Skip to main content

Digital Wallet Meets New York Times’ “Modern Love,” Begets Another Marketing Channel

Urban Airship-NYT-BUR-1200

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to add another marketing channel to your growing list.

The digital wallet.

A recently-launched project involving The New York Times, Boston-based National Public Radio station WBUR, and mobile marketer Urban Airship points the way to using the digital wallet — present in every iPhone or Android phone — as a way to deliver serial content and related links to users.

For the past 11 years, the popular New York Times column “Modern Love” has featured essays submitted by readers about contemporary romance. At the end of January, WBUR began a weekly series of 48 podcasts with such celebrities as director/writer Judd Apatow, actor Jason Alexander, and actress Dakota Fanning reading the essays.

To offer a fairly effortless way for podcast listeners to receive notification about, and a link to, each week’s podcast, WBUR worked with Portland, Oregon-based mobile engagement provider Urban Airship, which has developed a digital wallet manager. At the beginning of February, WBUR and The Times released a digital wallet card with automatic, linked reminders about the podcasts.

WBUR could have used email, an app, or SMS texts to acquire signups, and then to send out weekly notices and links for new podcasts, Urban Airship Senior Director of Product Marketing Bill Schneider pointed out to me.

But a weekly email requires the user to regularly sift through their email, a chore on a smartphone. An app requires you to download, install, and manage yet one more, not to mention app development if it’s unique. A SMS text needs you to give your phone number to The Times/WBUR, and texts are usually peer-to-peer with family or friends. There is some commercial use like coupons, but it has met with mixed reception. Texts are not generally used for content distribution.

Instead, WBUR created a digital wallet card using the Urban Airship Wallet manager. The front of the card contains a brief summary, as well as a recommendation that the user click on the “more info” i-in-a-circle in the lower corner to flip the card over. (See images at top of this page.)

On the backside: links to the podcast on iTunes, or through online radio/podcast service Stitcher, as well as to a voicemail-like reminder audio from the celebrity, and special content, like behind-the-scenes visits to the podcast studio. Of course, links or linked images could also lead to products for sale, other podcasts series, videos, or any other web content, ads, marketing messages, or services.

“Mobile Wallets Will Become Marketing Platforms”

Every week, the card is automatically updated with links to the newest podcast, which WBUR separately manages via other software. Schneider said that, once the wallet card is created and the wallet manager set up, the cost of sending updates via the manager is “essentially zero.” Every time a new podcast notification is sent to the wallet card, there’s a reminder notification on the home screen of the user’s smartphone. A swipe on the notification takes the user to the wallet card.

To sign up for the wallet card, users went to the New York Times page and entered their email address, after which they received one email with a link to get the wallet card. They opened the email in their phone, clicked on the link, and the card/subscription was set up.

The single email sent out with the link netted a five percent conversion rate in the number of recipients who ended up downloading the wallet pass, Schneider said. That’s about twice the regular email conversion rates, although the email was sent only to people who had previously indicated an interest. Urban Airship reports that about 96 percent of users with the downloaded wallet card have kept it so far.

The wallet card could also have been distributed via other means that do not require you to provide personal info, like a link in a tweet or a Facebook post, or through a scannable QR code.

Schneider said he wasn’t aware of any similar use of a wallet card as a updater and entry point for the delivery of serial content. But the expanded use of digital wallets beyond their current role as the smartphone location for your coupons, loyalty cards, boarding passes, and credit cards was predicted in a report released a year ago from Forrester Research.

That report, “The Future of Mobile Wallets Lies Beyond Payments,” forecast that, “in the next five years, mobile wallets will become marketing platforms.”

“Third-party players like Apple or PayPal,” Forrester says, “are best placed to emerge from the mobile wallet wars and morph [wallets] into rich marketing platforms.”

“Marketing leaders should test mobile wallet campaigns now,” it recommends.

via Marketing Land


Popular posts from this blog

6 types of negative SEO to watch out for

The threat of negative SEO is remote but daunting. How easy is it to for a competitor to ruin your rankings, and how do you protect your site? But before we start, let’s make sure we’re clear on what negative SEO is, and what it definitely isn’t.Negative SEO is a set of activities aimed at lowering a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities are more often off-page (e.g., building unnatural links to the site or scraping and reposting its content); but in some cases, they may also involve hacking the site and modifying its content.Negative SEO isn’t the most likely explanation for a sudden ranking drop. Before you decide someone may be deliberately hurting your rankings, factor out the more common reasons for ranking drops. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.Negative off-page SEOThis kind of negative SEO targets the site without internally interfering with it. Here are the most common shapes negative off-page SEO can take.Link farmsOne or two spammy links likely won’…

Another SEO tool drops the word “SEO”

This guest post is by Majestic’s Marketing Director, Dixon Jones, who explains the reasons for their recent name change.
Majestic, the link intelligence database that many SEOs have come to use on a daily basis, has dropped the “SEO” from it’s brand and from its domain name, to become Since most people won’t have used Google’s site migration tool before, here’s what it looks like once you press the “go” button:

In actual fact – there’s a minor bug in the tool. The address change is to the https version of (which GWT makes us register as a separate site) but that message incorrectly omits that. Fortunately, elsewhere in GWT its clear the omission is on Google’s side, not a typo from the SEO. It is most likely that the migration tool was developed before the need for Google to have separate verification codes for http and https versions of the site.
The hidden costs of a name change
There were a few “nay sayers” on Twitter upset that Majestic might be deserting it…

Software Review Site TrustRadius Has A New Way to Treat Reviews Obtained Through Vendors

Online user reviews are the most powerful marketing technique for influencing purchase decisions. But do they accurately represent the views of most users?Today, business software review platform TrustRadius is announcing a new way — called trScore — to handle the bias introduced in reviews by users obtained through the vendor of the reviewed software product. The site says more than two million software buyers visit each year to check out its product reviews.To understand trScore, let’s first look at TrustRadius’ approach.The site says it authenticates all users through their LinkedIn profiles. It also requires users to answer eight to ten questions about the product, in order to weed out users having no familiarity. Additionally, a staff person reads every review before it is posted, and the site says about three percent of reviews are rejected for not meeting guidelines.As for the reviews themselves, TrustRadius puts them into two main buckets: independently-sourced reviews and ven…