top of page

Updated: 1 day ago

SAUMA: protecting life and hope in the heart of Namibia
SAUMA: protecting life and hope in the heart of Namibia

In an era where conservation challenges loom large, V5 Digital has taken a significant step in empowering environmental stewardship. Long-time members of the Pledge 1% initiative, our team used their expertise to create an impactful online presence for the Stampriet Aquifer Uranium Mining Association (SAUMA), a beacon of water protection advocacy in Namibia.

More than just humans rely on the pristine drinking water from our aquifers
More than just humans rely on the pristine drinking water from our aquifers

Protecting the Stampriet Aquifer

The Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer, Namibia's sole year-round freshwater source in its arid south-east, is under threat. The prospect of In Situ uranium mining, with its potential for radioactive and toxic heavy metal contamination, poses a dire risk to the drinking water, wildlife, and the health of the people who call this area home.

If disaster strikes, the repercussions will be widespread. Yes, our drinking water would be jeopardized but many more areas would also feel the impact:

  1. Tourism and Hospitality: In Situ, uranium mining-related pollution can degrade natural landscapes and wildlife habitats, which are key attractions for tourists. This can lead to a decline in tourism, adversely affecting guest farms, lodges, villages and whole towns.

  2. Agriculture and Livestock: Pollution can contaminate soil and water sources, affecting crop quality and yield. It can also impact livestock health and productivity, leading to economic losses in the agricultural sector.

  3. Real Estate and Property Development: Environmental degradation can lead to a decline in property values in affected areas, impacting real estate development and sales.

  4. Healthcare Services: Increased pollution can lead to health issues in local populations, potentially increasing the burden on healthcare services.

  5. Export Sector: If the pollution affects products like fruits, vegetables, or meat, it can impact the export sector, particularly if importing countries impose stricter regulations or bans due to health concerns.

  6. Manufacturing: Sectors reliant on clean water and uncontaminated raw materials may face production challenges, leading to increased costs or reduced output. Additionally, essential community services such as fueling stations, banks, shops, and supermarkets will also be impacted.

Recreational and Outdoor Activities: Outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing, can be adversely affected by environmental degradation, impacting businesses that cater to these activities.

This urgency catalyzed the formation of SAUMA, a community united in safeguarding this precious aquifer. This isn't just about conservation; it's about preserving a way of life for the settlements, farms, game lodges, and unique ecosystems that depend on this vital water source.

A preview of the SAUMA Website

A Website and Social Media Strategy with a Purpose

Recognizing the gravity of SAUMA's mission, V5 Digital embarked on a journey to amplify their voice. Our task? To develop a new website and a comprehensive social media strategy that resonates with the urgency of SAUMA's cause. Through this platform, we aimed to elevate public awareness, foster community engagement, and drive essential donations to support SAUMA's initiatives.

Local Voices, Global Echoes

Central to our strategy was the integration of invaluable insights from devoted community volunteers, passionately dedicating their time to raise public awareness about this vital cause. We collaborated closely with vigilant farmers, caring parents, dedicated teachers, and individuals from various backgrounds, all united in their commitment to safeguard the quality of their drinking water for future generations.

When we inquired about their experience collaborating with us, SAUMA generously shared:

“SAUMA extends its sincere gratitude to V5 Digital for their unwavering support of our vision and mission. The V5 Digital team has supported us with professional and generous backing, by applying their outstanding communication and social media skills, IT and marketing expertise. Our social media platforms and website are proof of this professional team’s outstanding abilities. SAUMA’s new media presence reflects our commitment to protecting our scarce water resource for all Namibians.”

Let V5 Digital elevate your online presence with social media that connects and engages

A Call to Action

Our collaboration with SAUMA is more than a project; it's a partnership for the planet. We invite you to join us in this critical mission. Visit the beautiful new website we created for SAUMA to learn more and make a difference. Your support empowers community advocacy, legal efforts, and the ongoing protection of the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer.

Learn more about SAUMA and make a difference: HERE

Like, follow, and share their Facebook content: HERE

V5 Digital: Your source for sleek, functional websites that make an impact.
V5 Digital: Your source for sleek, functional websites that make an impact.

V5 Digital's Comprehensive Services

Inspired by our work with SAUMA? V5 Digital is here to bring your vision to life, whether it's crafting a new website, developing a holistic social media strategy or more. Let us help you make an impact in your field.

20 views0 comments

Updated: Dec 1

Validity Research Shows Consumers are Ready for SMS Marketing - But Brands are Falling Short

Consumers are saying YES to SMS
Consumers are saying YES to SMS

A popular marketing mantra states: Meet customers where they are...and these days modern consumers are on their phones!

Research done by Validity recently showed that people check their phones, on average, 96 times a day! That means if you’re a company that uses SMS and WhatsApp to reach your audience you have 96 opportunities to excite and delight your target audience!

However, with great power comes great responsibility! Instant messaging is a high-risk, high-reward addition to the marketing mix that can deliver an experience that captures the hearts (and wallets) of your subscribers or could annoy them so much that they never buy from you again.

96 opportunities a day - make the most of instant messaging marketing!
96 opportunities a day - make the most of instant messaging marketing!

The truth is consumers like SMS marketing, with 19% of respondents in the Validity Report listing SMS as their preferred brand communication channel (ranked second only to email). However, some brands are falling short of consumer expectations causing 96% of people to add that they felt annoyed at least occasionally by SMS marketing and 59% saying they stopped buying from the brand for good.

While email and SMS marketing can complement each other beautifully, they are still distinct ways of communicating a message. What often happens is marketers of various backgrounds (mostly email marking) suddenly find themselves responsible for SMS as well and sometimes don’t understand what customers expect from this communication channel.

Where attention meets convenience

The perfect storm of an explosion of e-commerce, the adoption of a mobile-first mindset, and the ever-shrinking human attention span have created consumers who act differently from any we've seen before. These consumers are starting to favour SMS marketing, with email only barely getting the top spot.

Consumers are willing to engage with multiple brands over SMS and opt into an average of eight SMS programs from brands they follow. However, they have strong preferences for their texts, favouring practical messages such as shipping notifications. Success relies on a brand's ability to meet subscribers' expectations. Overall, SMS marketing has vast potential as a still-emerging channel.

SMS is not the next big thing!

SMS is already here, influencing purchase decisions all around the globe. When used properly, this type of messaging encourages long-term consumer engagement and spending. It keeps brands top of mind and reminds consumers about abandoned carts, promotions, and limited offers.

A great way to start is with a stellar welcome message. These messages contain information about the types of MSMs you can expect, how to unsubscribe, and whether there are any costs involved.

Given the highly personal nature of the SMS channel, consumers have firm standards for how and when they want to receive messages. This means marketers can’t simply rinse and repeat winning strategies from other channels (like email) and expect success with SMS.

The costs are higher, the character counts are smaller, and the risk of seeming intrusive is far greater than with any other channel.

It's crucial to ensure your SMS stands out positively amidst daily message bombardment
It's crucial to ensure your SMS stands out positively amidst daily message bombardment

Brands using SMS Marketing are falling short of consumers’ expectations

As mentioned previously, A staggering 96% of respondents to the Validity study reported feeling annoyed at least occasionally by text messages they received from brands with most citing “messaging too frequently” as their number one pet peeve.

On the other hand, 57% say they have intentionally waited for SMS messages hoping for incentives before making a purchase, only to go a long time without hearing from the brand. This often caused them to turn to a competitor.

It becomes clear that many brands are not equipped to walk the tightrope that is effective SMS marketing. Some do even more damage by going as far as using dubious ways to send their customers messages they never signed up for!

The consequences of these unmet expectations are hitting brands where it hurts most…their bottom lines. According to the Validity study:

  • 28% of consumers stopped buying from the brand

  • 52% of customers deleted further messages without reading them

  • 14% left a negative review

This means brands need to button up their approach to SMS Marketing quickly! So, how can marketers avoid the curse of unmet subscriber expectations? It’s all about figuring out how SMS complements messaging from other channels rather than thinking about it as a channel in its own right (it is not just another form of email marketing).

As SMS is a more personal channel, the social contract is slightly different. Marketers are strongly advised to use SMS less frequently and more tactically depending on their brand’s unique customer journey. Most marketers agree that SMS is best used for urgent, time-based communications and for transactional messages.

Annoying subscribers can hurt your bottom line!
Annoying subscribers can hurt your bottom line!

SMS allows marketers to contact subscribers at any moment…but should they?

While many consumers cite getting too many messages as their biggest problem with SMS marketing, other factors also lead to subscriber burnout. Texting at inappropriate times, like late at night, and not respecting opt-outs can be equally damaging to customer relationships.

SMS is one of the most personal ways to reach out to customers, and unlike messages on email or social media, it’s difficult for people to tune out messages sent straight to their phones.

To prevent subscriber burnout, SMS marketers should give their subscribers more control over the frequency of brand messages, especially during peak sales periods like Black Friday. Validity found that 97% of respondents would prefer to customize/control the frequency of messages from brands, and 81% say having this ability would increase their likelihood of doing business with a brand.

The success of an SMS campaign relies on how well marketers listen to their subscribers. Giving subscribers the power to say when and how often they’d like to receive messages can make the difference between an SMS program that moves the needle and one that drags down the revenue number.

Validity found the following results related to SMS frequency
Validity found the following results related to SMS frequency

What makes a winning SMS approach?

It's simple really:

  • Start from the ground up

  • Make it an opt-in experience

  • Use sign-up incentives to get those ever-guarded digits

Subscribers tend to protect their phone number more than their email address but are receptive to SMS marketing if it adds value to their lives. Financial incentives, like promotions and discounts, work well but even something as simple as shipping notifications can incentivise someone to sign up.

This highlights SMS's effectiveness in transactional communications, guiding marketers on where to focus
This highlights SMS's effectiveness in transactional communications, guiding marketers on where to focus

Who is most responsive to SMS?

As we’ve seen, opt-in incentives are critical for building a high-quality SMS list. But even the right opt-in perks won’t have the desired impact if brands aren’t targeting the right audience.

According to the Validity study, young, female consumers are most responsive to SMS

Marketing. Female respondents were 37% more likely than their male counterparts to sign up for messages to support their favourite brands.

Gen-Z respondents (born between 1997 – 2012) were 21% more likely than millennials (born between 1981 – 1996) to sign up for messages for the same reason.

SMS marketing should be an urgent priority for brands whose target audiences fall within these age ranges. And as SMS marketing becomes a more dominant force, marketers with audiences of all ages should keep a close eye on shifting audience preferences among older generations to see if they follow their younger cohorts.

No marketing channel is one-size-fits-all…SMS included
No marketing channel is one-size-fits-all…SMS included

What is consumers' number one concern?

When it comes to SMS marketing, people worry about their data privacy. They are concerned that handing over their number to strangers could pose a data risk and wish for greater transparency.

While many people are cautious about scams and companies selling their data, many also still say they sign up if the rewards outweigh the risks. So what kind of benefits incentivise consumers to allay their fears and sign up for SMS marketing?

Given today’s economic climate it comes as no surprise that discounts top the list of preferred rewards. However, consumers should not have to risk their privacy to save money! Marketers should make data privacy a priority in 2023.

It’s important for marketers to educate themselves on relevant data privacy laws and regulations, as well as to be transparent when asking consumers for personal data. They should be clear during sign-up about their intentions for using consumer data and ask subscribers for explicit consent before taking any action.

Validity reveals key incentives for consumer SMS sign-ups
Validity reveals key incentives for consumer SMS sign-ups

What should marketers do next?

It’s simple if marketers fall short of consumer expectations it can hurt their brand and bottom line but if they use it thoughtfully SMS can strengthen other marketing initiatives and help marketers meet consumers where they are in 2023.

So, what actionable steps can you take to improve your SMS marketing?

  1. Clean your lists: SMS messages cost more than email so don't text invalid numbers.

  2. Learn from the pros: V5 Digital, an African marketing agency, uses SMS to boost local and global brands and businesses. Take a look: Here

  3. Consumers want personalized experiences: Give it to them via SMS by using segmented data that you asked for via an opt-in process.

  4. State your intentions: Consumers feel comfortable sharing their data with brands that explicitly state what they will use it for.

  5. Determine the most effective use cases: Send different types of campaigns and see which ones perform the best.

  6. Prioritize consumer privacy: Adhere to privacy laws to build customer loyalty.

  7. Promote your SMS program: Promote your SMS program through email and social media to build awareness and get people signing up!

There’s a clear appetite for SMS marketing but if marketers aren’t meeting or exceeding consumers’ expectations, it won’t be long before the time and money spent implementing this channel go down the drain.

Boost Your Reach with V5 Digital's Expert SMS Marketing Solutions!
Boost Your Reach with V5 Digital's Expert SMS Marketing Solutions!

SMS Marketing is a powerful tool that you can use to connect with your customers in a more personal and effective way.

Does the prospect of increasing sales, improving customer engagement, and driving traffic, sounds exciting but the implementation and risks sound a little daunting?

V5 Digital is a certified SMS provider. Our Team of experts can help you:

  • Send bulk SMS messages

  • SMS Push notifications

  • USSD Codes

  • Segment audiences

  • Schedule texts

  • Idiate and run competitions

  • Analyse campaign performance

Get started by clicking the button below!

This article was written for and adapted for the V5 Digital audience.

19 views0 comments
  • Writer's pictureFreda Smit

Reviews are a reminder that customers are at the heart of any successful business
Positive Reviews are a reminder that customers are at the heart of any successful business

You can’t underestimate the power of those shiny gold stars!

Think about the last time you made a purchase, big or small. Did you happen to look for reviews on Google before buying? Most of your customers will. In fact, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 97% of shoppers say that reviews on Google and other sites influence their buying decisions.

Why do reviews on Google matter?

In a recent article on Think with Google, Google’s VP of Marketing for the Americas, Lisa Gevelber, goes into detail about consumers making quick decisions and acting on those decisions faster than ever before. The focus of the article is the concept of micro-moments, a term coined by Gevelber and the leadership of Google that represents the moment a consumer needs to know something, go somewhere, do something, or buy something.

Micro-moments occur throughout the day for everyone:

  • If you’re hungry and travelling, you look for a local restaurant

  • If your car breaks down on the way to the restaurant, you look for a mechanic

  • If you get home and find a pool of water in your kitchen, you look for a plumber

  • If you slip in the puddle and hurt your back, you look for a chiropractor and so on

In essence, consumers are reacting in real-time to micro-moments where they find, go, do, or buy as the need arises. When making these quick decisions, consumers use indicators like reviews on Google to determine where they spend their money. Today, we’re going to look at how you can win new business in today’s micro-moment world by growing positive reviews on Google with the help of email marketing.

Reviews are a powerful tool for consumers to make informed decisions
Google reviews are a powerful tool for consumers to make informed decisions

Reviews on Google Drive buying decisions

Years ago, I was giving my daughter Olivia a bath when I heard my wife yelling from downstairs, “Bryan, the kitchen is flooded!” It turns out the bathtub was causing a downpour through the kitchen ceiling, and I instantly found myself in a micro-moment. I needed a plumber to fix this leak, so we could continue to use the bathtub without a rainforest effect in our kitchen. With that, I picked up my phone and used Google’s voice search to find a “plumber near me.” The first result in the local pack was a plumber in my town with several five-star reviews on Google, so I called right away.

The plumber came over within the hour, assessed the problem, did a quick fix, and told me he’d be back the next day with the proper parts. True to his word, he came the next day, fixed the leak, and handed me the invoice. He was prompt and professional, just like his reviews on Google had described him, and I was more than happy to pay the bill. As a result, he became our go-to plumber for any issues, and I referred him to our family and friends in the area.


74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.


Nowadays, more and more consumers are relying on data points like reviews on Google to make their buying decisions. In fact, 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more, and nearly nine out of ten people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. With stats like these, there is no denying that your business needs to have a digital presence with positive Google reviews. Let’s look at how to grow your reviews on Google.

How to grow your reviews on Google

Sometimes getting positive reviews on Google is as simple as asking for them
Sometimes getting positive reviews on Google is as simple as asking for them

There are three methods to grow your reviews on Google:

Method 1: The verbal ask

Just recently, I went for my routine cleaning at the dentist. Right when I entered the waiting room, I was greeted with a placard requesting a review on Google. When I sat down with my friendly dental hygienist, there was another placard with a simple request, “If you enjoyed your experience, please leave me a review on Google.” And, as expected, after she gave me a clean bill of dental health and my little goodie bag, she said, “All of the dental hygienists are having a competition to see how many reviews on Google we can collect. If you don’t mind, can you leave a review and mention my name?”

I was blown away by the dental practice’s dedication to increasing their review volume, but they never provided a link or any way for me to easily leave a review on Google. Instead, they were depending on patients like me to take the time to search for the business, find the right Google Business Profile and leave a review.

Although they had good intentions, the front desk staff confirmed that there was barely any follow-through from delighted patients. In essence, verbally asking for a Google review was not effective.

Method 2: The direct link to Google Reviews

Over the years, Google has realized that it needs to make it easy for small business owners to solicit new reviews. In the past, you’d need to go through multiple steps to find your Place ID (a special tag that identifies your business profile in Google’s local SEO database) and then insert it into a long, complex URL. The result was something that looked like this:

Now, assuming you’ve created a Google Business Profile, you may have noticed the ability to share a direct link to your local SEO listing on Google Search and Maps. Thankfully, the link to Google reviews is easier to find and friendlier to the eye.

Although a direct link is helpful, it doesn’t provide small businesses like yours with the ability to manage and promote your reviews on Google as well. That’s where a review engine comes into play.

Method 3: The review engine

The easiest and most convenient way to grow your reviews on Google (and reviews on many other sites like Facebook, Yelp, etc.) is by using a review engine service. One service to consider is MyReviewDashboard, which is offered by V5 Digital Marketing. These kinds of review engine services provide a slew of benefits, including the ability to:

  • Proactively solicit reviews on Google, Yext, Facebook, Zillow, and more

  • Get alerts when new reviews come in

  • Collect negative customer feedback proactively before a negative review is posted

  • Resolve issues with unhappy customers

  • Promote positive reviews on Google via social media, email marketing, and on your website

A service like MyReviewDashboard sets you up with a custom domain name to make it easy to solicit reviews from your happy customers. That custom domain can be shared on social media posts, business cards, invoices, receipts, and more.

Remember that story from my dentist’s office? Had they used a review engine like MyReviewDashboard, they could have created QR codes and added them to each of the placards around the office to make it easy for patients to leave a review on Google.

Win more reviews with these great tips!

Best of all, you can use that same custom domain in your email marketing campaigns to grow your reviews on Google.

How to grow positive reviews on Google with email marketing

I once worked with a realtor who knew that they needed more reviews to stand out from their competition. After each closing, they planned to send a personal email to their clients asking for a new review on Google. Their intentions were great, but they lacked the time and resources to follow through on their plan. As a result, they were only able to collect 3 new reviews in 6 months.

When we started working together, our team at BJC Digital Marketing realized that they had a substantial contact list of delighted buyers and sellers that could provide a large volume of new positive reviews. To maximize their limited time, we suggested that they use Constant Contact email marketing to reach out and request new reviews.

Let’s assume that you have an email list of 100 happy customers and you are using a review engine service like MyReviewDashboard. You could spend hours sending each customer an individual email with your new custom domain name (e.g., or you could leverage the power of Constant Contact’s digital marketing platform.

Constant Contact would allow you to custom brand your email campaign, personalize each email with a custom greeting, and streamline the content to save you time.

Be sure to segment your list

If you’ve ever looked at a business’s reviews and noticed they were all written around the same date, it might make you a bit suspicious. The same holds true for your customers, which is why you never want to ask your entire email list for reviews at once.

Instead, leverage the power of email list segmentation to break your list into smaller groups of contacts of 10 to 20 customers. You can organize your contacts by the products or services they buy, their last purchase date, or their frequency of purchases. You might also create a segment of happy brand evangelists who already interact with your social media because you know they’ll be more likely to leave a review for you. Once you have your segments defined, you can use the copy below in your review request email campaign:


Hi [First Name],

I want to thank you for doing business with [Company Name]. I’m reaching out personally because I want to ask about your experience with our team.

Were we amazing? Just OK? Terrible? In any case, I’d like to know.

We always strive to be better, and your feedback will help us accomplish that. If you’re willing, it will only take a minute of your time.

Thanks Again,

[Your Name]

[Review Link in Button Form]


Tying it all together

At the end of the day, consumers are making split-second decisions when they find themselves in a micro-moment. By combining a review engine service like MyReviewDashboard with a powerful email marketing service like Constant Contact, you can solicit, collect, and promote positive reviews on Google to win more business.

If you're interested in using Email Marketing to grow your reviews or for any of its other benefits feel free to set up a no-obligation consultation with V5 Digital, a longtime Constant Contact Partner:

This article was written by Bryan Caplan for Constant Contact and adapted for the V5 Digital audience.

25 views0 comments
bottom of page