8 Ways to Totally Blow Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

You’ve hired your bulk messaging provider and you’re ready to get started with mobile marketing. Congrats! You’re on your way to a boom in business and more customers than you ever thought possible.

Or you’re wasting your money and the whole thing will die a quick death. Mobile marketing is easy and effective, but only if you do it right. Here are the 8 things lots of businesses do that screw up their mobile marketing campaigns completely.

Buy Your List

Mobile marketing only works if you have a list of subscribers. If you buy a list from somebody else, those aren’t subscribers. They’re random people who have no interest in your business and they’ll toss your messages in the trash. Use an opt-in form or short code and get their permission first.

Message at Midnight

If you send messages late at night or early in the morning, people won’t open them. They’ll groggily delete them and possibly block you from their phones. Send your messages during the daytime and experiment with different times to see what gets the best response.

Cram Your Messages

Your mobile messages need to be 160 characters – at most! That’s not a lot of characters, so don’t cram your messages full of too much information. Each message should be focused on one thing. If you’ve got two things to tell your subscribers, break it up into two messages.

Abbreviate Messages

You also might be tempted to use text lingo like LOL and OMG. This saves you space in your messages but it makes you look like a teenage girl. They look unprofessional so stick to actual words in the English language.

Ignore Stats

Most bulk messaging services provide you with analytics so you can see how you’re doing. If you don’t pay close attention to these, you’re lost. This is how you learn what works and what doesn’t.

Be in Too Much Touch

With SMS marketing, you don’t want to be texting them daily. You should be consistent but if you send too many messages, they’ll start turning you off. Strike a good balance between staying in touch and going overboard.

Think ‘Sales’ Only

When crafting your messages, start by asking, ‘How can I help my subscribers?’ Don’t start by thinking about sales. If you focus on helping them and offer information or promotions that give them value, the sales will come.

Rant, Blog or Otherwise Not Deliver

Whatever you do, make sure you send the messages you promised them. They signed up because they wanted what you said you’d give them. Make sure you deliver.

Mobile marketing is a great tool for businesses, but you’ve got to make sure you’re doing it right. Stick to these guidelines and your mobile marketing campaign will be everything you want it to be.

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How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business

You’ve probably seen QR codes without realizing that this funny-looking mixed-up checkerboard pattern is a miraculous new way to drive customers to your website and special offers. The QR code is the bar code of the future and it can help you grow your business.

QR stands for ‘quick response.’ A QR code is a 2-dimensional code that can hold thousands of characters of alphanumeric information. The fact that they can hold so much information, and that you can access this information by just scanning one with your smartphone, makes them awesome for businesses.

Get People to Your Site

One of the most common ways to use QR codes is to encode a URL on them. You can put your website’s URL – or the URL of your Facebook page, YouTube channel, or any other site – on the matrix and send people directly there. This gets you highly targeted traffic to your website that’s actually likely to take action there.

Putting your URL in your QR code is pretty basic. You can also do other things like turn it into a Facebook ‘like.’ When they scan the code, they automatically ‘like’ your business. All it takes is a scan and click. This is a great way to boost your presence on Facebook. The same thing can be done with Twitter and any other social media sites your business uses.

The important thing before you start cranking out QR codes is to decide exactly what you want to do with them. Do you want to get people to your site? Are you building an email list? Do you want more blog subscribers, Facebook fans or Twitter followers? Start with a clear objective first and then it’ll be easy to understand exactly how to use your code.

Where to Put Them

The great thing about QR codes is that you can put them anywhere. It’s a simple black and white image that can be printed on anything – business cards, brochures, menus, posters, merchandising items, etc. You can have stamps and stickers made of your QR codes and plaster them all over the place. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

If you really want to grow your business using QR codes, offer folks who scan yours a special deal. Give them a discount on your products or services, or a freebie just for scanning. This gives them a sample of what you have to offer and they’re more likely to tell their friends about it.

How do you get started? QR codes are extremely easy to make and there are websites that will do it for you for free. You submit to them the URL that you want to send people to, and they encode it for you.

You can then save, download or print the code and put it wherever you want. This is an extremely easy way to get folks to your website and promotions.

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How to Attract Mobile Search Engine Spiders

Why would you want spiders crawling all over your mobile website? Well, we’re not talking about the creepy-crawly kind here; we’re talking about search engine spiders. These are programs that ‘crawl’ the web looking for new content.

They report back what they find to the search engines, and this is how they index you. In other words, once the spiders find you, the traffic starts rolling in.

User Experience

The way people use the mobile Web is entirely different from the PC Web. When you surf the Internet on your computer, you’re sitting at your desk in a nice chair with a hot cup of coffee.

Mobile Web surfers are on the bus, on the couch, walking, at work, and hopefully for our safety not driving. They’re on the go and what this means is that they have ZERO patience.

Mobile search spiders look for sites that offer a good user experience. This means that your site must be clear and easy to navigate. It shouldn’t be crammed full of text or pages that load slowly.

Keyword Optimization

The carefully-chosen keywords in your Web content tell the spiders what your site’s about. For PC sites, you might choose a number of different keywords to optimize each page for. With mobile sites, this is a no-no.

The reason is that you’ve got less text to work with. If you crammed a mobile site full of as much text as you’d put on a regular site, it’d be impossible to read. For a mobile site, you need to choose fewer keywords and use them more effectively.

Another keyword consideration is location. Mobile device users are more likely to be looking for businesses in a specific location. This means that you need to mix up your keywords with some geographical terms, like ‘plumber in Seattle’ or ‘St. Louis HVAC.’ The good news is that these geographical keywords have less competition and that gives you a higher chance of being found in search engines.

Easy Navigation

There are a few things you can do with your mobile site design to enhance user experience and make it easier for spiders to find you. Put your main content at the top of the page where they’ll see it quickly followed by the navigation.

They’ll see the information they’re looking for first, and this increases your retention rate, another factor spiders take into account. This also improves the user experience because they don’t have to scroll.

Building Backlinks

Although there are some differences, the most important thing you can do to get spiders to your site is the same – build lots of backlinks. For the mobile Web, focus on sites that mobile users access like Yelp, Google Places, and Citysearch. Claim your business listings and point them back to your site so that spiders know where to go.

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Google Local Mobile Search – Are You Taking Advantage of This Free Resource?

According to Google, around 40% of web searches on mobiles include a location in them. People are looking for ‘pizza in Pittsburgh,’ ‘Boston termite control,’ or ‘Dallas dentist.’ This is because they use their mobiles to find local services. If you want them to find you, your business has to be there.

Google has offered local search for mobiles since 2005. It works just like PC local search but with a few differences. The results are simpler and focus more on maps and driving directions.

But as mobile searches have grown more popular and local keywords have been increasingly used in searches, it’s now offering much more. The search engine now uses the GPS capabilities of smartphones to deliver location-specific results. Search results and ad placement are automatically tailored to your physical location.

Know Your Place

First of all, make sure you’re listed in Google Places and other location services like Yelp, Foursquare and Bing Local Search. These sites are all huge and play a major part in search results. If you’re already listed, claim your listing so you can control it.

Fill in your profile completely and optimize for relevant keywords. Google Places gives your listing a ‘score,’ and if it’s not filled out, it’ll be low. This adversely affects your ranking in the search results.

Add plenty of photos and information to your profile. Highlight your specialties and the things that set your business apart from others in the area. This is the kind of information people are looking for. Also, ask your customers to leave good reviews for you.

Your Mobile Site

Make sure you’ve got a mobile version of your site. Optimize it for location-specific keywords. A great way to get traffic to your site is to offer mobile coupons. They click a button and get a deal. This can be the deciding factor when somebody is trying to choose between your business and a similar one.

Click to Call

A mobile-only feature that’s gaining in popularity is click to call. You put a button on your site and when they tap the button, their phone makes the call. This is much quicker and easier than having to dial the number. For lots of mobile searchers, when they find a business they like, the next step is to call them and ask a few questions. Click to call makes it easy for them to do this.

Local Extensions for AdWords

If you’re using Google AdWords, take advantage of local extensions. This feature automatically attaches your address to your business, which means that your ads get shown to people who are searching in your local area. If they type ‘pizza’ into Google search, they’ll get ads that contain both the keyword and location extensions.

More and more, people are looking for the services they need on their mobiles. Google has responded by offering services to connect them to your business. Take advantage of these services by optimizing your sites and profiles for local search and you can get great local advertising without spending a dime.

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How To “Marry” Mobile Coupons and SMS/Text Messages in Your Business

Here’s something that can really help your business get the word out and cut costs– mobile coupons. They’re paperless coupons that folks can use with their smartphones.

A great way to offer mobile coupons is through SMS (short message service) or ‘text message’ marketing. This means marketing to your customers through their cell phones rather than their PC email.

SMS marketing is wonderful because people have their cell phones on them always, and this means that marketing to cell phones gives you a much higher open rate. Offering coupons this way allows you to save considerably on printing and advertising costs.

Bulk Messaging Services

It would be really tough to save thousands of emails on your phone and send them all messages, not to mention astronomically expensive. For SMS marketing, businesses use a bulk messaging service. This is a service that handles your messages for you. For a small fee, they’ll send your message to thousands or even tens of thousands of subscribers.

Growing Your List

Once you’re set up with a bulk message provider, you’ll want to gather a list of names. Tell your customers and everybody online who sees your site or social media profile that you’re offering special deals to subscribers only. If you want to get subscribers fast, give them an incentive for signing up like a freebie or a discount on your services.

The way that most bulk messaging services work, you give your customers a short code. This is a short phone number (usually 5 digits) that they call and they’re instantly signed up. You can also use QR codes, which are the modern-day version of bar codes, which they can scan on their phones and be instantly subscribed.

It’s really important to make sure everyone on your list has subscribed voluntarily. Don’t buy names from someone else or send messages to anyone who didn’t opt in. That’s spamming and in many places it’s illegal.
Coupons You Don’t Have to Clip

There are lots of services online that will make your coupons for you. You sign up with them, enter the details of your offer, and then review the coupon before you download it. Some of these services will not only make the coupons for you but also monitor your statistics to let you know how your mobile coupon campaign is doing.

More people are going mobile, so this is a great way to get them to come to your business. One of the nice things about mobile coupons is also that they don’t waste any paper, which means it’s also nice for the environment.

Marrying SMS and mobile coupons to your offline business creates a great strategy to advertise your services that’s cheap, easy and environmentally friendly.

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