At this point, many of us have probably experienced some sort of mobile marketing. This is when you get text messages from businesses. If you haven’t, you can imagine it – it’s a lot like when email marketing first started; often times you didn’t ask to be contacted, but you still get the text, and it is annoying. Basically, it is like SPAM for phones.
Here’s the deal: there are basically two ways to do mobile marketing, just like email. On one hand, you can just blast out a message to every number you buy from third-party sources. This is SPAM. Plain and simple. It will annoy people, and simply will not work. We got some first-hand feedback when our Social Media Manager posted the following image on Facebook, which shortly became the hot topic of the day!
On the other hand, you can take the time to build an opt-in list. This is where you offer something valuable in exchange for people signing up for your mobile marketing contact list. If you go this route, people are expecting – and even looking forward to – your texts.
So if you do mobile marketing, use an opt-in list. You won’t annoy people, they will actually respond, and you won’t be giving marketers a bad name. Of course, this isn’t going to be a great fit for every industry…
Which industries should try mobile marketing?
At this point, I would say Restaurants and Retail stores are the main industries that can take advantage. Here are the two steps you need to take for success with your mobile marketing:
1. Offer an incentive to opt-in
For example, restaurants can offer a free drink, side, meal, etc for an opt-in. Perhaps even a contest to win free stuff or mobile-only coupons. The key is to offer something the customer wants, so they will happily give you their number and sign up for your texts. If they do it begrudgingly, they will probably just opt-out as soon as they can.
2. Only send out valuable content
Once you have the opt-ins, only use the platform to announce special deals or events. Do not send random promotion. Show that you value the customer’s privacy and time, and they will reward you with their business. Eventually, they will look forward to your texts, because it means savings or the latest breaking news in your industry.
For example, let’s say you are checking out at your favorite fashion store and you see a sign that says you can get 10% off your purchase if you opt-in to their mobile marketing list. Beneath the 10% off it says that they will only contact you when a new style arrives and occasionally with mobile-only discounts. Does that sound like a good deal? It does to me. The customer gets high-value in exchange for their information, and the company gets excited, invested customers with increased loyalty to their brand. Win-win. In the example below – retailer, American Apparel offered mobile alerts to customers wanting to know when popular merchandise is available for purchase.
How about if a restaurant offered a free cocktail if you signed up for their mobile marketing program, and then only contacted you with special dinner and drink deals? In this example below, IHOP offered patrons a mobile coupon good for a free stack of pancakes. Again, this was an opt-in only campaign. Patrons were required to text a code to their campaign number and then they received a text message with the coupon.
Again, it is value in exchange for loyalty and continued business.
Any readers out there have hands on experience with mobile marketing? How’d it work out for you?