So you have mobile optimised your website and your customers are starting to bite. But how do you reach out to new customers using mobile?
Mobile is becoming a transactional channel for any etailer, but where it really comes into its own is in how it can be used to drive consumers to your site, into your store or to generally tell other people about you. This is mobile marketing.
So how do you go about leveraging the power of the phone in the pocket? Here are some simple things you can do to develop a mobile marketing campaign for your business.
1) Think text
SMS may not be the coolest kid in school, but it is the most popular and has the best reach of any messaging technology available in the digital world. Nearly 90% of messages are opened no matter where they are sent and form a marketing point of view they have a response rate in the 5% range – unheard of in most marketing technologies.
And consumers seems to be loving it. A survey, conducted by Millward Brown Digital for messaging company mBlox in eight countries including the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, and Spain, also discovered that 70% of UK consumers are likely to engage with marketing SMS messages, of which 66% are likely to engage with geo-targeted SMS messages and 69% are likely to engage with push messages.
But using SMS to market to clients is not as straightforward as simply pinging out messages. For starters, the law dictates that you can’t send unsolicited texts to people, so as a cold calling exercise it is somewhat flawed. Instead, you have to gather the mobile numbers of your customers and use that as a tacit opt in to receive marketing messages.
Once you have a list you need to think carefully about what you are going to send them. Despite smartphones not really subscribing to the rules, you do only have 160 characters to play with (20 more than a tweet, mind you) so you have to be expedient. You also have to be creative with the message you pop to people and including links to m-website can be really successful (though please make sure the site is mobile optimised first!).
Your text marketing can also include money off offers, vouchers or access to something unique to drive use. But keep it simple!
2) Mobile email
One of the most undervalued mobile marketing tools could be email, believe some mobile marketing experts. Why? Because that is what many shoppers use themselves to keep tabs on what they do.
Many online, mobile and in-store purchases now start out on a different channel to the one they are completed on. The way consumers move the information they need about the purchases is moved from channel to channel using email.
Many consumers often search out what they are looking for online on, say, their work computer at lunchtime, but then email that page or even shopping basket to themselves to complete later at home or on mobile or tablet.
“Yet most retailers don’t accommodate this in their strategy,” says Jim Davidson, Manager of Marketing Resources at Bronto Software. “Brands need to actively facilitate this and help the consumer. It is also something they can do that helps drive people into stores.”
According to Davidson, retailers should be looking at how to firstly make this emailing of pages, shopping baskets and so on easier. They should also just look at how to add incentives to then use that basket and complete – including even heading to a store, using simple promo codes on mobile that can be used for that purchase and taken into the store.
Affiliate Window, which tracks how online, mobile and tablet adverts are acted upon, believes that 41% of mobile emails are opened. The number of self-sent emails that are opened must be far higher, and retailers need to look at how to capitalise on this.
Email marketing is likely to become ever more popular as a direct marketing tool and many businesses are seeing sales online and through mobile increase through emailing out newsletters and other information about special offers and so on. It is also proving to be a great way to control inventory and iron out peaks and troughs in sales through the week and through the days of the week.
With consumers themselves still using email to move their purchase funnel from channel to channel, mobile email is not to be trashed.
3) Social marketing
Increasing numbers of consumers are using social media – mainly Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but others are available – to keep up to date not only with their friends and family, but also now with brands and retailers. And it is a boon for small e-sellers as it is free and can be quite compelling.
Keeping your presence up to date on these sites is imperative, but driving people to see you there in the first place is almost as tricky as getting them into your store or to your site – and if you are going to the effort of pushing consumers anywhere, why push them to a social site rather than your own site.
4) Visual search
OK so this is pretty much into the realms of fantasy – or at best the next big thing – but it is worth mentioning. Shoppers aged 18 to 34 make up a new visual generation for whom images regularly inspire purchases, with 40% of under 35s saying they have used their mobile device to take a picture of a specific item on the high street to buy once they get home, whereas only 30% take pictures to inspire shopping at a later date.
According to a study by WeSEE, these visual shoppers are interested in the latest shopping technologies, with three-quarters of 18-34 year-olds would like more visual technologies incorporated into online and mobile shopping. 45% under 35s say they would like to be able to take a picture of an item with their mobile and be linked directly to a site to but it.
One in three (32%) would like to be able to upload a picture and be shown similar items, and a third (33%) of this demographic would like to be able to know where to buy high street versions of celeb outfits seen in images online.
So, start to think about how to capitalize on how shoppers online and on mobile in particular (since they have a camera in their pocket) use images and want to search from images. Its not straightforward, technologically, but it could give you the edge.
5) QR Codes
Incorporate QR Codes on your business cards, ads, flyers and in your email signature. Once scanned, a QR Code allows you to send your customer to a specific page on your website or to a special discount and offer.
6) Encourage check-ins
You can encourage customers to use Foursquare, Google+ location sharing or shopkick and give incentives for checking in, including special recognition, discounts, kickbacks, and gifts.
7) Mobile search advertising programs
It’s just like traditional PPC or pay per click advertising, it’s just on mobile devices. Google lets you bid on what you are prepared to pay, either per click or per call from a potential customer. From text to locally-targeted ads and click to call ads, there are lots of options for mobile search campaigns. It works well for local retailers as it’s estimated that 30 to 35 percent of mobile searches have a local intent.