Not every mobile marketing campaign will be the success you’d hoped for. In business, as in life, you win some and lose the rest. Pay close attention to each loss, however, and you’ll start to learn where you went wrong. The more you learn about past mistakes, the fewer you’ll make next time.
If you’re devising your first mobile marketing strategy, you can get a head start on that learning curve by avoiding a few basic but common errors. Be as creative as you like, but avoid the following fundamental faux pas.
1) Fail to Optimize Content for Mobile
A mobile marketing campaign should provide quality content. It implies that your brand offers good value to its customers. But there’s little point having compelling content if people can’t easily view it from a mobile device. More than 50% of consumers only read emails on a mobile device, and for many people their smartphone is their primary point of access to the web. That’s why your website must be mobile-optimized.
Some of the culprits of this most basic of mistakes are major brands who really should know better. As recently as last year, Amazon sent a mass email that was not mobile friendly.
2) Use MMS Over SMS
Commensurate with mobile optimization, it needs saying all on its own: SMS messaging is the only text message protocol you should be using in a mobile marketing campaign. End of story. Many a company has tried to get clever with rich media messaging. Both Starbucks and Macy’s came unstuck after running MMS campaigns that only appeared as intended on a few devices. Resolution varies widely depending on what kind of phone the recipient has, and a significant minority of people still use older phones incapable of displaying images at all. Keep it simple. Send SMS messages containing links to all the rich content you've created and you can be certain people will see it.
3) Omit the Call to Action
A strong call-to-action is an essential element of any successful mobile marketing campaign. If you’re a retailer with a new in-store app you want people to know about, there’s no point waiting for them to visit your website to find out about it – foot traffic in a store won’t go home and do that unless there’s a problem with what they’ve bought. Clearly signpost the availability of the app around the store, and tell consumers why it’s of value to them. Equally, text message campaigns should state what customer x must to do get value y.
4) Fail to Tell the World
You might have the greatest special offer in your industry, but without a strong promotional campaign it’s all for nought. For maximum promo penetration, spread the word across multiple channels. Social media, website, SMS messaging, guest blogging, traditional ad buys – leveraging all available touchpoints will yield dramatic results in terms of traffic and, ultimately, sales.
5) Make Opting In & Out a Headache
There are two actions you should make as simple as possible for customers: opting in to receive notifications and opting out of them. If there’s a disparity between the two you’ll irritate people and even make them suspicious of your brand. QR codes are a good example of how to waste people’s time – and your budget. Can you be sure everyone in your target market has a QR scanner? Is it convenient for those that do to use it when they see your code?
Instead of using gimmicks, offer something of real value to consumers who sign up to your contact list. Equally, include a clear link in every communication that allows people to opt out in a single step. People are fickle, chopping and changing brand allegiances as it suits them, so the more user friendly your experience is the likelier they are to return later - even if they’ve opted out. Make them jump through hoops and your brand will be mentally blacklisted.