn that customer against them. Sending offers through SMS messaging should only happen when the customers have opted in and indicated that they are open to this kind of information.
There is one other disconnect between the SMS message and the sale that retailers have to overcome.These texts can reach the potential customer at any time, in any location, and when they receive the information, they may not be in a position to do anything about it. Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, it is far too easy for the simple message to slip their minds – and they won’t act on the offer even when they are in a position to do so.
A Different Solution
Dell is using a combination of SMS messaging and its new mobile app to overcome some of these concerns. By texting the word "OFFER" to 335548, consumers can opt-in and start receiving exclusive offers on various products (currently, Dell is offering $100 off of an XPS 15 or XPS 17 laptop). At the same time, customers will receive a download link for the new Dell Mobile app.
This application is available for both Android phones and iPhones, and it can be downloaded for free straight from the individual app stores, and it provides a lot of features for mobile consumers. Dell.com is one of the largest online retailers, and this app was designed to provide a secure and streamlined shopping experience as well as a number of other tools that can help a customer through the buying
The Dell Mobile app includes a shopping advisor that can provide important information before a customer makes the final decision, a side-by-side comparison engine to look at a few products at the same time, and a simple way to look at many ratings and reviews. It also includes an order tracking tool so customers can see exactly where all their purchase are right in the same app they used to buy it.
The biggest difference, though, comes in the ability for customers to immediately use the special offer they received via SMS messaging right in the Dell Mobile app. There is no longer a disconnect between when a consumer receives an offer and when they can put it to use. Combining SMS and mobile applications can bridge that gap and make it easier for consumers to take advantage of some exclusive offers.
P.S. editorial notes to our readers: yes, we accept guest postings. Feel free to contact
P.P.S. by the way, you can replace (complete) SMS-based services with Twitter. Check out for example our 411 for Twitter service. It is a good technology for creating such kind of services.