Guest Post: How To Attract Customers with a Mobile Phone

I recently met Nathan Richer, owner of Virtual Alchemy, at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase and was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest post for the blog.  Nathan specializes in Internet Marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and is a wealth of great information.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt was quoted saying “Mobile is pretty much the answer on everything”. In fact, the search engine giants are considering “mobile first” for all future endeavours. This makes sense since there are about 5.3 billion mobile users compared to a paltry 1.7 billion Internet users.

Google is preparing for the Mobile future….are you?

There are several ways you can attract and retain customers/clients through the use of mobile marketing but today I wanted to focus on Text Message Marketing.

What is Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing is similar to e-mail marketing but using mobile phone numbers instead of e-mails. You build a database of mobile numbers which provides you with the ability to send out text messages to your faithful followers.

I want to be clear that I am not talking about spamming people with useless advertisements. Instead, text message marketing can be a great tool for offering value to your customers and building long lasting relationships along the way.

Who Can Use Text Message Marketing?

Any business that is looking to communicate and build relationships with their customers or clients. It is an excellent opportunity to add value to your customers overall experience.

Some of the ideal businesses that use text message marketing include:

  • Restaurants

  • Retail Stores

  • Event Organizers

  • Real Estate Agents

  • Night Clubs

  • Schools

  • Churches

  • Fitness Studios

  • Medical Professionals

The list goes on and on…

How Does Text Message Marketing Work?

A business will need to purchase a mobile marketing platform to set up campaigns, store mobile phone numbers, send messages and even set up appointments. There are some pretty good and inexpensive mobile platforms out there so be sure to shop around. Be prepared for a monthly fee as most platforms charge based on the number of text messages delivered.

Once you sign up for your mobile platform you will be given a short code, which is just a number (usually 5 digits) that people will text your “Keyword” to. Next you will have to create a “Keyword” that represents your business or promotion. Often this keyword will be your business name or something related to your services or products.

The mobile platforms are generally user friendly and shouldn’t take long to set up. Once it is up and running you will need to start building your mobile database by promoting this service.

How to Promote Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Here are a few examples how you can build a mobile database.

Restaurant Owner
Set up a tent card on your tables that says “Text Restaurant to 54321 for Exclusive Coupons”. Next time your restaurant is experiencing a slow day, just send out a text message that reads “Show this text to your server before 10 pm and receive 10% off your meal”.

Since text messages have a 97% open rate, your restaurant will be busy in no time.

Real Estate Agent
Put a message on your lawn sign that says “Text House to 98764” and have your mobile platform send an automated response with the details of that house. Not only are you providing details of your listing but you are also building a list of potential buyers that you now have access to.

Professionals are able to use Mobile Marketing to record mobile numbers and set-up appointments. This will allow you to automatically send a text message to your client reminding them of their upcoming appointment.

These are just a few examples how you can use text message marketing to increase your revenue while providing value to your customers or clients.

The mobile industry is going to continue growing so now is the time to consider adding text message marketing into your overall marketing plan.

Thanks for the great post Nathan!  I would adore it if my doctor or dentist texted me to remind me of appointments!  Go visit Nathan at Virtual Alchemy to learn more about SEO and Internet marketing - he’s got a great promotion on a web evaluation going on right now!

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