Mobile Marketing 101

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The number one question that I get asked when coaching, speaking, and even writing is this: “What is the number one marketing trend?” Many also asked what the number one thing is that I cannot afford to ignore. The answer is simple: mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is that one trend that, if ignored, could actually put you out of business. Puts me out of business, come on Michael, really? YES. I am that serious. A number of companies that still don’t have a mobile marketing strategy are astonishingly large. Jump on this train or be left behind!

Some statistics

  • Over 80% of internet users have a smartphone
  • Text messages have a 99% open rate
  • Over 50% of smartphone users grab their phone the second they wake up
  • By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all digital ad spend (according to Marketing Land)

The best way to approach mobile marketing is to adopt a policy called “Mobile First.” This means that any marketing you do needs to be thought of and be started with a mobile mindset. Assume your customers and prospects want to interact with you via their mobile devices; whatever marketing tactic you are getting ready to deploy must work beautifully with mobiles.

For those businesses that are looking to get their feet wet with mobile, here are some mobile marketing 101 tips to get you moving. They are in chronological order of which I recommend you nail down the first before moving onto the next.

  1. Mobile websites
  2. Mobile text message, picture, or voice messages
  3. Mobile e-mail marketing
  4. Mobile apps

Mobile Websites

Plain and simple—your website must look and act flawlessly on mobile and tablet devices. More than 50% of people say that if your website does not work well on mobiles, they will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, return to your website or business again.

The easiest way to make sure your website is always amazing on mobile is knowing that it was designed in a language called “mobile responsive.” This means that regardless of the device they are on, the website will respond to them. Whether they have a 60-inch TV monitor or an iPad, the website will realize that and will adjust to make it look great.

Action to Take: Redesign your website using a mobile-responsive theme.

Mobile SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a form of sending marketing messages (promotional and rapport-building) to your customers and prospects’ cell phones. They can be in the form of a picture, video, audio, or text.

In the statistics above, I mentioned that text messages have an open rate of 99%. When was the last time you sent an e-mail that had a 99% open rate? Sending to three people does not count :) No business is getting 99% open rate. In fact, the average e-mail open rate is around 25%. So if you send 100 e-mails, only 25 will open the e-mail. If you send 100 text messages, 99 out of 100 will read the text message. Does that convince to consider this?

The great thing is that getting started with SMS marketing is actually quite simple.

Step 1: Sign up for an SMS tool where you will store and send the text messages.

My favorite tools are the following:

Step 2: Start asking for MOBILE phone numbers everywhere.

I call out mobile because on all the signup forms you are using or opt-in forms on your website, you should specify mobile versus simply saying phone.

Two quick ways to start to build your cell phone numbers:

  • Send an e-mail to your database offering an incentive if they opt in to receive text messages.
  • Create a mobile keyword signup where people can text into a keyword and be automatically opted in.

Step 3: Craft some great content.

Unlike e-mails, where sometimes sending a daily e-mail is OK, it is not OK with mobile marketing. Craft some content where you are sending 2-4 messages/month to start with. At least 50% of your messages should be NON-promotional. Keep the audience engaged. Don’t just spam them with offers. Thank them for their business; send birthday messages, happy holiday messages, contests, and member-only specials just to name a few.

Mobile E-mail Marketing

Adopt the “Mobile First” strategy that I described above, and assume that your prospects will be reading your e-mail on a mobile device. Similar to a responsive website design, your e-mails should be responsive. Many e-mail tools have this option but just as many do not.

My favorite tool for e-mail marketing is It allows you to send beautiful e-mails and do some very advanced things to increase conversion.

Mobile Apps

When people hear “mobile marketing,” they usually think, “I need an app.” While that may be true, your efforts should be focused on making sure that the #1-#3 things above are firing on all cylinders before you consider this strategy.

There are two strategies when it comes to apps:

1. Design your own app

The price to get an app produced has come down substantially. There are many services where you can get an app live for $50/month. The secret sauce to creating your own app is to make sure it is something that will have utility to your audience, something they will use on a regular basis. Think about the flashlight on the iPhone for example—that has utility.

Once people start to download your app, you have the ability to start to market to them, monitor their location, and push messages to their phones. There are quite a few things you can do here from a marketing standpoint.

2. Use other people's apps to market

The lion’s share of the apps that have been created was done for marketing purposes. You can push marketing messages on other people's apps (both locally and nationally if your market is national). The investment levels normally start off around $500/month.

Action Summary

  1. Get a mobile-responsive website.
  2. Start capturing mobile numbers, and send 2-4 messages/month.
  3. Make sure your e-mails are mobile-responsive.
  4. Consider getting an app already produced, or advertise on other apps.

Mark my words, this trend cannot be ignored. Ready? Take action!