The Update: You can now add social media follow buttons into your email templates! We’ve included 10 popular social media sites used by businesses and you can select which ones you would like to display in the email.
Benefits of the Update:
Simpler Integration: Previously, to add your company’s social media links into an email you had to manually add them via TEXT/HTML. With this update we have added a simple and beautiful way for you to add multiple social media links to your outbound email. You have the option of placing the social media links anywhere within the email and they will appear as small clickable buttons. You can also customize the links behind the social buttons have in order to direct the viewer to the applicable account or page.
Build your Followers: Cross promoting your communication channels is an important part of mobile communication strategies. Your customers communication preferences will change over time and it’s important you not only provide different communication options but let your customers know they exist and make it easy to follow your company with the apps they use.
The new SOCIAL button highlighted
A Quick Example of an email we can send out
The Update: This update allows you to promote you App on the back of your passes as well as using smart App Links and OS Detection to determine how and whether (or not) to present the material to the user.
Benefits of the Update:
Promoting your App: This update allows you to promote your application at the time when your users are most likely to want to download it, when they are already have your pass open. The promoted application banner appears on the top of the backside of the pass. This is set up to draw the attention of you customers.
OS Detection: The application will automatically detect whether the device using the app has the ability to download the application. If it does not, that user will not be shown the application promotion. For example if your application is only available for iPhones with iOS 7.0 or higher, iPhones with iOSs below 7.0 will not see the banner add.
App Links: The link within the promotional banner for your app will search the device and determine whether or not the application is already installed. The link will direct users based on the information gathered.
• If the application is not been installed on the device, the link will direct users to the appropriate app store page so that they may install the app.
• If the application is already installed on the device, the link, when clicked, will launch the app.
The Update: Previously MMS Inbox campaigns required a keyword submitted with the content to route to the proper MMS Inbox. With this update, MMS Inbox campaigns can receive MMS content from existing subscribers as a reply message. When an existing subscriber replies with a MMS content they do not need to use a keyword anymore and we can route that MMS content in the reply to the appropriate MMS Inbox.
Benefits of the Update: This update makes it possible to have subscribers submit pictures as part of a 2 way SMS conversation without requiring a keyword as part of their MMS content submission. Often times the instructions for MMS Inbox campaigns were overly complicated asking the user to add a keyword to the picture message. The keyword was often forgotten or misspelled the first time. Now you can use a standard SMS opt-in and then ask the customer to submit a picture in their next message. We believe this will drive increased adoption to picture submission campaigns and the resulting customer interaction.
SMS/MMS Campaign Settings for “Forward MMS Replies”
Example Message Flow
The Update: We have updated our HTML passes to display three buttons beneath the pass. These buttons will:
1) Display relevant map locations
2) Flip the pass over to show the back of the pass
3) Create bookmarks within the phone’s web browser
Benefits of the Update: Each button provides a unique benefit to the user experience.
- Map Button – The Map Button will appear only when relevant location data has been imported into the pass. The map will appear and show an interactive map containing all of the relevant locations that have been imported into the pass. We may extend this in the future to contain directions or other useful services.
- Flip Button – The Flip Button will turn the HTML preview of the pass over and display the back of the pass. This button provides a clear indication of how to access the back of the pass for those unfamiliar with Passbook’s (i) button in the lower right corner.
- Bookmark Button – The Bookmark Button will bookmark the HTML page so that users can easily gain access to their passes again from their web browser. This feature is specifically targeted to benefit those whose phones do not already have an application which can access .pkpass file types such as Passbook or PassWallet.
This update improves the customer experience in general and we expect it to increase the redemption rate of HTML5 Passes by providing useful tools to save, map and view the Pass.
HTML Pass Buttons
The Update: We now provide a consolidated page containing multiple CSV data exports from many of the various tools within the platform. This page is located in the “Account” tab.
Benefits of the Update: This update makes exporting data more convenient for our account holders by centralizing records and keeping a history of exports for them to redownload if needed. It also keeps a record of export requests made by the account holder for auditing and data compliance purposes.
The Update: You can now add a “Smart App Banner” to your landing pages to promote a mobile application. We have implemented cross-platform code to support iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. Based on the visiting device the landing page will display the appropriate banner technology with a link to install the app from the appropriate app store. The banners content can be fully customized and configured.
Benefits of the Update:Brands who have mobile applications often use multiple mobile marketing channels such as SMS, Email, QR codes, mobile Ads to promote their app. These channels often lead to a mobile landing pages encouraging the customer install the application. The Smart App Banner technology can detect whether the app is installed or not and suggest the user Open or Install the application within a Smart Banner. In addition the end customer has the ability to close (x) the Smart Banner so that it will disappear and not return again. The benefit of a Smart Banner is that you do not need a dedicated page or space on your page for your mobile application install link. The banner can appear on any page and if the customer does not want to see it again they can click the (x).
The Update: The previews of MMS messages within the MMS Composer or the MMS Templates page will now display three different preview options for three different operating systems. We now include a preview of how MMS messages appear on iOS7 as well as Android 4.X.
Benefits of the Update: Different OS systems display MMS messages in different ways. This update gives our account holders the ability to view and understand how their messaging campaigns will display on different devices.
The Update: View statistical data for Passbook Passes issued and installed.
Benefits of the Update: These statistics provide insight on interactions that users have with Passes issued through the platform. Here account holders can determine by date the amount of passes generated, installed, and filter by the delivery channel of the pass. Account holder will also view devices the Passes are being installed on.
The Update: Skycore platform has added two new features to the SMS/MMS Campaign manager: 1. “Deport Numbers” button, 2. “Unconfirmed Numbers” button.
Benefits of the update: The “Deport Numbers” feature allows account holders to unsubscribe multiple numbers at once from a campaign by uploading a CSV. You can consider deporting numbers the opposite function of importing numbers. Prior to this feature, an account holder had to manually search and remove unsubscribes. This made scrubbing a list difficult in bulk. Now the account holder has to ability to upload a .csv, .tsv, or .tab file of numbers which they want to unsubscribe and “deport” these numbers from a campaign.
Most campaigns require some sort of double opt-in by the consumer. With the new “Unconfirmed Numbers” tab view, account holders can see phone numbers that have attempted to opt-in but have not replied YES to the opt-in request message. This allows account holders to see how many customers have not completing the opt-in process. It also allows customers who are collecting web form data with their opt-ins to export this other data for analysis.
How does it work:
The “Deport Numbers” button will allow users to unsubscribe phone numbers in bulk. Removed numbers will no longer show up on the “Subscribed tab”; they will be displayed on the “Unsubscribed” tab.
Unconfirmed opt-in’s to a campaign will show on “Unconfirmed” tab. Replying “Yes” to the confirmation SMS would transfer the phone number from the “Unconfirmed” tab to “Subscribed” tab.
The CTIA and its carrier members have recognized the need for point-of-sale (POS) SMS opt-ins. Accordingly, they have decided to enact additional rules and conditions for business to consumer(B2C) short code messaging campaigns that opt-in consumers at at POS. Most of the enacted rules benefit the consumer but there are two rules which seem to be made without the customers best interests in mind. Lets go over the new rules one by one:
Users must confirm their participation with an MO message. Before users are subscribed to any POS program, they must either reply to a pushed MT message or send a keyword.
This was already a CTIA requirement and a good one. All POS opt-ins use phone number entry forms and whether the clerk or the customer enters the number into the form, the customer should confirm their opt-in on their phone by replying YES.
Initial MT messages requesting opt-in confirmation must be sent within 48 hours of a POS. After customers agree to receive text messages on location, they must receive a pushed MT message requesting service confirmation in a timely manner (within 48 hours).
This is a fantastic rule to ensure a great customer experience. The reason is that there are many point of sale systems that ‘batch’ data uploads nightly instead of processing data in real time. For the best customer experience, people should be getting the opt-in SMS notification on their phone immediately rather than days later when the POS data is processed.
Opt-in confirmation MT messages must include language reminding users of the location where they signed up for text services. Initial MT messages requesting opt-in confirmation must remind users about their interest in the text program. For example, a message might state, “You requested Shoe City messages at your local store! Reply Y to confirm your subscription. Message and data rates may apply.”
This rule is a useful but not very well thought out. Adding the store location is useful if the opt-in request did not happen immediately. If the user is sent a timely notification that the customer would certainly remember providing their number to the store moments before. In addition, it is a CTIA requirement to disclose the brand name or store name in the opt-in message. If the opt-in request came late and the customer did not remember visiting the store they will simply not reply YES. I believe that requiring a location disclosure simply adds unnecessary complexity to the process.
All messages resulting from a POS opt-in must pertain to a single program. Simultaneous enrollment in multiple programs is prohibited. A customer must receive only messages relevant to the location where he or she opted into the text program. For example, a customer signing up for Shoe City text alerts should not be opted into a text subscription for Handbag City without a second opt-in.
It is already a requirement for short codes programs that you cannot enroll customers in multiple programs from a single opt-in. This is a good clarification here since it would be inappropriate for a store clerk to verbally enroll someone in multiple programs and have only a single SMS confirmation message.
Shared shortcodes are ineligible for POS campaigns. Only shortcodes employed by a single content provider representing a single brand will be allowed to use POS opt-ins.
This seems like a self-serving requirement by the CTIA and does not protect or serve the interests of customers or brands. In fact, it stifles competition and gives customers less choices. This means that every merchant regardless of size is required to obtain a dedicated code and pay the $500/month fee to the CTIA. Today, large merchants can afford dedicated codes and smaller merchants cannot so they use shared short codes provided by application service providers who ensure the compliance. This requirement means smaller merchants are being excluded from participating in POS opt-ins on a shortcode. This rule makes it impossible for a mobile marketing platforms or POS vendor to obtain a short code and share it among small and medium sized retailers and provide a consistent level of service and ensure retailer compliance with the law. Additionally, since a POS is typically manned by a person and the POS of the future is likely to be a mobile device like an iPad, a longcode could be used via the Peer-2-Peer network by these smaller merchants. In fact the POS device may already have a carrier provisioned SIM card with a phone number able to send and receive SMS messages.
Content providers wishing to employ POS opt-ins must be pre-approved by carriers. All content providers implementing POS opt-ins are subject to additional vetting at the discretion of CTIA and its carrier members.
Vetting shortcode owners for compliance should certainly be done at the discretion of the CTIA for all mass market short code programs. That said, POS short code programs should not be at any carriers discretion or require pre-approval. This sort of picking and choosing winners and losers was forbidden by the FCC.
Skycore can help you develop a POS Opt-in program and strategy. Contact us!