3 Ways to Take Your Marketing Mobile and Stay Competitive
by Kim Dushinski
with insights from Eugene DeSilva
As of March 2014, 166 million people in the U.S. own smartphones according to ComScore. That’s a lot of customers on phones. It adds up to 68.8 percent of Americans carrying a mobile device and a jump of 6 percent since December 2013. For small businesses, it is no longer a question of whether or not to invest your time and money into mobile marketing. The question now is: How can I create a successful mobile marketing strategy?
“Mobile is really a way that small businesses can truly level the playing field with their larger competitors. It’s important for SME’s to take advantage now, before they are left behind and find themselves struggling to catch up,” said Eugene DeSilva, SVP of Small Business, MasterCard.
Instead of getting overwhelmed by all the choices, small businesses can get started with these three mobile tactics:
1. Welcome Mobile Visitors
Consumers expect websites to work, no matter what device they view them on. To ensure mobile visitors have pleasant experiences, businesses need to make certain that their sites work well on mobile from landing to sales confirmation pages.
Getting a site to that point is a step-by-step process. Baines & Ernst, a mid-sized business and leading provider of debt solutions in the UK, discovered that their mobile audience was growing substantially. In 2012, they launched a mobile-optimized site to accompany their web site but found that maintaining two sets of content was problematic.
This Web development move has paid off for Baines & Ernst. Not only have their mobile pages per visit increased by 11 percent, their mobile bounce rate is down by 8 percent. Best of all, their conversions from mobile visitors have grown 51 percent since their responsive website was launched.
The takeaway lesson here is to take some form of action toward being more mobile friendly. It is okay if it’s not perfect, you can always do more later. You will certainly learn along the way what your customers want and then can decide how to make it better. The goal is to do something, not achieve perfection on the first try.
When asked what MasterCard has done to help ease pain points for small businesses, Eugene DeSilva explains that MasterPass, a digital wallet platform, strengthens a small business’ presence online and increases sales by giving customers a faster way to checkout without changing the way a small business processes payments. In fact, adding the MasterPass buttons to sites enables small businesses to accept credit and debit card payments, if they currently cannot. DeSilva explains that a customer’s data is safe and fraud is reduced by the various security measures that are in place.
2. Reach Out Via Text Messaging
Being able to reach customers immediately, wherever they are, is a powerful marketing technique that one local business in Las Vegas uses regularly. Ron Gutierrez, manager of the Revolver Saloon and Dance Hall inside the Santa Fe Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was recently interviewed on the Mobile Presence Radio Show about his mobile marketing efforts.
In the interview he shared that he has built an opt-in list of customers that he reaches out to via text message to fill his nightclub with just a few hours’ notice. He carefully times his messages to reach club patrons when they are getting off work and then again when they are likely to be leaving to head out for the evening. Combined with social media, he said that mobile marketing is his most powerful marketing tool.
Businesses that follow his lead by building an opt-in text message list can reap the rewards of having the ability to contact their customers with ease. This outreach is practically guaranteed to reach your customers because cell phone users have their phones by their side at all times.
3. Mobilize Your Email Campaigns
It’s no big secret that a vast majority of people read their email on their mobile devices. Combine that with the importance that email marketing plays in overall marketing and it makes it imperative that marketers pay attention to how email works on mobile.
Best practices in mobilizing your email include:
- Use a one column design
- Write short emails with short paragraphs
- Include smaller graphic file sizes
- Leave plenty of room around clickable links to be finger-friendly
- Ensure all outbound links go to mobile-friendly pages
Truly, the bottom line in mobile marketing is to pay attention to how prevalent its use is by your customers. Once you realize that your customers expect to have the same experience with your business no matter what device they’re using, the better you can adapt your marketing strategy.
Do you know where you are in the mobile revolution? See what Bank Of America has to say, Small Business Owners Are Growing Increasingly Reliant On Mobile Banking And Other Transactions.
This is the second article in our small business social series and join us for our second Google Hangout on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. EST where we’ll discuss some quick hints and long term strategies for your mobile game plan. MasterCard’s Eugene DeSilva will host the Hangout along with me, Bank of America’s David Solis, and USA Today small business columnist Steve Strauss. Be sure to mark your calendar!
Read the first article in the small business social series How To Raise Your Credit Score
View the Google Hangout – Credit Decisions: Getting To Yes
Read the Final Word
Kim Dushinski is the author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Mobile Marketing Campaigns. Her mobile marketing training has helped marketers and mobile marketing entrepreneurs reach more markets, build better brand recognition, and increase their business with the fastest growing, powerful tool in marketing – mobile. Her online course, How to Create and Deliver Mobile Coupons is available on Udemy. Follow her on Twitter @KimDushinski.