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Growing Your Mobile Marketing Customer List

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Mobile marketing can be a great way to reach your customers quickly and effectively. In this lesson, you'll learn how to build and manage your phone number marketing list.

On the Phone

Joe looked around his store. It was a busy day, and there were lots of people out and about shopping and looking for great deals. As he looked up and down his aisles, he made a startling revelation: every single person was on his or her phone!

Mobile marketing means you can reach your customers quickly and effectively.
Mobile marketing means you can reach your customers shortcode.

Maybe they were chatting with a friend, checking a price or interacting on social media. Suddenly, a lightbulb comes on over Joe's head. If his shoppers rely so heavily on their phones, maybe he could use that as a way to reach them with news about his business and special offers. But how?

Mobile Marketing Explained

Mobile marketing is not a new concept in the area of reaching customers with promotional messages, coupons or special deals. In fact, it is growing in popularity due to the surge in cellphone use around the world. In the United States alone, the Pew Research Center estimates that 92 percent of American adults own and use a cellular device. Mobile marketing capitalizes on that high-tech world in which we live. It is marketing activity and promotional messaging designed to be delivered and viewed on a mobile device. While there are many forms of mobile marketing out there, this lesson is focusing on the area of SMS and MMS marketing - that is, sending promotional messages to your customers and prospects using text and multimedia. SMS, or Short Messaging Service, uses a brief message to convey your meaning. The addition of photos, audio or graphics turns SMS into MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service.

Mobile marketing has many benefits including:

  • Immediate access to your customers
  • Accessibility across mobile devices
  • Direct communication
  • Simple and easy to send and receive
  • Cost-effective

So, how do you get started? Long before you ever visualize your first mobile marketing campaign, there is a subscribers list to build.

Building Your List

Customers and prospects who opt-in to receive your marketing materials via SMS or MMS are telling you, 'I want to hear from you!~.' But, where do those customers come from? Here are a few ways to start building your list:

  • First, create a short code. A short code is a short phone number users can dial to opt-in to your marketing messages. If you've ever been in a store and seen 'Text ICECREAM to 51515,' you've seen a shortcode in action. When a user texts the word ICECREAM to that number, they are opting in to receive promotional messages from that company or brand. The easiest method of obtaining a short code is to employ a text messaging company. The text messaging company will assign you a short code, and you can choose a keyword (such as ICECREAM) of your choice.
  • About that keyword...create something that users will easily associate with your brand and that is memorable. If you have an ice cream store in a town with 30 other ice cream stores, maybe ICECREAM isn't the right choice for you. But, if your business is called 'Frosty Treats,' you might choose FROSTY as your keyword.
  • Now that you have a short code and a keyword, use that stuff everywhere. That's right! Plaster is everywhere - inside your stores, on your receipts, on social media, in traditional ads on television and newspaper, the sky's the limit. Everywhere your business appears, your keyword and short code shouldn't be far behind.
  • Offer an incentive. There's nothing like a special coupon or exclusive offer to convince people to text your keyword to a short code to sign up. They text for the coupon, and you earn a new subscriber.
  • Create an eye-catching campaign. Yes, you have to market your marketing efforts. If you want people to sit up and take notice of your SMS sign-ups, create compelling ads that will make people want to text your keyword to sign up.

Managing Your List

Once you've built and developed your list, now is the time to start reaching out to the people who agreed to receive your marketing messages.

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