Top 10 Ways to Promote YOUR Mobile Program
Mobile marketing can be of the most direct and effective ways to connect with your customers, if you are committed to the program and use it effectively. In order to help put you in the right direction, we’ve devoted this entire issue of the Shortcode to helping you get the most out of your mobile program.
The following tips are compiled from our six years of experience working with large and small clients in North America. We find these tips to be easy to do, and drive results regardless of your company size. Without further ado:
1. Facebook integration: It’s clear that social media is exploding. Did you know you can easily drive your Facebook fan-base to sign up to your mobile program? Cellit has made the process of adding a signup form to your Facebook page simple. Simply contact your account manager and have them walk you through adding the form to your fan page. Our clients typically see a 1-3% boost in subscribers, without using any incentive! By using an incentive, prospective acquisition rates can be quite substantial due to the viral nature of the social network.
2. Dedicated Email: Typically, a dedicated email sent to promote your mobile program to your email database will see a 5-10% participation rate. However, variables in call-to-actions and incentives can affect participation rate.
3. In-Store Promotions: Getting back to basics, stores, restaurants, salons and more find promoting their mobile program in-store to be the single most effective way of growing their mobile program. By using table tents with calls-to-action to join your program or using in-store posters have shown this tactic to exceed growth by nearly 30% for most clients. Even better, Cellit can provide you this collateral! Contact your account manager for very cost-effective table tents, posters and window clings!
4. Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Customer satisfaction surveys create an added presence to any in-store promotions you may currently be running. By promoting a customer service survey you are creating an incentive to your customers who will provide feedback to your team and will maximize the future conversation.
5. Point-0f-Sale Sign Ups: Some of our best campaigns take a very proactive approach to signing users up when the customer makes a purchase. For in-store sales, have the store clerk ask the user for their cell phone; we can provide you sign-up tools to integrate with your POS. For online purchases, use our API or web form to sign up customers directly after the purchase. By eliminating the personal responsibility of a customer having to actually text in, you are able to very easily increase acquisition.
6. Mobile Gifts: Use Cellit’s Refer-A-Friend technology to allow users who are currently subscribed to invite their friends and family to join the program and provide a gift for joining (i.e. mobile coupons, mobile giftcards or rich media content like ringtones and wallpapers). Many of Cellit’s clients have used this tactic during non-peak holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and have seen participation rates near 70%!
7. Location-Based Check-In Promotion: Recently, many of Cellit’s clients have incorporated their call-to-actions in Yelp!, Facebook Places or Foursquare programs. Typically, this means that a customer would receive their mobile coupon upon “Checking-In” to the venue via Cellit’s SMS technology. Once initial contact has been made, the final objective is converting these “Check-In’s” to mobile community loyalists. Contact your account manager to learn more.
8. Cross-Media Scavenger Hunts: By engaging users across multiple media channels (using SMS as the main vehicle), Cellit clients have been able to build awareness of their mobile program with loyal customers and increase their database by anywhere from 7-10%!
9. Cooperative Efforts: Think about teaming up with another business or brand to promote your mobile program by word-of-mouth awareness. By gaining momentum across customer bases and providing subscribers multiple incentives will only increase the value and longevity in the program.
And last but not least…
10. Word-of-Mouth: Spread the word! Research compatible bloggers and send a post in about joining your program. Incentive your employees to promote your program to your customers with a contest. Tell your friends, family, even your mailman! Remember, mobile marketing is of the most direct and effectively proven ways to connect with your customers. As long as you are keeping your conversation flowing and spreading the word about your brands program you are on the right track for a success!
In today’s social-buying, deal-of-the-day marketing environment, customers are scrambling to gobble up the deliciously-priced Groupon, Living Social and Gilt City offers. Half-priced this, 60% off that. Moving from deal to deal, these consumers have no plan to return to these restaurants and retailers; it’s a “one and done” mentality. Customers want deals. Why pay full price if you can get it for half?
So this begs the question: how can the retailer bring that consumer back? Should the retailer even consider participating in the program if they have no long term plan to communicate with the customer? When the flood of customers comes running through the door, how can the retailer turn the experience from a free product giveaway to something that benefits the business? Groupon and the like prove getting customers these days is not the problem; keeping them is! In fact, a recent poll of US and UK marketing execs by Forbes Insights found that their number one priority is customer retention not acquisition.
We see the answer in mobile communications.
My company, Cellit, powers mobile marketing for companies of all sizes, ranging from “mom and pop” restaurants to Fortune 50 retailers. We help these companies improve the dialogue with their customers, through creating engaging—and profitable—text messaging programs. At its simplest, a text message program (or “mobile club”) is similar to an email list: users sign up to receive alerts and offers directly from the brand. However, unlike email, mobile clubs send the messages directly to the user’s phone, through short text messages. Additionally, signing up for the program is very easy: users simply text a special keyword to an assigned number to join, such as “Text PIZZA to 12345”, which eliminates data entry for the business.
Many of Cellit’s customers, and other businesses with text message programs, are now starting to leverage mobile to turn the “Groupon effect” into a way to capture customers. When the customer comes in to redeem their deal-of-the-day offer, the business provides an incentive (such as an additional 10% off) to join the mobile program. With such a large volume of deal-of-the-day goers, businesses can quickly build up valuable lists of customers to market, directly to their phone.
But how valuable are these mobile subscribers? For many of our clients, they can be extremely valuable. As you can reach these customers any time, when used properly, businesses can deliver incredibly effective mobile campaigns. In fact, some of our clients find their mobile subscribers to redeem mobile offers seven times more often than their email subscribers, and often have larger total shopping baskets.
Gelato Spot, a group of 5 gelato stores in Phoenix, is pushing all Groupon-goers to join their mobile club. Those that do signup receive additional monthly offers straight to their cell phone. To-date, Gelato Spot is seeing a 12% redemption rate on these coupons, the highest they’ve seen with any medium! Moreover, their gelato goers are incredibly (pardon the pun) sticky; 80% of the members remain on the list three months or more.
While the results speak for themselves, is there ROI? Do the benefits of running a mobile program justify the costs? More than likely, the answer is “yes”. For a small business, the monthly cost is around a hundred dollars. While this cost increases as more messages are sent, the cost is tied directly to performance, so while this cost may eventually be in the thousands, this would only occur if your program is performing, and generating substantial returns.
Without a solid customer information capture strategy, whether SMS or email, businesses should reconsider jumping on the Groupon bandwagon. While those customers might come running in the door, they’ll be running out it shortly thereafter, and without a plan in place, they’ll never come running back.
If you’ve paid attention to marketing materials that feature a phone, I’m sure you’ve noticed the default smartphone is the ever ubiquitous iPhone. Perhaps this is because Apple does a great job in creating hype around said phone, which then raises consumer awareness. How many people can say that they know what the HTC ThunderBolt looks like, or even the Blackberry Torch? The graphic designer wants to use what will be easily legible, something that will communicate instantly. Since people are familiar with the iPhone look, a designer will be more apt to use it.
Sometimes, there also seems to be a misconception of what a smartphone is. “Does it have the apps?” Everyone knows Apple has the App Store, but Android Market launched the in same year, 2008, and Blackberry App World has existed since 2009. If the designer assumes that the misconception holds true, they will cater towards it, meeting the expectations of the target market, which only reinforces the idea.
Perhaps this isn’t the reason, though. If you were to search for public domain images of a smartphone (preferably something in a format that is easy to edit, i.e. vector), most of the higher quality illustrations you’ll find will be iPhones. Designers don’t always have the time or skill to illustrate a realistic smartphone, so it’s much easier to just grab one of these, pop your screen shot into it and place into the layout. This brings up another point: the iPhone and iPod can take screen shots, something which Android and Blackberry can’t easily do (unless your phone is rooted, but that’s something we won’t get into). A designer could mock up a fake screen, but, again, they may not have the time or the skill to pump it out.
Any one of these reasons helps create the strangle hold on marketing materials that the iPhone has. Perhaps Google will release screen capturing as a base function in one of the upcoming Android OS updates, but I’m not holding my breath.
Every day, there’s another “mobile technology” company popping up…another competitor, for us to compare ourselves against. While I’m all for choice and competition, comparing us to them really isn’t doing either of us justice. Let me run through our typical competitive analysis (without naming names) and you can be the judge.
- History: Cellit’s been around for over 6 years. The competition? 1 year or less.
- Client Roster: Cellit has several Fortune 100 retailers and restaurants (at the corporate level) in addition to mom-and-pop clients. Nearly all of them are ongoing clients… not 1-off promotions. The competition? Typically 1 or 2 brands for which they’ve done a promotion here or there.
- Team: Our experienced management team comes from a mix of management consulting, technology, broadcast and advertising. The competition? Usually a few guys who’ve worked for an ad firm, with no technology background.
- Customer Support: We have three full-time, dedicated customer account managers that spend their entire day working with their assigned clients. We offer customer support for 10 hours each day, and have on-call tech monitoring and support 24 hours a day. The competition? Typically, as these companies are run by 1- and 2-person shops, it’s hard to provide any real customer support.
- Development: Our software was developed 100% in-house. We are able to turn around updates much faster than our competition, and often our programmers can develop custom software for our clients in less than a week. With five full-time developers, nobody can match our team for turnaround, experience or customer support.
- Connectivity: Cellit connects to all major carriers (“Tier 1″) as well as many of the “tier 2″ and “tier 3″ carriers through direct connections. Our competition: typically just the tier one carriers.
- Throughput: Up to 800 messages a second. Our competition: up to twenty (20) messages a second.
- Technology: Cellit offers all of the following:
- Robust campaign manager with 30+ rules that can be chained together with “and” and “or” logic”
- Scheduled, recurring, campaigns
- Dynamic branching
- Unlimited data collection, via “data fields” that can validate based off “regular expressions”
- Automatic, dynamic coupon code generation via our proprietary algorithm, or we can leverage client coupon codes
- Full, open, webservice based (SOAP) api, enabling the direct integration of our backend databases with theirs.
- REST-based triggers
- Our competition? Typically, not even close.
- Coupon Redemption: We offer plug-ins for MICROS, Agilysys (and shortly) POSitouch. We also offer the Widgit for Windows-based POS systems, and the iWidgit (for iPhone/iPad) and Widgit for Android. The competition typically has no solution!
- Security: As Cellit holds data for some of the largest companies in the world, we are PCI-certified and regularly audited by an independant third party for security holes. Our competition typically has not made security a priority.
In a nutshell, when you compare Cellit to the competition, hopefully you’ll come to the same conclusion our clients have: there is no comparision.
Call me. I’ll be happy to provide more insight.
800-790-6597, ext 706.