In the smartphone era, a strong mobile marketing campaign is crucial to the success of every business no matter how big or small. But putting together that mobile strategy is easier said than done. There are dozens of channels and hundreds and hundreds of tools for tracking metrics and automating the advertising. You can’t afford the time or money to try them all so how do you pick which ones? Here are a few criteria that can help you decide.
Mobile marketing tools and channels should…
- Be easy to use. Unless you have the resources to hire a full-time social media person, you should make ease of use a priority in selecting both mobile channels and mobile marketing tools. If the learning curve is too steep you’ll probably waste too much time trying to figure out how to use it and not enough time actually implementing and benefiting from it.
- Be effective. This one’s pretty straightforward. A channel or tool should do for your business what it’s supposed to do. If you try out a new channel or tool and give it a fair chance, but it doesn’t help you achieve your mobile marketing aims, then there’s probably no sense in investing in it further.
- Be Up-to-date. Some tools or channels may have been helpful at one time, but aren’t anymore. The world of mobile technology is advancing at an incredible rate so if tools and channels aren’t being regularly updated to keep them relevant, they aren’t going to be the best option for your business.
- Offer value to your business. This is another one that might seem obvious but many businesses are using tools and channels simply because other businesses are using it and they just think they should as well. So ask yourself, is a given tool or channel offering you any tangible results? If it’s not doing anything of value for your brand, you need to consider why you’re investing time and money into it at all.
- Have good customer service. This one applies to tools and not channels but you’ll find that many mobile marketing tools come with 24/7 support and others do not. It’s safe to assume that you’re going to run into problems or questions with any given tool so it’s important that you can get immediate assistance when these problems or questions arise so you can use the tool to its full potential.
SMS is a must
With so many tools and channels, very few are a must for all industries. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another. But there is at least one notable exception: SMS. Short Message Service (or text messaging) needs to be a part of every mobile marketing campaign and it meets all five criteria above:
- Ease of use. If you select the right bulk SMS service, SMS marketing is very easy since the service will automate the opt-ins and opt-outs. You only have to craft the message and set the time for it to be sent and the service takes care of everything else.
- Effectiveness. The open rate for text messages is about 98% (90% within three minutes of the text being received). Click-through and redemption rates for special offers are about ten times higher than they are for email.
- Up-to-date. Though the SMS protocol hasn’t changed hardly at all over the years, regulations on text messaging have and the majority of bulk SMS services have continuously adapted to be compliant with these regulations.
- Value. The low cost per text, combined with the effectiveness of the channel means SMS is one of the most valuable mobile channels you can have in your arsenal.
- Customer service. Select a service with a great reputation for round-the-clock support and SMS might be the best thing that ever happened to your brand.