There are many misconceptions about mobile marketing. We would like to clear up a few of the myths about text message marketing and share some of the facts about SMS marketing.
Myth: Mobile Marketing is only for select businesses
Fact: Although mobile marketing became most popular a few years ago with text to vote programs on reality television shows, there are slews of businesses now coming up with all kinds of different ways to use text message marketing. Here are just a few examples of how businesses are using text message marketing:
- City/State Emergency Systems – Using reverse 911 to notify citizens of emergency situations, natural disasters, amber alerts, and more.
- Real Estate – Text for info on a specific property, open house announcements, announcements of interest (drop in property price)
- Medical – Appointment reminders, follow-ups, test results, health alerts, special events (flu shoot out, health fairs)
- Churches – Activity reminders, spiritual messages, church news, info about a special event or service (guest minister, interfaith celebration)
- Schools – Safety issues, school closures, attendance notifications, communication with parents, homework or test reminders.
- Trade Shows or Sporting Events – Event announcements, registration confirmations, event updates, changes, winner notification.
- Bars, Clubs, Restaurants – Food or drink specials, discount coupon codes, special events, referral incentives, prize drawings.
- Spas and Salons – Product or services specials or discounts, coupon promotions, special events, repeat customer promos
Myth: Mobile Marketing is a Stand Alone Marketing Tool
Fact: Mobile marketing campaigns compliment and rely on other forms of marketing. The whole key to building your customer database is getting people to opt-in to your text marketing program, the best way to do this is to advertise your mobile marketing campaign on every other form of advertising you use. The more you can expose your text marketing campaign the more chances you will have of potential customers opting in to your program. By simply adding a call to action, such as “To receive discounts and promotions text KEYWORD to 54321″, to your billboards, business cards, signage, mailers, yellow page advertisements etc…your customer database will expand immensely. Once you have built up your mobile marketing opt-ins you may even wish to eliminate some forms of costly and less effective advertising like mailers.
Myth: Text Marketing Campaign ROI’s are Difficult to Evaluate
Fact: There are a number of ways to track whether your text marketing campaign is producing any greater number of customers/revenue. Every business situation may be a little different, and have unique ways, in ways they can promote and track where their revenue is coming from. These are just a few tips that can help you track the return on your mobile marketing investment:
- Detect your mobile users by creating a separate WAP landing page on your website.
- Use unique mobile coupons for each campaign, then track how many of each coupon is redeemed.
- Use different keywords across your marketing mediums, ie. “Pizza” on a billboard and “Pasta” on a mailer, to see which gets more opt-ins.
- Use a web widget on your website that allows opt-ins directly from your website.
- ASK! Don’t be afraid to say, “How did you hear about us?” or “How did you come across our coupon?”
- Use revenue tracking and/or analytic software.
- Use affiliate marketing programs with tracking links to monitor outside sales and costs.
Myth: Mobile Marketing Only Targets Teens and Younger People
Fact: Text message marketing campaigns can be used to target every age group from pre-teens to senior citizens. Parents are now buying cell phones for their children in elementary school and grandparents are getting rid of their home phones and opting for cell phone plans. While the most common reason for purchasing cell phones may be for simple safety reasons, once most cell phone users become familiar with them and more comfortable they tend to expand into using more of cell phone features than they ever thought they would. Reports suggest the average age of cell phone users using text messages is 38, and the fastest growing group of new text message users are between the ages of 45 and 64 years old.
There is a potential mobile marketing opportunity for all age groups. Although most businesses wouldn’t have any interest in sending a promotional sales text to a 9 year old, there are businesses that may be interested in getting the child’s parent to opt-in their cell phone numbers; for instance the child’s school may get parents to opt to receive school alerts or announcements. There are plenty of businesses that should be marketing to senior citizens, if they aren’t already. Seniors have the most dispensable time and money, but they also tend to want to save a buck. Seniors are a great target market for pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, book stores, and much more. Teens and 20’s are more likely to opt-in and frequently more regularly businesses offering discounts on fast food, video games, ringtones, beauty products, adventure equipment etc…30 to 50 or 60 year old’s may respond best to texts offering spa treatment, children’s clothing, anti-aging products or treatments, auto repairs, weight loss, drink specials, etc…Don’t limit your mobile marketing campaign by not considering all age groups, you never know if a grandparent will opt-in to save on baby items for her new grandchild.
Myth: Mobile Marketing Companies Supply Contact Lists
Fact: Your mobile marketing company should be willing to assist you with helpful tips and tools that will help you get potential customers to opt-in to your mobile marketing campaign. But they will not sell you a list of people’s cell phone numbers, anti-spam laws prohibit the buying or selling of customer contact lists in any form. Besides, why would you want to purchase random cell phone numbers to send your message to? Your chances of converting a random unknown cell phone user to a customer is very slim. The conversion rate from text to sale is going to be much higher if you are reaching customers that really want your texts and will use your business/service more frequently because you care enough to send them specials or discounts.
Myth: It is Difficult to get Customers to opt-in
Fact: Getting customers to opt-in to your mobile marketing campaign should not be a time consuming or costly adventure. Most forms of written advertisement are a set cost regardless of how many words you use, therefore adding information on how to opt-in to receive text messages will not add any additional cost. If you already have customers that already receive emails from you then asking them if they would like a receive the information in a much more convenient method of texting should be simple and cost free. If your business has face to face contact sales it only takes seconds for a salesperson to ask a customer if they would like to receive text messages with discounts/savings/promos. Any business that requires a new customer to fill out personal information can quickly and easily add a check box for customers to opt-in. If a business already has regular customers and a product or service that is desirable, they are adding mobile marketing info on all their other marketing resources, and are considering and marketing to every demographic that may possibly be interested in their product/service there should be no problem in getting potential customers to opt-in.