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Friday, April 08, 2011

Your First Mobile Marketing Campaign | THE OVER-CAFFEINATED ENTREPRENEUR

David J. DunworthThe Over-Caffeinated Entrepreneur with David J. Dunworth

Last month
we discussed the popularity and emergence of the mobile marketing platforms, opportunities and applications. This month I will share with you how to set up your first mobile marketing campaign, starting with the basics. You’ll have to ask yourself some questions such as:
  • What am I trying to accomplish performing this campaign?
  • What is the time frame I need to accomplish my goals?
  • How do I get started?
  • Who can I get to help me?
The following is written under the premise that you already have made the decision to run a campaign, arranged for a short codes and keywords, and have established the metrics for measuring the outcomes.

Mobile Marketing is multi-faceted, and, depending on your goals, you will be able to use multiple facets of the available applications. For instance, if you are merely growing a database of customers, you would simply offer your customer base, potentials and others who might be interested in your product or service to Opt-In to your campaign. The mechanics of this gets accomplished by using SMS short codes and keywords. A mobile marketing communications company can lease or rent you short codes and keywords sufficient to accomplish the most complex of campaigns, through survey response, voting, contest, value club, or couponing.

You must offer Opt-In and Opt-out capabilities to comply with the regulations surrounding text messaging. Double Opt-In is the best way to ensure that you are in compliance. The initial opt-in is accomplished by having interested parties text a certain keyword to your short code. Upon doing so, they will receive another message requesting confirmation of joining the messaging service. By responding YES to you, consumers have fully agreed to participate.

Should you elect to run a particular campaign to provide information alerts, incentives or perhaps an interactive campaign such as voting or surveys, you should set the parameters and metrics and monitor your results during the actual campaign, adjusting as necessary to boost participation. You might serve yourself well by also monitoring the Opt-Out activity, as this will gauge the popularity of your campaign.

Scar Tissue Example: You are a retailer, (Jane’s Bridal) and you want to grow your existing customer base and attract more shoppers. You would lease short codes and keywords, such as janesbridal (keyword) and 90210 (SMS short code). You would then use an array of marketing tactics to make this information available. You make signs and post them everywhere in the store, in your print ads, web site, blog site, anywhere you think potentials or customers would find your information. It might say, “Text janesbridal to 90210 to join our valued customer list. Receive discounts, member only incentives.” You might include mobile phone graphics in your signage to get the message across.

NOTE: all text messages are either 160 (most) or 150(older platforms) characters, so you will need to work on your message to fit into the parameters.

Once your contacts text the message to you, they immediately receive a reply, highlighting your mobile landing page, with the ability to sign up for a variety of options. You might offer: Discounts, Special Purchases, Super Sales, Everything. This way your customers can choose what type of marketing, they wish to receive. Remember the customer can choose to Opt-Out, so honor their wishes. If they only want Super Sales, tag their name for that type of message only.

That is a pretty straight-forward mobile marketing campaign. Now let’s take a look at some of the other options you can use to accomplish the same thing. You want to grow your database, so you can offer a contest, ask a question with a yes or no answer, conduct a simple survey or offer a general coupon.

Let’s start with a general coupon. You can advertise (all your methods) that if they text janesbridal to 90210, they will receive a coupon message worth 25% off every Red Tag merchandise (or whatever). Customers must show the text message to take advantage of the sale. Want to get more sophisticated? There are options available in the marketplace to create full color mobile coupons, complete with 2D Bar Codes, etc.

The process is the same as above; they get the text coupon immediately (you set the response text ahead of time), and capture their data. They can Opt-In to your other options at will.

How about offering a free Bride’s Vail for a prize? From October 1 through 31, Text bridalvail to 90210, and a random winner will be announced on November 1. One entry per cell phone (your back office system (provided by the mobile marketing company) will not record multiple entries. They receive a response text; you capture the new phone number.

You get the idea; it is not that difficult to manage simple campaigns like these. Let’s say you would rather not use text, but still wish to perform similar campaigns. The use of QR Codes (2D Bar Codes) implanted into your advertising, graphics, signage or any other print advertising is an easy way to gather interested customers. Those interested in getting more information simply use their cell phone camera to capture the image of the QR Code and with a free application, have the information read.

There are video applications that can be used to get your marketing message out on a mobile device. Video emails are read directly in your mobile browser without any special applications, downloads or external data services. This individually targeted method of mobile marketing is very explicit, as you can create your own video messages directed at individuals, groups or companies.

The first thing you should do to become familiar with mobile marketing is to contact a mobile marketing communications company, or contact your full-service advertising agency. If you choose the latter, make sure your agency is knowledgeable of SMS, MMS and QR Codes.

TNNWC has members who operate mobile marketing communications companies, but there are a number of them to be found on the internet. Contact one and find out how your company can grow loyal customers and revenues through mobile marketing.

Don’t be overcome by the level of computerization; it’s fully automated once set up. Ask a professional, and you are on your way.

For additional information, feel free to text texticon to 90210.

David J Dunworth is the CEO of TeXT-Icon Mobile Marketing Communications. For information go to:

Visit my blog at

For more information, please visit David's TNNWC Bio.

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