Mobile Marketing Reach More Customers

Mobile marketing is still a relatively new strategy and offers some significant advantages over traditional advertising campaigns. If you plan to incorporate mobile marketing into your marketing campaign consider the following:

The number of ways to reach consumers continues to increase with the popularity of the mobile Internet. There are several important issues for businesses to consider when planning a mobile marketing campaign. Numerous strategies exist to help businesses reach mobile customers and this article aims to shed light on most of them.

The Mobile Internet

Recent studies show that the use of the mobile Internet is on the rise and mobile customers are looking for more ways to use their mobile devices then ever before.

Businesses should strongly consider the role that your website can play in connecting with customers, and create campaigns which specifically targets mobile customers. When targeting mobile customers businesses should also keep in mind that poor site design and layout contribute greatly to dissatisfaction among customers using the mobile Web.

  • 60% of all mobile users consider it “Very Important” to be able to access the Internet using their mobile phone.
  • 12% of mobile users site “Poor Prior Experience” as the biggest barrier to using the mobile Web.
  • 46% (almost half) of all mobile users have a “Poor First Experience” while using the mobile Internet.
    as a result of this negative experience many first time mobile Internet users feel frustrated and reluctant to access a site again in the future because they feel the site owner doesn’t care about their experience.

As the popularity of the mobile Internet continues to grow it is possible that this perception of mobile customers could have a direct impact on your brand. For this reason alone it is increasingly important to improve the experience users have when accessing your website through the mobile Internet.

The number of mobile users aware that some sites are designed specifically for use with mobile devices is growing (nearly 50%) and these people are searching for mobile sites with increasing frequency.

Mobile Customers

Mobile customers interested in knowing which sites are easily accessible or optimized for mobile browsing is approximately 85%. This means that even those users who are not aware that some sites are specifically designed for use on the mobile Internet are interested in knowing which sites are accessible from their mobile device.

Understanding the behavior of mobile customers is key to the success of a mobile marketing campaign.

Primary activities of mobile customers using the mobile Internet

  • Functional / Utility – Maps, Directions, Weather, Sports, News, Email, SMS (Instant Messaging), Photo sharing, Search
  • Browsing / Entertainment – Browsing, Shopping, Banking, Download Music,
  • Communication / Social – Games, Internet Voice Calls, Social Networking websites, Blogging

Additional activities mobile customers are interested in are:

  • Reserve and pay for tickets to theater, concert, movies etc.
  • Order and pay for fast food
  • Purchase travel tickets
  • Order and pay for clothes and other retail items
  • Plan a vacation
  • Order and pay for electrical goods
  • Order and pay for groceries
  • Book and pay for hotel rooms

Questions about mobile marketing:
How do i get my business or product in front of mobile customers?

By offering a mobile ready version of your website which is accessible by mobile devices and incorporating interesting features that will keep mobile users coming back to your site. Keep the navigation simple and the content rich and customers will spend more time on your site. Keep graphics to a minimum to minimize the load time for your site. If you offer products through your website be sure your mobile site offers a secure checkout feature that is also mobile accessible.

How do I identify my website as a mobile accessible site?

The easiest way to identify your website as mobile accessible is to add a sub directory or sub domain to your website and name this directory or sub domain “m” to designate that it’s accessible for mobile devices. Inside this directory there will be a complete version of your entire website which has been formatted for mobile accessibility.

How do I format my website for mobile access?

Mobile websites are specifically created with fast loading and easy browsing in mind. When mobile customers hit your website you can either redirect them automatically with a browser detect / redirect code to your mobile website or you can promote the URL to your mobile website so mobile customers can hit the mobile website directly by typing in the URL to your mobile website. Mobile websites have minimal graphics to minimize load time and format text to stretch with the width of the browser to insure compatibility across all devices. Standard system fonts for maximum compatibility and HTML is kept to a minimum. Navigation is simple and usually available at both top and bottom of every page since most browsers on mobile devices are designed for portrait viewing and require continuous scrolling to view the content.

How do I inform customers that my site is accessible for mobile devices?

Once your site is formatted for access by mobile devices there are several methods to inform visitors of this feature.

  • Add banners to your home page and main navigation to alert visitors that your website has a section dedicated to mobile browsing.
  • Use these banners to invite mobile users to visit the site at a later time through their mobile device.
  • Email all your contacts, existing customers etc. and notify them your website now has a mobile access
  • Read “How does SMS work?” below for more detail on this subject.

What else can i do to incorporate mobile marketing into my overall marketing campaign?

Once you’ve added a “mobile only” section to your website that allows mobile users to easily explore the content on your website you can launch a Short Messaging Service (SMS) marketing campaign to reach more users and drive traffice to your mobile website.

SMS Marketing

SMS (Short Messaging Service) also known as mobile messaging or text messaging, is used by a growing number of companies and individuals to quickly relay text based messages to customers and friends. If you or your company are not using this method of communication you could be missing out on a significant marketing opportunity. Staying connected with your customers and contacts has never been more easy and convenient then with SMS and employing this extremely effective technology into your marketing campaign is more simple than you might realize.

Why would mobile customers subscribe to receive promotions from me?

Nearly 85% of mobile customers are actively searching for more things to do with their mobile devices. By offering a “mobile only” experience for your mobile subscribers you are providing them with a new resource to explore and allowing them to receive additional discounts or other benefits by subscribing to your campaign.

Isn’t this the same as email spam?

No. The reason spam is so heavily abused is because email is free for the sender and for the recipient. And while most mobile users have unlimited messaging enabled, the merchants who are sending messages pay a small fee for each message sent. Also, SMS marketing is an opt-in service which means you can only send messages to users who have subscribed or opted-in to receive your messages. This will deter many marketers from abusing the service, and for those who still choose to break the rules, you can be sure that SMS marketing providers are monitoring the activity on their servers very closely and will take action if abuse is identified.

How does SMS marketing work?

The first step in starting a SMS marketing campaign is to find a SMS marketing provider that suits your campaign budget and requirements.  SMS Marketing providers offer a service which allows you to sign up and create a group so you can immediately begin communicating with customers, prospects and existing contacts.

Next start building your base of Mobile customers:

  • Place banners on your website to notify visitors that you are offering additional discounts for mobile customers.
  • Email all your contacts, existing customers etc. and notify them of your SMS campaign
  • Print your SMS ad on business cards, flyers, postcards, in trade magazines and other print media to “leave behind” after meeting with clients face-to-face or through direct mail.
  • Run a TV or Radio ad promoting your SMS marketing campaign to increase your reach through traditional advertising. Mobile customers are not restricted to the Internet and neither should your SMS marketing campaign. The more subscribers you recruit the more successful your campaign will be.

After seeing or hearing your ad mobile customers will opt-in to your SMS Marketing program to receive discounts and explore your mobile website.

Mobile customers who opt-in to your campaign are now in your contact database and will receive text messages on their mobile device whenever you publish a new coupon, sale, promotion or announcement.

Customers come in to your store or visit your website with their promotional code to receive their discount.

As with any marketing campaign mobile marketing offers you a medium to reach new customers. By expanding your marketing campaign into the mobile market you are able to reach a much larger audience then any other media format availalbe. While the Internet is still vital to any marketing campaign, use of the mobile Internet is growing at an unprecedented rate. Taking advantage of this now while the technology is still young can position your business as a dominant force in your industry. Waiting until the mobile Internet becomes mainstream can leave you playing catch up with your competition.

Final questions to ask yourself about moblie marketing:

  • Would you rather be in the forefront of this technology or playing catch-up later on?
  • If you had the foresight and knowledge of what the Internet would become when it first started would you have done anything different?
  • Can you afford to not take advantage of an opportunity that will possibly be bigger than the Internet?

Feel free to post questions about mobile marketing in the comments section below.