Hipalerts Blog

Why mobile quizzes are great for destination marketing

Engaging mobile audiences is increasingly one of the biggest challenges every marketer faces. At a time when users seem to prefer short, fun content on their phones to long reads on any other format or device, quizzes are one of the most effective ways to engage smartphone carrying visitors. Here are 6 reasons why quizzes work great for your local destination marketing program.

1. Quizzes are a great first engagement step.

It is critical that you gain the trust of your target audience, and also prove that you can provide reliable and engaing information that gives them a reason to come back.  Quizzes are a great way to begin that conversation. Once you have their attention, it is easier to keep it by following up with more quality content.

2. Quizzes are Interactive

Interactive quizzes are fun and engaging! People see quizzes as an opportunity to learn something new and then use that information to take the next step – whether that step is sharing our results or taking action to learn more, or to respond when you next send out a notification about a new quiz! Like getting exercise is a positive byproduct you get from activities like surfing or playing basketball or skiing, people appreciate learning something new as a result of a quick, fun quiz.

3. Quizzes encourage sharing

The first key to a successful mobile marketing program is to increase your user base. Quizzes are great ways to encourage your users to share your app with others. People like to share fun, and if they get a good score, they want to share that as well (like, :”think you can beat this?”).

4. Quizzes are great for introducing your town

Every town has a history, highlights, things only locals know, places you’d like to share with visitors if you were given the chance. Mobile quizzes are a fun way to share those highlights in a way that stimulates visitors to find out more. Sports like basketball, surfing or skiing let you exercise while you are having fun. Similarly, quizzes give your visitors a fun way to learn about your town while they are having fun.

5. Quizzes lead to discovery

Any quiz about a location can include questions about – or even an entire quiz theme – about local stars, like great chefs, accomplished artists, non-profit founders and the like. It is a great way to help visitors discover who are the movers and shakers in the area and entice them to visit that chef’s restaurant or volunteer at that non-profit event.

For an example of how a town elegantly uses a quiz to introduce a destination, download our Sayulita Pack app and take the 10 question quiz!

Why you need geofence marketing in your local kit

Now that smartphones have won the world, mobile marketing and location-based tools are increasingly becoming essential tools for merchants & destinations.

Why? Well, since we’ve agreed that nearly everyone’s carrying around a turned-on smartphone no matter the occasion or the time of day,  including your customers and the people you want to become your customers, it makes sense that you’d like to find ways to engage those folks in ways they find acceptable. Taking advantage of location is one way to increase your chances of converting those folks.

Here are a few ways geofencing can help your mobile marketing efforts:

  1. The filtering power of hyper local targeting.

Because geofencing lets you be more precise in who receives your marketing message. Lets say you are restaurant with a new menu and a deal to offer. You can use geofencing to target users who are within, say, 5 miles of your location during your open hours. The idea is to stay hyper local. You want to target users who are nearby and more likely to come your way.

2. Getting cute with defensive marketing

You can also put a fence in front of nearby competitor’s shop and target users before they enter your rival’s place. This type of defensive marketing is a tactic Burger King recently used on McDonalds.

3. Easy A/B testing

You can guess at what sort of offer is going to convert your target audience, or you can contrast and compare different offers via A/B testing to see what appeals most. Maybe your customers prefer 2×1 margaritas over a free appy? You won’t know until you test, and its easy to do this with geofence marketing.

4. Understand your customers with location data and stats

The real power of location-based marketing like with geofencing is the data you receive when customers interact with your campaigns. How many received it vs how many tapped? How long did they stick around and what did they look at? How many redeemed the coupon, on what device, at what time? And that’s just scratching the surface of what you can gather, all of which helps you better understand the wants and desires of your target audience.

5. Using location to deliver more contextual content

Geofencing lets you better predict what kinds of content might better attract your audience. If you are in charge of marketing to visitors to your town, you can place fences in the arrivals areas of transportation stations, and even at the local highway offramps. You can then deliver the kind of key travel content that engages new visitors, including information about upcoming events, local activities, local dining deals, even some history and culture.

There are many more ways local merchants can take advantage of location-based marketing to better target visitors and locals too. Hipalerts provides a variety of tools to make those efforts easy and effective. Contact us to find out more and setup your first geofence.

Changing our brand (and why “yabeam” isn’t polite in Russian)

Changing brand to Hipalerts.comWhen we first started experimenting with location technology about 3 years ago, we went through a variety of names for the project. But when it came time to picking a domain name, as anyone in marketing knows, just for ease of entry you want to keep it to 2 syllables if possible. And you also want it to ideally be a name people can pronounce. If it can also somehow suggest in some loose way the theme of your project, that’s a bonus but not really required. After all, who knew what a google was?

Of course nearly any 2 syllable domain name of remote value is already taken these days. But after many hours of brainstorming and pounding on instantdomainname.com, we finally found a domain that was available, 2 syllables and related to what we were trying to do with project.


Given that our initial aim was to connect book content with location so that when customers were in a given area they would receive an alert like, “hey, here’s a book written about this city” etc., the notion of “beaming” the alert to the customer made a little sense. Kinda.

Then we started to imagine TV ads, like, “when you need local content, whatta you do? Yabeam!” Wow, that seemed perfect!

But then the problems started. When we started going out to trade shows and the like, we found people repeatedly mispronounced yabeam. Many would say, “YAY-beam” (like SAY). Others would pronounce it “YAAAbeam” (like Yahoo). Almost no one got it right.

It was depressing.

But the clincher was when, during a standup meeting with one of our Russian developers, he started giggling about the name but wouldn’t tell us why. We pushed him on it and he finally gave it up. Turns out “yabeam” sounds like Russian for a particularly derogatory reference to females. Great.

And that decided it. We had to change the brand. But that’s easier said then done. We have email addresses and contracts and all sorts of other places where yabeam.com is being used. And colors and logos and all sorts of other branding-related images we’d already launched into the world.

But now its done, and we’re really happy with Hipalerts, another 2 syllable domain but easier to pronounce. So far no one has suggested it means anything offensive in any other language, and it relates well to our mission, which is to help destination marketers deliver cool and useful content & deals to visitors.


Hipalerts-powered app launches in Mexico

We partnered with SayulitaLife.com in Mexico to launch a new Hipalerts-powered proximity marketing app targeting the fast growing tourist destination town of Sayulita. Called SayulitaPack, the app lets merchants take advantage of yaBeam’s unique platform to launch geofencing and push campaigns featuring dynamic merchant coupons, multimedia news about the town, features about merchants and non-profits and updates on local events.

Check it out on the App Store and Google Play.

How beacons can help publishers

Book Business Magazine just published my article about how publishers can use beacons to reach mobile users.  Money quote:

Beacons require users to have an associated app and to opt-in for notifications, so all communication is voluntarily received. For book publishers to leverage the huge potential beacons offer, you will need to partner with popular apps and new companies that will be focusing on building beacon-based venue networks. In some cases, your content could then be added to a library of content that can be licensed as a package and delivered to brands as a value-add. Or you will be able to purchase listing space on beacons located at niche venues where your content will be featured in alerts to that perfect niche mobile audience.

We will soon be launching YaBeam, a beacon-based mobile marketing platform that publishers can use to engage mobile audiences via “venues” that can be anywhere.  You can signup for alerts about the YaBeam launch here.

Women’s Leadership Conference 2015

EWIP2015The “Exceptional Women in Publishing” organization recently held their annual “Women’s Leadership Conference” in Berkeley, CA. Jill was asked to participate on a panel with two other highly exceptional women – Charlotte Abbott, content and media strategist, Abbott Communications, and  Fauzia Burke, founder & president, FSB Associates. The session was called, “How to be your own Boss in Publishing” and was intended to inform wannabe entrepreneurs on the perils of following your own path.  The panel spent some time discussing that pros and cons of starting your own venture, and didn’t mince around about  the huge risk and struggle going on your own brings, but the overall enthusiasm of the panel inspired all cubicle-trapped office workers in attendance who dare dream the startup dream.

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