HarperCollins Eyes Teens With Text Messaging Effort

HarperCollins Children's Books debuts a cell phone and handheld instrument text messaging program today to promote the Princess Diaries series and other books from author Meg Cabot.

Called the Meg Cabot Mobile Club, the effort lets HarperCollins, New York, target mobile marketing programs to the teenage readers of the Princess Diaries, All-American Girl sequel “Ready or Not” and the upcoming “Avalon High.” Fans also can expect messages from Cabot.

The interactive effort includes SMS-based promotions like sweepstakes, text-based trivia campaigns, book-signing updates, screensavers and voice tones from the author. Consumers can access the club at www.megcabot.com/mobile or text JOIN + date of birth + ZIP (e.g., 10/4/91 10280) to the short code MEG11 (or 63411).

Major U.S. wireless networks like Verizon, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless and Cingular agreed to host the HarperCollins mobile effort. They, too, hope to benefit from the teenage fascination with mobile-based activity, be it games, text messages, photographs, music, ring tones or even talk.

HarperCollins is promoting the mobile club through ads on www.seventeen.com, www.teenpeople.com, www.ellegirl.com, www.thewb.com and www.cosmogirl.com.

Mobile marketing technology provider Flytxt, London and New York, is supporting the club with its wireless offering and platform. In particular, HarperCollins is using Flytxt Direct, a platform to view, send and receive SMS (short message service for text) and MMS (multimedia messaging services for images, text, audio and video) through a Web-based interface with a direct connection to wireless carriers.

Under the deal, HarperCollins will have access to real-time reports of all activities as well as complete visibility of its mobile database of users. The publisher also can target specific consumer segments based on geographic area, preferred book titles or age, among other criteria.

Another tool, Flytxt Publisher, will let HarperCollins market and sell mobile content through channels like the Web, WAP, xHTML and SMS. The Flytxt Publisher platform handles all aspects of content delivery, including subscription services, tracking, billing, reporting, marketing and customer management.

Flytxt's deal with HarperCollins signals its steady expansion within the U.S. mobile marketing market. Clients in the United States and overseas include Time Inc., Hearst Magazines, Hachette Filipacchi, PepsiCo, T-Mobile, Cingular, Emap, Chrysalis, Vodafone and Orange for its movie theater coupon effort.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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