Is Mobile Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?

The rise in the number of consumers purchasing smartphones along with the increased affordability of data plans has made mobile an increasingly attractive marketing option for marketers. Indeed not having a mobile marketing strategy and SMS marketing program means you are passing up an opportunity to engage with your customers in a very targeted and personal way.

However, a common mistake made by many businesses who do dip their toes into the mobile marketing field is to run their mobile marketing campaign as a stand-alone effort and then write off mobile when they don’t get the results they expect.

Mobile marketing, and in particular SMS marketing is more effective when it is integrated into your overall marketing strategy and run as a supplement to your existing marketing efforts.

It is likely that your customers will be exposed to numerous forms of media during the course of the day which you can use to get your message to him/her. Combining traditional channels such as print, direct mail, radio and television with relatively new channels such as mobile, email, online banner advertising and social media will generate a higher impact leading to improved brand recognition and message recall.

So what can mobile offer as part of your marketing strategy?

Targeted & Relevant: – Text message marketing is permission-based i.e. your customers need to “opt-in” to receive promotional texts from you. As a result, you will always be sending your promotional offers to consumers that have expressed an interest in your product or service. And any consumers that join your “mobile club” are more likely to respond to promotional offers or other calls to action you send them in a positive way.

Immediate: – SMS Marketing has immediacy that other forms of direct marketing lack. A marketer/business owner can make the decision to send a promotional offer and have his message in his customers hands within minutes, giving them the opportunity to make real-time marketing decisions.

Interactive: – Mobile marketing promotions can be highly interactive letting you engage the consumer even further. Get your customers to text a keyword to a phone number and instantly send them back a promotional text, or ask them to scan a QR Code in-store to receive a mobile coupon direct to their phone.

Convenient & Effective: – It is safe to say that the majority of your customers never leave home without their mobile phone. As a result, they will always have any mobile coupons that you send them on-hand, ready for instant redemption.

So how can mobile be effectively combined with other forms of marketing?

Lets take the example of a business that wants to invite customers to a special end-of-season sale, where they will be clearing old stock. A marketing campaign to increase footfall and drive sales is conceived. A combination of e-mail marketing and SMS marketing would be an effective combination to promote an event such as this. Both forms of marketing are permission-based where consumers will have “opt-ed” in to receive promotional offers, ensuring a high possibility that any promotional offers sent will be positively received.

Sending a promotional e-mail to your subscriber database informing them of the upcoming sale will stimulate interest. You could include eye-catching graphics of special sale items, include links to your website, provide a paper coupon that can be printed and presented at the point-of-sale etc.

After reading your promotional e-mail many of your subscriber database will be interested in visiting your shop to take advantage of the great promotional offers. However, in the time between your mail being received and the event real life takes over and many of your subscribers will have forgotten about your sale.

This is where the immediacy of mobile can benefit you and your campaign. Sending an SMS message on the morning of the event will break through the daily noise and remind your subscribers about your sale. Due to the ever present nature of mobile phones and the high read-rates of SMS messages you can be confident that your promotional text will be read.

Also, many online SMS marketing services allow you to create a message and schedule it to go at a future date, so you can create your promotional/reminder text at the same time that you send your e-mail blast and schedule it to go at a time that you feel will maximise the impact.

Your SMS message can be a simple reminder or can contain an additional special offer. And the increase in the number of consumers using smart phones provides the opportunity to be even more eye catching. So why not add a link with directions to your shop or a link to a graphical mobile coupon that can be redeemed at point of sale.

This is just one example of how mobile marketing can be combined with another forms of direct marketing to good effect. In this increasingly digital world, not having SMS in your promotional arsenal denies you the opportunity to engage with your customers in this targeted and immediate way. So the next time you are looking at running a promotional campaign don’t forget to consider “going mobile”.

How Higher Direct Mail Package Costs Can Increase Profits

When an organization needs to cut expenses, the direct mail budget is often one of the first targets.

And for executives not actively involved in acquiring, retaining or cross-selling customers, it’s sometimes difficult to understand why we’re spending so much on a direct mail package. Why not eliminate a component or two and get the costs down. After all, if we can maintain the same revenue levels and cut expenses, marketing profits will go up and everyone looks good.

At first glance, this argument may sound convincing but increasing profits by cutting package cost isn’t sustainable. In fact, direct marketers can typically do a better job raising profits by adding to the mailing package rather than subtracting from it.

Yes, there are ways to cut costs without hurting the effectiveness of the mailing. You can, for example, make small changes to the package size to make it run more efficiently on your printer’s press. Or you can test cheaper paper stocks, smaller formats, or dropping the brochure.

But don’t rush into cutting your direct mail package. Before making any changes, it’s good to remind everyone of the mailing’s objective. And for most of us, the main objective of a mailing is to make a profit-not to save money.

Eliminating package components, mailing cheaper lists, eliminating the premium may save money in the short term but slashing package cost is seldom the answer. Typically, we’ll do a much better job of increasing long-term profit by adding to our package. For example, you can increase your mailing’s profit-even as you increase its cost-by:

  • Feature an involvement technique. This could be a survey, membership card, petition, name stickers, a certificate-anything that gets the reader involved with the package. You can’t, however, just add the involvement device to the package and expect it to work its magic. It must be worked into the copy and given a reason for being included in the package.
  • Include a premium in your offer. I’m an avid believer in premiums and need a reason not to include one. You don’t need to spend lots of money for the premium-it can be as simple as a decal, white paper, or a paper bookmark. It does need, however, to have a perceived value to the reader. Some groups, believing that they cheapen the value of the organization, refuse to test a premium. Yet, most customers and donors respond well to them and, when used properly, a premium-despite its added cost-can increase the mailing’s net profit.
  • Try a larger format. Mailing a larger format can increase both your postage and production costs. Yet they grab attention and drive response. Today, fewer groups are using oversize formats because of their higher costs. But in past tests, when nothing other than the format size was changed, I’ve increased response by 100% with an oversize format.
  • Add an insert that draws attention to your guarantee. The mailing’s recipient has plenty of reasons-real or perceived-not to respond to your offer and the guarantee helps remove any doubt that might otherwise endanger the sale. And by highlighting your guarantee with a separate insert, you’re focusing attention to your promise for a good customer experience.
  • Feature a lift note. Have the lift note come from someone other than the main letter signer sign and print it on a paper stock that stands out from the main letter. Use it to customize the offer to particular list segments, present an endorsement, expand upon the offer and to give an added “push” to get the reader to respond.
  • Invest money in more sophisticated list segmentation techniques. Even the best mailing lists include names that won’t respond to your offer and every bad list includes names that will. And since the mailing list is the most important component of your mailing, there’s no better place to invest money than to refine your list segmentation techniques. List modeling/profiling isn’t inexpensive but with improved segmentation you can boost your response and even minimize your total costs by mailing fewer, but better targeted, mailing pieces.

All this isn’t to suggest that you should drop your efforts to reduce costs. But as direct marketers, we’ll do far better by shifting the discussion from how to cut costs to how we can make our mailings more profitable.

Using Direct Response Marketing In Your Online Business

What kind of marketing are you doing in your internet business? For most people, when it comes to online marketing, things get extremely complicated. They feel that marketing on internet is harder than calculus, more difficult to understand than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and much more tedious than the day job that they currently have.

But you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money putting a successful internet marketing campaign together… all you really need is the right advice and guidance from someone who’s already “been around the block”. The first thing that you should analyze when it comes to promoting your website is the manner in which you’re marketing your website.

Are you using brand advertising? If so, why? I’m willing to bet that the reason you’re reading this article today is because brand advertising isn’t working for you. Instead of using brand advertising, you should use a different form of marketing that is radically different than anything else out there.

What is this “radical” marketing idea? Well it’s simple. It’s called “direct response marketing”. With direct response marketing, whoever visits your website either buys from you (or opt into your email newsletter), or they don’t. So it’s either your website produces good results for you now (right away), or it doesn’t. You don’t have time or money to mess with ineffective strategies.

Brand advertising is incredibly ineffective. Let the big companies who have millions of dollars to spend on advertising do brand advertising. You want to focus on instant results, and direct response marketing. I mean look at the name… “direct response”… doesn’t it suggest that it focuses on methods that you do directly, that either generates a response or it doesn’t?

You ready have to get deep with your online marketing efforts. Luckily on the internet, you can test new web pages and new web layouts, and see which one is working for you right away. In the offline world, you would have to wait months to see if a magazine ad or a direct mail campaign actually made you money.

However on the internet, everything is quick and easy. You will want to test out direct response in your business right away, or else lose a lot of money in the process. There are many direct response strategies that you can use in your online business. But there are so many that I don’t have time to distill here in today’s lesson.

Make sure your website is designed to either generate a sale, or designed to generate a new lead. Have your email autoresponder ready to go if you want to generate a lead, and then start emailing your opt-in subscribers every 3 days. Soon after you have amassed thousands of subscribers, you will start to see sales coming in on a daily basis. And I know this is something that you want.

Be sure to take these direct response marketing tips and use them in your online business today. I assure you that it will be more than worth it.

Good luck with using direct response marketing in your internet business today.