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Seven ways to update your home’s look without major remodeling

The average cost to remodel multiple rooms in your home is approximately $37,000. Remodeling a home can be quite expensive. If you’ve been wanting a new look for you home but can’t afford the amount it will cost to do more extensive remodeling projects, then the following interior decorating ideas which won’t require any hired help may be the solution. Accent pieces Accent pieces are your furnishings that stand out the most. They’re the items that guests are going to ask you about. They usually have bolder colors, patterns, or textures designed to draw attention. When selecting accent pieces, follow your own sense of taste and don’t worry too much about how trendy something is. Also keep in mind that when selecting accent pieces, less is more. Too many and none of them will stand out. In addition to accent pieces, you might consider an accent wall. Instead of having all the...

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Use chatbots to supplement, not replace, existing customer service efforts

Chatbots are one of the most talked-about mobile trends in 2017 with many predicting it will be the future of business-customer interactions. With the growing popularity of chat platforms like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp and the steady popularity of SMS (or text messaging) brands are trying to communicate with customers where they already are. Millennials don’t like to call customer service hotlines, they like to interact with short, to-the-point text interactions via SMS or messaging applications and brands are scrambling to make that possible. Chatbots are computer programs that are designed to simulate a human chatting via SMS or a chat app. They use varying amounts of artificial intelligence and machine learning to figure out what people are asking them, and then they attempt to generate an appropriate response. Companies are designing chatbots that can make dinner reservations, book flights, buy movie tickets, complete online purchases, offer product suggestions based on customer...

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Three ways to use mobile to get customers to buy

Online mega retailers like Amazon have changed the way America shops, and not just online; more than three-quarters of US consumers own a smartphone and nearly everyone takes it with them when they shop. Store owners refer to this as the Amazon effect and you’ve probably done this yourself. You see a product on the shelf that you’re interested in. You might try reading information on the box but that’s insufficient. You want to know what actual customers think about the product. Of course you’re also confident that you can find it cheaper online and you can afford to wait since you have unlimited free two-day shipping. You end up buying it online and leaving the store empty-handed. It’s a win for Amazon and a loss for the store. Fortunately for store owners, there are ways of using mobile technology to your advantage instead of the other way around. Take advantage of...

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How to use SMS marketing to drive user engagement

SMS is a channel unlike any other in the world of marketing. Yet too many marketers and business owners are using it just as they would any other digital marketing channels. Mobile marketing isn’t digital marketing for smaller screens because consumers use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets in very different ways than they use a television or computer. The most effective mobile marketing strategies take advantage of the unique qualities of mobile devices including user engagement. Mobile, and by extension, SMS should be encouraging interaction between brands and customers, but so many are just using it to push for sales by offering deals, coupons, and promotional messages. Here are some different ways to use SMS marketing that will lead to more user engagement. Embedded hyperlinks Most people know that SMS boasts a much higher open rate (98%) compared to email (about 20%). But many forget that SMS also has a much better...

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How to get more opt-ins for your SMS marketing campaign

SMS marketing differs from most other marketing channels in that you have to obtain each recipient’s permission before sending that first text. Consumers don’t have to sign up to see commercials during the favorite television programming nor do they have to agree to receive emails with promotional messages. But businesses can face fines and or lawsuits if they aren’t compliant with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) which includes the requirement that they obtain permission before texting. This presents a challenge to business owners or marketers because they can’t just go out and buy a list of phone numbers and start texting away. But anything worth doing is hard and businesses can be rewarded big for putting in the effort to build a sizable phone number database for an SMS campaign. The following tips will help you accomplish that. Register a shortcode and keyword One of the most common ways to get...

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Are chatbots here today and gone tomorrow or are they here to stay?

In April of last year, Facebook released a new and open version of Facebook Messenger. The new version allowed third party developers to create their own chatbots and deploy them to communicate with Facebook users. Businesses immediately saw the potential. Within just two months of the release of the new Facebook Messenger, more than 11,000 chatbots had been created on the platform. Proponents of chatbot technology say that it’s the future of customer-brand interactions and will forever change the way consumers made dinner reservations, booked flights, completed online purchases, and resolved customer service issues. Because those outcomes haven’t occurred yet and the adoption of chatbots has slowed down since the initial excitement, many are concluding that chatbots were just another fad, much like QR codes which were promised to change everything but were largely forgotten. According to one recent survey, only four percent of companies have at least one chatbot deployed....

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Facebook developing chatbots that can negotiate like humans

Though chatbots have been growing in popularity in recent years, they are still somewhat limited in their capabilities. One of the things holding them back is the difficulty in programming chatbots with advanced machine learning and natural language processing that would enable them to communicate in a way that more closely resembles human speech. One of the reasons chatbot users cite for being dissatisfied is that chatbots often get stuck and need to be bailed out by live customer service agents. Facebook hopes to address these issues by developing chatbot programs that can negotiate and reach compromises that are satisfactory to both customers and the company the chatbot represents. The project Facebook’s artificial intelligence branch, FAIR (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research), are working on a project that creates an open-source code that any company could use to make their chatbots that operate on Facebook messenger better negotiators. In order to facilitate the...

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SMS still king when it comes to ROI

All the data suggests that when it comes to how to allocate your mobile marketing funds, SMS marketing needs to remain at the center. The first text message was sent in December of 1992 via computer. By the mid 90’s cellular phones began to be designed with text messaging capability but adoption of the technology was still slow with the average cell phone user sending just .4 texts per billing cycle. In 2017, Americans collectively will send several billions texts each day. Despite the growing popularity of messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, SMS remains the preferred way to send and receive short text messages. So while it’s the original and oldest mobile marketing channel in existence, it’s not slowing down any time soon. SMS marketing spending continues to increase each year and for good reason. The cost of text messaging One of the reasons text message marketing remains so popular...

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The most common mobile marketing mistakes that companies make

There are an estimated 2 billion smartphone users in the world. In the US, 223 million (more than two-thirds of the entire population) have one including 92% of millennials and 88% of those aged 30 to 49. Even the 65 and up demographic is embracing mobile with 42% owning smartphones; the 65 and up demographic is also the fastest growing one for smartphone ownership. All of these numbers are going to continue climbing in the coming years and companies are investing in mobile marketing at a feverish pace to try and keep up with the mobile trend. But in their hurry, they often make mistakes. The following mobile marketing mistakes are the most common ones. Assuming a mobile app is a must Many business owners and marketers view having a mobile app as the pinnacle of mobile marketing success and mistakenly believe they have to develop one. Statistics show that half of...

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Why your business needs a Facebook page and how you can make it successful

If you’re one of the many Facebook users using your personal profile instead of a Facebook page to promote your small business, you’re actually violating one of Facebook’s terms of service: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.” Even if it wasn’t in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, you still wouldn’t want to do this. That’s because a Facebook page offers a number of advantages over a personal profile. Facebook pages allow administrators of the page to see how people are interacting with the page to gain valuable insight into how they can make their page more effective. Facebook pages also provide administrators with various tools to help potential customers connect with them. Now that you’re convinced that you actually need a dedicated Facebook page for your small business, here are some tips for making...

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