The current rise of mobile marketing is turning some heads around our little email service company. Integrating mobile and email marketing is nothing new because folks have been receiving email on their mobile devices for years now. However, just like you and a lot of other small businesses, we need to start adding marketing tools that work really well together.
On the table now: when and how to implement mobile messaging (SMS) for our customers and how to advise good usage with a strategy that also includes email marketing.
As an email marketer, when I hear “mobile” (i.e. mobile marketing, mobile, e-commerce) I think of convenience. But knowing whether the convenience of time or place is the winning factor for a customer is going to have a lot to do with the success of any mobile campaigns.
I don’t consider myself an expert on mobile marketing yet because I’ve only researched it; haven’t actually done it. So I’m going to float some thoughts out there from an email marketing standpoint. If you’re an email marketer adding mobile marketing, like us here at MyTeamConnects, here are some thoughts about what we’re getting into.
Besides deliverability of the message — the technical capability and the customer opt-in requisites — the big question for me is this: what is the true benefit of mobile usage to your customer?
If your customer is using a phone to receive messages, presumably maybe even messages from your small business, why would she choose to receive them on her mobile device? Is it the convenience of being able to conduct business away from her desk? Or is it the convenience of being able to conduct personal business or participate in entertaining activities during normal “work” hours?
Which convenience trumps the other: location or time?
And what’s “normal” anymore anyway?
That’s the crux of the question, really…what is “normal?” The increase of mobile phone usage and the thousands of persuant apps is going to require you to know your customers and prospective customers better than ever before. You are going to have to understand the reasons they use their phones the way they do and discover a way to be ready across all channels for the moment when they are receptive to your message. No small task.
Got a smart phone? Ok, then, let’s take you, for example:
You are waiting in your car for someone at around 3:00 pm — just you and your mobile device. The car is quiet and you have 10 minutes to kill. Would you rather:
- read your email
- shop for shoes
- read an article you bookmarked on purchasing insurance
- compare insurance prices online
- check your Facebook
- play Fruit Ninja
- surf YouTube
- listen to (or read) a book
- silence your phone and meditate for 10 minutes?
- What else?
You have infinite options regarding what to accept into these 10 minutes of your life.
Your choice depends on how and when you work, what your job is, who your customers are if you are a business owner, urgency of need, and probably a million other things. You may not even be able to answer this question until you find yourself in that specific time and place in the world. You may even choose to call your spouse and actually use your phone to talk, ignoring all those compelling apps.
Now imagine your customer.
- Do you know enough about your customer to create a mobile strategy that works for your customer?
- That works with your other marketing channels, like email?
- Is your message consistent? Complementary?
- Are you ready to compete for those 10 minutes with everything else that pulls her attention? Which of your competitors is utilizing mobile?
- Do you know which time of day she’s most likely to prefer your message?
- And when she chooses to look at your message, will it connect with her?
Most people check an incoming mobile message within a couple of minutes and respond to them within an hour — a compelling fact for marketers! What small business wouldn’t want to try mobile marketing with that immediate measurable response rate?
Your creativity, service, and marketing tactics go toe to toe with your customer’s freedom, range, and availability; in a way that benefits her and you.
How are you going to use your service-mindset and creativity to build a relationship with your customer?
Any good blogs or SMS experts you could direct me toward would be greatly appreciated. Comments, please!
Written by Jen McGahan