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SMS Marketing Examples

NYT Uses SMS Autoresponder to Deliver Digital Pass

Nov 18, 2015

New York Times Digital Pass 2

Here at Tatango we’re always amazed at how our clients are able to come up with so many different ways to use an SMS autoresponder. Brands use autoresponders for a variety of ways, including app download campaigns (ShopKick), SMS giveaways (Julep), and they even use SMS autoresponders to engage already subscribed phone numbers, such as RedBox did in their 10 Day of Deals campaign.

Maybe before we go any further, we should explain for the SMS newbies what an SMS autoresponder is exactly. SMS autoresponders are actually pretty easy to understand, as most SMS autoresponders simply return one text message to a customer, in response to that customer texting an SMS keyword to an SMS short code (5-6 digit phone number).

Back when we started Tatango in 2007, SMS autoresponders were kind of boring, as smartphone penetration was only at 10%, meaning that autoresponders were just returning plain old text. A lot has changed since then, and now most SMS autoresponders that our clients use include a click-to-call phone number, or a hyperlink. Why is a hyperlink in an SMS autoresponder so powerful? It’s because a hyperlink in an autoresponder can take a consumer almost anywhere on their mobile phone nowadays. Hyperlinks within an SMS autoresponder when clicked, can open up an app, a web page, direct someone to a form, a mobile coupon, a passbook, a mobile video, etc.

So how is New York Times using an SMS autoresponder? It’s actually pretty cool, the New York Times is using an SMS autoresponder to deliver a text message to readers, that includes a link to get access to the Times digital experience for the remainder of the day. The campaign is advertised on the front page of the New York Times, with a sticker instructing readers to see page 2 for details on getting the Times digital experience. You can see the sticker below. If you’re wondering, the New York Times used a special adhesive for the sticker, so that readers could easily remove it, to read the words in the articles it was covering.

New York Times Digital Pass

After turning to page 2, you’re given instructions on how to get access to the Times digital experience. The newspaper instructs readers to text the SMS keyword NYTX897 to the short code 79922 to get started, as you can below.

New York Times Digital Pass Text Message Ad

When a reader texts NYTX897 to the short code 79922, they receive back the following text message: Thanks for texting for a New York Times digital day pass. Click here to redeem your offer: XXX Access is valid until 11:59 pm EST. Txt HELP4help. You can see the SMS autoresponder message below.

New York Times Text Message

Do you have any other interesting examples of brands using SMS autoresponders? If so, let us know in the comments below and they may be featured on our blog in the future.


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