Category Archives: text message marketing

Library Mobile Apps: Developing an iPhone app is more expensive than most people think.

Reposted for Libraries from Mosio’s Company Blog

Text Messaging is Used by Consumers Twice as Much as Mobile Apps

A colleague sent me a stack overflow thread today entitled “How much does it cost to develop iPhone applications?” It’s worth taking a look at, most interesting is an answer suggesting around $10,000 ($50/hr for a Developer and $50/hr for a Graphic Designer x 200 total hours), which the stack overflow community quickly jumped on, providing insight and information to back up a more realistic $50k-100k (and some say $200k) price tag.

At Mosio, naturally we get asked about mobile applications from clients all the time. I love my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad, but Apple has spent plenty of money in advertising to convince us all that “There’s an App for That.” They even spent money trademarking the phrase and that’s fine, they benefit by doing so. The craziest thing about the mobile apps hype is that it caters to less than 1/3 of the mobile subscriber market. Consider recent research about Mobile Content Usage for the month of July 2010 in the image above from Wireless Week:

Among all U.S. mobile subscribers ages 13+:
31.4% Used a Downloaded App
33.6% Used a [Mobile] Browser
66% Sent a text message to another phone

Why, then, do people think it’s so inexpensive to develop iPhone apps?
I’m not exactly sure, but my guess is that it’s a combination of people wanting to believe it costs less combined with the misinformation from people selling shoddy development services or app workarounds trying to capitalize on the hype. And before those of you developing “affordable” iPhone applications start flaming me in the comments, consider the fact that by saying it’s inexpensive and cheap, you’re essentially selling yourselves short, commoditizing your expertise. The misinformation hurts your skills and service.

The world is mobile and we want to provide a mobile experience beyond text messaging. What should we do?

If you are a library and looking for a great way to mobilize your website or catalog, we recommend you visit our friends at Boopsie. They have a great team and wonderful experience in helping libraries on an existing platform that makes the process simple.

Client Testimonial: Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Services for Events and Conferences

We absolutely love when clients are happy with our service. It might sound a bit cliche, but it’s true. We love happy clients because they make our job so much easier. With a few of us as parents or parents-to-be, we’re proud to have the PTA as a client.

Taken from an article entitled PTA: The Power of Parents: “Educators, administrators, academics, parents-even the mass media-all have been awakened to the overwhelming positive effect parent involvement can have on students’ academic performance.”

The PTA is one of the most powerful associations in education and we were honored to be chosen to power the mobile technology portion of their recent national conference.

Below is a testimonial from the client who has since acted as an amazing reference for us as well. Thanks Rebecca!

Just wanted to drop you a quick note of thanks and gratitude for engaging our attendees in a new way through Mosio! The alerts, info center texting and polling during our general sessions were a huge hit and we are hoping to continue all three with even greater usage amongst our attendees next year. Thank you for your patience and ongoing support throughout the set-up process. We look forward to the possibility of working with both of you again in the near future.

— Rebecca Burns, Director, Meetings & Conventions, National PTA

For information on how we can help engage your attendees through our text messaging solutions for conferences, events, meetings and trade shows, visit us at

Mosio and Text a Librarian’s Post to Facebook Function: Now Live!

In February we launched a “Post to Twitter” function within the Mosio mobile messaging platform and Mosio’s Text a Librarian. We wrote a blog post about why this was good for libraries: user generated marketing.

I’ve pasted the original blog post about why it was good for libraries below. It’s great for every business and now the post to Facebook function gives organizations the ability to post questions and answers to the world’s largest and most powerful social network. If you’re a librarian you can read the information below as is, but if you’re a marketing or customer service manager at a company, simply replace the word “patron” with “customer” and “library” with “company” and you’ll see that the feature holds the same great function for either.


Original Post

A “Post to Twitter” button on websites isn’t a new functionality, but after giving it some thought, we decided to add it to Text a Librarian. The reason? It’s User Generated Content that engages patrons and markets your library services.

SEO + Social Marketing + Patron Engagement
People searching online often type out an entire question in the search box, rather than just a few keywords, to see what results come up. Tweets are indexed by search engines like Google, Bing and soon Yahoo and when an individual searches online by typing out a question, your reference Q&A can appear in search results (aka helpful service + free marketing).

Here’s an excellent example of how the New York Public Library’s AskNYPL tweet of the question “What is the wingspan of a swallow?” is now indexed on Google, marketing their reference services.

Tweeting user generated content of funny, interesting and helpful questions and answers also engages Twitter-following patrons (and their followers through re-tweets) and informs them about your library’s reference services. We’ve seen great uses of Twitter by libraries engaging patrons with reference trivia and daily fun facts.

Spreading Love for Your Library
Many libraries are using Text a Librarian beyond questions and answers as a virtual suggestion box and for patron ideas and opinions about library services (questions, comments and feedback). When a patron texts good ideas and positive feedback, you can use the post to Twitter button to spread the love.

How Do I Start Using It? (for existing Text a Librarian customers):
The Post to Twitter button is an optional function of your service, controlled by your library’s Admin. Please visit the New Features section of your Text a Librarian microboard for details on how to turn it on.

Mobile Marketing – You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play and While You’re at it, Play the Right Way

Apparently I won two free tickets to Wicked, the musical playing in San Francisco. Let me start by saying when I got this text message last night, I was thrilled. My wife and I have talked about going for a few months now and other things have come up. So on January 9th we were shopping and I saw a “Win Tickets to See Wicked!” poster in the BART station in San Francisco. Being a curious person and also “in the business”, I will pretty much text anything. I vote for American Idol contestants, text questions to The History Channel and get text message alerts from Wired Magazine and the Syfy Channel. I’ve seen my fair share of both great and poorly executed mobile marketing campaigns.

After texting WITCH to 42903, I promptly got a response back saying “We’re sorry but the contest has ended. Thank you for your interest in Wicked the Musical.” My first thought was “bummer, I missed out” and my second thought was “bummer, they missed out on an opportunity to keep me interested.”

How did they miss out on an opportunity?

1. Use the Space.
Their “sorry” reply was only 89 characters, leaving 71 characters on the table (45%). I’m a huge fan of white space, but in my opinion, a text message is no place to try and get artsy. 71 characters is plenty of space to create an additional call-to-action.

2. Wicked has a wap site.
Being interested in the musical, I would have clicked on a wap link on my phone had there been one.

3. Wicked has a Twitter account.
A Twitter account can easily be made mobile friendly by adding an “m.” in between

Two months have passed…
That was January 9th and a lot has happened since then, none of which has involved my wife and I buying tickets and going to see Wicked. I’m telling you honestly, we really want to go, but life happens and other things grab one’s attention. So last night, almost 2 months to the day, I get a random text message with “Congratulations! You won 2 tickets for WICKED! You will receive the redemption instructions via email within the next 48 hours. Please REPLY with your EMAIL.” So I did.

I’m not trying to be nit-picky here and even though they said they’d get back to me within the next 48 hours, I think there’s one more opportunity missed here. Instead of being like a friend who texts you and says “I have something AWESOME to tell you and I’m going to do so within the next 2 days” they could have sent an auto-responder email to tell me my email has been received, that more exciting details are on the way, but also give me photos, links, post-to-social-media buttons, etc. So here I am…waiting.

Wicked marketing folks: I hope you’re not reading this with a harsh tone and no, I’m not just saying that because I haven’t gotten my free tickets yet. In fact, I’ve now officially blogged about it and will be posting this to Facebook and Twitter as well so you get your proper “bounce” from the give away, but I thought this was a great example of how a mobile marketing could have been better utilized in an advertising campaign. Call me. :)

Wicked (and not in the Boston way)…I just got the following message: Please disregard the txt u received re: WICKED. It was due to a transmission error. Ur info is secure & we apologize 4 confusion. For questions

In case I have questions I can email their, uh, gmail address. I actually DO have a question: Will you call my wife and break it to her that we’re no longer going to see WICKED for free? Cuz that would be great. KTHXBAI!

Seriously, though, I do not envy the panic that took place when they realized they sent a “Winner!” text to everyone who entered the contest. That probably sucked. But, besides this mobile marketing fail, I stick to my original points about how other opportunities were missed in the first place. And speaking of opportunities…WICKED Mobile Marketing folks: If you’re looking for someone new to handle your text messaging campaigns, please consider Mosio.