Mobile marketing can be defined as any technique you use to market to people through cellular phones and other mobile devices.
The most common way to do this is through SMS, which stands for ‘short message service.’ It’s a form of email marketing tailored specifically to phones.
How SMS Works
Just like PC-based email marketing, the first step in SMS is to gather a list of subscribers. The best way to do this is through an opt-in form on your website or through your offline marketing channels.
You can also use short codes. These are short phone numbers that your customers call. Once they make the call, they’re automatically signed up.
Once you have a list, you send them messages. The purpose of these messages is to build a relationship with them by sending them information and high-value offers, such as freebies, discounts, coupons or other special deals.
Who Can Use Mobile Marketing?
Mobile marketing is great for any kind of business. Offline businesses can use it just as effectively as online businesses. In fact, it’s ideal for small local businesses since their customers are usually using their mobiles when they’re on the go.
For example, a local pizza shop can offer coupons to their subscribers. They send the coupon at the top of the lunch hour when their subscribers are getting hungry, and their shop becomes the natural choice for lunch.
The Benefits of Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is wonderful because people always have their mobile devices with them and turned on. You can get immediate results. Most people consider mobile marketing to have a more personal touch than PC-based email marketing.
Virtually everyone uses mobile phones while not everyone is online. This means that you can reach a wider market that doesn’t necessarily use PCs. Moreover, the number of people using mobiles is increasing each year.
Marketing surveys have shown that open rates are much higher on mobiles than on PCs. This is possibly because people are flooded with emails in their inboxes. Mobile marketing is still new and fewer companies are doing it, so your customers will be more responsive.
The Disadvantages of Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is relatively new, uncharted territory and this has its perks. It also has its downsides. One downside is that mobile delivery systems aren’t as reliable as PC email. Your emails may get lost somewhere on the way to your customers’ phones.
Mobile devices have no standard platform like PCs do. This means you have to be extra careful to make sure your messages can be seen on a variety of devices. Screen size varies from one device to another, so it may be difficult to make your messages look right.
Navigation is also an issue. In addition to the smaller screen size, it’s difficult to type on mobile devices. Scrolling, panning, and zooming are annoying to users. Buttons that you want your customers to press must be located in the right places and your content must be easy to read at a glance.
With SMS marketing, there’s another challenge. Messages can only be up to 160 characters. This is around 40 words or less. Your messages have to get straight to the point and make their impact quickly.
Mobile Is a Whole Different World
The key to success with mobile marketing is to understand that mobile devices are completely different from PCs. Mobile web surfing behavior is also different. People have shorter attention spans and you need to grab their attention in a second. The challenge is to engage people and get them involved with your company through their mobile device. The more interactive your marketing campaign, the more effective it will be.