USSD Code Campaigns – Business Owner’s WIIFM SolutionJason Siddall
Hands up those who still remember the jingle that the Yellow Pages put out to create customer awareness? “Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages” – you can likely still hum the tune. USSD codes are to business owners what fingers are to the Yellow Pages. “Let the USSD coding work while you’re home in bed” could well be the new mantra for today’s business owners.
What wouldn’t you do to have your business run for you 24/7? Allow us to introduce you to your new best friend and hardworking business partner, USSD coding.
USSD Coding Unpacked
- USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a communication protocol for GSM (Global System for Mobile). In layman’s speak, it is simply a communication technology used to send text between mobile phones and an existing application program in a network. The marketing power lies in the fact that USSD is supported by all handsets and networks. USSD was built before smartphone was even a word. It doesn’t require any internet connection, data or app installation. Read that again and start designing a campaign post haste.
- USSD is a gateway that enables a live two-way communication session in real-time. We’re talking instant feedback here – anytime, anywhere, any place that there is signal and 7 times faster than SMS.
- In the event that two-thirds of South Africans don’t own smartphones, USSD reaches 100% of the cell phone market. ‘Nuff said’!
USSD Code Creation And Costs
The amazing thing is that business owners can certainly develop their own USSD campaigns – it’s that simple. Taking the professionals on board though does have the added bonus in that they would then be responsible for providing all the development, the deployment of your ‘strategic marketing missiles, the testing and the reporting. It’s up to you to consult with Cellfind’s experts and decide for yourself whether you want to go solo or have our expertise at an extremely reasonable cost.
With the newly *134* USSD string now open to all networks, the 20c/20sec costs, which had previously fallen on the participating customers is now reverted to the business owners. That has opened a whole new world in that even customers who have no airtime on their phones can participate – good news for customers and brands alike!
Four Smart Ways In Which USSD Campaigns Benefit Businesses
- Use USSD codes on all social media campaigns as your ‘call to action’ – this sifts the response to those genuinely interested.
- Market research is a cinch to run – coding can provide invaluable information and feedback from your entire user base.
- USSD is safe for instant donations
- The USSD platform is perfect for coupons, vouchers, free Wi-Fi, in-house discounts the moment they walk into a store.
Running A Successful USSD Campaign
We understand that cell phone marketing is the new ‘telemarketing’ arm but with one massive difference. Instead of irritating potential customers at an inappropriate time, USSD coded campaigns leave the ball entirely in the customer’s hands. That tiny differentiation has created the freedom needed to generate client response as never before.
A successful USSD campaign for your business requires three vital criteria. We need to deliver:
- The right message.
Of course, we want to drive our brand and USSD can do that via the back door without in-your-face messaging. But customer engagement is key, with surveys performing exceptionally well for engagement and a rapid response. Once we have the ‘bird in the trap’, so to speak, we can throw the crumbs in – the coupons, the discounts, the rewards and the pass-on-to-friends for bonus offers.
- The right time and place.
The marvel of mobile technology means we can obtain critical information to help us steer our campaigns. For example, information such as consumer location information, when they are using their devices, and when the response rate is highest is gold. Stats like this are key to improving campaigns.
- The right format.
Case in point was Coca-Cola’s campaign in Kenya, which enabled consumers to browse through a ‘zero-rated’ USSD menu. You guessed it – ‘zero-rated’ turned out to be two irresistible words to any shopper. So, know where people’s minds are at, use sports events and the like, employ someone with great rhetoric and word suss, know how to put a spin on things. Happily, customers by now are well familiar with the *’s and #’s needed for USSD – what are we waiting for?
If you’d like to find out more about how this versatile and cost-effective messaging platform can work for your business, chat to Cellfind. We offer a wide range of high-volume, multichannel messaging solutions to business of all sizes. Our range of secure, reliable offerings means you can interact with your customers and employees in a cost-efficient, secure and timely manner.