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Friday, March 30, 2012

Tips for a Successful SMS Marketing Campaign

 If you want to have a successful SMS marketing campaign, you need to have a plan in place. I want to suggest some strategies that can help you to make the most of this method of interacting with potential customers.

The first is to keep the text messages brief. Consumers who are receiving messages on mobile devices are not likely to take the time to review a lengthy message, so make each word count.

You will also want to make sure your target market knows exactly which company is sending out the messages. If the recipient doesn't recognize your business name or brand, he or she is likely simply to delete the message without acting on it.

Making sure the recipients of your text message marketing campaigns feel that they are part of an elite group is always a good strategy. Institute a type of loyalty rewards or VIP program and make sure that the recipients of your text messages are receiving offers that are not offered elsewhere.

The message should include a clear call to action for the recipient. If you are offering a special discount, make sure the customer knows that it will expire on a certain date. A clear cut-off will encourage the recipient to act on the offer in a timely manner.

If you want to develop a successful SMS marketing campaign, the strategies listed above will help you to reach this goal. Keeping your customers' needs in mind is the best way to get the results you are looking for.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why Mobile Coupons Are Here to Stay

March 29, 2012 - Mobile coupons usage is expected to grow to approximately 300 million coupon users worldwide and over $6 billion in redemption rate revenue by 2014. Clearly, mobile coupons are an effective way to reach consumers and will not disappear like other trends in marketing.

Why will mobile coupons will be around for a long time to come? Here are a few good reasons:

   They can be delivered directly into the consumer's hands quickly. Speed matters when it comes to mobile technology and virtual coupons definitely fit the bill.
   The recipient doesn't have to take the time to clip them out or print them to take advantage of an offer. The age old issue of leaving coupons at home is eliminated as well.
   Coupons offered on a smart phone can be targeted to a specific customer instead of the general population. Businesses can track buying habits of their customers and offer mobile coupons savings on products and services that they are likely to want.
   The coupons can be made available to buyers in a certain location. If a customer is in or near a particular business and receives a coupon on his or her smartphone, he or she is more likely to use it (and make other purchases as well).

Consumers also find mobile coupons attractive because they can use them without having to reveal any personal information. In this time when many people are concerned about privacy issues, being able to use a coupon without having to provide a name, address, or phone number is a very attractive feature.

The biggest reason that I think mobile coupons will be with us for some time is that they can be used by several types of businesses to attract buyers. Restaurants, service stations, retailers, hair salons, and establishments can use them effectively.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Text Message Marketing Effective Strategy for Businesses

I was intrigued to learn that the majority of mobile phone users like to receive promotional SMS offers. The results of a survey conducted by YouGov indicate that 65 percent of mobile phone users fall into his category.

The survey results also indicated that 75 percent of smartphone owners prefer receiving offers via SMS, which indicates mobile SMS marketing can be an effective way to reach out to potential buyers. A full 83 percent of respondents stated that their preference would be to receive two offers per month, or less.

Unlike other types of marketing efforts, SMS messages are more likely to be opened by the recipient. I think that getting a prospective buyer to look at what is being communicated to him or her is half the battle. A business could be offering a wonderful product or service but if prospective buyers don't read the advertising messages, it is a moot point.

What do these survey results mean for your business? Now that you know that mobile phone users are willing to read SMS offers received on their handheld devices, add this element to your mobile marketing efforts. You will want to set up a schedule so that your target market receives your offers a couple of times a month to avoid overwhelming them with too many offers.

As long as you make sure that your messages are interesting and relevant to your target audience, you have a very good chance of having the recipient follow through by making a purchase.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keep it Simple When Planning Your Mobile Marketing Campaigns

When deciding how to structure mobile marketing for your business, simplicity counts. I know that many business owners are interested in adopting this type of marketing method to reach out to customers, and for good reason: they work.

As mobile phones continue to become more popular with consumers, they will become increasingly more likely to depend on this technology to send and receive messages. Companies can use text message marketing to send messages to its customer list to provide information about special offers or promotions, turning browsers into buyers.

Since mobile phones and tablets have smaller screens than a desktop model, keeping the messages short and to the point is the way to go. A buyer who is out and about wants to receive marketing messages in bite-sized chunks, and mobile marketing campaigns are the perfect way to deliver the information they need to make a choice about where to buy a product or service quickly.

Along with keeping the messages simple, a successful mobile campaign will be one that doesn't forget that this type of marketing involves receiving, as well as sending, messages. Be ready to deal with inquiries from customers made from their hand-held devices and tablets so that they can receive the information requested in a timely manner.

Customers who are looking for information using their mobile phone are open to making a buying decision in the moment, and reaching out to them in this way will help to boost your bottom line.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Mobile Marketing Conference 2012 Wrapup

Last week, Carrie Chitsey, CEO of 3Seventy, and Candice Beckmann, Partner Account Manager, attended the Mobile Marketing Conference in Miami, FL. After meeting many great people, listening to informative sessions, and enjoying some Florida sunshine, they are back in the office, full of new ideas for our clients. Candice Beckmann has highlighted her takeaways from the conference here:

I have grown accustomed to attending conferences with thousands of people, 3 minute conversations, and walking the long aisles of a convention center. However, the Mobile Marketing Conference was an intimate gathering of major brands and mobile experts sharing their experiences with mobile solutions, a refreshing change that allowed attendees to really get to know each other, the speakers, and the conference organizers.

Most of the sessions were presented by interactive and digital directors from brands. The range of experiences included success stories with apps, mobile websites, SMS messaging, traditional websites, QR codes, and snap tags. Companies such as Capital One, Taco Bell, and L’Oreal found great success with innovative mobile apps that allowed users to connect with their products or services. Others, such as Gap and Forrester Research, found mobile web to be the most valuable resource, companies.

It was incredibly useful to hear about the creative and technical solutions that large companies produced with mobile tools. Though none of the mobile concepts were new to me, but the experiences were beneficial and some the important takeaways included:
  • A strong mobile strategy must consider both the long and short term ways to engage your audience.
  • It’s important to create an integrated digital experience in multiple channels.
  • You must have a mobile website, because without it you are lost to the consumer.
  • Using mobile to educate your consumer aids loyalty to your brand.
  • A successful SMS campaign means sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

I think the conference reiterated the importance of a mobile strategy to a number of managers and executives from top brands in the U.S., and gave them the tools and knowledge to get started now, before it's too late.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Going Green with SMS Marketing

Why would a business want to adopt an SMS marketing strategy? The main reason that I can see companies being interested in this type of marketing is because it works. There are almost 6 billion cell phone subscriptions worldwide, and as texting continues to become the primary way consumers communication, text messages will become a more important way for businesses to connect with their customers.

One way to get the public on board with this type of mobile marketing would be to emphasize that it is a “green” means of advertising. Electronic messages being sent to a device that the recipient already owns means that a company does not have to go to the time and expense to produce paper advertising materials and assume the cost of having it distributed to potential buyers.

SMS messages are a much more effective way to share messages with customers. They are short, to the point, and can be directed at a specific target market. With sending out paper flyers, a good portion of recipients will simply discard them without even reading them. SMS messages, in contrast, have a 99% open rate with recipients. If getting the potential buyer to read the message is half the battle, I can see the conversion rates will be much higher using this technique.

Not only is it a green way to attract buyers, but SMS marketing is a method that gets results. This is truly a win-win situation for business owners.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 Poised to be Year of Mobile Marketing

Experts in the mobile marketing field are predicting that 2012 will be the year that mobile phones will come into their own as a marketing tool. Mobile marketing has grown and its year-to-year numbers show that it is increasing by approximately 30 percent each year, which I would say is a very clear indication that mobile is becoming the new standard communication tool. Over the last several years, print advertising revenue is down by approximately 12 percent.

As technology continues to advance and handheld devices become a more important means of communication, consumer buying habits also change and evolve. Simply because mobile technology allows companies to put messages in front of consumers constantly, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will be the best way to increase revenue.

I think that companies that do not use available mobile technologies as part of the marketing plan are missing out on opportunities to connect with prospective buyers and grow their customer base, but the methods used have to capture a cell phone user's attention with a meaningful message and attractive savings offers. Otherwise, the message is just add to all the noise that consumers are dealing with every day.

Mobile technology definitely has a place in an overall marketing plan, so companies need to consider carefully where it fits in to the mix. With over five billion mobile subscribers worldwide, there is a huge market waiting to be tapped, and 2012 looks like it will be the year to put these plans into place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Marketing Strategy

For business owners who haven't adopted a mobile marketing strategy, there are a number of really good reasons to get on board. In 2010, internet users were using mobile devices to get online more than 50 percent of the time. According to a recent study conducted by Ericsson, 35 percent of people who own an iPhone or an Android device check Facebook before getting out of bed in the morning.

If you are operating a retail business, you need to be prepared to accommodate customers who want to look for products and make purchases online. It makes good business sense to recognize customers' needs and to meet them. Customers are looking for easy and convenient ways to compare prices and make purchases; therefore, retailers who want to grow their customer base will respond appropriately by establishing mobile-friendly sites.

Mobile ads are an excellent way to promote a business. Messages presented in this format need to be short and easy for the reader to understand. As with other types of internet advertising, it should include a clear call to action. Mobile ads are arguably more effective than internet ads, which is an excellent reason to adopt them for your business.

If you are going to use mobile ads for your business, consider offering mobile coupons to your customers. Putting them in hand, so to speak, will lead to higher conversion rates than if you distributed paper ones. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Mobile Marketing is Here to Stay

I came across a number of interesting statistics that pertain to mobile marketing and devices, which I would like to share. Based on these figures released by the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, this type of marketing strategy is only going to become a more important way to generate revenue for business owners.

   Mobile subscribers number 6.6 billion - that's nearly 95% of the entire world population
   There are 1.3 billion broadband subscribers
   73 percent of people who own smartphones use them while shopping
   40 percent of brands have their websites optimized for mobile internet users
   90 percent of the planet is covered by mobile service
   75 percent of the world's population is connected by mobile technology
   8 trillion text messages were sent in 2011, which works out to 1,100 text messages per person
   1.2 billion apps were downloaded during the last week of December 2011

Consumers love their mobile devices and savvy marketers will be making sure that they are developing strategies that will work well with them. Businesses that are getting a lot of traffic from handheld devices need to make sure that they have a mobile-friendly site. Internet users who are using smartphones and tablets to browse for information are working with a much smaller screen than desktop computer users. A mobile website needs to load quickly and the site owner may need to forgo some of the bells and whistles of the main site to accomplish this goal.

As mobile marketing continues to grow in popularity, businesses will begin to see mobile as a "must" in their overall marketing strategy, rather than an addition or "nice to have."