SMS is now a top channel in the mix, but there are still misunderstandings in terms of how campaigns should be implemented.
I thought I’d share my version of the 10 Commandments of Mobile Marketing to set some guidelines for how brands should be utilizing the power of text to reach that mobile audience.
1. THOU SHALT NOT SEND SPAM
Be aware of sending text messages to users who have not subscribed to receive them. Also, the rule of thumb is to send no more than four messages per month to subscribers to avoid being marked as spam.
2. THOU SHALT INCLUDE A CALL-TO-ACTION
Don’t leave it up to the subscriber to know what they need to do next. Make sure your mobile call-to-action includes relevant contact details and clear instructions telling them what they need to do.
3. THOU SHALT PROVIDE VALUE
You have the opportunity to reach consumers on the one device they are connected to all the time. Don’t blow it! If you want customers to interact with your brand, you need to make their experience worthwhile. It’s really easy for them to click “unsubscribe” if they feel like they aren’t getting anything out of their subscription. Don’t let it get to that point.
4. THOU SHALT OPTIMIZE, TEST AND COMPARE
When sending out text broadcasts, take into consideration the day of the week, time of day and message content to see which will elicit the best response. Test out a few different types of messages and play around with the day and time that you send them. In doing that, you can weed out the underperformers and move forward with the ones that garner success.
5. THOU SHALT MOBILIZE THY WEBSITE
There’s nothing more embarrassing than a mobile call-to-action that isn’t optimized for mobile. If you’re taking the time to engage a mobile audience through text message marketing, you better make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
6. THOU SHALT MARKET THY CALL-TO-ACTION
Sure, you created a text message marketing campaign. Now what? You won’t be successful in building your subscriber database unless you learn how to promote the campaign. Use social media, flyers, table tents, or whatever else is out there in order to spread the word. After all, no one will opt-in to your campaign if they don’t know about it.
7. THOU SHALT REWARD LOYAL CUSTOMERS
Loyalty is built through good experiences, trust and that feeling of importance. Loyalty also leads to customer retention. So how do you get these loyal customers? Let them know you appreciate them. Sending rewards to your most loyal customers lets them know exactly how much you value their business, and THAT will keep them coming back for more.
8. THOU SHALT MEASURE RESULTS
Just like with any marketing tool, it’s critical to measure the success of a mobile marketing campaign to evaluate what needs to be adjusted in order to meet objectives. Tracking opt-ins, opt-outs, conversions and ROI will help determine the value of the campaign and the importance of the channel going forward.
9. THOU SHALT OBEY LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Text message marketing is not a free-for-all. Campaigns must comply with laws governing unwanted spam texts, as spam complaints can lead mobile carriers to block a retailer from sending future messages on their network. Also, make sure to be explicit with the campaign’s “terms and conditions” so you don’t run into legal problems down the road.
10. THOU SHALT FOLLOW ALL COMMANDMENTS
Even though these commandments aren’t inscribed on a stone tablet, take them seriously. Failure to do so will likely result in the demise of your campaign. Mobile marketing isn’t rocket science. Just play by the rules, and nobody will get hurt.
A daily deal start-up headed toward a summer launch aims to combine online discounts with consumer reviews of local merchants. LocFree Network LLC could start offering deals via LocFree.com in New York City in early summer, says Timothy Peterson, company co-founder and chief marketing officer.
What will make this local deal provider different from competitors, he says, is the review requirement: Consumers who receive deals must provide e-mail addresses, and those consumers must review their merchant experiences after using the deals. “Say you get first entrée for free,” he explains. “Then you must write a review, negative or positive, for the LocFree site.”
LocFree will not allow consumers to take advantage of future deals until those consumers review merchants who offered the previous deals, he adds. Merchants can contact consumers via e-mail to offer other deals, too.
LocFree hopes to launch in New York City with at least 90 days worth of deals ready to go, he says. The deals will involve not only restaurants, but also museums, retailers—including, perhaps, local outlets of national chains—and entertainment providers. Offers might come to consumers via text messages, too. “We are looking at social,” Peterson says.
He says LocFree will occupy a relatively lonely space. “A lot of companies are in the review space and deal space,” he says, “but none really do both.”
Peterson will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in a session entitled “Attracting and retaining talent in a competitive market.”
Amazon will use a two-for-one gift card offer next week to get consumers to check out AmazonLocal, its daily deals service.
On Tuesday, March 20, Amazon will let consumers buy a $10 gift card for $5. The catch: They have to go to amazonlocal.com to redeem it. The card is good for any Amazon merchandise, though. The retailer is limiting buys to one per customer.
Mike George, vice president of AmazonLocal, says the promotion is the most high-profile yet for the service, which launched last June in Boise, Idaho. AmazonLocal is now in 90 locations in 26 states and Washington, D.C.
Though others, including Facebook, have backed out of the daily deals category after it seemed to cool off last year, George says Amazon is applying its experience in the online retail space to the segment. “Some of our customers have up to a 17-year relationship with us,” he says. “Our job is to make sure they can make really informed purchase decisions.”
AmazonLocal isn’t the retailer’s only competitor in daily deals. Amazon has a stake in LivingSocial, the number two player in the category, next to Groupon. Last year, Amazon lent its considerable heft to LivingSocial for a similar deal, offering a $20 Amazon gift card for $10. LivingSocial sold more than 1 million of the vouchers and greatly increased its visibility.
That offer came after Groupon partnered with Gap in August 2010 for a deal that offered $50 in merchandise for $25.
HubSpot created this detailed infographic on the history of marketing, starting with print advertising in the 1400s and ending with digital marketing tactics today.
If you own a small business, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the new emerging ways to connect to customers and promote the growth of your business. You may be wondering how you can leverage the power of mobile, social and online marketing to be successful.
I recently came across an infographic about small business marketing and discovered some facts:
27% of small businesses have a current SEO plan
52% plan to increase their SEO budget
40% of marketers are using mobile marketing tactics
63% of small businesses think social media is a good way to increase loyalty
27% plan to increase their investment in social media
If your small business is looking to revamp its marketing strategy, consider the following suggestions:
With the economy still in recovery-mode, consumers are still searching for those deep discounts. Use mobile marketing to target those shoppers who are looking for affordable deals by sending coupons and loyalty rewards directly to their mobile devices, or creating a mobile call-to-action through a QR code. Mobile marketing has proven to promote loyalty among customers and encourage repeat visits, plus, what better way to reach consumers than on a device they’re carrying around with them all the time?
Be Socially Active
Social media can facilitate communication between businesses and their customers or clientele, but businesses need to be aware that simply creating a presence on social media sites is not enough. Businesses must be active on these sites, engaging with customers to get feedback, posting content that holds value for customers, and creating an identity for your brand that will make others want to engage with you.
Businesses should also be aware of social media analytic tools such as Google Alerts to find out what people are saying about your business and then join the conversation.
Another important element in a marketing plan is implementing an SEO plan. Looking for the elements that will get you to the top of a search is very important for a business’ online presence. A big part of SEO is being conscious of keywords—adding keywords to the hidden meta data (the code of information on the backend of your website that helps search engines recognize data) includes the keyword field, page titles, descriptions, site maps, and heading tags.
Links are also very important to a company’s online presence. If you have reputable websites link to your content, you’ll have good SEO. Adding a blog or posting videos, podcasts and other types of content are some other easy ways to optimize your business’ site for search.
New marketing tools don’t have to seem so foreign. Check out this infographic below that shows how small businesses are allocating their marketing budgets and using these tools to grow.