May 19, 2010

Mobile Marketing to a Local Audience


Hostway Team

By Samantha Gluck

Mobile device technology can be utilized by businesses to announce sales and promotional discounts to customers in their area. Consumers receive messages digitally on their mobile devices making the cost of delivery very low. Messages must add value to the customer’s life, offer attractive incentives and be customer focused.

Mobile Subscriptions

Businesses use social networking platforms such as LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook more than ever to promote their goods and services. Fans and friends on these social networking sites can subscribe to mobile updates to be received directly on their mobile devices. Encourage fans and friends on your business page to subscribe to mobile updates so that they can instantly receive news and promotions on goods and services you offer. Once the updates arrive on the customers’ phones, they can reply to them for instant two-way communication. Your campaign can include a contest wherein the first to reply to the update will be eligible for a special discount or coupon via email to be redeemed in the store.

Text Contests

Text contests or sweepstakes build customer excitement and are great for word of mouth publicity. The upcoming contest can be promoted across all other digital media platforms prior to launch to build awareness. Participants enter the contest by sending a text message via cell phone to an sms short code provided by the host business. Entry is fast, instantaneous and confirmations follow immediately. The contest engages customers and adds value through the resulting prize, which can range from free product to a hefty discount for the winner. Businesses can then offer a smaller ‘consolation’ discount to all participants building loyalty and enlarging the customer base. Be sure to include instructions to redeem prize vouchers and discounts in person.

Mobile Clubs

Mobile clubs are opt-in campaigns wherein current customers have chosen to receive periodic text message alerts on their cell phones about new promotions, sales, or coupons for in-store redemption. Some businesses allow participants to customize their subscriptions to include only the products they care about in their alerts. Alerts may contain downloadable coupons to be redeemed in person. The sms short code used to opt-in to the club can be placed in print media, on billboards and on social networking profiles.

Things to Remember

Businesses should use mobile device promotional campaigns in conjunction with other digital media and even traditional methods. Using mobile device campaigns in isolation will not produce the results necessary to make the time and effort beneficial. Send alerts and updates to carefully targeted customers. This type of promotional platform is meant to engage customers and not to be used as a mass marketing tool more familiar in traditional advertising methods. Send messages created especially for your customer base with an action-oriented theme, giving them information on real-time events and sales. Most important of all, include an easy way for customers to opt-out of the program if they wish. This will go a long way toward building trust and loyalty.

About the Author

Samantha Gluck has had over a decade of experience helping businesses better focus their Web sites to enhance ecommerce and Internet presence by utilizing Web analytics, relevant design elements, and marketing campaigns.

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