How Can Small Businesses Get Started In Mobile Marketing?

How Can Small Businesses Get Started In Mobile Marketing
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Mobile marketing is one of the fastest growing media for advertising.  Many businesses, big and small,   have discovered how effective and affordable it is.  This is not to say that mobile marketing is the solution to your marketing problems, but it can help generate more sales and revenue when utilized correctly.

You’ll get the best results when mobile marketing strategies are integrated into your overall marketing program.  Before taking the plunge into mobile marketing, you must first determine if it can be applied to your business and marketing goals.

If you want to get started with mobile marketing, the following tips will help:

  1. Learn the basics of mobile marketing.  Get as much information as you can about requirements, regulations, and best practices.
  2. Opt-in to receive marketing text messages and materials on your mobile phone so you will know what it looks like from the customer’s point of view.  You’ll also discover which mobile marketing techniques work, and which ones don’t.  Use your smart phone to connect to the mobile web.
  3. Start collecting your existing customers’ mobile numbers.  Make a list of potential local clients. Be sure to follow industry best practices and respect the privacy of your customers.
  4. Decide what you are going to offer to your customers.  It can be coupons, vouchers, the chance to win a prize, etc.  The offers you send out should be valuable and unique.  You don’t want to offer something that customers can get elsewhere.  Keep your advertising messages short and fun.  Include plenty of surveys, trivia, polls, and discounts that customers will want to forward to friends and family.

Once your mobile marketing campaign is running, be sure to keep track of the offers and ads that receive the best response.

Mobile marketing is one of the top trends in marketing because of its high response rate, low cost, and opt-in nature.  It is ideal for local small businesses because of its personalized offers.  Owners of local businesses should find out how they can incorporate mobile marketing into their marketing campaign ASAP.


How to Launch a Mobile Marketing Campaign

It’s Easier Than You Might Think

As the number of cell phone and smart phone owners continues to grow, small business owners should waste no time taking advantage of the marketing potential of mobile devices.

These days, it is easy for small businesses to launch a marketing campaign geared towards mobile devices such as cell phones, smart phones, and tablets.  Small business owners can utilize mobile marketing to keep their existing customers and attract new ones.  Here’s how:

  • Send advertising text messages.  This is the easiest and most inexpensive way to increase business through mobile marketing.  Some firms sell databases of prospective consumers that small businesses may want to reach.  Business owners can offer discounts and invite customers to opt-in to a texting list.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly.  More people are now surfing the web on their smart phone, so it’s vital to optimize your website for mobile devices.  Keep in mind that mobile phones have smaller screens, so you will have to reduce the amount of text and images on a mobile page.  Web pages for mobile devices must also be optimized to load faster.
  • Use location-based mobile tools.  Smart phones are now equipped with GPS and location-based services that small business owners can use to their advantage to drive foot traffic to their brick and mortar stores.  When a person is physically present close to your location, send them a special offer such as a discount or coupon good for that day only.
  • Develop an app.  Applications for mobile devices can be utilized to market your small business.  Develop an app (or have someone do it for you) and offer it to consumers.  Make sure it’s unique and useful or entertaining.  Apps can help you connect with your customers and create brand awareness.


Reaching Your Target Customers with Text Messaging

Simple, inexpensive, yet effective.  This is the best way to describe SMS or text messaging as a mobile marketing tool.  It is perhaps the most cost-effective way to reach out to existing and potential customers.  Although there is a marked increase in the number of smart phone users, not all mobile phone users have them.  Text messages have a wide reach because they can be sent from and received on any type of mobile phone.

Although smart phones are capable of running apps and surfing the web, text messaging remains the most effective and quickest way to get your advertising message across quickly.

Tips for an Effective Text Messaging Campaign

The specifics of your SMS or text messaging campaign will depend on your type of business or what action you expect from your target audience.  But no matter what sort of text messaging campaign you will be launching, always incorporate mobile marketing best practices in your campaign.  Make sure people are happy to receive your text messages and you will have won half the battle.

  1. Put your customers first.  Always put the needs and wants of your customers first, before your own.  Businesses that continually send random and unwanted marketing messages can be very annoying.  Your messages must provide something of value to the customer if you want to get a positive response from them.

Your marketing goal is to bring in new customers to your small business as well as to retain existing ones.  Studies show that text message advertising is second only to coupons and discounts when it comes to generating sales.  You can get the best of both worlds by sending coupons and special offers to customers via text messages.  Make these deals exclusive to mobile users and you have a sure winner.  You can also use a follow up text message to let customers know you appreciate their patronage.

If you own a service firm, clients will appreciate receiving a text message confirming a reservation or reminding them of an upcoming appointment.

  1. Keep it short and simple.  Text or SMS messages are typically limited to a maximum of 160 characters so you have to keep your message short, clear, and straight to the point.  Keep in mind that mobile marketing is personal in nature, so make sure your messages are friendly and engaging.  Provide useful information and a call to action.  For example, you can let your customer know about a private sale the following day, and to show the text message to the cashier to get a discount.
  2. Easy Opt-in and Opt-out.  You want to make sure that your text message campaign is reaching the right audience.  You don’t want to waste your advertising dollars on text messages sent to people who are not interested in your offers or products.

In order to keep your marketing campaign effective, you must provide an easy way for customers to opt in to receive advertising messages.  How do you accomplish this?  One way is to simply start asking customers if they would like to receive exclusive offers and product information via text messages to their mobile phone.  This can be done at the point of sale by your employees.

If you already have a website, you can include a sign-up form where interested customers can enter their mobile number to get coupons or receive special offers directly to their mobile device.

It’s not enough to provide an easy opt-in process.  You should also provide a way for customers to opt-out.  After all, it can get annoying for customers to continue receiving text offers that they do not want at all.  A typical opt-out way is to include “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” in your text marketing message.

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