Mobile marketing can help bring new customers into your business by engaging shoppers at just the right time.
By automating some or all of your mobile marketing efforts, you can save time and ensure that every customer receives the marketing messages most suited to their current situation.
What is Mobile Marketing Automation?
Mobile marketing automation (MMA— and not to be confused with the Mobile Marketing Association or Mixed Martial Arts) is the process of using tools and software to send designated SMS messages, push notifications, or other mobile alerts to your customers,
Usually these messages are sent when a customer has done something to trigger a certain message, such as signing up for your mailing list or making a visit to your mobile website.
Using Mobile Marketing Automation
In order to use MMA in your small business, you need to first determine the triggers that will cause a message to be sent to the customer.
These triggers generally fall into one or more of the following categories. Consider all of them when developing your list, as they will have different meaning depending on your business.
Location – By using geolocation and “beacon” technology, you can target messages to customers who are in a certain geographic area or even a particular section of your brick-and-mortar store.
As a small business owner, this is something you’re most likely not ready for but something to keep an eye on. When just getting started, you need to set your expectations and focus on the foundations first.
Behavior or Action – Many of your triggers may come from actions that your customer takes, either online or in-store, such as completing a purchase, signing up for your list from a web form, or texting in for an offer in-store.
Stage or Funnel – You will want messages for each stage of your sales process, from welcoming new sign ups to thanking and appreciating loyal customers.
The way you welcome a new subscriber to your mobile program should be catered to specific needs of that customer and be focused on making a desirable first impression.
For example: you can take new subscribers through an onboarding campaign. After a few weeks they will then move to more of an ongoing engagement and nurture campaign.
Once you have determined your triggers, you should also think about how you will arrange them into individual messages or campaigns. Using a sequence of well-timed prompts can help to guide your customer through your sales funnel to a conversion.
You will also want to consider the timing of your messages, and you should definitely implement a limit or throttling strategy for your messages, so that you don’t overwhelm or annoy your customers.
For instance, if you have messages that are triggered when the customer is in different sections of your store, you should probably limit the messages so that they only receive one SMS from you during each visit. I, and most people, do not want to receive constant messages from a company as I am trying to shop, but a single, well-timed message about a promotion or discount would be very nice.
Tools for Mobile Marketing Automation
Though not required, you may find it easier to automate your marketing if you are using CRM software. Several solutions exist in the market, but I find Infusionsoft to be the best for small business CRM. It is a full suite of tools that allows you to manage your existing customers as well as create campaigns to bring on new ones.
Once you have a CRM in place, you can use an SMS-based add-on to create your mobile marketing messages. Try to make each message evergreen, such that it can be used regardless of the date, day of week, or time of year.
Some messages will be necessarily triggered by certain events more likely to occur in certain times of the year, such as an offer for ice cream on a hot day, but they should be free of expiration dates or time limits.
Two Tools that are useful for creating your MMA messaging strategy are Mobit and Tatango. Mobit is a mobile engagement tool enabling small businesses to execute intelligent messaging campaigns. It even integrates with Infusionsoft and allows you to create and send SMS messages based on a number of different factors.
Tatango is a similar stand-alone SMS messaging tool. You build a database of customers in their platform, then create your messages and campaigns to drive engagement.
Of course, it is always helpful to have an expert on your side, They’ll make sure your campaigns are compliant and that you’re using the right tools for the job.
Strategies shouldn’t be reliant on a specific tool. They should be agnostic, especially since the tools will continue to change and evolve.
Is Mobile Marketing Automation For You?
Marketing automation as a whole is still vastly underutilized. With the propagation of smartphones and tablets, mobile marketing is now a viable way to reach customers at exactly the right moment.
By picking out your most frequent or profitable triggers, you can design a MMA strategy that helps to guide your customers through your sales funnel with the initial engagement starting in any other channel such as TV, radio, print, email, social etc.
Mobile marketing automation can save you time and increase your bottom line by providing compelling offers and valuable engagements right when your customers want them.