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Getting Into the Mobile Marketing Groove

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Customer retention is extremely important to small businesses.  The cost to retain a current customer is seven times less than trying to obtain a new one.

Mobile marketing is the latest technology that supports your customer retention initiatives and it also increases the number of store visits your customer makes.  Companies both large and small are incorporating mobile marketing into their marketing plans.

In the U.S., smartphones are owned by over 125 million people.  And, this year more than 50 percent of adult internet users, or approximately 102 million people will redeem a digital coupon while shopping.

Traditional means of communicating offers out to customers, like un-targeted couponing, usually show a redemption rate of around 1 to 2 percent, while mobile redemptions are 17 to 30 percent.  This is because you are hyper-targeting your customer that has opted to receive a message from your store.

This year, mobile is slated to frog leap the desktop computer when it comes to internet use so now is the time to get your store on a plan.  And, if you needed another reason to be persuaded, mobile marketing is easy and cheap.

There are a few different ways to use mobile- some companies design apps while others are prospering with simple SMS (text message) programs.  When choosing a program that is right for your store, you will want to make sure it supports your initiatives.

You want an easy to use program that allows you to communicate offers to your consumers thus driving them into your store more frequently.  You will also want to make sure that the program does not “spam” your customers or become bothersome to them. Typically, you do not want to send more than one text message a week to your customer.

Once you have a mobile marketing partner selected, you will start off by advertising the program at the register, on your website and social media, as well as any print marketing that you are doing.  Most importantly, be sure your employees understand the program and are talking about it with every customer.  They should be letting the customer know that they will receive un-advertised special deals and that you will not be spamming their phone.

To get your mobile club started, you typically offer a one-time deal to your customer to get them to opt into your mobile program-something like 10 percent off their purchase. This is the time referred to as building your club and is thought of as your investment period.

Ongoing, you will now need to communicate store offers no more than weekly and no less than three times a month. Mobile works best when it is used on a regular basis.  You want to keep your store top of mind with your customers and communicating out weekly has been found to be the best way to do this.  Keep in mind that your weekly store deal does not always have to be a discount off of product; you can also offer a discount on services like grooming or photos.

In the end, one of the most important things to understand is that your mobile program will take time to build, but if it is done right, it will allow you to easily compete with the big box stores.  You are investing time and money into this so make sure you are placing the importance on it that it deserves, and also make sure your employees understand the importance as well.

Mobile is a necessity in order to compete, and most of your customers will welcome it.

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