SMS marketing is very personal — or it should be, if you want the best results from your mobile marketing campaign. So says Casey McConnell, the founder and CEO of Qittle.com, a mobile marketing company with clients that include Cost Cutters, The Aspen Club & Spa, Bono’s BBQ, Snowmass Village, eMoo.com, Metro Brokers real estate and Aspen Snowmass skiing company.
Cell phone users who opt in to receive text marketing messages from businesses demand valuable information in return for giving up their privacy. If you, as a marketer, give them that, then you can create customer loyalty plus potential viral word-of-mouth marketing.
Relevant information can include anything from mobile coupons to a restaurant’s daily specials. As with all advertising, the more precisely a marketer can target the ad recipient, the higher the response.
For example, McConnell cites two restaurants that use mobile marketing: one is a breakfast and lunch cafe, the other a fast-food sub outlet. The first sends breakfast menus to its opt-in users on early weekday mornings only, while the second fires off text messages just before lunch time.
The two businesses have very different clientele and use these demographics carefully. The sandwich joint caters mainly to nearby college students (young people who’d rather sleep in than eat breakfast, are always broke and who are avid texters). The bistro, on the other hand, serves office workers and upscale professionals (somewhat older people with more fixed schedules, including breakfast meetings, who have solid and disposable incomes and are also avid texters).
While the cafe sometimes sends special mobile-only coupons, its patrons are more interested in receiving texts detailing choice of product. The sub eatery, on the other hand, actively promotes its sales and specials, even sending ‘free sub’ coupons just before lunch specifically so that other students will opt in to receive similar text marketing messages.
Whether advertising in print, by email or through SMS marketing campaigns, every business drills down to specifics, continues McConnell. Restaurants target vegetarians and dieters, for example, and of course tie in to calendar events like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. The difference with a cell phone ad message to any other is that it’s so personal, it’s in your pocket, it’s in your hand.
McConnell urges advertisers to remember that text messages are still very much viewed as a ‘between-friends’ mode of communication. For text marketing to successfully enter that very personal forum, marketers need to be hyper-diligent about relevancy.