HSN partners with Motricity for mobile initiatives

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HSN is working with Motricity on SMS marketing, using the agency's Gateway service to manage HSN's text-messaged daily deal alerts and mobile order confirmations. The network is employing the technology to drive purchases and offer current customers more flexibility.

“With direct marketing, you want to make sure you're reaching the most people, and upwards of 50% of people use texts regularly,” said Sean Bunner, operating VP for advanced services at HSN. He explained that with the daily deal alerts, “If you're not near a TV and computer, you can get this information and, if it's something you're interested in, go get it."

HSN was testing mobile on its own, but wanted a partner to help it manage the myriad carriers and networks in the mobile ecosystem.

“The mobile gateway allows content partners to connect directly into carrier networks and distribute their content," said Steve Leonard, GM of the Gateway group at Motricity. "We've built applications and software that helps people create these kinds of campaigns. We think our experience [with the carriers] can help eliminate the challenges."

HSN recently launched an iPhone app that features streaming video, but Bunner said the company sees text messaging as a more immediate and effective way to establish a mobile presence.

“The app world is not very mature. The iPhone is waking it up right now, but it's not where you invest if you want to reach mass numbers,” he said. “We have a very good e-mail marketing program — people can get e-mails around specific things, like cooking — and we wanted to take that into something that the phone can handle. It starts with text messaging."

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