By Mike White | @wmikewhite = Published November 5, 2012
Mobile marketing is a deep and rich subject that can keep an enthusiast busy for years. We know you don’t have years to get up to speed, though, which is why we’re trying hard to get you the information you need to know quickly so you can get involved and start reaping the benefits right away!
To that end, let’s tear apart a well-rounded mobile marketing campaign and see what the nuts and bolts look like.
Each heading contains a number of options you have available to you as a mobile marketer, some of which work well together, others of which provide options to swap in and out as you experiment with what works best for your business and especially your customers.
Leads are gold to marketers. Basically, generating leads involves getting people interested in what you have to offer, or at the very least, in starting a relationship with you.
To generate leads for your mobile campaign, you can start by adding some new features to your existing marketing campaigns, such as QR codes and short codes.
- QR Code
These little squares are showing up all over the place. You’ve probably seen them a thousand times. In case you’re not familiar with them, they’re basically a bar code that can be scanned by any smartphone with the appropriate app installed. It sends the one who scans it to any link of your choice, hopefully a mobile-optimized offer that’s going to blow their minds!
Short Codes and Mobile Keywords
Short codes and mobile keywords work together to offer a quick and easy means by which anyone can opt in to your offer, enter a sweepstakes or take a poll. It takes the place of a QR code for those who don’t have the necessary app installed, or for the other half of your prospects who don’t yet own a smartphone. (Here’s some more information about short codes and mobile keywords.)
Now here are a few ways you can use these mobile lead generation mediums:
Your Print Ads and Direct Mail
If you’re seeing some benefits from targeted print ads in a local paper, or direct mail sent out to a list of prospects, all you need to do is add a QR code and/or a short code-keyword combination. This gives recipients the option of scanning your ad with their smartphone or texting to opt in to your mobile offers or get more information about what you do.
Display Ads and Signage
Make sure every sign and poster from window hangings to menu covers includes the QR codes and short codes you’ve created for your mobile campaigns, and that the incentive for getting involved is obvious to your customer.
You can be all manner of creative when inserting these lead generating mediums into your current marketing efforts. How many other options can you come up with? How about announcing your short codes during radio commercials? Or just shouting it out to your current customers while they wait in line for their latte’?
The sky’s the limit. Whatever it takes to get a prospect’s mobile number and get them interested in hearing from you later is going to potentially mean money in your pocket down the road.
Engaging Prospects and Customers
Once you have leads in the funnel, of course, they’re not going to mean much if you don’t make some effort to engage with them and keep them aware of your business and why they opted in in the first place.
Here are a few mobile marketing techniques you can use to stay on these folks’ radars:
Sending out a quick text to folks on your list once in a while can do wonders to keep your business top-of-mind, let them know about a special promotion you’re running or offer them an opportunity to receive more information about what you do. By sending out text reminders to customers who have upcoming appointments are a great way to reduce missed appointments.
It’s a proven fact that when someone gets a text, they read it and usually act on it within minutes. No other form of messaging boasts the speed and efficacy of a well-written text campaign.
If you’re hosting a special event of some kind, you can invite your prospects and customers to register via their mobile phones. Since they likely have their calendar in one form or another on their phone anyway, it’s a quick and easy step for them to get your message, check their availability and decide on the spot to join you!
If you offer a service and want to give customers an easy way to schedule an appointment or consultation, then what better way to let them do it with their mobile device! It’s an easy way for them to request your services without ever making a phone call, opening a laptop, or having to power on a computer.
Polls and Surveys
Need some quick feedback from your prospects and customers? Send them a poll and let them get back to you instantly via their smartphones!
This has a dual benefit: 1) You get the benefit of the information – getting to know your customers better, and 2) they get to feel the satisfaction of knowing someone appreciated their input – building rapport and loyalty to your brand in their mind.
Who doesn’t love to get something for nothing? By occasionally offering your prospects and customers a chance to win something of value just for being on your list, you give something to think about when they might otherwise consider opting out. After all, playing in a sweepstakes isn’t just valuable, it’s fun!
And again, these are just some of the options available to you for converting someone from a mobile number to a customer with a little creativity and a handful of mobile marketing tools that do the heavy lifting for you.
Nurturing Customer Relationships
Once your prospect has become a customer, of course, the fun isn’t over!
Any of the above methods and options can work to keep your business on your customer’s radar so that they become a loyal, repeat customer and maybe even recommend your products or services to a friend or two. But there are some other options available that are truly custom-made for nurturing these customer relationships:
Imagine being able to automagically send a personalized reminder to a customer of yours as they’re walking or driving past your store? How incredible would that be for a pizza shop, a cafe’, or a used bookstore? Anywhere that relies on people being in the right place at the right time when they’re interested in buying something?
That’s what push notifications can do for you: using the smartphone’s geo-location technology, a quality mobile marketing system can monitor when a customer comes within a specified distance of your location and send them a text letting them know about a specific promotion or daily special. You could watch them from your front door as they check their phone, scan the doors for yours, and head over!
Like any website, your mobile campaign can include catalog-style product listings with pictures, videos, information, prices, availability, ratings, reviews, and more. Since most smartphone owners who are ready to make a buying decision use their phone to do research, especially while in your competitor’s store, it’s important that they can access your product information on the fly.
If someone’s already purchased from you in the past, and then they receive a special “coupon” redeemable for a special offer on the same or a complimentary product or service at a great price, what are the chances they’re going to ignore it? Just like in real life, it’s tough to ignore a bargain!
Your mobile campaign can be easily integrated with all the major social networks, which is where your customers are most likely to discuss their great experiences, recommend their friends check you out, and pass along your contact info.
Take full advantage of that by making it easy for them to tweet, share and like everything you do!
Take one or more of these tools and integrate them into your mobile marketing campaign in one of these formats:
Give your repeat customers every reason to keep coming back by sending them coupons, sweepstakes and promotions that provide real value for returning again and again! Add additional benefit for bringing a friend or passing along your campaign links to their friends via social sites.
Take loyalty a step further by offering your most valued customers a chance to enter the “VIP room” of your own private club! These folks are your inner circle, your most loyal and most active brand advocates. Save your very best promotions and benefits for these people and they’ll keep coming back for more!
Of course, no mobile marketing campaign would be able to reach its full potential without someone keeping an eye on the analytics. I know, this is the boring stuff, but it’s important.
By keeping track of how many people respond to your messages and how much they spend on average, you can easily determine your mobile ROI. (Hint: business people who start a mobile marketing campaign off on the right foot are very pleasantly surprised by how much profit it brings in.)
Tracking more detailed information will give you a solid demographic and even psychographic understanding of your customer base, which can help you fine tune your future campaigns.
Paul’s note: So if you want to enjoy a clear path to mobile marketing domination, you should probably give our Proximity Advertising Starter Kit a try. We’d love to hear from you and find out how you’re using mobile to engage your customers, create loyalty, and attract new fans to your brands.